After just a few weeks of online classes with Suzie, I’m already feeling noticeable effects on my body and mind. I’m accessing and holding poses with more confidence each class, and as a result my awareness of my posture and balance is building more naturally outside of class, too. The attention Suzie pays to her online students feels as helpful as her guidance in person, and the ease of the online platform means I am able to attend more classes than usual. I’m incredibly grateful to have access to Suzie’s instruction right now!
I am loving all my Zoom RVYC yoga classes! Zoom is easy to access with great video and audio that allows me to see easily view Suzie's demonstration of the poses, and allows her to give the individual feedback that I rely on. The Zoom platform also provides the opportunity to experience our yoga community; I am able to see all the other students in the class and engage in group discussion before and after each class. RVYC classes have become the high point of my day!
I have so enjoyed rolling out my mat on my kitchen floor and clicking on the Zoom link to attend evening classes with River Valley Yoga. It is a great way for me to transition from work time to personal time during #stayhome. My home practice has allowed me to remove barriers that have prevented me from attending classes in the past and to make time to reconnect with my breathing, to my muscles, and to quite my mind.
Fall in New England is nothing short of spectacular. There is color and light everywhere. Even on the gray days the trees shine. As full and bright as the show is, I wait and watch for the trees to lovingly let go of their leaves. The fiery leaves don't fall, but dance their way to the ground. I am amazed how the season shows us the joy in letting go. In yoga philosophy, the season reminds many of us of Aparigraha. Aparigraha is the letting go. Translated by B.K.S. Iyengar as, "without possessions, without greed," we can think of it also as non-grasping. In this consumer culture, how often do we feel weighed down by the material things we want, and perhaps the societal things we think we should want or have? All this wanting inhibits our ability to feel at ease within our lives. Aparigraha is freedom from wanting more and more. Iyengar writes in his commentary on Sutra II.39 that, "When one is steady in living without surplus possessions and without greed, one realizes the true meaning of one's life...Aparigraha means not only non-possession and non-acceptance of gifts but also freedom from rigidity of thought. Holding on to one's thoughts is also a form of possessiveness..." How often do we find ourselves grasping to old thoughts or beliefs about ourselves or our relationships? Aparigraha is subtle and difficult to practice, so how can we invite the practice of aparigraha into our lives? Gratitude. Find gratitude around you. Small gratitude, big gratitude, whatever size you like. Wherever you can find it. Finding gratitude is like finding a small sanctuary amongst all this wanting and limited thinking. When we find it, gratitude suggests, maybe we really are okay. Maybe even there is an abundance of tiny things to be [...]
Montana is a beautiful state full of mountains, rivers, lakes, and wildlife. My days in Glacier National Park were incredibly soul quenching and invigorating. I clocked about 30 miles over the two and half days I was in the park, and witnessed some of the most beautiful vistas I have ever seen. To sit alone in the mountains and let my eyes feast on such beauty broke my heart wide open.
I recently discovered a photograph of myself in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) from 2012. Although not the beginning of my yoga practice, the photograph does represent the beginning of my deep dive into exclusively practicing and studying Iyengar Yoga. Now, another six years have gone by. Through disciplined practice and the incredibly skillful guidance of my teacher, progress has come.