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Croatia, you stole our hearts!

July 4th, 2016

IMG_2860“Why Croatia?”, was a question we were often asked as we marketed Dalliance at Sea – a yoga passage through Croatia.   To be honest I can’t remember how Croatia came to be in our sphere of choices, but once it was, there was no turning back. It seems like many Americans have no idea where it is, let alone why we wanted to go there. For us it had the appeal of a small, not over-visited country with thousands of islands, diverse landscape, activities to enjoy and history to uncover. What we found was so much more.

 

From the big cities, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, to the small villages, Korchula, Trisnik, Bol, we discovered the charm of its people, history and food. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming. They seemed to enjoy one another and there was an easy flow to the day to day commuting about the city or town. Every meal was delicious! The history of the city and country is so rich and complex, with all of the civilizations that contributed to its current culture.

 

IMG_2881We discovered the country side with its rolling hills, mountains, lakes, waterfalls and miles of shoreline. Flower, fauna and colors galore were the eye candy of this trip, with each area we traveled through giving us an array of nature’s magic! Plvitice National Park is a must see, and our day was made special with rain to add to the watery magic

 

IMG_3159There is something very special here that we are missing in the US. Self-responsibility is predominant and I found it so refreshing. This is one of the things I love about traveling; the discovery of new perspectives and Croatia gave me the awareness of how much living in a litigiousness society has created restrictions. We say we have freedom, but I came to discover how limited that sense of freedom is in light of the ways of Croatia. I truly enjoyed a sense of freedom in Croatia that I haven’t felt for many years.

 

Thank you to our wonderful group of adventurers who added laughter, spirit, friendship and warmth to this marvelous trip! To our new friends who we said goodbye to in Croatia, we shall be back! Stay tuned for our next adventure!13432169_10210154019397638_7541739182952320263_n

 

 

Posted in Articles, Inspirations from Class, Retreats, Travels | 1 Comment »

Summer Musings

June 1st, 2016

6359662828981496261387488429_summer-06.jpgSummer is just around the corner, and late spring has heralded in a taste of warm weather that has me musing about summer. Images, sounds and memories filter through my day, as my heart dances in anticipation.

 

Watching dragonflies flitting by as they snap up mosquitoes.

Flowers galore!

Tasting honeysuckle’s sweetness on the tip of my tongue.

The warmth of a summer’s day

Salty breezes

Mist over a harbor, as the ghost ships at anchor float in and out of vision

The songbirds singing on a warm summer’s afternoon

Building sandcastlessandcastle

Long cooling dips in the ocean

Moonlight rising from the sea

Fireflies!

The cries of the osprey calling to their young

Walking hand in hand with a child to the beach

Kite flying

The smell of an evening’s fire

S’mores

Badmitton

Hammock swingingrope-hammocks

Laughter and Joy!

 

And of course Yoga on the Beach!

 

What are some of your summertime musings?

 

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Completion and Transitions

May 7th, 2016

IMG_0425Congratulate this year’s Becoming Yoga Teacher Training class of 2016!  It is a truly remarkable 200 hour journey that each one of these devoted yoga practitioners have completed towards becoming Yoga teachers.  Look out world there are some bright lights shining and sharing yoga with you!  Next program begins January 2017.

 

Don and Nancy are on the move.  We say adieu to our beloved island as we start our journey north soon.  We look forward to seeing our friends and family, making summer memories and our trip to Croatia.  Nancy will be posting on Facebook if you want to travel with us vicariously.

 

HeartMath-Certified-CoachNancy has just completed a training program as a HeartMath® Mentor Coach. She is delighted to be offering this transformational program that trains the heart mind connections.  If you are interested in making a lifestyle shift from overstressed and depleted, to one of feeling ease, peaceful and energetically renewed contact her directly by email or phone 508-737-3211.  This program will teach you easy to use, on the go techniques that have immediate results, that are long term sustainable.  To get things started Nancy is offering a 50% off package for the first 10 clients who sign up – 4 sessions $200.00 (regularly $395.00)

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SUP Love!

April 6th, 2016

I’m often asked “what do you like about Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP)?” It is a great question and IMG_4431one that I love as it helps me to move from the passion in my heart, joy in my body and elation in my spirit into the words that express it. To be honest it can be challenging for me to express in words those feelings of heart, body and spirit. Finding those words that might give the person asking me “why” an understanding is often even more challenging when they have never experienced SUP.

 

Have you ever had that experience? Have you been asked to express something that is so visceral that words can only begin to interpret the experience? Or maybe it is being so kinesthetic that we are less verbal and visual in our experiences and that makes it a difficult task to bring words to it.

 

I feel my experiences more than see or hear them. My spirit is right there with me on the board, cheering me on to embrace the beauty, to challenge the skills of the body and mind, and to care for the environment around me.

 

There is such a deep sense of honor that I feel when I’m standing on the water, gliding across her, or riding her forces in waves and currents. I respect all that power that Mother Nature has and feel privileged to harness it in such a loving experience. To catch the wind on my back on a downwind ride, while feeling a wave pulling me through the water is amazing. No ride at Disney compares to it for me.

 

Digging in when I’m challenged by wind, current, or the miles I’m putting in sparks the warrior spirit in me. I feel the “I can do this” spirit strong in me at those points, and the rush of that spirit kicks up something long-lasting in me. Hours after I have paddled, my energy and spirit continues to soar even though it would make sense that I would be feeling tired after the exertion of the ride.

 

Spending all that time on the water has raised my consciousness about what a gift our waterways and oceans are. It seems to be a gift that many take for granted. The lack of consciousness in others concerns me, as over the years of being out on the water, sailing or paddling, I have seen a tremendous decrease in the health of the waters I paddle. I do what I can in clearing the trash and plastic I find while on the water or along the shoreline. At the same time I look for ways to raise others consciousness about the gifts we will miss if we don’t start taking care of our seas, rivers, and lakes. We live in an ecosystem that is all about connection. If one part becomes “sick” it affects the rest of the system. Your litter does make a difference, so dispose of it properly, use less plastic and spread the word! Clean water to enjoy recreationally is something I hope to pass down for many generations.

 

My yoga practice off the mat is ever present for me on the board. Starting with the breath, always the breath, I am connected to the waves, the stroke and the wind through my breath. Of course the agility, balance and strength I have from my yoga practice is an asset but it is the spirit and mind’s practice that I feel alive during a paddle. Being present on the board is an aptitude I recognize I have gained over the years of practicing yoga. Then there is the mindfulness that slips off the yoga mat and rides with me on the board. It is the mindfulness that helps me keep a clear mind and uplifted spirit, not to mention the cheerleading I get in being mindful each moment. If I start to feel a bit of lagging in my physical or mental experience it is in that mindful moment I switch gears, dig in and look at ways to be uplifted.

 

Often how I answer that question about why I like SUP is usually this; “It is the closest I’ll every get to walking on water.” The elation I get when I go places I have never been to by boat before(sailing or other) is irreplaceable. The inner goddess of adventure is enlivened every time I get on my board on a new waterway, or go to discover new places. For me that is the spark that keeps on giving! I am like the character Forrest Gump, I want to just keep on going! See you around that next island.

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Yoga’s Four Keys to Inner Peace

February 25th, 2016

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Imagine yourself on an adventure. You are stalking through deep woods, entangled by branches and vines. You quickly pull out a tool that helps you cut yourself a clear path. Maybe it is a sharp quick blade that severs the teeming vines or a cane that slowly untangles the branches. This is the way of Yoga, tools that we learn to use to help untangle the mind’s thoughts that hold us in a path of unhappiness, confusion, or doubts. Yoga is that life adventure that helps us to not only discover inner peace but master it. Not everyone wants or cares about finding a way to inner peace but if inner peace sounds good to you, lets continue.

In the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali there are some clear guidelines on how we can find our way to peace within (Samadhi). There are four simple keys that fit four persistent locks that Patanjali shares with us in Yoga Sutra 1.33. “By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.” (translations Sri Swami Satchidandanda)

In all of its simplicity, like any other change, the application can be profoundly difficult. So let’s look at them individually and then how to put it all into practice.

The four keys are friendliness (maitri), compassion (karuna), delight (mudita), and disregard (upekshanam). These are the tools to carry with you, and with vigilance, you spend your day using them as each of the locks may present themselves in barring you from your mental state of peace within.

The four locks are happy (sukha), unhappy (dukha), virtuous (punya) and wicked (apunya). 24/7 we come across people and situations that can be defined as anyone of these locks. The mind will judge people or a situation in one of these four ways and then if we are not vigilant we can let our mind take us down a path of self manifested story, which we use to maintain a state of discontent. It is the usage of the four keys that will be your salvation in the maintenance of inner peace.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Each of the keys is a way of being, which may also define your actions, which will bring forth a feeling of inner peace. It is that simple in concept.

  • Be friendly, feel inner peace.
  • Be compassionate, feel inner peace.
  • Be delighted, feel inner peace.
  • Be indifferent (disregard), feel inner peace

It is in how we use the keys with the locks that is powerfully important!

KEYS LOCKS
Friendliness happy
Compassion unhappy
Delight virtuous
Disregard wicked

 

  • When you come across others who are happy you initiate friendliness from within.
  • When you come across the unhappy activate compassion.
  • When you come across the virtuous find delight for them.
  • When you come across the wicked be indifferent.

In the Heart of Yoga Desikachar translates 1.33 in this way, “In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.”

Ready to make the shift? Like any other change you make it will take 3 steps.

  1. Awareness
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Consistency

First begin to recognize when you are feeling out of sorts, disturbed and have a look at how you may NOT have been aware of the circumstances. Maybe you have come across someone who is happier than you are, and in that comparison you use it to feel less than friendly towards his or her happiness.

  1. Notice you feel “less than” and use it to wake up,
  2. Take the next step to forgive yourself for “forgetting your practice”
  3. Finally get back to a friendly feeling for their happiness.

Or you have a friend who is constantly unhappy, and you find yourself annoyed with them as their unhappiness tires your patience and puts a damper on your happiness.

  1. Recognize that your impatience is a reflection of a comparison that has you shutting down your heart’s inner peace.
  2. Give yourself a hug of forgiveness.
  3. Break open the compassion!

In the case of the virtuous, when you come across those who are doing a good deed and you are upset with them, use it as your wakeup to delighting in their actions. Notice how your inner peace shifts.

Finally you come across those whose actions you feel harmed by and slip into feeling victimized (that feeling can be strong, enticing but never peaceful.)

  1. Awaken by recognizing that you have fallen victim in your way of thinking/feeling
  2. Forgive yourself for being the disturber of your inner peace.
  3. Empower a sense of undisturbed peace again!

From that inner peace your actions will bear amazing healing within you, and bear fruit all around you. It is that powerful!

Using forgiveness will help you abstain from forms of unhappiness that many use in a self-abusiveness nature that can create tsunami waves of disturbance in our mental/emotional inner sanctum. Boy, does that disturb inner peace!

Our path then becomes recognizing the sacredness of inner peace, and our role as guardian of that inner sacristy. The divine within us is our way of upholding, caring for, and empowering the sacred known as inner peace.

Remember this only works when you implement and vigilantly practice! Find the lock you are in and use the key!

Posted in Articles, Inspirations from Class, Spirit, Yoga Philosophy | 2 Comments »

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