trick or RE-treat

With the daylight hours growing shorter and shorter, and the ensuing holiday season racing towards us, fall is the perfect time of year for turning inward, gathering, and taking stock. As we enter the yin cycle of the year, we can often miss the transition from the more yang energies of summer by ignoring our natural rhythms and powering through the holidays, only to emerge exhausted, depleted and needing a vacation to find ourselves again.
Our capitalistic culture is designed to create constant distraction.  We tend to look outside of ourselves, and into the material world, for meaning, purpose, and validation.  In yogic terms, we call this distraction, or illusion, “maya.” Maya is the veiling power that creates duplicity, the illusion of other, rather the reality of one, the source.  This is the fodder that creates the earth school, and we are the teachers and the students – the co-creators of the game.
hideseekThe tricky part of the game is that most of us have amnesia and don’t remember that we are OF the power that created the game in the first place.  Maya creates the separateness, and ignorance (avidya) in the individual consciousness, which is why yoga practices tend towards stilling the fluctuations of the mind in order to realize one’s true nature. As we understand the human psycho drama as DIVINE PLAY, or Leela, we understand what Friar Giovanni expressed way back in 1513 A.D.  This life, this experience, EVERY experience, is “woven of love, by wisdom, with power.” 

We are here to play the game of cosmic hide and seek with OURSELVES.
So as the hamster wheel of illusion accelerates, we can CHOOSE to hop off and PAUSE. We pause, we turn towards introspection and upliftment, and stop WAITING for the wheel to stop spinning.  We have to summon the COURAGE to hop off and CHOOSE ourselves and our relationship with the ONENESS that is our true nature. I am the first to admit that I suffer from a bit of WHEN/THEN addiction.  When I finish washing the dishes/cleaning the house/walking the dog/checking email, then I will meditate.  I am here to tell you that years of practicing this method of when…then…, leads to dis-ease, dis-connection, and dis-satisfaction.
So in the spirit of leela and choosing to hop off the hamster wheel, I invite you tore-TREAT with Christi Mider and “The Journey Within: Bringing the Beloved Forward.” This is a wonderful opportunity to go within and explore your true nature.  Register by Sunday, October 20, and receive $50 off tuition price!  click here to learn more.
thank YOU . . . fellow pilgrim : )
d e n i s e 

passing on and passing it on



On August 20, the Yoga community bid farewell to one of the greatest luminaries of modern day Yoga.  Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, or BKS Iyengar for short, is considered to be one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, and  largely responsible for the popularity of Yoga AND for making the practice of yoga asana accessible to everyone.  Most of us practicing today have much less than 6-degrees of separation between us and the great master.  If you have ever used a block, a strap, a bolster or a blanket in your practice, you have been directly influenced by Mr. Iyengar.  The use of props in the practice was developed by him, and handed down to teacher after teacher after teacher.  Chances are pretty good that if your teacher has not studied with him directly, your teacher’s teacher has.  It might be more like 2 degrees of separation, and who knows where Kevin Bacon fits in : )

iyengarHis seminal book, Light on Yoga, the first of 14, has influenced anyone who has opened it up, even just to flip through the pages.  I can’t say that I knew Mr. Iyengar personally, but I can say that his teachings have influenced so much of my experience ON and OFF of the mat, that I feel his presence whenever I tune into precision and discipline.  I am deeply grateful for his life’s work and the ripples that continue to inform the LIVING of YOGA. 
I am grateful to all of my teachers who have studied directly with Mr. Iyengar, passing on his wisdom through their own experiences. thus honoring and embodying his indelible lineage, which goes on and on…
With the fall season rapidly approaching, and bountiful opportunities to witness “the paradox of how to make our way upon earth while striving for something more permanent and more profound”, we are consistently invited to look at our relationship to CHANGE.  It is in the air, it is in atmosphere, and it is INEVITABLE. Do we cling to the past, to the comfort of discomfort, to the known suffering for fear of the unknown future?Or do we reach out to the great mystery and fall into the possibility of a joy-filled reality? Each of us must decide and choose in every moment how we create this reality and how we react or respond to change.
I  leave you with another tribute to Mr. Iyengar and something more to ponder.
“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”       – BKS Iyengar
here’s to all of us gracefully riding the waves of change
and becoming who we were meant to be,
d e n i s e