Reclaiming What Is Yours: Embracing New Beginnings

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Thalia, Me, Hazel

Welcome, Friends!

I recently led yoga and meditation for a women’s renewal retreat at an exquisite bed and breakfast called Minerva’s By The Sea. This island jewel is located in Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Emma Lapsansky, who runs the space, created an incredible sense of home for us all, joining us for delicious meals that she cooked with love, guiding us through conversation to help us all get to know one another, sharing her beautiful stories with us, organizing a mix of massage therapy, manicures, psychic readings and art projects, as well as making the house itself delightfully comfortable with whimsical, colorful decor, extremely lovely and relaxing rooms with names (my room was Anemone), puzzles, bikes, books and everything you could possibly need to feel completely at ease and at home.

During the retreat I met ten unique, beautiful, powerful women, each of whom shined her light to help create a special sisterhood. I was honored and blessed to get to know them, learn from them, and to hold space for them to connect more with themselves through a mix of meditation, restorative yoga and chair yoga. I was inspired and touched to encounter a mother, daughter and grandmother trio, a mother and daughter duo, three friends who had roomed together in college many years ago, and two friends who had decided to take a trip together.

In the latter duo was Thalia: an energetic, hilarious, amazing, inspiring, beautiful woman who has been on this planet for almost 91 years. When we met, she expressed her hesitation about participating in the yoga sessions, explaining that she sometimes gets dizzy and was concerned that the classes might not be accessible to her. Thalia shared that when she tried yoga in her twenties, the instructor told her that yoga wasn’t for her, that she shouldn’t do it because of an issue with her equilibrium. In that moment Thalia became convinced that she should never practice yoga asana (poses) again, and never did for over 60 years. I explained that yoga is about connecting with yourself; that the physical postures are just one tool to aid in the holistic union of mind, body, soul and Universe; that a physical yoga practice could be as simple as breathing with intention; and that every exercise could be modified to meet the capabilities and needs of the practitioner. She agreed to give it a shot.

Thalia blew me away in chair yoga! Her enthusiasm, playfulness, commitment to trying everything and finding her edge, her openness and the delightful feedback she gave throughout the session, enlivened the entire room. After the session, she expressed frustration for not having revisited yoga sooner; however, she was hooked and was determined to make yoga a regular practice for the rest of her life.  Here is a video  of her sharing her story.  😊

I learned so much from Thalia. Perhaps the biggest take away was the importance of embracing and celebrating our new beginnings, and that it is truly NEVER too late to make a positive change in our lives. How often have you told yourself that it’s too late to change [fill in the blank]? How many times have you felt ashamed, frustrated, angry or disappointed in yourself for the steps you have taken along your path that have led up to now? Perhaps in moments when you have decided to make a shift you have simultaneously felt upset that it took this long to get here. I’ve certainly experienced all of the above countless times. What if, instead, we choose to CELEBRATE the fact that we have arrived at a point in our awareness where we are finally ready to bravely change course? There are limitless ways that this can play out in our lives.

One area that I am applying this philosophy is in my decision to start studying Japanese again and to connect more with my roots. My father is from Okinawa, Japan. His father was from Lubang, Philippines, and his mother, my Grandma, is from Kohama, Japan. After encountering racism as a preschooler, I refused to speak Japanese with my Dad anymore. I wanted to fit in. I stopped learning what was inherently mine and missed out on opportunities to connect with my own heritage as well as to be able to have deep, fluent conversations with my Japanese relatives (particularly Grandma), as most of them are not fluent in English. I later realized how important it was to reclaim my language. In college I studied Japanese but gradually stopped practicing once I stopped taking the course, and have since forgotten much of what I studied. For years I felt guilty calling Grandma at all, out of shame for my limited language skills. I felt that I had fallen off track and that perhaps I would just give up talking to her until I had started studying again.

I have had Japanese on my list for years, thinking, “I’ll pick it back up when I have time.” But I realized that unless I decide to commit to it and carve out the study space in my schedule, I will never have time. Though I beat myself up over the years for rejecting my language and for not making it a priority to continue my studies, I realized that I could stop judging myself and embrace this new beginning. I realized that what mattered was that I reach out to Grandma, even if the conversations were very basic for a while. The heart can communicate beyond verbal language barriers. And I realized that it’s not too late to pick the language back up! It doesn’t matter what came before.

I am going to buy a language program this week and start studying Japanese regularly again, with the goal of being able to speak with Grandma on a deeper level by the time I visit her this December in Guam, where she now lives.

Thalia had the right to have a yoga practice. I had the right to learn and speak my language with pride. Both of us are reclaiming what is ours, NOW.

What are you ready to reclaim? What new beginnings are you ready to embrace? Is it a career, a relationship, a hobby, a habit, a new schedule that serves you more, a new way of expressing yourself, or something else?  Today is truly the first day of the rest of your life!  In yoga we practice embracing each new beginning (each new breath, each new pose, each new day of practicing, each new thought) and then letting go to make space for yet another beginning. Such is the beauty of Life.

May you experience gratitude toward Life, the Divine and yourself for each milestone of awareness and positive change along your path.

“Don’t let the past stifle your progress. Let it empower you.”

-Suguru Nakamichi Tangi (my Dad)

Namaste, じゃあまたね (jaa mata ne)

Anne

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Grandma Takiko Tangi and me in Guam, 2008

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Art project at Minerva’s By The Sea Bed and Breakfast

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With Emma, Innkeeper and Primary Owner of Minerva’s

Come out and play!

Hey Friends!

Picture yourself as a young child.  What do you look like?  What brings you delight?  What brings you fear?  What do you crave more than anything?

Now imagine this child residing in a cave inside your heart.  It longs to express itself, to be loved, to be accepted, to connect, to be seen.  The child draws a picture to give to someone you care about.  It is so excited to share this artwork.  But you, as an adult, don’t think the picture is good enough, so you say, “It’d be better to throw this picture away.  Once you’ve cultivated your drawing skills more, then we can show others your picture.”  Immediately the little child gets shoved deeper into the cave.   It feels hurt, inadequate, ashamed, small, and repressed.

As people, each time we label ourselves as inadequate, unworthy, or we tell ourselves that we should be achieving more than we already have, we harm the tiny child within us.  When we shrug off our challenges and say, “Well, that’s nothing compared to what other people have experienced,” we are shoving the little child deeper into the cave, telling it that its experiences are not valid, that it doesn’t really matter.

But when we speak lovingly to the child within us, with words of appreciation and affirmation, celebrating our successes every step of the way, we encourage the child to come out and play, to speak, dance, sing, shout, and create with abandon.  We teach ourselves that we are worthy, we allow healing to occur, and from this place, only good can come.

I invite you to take a walk with your inner child, give it space to shine, listen to what it is telling you, and treat yourself with compassion throughout your day.  Just as we would want our own children to feel safe, encouraged, affirmed and supported, our own inner children need just that.

Come connect with your inner child at a playful yoga class this weekend/next week at Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) and at Area Yoga Brooklyn.

IG:@annetangi@biteablelife @urbanyogafoundation_ @areayogabrooklyn

Wonder, splendor, imagination, healing, connection and freedom await you!

Saturday May 6 – Area Yoga Brooklyn (103 1st Place)
9:20 – Open
10:50 – Basics
12:20 – Open

Tuesday May 9 – Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation) – 380 MacDonough
7:30 pm – Basic Hatha

#wellness #innerchild #yoga #brookkynyoga #playfulness #healing #freedom #wonder #creativity #imagination #emergewellness #urbanyogafoundation #areayogabrooklyn #tangiyoga

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Spring Inspiration

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Good Day, All!

Here are some bursts of spring inspiration I encountered during my walks this week.  May the warmth and sun of the season give you new life, as it has been doing for me.  Enjoy some more inspiration this week at a yoga class:

Monday April 17: Area Yoga (429 Bergen St.)
4:00 PM Open Level
7:00 PM Open Level

Tuesday April 18: Emerge Boutique Wellness Studio (with Urban Yoga Foundation)
7:30 PM Basic Hatha

Wednesday April 19: Area Yoga (Court St.)
5:45 PM Open Level

Check out my calendar on my blog: TangiYoga.wordpress.com for the most up-to-date class schedule.

May you find the chance to be out in nature this week!

 

Peace,

Anne

 

 

Rekindling The Flame

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Albert Schweitzer – French-German theologian, organist, philosopher, and physician.

Dear Friends,

It’s been a while!  I am happy to be back in action with teaching and blogging.  Here is my offering to you today…

Imagine a dark night. You are with a community of others, families, friends, and strangers, all making a trek on foot toward a beautiful destination that is full of light, peace, abundance and beauty. You start out with lanterns to light your path. As you move forward, you begin to hear sounds around you that are frightening, as you cannot see where they come from. Sometimes you stumble for the same reason. The flames in your lanterns begin to grow weak. Children begin to cry, as the sounds of the night grow into monsters in their young minds. You know that the dangers of the night are real, and you also known that you cannot let the darkness consume you, or else you will not make it to your destination. You decide to play games with the children, to sing, to dance. Soon others join you. As your inner light begins to shine more brightly, you notice that the flames in the lanterns begin to strengthen, as well.

The darkness is ever present, but the more brightly these lights shine, the more expansive this realm of light becomes. Little by little your community develops into a city of jewels twinkling in the night, and then a bright fire offering warmth, energy, light, strength.

In our lives and world, as chaos and darkness can seemingly take over, sometimes we forget the importance of self-care, rest, fun, and celebration. Sometimes we get caught up in the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, go spend time with loved ones, or do something we really want to do, until the chaos has calmed and the situation has been resolved. We may even feel guilty, or that we are dishonoring the hardship of a situation by choosing to focus on light– thereby selfishly taking attention away from the dire state of this world.  In fact, taking time to celebrate is what will enable us to keep us going!  It is what will rekindle our flames. Life is NOW. Every moment is precious.

As your light shines more brightly, you will help others to shine, as well. And when all of our light shines, it will become so radiant, so powerful, that we will be able to make it through the Dark Night, together.

This doesn’t mean that we should deny the Darkness, ignore it, downplay it, or pretend that everything is okay when clearly is not. Rather– this is a time to be present in the darkness, a time to acknowledge it, walk through it, feel it, recognize how it is affecting our world and the worlds of others in our midst. As we are present we can take steps to shine more light, to answer the voices we hear crying out for help, to evaluate what our best access points to the Cause are and consider how we can make the most positive impact.

As we take those extremely vital steps toward healing, justice, freedom, equality, and peace, let’s remember that we are able to offer the most to others when we are healthy.  Let’s celebrate all along the way!  Let’s give ourselves permission to take child’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to laugh. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges. Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.

In your yoga practice, I invite you to tap into your inner flame, your inner light, and to honor Life with every breath.  During the asanas, or physical poses, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate. Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now. The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose. Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy!  I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body! I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow.  At other moments, we need to modify the poses.  I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.  As we practice celebrating with breath and movement, we are training ourselves to live this way throughout our daily experiences.  May we carry this with us through all of the darkness that we encounter along our journeys.

Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to be present with the experiences and circumstances that arise.  I invite you to connect with your communities and feel with others who are suffering, to listen to the need and examine how your gifts can best be used to help.  Meanwhile, remember how medicinal and nourishing laughter, fun, rest and play can be for the Soul, Body and Mind.  As the night reaches its darkest moment, may your light shine the most brightly, for we are Radiant Beings.

Come join me in Harlem at my newest teaching venue, Urban Yoga Foundation and let’s celebrate life together!

Thursdays 12:30 – 1:30 – Hatha Yoga Basics

And to my teacher friends/friends with kids: I am working to complete my Children’s Yoga Certification this summer (also through Urban Yoga Foundation) and would LOVE to come work with your kids at school!  Please let me know if you are interested.

As always, I am available for private classes and am looking for additional regular teaching venues.  Just shoot me an email at annetangi909@gmail.com and we can set something up. 😉

Until we meet, here are some tunes to help keep the party going and also remind us how connected we are:

“Celebration” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels
“Virgo Clown” — Van Morrison
“We Are Here” — Alicia Keys

In Light,

Anne

Nocturnal Illumination

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Happy Summer, Friends!

I hope you are finding chances to enjoy the season, regardless of the heat (if you’re in my neck of the woods) or other challenges that arise.  I hope that you are finding time to embrace what this season has to offer you.  On that note…

Picture a dark night. You are driving a car down a road with no street lights toward a destination that is full of light, joy and promise.  You can only see two hundred feet ahead of you with the help of your headlights.  While you cannot see far, you are still able to behold colorful flowers and plants along the side of the road as you pass them.  You stop the car in order to take in the view of some particularly vibrant flowers. Once you exit the car, you realize that the darkness actually allows you to see the stars much more vividly than if you were in the midst of the city lights. After witnessing the beauty of the foliage around you and the night sky, you get back behind the wheel, refreshed, and you continue toward your destination.

As we move through challenges each day on the road to our goals and dreams, sometimes we feel anxious about the fact that we can’t see all the way to the end of the dark road.  We may fear that if we slow down we will lose momentum and will miss the chance to fulfill our mission, or arrive at our destination.  Maybe it’s a job you are after, or reaching a certain milestone in your education, or maybe you are waiting for an answer to a question that is really important to you.  At times, in pursuit of our dreams, we forget how important it is to let ourselves celebrate the here and now.  We can develop the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, or to experience pleasure, or to celebrate, until we have arrived at our destination.

But what if it takes years before you land that job, or before you receive the answer you seek? Does that mean you’re not going to enjoy life for the next several years? Life is NOW. We need to be present, to embrace THIS moment. Joy is here. Peace is now.

Of course, we need to take steps each day that lead toward whatever it is we seek. Maybe you really need that solid job and having it will truly help to reduce your anxiety and will enable you to focus more of your energy on other areas of life that might currently feel neglected.  But as we take those steps, let’s celebrate all along the way!  Let’s give ourselves permission to take chlid’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to read that book. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges.  Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.

During your asana practice, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate life.  Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now.  The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose.  Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy!  I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body!  I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow.  At other moments, we need to modify the pose.  I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.

Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to celebrate life each day and to take the time to appreciate what each experience offers you.

Here are some tunes to help keep the party going:

“Celebrate Good Times” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels

I hope to see you soon!  Come join me for a class at Area Yoga, or if you are interested in having yoga at your work space, or private lessons, let’s talk!

Off to look at the moon,

Anne

New Fire

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Picture a fire with vivid flames that dance through the air. This fire produces so much light, and serves as a source of warmth, passion and inspiration. At times, the flames can grow weak.  But the fire is still a source of light; it just needs to be rekindled.

In life, we are always returning to a state of balance. We never simply have it all together, at least not for long. If we did, there would be no room for growth.  Sometimes when we struggle in a certain area we feel flustered and unsure of what to do next, or of what to change.  The fires of our souls can grow weak. At times we need to reflect on the strategies that we are currently using, so that we can let go of them, and try new ones.

Moments come when we receive new insight about how we can improve our lifestyles.  This awareness can be accompanied by feelings of vulnerability, failure and inadequacy, or thoughts such as: “Wow, I have so far to go. I feel so off track. I should be further along than I am.”   Without checking in and gaining this insight, however, we might keep repeating the same old strategies, expecting different results, while getting frustrated, discouraged and burnt out when things keep going the same way.  Another way to look at this insight is to say: “How awesome it is that I have this information, this spark, so that I can rekindle my fire!”

Each day we encounter challenges on our mats. Some days we step onto the mat feeling on fire and excited, other days we arrive feeling as if our flames have grown weak. Either way, we keep the flame of breath burning. From there, the other elements fall into place.  Gradually we are able to move deeper into the poses. Gradually we teach our bodies new ways to express themselves. Constantly, we adjust as we receive new sparks.

In your yoga practice, not only on your mat, but also in your daily life, I invite you to be open and receptive to the new sparks, the new flames of insight that come your way, so that you can stoke your fire, or perhaps even start a new one.  It’s a new day; it’s a new chance at life.  Let’s celebrate it!

Come join me for a class this week and rekindle your fire.  You can find my up-to-date teaching schedule on my calendar. It is always changing, as I add different classes here and there. Please check it out.

May you be open and receptive to the sparks that come your way this week, so that your fire can burn with passion, inspiration, encouragement and light.

Here are some tunes to get that fire burning:

Feeling Good – Nina Simone
New Day – Alicia Keys
Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys

Keep the fire burning, y’all,

Anne

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The DNA Of A Tree

Giant banyan tree in Haleakala National Park

Giant banyan tree in Haleakala National Park

Welcome, Friends!

I am writing you from my hometown, Baton Rouge, LA. I will be here for a few weeks, soaking up the semi-tropical climate, exploring nature and spending time with loved ones. I hope to cross paths with my fellow Baton Rouge yogis and I wish my New York yogis a blissful next few weeks. Check out my calendar for the most up-to-date teaching schedule.  In the meantime…

Picture a seed planted in the soil. It rests in the middle of a lush terrain with a variety of vegetation, including many types of trees.  This seed already contains the DNA that will determine the type of tree it will become. Still, it needs to be nurtured in order to grow. It needs the right amount of sun and rain as well as the right type of soil in order to transform into a tree.

Each element plays a central role in this tree’s growth.  Yet, it’s not the job of the sun, rain, or soil to decide what type of tree the seed will become. The DNA is already there. Still, each element contains information that it needs to share in order to help the tree develop. Each element is a messenger. If the sun were to refuse to shine, if the rain held itself back in the clouds, or if the soil withheld its nutrients, the seed wouldn’t be able to become a strong tree. It could still grow, but it wouldn’t have the chance to express itself fully.

In our lives, we all have seeds that we need to nurture. Some of these seeds are ready to become relationships, situations, or other opportunities. We all have our truths— our messages, the information that we can share with others— in order to help these seeds grow into trees. Perhaps some of us can offer the sun, others the rain and others the soil.

Sometimes we hold back from speaking our truths, or from delivering our messages, because we fear or dislike the consequences of speaking up.  At times we want to control what type of tree will grow.  We might think, “If I say how I really feel, this seed might grow into an apple tree. But I really want it to become a pecan tree, so I’ll hold my tongue.”  That is actually beyond our control, however. Perhaps, in a relationship, the other person is waiting for you to offer your words which serve as the spark that will propel the two of you forward in either direction. Maybe speaking your truth will result in a great opportunity for change, or even in two people going their separate ways.  Even that is beautiful, if that is what the opportunity holds.

Of course, we need to speak with compassion and  mindfulness as well as sensitivity to the right timing.  If the sun shines too harshly, if the rain floods the terrain, or of the soil offers the wrong type of nutrients, then the seed will encounter some trouble.

What we can do is offer our sun, rain and soil in the best way that we know how so that the seeds in our midst have the greatest chance of developing into the trees that they are meant to become.

During your yoga practice I invite you to speak your truth through your body.  If you cannot breathe fully in a pose, if you experience pain, or if you are misaligned, then your body is telling you to adjust or to rest. If you ignore that information and try to force a pose, then you are not being truthful. Instead, when you tune into the breath and respond to the information that your body offers you, you can find your true edge in each posture— that place where your energy can flow freely, you can expand and open, safely.  May you practice speaking your truth through your yoga practice on your mat so that you can prepare yourself to speak your truth in other aspects of your life.

Here’s a video to get you pumped as you get ready to speak your truth: Sara Bareilles – “Brave”

Peace, light and Happy, Healthy TREES!

Anne

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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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Surf’s Up!

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Picture the beach. Feel the warmth from the sun kiss your skin. See the blue-green water. Hear the waves that roll toward the shore, then pull away from it. Picture a surfer riding the waves. Even though the water is turbulent, notice how by tapping into the breath, the core, and by staying flexible, the surfer has the power to balance, to find strength and fluidity, and to dance across the waves. Now see yourself as the surfer standing gracefully on the surfboard…

Happy Friday, Friends!

It’s beach time! Although the past few days have been on the chilly side here in NYC, I have seen folks strutting through the streets with their surf boards lately, perhaps on the way to the Rockaways (a peninsula out in Queens with surf-able beaches). Have you ever been surfing? If not, have you ever watched other people hit the waves? I have not yet explored surfing, although I have a feeling this is the summer that I will. However, I used to teach SUP Yoga (Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga). Balancing on a board in the water is an awesome experience in which no moment can be taken for granted, as the simplest movements become much more challenging. I have noticed that in the moments where I try to stay totally still and hold my breath, I actually am more likely to fall. However, once I accept that the water is going to keep moving, and that I am going to keep moving, I can relax and actually become one with the waves. Of course, I must apply effort, as well. When I combine steady breathing with a strong but supple body, I get into a groove with the water.

On our yoga mats, we need to be strong as well as flexible with ourselves.  We must activate the core to keep us safe and to find the strength to practice the poses.  When a posture does not feel right, we need to adjust. Sometimes, we need to push ourselves a bit further, and other times, we need to tweak our alignment or give ourselves permission to rest.  Meanwhile, the breath helps us focus and find ease.

Off-the-mat, we need to be both strong and flexible in our lives.  We must learn when to apply more effort and when to let go of attempts to control a situation.  We need to have a solid foundation as well as open hearts.  A regular yoga practice is one way to train ourselves to balance effort with ease.  Come join me this weekend for class as you prepare to dance across the waves this summer.  When we accept that change is coming, that the water will keep moving and that WE will keep moving, we can find a greater sense of balance in our lives.

Happy Surfing,

Anne

Check out my calendar for my up-to-date teaching schedule.  😀

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!!