Saturday, December 28, 2013

Minnesota Nice Meets Manhattan

When in doubt, practice yoga in the subway station.
It took me a couple of days to adjust to the vibe here in New York City. Coming from Minnesota, I have been schooled in a passive-aggressive communication style, which not every region understands, or appreciates. Tips passed down through the generations include being overly polite, apologizing for no reason, and trying to keep irritation in tidy internal compartments. Garrison Keillor has made a career in lovingly pointing out these idiosyncrasies. I'm hoping this two weeks in New York might be just enough time to reset my "Minnesota nice" into a larger array of responses and experiences.

In addition to marveling at New York's get-to-the-point directness, I'm looking for some yoga classes to attend. Meanwhile, the anything goes atmosphere at the subway station, often accompanied by live music, will do just fine.

When personal space includes a full body press from strangers on every side (subway commute), you can be sure tolerance and compassion already play a big role in the lives of New Yorkers. Yoga in action is alive and well here. These observations and experiences are stretching my heart, and shining an appreciative light on all of us humans.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holidays with a Twist

Reflecting on your own divinity
     When it comes to the holidays, I have become one who craves a silent and holy night. A sacred time to both reflect and celebrate the divine within. The end of the year feels like a natural and mandatory reflection time. If it wasn't for the discovery of yoga communities, I would probably still be wondering where one could find a sacred space for such reverent reflection. Yoga communities everywhere roll out the "welcome to yourself" mats, celebrating the the season within.

Many will be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I too, will honor him, who's spirit lives within my own heart. For me, this divine compassionate presence has many names. If limited to one name, it could be easily distilled to "love." In honor of Christ, who also suggested we look within, I celebrate his wisdom, and how he lived his life in love. His spirit simply keeps pointing to the breath, the spirit of love, and the connecting energy within me. Showing us the way, the truth and the light, within our own miraculous selves.

For many, the holidays are a time of tradition. I'm a traditionalist too. It's just that my tradition is to do things a little differently every year. Last year, my holidays consisted of having the Christmas flu. I felt like it was my body and spirit's way of saying, "you're not going anywhere until you sit in awareness of all that IS." Oddly enough, the flu was what I needed to take that time. This year, the holidays will be spent in a sea of mostly strangers. New York City will be the backdrop. A wonderful place to acknowledge the divine presence that illuminates everyone, no matter their lifestyle or perspective. It also happens to be a great place to find extra special holiday yoga classes!

"Vast inner solitude"
Wishing everyone real peace as the seasons get ready to turn again.
Rainer Rilke's words remind us not to underestimate the importance of finding time to sit with your own divinity:

              "What is necessary, after all,                                                               Is only this: solitude.
                Vast inner solitude.
                To walk inside yourself
                and meet no one for hours --
                that is what you must be able to attain."