Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Change: shifting into the unknown

"Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small CONTRACTING and EXPANDING, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds wings"

Photo posted by YogaGlo.com
Elena Brower on YogaGlo, check out the link (It's only $15 a month for unlimited classes).

This weekend was a testament to CHANGE; of creating subtle shifts in perceptions, shifts in speaking, and shifts in thoughts. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I felt really disconnected, from my family, my friends, and my yoga practice. For someone who lives and breathes for those three things, it felt overwhelming, challenging, and momentous all rolled into one.

One of the ways in which I've found my way back to my mat is by starting a yoga practice at home. All you really need is some space: a wall to put your legs up, your faithful mat, and maybe a few fun props to help support you. I have a bolster, a strap, and a block from Manduka Yoga, which makes incredible products for your practice. Starting a practice at home away from the sanctuary of as studio can be very difficult to do, especially when doubts and fears cloud the benefits of a consistent practice.

I stumbled upon YogaGlo.com about eight months ago and it has truly helped me expand my practice in ways I never could have imagined. I was worried that a home practice wouldn't offer me anything I loved about the studio; a quiet space, a community of yogis, and meaningful teachers. But, when I shifted my perception and gave into the the unknown of home yoga, it was transformational. I no longer think practicing yoga means walls away from my own. I no longer think that practicing for less than a hour a day is not a sufficient amount of time to practice. I've started to use my space to begin exploring a mediation practice; and I've found that I have truly connected to a community and group of teachers that have evolved my practice into something meaningful to my life again. 

This weekend I was honored to be able to take a class, at the YogaGlo studio in Santa Monica, with Elena Brower. Elena was the first teacher I took an online yoga class with and it truly left an impression. She is remarkably insightful, thoughtful, and carries a gentleness that helps her students to find the best within themselves and honor that space within to guide us through waves of change. 

It was an amazing experience to be able to finally meet her and practice with her and a room full of lovely yogis. Our class intention was to focus on SPACE; creating space for our intentions, for love, and for self-care. She urged us to think about the energy we bring into the spaces that surround us everyday. When things are filled with change and uncertainty, our first reaction is often to contract; to get smaller and to defend ourselves against the shifting tides. But what if, when change occurs, (as it is constant and forever occurring) we grew more spacious, we allowed for change to fill us up and expand into it. FEAR and DOUBT would be replaced with STRENGTH and MEANING, and when we can come to understand the power to navigate those unknown waters lies within ourselves, we can live life at a higher frequency.

Change is experienced better with space and understanding. Take time to TRUST yourself this week, to examine how you are interacting with your SPACES. When you feel up against the insurmountable, try finding the courage to trust who you are and change won't seem so scary anymore. 

Gorgeous photo of Elena's "Let Go Of Blame" Practice from her book, The Art of Attention. Photo by Chloe Crespi.
Art of Attention click to discover more about Elena and her partner in yoga, Erica Jago, and their incredible book titled The Art of Attention. It's an amazing compliment to any yoga practice. 

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