Look Before You Leap. Or Not.

A few days ago, I took a yoga class that felt like the Wild West of yoga. Folks were doing random headstands and handstands, crow poses and jump backs.

A yoga friend of mine who was taking the class with me said afterwards, “Yeah, I used to like to practice like that but now I’m too old and lazy.” And we had a good laugh.

The class made me think of a summer past when we were spending time with our family in Massachusetts. My kids and their cousins were having so much fun jumping off a dock into the lake.

Two of the kids – Sadie included – were super tentative, checking out the scene, assessing, planning, and finally jumping while holding hands.

The other three ran pell-mell down the dock at top speed and launched themselves into the water with barely a glance.

I remember applauding Sadie for her courage when she jumped off the dock she said,

“I was always going to jump. I’m brave but not foolish.”

In that class I took, I felt like Sadie and her cousin, being super cautious before I jumped and everyone else was acting like the other three kids, launching themselves from the dock without looking.

But actually everyone in both of these scenarios – the kids at the lake and the yogis in that class – were acting courageously.

None of the kids jumping off of the dock were really being foolish at all (despite Sadie’s assessment.)

And certainly no one in that yoga class I took was being lazy (despite my friend’s self-deprecating comment.)

It’s just that some folks – like my friend and I – needed to set up everything precisely, to assess all of the angles and possibilities and to do a lot of looking before leaping.

Other folks, needed to just get in there and do it.

The brilliant thing is that yoga gives us both approaches to practice.

We get to decide what we need in the moment and what will help us find some harmony and balance.

There’s great learning opportunities when we push outside of our comfort zones.

My tendency is to analyze and plan and triple check before I leap but I also have lots of ah-ha moments in classes where the teacher says, “Don’t worry so much. Just jump and see what happens!”

On the opposite side, many of the just do it folks could find some benefit to slowing down and assessing their hand positions and other finer points of alignment before launching.

As always, yoga works best when it show us our tendencies and gives us a chance to decide if those tendencies – attractions and aversions – are serving us best.

Any time we use the practice to look closely at ourselves, we are acting courageously.

So here’s to courage in all of it’s forms and to looking before we leap… Or not!

The Right Way to Yoga

Have you ever seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”?

Definitely not a cinematic master piece but a chuckle worthy early 2000’s rom-com that I think is worth a watch on a dreary afternoon.

Check out one of my favorite scenes…

sthira suka asanamMy celeb crush on Paul Rudd aside, I feel like this SO often when it comes to my yoga practice.

What does it mean to find the right balance between effort and ease, as Patanjali recommends to us in the most oft-quoted lines in the Yoga Sutras? How do we know when we are doing too much?

If you’ve ever come to my class, even just once, you know my favorite answer is…

IT DEPENDS!

And at the same time, our practice doesn’t have to devolve into an amorphous sea of relativism.

In fact, I’ve come up with a (totally click-bait worthy) list of questions for you to answer that will help you sort out the “it depends.”

1. Are you able and willing to pay attention?

When we are working too hard, it is as if our mind says to us, “This is miserable! I’d rather think about anything else than pay attention to this intense stretch/emotion/painful thought.”

At the other end of the spectrum, if we aren’t working hard enough, it is as if our mind says, “Oh, this is easy. I can do this pose/meditation/breath practice and still solve the worlds’ problems and make my grocery list while I do yoga!”

2. Do you have access to your breath?

And we should definitely and especially be able to pay attention to the breath. When we are working too hard, the breath could become short, shallow, ragged. Or we can’t even begin to notice that we are breathing.

So if you can’t breath well and be able to observe your breath, then you are doing too much.

3. Is this a whole person experience, or just a sharp sensation in your hamstring?

First of all, modern postural practice is obsessed with hamstring stretching. Am I right?

Not to rag on the hamstring stretchy asanas, really you can substitute any part of your body for hamstrings here. The point is, the posture should be a whole person experience for you. Well distributed sensations are a hallmark of just right effort.

That sharp bright tug that you can point to means that something is not quite right. And first thing to adjust is your level of effort.

4. Does what you are doing feel like your intention?

We talk a big game about intention in yoga, especially at the beginning of our classes and sometimes at the end. In fact, you can check out my old blog post about it from last year.

But what does it really mean to connect our practice to our intentions?

For example, if your intention is to cultivate compassion but you berate yourself for losing your balance in tree pose… Well, you get my point, right?

So the bottom line is:

“Do less. Try less… No. You gotta do more than that….”

#ThanksKunu and happy practicing! Can’t wait to see you in 2019!

The Mysterious Case of the Too Tight Pants

My daughter, Sadie, is a sweet but fierce 5-year old. While she loves to follow the rules and remind other when they are not following the rules, she also has some very strong opinions. Especially about what she wears.

Not too long ago, right as the season started to shift and we had just pulled out all of the cool weather clothes from last year, she insisted on wearing this particular pair of pants. Typically not a problem, even when in this case they totally clashed with the rest of her outfit. However, these last winter pants were at least one, maybe more like two sizes too small. I pointed out to her that while the pants were super fabulous, they were probably going to be uncomfortable.

“They are already pinching your belly, love. I think you should choose something else.”

Nope. It was those pants. She was not to be swayed.

I relented. Because a) fights about clothing are not worth it. And b) she was wearing a dress so I figured worse case scenario, she takes off the pants at school and it’s still good.

But no. When she stepped off the bus, she was still wearing those too tight pants. And she was wearing a super-grumpy face to go with it.

Of course you are grumpy, I thought. You were wearing pants that were two sizes too small. All. Day. Long!

And sure enough, she came inside and took off the pants and felt heaps better.

It was easy enough for me to smile knowingly and shrug off the pants episode as childhood nonsense. But then I started thinking….

Sheesh. I’ve totally done this same thing! Haven’t you?

For me it goes like this:

Oh, I loved this fancy dress when I bought it and it’s just been sitting there my closet. It is just perfect for this wedding/funeral/cocktail party! Hmmmmm. It’s a little too tight but it will only be a few hours, right? It will be fine!

Famous last words. Soon after I’m grumpily trying to adjust my dress in the ladies room and lamenting the fact that I can’t dance as much as I’d like.

You know what I mean?

But even when I think about this scenario as a metaphor, there are tons of times when I’ve squished myself into places and moments that didn’t fit quite right.

A meeting. A school event. A job. A house. A family gathering… You name it.

Undoubtably this is a requirement of living adult life.

But here’s the thing. When we do this so often, the uncomfortable too tight sensation starts to feel like that’s how it always has to be. We acclimate to the experience. It’s just normal. We always feel like we are wearing clothing a few sizes too small.

So then we show up on our yoga mats for our asana practice. The poses become a continuation of this too tight pants experience. We squish bodies into uncomfortable doesn’t fit quite right shapes. We allow the postures to be imposed upon us. They are checklist-able items to perfect.

Tree pose? Check.

Warrior 1? Check.

Triangle pose? Check.

Cobra pose? Check.

Hey, this so good for you. No pain, no gain. It’s what it means to be an adult. Right? Right? Right?

At my last restorative yoga retreat, a participant had a revelatory moment. She told me, “What was so amazing about this weekend was that you were asking us to to care if we were comfortable or not. I don’t think I ever really think about that. It was when I got really comfortable here that realized I’m uncomfortable almost all of the time.”

(Want to see for yourself? My next retreat is in January.)

When we allow ourselves the opportunity to consider whether or not we are comfortable, we have some opportunities to practice some *real* yoga.

It’s not just about accumulating or accomplishing poses. And it’s definitely not about enforcing someone else’s definition of how a pose is supposed to be.

Just in case you were starting to get worried, I’m not saying all of this to discount or diminish alignment instructions in our asana practice. Our group yoga classes together aren’t suddenly going to devolve into everyone rolling around on the floor or cuddling up for nap time. (Just for the record, that would be really great too!)

I am suggesting that if we are not reflective about our experiences of comfort and discomfort in our practice, we aren’t really doing yoga.

Comfort and complacency aren’t the same thing. Read this oldie but goodie post about contentment if you need a reminder about that.

And sometimes we really do have to agitate to get the desired results for ourselves. Remind me to tell you the story about the time my washing machine wasn’t working.

But until then, make it your practice to attend to your comfort. This is so critical at this time of year.

As the year winds down and the holiday season is upon us, we can be adulting it up so much that we force ourselves into too tight pants. Literally and metaphorically.

Please don’t. Because it’s going to make you grumpy. I guarantee it.

Happy holiday season, my friends. Take care of yourself and each other out there. Hope to see you on the mat soon!

Gratitude

With a giant pile of Halloween candy bounty, fresh from my  Trick-or-Treat adventures with a surfer, unicorn, and Kurt Cobain, I’ve already starting thinking about Thanksgiving.

It is easily one of my favorite holidays. Part of the reason is that a few years ago, I convinced my family to let me host the gathering. Even though we live in the smallest house of all of our relatives, including the smallest kitchen of any house anywhere and no dishwasher.

We squeeze 11 people around a table that can really only fit five and then do dishes for hours and hours afterwards but there is something so satisfying about this day. Part of it is the food. Part of it is the loved ones all around. Part of it is the focus on giving thanks for all of it.

I recently read an article that argued fear is the thing that keeps us from kindness.

We are certainly living in a time where fear is the prevailing energy. And there are certainly LOTS of things to fear right now.

And at the same time, there is SO much that is worthy of our gratitude.

In order to express sincere thankfulness, we have to be present. And so we can use gratitude as a tool to help us reconnect with our awareness. It becomes a yogic practice.

Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given; gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us.

Davide Whyte

Do you need to give your gratitude practice a jumpstart?

Sometimes someone else says something you are thinking better than you can. That’s exactly how I feel about about this Practical Guide to Gratitude.

Or check out this fantastic workshop called Gratitude 30 that the always-inspiring Maria Hamburger is teaching at Willow Street at the end of November.

At my annual fall retreat last weekend, a participant came into the kitchen as I was setting out all of the amazing food that had been prepared for us. She remarked how easy it can be for us to take for granted just how lucky we are and how much we have. Then we both took a silent moment to observe, admire and appreciate the food and each other. It was a beautiful moment of yogic gratitude.

May your month ahead be full of moments of gratitude just like that one!

Nourish Yourself and Hiss

I know I promised no more with the yoga stories about animals but I just couldn’t help myself. This is one of my favorites and it feels so very relevant right now.

There was once an accomplished yogini and teacher named Sādhvī. She traveled through the countryside to offer service and share her wisdom, making yearly stops at each village.

One day, as Sādhvī approached a small village, the villagers came rushing out to meet her.

“Oh, Sādhvī! We are so happy to see you! We really need your help. Our village has been plagued by the most vicious and menacing snake. This snake attacks us and eats all of our eggs before we can collect them. She is such a menace that many times we are afraid to go beyond the gates. What shall we do?”

Sādhvī assured the villagers that she would teach the snake the yogic path and went off into the jungle.

When she found the snake, Sādhvī asked the snake if she was living a peacful and happy life. The snake admitted that she was not. Sādhvī taught her the lessons of ahimsa, non-harm or non-violence, assuring the snake,

“Non-violence is the way forward towards a life of peace.”

The snake took the teachings to heart and promised Sādhvī she would change her ways.

The next year, when Sādhvī returned to the village, she went to visit the snake to see how she was making out. She found the poor snake emaciated and weak. She was bruised all over and just generally looked miserable.

Sādhvī was alarmed but also perplexed. She asked the snake, “What happened? I thought you were on a path towards peace and taking the teachings of ahimsa seriously?”

The snake explained that she hadn’t been taking any eggs but she hasn’t hunting for food either because that seemed like a violent thing to do. And because she was no longer a menace to the villagers, the children were not frightened of her anymore. When they would see her, they would taunt her and throw rocks at her.

“Ah,” Sādhvī nodded knowingly. “Yes, I can see you are indeed taking your vow of non-violence very seriously. While this is an essential commitment,”

“You must still always nourish yourself and you must never forget how to hiss.”

Take care of yourself and each other, my dears.

Do no harm.

Nourish your body, mind, and soul.

Hiss loudly and as often necessary.

The Right Stuff for Non-Attachment

One of my kids’ favorite book characters is Chico Bon Bon from the “Monkey with A Tool Belt” series by Chris Monroe. Do you know these great stories?

If you don’t know Chico Bon Bon, you should definitely check out the Monkey With a Tool Belt books.

Allow me to summarize.

Chico Bon Bon is a monkey with a tool belt. (You could have guessed that from the title, right?)

He has absolutely all of the tools anyone could need for anything. All of the things. As you can see.

In one story, Chico gets captured by an organ grinder and taken to the circus. The story is about how he uses his tools to escape.

Every time we read this book – and I’ve read it so many times I could probably recite it from memory for you – I think about the classic Indian allegory about catching monkeys. It goes like this…

Do you want to catch a monkey? Let me tell you how.

Build a small box of wooden slats to hold a banana. Place a banana in the box in the jungle and go out of sight to wait.

Soon enough, a monkey will arrive. He will be able to put his hand between the slats to pick up the banana but he will not be able to get the banana out through the slat.

The monkey will become OBSESSED with getting this banana out. He will try every trick he knows. He will pull and yank. He will twist and bang. He will be so very focused on getting this banana out that you will be about to leave your hiding place and walk right up to him.

He might even notice that you are approaching but he will not let go of the banana. He will be so deeply attached to the banana, unwilling to release it, that you will be able to pluck him right up.

I’m not sure if this is true or not but the point of the story is pretty clear.

Freedom for that monkey is so close. When he hears the human approach, the logical thing to do would be to let go of the banana, pull his little hand out and run. But he doesn’t.

How many times have you been holding onto something so tightly, trying to solve some problem, to the point that it captures you?

I have. Dozens of times.

The story is meant to be a lesson in practicing aparigraha or non-attachment or sometimes non-possessiveness. I hear this message in a infomercial sales pitch voice:

Are you suffering because you are holding on to something too tightly or too long? Let it go and you are free!

Sounds so easy, right? And yet.

Here’s where I think about good ole’ Chico Bon Bon.

I think we need some tools to help us figure out let go of the bananas.

The solution to the grasping too tightly problem is probably somewhere between Chico Bon Bon’s overly stocked tool belt and just simply letting go.

We probably don’t need a zoozle and a snoozer like Chico’s. Whatever the heck those are!

And we definitely don’t need 2,100 yoga asanas either.

Fellow restorative yoga advocate and teacher Jillian Pransky recently wrote a great blog post about the difference between letting go and letting things be. This distinction is at the heart of the lesson of aparigraha. Check it out.

And perfectly on topic, in this short video Chico Bon Bon creator Chris Monroe talks about how Chico Bon Bon is about to get his own Netflix show.

I love how enthusiastic she is and also totally not surprised by it. Consider her attitude as she speaks about how it happened. It’s a great example of non-attachment.

Buying and Selling Goats

Do you know this folktale about a yogi who lives in a tiny house with her husband, her mother, five children, a dog, two cats, a cow, and chickens?

Well, as you might imagine, she was feeling so overwhelmed by the chaos in our daily life that she went to her guru for advice. Her teacher told her the problem was easy to solve:

Buy a goat.

Really? – she thought with great skepticism. Should I really be adding more to this chaos?

Nevertheless, she trusted her teacher who had never led her astray so she bought a goat and brought the goat home.

Now she had her husband, her mother, five children, a dog, two cats, a cow, chickens, AND a goat running around chomping on everything. Things were even more crowded and chaotic than ever before.

The exasperated yogi returned to her teacher who told her the solution was easy:

Sell the goat.

‘Really?’ she thought with great skepticism once again. ‘I just bought this stupid goat!’ But trusting her teacher once more, she sold her goat.

As she looked around her house at her newly goat-less house with her husband, her mother, five children, dog, two cats, a cow, and chickens she thought…

Wow! It’s look how peaceful it is around here!

While I’m (only slightly) tempted to make some joke about the rise of goat yoga, this story is really just reminding us of how yoga can sometimes work in an unexpected way.

So often we come to our yoga practice as a way to let go of something. Maybe it’s tension, the trauma of an injury or an emotional experience, or the distress of life in a fast-paced demanding world. And when the aim is to reduce, it seems a bit counter-intuitive to add something.

But when we add an engagement in a particular part of our bodies, or an intense breath practice, it hones our focus. Then when we let go of that precise effort – when we sell the goat – there is a tangible, noticeable sense of relief.

Buying and selling goats ends up as a perspective shift that informs what it really means to be at ease in body, mind, and otherwise.

Now I know this story of  buying and selling goats might seem like a big contrast to the message I left you in last month’s blog post.

One of the greatest gifts yoga offers us is the promise that we already have everything we need. And also, sometimes we got so wrapped up in everything we have going on, we can lose our perspective. It’s only until we add one thing, and then take it away, that we have the same perspective shift as the heroine in the story.

You must look within for value, but you must look beyond for perspective.

-Denis Waitley

In other words, I know summer can be a super busy time. I can hear you thinking, ‘Come to class now? Really? You want me to add one more thing?’

But yes, come to buy and sell some goats and I think you’ll be delighted by the results.

And I know, I know…

 

Inquire Within

Irish stone sculptor Helen O’Connell at work

Have you ever watched a sculptor working?

Even if you haven’t, you can imagine. It’s totally mesmerizing.

She is there working at a solid block of stone, chipping away small bits at a time to make a something you didn’t even see at first begin to appear right before your eyes.

Her vision and willingness to work at manifesting it reveals the shape. She’s literally removing the stuff that conceals the beauty of the stone for everyone to access.

Many years ago, my teacher asked me to meditate on and write about all of the reasons I wanted to study yoga and to study yoga with him.

I submitted my “assignment” to him, which included all of things I wanted to learn and all of qualities that I admired about him.

He barely looked at what I wrote and simply handed the papers back to me and said,

“I can’t give you any of this. I can only help you learn that when you are truly practicing yoga, you find all of these things within you and know how to discard everything that isn’t.”

This was truly a revelation to me!

All along, I had been trying to use yoga to accumulate wisdom and understanding from someone and something external. I was practicing postures and pranayama and meditation trying to accumulate things into a sculpture of a yogi. But I just kept adding on and adding on and feeling a bit overwhelmed.

At that time, my yoga was a continuation of the message we hear almost constantly from every direction. The message goes like this:

The more you have and the more you do, the better/happier/healthier/more successful you will be.

But my teacher pointed out to me that this was a complete misinterpretation of yoga. And a common one at that.

Practice should be helping us seeing what is concealed. It’s not about adding things on but it is about chipping things away. This is how we reveal and enhance those qualities in us already that are concealed or simply forgotten.

Yoga is really offering us totally revolutionary message:

You already have everything you need.

You are already everything you need.

Chip away at whatever isn’t your best most beautiful self and you will be able to reveal and enhance the qualities that make you the best version of yourself.

Even as I type this, I’m in awe of this possibility. But for as often as I assure myself and even experience this exact thing on my yoga mat and in my everyday life, some part of me remains skeptical.

I can hear that little voice saying inside whispering,

“But are you sure that there is no connection between a perfect triangle pose and everlasting joy?”

Do you hear that little voice too?

It might be a really good time to make a list of your own. What qualities are you trying to obtain in your practice of yoga? What do you admire most about your yoga teachers?

After you make your list, go back and see if you can catch even the smallest glimmer of those qualities in you. I’m betting there’s a pretty good chance, you need to do some chipping away to reveal them in their fullest.

Because, really, yoga is really meant to be teaching us how to “inquire within.” And it takes a lot of practice.

Inquire Within cartoon

 

Practice Makes Perfect?

On Sunday I’m going to do something that I haven’t done in a long time. And I’m nervous about it.

I’m playing in a piano recital. In front of about 100 people. Eeek!

I started taking piano lessons earlier this spring. It was the first time I’ve played the piano in more than 20 years!

Despite my current uneasiness about playing in front of a bunch of people, I discovered something I had forgotten. I really, really enjoy playing the piano.

I don’t think I really appreciated it or found it as joyful when I was first learning as a kid. Practice always felt like a chore. I always felt like the piano was just one more thing I was trying to achieve. There were songs to pass, good marks to earn from the adjudicators, a new book or songs at a higher level. You get the idea.

But now that I’m just playing for fun, I get to choose the songs and I find myself really wanting to practice. No surprise that my piano playing has actually improved!

My piano playing saga can help us understand the spirit of abhyāsa.

Abhyāsa means practice, especially a consistent practice, one that is done without interruption or distraction.

I once heard the teacher Richard Rosen say “Abhyasa builds on itself, just as a ball rolling downhill picks up momentum; the more we practice, the more we want to practice, and the faster we reach our destination.”

But wait, you say, I didn’t think we were trying to achieve anything in yoga. Isn’t that what you always tell us?

You know as much as I do that yogis love a paradox.

On one hand, yoga invites us to set intentions for our yoga and setting intentions can admittedly feel like setting goals.

While it’s helpful to have the direction and the prioritizing an intention can provide, yoga ultimately instructs us practice from a place of curiosity and a desire to know ourselves.

And when we practice with a desire to experience the joy in connecting more intimately and completely with ourselves, we improve in more ways than just being able to “do” postures.

There’s a common saying that goes “yoga isn’t about touching your toes; it’s about what you learn on the way down.”

If you have an intention to achieve something or attain something concrete, like being able to balance in tree pose or in crow pose, what is underneath that intention? When you “do” crow pose, what qualities or sensations, what experience does crow pose elicit?

Try reframing your idea about what you are practicing when you do asana on your yoga mat.

Digging at our motivations and ultimately moving towards understanding why we are drawn to certain poses is at the heart of abhyāsa.

In the meantime, despite my impending nerve-wracking piano performance, I’m trying not to forget about the joy I feel when I play. My in-home guru who often appears in the form of my oldest son said to me the other day, “Don’t be nervous mom. It’s like Ghandi and Malcom X say, ‘man’s greatest enemy is fear.’ You are going to be great if you don’t worry so much and just have fun.”

And in case you were wondering, this is the song I’ll be playing though this isn’t me in the video. Wish me luck!

Step 1: Notice, Acknowledge, Allow (Or Is That 3 Steps?)

Just a few days ago I was cooking in the kitchen and I heard a kid fight brewing in the living room. It started off with a snippy remark. Then I heard stuff animals being throw, then some yelling, then pillows were thrown. By the time I arrived on the scene to intervene, at least one book had been thrown and an iPod with headphones attach was raised for a chucking.

“Hey, hey. Pause here a second! You guys are really angry right now!”

Both boys looked at me and said at exactly the same time, with exactly the same grimace and red face and bulgy forehead vein, in exactly the same growly voice and snarled, “I’m not angry!”

Denying an emotion or an experience we are having is something we have all done at one time or another.

For me it usually goes like this…

Husband: Are you okay? What’s wrong?
Me: Nothing. I’m fine.

Why? Why do we even do this?

I think it might be because we don’t want to feel angry/tired/sad/whatever we are denying. Some emotions have been deemed “bad”. Some of our experiences are painful and just downright unpleasant! And who wants to acknowledge that we are in pain – physically or emotionally?

Yoga invites us – encourages us! – to acknowledge, allow, and even accept the experiences we are having. It’s big part of connecting to ourselves.

If we are using our posture practice as the place for exploration on this point, it might look like acknowledging that our tree pose feels wobbly. Or maybe acknowledging that we are talking to ourselves in a harsh way when we can’t do a pose in the way we think we should be able to do it.

Give this a try in your everyday life. When you stand on the metro platform or in line at the grocery store, is your weight on both feet? I’ll bet it’s not. And what about your knees? Are you locking them? I’ll bet you are.

I’m not trying to say that there is some ideal posture for everyone (read or listen to this fascinating piece!) I’m not trying to say that every time you stand up, you need to be in mountain pose.

And I’m definitely not saying we have to be complacent.

Practicing yoga is not about accepting and then throwing up our hands and saying “oh well this is how it’s going to be.” It’s just the opposite, actually.

The only way we can move forward toward whatever it is we want is to know our starting point.

Back in the day before GPS and smart phones that could pinpoint your location for you, if you wanted directions you had to know where you were before you could plot your course toward your destination.

Let’s go back to the knee locking. Noticing that your knees are locking, or in other words, hyperextending and moving beyond a functionally straight position, can give you good information.

Knee locking is one of those unconscious things many of us do, often in an unconscious effort to brace ourselves and feel a sense of stability. Shoes with heels exacerbate this tendency. The problem is that as the knees curve back, the tops of thighs and hips have to move forward to compensate. This puts a bunch of pressure on low back. To compensate for the low back, the pelvis tucks into a posterior position in an effort to reduce pressure on the low back. Now the lumbar (low back) spine is flattened and the cervical (neck) spine flattens reciprocally so the head juts forward.

Long story short, hyperextended knees can contribute to low back and neck pain.

So if we want to move toward a pain-free low back and knees we have to be able to notice, acknowledge, and accept that our knees locking and that might part of the problem.

Then we can move forward to what we want and intend for our body’s experience. Our asana practice is the place where we can notice and adjust the physical habits like the way we use (or don’t use!) our bodies.

Meditation is our way in to our to do this same thing with our emotional self. It’s our tool and strategy for noticing, acknowledging, allowing, and then choosing to respond in a way that is more helpful for what we want in our lives.

Here’s a great video of why meditation is a worthwhile practice. If you are reading this, I probably don’t need to convince you but honestly, I just can’t get enough of this amazing animated mouse and hedgehog. And who doesn’t want a unicorn thrown in for good measure? Watch and see.