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

dark night in motion

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

Fireworks

fireworks

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!

I wish you all a fun, safe and joyful weekend of celebrations!  I’m pretty pumped about the fireworks on the levee of the Mississippi River tonight. However you choose to spend your time, I hope you live it up!  Every day is a new chance at life!

Louisiana yogis— come join me for some classes next week at Blooming Yoga in Prarieville!  I am delighted to get to sub a few classes for my dear friend, Marifer, while she is away.  Hope to see you there!

Monday July 6
10:00 a.m. – ABC (Absolute Beginner’s Class)

Wednesday July 8
6:00 p.m. – ABC
7:30 p.m. – Gentle Flow

Enjoy the fireworks in your life, in whatever form they manifest.

In Light,

Anne

Surf’s Up!

surfer huge wave

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.  😀