the most important yoga pose.

sitting

An organizer and lesson-planner at heart (and by degree) I try to be 110% prepared for each class I teach. My notes are illegible to anyone else– lots of arrows and stick figures and Sanskrit abbreviations– the usual. But lately, well.. my lesson planning book has been 110% BLANK.

It’s not like I haven’t been thinking about yoga all the time: I completely immersed myself for 5 days by studying with my teacher in Philadelphia and you know, that whole owning a yoga studio thing. But somehow last week, I found myself showing up at Westport Yoga KC with a blank lesson book. <awkwardly-embarrassed-grimace>

Here’s what you missed:

Me: Uhhhmmm… lis? Are you kidding me? What the heck are you teaching today? You don’t have a flow sequence and detailed lesson plan?!? What have you been doing all day?

Me:  Yeah, I know… don’t rub it in. I’ve been working all day.

Me: Great… but still?!? What are you going to teach today?

Me: Calm down, lady. I know Yoga. I know breath. I know meditation. I know how to connect with my Divine Light. That’s what I’m going to teach.

Because what I did I need to remember? YOGA is in the mind. It’s not in the super cool arm balances and super-amazingly-detailed sequence leading to a brilliant peak pose break through. Yoga doesn’t care how well I am prepared to teach some poses in a certain order. The poses are just some ways to PRACTICE my yoga, so that when I show up for life, sometimes unprepared, I still respond with compassion toward myself and toward others.

I’ve found repeatedly, that the most important yoga pose, of all time, is just sitting and getting prepared to approach all the chaos within myself with a sense of grace and compassion. The most important yoga pose is sitting still long enough to be present, to feel yoga.

It’s freaking difficult. It requires so much vulnerability. It requires so much forgiveness. It requires so much tenacity and so much courage. But, I promise you: it’s so worth it. Because you’ll learn to love the choas within and the choas without.

As Swami Rama reminds us:

Yoga teaches you what no one else can, how to love yourself.

If sitting still (quietly) is torture for you, try some of my Guided Audio Meditations (which I even listen to when my mind is going nuts!)

Here’s a good one: “Sat Nam”

And more can be found on my guided meditation page

Go sit outside… take a deep breath… get prepared.

seated

-lisa

brain exploding, right now.

There’s a good chance that if I look at another financial income and expenditures report or Excel spreadsheet, my brain may explode. While I keep smiling and cheerfully touting, “I’m learning lots of good things!” And “It’s a great learning opportunity!” My brain is in full-on combustion mode, circuits overloaded.

Because I bought a business. My IronMan and I are the proud owners of Westport Yoga KC, my home studio. And there are some things about owning a business that I’m really good at: galvanizing support, making people feel welcome, organizing team members into a unified vision and providing a service that truly changes lives in my community.
And there are some things that I’m not great at: numbers. Usually when I look at numbers, my brain goes haywire. This, perhaps, is not the greatest trait for a businessperson.
But I never considered myself a businessperson. I’m a teacher and a healer and a minister and I just happen to be an owner of a yoga studio.
The idea of owning a yoga studio was tentatively put down on paper last year as a part of my ten year career vision. My IronMan was going to “mop the floors and sell merch” as he liked to put it (because apparently, we would double as concert venue selling t-shirts like hottcakes??); and I was going to teach yoga. Like I always do. That was going to happen in about 10 years, when I felt really ready. And felt good enough. Well, time flies when you’re having fun I guess; 10 years condensed into 6 months. On April 1, 2017 I bought a yoga studio. 
When the opportunity arose to buy Westport Yoga, I thought about it for about 3.4 nanoseconds before saying yes. Because in my heart of hearts, I knew that the community I’d been honored to hold and teach at Westport Yoga over the past three years was the community I’d been called to serve. Together with Westport Yoga’s founder Kate Lindholm Sargent, I’d given every ounce of energy and passion into building a yoga studio that would flourish into a place for building deep friendships, for healing on all levels and for committed yoga study unlike any I’ve ever known. This was my dream. And apparently, it was coming true much sooner than I imagined.
The first word in the Yoga Sutras is now. Coincidentally (or not coincidentally) now is one of the hardest places to be and to live. The word “atha” is the beginning of the auspicious teachings of yoga which help us realize that we have very little control over the past or the future. Both the past and the future are holding hands with the now– with the present moment. The Yoga Sutras start off with the word “now,” because now is the exact time to begin a journey Study of who I am, and how I can make incremental changes into my inner and outer self in order to be less involved with material objects and more in-tune with healing my emotional and mental habits. Now is the exact time for me, now is the right time for each of us.
And so, even though I’m suffering through brain-melting excel spreadsheet sessions, overwhelming meetings with bank representatives, mind-boggling tax laws and boldly diving into my weakest skill sets, NOW is the time.
Owning Westport Yoga is my dream: providing excellent education in a safe, close-knit community setting and healing lives in my community is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Am I quite ready? I would say no. I would say I’m not ready, I have so much to learn and many insecurities to heal… but then I’ll can I open up the Yoga Sutras and I read: now.
Atha.
Atha: the blessings and the teachings of the Yga Sutras are offered to me.
I believe, that when I say yes to the now, there’s a boldness and a power and a magic to that saying yes. And hopefully, because I’m saying YES to the now, my brain won’t short-circuit anytime soon.
Come visit me at Westport Yoga KC. I promise my brain won’t explode all over you…
Now’s the time,
-lisa