Month: November 2017

Big Mind’s Vision

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The Last Day in the Garden

When Erich Schiffman was in Yogaville, he spoke about his understanding of the connection we all have with what he calls “Big Mind” (what some of us would call the divine, and others might call universal consciousness.)  You can tune into Big Mind  by quieting your own little mind through practices that allow you to get out of your own way and “plug in” to the truth of this connection, and insights and sparks of intuition. As you saw from my horoscope recently, Big Mind has some plans for me.

So let me lay out the vision that has been laid on me and ask for your help, as Big Mind’s penchant for connection demands of me.

The Washington DC region needs a yoga co-operative. 

Yup.  I’ve been visited by a vision of an autonomous association of yoga teachers and practitioners united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned, democratically controlled enterprise.

Kinda nerdy was my first thought.

But though it is very different from the other creative visions I’ve played with here, it seems to fit the bill for a heart that has longed for a bigger, broader, deeper and more meaningful in-person connection with others who practice yoga.  [Nice going, Big Mind!]

I’ve shared this vision with close friends, and friends of friends and each time I’ve seen the spark ignite again, like it did in me. As we’ve talked the vision through, considered all the questions that arise, reached out to even more yoga teachers and practitioners for more listening and conversation, the spark has turned into a small flame.

An initial group met in person a few weeks ago to consider whether a DC Yoga Co-operative could come to fruition.  We decided to continue to reach out, to listen and to gather sometime in January to develop a focused mission.  Who do we serve?  How? What positive change do we hope to bring to our region? How would it benefit those of us who already practice or teach yoga?

As you read this, do you feel the warmth of this spark?  Want to know more?  We need you.  Respond here, talk to me or IM me on Facebook.  I’ll ensure you are part this connected current.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Community

Image-1(3)Alexi and I were placed together — mentor and mentee.  She and I have a bright and peaceful hour after my early morning class on Tuesdays at the Arlington studio. Lex brings her son Freddy, who plays with the foam blocks and his trucks, eats snacks and draws on the draft of her thesis for the 300 hour teacher training.  We talk about profound things like teaching yoga through archetypes and parenting a young child; we delight in Freddy’s love of hiding in the curtains, and in our newfound friendship. I really don’t know who is mentoring who, since I’ve learned so much from Lex.

Three people or forty, this is community: the pause, the listening, the experience of another perspective and something big and true. Learning. Connection. Joy.  I wish everyone could find this kind of belonging in a yoga studio.

Listen and Carry a Yoga Mat

IMG_3526I’ve shared that I’ve been lost lately — babies grown (not only grown: married! with a graduate degree!)…husband retiring…changes everywhere in my life with my 54th birthday looming in mid-December. So many questions about what is next.

But I am found when I practice yoga.  When I listen to my body and mind, when I keep an open heart for others, when I live in the present moment, breathe… I find peace.

But not a restful peace — oh, no.  This peace will involve some transforming, a vision and a big decision mid-December, according to my horoscope.  (Sometimes when you plug into the universe, the universe has big plans.)

Learn, Grow, Be

IMG_3570My cohort for the 300 hour teacher training at Tranquil Space was very small:  Suzy, Marjorie, Kelly, Kris, Sharlene and this beauty, Angela.  Found her mat right next to mine for Yoga and Meditation one Sunday this month and was transported back to a time when we spent long weekends immersed in the practice. Slowly, we dropped what we thought we should be and got to be our true selves.  We found that our vulnerabilities were embraced and loved.

I am grateful for this kind of community when I can find it.  Is it possible to build a community of yoga teachers and practitioners where everyone feels that they can learn, teach, grow and be accepted for who they truly are?

Getting Schooled

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I found myself on a beautiful crisp fall day with Julia Coney, a wise and joyous yogi and woman of the world.  She helped me start to unpack what true belonging in a yoga community would mean.  What would it look like and feel like if everyone regardless of income, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identification, body type or physical ability felt that they truly belonged? What will it take? How will it come into being?  Who will be there?

After lunch, I found myself with a list of people and places to visit to continue my schooling — places that are vibrant, new, creative, inclusive.  Thank you, Julia.

All My Yoga Peeps

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What if the entire DC Metro Region was your yoga community?  What if you felt like you — the unique body, heart and soul that is you —  felt at home stepping into a new place to practice yoga?  That you weren’t just invited, not just welcomed, but that you really, really already belonged?

We all have our own yoga DNA from our studios, our teachers, and training…but we are also yoked by common threads.  We long to create connection. We desire to practice compassion for self and others, to honor the lineage and all the creative, vibrant expressions of the practice in the world. Our yoga peeps are all over this city, this region, this country, the world.

This August, my creative impulses were called away from the canvas and the pen and notebook by change.  This change wasn’t theoretical — it was really, really real.  Not only am I now an empty nester, but we’ve discussed forging a new life in a new place next year. And then: my home yoga studio changed hands.  And with that change, the landscape of the local yoga scene was altered forever.

So, I did what I do every time I felt lost.  I got on with the business of finding myself here and now, connecting with self and others.  And I found the most amazing vision for our big community of yoga peeps that I’m working to make a reality .  Want to belong?  You are more than welcome and invited.  In fact, you belong already.

Join me in this adventure.