Did you know I've been writing this blog/email every week since September, 2020? Obviously if you've been a student of mine since before then you heard from me a lot previously, and I have missed a week here and there, but pretty much every Tuesday morning you can count on me showing up in your inbox with something to say, offer, question, or promote. And as we enter this month of gratitude, I am so very grateful for your readership, response, and engagement. Some of you I've known for over a decade, some of you just joined up through my podcast or a friend sharing an email. Regardless, there are now over a thousand of you who receive my missives, come to events, listen to my podcast, or study with me online. We are a strong bunch of yogis, and it is my immense pleasure and joy to connect with you here every week. So thank you for reading!
This week I want to reiterate what Jess on the Mountain podcast episode 30 is all about, and invite you to two...
I'm home!! After three and a half weeks on the road visiting friends and relatives, I'm happily back in my home studio with Georgia (our Fiddle Leaf Fig), my yoga mat, and other creature comforts I missed during my travels. I'm slowly and surely getting back into the swing of things, which is why this blog is a day late. There is simply a lot to do after a trip like that! I'm giving myself the grace this week to move at the tempo I need as we gear up for fall and all the events we have in store. I hope you can do the same if you need that as well.
I'll admit to you right now, I'm not great about practicing yoga when I travel. Between the irregular schedule, small spaces, and days filled with sightseeing or sitting and talking, my down dog gets neglected. So when last week I taught from our family cottage on Lake Okoboji, Iowa, it felt like an early homecoming when I took child's pose on my mat. I felt my shoulders melt, my breath slow down, and my eyes water as I...
Today I’m celebrating how meaningful and fun the three workshops I taught last week were, and I want you to benefit from what we experienced. So I hope to take you on a (fairly) quick exercise to get a sense of what we discovered.
The online workshop was called Life on Purpose: Chakra Yoga for Tuning in and Finding Yours, and that’s exactly what we did!
After checking in and learning why everyone was there, I asked this question:
When was a time in your life when things were going great? When life was clicking along, you felt balanced and connected, relationships, work, or school was on track and everything felt harmonious.
Can you tune into that feeling?
This little exercise shows us that the experience of balance is achievable–you’ve felt it before. This is not some outlandish ideal,...
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...
I hope you don't find the title of this blog post offensive--but it's true! Everything I've been working on these days is highly body-oriented.
You might be thinking, "Well of course, Jess! You're a yoga teacher!" And that's true! But believe it or not, to me the yoga asana (postures) are more of a means to an end than an end themselves. And that's not just my opinion. That's in the texts as well. There is no Yoga Sutra that says,
"True happiness will be found in the perfection of a triangle pose."
You WILL find text that says happiness is found in friendliness, compassion, delight, and equanimity though. (Learn more about the "Locks and Keys" to happiness HERE.) These days, however, I'm thinking about these same words and themes as directed towards the body. Better said, towards my body, or you towards your body.
Considering our body as an entity worthy of loving attention, rather than submission or disregard, is a chakra one, muladhara, issue.