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When Life's Kicking Your Butt: Healing, Calming Yoga Moves

So, what's new?

A friend I haven't seen in a few weeks asked me this over the weekend. Actually, I've started a huge new project--more on that in the new year, it's a secret for now--taken up painting, and been on a couple weekend trips. But the honest, most authentic answer I wanted to share was "nothing."

Because the truth is that, despite all of these fun, nourishing new developments, there's been some fairly major hard and challenging ones, and it's been a pretty rough few weeks. I just didn't have the energy to talk about the exciting stuff. I didn't have it in me to be that smiley, happy, I'm here to lift you up lady I like to be. I love being there for people. I love caring for people. And that's all I used to ask for--to be able to care for them.

But these days I'm learning what Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy so beautifully summed up in her latest e-alert:

It's good to realize that when we work so hard NOT to "fall to pieces," we're missing the opportunities that this kind of surrender brings. When we can occupy or claim our vulnerability, we can ask for and receive new kinds of support and miracles. We can discover that healing happens in spirals and layers, and not in steps like a ladder. We can remember that great things grow in the dark.

So here's what I said: to be honest, I've been really tired lately. I've been doing a lot of sleeping. Things have been hard.

And his simple, honest, caring answer was just what I needed. I've replayed his words in my head a few times since then: "That's okay, sometimes we all need to take time like that. I understand."

I've also needed to alter my morning practice.

5 Ways my Morning Sadhana has Changed
1. Less power, more ease. I'm breathing into spaces and through simple acknowledgement of what's being held there, I'm helping it to release.
2. Less thinking, more listening. I'm meditating for longer periods, simple watching my breath and letting thoughts go, so I can hear the guidance I'm hoping for.
3. Less standing, more inverting. I like to help myself literally see things from a different perspective, by taking more inversions.
4. Less feet, more head. I'm also standing less and inverting more to help connect my crown chakra to the earth--it just feels nice--and create a visual of thoughts that aren't serving me draining away into the earth.
5. Less focusing, more balancing. To help bring awareness to all my chakras, rather than the ones associated with my dominating emotions and fears, I'm doing a meditation my teacher Swami Maheshanada Saraswati teaches. It's simply moving through the chakras, from the root up, by bringing my awareness to each location as I say the seed mantra associated with each one: Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Hum, Om.

Just thought I'd share, in case it might help you, too.




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