what you think, you become. #MeditationThoughtMondays

what you think, you become

I’ve had some water in my basement this year.  And by ‘some’ I mean a puddle big enough to go swimming in my basement.  I tried not to complain because the rain also watered my garden and lowered my water bill. Two thumbs up for these unexpected perks… but not fun to be in a musty basement using a broom to sweep water toward the (already full) drain.  And not fun to empty the de-humidifier every twenty minutes.

The other day as I was trudging through my sloppy backyard to get to my basement and empty the dehumidifier, I had this thought: “Man, I’m so efficient!”  My mind did the endless ‘task-ticking’ it does when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with my to-do list.  I mentally made a list of all the chores I’d just rushed through that morning to boost my confidence in my ability to maintain a (not flooded) household and work-too-much and, and, and, and.  But really, the mental list making made me feel slightly more anxious and overwhelmed.  I had to stop and think for a minute: What words did I actually want to use to describe myself?

The law of subconscious means that what we think—we will become.

So, if we make a list of all our greatest attributes and constantly describe ourselves as such, we will eventually manifest these attributes in our life. 

what you think, you become

Yes, I’m efficient.  But, when I look back at my life in 87 years (yoga makes you young and Beet Smoothies make you healthy, so I’m planning on living to 116 years old, thank you very much) how do I want to describe myself and my life? 

This is a really important question.  What you think, you become.  Turns out, I don’t think I want to be described as ‘efficient.’  That’s a word used to describe a process– a machine.  My world is highly mechanized, that’s true.  I spend many hours with my fingers on my keyboard and my mind hooked to the internet.  But I wish for a world that is more human and less mechanical.  I wish to cultivate attributes that are more empathetic and relational.  So, I’m going to start thinking about what I wish to become.

I wish to describe myself as:

Flexible and Fun (I think I’m one of these)

Caring and Courageous  (again, I think I’m only one of these)

I’m challenging myself to imagine these attributes in my life and start describing myself with these words.  I’m challenging myself to imagine cultivating flexibility and courage in my own life.

I’m challenging YOU, my dear reader, to answer this question:  “When I look back at my life in 87 years, how do I want to describe myself?”  Write 4 attributes you WANT to be able to use to describe yourself, even if you ‘think’ they don’t apply to you right now.  And then—apply them. 

Dare to think of what you can become.  Use these words in your morning meditation, your morning mantra, or just throughout the day when you are confronted with a stressful situation.  After a month, reflect on how you have changed.  If you think it – then you can become it.

Happy thinking,

-lisa

holiday special on private lessons.

Celebrate the holidays with hope, health, and happiness.

DISCOUNTED PRIVATE SESSIONS

Available for purchase through January 15, 2015.  (A perfect Holiday Gift!!)

Private: 3 sessions for $175 

Semi-Private (2-3 people): 3 sessions for $210

Time and location are negotiable; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons available.        NOTE: Purchased sessions must be used by June 30, 2015.

Contact: ash.lisamarie at gmail.com or use the contact form at the bottom of this page.

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Deepening your yoga practice is life-changing.  I’d be honored to help you on your journey.

“Yoga has changed my life…I am in great shape mentally and physically since starting yoga.  Like anything else, the right teacher is the key.  Lisa is a great teacher.  Not only is she knowledgeable, but she helps you remember why you practice and how to apply it in your life.  Her teaching style and charming, lovable personality would be great… especially for someone just starting out who might feel unsure.” – Tracey P.

defy gravity: arm balance workshop with Lisa

defy gravity workshop advert

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Defy Gravity Arm Balance Workshop : Saturday, September 20, 2014  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Special workshop with Lisa Ash. Learn the structural integrity of arm balances and benefit from personal attention to learn new variations of traditional arm balances.  Must have yoga experience, but proficiency in arm balances is not required.  Limit of 15 students.

You must pre-pay to reserve your spot in this workshop.

Cost:  $25 for Westport Yoga Members and $35 for non-members.  (tax not included)

Please E-mail lisa@westportyogakc.com to Sign-Up.  Visit Westport Yoga’s Site  for more details.

 

spring specials on Private Instruction.

SprView More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yogaing Specials on Private Yoga Sessions are here!   Work one-on-one with Lisa to fine-tune your current asana alignment or to learn yoga for the first time.

Classes sold in packages of 3 sessions.

3 Lessons ONLY $205  (over $20 in savings)

Classes can be scheduled as Private (1 person) or Semi-Private Lessons (2 to 3 people). 

(Prices valid April 10- April 30, 2014. Must be redeemed in full within 4 months of purchase date. Cash or check only.)

Email ash.lisamarie at gmail.com or use the form at the bottom of this page.

Locations and times are negotiable; private sessions are generally scheduled for Saturday or Sunday afternoons.  Early mornings are also available.  

World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher– 95 Years Young!

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95 years young, Tao Porchon-Lynch  

April 26th in Overland Park, KS

Two workshops at Mark Blanchard’s Progressive Power Yoga

3665 W. 95th St, Overland Park, KS (In Ranchmart)

Saturday, April 26

10:00am to Noon:  “There is Nothing You Cannot Do:” Aging Gracefully: Wisdom Through the Ages

2:00-4:00pm:  2.5 hour Advanced Practice “The Eternal Energy of Yoga”

Tao Porchon-Lynch is truly living proof of the effectiveness of a life-long yoga practice. Her colorful life of glamour and grit, from marching with Gandhi to the French Resistance and heyday of Hollywood, brings a unique and unparalleled experience to her students.

            Join us as we host this inspiring 95-years-young yoga grand master and explore the eternal energy of yoga. Tao will integrate breath and movement, and share with us the experience of her “yoga tango.”  Using the four pillars of yoga-pranayama (breath work), mudras (gestures), bandhas (energetic locks) and chakras (energy centers), we will explore the rich potential of the body to renew, heal and revitalize.

More information on workshop details and prices can be found here. More information on Tao can be found here.

Ashtanga Workshop with Jörgen Christiansson.

Inspiring and humble Ashtanga teacher Jörgen Christiansson will be in Kansas City for a workshop at Maya Yoga the last weekend of April.  I’ve practiced with Jörgen in Los Angeles and couldn’t be happier to recommend his workshop to all yogis.  He has a beautiful spirit!  Previous Ashtanga experience is required for most sessions, but anyone is welcome to the Saturday afternoon session.

Friday, April 25th, 5:30-8pm: Primary Series, with Pranayama and Q & A session
Jörgen will lead you through the complete Primary Series, using traditional counting and correct vinyasa methods. Experience the benefits of this detoxifying practice.

Saturday, April 26th, 9:30am-Noon: Mysore Style Class
A group class, where students individually practice at their own pace. Jörgen will be providing one-on-one instruction and adjustments to the students. Prior Mysore style class experience is required.

Saturday, April 26th, 2:00-4:30pm: Sthiram & Sukham (Steady & Ease) Philosophy and Asana Class
We will explore Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.46: “Sthira Sukhma Asanam- the posture should be steady, comfortable and grounded in joy.”

Sunday, April 27th, 9:30am-Noon: Primary Series into the Second Series, with Q & A Session.
Jörgen will lead you through the full Primary Series and give an Intro to the Second Series.

Full Workshop: $180, plus tax ($196.83); Individual Class: $50, plus tax ($54.68)
Please sign up at the studio or send in a check to:

Maya Yoga
215 W. 18th Street

Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64108

questions: kathleen@mayayoga.com; 816-679-1053

Jörgen Christiansson is a certified KPJAYI (Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) teacher. He first started practicing Yoga in his native country Sweden at age 13. Jörgen has traveled extensively throughout India, until meeting his teacher Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois in 1988. With over 20 years of teaching experience, Jörgen continues the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga in the same manner as taught to him by his Guru. Jörgen has a unique ability to sense each student’s limits and capabilities. With his positive and inspiring nature, he safely helps his students break through old patterns and fears. 

Jörgen resides in Los Angeles and is the owner of Omkar 108 Yoga: http://www.omkar108.com.

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More information can be found on Maya’s website.

‘clearing away’ colors of emotions.

A little quote of inspiration I’ve shared with my students this week reminded me of this insane article about the colors of emotions actually showing up in our bodies. Yoga reminds us daily that the emotional and physical bodies are linked, but according to this research (follow above link), that connection is actually visible.

Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted — in body, mind, and heart — and how gradually to open and release these blockages.  As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed. We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow — or we begin to flow more in our lives.” 

– yoga teacher, Cybele Tomlinson

This is such a beautiful sentiment.  When I’m teaching, I use this phrase: “Inhale in space and healing, exhale out all the tension, toxins and stress.”  (Now I just need to add on: “For real.”)

Next time you practice: imagine that the space and healing in your inhale is a vibrant color.  Cherish that image and begin to let that color clear away your stress. 

Happy Healing.

-lisa

photo cred HM

photo cred HM

intention.

intention.

I firmly believe that the most powerful way to deepen your yoga practice is to confidently set an intention before the class begins.  In the Ashtanga tradition, we set this intention while standing in samastitihi (equal attention pose) which grounds us in the space before we begin moving.  Standing tall, pressing equally into the four corners of our feet, we listen for the sound of our breath to experience present moment awareness.  Your intention, or sankalpa, can be set while you are seated, while you are lying down, or while you are parking your car on the street before even entering the studio.  It is important to set an intention for each practice that is deeper than ‘I’d like to tone my inner thighs, please,’ or ‘Today I will master handstands.’

The Buddha is attributed with saying, “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”  This is meant to remind us that our bodies are a physical manifestation of our thought energy.  Your practice is only as deep as your intention for it.  If your mind is busy planning your grocery shopping list (like mine often is on Thursday mornings before I head to Trader Joe’s that evening) then your practice will be superficial as well.  If all it took was a strong handstand to achieve enlightenment, then every college mascot would be living the high life.  My undergrad mascot happened to be played by a very close friend of mine, and I would absolutely attribute Zac as being (top 10) one of the funniest people I know, but perhaps his ability to walk down a flight of stairs on his hands (true story) didn’t ultimately lead him to a state of blissful Union.  In other words: our practice is intimately influenced by the quality of our thoughts. 

I ask students to choose one word that represents a quality they would like to cultivate in their lives.  Patience.  Kindness.  Healing.  Energy.  Strength.  This thought can be your intention.  After a few months of practicing with me, my friend Adelaide confided in me that her recent move back to the Midwest and recent job change in the competitive world of advertising had resulted in a sense of insecurity.  For several years she’d practiced yoga on and off, but now had re-committed to daily practice, and this had changed everything.  She sent me this e-mail:

“You have honestly made a difference in my life and helped me restore confidence and self-acceptance that I had let wane during recent tense life moments.

 I feel immensely better about myself and my surroundings since I’ve chosen to incorporate yoga and your teachings into the flow of how I live.”

 The movement of your practice is not what is special: what is special is your intention behind the movement.  Yoga designed to develop faith, grace, and reconciliation with your own body.  Yoga is designed to heal. 

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Set an intention at the beginning of every class.  Every practice.  Every time.  It may be helpful to repeat a personal script that firmly sets an intention.  You can write your own, or you can just use mine.  I think it works pretty well.  (I mean, I’m not enlightened yet, but I’m working on it!)

“With my breath, I set my intention for this practice.  I renew my commitment to practice with integrity and with passion.

With my breath, I set aside this time for me.  Everything that happened before this practice and everything that will happen after this practice can wait outside.  I dedicate this time to healing myself so that I can bring healing and hope to my community. 

May I breathe for myself and also for my neighbors.  May I be a vessel of Divine Love and Grace.  May this practice be a blessing of health, happiness, and wholeness.”

 

Happy practicing,  with love,

-lisa