“I am”

“I am” – is a huge topic.

In meditation today I found myself merely repeating “I am” statements.  “I am” is far larger than – “I am not.”  I imagine it is because we are more than we are not.  During meditation I repeated – I am, I am, I am.  These were the words that put me in my meditative state, and they are the same words that drew me back from thoughts to keep the momentum of my meditation.

At one point I updated my simple mantra.  I mentally said, I am love.  And this addition overwhelmed me.  I am overwhelmed in my meditations.  I often am, overwhelmed that is.  I blushed during this phrase.  I felt a swelling in my closed eyes that I held away.  In the act of holding away from love to keep from crying I realize I must find a way to accept the all of this love, and to joyfully accept.

“I am love.”  As my new mantra I let this thought dissolve into my being.  It dissolves much as the ListerineR strips dissolve on my tongue.  “I am love.”  The thought dissolves and fills me.  “I am love.”  It is not an action, it is being.  I am being.  I am love. I am.  My mind and this acceptance has me lifted in waves of this love.  I relax even further; fully taking in the hugeness of love.  Of course it is huge – it is universal.

My mind feels in this love that it is accepting and it is radiating simultaneously.  Flowing in and pouring out from me simultaneously, freely and openly.  I am love.   A power statement.  This statement is more than the statement, I am loving.  I am loving requires only outflow.  “I am love” fills me even as it is a release for me.  Love is a state of being.  I feel the movement within it.  For me it is waves, as I learn to accept larger and larger oceans of love.

I am love.  I am; in the hugeness of love.

In trying to achieve the growth to contain, to allow, to hold this hugeness of love my mantra changed again – I am magnificence.  This previous hugeness of love immediately becomes intimate and wholly acceptable.  I am magnificence.  And I am larger than my body, I am largeness – but magnificence as a magnanimous without additional connotation.  I am magnificence.  And so it is that I am larger and able to flow more completely as love.  I am magnificence.  It is not a conceit – it is a statement.  I am magnificence.  It is the doorstep of the next statement, the next mantra; I am god.

This mantra during my meditation was a natural progression.  For among the love that flows and eddies and the hugeness of this magnificence, I am god.   Awareness grew as an intimate shift into a confidence of being.  I was in meditation without my name.  And this felt as it should be. I was without emotion yet with a confidence and as a part (or as a whole) with love.

My meditation timer intones that I return to my today.  And so I continue my day in this confidence and trailing this love as a comet sets off its space dust, which only I feel, only I see this.  And it is a sight, though not with my eyes.  I am.

What I am Working Toward

Meditations sound so godawful serious.  Is there a way to add some humor?  Is there a way to just lighten the eff up and get across to my audience the joy that is available in a healthy meditation?

I’ve been listeningto  and editing these audios and I am appalled at how serious they sound.  I am aghast to hear myself telling someone what to think and that they better relax and then hey, just relax some more.  Because I said so, ya’ know.  Come on, where’s the sweetness and the gracious self I know that I am in here?  Oh yeah, do as I say.  Take my word on this, I do it too.

I love this meditation stuff.  I find my emotions and my mind in the craziest, clearest moments  ice skating , pirouetting, and leaping into the arms of Creation.  And Creation caught me, without hesitation. But how do I assist anyone into these same miraculous moments – or their own rousing,  exhilarating moments?  How do I compel anyone to live these moments in meditation and then take them along for the rest of the day?  It makes for a great day, I got to tell you.  I don’t ice skate every time I meditate.  That was just an exceptionally good time.  For godsake, I haven’t ice skated on actual ice in a lifetime.

I don’t think I am here to extoll the benefits of meditation.  I think I am here to offer a brief guided moment to help along the way.  And I want to make this fun.  I want to grow this site to the place where meditations, through these audios, are as entertaining as they are relaxing.  I want these audios to convey the openness and expansion or our own intentions (of course), and include fun, frivolous side moments, a lack of reality and an abundance of humor.  These are fun; these meditations are fun.

As I have been editing my last couple audios I have come to a somber conclusion, that they are nice.  Yikes, how boring.  I want more.  I want fun.  I want to be drawn to my own site every week for an update of humor, lightness of being , alignment in heart, pure entertainment and an opening of thought for outrageous visions.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.  This is my next project.  Back to the drawing board…pull out the stitching…turn this horse around.  And for gawdsake, get that rusty bucket outta my well.  Let’s get to work.

Joyful Sigh

My class this morning was grounding.  I attended a very basic, Alignment I, class today and I am relieved to be starting back into the yoga classroom at a slow and comfortable pace.  Alignment.  Oh, it is delicious.  In Alignment I  I am not sure we did more that six postures, over and over and over again.  Very slowly.  I was able to achieve a smooth flow.  Breathing was part of the posture.  It has been so long since I did practice for myself that I forget  how wonderful breathing into the posture is.   Oh, I teach this, I cue for it, I even watch as my yoga peeps fill their chest and shoulders and engage in the flow of moving to the next posture.  Today for myself I was able to enjoy this deepening.  I was able to feel the pose without any adjustment.  My breath was the adjustment.   Practise today was fulfilling.  I am reliving my morning class with an appreciative and joyful sigh.

There is a motivation growing within me again make that daily time to move my body while I clear my head.  I am practising meditiations every day.  It is delightful, crazy loving and motivational.  And now, adding the physical energy of moving my body intentionally I find this compliments and nourishes my spritual meditation moments.  This is the type of care I have wanted to give myself for decades now.

This week, I hope/expect//plan will be wonderful busy with yoga classes, meditations and podcast recording.  I was able to head out to The Loft on Sunday.  I spent 4 hours recording meditations and researching sound controls.  I love the peace and quiet there.  I revel that all I have to do is open any door and a strong whooshing whisper of the crashing waves on the coastline fills my senses.  I love the smell of the ocean as the wind waves through the sea grasses in these dunes.  I am happy here (and hear).  I am proud to be recording at The Loft in the dunes.  It seems so natural a place to record.  I fell into it.  It just happens, and I am filled with contentment.  Now that I am home I am amazed to have this opportunity.  And I a proud of myself for picking up the reigns to do that something I have wanted to do.  This so induces in me a joyful sigh.

Listening to the ocean is like listening to the ocean breath.  It too seems a joyful sigh.  And it continues to breathe.

 

 

Sunday’s Neck

On Sunday as we went through Chair Pose (Utkatasana) I saw that Sunday was holding her neck and shoulders funny.  Funny, as in awkward.  I said the usual, “Drop your shoulders.” But I could see that Sunday’s shoulders were fine.  It was her neck that was out of kilter.

“Let’s get your neck aligned with your back.”  I said.  I kept us in Utkatasana while I spoke.  “Feel the angle of your spine and bring the back of your neck along the same angle.  Your neck is an extension of your spine here.”  Sunday lowered her chin, “Oh!”

These ah-ha moment are great!  Sunday’s shoulders came down naturally, all by themselves and I could see how much more comfortable Sunday was for adjusting her neck.

We came and went in and out of Chair pose two more time.  Sunday let me know each time, “This is so much nicer.” And “See, that’s why I like doing yoga with you.”  I was allowing myself to fill up just fine with all the praise.  My ego feels good for doing yoga with Sunday.

For the rest of our time together – during flying warrior, triangle pose, side angle – all through our standing poses I stayed focused on the alignment of Sunday’s neck.  I found myself stumbling over myself, iterating and re-iterating the balance and alignment of her neck for every pose.  I had found my focus, but was undercutting Sunday’s focus?

As I went to bed last night I came across the Dharma talk from Seanne Corn in February 2017 – “Get out of the way of your students.  They will have aha moments.  Those are for the students, not for you.  Get out of the way.”

I can only hope, after reading that in my notes, that Sunday has another aha moment soon so that I can practice, this time, staying out of the way.

A Break Through

A break through

Today was a bit of a break-through for yoga classes.  I think today I was seen as an actual yoga instructor.  It’s the first time I have felt that way at any rate.

When I was given the room to hold classes and had a scheduled time set up I sent out emails to the people that had expressed an interest in attending, inviting them to come on out to join me.  My email said to bring your mat if you have one, but don’t worry if you don’t.  I had understood yoga mats were available.  But when I got to the room for the first class there were no mats anywhere.  I have two mats that I brought with me.  Thankfully I had brought towels to use as straps for modifications.  I had twelve people on my email, so I had brought twelve towels.  Six people came to class and that was great, but only three of us had mats.  We laid out two towels per person to keep them off the floor and I adjusted my sequencing postures to mostly standing poses and supine options.  No Chataranganga or Locust poses for this first day.  We had an okay practice.  First day and all.

The next class, last week, everyone came back so I was pleased.  But we used the towel trick again.   Still no one extra brought in a yoga mat.  I brought all three of my mats last week and that helped.

This morning I went down to our yoga room as soon as I got in to poke around to see if any mats are available. Dragging around multiple yoga mats is getting old.  For another thing, there is nowhere to leave them safely stowed away for next time.  Today I found the cartful of mats assigned to the room.  They were behind a hidden door in a huge closet running along the side of the room.  The whole wall is actually a closet.  I found yoga mats, mat cleaner and bolsters.  Ta da!  We have a yoga room.

In my reminder email this morning I included a note letting everyone know we have mats.  Come to class if you have a mat or not – we got you covered.  As everyone filed in for class today I could see in their eyes the relief at having a mat for themselves.  There are not enough bolsters for everyone so I had each person take two mats.  One to unroll for their space, and one to stay rolled up as a bolster.  Yes, it’s still a little makeshift, but enough mats are available for everyone to practice.

Everyone was able to elevate their hips during seated easy pose.  We actually got to flow through a series of Sun Salutations including modified Chatarangas.  For me practice felt complete.

At the conclusion of the day I requested everyone clean their mat, roll them up and place them back on the cart.  It is amazing how well this was received.  Everyone said thank you to me as they filled the cart back up with mats.  It’s as though having the mats has legitimized my position as instructor.  Nothing I could have said, or done would have made the difference that having these yoga mats does.  My peeps are taken care of.  Now we can continue to breath.

Alignment

I am teaching body knowledge and alignment

I am not caught up in the latest craze.  But I do want to expand and communicate the joy and wealth of healthy aspects of a really great no-sweat health program.

I don’t want to trivialize anything.  I don’t want to make something so profound it appears out of reach for the average Joe, because the average Joe and Josephine can feel so good so quickly without “working out”, without changing anything but getting up and breathing through some postures during a television show and still feel relaxed.  So, maybe trivializing in this way is a good thing.

I can’t say enough how much greater it feels to practice postures in a quiet, warm and peaceful surrounding, without distraction, only the sounds of the neighborhood, or the air conditioner to hum in the background.  I want to express the warmth and soul-encompassing nature of breathing into a posture and feeling mentally and physically the release of muscles and stress.  I want to share the concept of life that is “effort and ease”.

Am I teaching ancient knowledge toward a sacred end, or a physical knowledge toward a healthy body only?  Where is my alignment?