Ashtanga Alignment Workshop September 19-20

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Sept 2015 Ashtanga Alignment Workshop ASH

 

This workshop will focus on how to perform the Primary Series poses with alignment that is best for your body.  Whether you are a beginner or you have been practicing for many years, you will learn something new.  You may attend a single session or register for both sessions.  Classes will be primarily active asana.

Saturday September 19, 2:30- 5:00 pm and Sunday September 20, 2:30-5:00 pm

Please Register through Maya Yoga KC.  Email info@mayayoga.com or Sign Up in Person.  Please note: limited registration.

See you there!

be captured by silence. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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you cannot capture silence

 

When it’s 95 degrees outside and you are a tourist in a country that doesn’t believe in Air Conditioning, the only logical course of action is to spend your Friday night inside an art museum. To protect the artwork on display, the museum keeps constant cool temperature and low light. To protect the beauty of the artwork on display, the visitors keep tones muted and tend toward silence.  Despite brash colors and daring impressionist strokes which scream of emotion and sensation in Van Gough’s masterpieces, the galleries were primarily silent.  It reminded me that it is human nature to approach that which we find beautiful with silence.

Richard Rohr, author of Silent Compassion, points out that, “If something is not surrounded by the vastness of silence and space, it is hard to appreciate it is something singular and beautiful.  If it is all mixed in with everything else, then its singularity, as a unique and beautiful object, does not stand out.”

Silence is elusive.  Right now, even as I write this in the quietude of my backyard sanctuary, the silence of the early morning is vibrant with sound.  Some of these sounds make me smile (remember this post?) and some of these sounds are fairly annoying. (My backyard neighbor is constantly hammering.  After a year of this, I can’t imagine he has a single board left to hammer, and yet, here he is at eight in the morning hammering away…I have a few questions about this.)  But beyond the sounds, silence is a presence.  Silence can be its own being.

Silence can be something to meet and create a relationship with. Even if you don’t have a comfortable relationship with silence, as I naturally do, I think we all do this naturally when we encounter something beautiful. 

Your challenge this week is to bring something beautiful into your meditation space.  I brought a small vase of three Missouri Primrose blossoms to my meditation class yesterday and challenged my students to quiet their minds simply by gazing at the simple beauty of the flowers.  No counting, no repeated mantras, no English, no Sanskrit, no striving—just meeting silence.  In this way, we became captured by silence.  I want you to spend some time thinking about this: how can I become captured by silence?  How can I find something beautiful in silence?

Again from Richard Rohr:

“Silence precedes, undergirds and grounds everything…unless we learn how to live there, go there, abide in this different phenomenon, the rest of things—words, events, relationships, identities—all become superficial.  They lose meaning.” – Richard Rohr

Silence, the primordial beginning and ending, bookends our most meaningful experience: life itself.

This week, let yourself be captured by silence, even if it is just for one minute.

Enjoy the beauty,

-lisa

you cannot capture silence

 

 

 

vacate. daily. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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vacate daily

 

Try this: Every day you wake up, consider it a vacation.

A colleague gave me this idea a few weeks ago and I’ve been trying it since.  On a vacation, I wake up feeling cozy in bed full of lush pillows and I think: “Today is going to be a perfect day.”

On a vacation, I consider my list of ‘activities that constitute a perfect day’ and choose a few of those activities.  I wake up with a smile and cuddle up on the couch with a good cup of coffee; I read a good book that challenges my mind; I take a leisurely walk and find something beautiful to appreciate; I savor the act of preparing a delicious, healthy meal; I spend moments laughing with someone I love.

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i truly love my lake house getaways

Generally, when I think about my ‘perfect vacation day’ I’m at Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Southern Missouri with my girlfriends.  Free from tv, internet and phone distractions, I love to get up early and practice yoga on the dock as the sun rises and then spend the day laughing with my best friends.

I hike, I enjoy nature, I eat chips and salsa, I read a novel, I sit around in my pajamas, I laugh; in short: I feel nourished.  It’s the perfect day.

So, what if I thought of EVERY DAY as a vacation?  Instead of getting all worked up and thinking: “I have SO MUCH to get done today!”  and thus inciting anxiety over the ample workload and not-so-ample time to complete it… I could think “I’m going to get my work finished in a timely manner and find a moment or two to vacate.”

I haven’t perfected this technique yet, but it’s working a little bit.  I’ve noticed that when I think of every day as a vacation, I’m actually more productive.  And I still take a few moments to ‘vacate’ daily. Currently, those moments of vacation are the 4 minutes it takes me to water my herb garden. I do it with care, thinking of this time not as a chore, but as a celebration of nature.  Those moments of vacation are the times I stop on my walk with my RussellClive and enjoy my neighbor’s daffodils.  The daily walk could be considered a chore, but instead it’s a vacation.  I haven’t figured out how to incorporate washing to dishes into this ‘perfect vacation day’ but maybe one day that won’t feel like a chore either.

One of my favorite poems suggests that every day can be a perfect vacation.

“On a day when the wind is perfect, the sail just needs to open and the world is full of beauty.  Today is such a day.”

I challenge you to consider what makes YOUR perfect ‘vacation day?”  

1.  Make a List of all things you like to do on vacation.

2.  Tomorrow, choose to do one of those things.

3.  Tomorrow, ‘vacate’ the stress of your every day routine for 1 minute.    Wake up and think: “Today is like a vacation!  I’ll still do all my work, but it’s going to be perfect!”

If you don’t know where to start, at least start by sitting still for one minute and draw more light into your life.

How was your vacation?  I’d love to hear about it.

Happy vacating,

-lisa

exercise discernment. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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exercise discernment

 

I love talking about myself  (who doesn’t?) and, surprise, surprise, I love talking about yoga.  So when my student Angela Lutz, freelance writer for The Pitch KC, contacted me asking for an interview for a health article about yoga, I jumped on the chance.  She suggested we talk about a specific yoga posture and how this posture can enhance your health.  I suggested we talk about the posture of ‘sitting still.’  Because mental and emotional health are just as important as a toned yoga body.

After reading my blog article, 5 benefits of meditation, Angela was intrigued… she’s been an Intro to Ashtanga student of mine for a few years, but these classes are so short (one hour is NOT enough time!) that the meditation time is limited to a few short moments of silence at the end of class.  Angela is a smart, driven, part time writing teacher and full time graduate student.  She’s busy. Her schedule is packed and she has deadlines to meet. But she tried it.  She tried sitting still.  What did she discover?  You’ll have to read her article in The Pitch KC to find out.

Master my thoughts? Lisa Ash helps me meditate on that idea  by Angela Lutz  March 2015

“When I worked in a dreary corporate office, I used to meditate during my lunch break. I’d park my car in an empty strip-mall parking lot, close my eyes and focus on the sound of traffic whizzing down the nearby highway, trying desperately to think of nothing.

My brain would not cooperate.

Instead of relaxing, I found myself fixating on the e-mail I forgot to send, the résumé I needed to update, the money I wasn’t sure I had enough of to buy groceries at Whole Foods that week.

According to Lisa Ash, lead instructor at Maya Yoga (215 West 18th Street) and studio manager at Westport Yoga (4304 Bell), that inability to silence such distractions isn’t such a bad thing.

“Your brain is not supposed to stop,” she says. “If your brain stops, you die. You’re supposed to gain mastery over your thoughts.”  Read Full Story Here.

 

Today: exercise discernment.  Acknowledge feelings as they appear.  (Even the anger toward the horrible driver at QuickTrip) and then consciously choose to keep that feeling, or let it pass through you.  Choose what is healing.    Happy #MeditationThoughtMondays

Much love,

lisa

special event: February 18. candlelight flow vinyasa class.

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candlelightflow class feb 18Join us for a SPECIAL CLASS to welcome the Lenten Season and celebrate Ash Wednesday (pun intended)  at Westport Yoga KC.

Candlelight Flow Vinyasa Class
Wednesday February 18, 2015
7:30 pm at Westport Yoga KC

(All Levels Welcome.  Regular Class Prices Apply.)

The Lenten Season is a time to welcome change and renewal into your life.  This Special “New Moon Candlelight Flow” Vinyasa Class is designed to bring you into a state of deep meditation through movement.  All Levels and All Ages of yogis are welcome to practice with us.   Not sure what ‘Vinyasa Flow’ is?  Learn more here.

Westport Yoga KC
4304 Bell Street, Fl 2
Kansas City, MO 64111

 

candlelightflow class feb 18

freeing the heart. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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View More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yoga

 

“Freeing the body leads inevitably to freeing the heart.” -gabriel roth.

 

It’s as simple as that.  When the pain has subsided in your body, you automatically feel free to choose healing and compassion in your heart.

Go.  Find Freedom. Move, run, laugh, talk, breathe, hug, and be free.

-lisa

live with intention. #MeditationThoughtMondays

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View More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yogaLast year, I proposed this question: “What would you do if nothing stood in your way?”

I got great responses from friends and students: “Travel the world… spend more time loving my family…worry less about what other people thought of me… learn to cook… take better care of my health… quit my job and move to California… run a marathon… set aside more time for myself…start a new hobby and stick with it… practice yoga every day”

But the question still remains: are you living with intention?  Intention is powerful. (read my suggested intention at the beginning of yoga class).  Thoughts are powerful.  Your thoughts are powerful.

Sometimes bedtime arrives and I can’t remember how I spent my day.  Or I arrive at work and can’t remember driving there.  The ‘monkey mind’ is always wandering. That’s it’s job: to think ahead.  To plan and problem solve and be in constant motion.  But it can be exhausting.  When our thoughts distracted, our bodies feel fragmented, anxious, and bored.  We may walk through our entire day thoughtlessly.  But: What if everything you do today had a specific intention?  I call these: ‘micro-intentions.’  For example:

“I intend to eat this breakfast and savor each bite.”

“I intend to start my car and drive to work safely.”

“I intend to be productive, efficient, and compassionate during this meeting.”

“I intend to rest soundly and sleep deeply for eight hours.”

I believe that with these micro-intentions, life runs more smoothly.  And my day takes on more meaning.  And I have more energy to devote to moving forward to achieve my goals, as if nothing stood in my way.

Here’s your challenge for the day and your first #MeditationThoughtMonday

live with intention.

View More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yoga

I dare you.

-Happy Meditating,

-lisa

(Have you heard about #MeditationThoughtMondays?  Check out ‘How to rid yourself of the ‘Case of the Mondays’)