Blog: Yoga, Nutrition & More

Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

‘How can I be real?’ asked the Velveteen Rabbit

Monday, November 14th, 2011

For my birthday, my kid recorded The Velveteen Rabbit onto a CD. As I listened to it, first amazed at the pristine clarity, inflection and heart in her voice (this could be a new career for her), I started to remember that I’d forgotten the story. As the threads of the story’s tapestry unfolded and I met the characters one-by-one, the story took shape, the boy took ill with Scarlet Fever, and the Velveteen Rabbit was lying in a pile of discarded books and toys, at the back of the shed behind the house, waiting to be burned. And I was breathless to hear the ending.

A theme for my yoga classes leapt into my heart but my mind was struggling with it. What makes us Real? Where does our authentic voice live? From where is our Truth born?

The nursery horse answered the rabbits question that someone needs to love you to be real. “Boy’s uncle made me real,” he said. When Nana’s failure to tidy the nursery yielded Velveteen Rabbit a quick substitute for Boy’s bedtime toy of choice, love blossomed. Bunny was made real. I struggled here. There is a part of us that feels real (the boy) but that part isn’t the Heart of us. We can feel real by our choice of education, grades we make, places we work, people we knit into our heart. Vacation memories recorded in the books of our lives. They’re real but are they Real?

Luckily, Bunny grew very sad (just wait!) waiting in the pile of discarded toys to be burned. He cried. A real tear fell from his eye onto the ground and where it landed, an indescribably beautiful flower grew. This flower grew into the Nursery Fairy. (more…)

Mindful meal

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Last night, in week 7 of our 7-week series called Yoga for Mindful Eating, we shared intimately of ourselves.  We shared in summary, in conclusion of the preparatory part of our journey.

Last night was just the beginning.  Last night was just the beginning of the continuation of the unfolding of desire (iccha) for a healthy relationship to food, married to the knowledge (jnana) of the structure, the containment of Grace within, to the outpouring of love and beauty to the world (kriya, action).  Last night we began.

This morning, as we rub the sleep from our eyes and groggily reach for coffee as we always do, something is different.  ‘Oh, that’s right,’ we think.  Today is the first day of the next part of the mindful eating journey!  Eyes close, we embrace the aroma of java, taste the sweetness of the sugar, feel the creaminess of the cream in our mouth.  Ah, so good.  Beginner’s mind.  Mindful awareness.  Just this moment.  No judgment.

Join me for a tasting of the series at a mindful eating dinner and seminar.  This seminar is nearly at full capacity.   The next 7-week series begins April 5th in Wellesley.

Namaste to all!

Visualize healthier eating

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

It’s a no-brainer that simply wanting to make a change to our diet doesn’t work.  Even others, like our doctor or a family member, telling us to change doesn’t work.  So what is the way to make change stick?

Make a plan.

What’s new about that is study results showing when 177 students set a goal (made a plan), wrote it down, and then visualized when, where and how they would buy, prepare and eat fruit, they did it.  They ate more fruit!  In fact, they ate twice the fruit of a group who simply set out to eat more but didn’t have a plan.

Athletes use this technique all the time to increase their performance.  Yoga students use visualization in meditation for healing and stress reduction.  So why not to make healthier choices in our food selection?

Grab your note pad and pen, write down your plan, then get the vision going.  Tell me how you do. I’d love to share good results with others.

Calling all Clutter Bugs!

Friday, June 4th, 2010

My Feng Shui friend, Natalia Kaylin, says “The practice of clearing clutter is the practice of letting things go. Clutter takes the form not only of material things, but also mental and emotional states.” A curious point she brings to light is that many times, we have an emotional attachment to these things, even if their is no need for them or they are broken. “Most clutter,” she continues, “creates guilt. It drains us, lowers our energy.”

Museum of Negativity

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Joy is the abundant gift of life.  Yet, I was reminded this week-end of the 8th anniversary of 9/11.  I recalled the intense shock and despair felt by our country.  A few months ago, a dear friend lost her job and another friend lost his.  A month ago, I lost a friend suddenly – she was 55 years old and living in the happiest moments of her life.  My sister is struggling with her weight.  Saturday, I was honored to assist my teacher in a yoga teacher training – it was Day 1 of an year-long training.  In the 7 years since my training, I had forgotten the anxiety, self-diminishment and lack of self-confidence with which we all greet that day.

Amid the joyful days, some days are sad, painful, full of grief, fear, lack of self worth.  Those days we do not feel inclined to roll out our mat.  We have a hissy fit, resort to childlike tendencies to soothe ourselves – feeling fearful, angry, jealous, small and unworthy.  And these experiences are unpleasant.  Who are we to practice yoga at this moment? 

In Anusara, everything belongs.  We are welcomed to the mat in all of our humanity.  In the total sum of our experiences.  In the brightness and darkness, happy or sad, fearful or brave.  We are invited to just sit and feel our body; to breath and feel the aliveness of the sweet movement of our breath.  To take refuge in that flow of energetic awakening.  Through the powerful energy of the breath, we slowly feel our body move.  We step into the unbroken wholeness of our experiences. Fogg Still_Rembrandt

And, as we sit, in what I am borrowing from poet Michael Palmer ‘the museum of our negativity,’ we see images, feel emotions, hear thoughts. As we continue to be quiet in that museum, we note the feelings are feelings and the thoughts are just thoughts and they become the art on the walls.  We own the experiences, we even cherish them in time, but we do not own the art.  As we feel the quiet calm of acceptance, we stand up, pick up our umbrella and coat, and walk out of the museum.