I’ve been determined to really pay attention to spring this year, and to share it with some folks who seem to have an easier time being mindful than most.
The Central Iowa Yoga Retreat is a day for yoga. It’s a day to ground in community, to grow your knowledge, and to let curiosity bloom.
Martha and I bundled up on a very snowy morning in early January, and drove to the Hotel Pattee in Perry Iowa. Lopso, the resident dog greeted us warmly at the back door. His name complements the fact that he had three legs, making him lopsided. He became a caring presence to us and the students. Lopso wandered in and out of our session, and paused only for his hotdog lunch.
Carol Spaulding-Kruse had asked us to facilitate three hours of yoga with Drake students during a J-Term class, focusing on the intersection of yoga and writing. We focused our session on Hanuman, the monkey-faced god of the Hindu myths. Even though Hanuman’s story is centuries old, its lessons are still relevant today. The Ramayana is one of India’s most popular myths. In it Ram asks Hanuman to complete several difficult and challenging tasks, that he believes are impossible. Each and every time, Hanuman tells himself that he cannot accomplish such enormous tasks, and yet, he always does. He’s been telling himself a story that simply wasn’t true.
As we told Hanuman’s story, we asked the students to consider the stories they tell themselves. Martha and I urged them to note which stories are true, and which are not. Sometimes in our minds, we tell ourselves stories like, “I’m not funny” or, “I’m too shy.” Because the stories aren’t always true, necessary, or helpful, they limit our capacity to experience our full humanity. We told the Drake students some stories we’ve told ourselves, and how they’ve not always been helpful, true, or necessary.
Yoga asks us to occupy space, to relish in the full capacity of our humanity. Hanuman reminds us we can do hard–even impossible–things, even when we’ve been telling ourselves we can’t.
Some soreness in my upper back is reminding me to do that five-minute slow Cat/Cow pose she recommends. Squats. Side body long. And after a walk stretch quads and hamstrings. Yay! Oh! and don’t forget the hips, pelvis and psoas.
I’ve been feeling like I needed a reset for a while. Like my teaching wasn’t always hitting the mark. There were students in my classes that I just felt I wasn’t reaching. So, I’ve gotten my reset.
We’re less than six months out from the 11th annual Central Iowa Yoga Retreat. Check out the early bird pricing now through November 26th, 2022! We can’t wait to see you all there!
Well, as strange as it may sound, my mindfulness practice actually makes it easier to keep all those balls in the air. It helps me remember that only one thing happens at a time.
Whether we need to run away, stand up for ourselves, or have a good cry, rushing away from “bad” feelings might keep us from experiencing life in a healthy way.
And check out Next Step mindfulness & movement activities, the decks are on sale for just one more day— $15 each. There are about 50 activities kinda like the one above. Exercises to help you practice breathing, connecting, settling, playing, and more. And they’re not just for kids!
The challenge of love and grief got real when my family gathered in Oregon to see my youngest brother off for a three-year appointment in Bhutan.