Yoga Practice as Process - Setu Bhandasana (Bridge Pose)

While the held variation of this pose is typically called Setu Bandhasana, the Vinyasa for this pose is called Dwi Pada Pitham, two-legged table pose. The many variations one can choose with regards to foot and arm placement will be explored in future posts. For now, try starting with the feet at a comfortable width apart with the heels placed approximately under the knee and the arms alongside the body.  Once you have the feet in place, give yourself the opportunity to take a few breaths to feel the connection between your body with the floor.

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Yoga Practice as Process - Jathara Parivartanasana (Belly Twist)

The Practice as Process series focuses on Vinyasa Krama sequences that are intended to help us navigate entering and exiting various yoga poses. In addition to still-photos that  help practitioners better understand variations of each asana, each post includes short videos that are intended to help practitioners experience an increase in support and integrity and a decrease in unnecessary effort and strain. 

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Intention and Patience - Writing for Writing's Sake

Around this time I made a simple commitment to myself – I will try to find time and space to write, and I will continue to take note of those topics I would like to explore more in depth. Rather than deciding that I could not add anything extra into my schedule and withdrawing from the process, I set the intention to write more frequently and practice patience with regards to when and how that might happen. I have tried to leave space for grace to reveal the openings where writing might be possible.

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A Still Pond

During guided meditations I have often been asked to visualize a still pond and I have never quite been successful. I was always trying to see within my mind's eye a pond where the water was not moving. This past time I was on vacation I walked around a medium sized pond twice daily and I noticed that the water within the pond was never still - insects gently landed on the water, fish jumped to catch them, ducks swam and dove all about, and children tried to skip rocks. Even though the water moved the overall feeling was peaceful, quiet. Perhaps then, a still pond is not an image to force into the mind but a feeling to invite into the heart.

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Letting Go in Yoga

Yoga is not about staying the same and repeating the patterns of thought and movement that do not encourage our continued growth. To a large measure, it is about change, finding the softest part of our being in the most uncomfortable of situations and fundamentally altering the way we interact with the world at large. This transformation happens at its own pace, typically with fits and starts. But with consistent and prolonged practice it occurs, and perhaps then we slowly, but more fully, begin to embody and honor our highest ideals.

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Creating Cohesion Between Spiritual Practice and Parenting

While I was fortunate enough to have some great advice and association of a loving Sadhu along with the moments of clarity that followed, the hard work of integrating this advice into my life fully had hardly begun. In the weeks and months that followed I began to notice that my ideals for spiritual life and family life were falling short of where I would like them to be in practice, with perhaps the biggest challenge being how to accommodate an intelligent, willful three year old and the full range of his age-appropriate, boundary-testing behaviors.

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