Dear Yoga Students,
The summer days are naturally transitioning into early Fall,
and seasonal changes come paired with Reflection. We don’t
need a yoga sutra or magic fortune cookie to tell us that
Life is passing, Time is flowing, and yet, we are somehow
still “here”. We all feel “here”. Even when the mind is
racing on with plans or stymied by a mood or an aversion, we
are still “here”.
Taking Three Breaths, as many times a day as you can
remember, is powerful enough to put you back in your body
and the “here” of the present moment. The body is doing one
thing at a time and the mind is doing ten things, the Three
Breath pause stops this gap from increasing, brings
awareness to what we are doing, and in the end, is deeply
The asana practice we follow is in the Iyengar tradition of
being aware of what we are doing as we are doing it. This
approach to asana does not champion speed or perfection, but
it does champion alertness and awareness and leads to a limb
of the practice called breath awareness. Taking time out for
breath awareness is the beginning of slowing down and seeing
the mind and body in one place, at the same time.
Reflection comes naturally in this process, insight comes
naturally and so does relaxing.
Please hold a special place in your calendar for Monday October 12th
with senior teacher Rebecca Lerner. She is coming from PA to teach a workshop.
More details soon.
See you soon, Namaste, Cathy
I have some exciting news to share, I will be going to India for one
week in December to study with Geeta Iyengar. Well, I and about 1,000
other Iyengar yoga students. She is giving a 1 week intensive on asanas
that lead to pranayama.
Pranayama is the branch of yoga that deals with breathing.
This direct focus on the breath takes the four phases of breathing,
inhaling, pausing, exhaling, pausing, and draws them out so they can be
noticed, elongated, smoothed out, and fully embodied. It is more subtle
than asana, and opens a door into meditation.
I will be adding asana/pranayama classes in Jan. 2016 based on what I
Take note of your daily routine: is there time for YOU in it? That is one of the benefits of a structured yoga practice, YOU get to see YOU.
And when that happens, the experience is totally unfiltered, never-before-happened, totally satisfying, and true.
These Seasons have reasons for changing, and maybe they nudge us to see where we can make changes, too.
Each time we don’t give into to a distracting thought or event, the seeds that are sprouting in the present are getting watered. Look at your life, your room, your car, your relationships, your wishes and fears; everyday they are there in some form to be watered.
A practice like yoga starts strong on the physical plane, but as the
seasons change and we change with them, the physical level is not in
competition with our hopes and drives and emotional lives.
We see they are not -two. We are not-two or three or even four. The only delusion is
the self that thinks it can divide.
Have a good rest of your summer. See you in the studio, or in the tea shops around town. Cathy Wright
Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me”
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
Do you sometimes wonder if a yoga practice can help you love?
I wonder this many times. I wonder this when I am petty, jealous,
judging, and irritated.
When taking a deliberate breath in and out, slow and steady, calms me
down, its a great moment. But when it doesn’t, when the attachment to my
thinking/feelings is so strong and believable, then a physical yoga
practice helps stir my circulation on many levels and I am better able
to later reflect and respond to the situation at hand.
A simple sequence is down dog to up dog and back again. Ten times! Slow
or fast, hands on height or not, it matters only that you move and
breathe and keep going. There is an organic link from the brain to the
gut of intuitive wisdom and connecting the two together through moving
allows the nerves to communicate and become unified.
Become a pearl bead on a string of pearls, just begin the pose and go
forward. The dharma string will pull you along until you feel strong
again and on your feet.
There is a deep string of pearls threading all of us together. Every
time we practice, we are a pearl bead on the yoga thread. The thread
links us to the past teachers and to the even further past sutra
teachings of dharma, and concentration, and meditation, and the
indivisible oneness of existence. We have to show up, keep pushing our
thoughts aside, and jump into the practice at hand to get the link first
hand. But it works.
This is what I am saying: keep practicing. Over time the deep transformations
reveal themselves. And love is at the root, love turns the wheel,
love keeps the whole mess at peace. Do not struggle with your body,
your thoughts, your feelings, bring the whole mess onto the mat
and the transformation happens on its own. Flowers grow out of
garbage and compost. We cant even imagine what flowers will
grow out of us when we feel scattered or inadequate, when our inner
garbage is overloading our systems, but flowers grow everywhere! They
sprout up from the coldest winters, bloom on the hottest days, die into
the earth and grow again.
Yoga asana is an experience of waking up over and over from
self-absorption, ON THE SPOT.
Inner confusion transforms into direction and wholeness. A new day has
been offered to all of us. Lets live it beautiful, solid, and free.
I think that will feel like love.
Spring is coming!
The mornings are warmer and the day remains full of
light later and later into the evening. Remember when we were young and
Time just rolled into itself and we changed with each year? We actually
grew taller, grew up, and learned to live in the world.
Now as adults, do we still grow? What are the markers? I turn to chapter
6 in the Bhagavad Gita for guidance.
Here is what the BG says when asked, “Who is the true Yogi?”
See if some of the answers fit your Life.
Where are you strong? Where would you like to grow more wise ?
1. A person who does their job with detachment from the rewards.
2. One who has attained the goal of meditation.
3. One who is accomplished in the integration of spirit.
4. One who can make the mind one-pointed through the practice of meditation.
5. One who does not eat or sleep too much nor eat or sleep too little.
6. One who responds to the joys and sorrows as if they were his own.
I believe our patience and perseverance to our asana practice reveals
these deeper layers of change. We may not know the above 6 aspects
are at work, churning beneath the triangles and dog poses, embedded in
the gut during twists and inversions. Yet they are. They are seeping
up to the surface, ready to shake us into opening our eyes, hearing our
own hearts’ beat when the morning birds taking flight, and reminding
us that we are part of the indivisible nature of Life.
On another note, I want to introduce Andrea from SoulVista Yoga in Buena Vista, CO.
I will be rafting down the Grand Canyon with friends
and unable to make classes. Yet I will return Sunday May 3rd ready to teach the 4pm class and share the joy I felt for being lucky enough to be outdoors and in the magnificant walls of the Grand Canyon and under
the canopy of the infinite starry night.