Shifting With Grace

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Photo Credit Longtower Photography

 

Friends,

I hope you’re loving this weekend and that you caught sight of the full moon last night.  Come celebrate the last days of Summer and the beginning of Autumn with me at a yoga class!  As always, you can find my most up-to-date teaching schedule on the calendar tab at the top of this page. I’m also excited to start teaching yoga next week to Pre-K students at DREAM Charter!  If you or someone you know is interested in a mix of yoga/dance/mindfulness-based learning at schools, give me a shout out! I’m really looking forward to helping empower Young Souls.

As for my Grown Friends, I’ll be teaching….

Sunday Sept. 18 – Area Yoga
10:45 Open Level – Court St.
12:30 Gentle Flow – Court St.

Monday Sept. 19 – Area Yoga
5:30 p.m. Sweat, Stretch and Relax – 5th Ave.

Thursday Sept. 22 – Urban Yoga Foundation
12:30 Basic Hatha

May this transition into a new season bring welcomed shifts, new perspectives and opportunities for growth into your own life.  Remember that every season offers its own magic.

Peace,
Anne

Monster in the Closet

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Take a moment to notice your breath, without judging what you observe.

One night, as a little girl gets ready to go to sleep, she hears a sound coming from her closet, and concludes: There’s a monster in my closet!  She won’t open the closet door, because the fear of what she might find is too intense.  If there’s a monster in the closet, it must be big, scary, and overpowering.  The risk of not being able to handle what’s on the other side does not feel worth taking.  So, the child has to scurry to her bed, pull the covers over her head, and she can’t relax because she has to be ready to run if the monster comes out. The sounds continue to keep her awake.  Finally, the little girl concludes that the only way she’ll be able to sleep is if the monster leaves her closet.  She bravely approaches the door, opens it, and shrieks as a moth flies out.  After watching the moth that was searching for a way to get outside, the little girl opens the window, and the moth flutters out.  The child closes her closet door, takes a proud sigh of relief, snuggles under the covers, and falls fast asleep.

Sometimes we attach a certain meaning to something about ourselves, some factor in our lives, some idea, some possibility.  Sometimes we are too afraid to look at what’s there to even consider what it is.  Maybe, after giving ourselves the space to consider it, however, we’ll begin to see ways that we can deal with what is there.

Today I invite you to increase your awareness, without judging what you see or attaching meaning to it, so that you can truly see.

A yoga practice provides a space to observe without judging.  We draw our focus to the breath, which helps the mind to slow down and helps to take attention away from the stories that we tell ourselves, or the monsters that grow inside our closets.  In addition, as we practice mindfulness with the breath, we also practice mindfulness with our bodies and movements.  We learn to breathe through the sensations that arise and to be present.  Sometimes this means adjusting the pose so that we can find our true best or “edge”, rather than push beyond it to our expected edge.  We practice this constant communication between the body and breath without judging ourselves for not being able to achieve a certain expression of the pose that we might desire.  Through this practice, we train ourselves to remove some of the stigmas that we attach to our experiences in life so that we can embrace them, learn from them, and move forward.

Notice your breath again.  During your physical yoga practice, or asana practice, observe what’s going on within you in each pose.  Observe when you reach your edge, if you need to modify the pose, if your breathing changes and the thoughts that come.   Maybe certain thoughts need to come to the surface, so that they can then pass on by, or so that we can deal with them in another way.

What monsters in your closet are you ready to face this week, this month?  We Got This!!!

Check out my calendar for my up-to-date teaching schedule.  Hope to see you on the mat!

Peace and Sweet Dreams,

Anne

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Castle in the Fog

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Hey Friends,

I hope you’re having an awesome week.  Over the past few days, my fellow Louisianians having been encountering some tornadoes, lighting storms and intense rain.  Here in NYC we’ve had some wind, a chill and sun. Perhaps where you are, you’ve been encountering some fog.

Imagine that you have a dream of reaching a mystical castle. You can see the castle ahead of you, at the end of a foggy path. You begin walking, briskly, through the fog, believing that you can reach the castle shortly. Soon, you realize that there is more than fog separating you from the dream. Through the fog, you see that you are actually in the midst of a community. Beyond the community, you see a river, then more fog, leading to the castle. You must find a way to cross the river. The members of the community teach you that there are special stepping stones that will float, and carry you over the river. They also offer you food, explaining that this trek will take some time. They lead you to the magical stepping stones. You stand atop one, and float over the river, toward the fog. Once the stone lands, you see that the castle is still a distance away.  Again you see through the fog. You have arrived in another community.

You begin to think, “Will I ever reach the castle? Why didn’t I see through this fog when I first had the dream?” But as you move forward, as you soak up what you need from each experience, the next stepping stone is ready for you. And you continue, until there is no more fog between you and the castle. As you behold this mystical place, you realize that you actually saw through each foggy spot at just the right time.

In your physical yoga practice, or the asana practice, each pose can be a stepping stone for something more complex. It is important to prepare the body for what’s coming, and when the body is ready, the more complex versions of the poses will happen, maybe that day, maybe a few weeks later, maybe months later. All that matters is that you tune in to your community, your body, your breath, and take the steps that are available to you at each moment.  Maybe you think, “Yesterday I could do this pose easily. But it’s not happening today.” That’s okay. Since yesterday, you have moved on through the fog, into a different environment. Honor that. Right now, work with the tools in your midst and be patient with yourself.  Trust that the pose will evolve as you evolve.

Inhale, see the castle.  Exhale, press through the fog.

In your daily life, what does your castle look like?  What communities have you been encountering?  What stepping stones are there for you to discover?

Throughout your journey, take time to delight in how far you have come. May you press on through the fog, toward your dreams, one stepping stone at a time.

Let’s press through the Fog this week at the yoga studio!  Here’s where you can find me. And come check out the new Area Yoga studio on 5th Ave. in Park Slope!!! We have lots of fun classes and teachers!:

Friday May 1
6:00 p.m. Open Level – Area Yoga (5th Ave.)

Sunday May 3
9:45 a.m. Open Level – Area Yoga (Montague)
12:30 p.m. Warm Restorative – Area Yoga (Court)

Monday May 4
9:20 a.m. Open Level – Area Yoga (Court)
12:30 p.m. Express – Area Yoga (5th Ave.)

The Light in Me sees and honors the Light in You,

Anne  P.S. Check out “Everything is Everything” by Lauryn Hill to get you dancin’ and encouraged as you move through the fog toward your Castle.  Hang in there, and keep your gaze at the horizon!!