Do you have a favorite piece of advice that came from a trusted source? Did they always make sense? I got tons of advice from both of my parents. Good stuff from my mom like stand up straight, napkin in lap, don’t try to change a man, write thank-you notes, eat breakfast, take care of your neighbors, get really good at something, wear lipstick, and shut up and have fun. I took it all in, and I appreciate the wisdom and pithiness every day!
I also got advice from my dad, which was a little less straightforward and more open to interpretation. In this week’s podcast season finale, I share with you three pieces of advice from my dad that connect the head to the heart (sahasrara to anahata!) and, as it turns out, can be found in the Yoga Sutras:
Don’t put your happiness in someone else’s hands. (This one came from a third-grade breakup.)
Don’t let your shorts catch on fire. (This one was when I was dating in high...
Yes–this blog is late. I like running things like clockwork, but sometimes you gotta go off of schedule for a bit, no? We just finished up four days and nights of fun and friendship when my bestie and her three kids visited to kick off the summer together. I hope yours was what you wanted as well!
One thing that didn’t get bumped was this week’s Jess on the Mountain podcast episode 16: How to Live On Purpose. I really enjoyed reflecting on living on purpose, and what that looks like. I realized that, to me, it doesn’t only mean living your “life purpose,” as in that one special passionate thing for each of us. It’s lived out in everyday moments, and the more these everyday moments are done with purpose, the more it is that no matter what you are doing with your one precious life, the more it will align with the highest good for you and for those whose lives you touch.
I narrow this “life on...
So, I did a thing. Not a thing I usually do, but I did it. I wrote a poem.
I feel like I should put quotes around the word poem because it doesn't rhyme, it doesn't have a structure, and it doesn't really have much of a rhythm. But it's not prose, and it came in creatively, so I'm calling it a poem.
It also expressed for me something that needed expressing. You see, while I was on my recent retreat to Chacala, Mexico with Dr. Deb Kern, I had a chance to focus on expelling some mental goblins. It's the negative self-talk voice in my head. (Perhaps you're familiar?) This is the voice that can keep me on the sidelines, knock me down a peg or two, and convince me that me being fully me would have some dire consequences. Like, I won't be liked.
This voice doesn't have much to say when I'm home and with people I'm comfortable with. But travel and strangers bring in the voice like my own personal doomsayer. So even getting to the retreat was a chance to start the...
Do you have a favorite song to play in the car when the weather is beautiful? Just the other evening it was so lovely out that it my trip home from HEB a delight. I was rockin' the 'burbs with windows down, sunroof open, and blaring Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion. I was transported back to my teen years, also rockin' Aerosmith in the 'burbs, but in my mom's big 1974 Chevy Caprice Classic convertible. It was AWESOME.
But now I'm a yoga teacher instead of a teen, so I hear things differently. I realized this time that "sweet emotion" is a perfect phrase for chakra 2! Svadyaya is the Sanskrit word for the second chakra, and it's where we can connect to our emotional selves as well as the pleasure principle. Being able to delight in life and get information from your emotions is what svadhisthana is all about!
I don't know if this is what Aerosmith had in mind, but I think they captured it perfectly.
Emotions are such an integral part...
When you hear the word community, what is your response? Does it call to mind great friends? Positive organizations? Unwanted drama? Overcommitment? Refuge? Anxiety? Neutrality? Likely it depends on the group, and more than one of these often applies.
But here's the thing: Community is necessary for our health and well-being.
When I was training to be a Yoga Therapist, I was surprised to find out that this is one of the components of a new client intake. Regardless of the reason for requesting a session, part of our conversation is about the client's connection to community. This is considered an important piece of the puzzle when working towards systemic balance, happiness, and a long life.
In the yogic pancha maya kosha model, we are made of five layers, or sheaths: body, energy, mind, personality, and spirit. (Different lineages express this differently, but the overall ideas...
I'm sitting at my little desk in my home yoga studio, and I'm thinking about the mind-body connection. Nick and I just talked for a couple hours about what chakras are and why I work with them, etc. And it's not because I was explaining things to him. He was doing most of the talking, and it's everything I needed to hear.
You see, I have been learning and thinking about the chakras for so long, I see the complicated interplay, I know the history, I know they're not something to "fix," and you can't poke them with a stick. And yet there they are. A beautiful map of...of what? I was having trouble getting to the basic idea of what's going on here and why it works.
Nick said it: mind-body connection.
If you've reached adulthood and have any amount of personal reflection and self awareness, you know you have patterns. You know you keep doing something that isn't helpful, and is possibly...
Last week's Christmas holidays meant there was a lot of family, fun, games, gifts and gluttony over at the Goulding house, I must admit. I hope your holiday time is also charged with the beauty of the season. And if this time of year is hard for you, I'm sending you love and courage. You are not alone, regardless of what it seems like out there. And if you're missing someone special, extra hugs to you as well.
Frankly, we could probably all use some extra hugs. As we all know, these last couple of years have been a DOOZY, and there’s stuff we could all release from that time in order to move forward better.
To me, moving forward doesn’t mean running away. It simply means continuing on with courage, wisdom, and hope.
I think we also realize there’s no “going back” to the way things were, and yet a “new normal” still doesn’t seem quite possible. This is when yoga is...