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Samskara

Monday, March 7th, 2011

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”

Gail Sheehy

As a teacher I find it a gift to share concepts and philosophy along the yoga path.  Recently I have been inviting students to explore the path of transformation, as they find themselves in Samskara.

Samskara in Sanskrit means acquired subliminal impressions, or habits.  I like to call them ruts.  The vision for me is that we find our way that works for us in a given moment, and then travel it day after day.  In the beginning we do it with some awareness and because it benefits us at that time.  Slowly we start to just do it because we have been.

After a time we stop being aware of the reason we initially choose to do it, eventually the rut gets so deep that we can’t even see that there might be another option, or that situations have changed.  The ruts become valleys over our awareness.  Life becomes dim.

One of the many gifts of yoga is the time we spend reflecting on ourselves.  We gift ourselves with this time to simply see ourselves, free of judgment.  We notice things and begin to see a pattern, Samskara.

It could be a breathing pattern, a way we react in a given situation that might not always be in our best interest, or something that continually causes us suffering.  Moksa! In that moment of awareness we find the crack of light that leads us to Moksa (freedom/liberation).

Liberation begins when we see the Samskara.  In the light of that awareness we start to see that there are other possibilities.  Maybe we breathe a deeper breath.  Or we might try a new direction.  Just as we do in our asanas (poses), we attempt something new and discover the joy of flexibility.  Don and I often refer to this experience of the “yummy of living.”
Take your yoga practice off the mat this month, and stretch yourself in your life patterns.  Go ahead try something new, and see what happens.  Lokah!

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Small Island – Big News

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Photo: Oscar Hildalgo for NY TIMES

When you live on an island that is 2 by 4 miles it can feel as vast as the ocean around you and as tiny as the space between you and your neighbor’s walls.  Word travels fast, and far.  We call it the coconut telegraph.

We at Yoga on the Beach are so excited that the clickity-clack of static on the coconut telegraph found the New York Times, as we are part of a feature this Sunday in the Travel section called 36 Hours in Key West.

Sarah Wildman and Shayla Harris popped in right before the holidays to explore our southern home.  They captured a part of the Key West experience that we truly love. Connecting with the locals, they followed the beat, the passion, the beauty and the spirit of living here in Key West creating a wonderful article and video experience for those who may want to join in the fun.  It was delightful to have them take yoga with us, sit and chat about our little island, and share a great breakfast at Sarabeth’s.

Shortly after the “ladies” departed we got a call from Oscar Hildalgo, a photographer with the NY Times.  He was down to do follow up photos.  A deeply spiritual man, with quite an eye for the still picture and a big heart, Oscar joined us for two classes during our cold snap.  The spirit of YOTB embraced him, as he captured some beautiful pictures in the slideshow that accompanies the article.

Thank you to Sarah, Shayla and Oscar, our experience working, playing and sharing yoga with you was a delicious experience.  Your sense of life passion expressed in your work is apparent and a pleasure to be in the presence of.

If you’d like to share your experience taking classes with us to future YOTB students, take a moment to review our classes in the accompanying YOTB page in the article.  We are so very grateful!

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Posted in Key West Secrets | 2 Comments »

The Art of Yoga

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Recently I was pondering the concept of Art.  My mind jumped with questions.  What is considered Art? Does Yoga fit into that concept?  Why am I thinking of all this?

When I first think of Art I think of paintings, drawings, museums and past Art classes in school.  The beauty of color, form, light and shadow arise in my mind.  Immediately I find myself thinking of music, the vibration and sound of instruments calling out creativity. Then I see dancers moving, expressing, and flowing with the beat and rhythm of that sound.  I hear the clacking of a keyboard as a writer pulls together words that evoke emotions, sensory experiences and stories.

I think of Art as the expression of life that uplifts spirit.  That brings me to yoga.  The beauty that can be felt, expressed and savored during a practice uplifts me each time I step onto my mat.  There is a fragrance to my practice (and it is not my mat), one of sweetness, transformation, nature and spirit.  As a teacher I am double blessed, as I get to be the player and the audience as I watch others in the Art of Yoga, and the transformations that are inspired.

My teacher created a style of yoga that I continue to teach called Alchemia.  Alchemia is the feminine form of alchemy, the art of transformation.  We use breathe to help guide the transformation with yin nature allowing energy to move with the breath.  The artist in me sees it in others as their expression shift from fear, confusion, exhaustion, or uncertainty to one of discovery, expression, joy, and bliss.  Countless times a student walks into our studio, on the beach dragging with them their woes, worries, stress and concerns.  I then bear witness to their recreating their thoughts, feelings and physical expressions as nature, and yoga inspire creation in them.

The Art of Yoga is one of creativity and transformation.  It touches people deeply and uplifts spirit.  For many who feel fractured, disconnected and limited yoga has been an elixir that bathes them with life force, connects them to source and leaves them feeling whole.  Yoga as Art?  I say absolutely, with a touch of magic as spirit leaps forth.

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Yogathon 9/19

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

We are so excited for the upcoming Yogathon at Gillette Stadium on Sept 19.  The event is being held from 9-5 and will be a day of Yoga, Chanting, Kirtan and being with others as we raise money for two great causes.  Children’s Hospital of Boston and Yoga for Single Moms.

Our team is small, mighty AND recruiting!

Would you like to be part of team Yoga on the Beach? You can participate in one of 4 ways.

1.  Join us on the 19th by pledging $250.00 and you get a team tshirt for free.

2.  Donate money to the event.  Click on the link above and donate as one of the team members.  Any donation of $100.00 or more will also get you a team tshirt free.

3.  Buy a tshirt, and all of the profits will go towards the event!

4.  Think of us on Sept 19th as we move and groove through 8 hours of practice in service for others.

TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

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Living in the &

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

As you all know messages come in many forms.  Recently I bought a Green & Black’s Organic chocolate bar.  As I was “finishing it up” I noticed writing on the inside wrapper, and it caught my attention. I thought it was a wonderful message to share with all of you.
“LIVE IN THE &
It’s where green meets black
Where indulging in life exists harmoniously with respecting it.  No compromises.
…It simply made sense to us.  It’s why all of our products have a rich and decadent flavor, creating the signature intensity for which we’ve become known.
What once sounded too good to be true, turns out to be surprisingly simple.  If you’re good to the earth, it can be good back.  This is what we mean when we say “Live in the &”.  Have it both ways. Have the green and the black.  The conscience and the decadence.
& It’s in our name.   It’s in everything we do.”
Many of us have been conditioned to live in the “or”.  We think we have to choose between the polarities in life, or that we have to like something more than the other.  What if you liked it ALL?  Life in the “AND” gives us more variety, richer possibilities, and a vast outlook on life.

I know we all have this awareness AND can take a moment to rekindle it!  Like when you “refresh” a web page and something new shows up on your computer, today refresh your awareness on being in the world in Unity.

Live in the &.  As you move about the day in contact with all the “other” in the world can you do it with sensitivity?  Be aware of the mind that wants you to choose, and see if you can embrace it all!

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