Yoga is Dead, and I’m taking a blog break.

I just found an article and a podcast that I must share with you. The article completely hooked me. It made me feel so encouraged about the potential trajectory of yoga because it opens up the conversation, and hopefully a pathway towards inclusion and wellness as being defined both internally, by our own sense of coming home, rather than by what we currently envision a yoga practice to look or sound like, and externally by approaching yoga as social, political, and both uncomfortable and the most rewarding.

My issue with the yoga industry is that there is so much spiritual bypassing going on. It’s become an ego-centric space, ironically. At the moment, in yoga, we don’t learn union, or do no harm. We learn to barely breathe and fully bypass.

The article is called “Wellness isn’t always welcoming. Meet the women bringing change to the industry,” published on Today.com. My business partner and I have been working carefully over the years to deliver yoga as a way to access yourself, and be accessible to everyone, with only half the success. We are continuing to peel the layers of our own blind spots. The podcast, Yoga is Dead— I can’t wait to listen to all the episodes. This morning, I listened to Episode 1, and it was phenomenal. I invite you to read the article and listen to this podcast with me.

In the meantime, as I work to best serve my community during this historic moment of reckoning, and at the same time move them over to a platform that better assists us in this process, I need to stop, listen, and learn. I need to take some time to make sure that I understand what I am doing, and that I am not causing more harm.

I’ll be back.

Heightening my awareness by my surroundings.

No matter how much I’ve practiced, and how much I’ve learned… even though I’m disciplined… thinking I don’t need others to keep growing is a mistake. If I go too long without others that, by their mere existence, stretch me, my justifications become reality.

By others, I mean those that have taken a similar path that aren’t afraid to challenge me, or take on a challenge. Those that aren’t continuously looking for ways to “take a break.”

Engaging with a mix of people is helpful: those that I see all the time and therefore are more relaxed around, and those that heighten my awareness and slow me down because I don’t dance with them as much. This gives me a balance of letting down my hair and treading much more consciously. The latter helps me come back to the former more heightened with the benefit of being more relaxed. Does that make sense?

This weekend, as 16 of us, along with 2 trainers, began our course in conscious communication, we got to heighten our awareness. I know this sort of thing seems like a lot of work, but these things really do make a difference. It pulls me out of an auto-pilot that I wasn’t fully aware was happening. And I love that.

Moving forward: does motivation create action? or vice versa?

We let our fears get the best of us, and we need to figure out how to get the best of fear. Listen to your thoughts. Are they dwelling on the excuses, reasons, obstacles, and exhaustion? Stop it. Observe your body. Are you holding tension anywhere? Release it. Ask yourself: what one thing can I do right now? No matter how small, stop the judgment and do it with full abandon.

Preparedness can only take you so far. Action will take you the rest of the way. It will get you more prepared and more motivated. Action. Then motivation. To count on it the other way around will turn you into a victim all over again.

Support is all around us. I learned to receive it.

When I pay attention, and check my defensive nature, it’s everywhere all the time.

I recently created a video.

I haven’t done many videos because I’m uncomfortable with them. It feels strange to talk to a camera, and I don’t know what to do with myself when the other person is talking. I know it takes practice, but I’m not practiced in it yet, so it’s scary. But I finally did it, and it’s out there on our membership site, with many more to come.

One woman said that my tone was silly, uncomfortable, and didn’t reflect who I really was, and that she was a little embarrassed for me as she watched the video.
I had to really take that in and stay open with it to understand what she saw. Perhaps I was trying too hard. It was scary, after all. But I remember preparing for the recording, and the prep work with my business partner put me in a funny mood.

I received feedback from another woman about the same video, and she said, “Your welcoming videos are great – just the right blend of fact and fun.  Very clear, professional, and friendly in your unique and authentic style.”

I love and appreciate both feedback equally, because I know there’s truth in both.

And, both those women are powerful women who march to their own drummer, know how to take care of themselves, aren’t afraid to say what’s on their mind, aren’t in the business of managing others, and would only give meaningful feedback with my – our – success in mind.

If I only received feedback like the second one, I’d question if I was pushing myself to the edge. The first one was definitely harder to swallow for sure, but made the second one that much sweeter. I can’t discount either because neither came from fear, scarcity, or trolling energy; otherwise I would have. They both came from an intention to support, hold vision for, and elevate.

My business partner talked to me about different perspectives, where they come from, and who our client avatar is as it relates to how we create our content. I think about how I put myself out there, and whether or not our content feels fully aligned. It takes some thought to put the two together. It takes the right balance of knowing my expertise, and paying attention to how others connect with them. My partner was concerned about my confidence being “crushed” by the more critical comment(s). I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her love and support.

Being able to receive feedback, and being willing to delve deeper into what’s been called out without getting caught in my own victimization, shame, blame, and justification is a skill that’s taken me – yep – nearly 50 years to learn. Do you know what it’s like not to be able to take compliments? Yeah. Well, this – along with doing the scary stuff – makes the sweet compliments much easier to receive. It’s a game changer.

We were built to create something from nothing

When I’m low on food items, missing many of the obvious ingredients to make “the usual,” I can decide to feel put out, or get creative and make something out of what I can find. They often turn out to be the best meals, and my kids are always surprised that something so good came out of “nothing”. Frankly, so am I.

When we let something go, or something lets go of us, there’s something to mourn and feel put out about. There’s hardship. The key ingredients that make up parts of our day are missing. But we can also honor what was good about what we lost by remembering the gifts that came with it. We can take the ingredients that are still there and not let the lessons, and our values and desires that emerged from it, disappear with the loss. We can create something out of what feels like a skeleton that is our life. This is how we change our world. By finding creativity, and something delicious, in the middle of nothing. We’re all built to do it.

Like a seed, you just will.

When you crack open a seed, there’s nothing. Yet in that nothing lies all the intelligence coded into it to grow the most magnificent tree or fruit. Each seed knows what it is.

We, too, are encoded with all the intelligence needed to grow into our magnificence. We can tap into it by going into that silence, that nothing-ness similar to what we find when we crack open a seed.

Therein lies the coding of the entire universe conspiring to make things good through you. There are no accidents. You were meant to be here, and to be the brilliance that you are.

So when you are feeling in a dark, dark place, buried by all the heavy dirt that is the noise of life, know that life is waiting for you to emerge from that seed and provide the oxygen that is you that the world needs to survive. All you need to do is to embrace the soil into which you’ve been buried and seeded, take moments to tap into that silent space, into your seed, and listen. You won’t even need to figure out how to emerge. You just will.

The single most effective tool

is our breath. It turns on our rest-and-digest parasympathetic response, our calm, our clarity, and our spirit.

Sit with your spine tall, close your eyes, and breath through your nostrils, including on the exhale.

Expand the body on the fullest inhale you can make and breath into your solar plexus (just below the diaphragm).
Exhale as completely as you can, muscles of your core pressing in towards your spine, spine remains tall like royalty.
Continue.
Let your thoughts and any tension melt away with each exhale, and then
inhale in pure energy and life force.