How do we take our yoga practice off our to-do schedule and into our hearts? Living consciously – which is the fancy way of saying be happy is what we all want. My evolution with yoga is a combination of hard work, the very best kind of desperation, and a longing for the divine. We'll go over three of the topics covered in the yoga sutras to begin to build a foundation to live our yoga and then I'll give you some of my simple real world tips for yogic living.
Roni's Opening to Class:
Feel your own existence and remember that sensation when you saw an amazing magic trick. Embody that sense of wonder as you think about your life. Life is a confusing, emotional, breathtaking kaleidoscope of moments. Right now you are in this moment. You can't be anywhere else so be fully here, on your
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We Pretend We Don’t Know What’s Wrong
Be honest … we usually know exactly what we have done or are doing to create the results we are experiencing. We know what we could change, but we don't want to make the simple straightforward adjustments that are necessary. Often, if we are going to suffer through the process of change, we want it to be in grand style!
- I'm detoxing for a week
- I'm going to read all the books
- I'm going to throw money at it
- A vacation will solve this!
Inevitably we find ourselves back on the couch with our familiar results, scratching our heads and wondering why this is happening to us while rolling our eyes at the people we think never struggle with our affliction.
I know three things for sure about human beings –, we are hilarious, we are pure
I have come to firmly believe that there are certain universal laws. These laws do not exist to conflict with religion, but rather to work with it as a vessel for God to make himself undeniably visible in our lives. These laws are the ways that we can wrangle the wild animal of free will and not be victims of a chaotic world but instead, wielders of life. This universe functions in certain predictable yet mystical ways. I've attempted to break these down into 5 main universal laws, each independent and yet relying completely on the others. People who understand these laws can live fulfilling and empowering lives, those who don't will continue to suffer in a never ending fight with themselves and the world they believe they live in.Law #1 What you think regularly becomes your belief system
Dr. Deepak Chopra has spoken about asking many of his patients why they wanted to get better. They would say things like I want to be able to get back to my job, I want to take care of my family, I want to see the world and he would ask why they wanted those things. And if you keep asking "why" and follow the line of answers down to the core, the final answer is usually the same … because I want to be happy. Everything we do and don't do is an attempt at happiness. Buddha was born in India 2,500 years ago and he dedicated his life to the study of happiness and the cessation of suffering. Buddha's four noble truths are often described as being similar to a physician’s diagnosis. He tells us what the disease is, what causes it, and that there is a cure. The final truth refers to "The
YES. I say YES to everything you have in store for me. YES to every stumble and every tear. YES to every hug and every kiss. YES to the things I will lose and YES to all that I will gain. YES to wrinkles I will acquire and YES to what the mirror tells me. YES to my life just as it is, and YES to it changing in ways I never saw coming. YES to the new people I will meet, and YES to those I may lose. YES to the fear, YES to the pain, YES to frozen moments and YES to momentum. YES to work and YES to rest. YES to unexpected bills and YES to abundance. YES to love.
So if you still don't understand know this; I say YES to everything that is about to happen to me and everything that will not. Before it ever happens I bring a YES to my life. There is nothing you can throw at me that
"Peace comes from being aligned with the present moment. Wherever you are, you feel that you are home - because you are home." - Eckhart Tolle
This is a room filled with imperfections, with black sheeps and wanna-be's. We have let people down, gotten lost, said the wrong thing, slept when we should have worked, broken something valuable and tripped in public. We are a mess. We come right now to our mats with all of our failures and bruises and even shame. Because this yoga mat that I am sitting on now is the most absorbent thing on the planet. It soaks up all the fear, the mistakes, the stories, the lies, the despair. It absorbs it all. On this rectangle I am supposed to be a mess, in this room of mis-fits I fit in. Perfect is boring, it’s predictable, not a
The topic today can be boiled down to three words, the idea of which will change your life if you let it. Those three words are "Sounds have Power." Sounds have an incredible power over us. What is sound? It is a form of energy as sound vibrations are invisible yet powerful. The human ear can hear roughly 16 to 40,000 vibrations per second. Of all of those millions of possible combinations of vibrations there is a specific combination that is very dear to you personally. Your name, this particular combination of syllables is the most powerful sound in your life. We inherently know the power of sounds to alter us. How do you feel when you hear certain sounds like classical music or heavy machinery, laughing or screaming? When we play music we love loudly it makes us happy, but when someone
Why do we do what we do? Why do we behave the way we behave? Some physiologists have identified 6 main human needs. People find ways to meet these needs in positive, negative, or neutral ways, but every person finds a way to meet them in some way. We have some genetic propensities, but we all learned different ways of meeting our needs as we grew up. With the raw absorbent eyes of a child, we soaked up the different techniques available to use to feel the way we desire to feel. We all had different life experiences that have added up to the ways that we each meet our basic needs, but you have some go-to responses, some highly predictable ways of interacting with difficulty or success. I was fascinated by the ways we can positively and negatively meet our needs. Because the way we react
Below are three Enemies of Gratitude, meaning that when these things exist in our minds or hearts then gratitude cannot. The environment that these emotions create cannot sustain the life of anything that has the ability to propel us closer to the people we want to be. Here are three of the enemies of gratitude that Roni discussed in class.JealousyThis is one of the most unintelligent emotions human beings have. If you want something, you have to greet it everywhere you see it. If you want success, you have to develop a friendly relationship with success. Everywhere you see it you must greet it, be excited for it, whether it be a competitor or a person who hasn't been kind to you, or someone you feel hasn't worked hard enough for it … it doesn't matter. If you want a relationship,
I've been thinking about the recession and its effect on our concept of abundance. I spend a lot of time talking about the importance of our spiritual and emotional life, which is the foundation of the balance and joy we are all seeking. But here's the thing, most people spend 8 hours or more every day at work. What we do for a living, or better put, how we do what we do for a living is also fundamental for that joy. You may expect me to preach selling all of your belongings and becoming a monk or missionary somewhere. And some people are called to do just that, but many are also called to financial abundance. What I'm saying is that it is okay to desire these things, to dream big in EVERY area of your life. We talk about believing in abundance, but if we really believe it then that means
I spent the past 4 days immersed in the Tony Robbins conference. Tony is a motivational speaker, but even more so he has spent his life studying neuro-associative conditioning. This is basically learning to use the way your brain works to create triggers and reactions that will cause you to think and feel the way you want to think and feel in any given situation. He spent a lot of time talking about the foundational importance of physiology, or the way we use our bodies. He taught in an intellectual way about what you already know from your life's experience: If you don't feel good physically, you won't perform at your best. This doesn't just mean having an injury or being tired or even sick, but even more critical is how we choose to sit, stand, walk, or any of the tiny ways we
You are cordially invited to loosen up. You're invited to stop thinking that everything revolves around you. You are welcome to not take everything personally. Please join me for this one and only chance to go with the flow. You're invited to not need everyone to like you, and to speak with voice and guts that God gave you. Join us for a wild and racuous experience of imperfection. You're invited to realize that no one else is looking at that perfect curve you call a roll...but we are checking you out. Because you're invited to be seduced by your own shape and to wink back at your wrinkles. The attire asks that you wear your own skin fully, no accessories needed. No need to bring a dish, all that you could ever desire will be provided. But please do bring a deep breath and
I have just returned from a month long teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Why at 72 years of age would I put myself through such an intense and physically exhausting experience? Well the question really is “How could I not?”I came to the yoga mat at 70. As I learned to connect my mind, body and spirit a miracle occurred. The bulimia that had been my constant companion for 55 years, the eating disorder that had seen me hospitalized 3 times in my life, that ruined my teeth and my self esteem disappeared!! This shameful addiction ruled me no more…I was free. I learned to love my body and brought myself to the yoga mat over and over to continue to breathe life into my spirit.Now as I am in my 72nd year I am driven to share the
Focusing on one task at a time allows us to be present. Doing more than one thing at a time divides our attention. When we read and eat at the same time, for example, part of our mind is on what we are reading and part on what we are eating;we are not getting the most from either activity. Similarly, when we practice yoga and our focus travels from our mat to our work, then to dinner, then to a conversation we had last week, then to a phone call we are planning,etc., etc., we certainly are not getting the most out of our yoga practice, nor are we giving adequate attention to the other things we are thinking of. While many people focus on the physical aspects of yoga, the psychological aspects run even deeper and offer a richness and benefit that can be even more rewarding than bodily
I had the chance to talk to a Buddhist Monk about some things that had been bothering me lately. He listened patiently for five minutes of rambling and finally said "You are suffering because you want something to be different than it is...that's all." Now you feel combative when you argue with a monk but I found myself thinking "Yeah but it would be crazy to want something sad or unfair to happen". He only repeated back to me "You are suffering because you want something to be different than it is". As I thought more about this, or more accurately, as I wrestled with idea I was reminded that this suffering he spoke of always boils down to the meanings I am placing on things. Whether or not something is good or bad has everything to do with my definition of good or bad, that situations
Yoga instructors, and other teachers ‘on the path’ are, dare I suggest, attached to the ever-popular concept of ‘mindfulness,’ or, ‘mindful awareness.’ We often rely on the assumption that students will know what we mean when we toss around these words, and be able to access this state on command. The truth is, the Buddha was advocating for mindful awareness, long before Eckhart Tolle or your favorite yoga instructor, though it is only in recent years that the mindful awareness fad is beginning to show up in unlikely places, like corporate workplace wellness programs, for example. If you ask me, it’s never too late for the mindful awareness phenomenon to work it’s way into the busy, often chaotic lives of modern, mainstream America, and it is certainly a welcome option
When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. ~Author UnknownWhen the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath. ~Svatmarama, Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God. ~KrishnamacharyaA healthy mind has an easy breath. ~Author UnknownIf you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance. ~Andrea BoydstonBreathing is the greatest pleasure in life. ~Giovanni PapiniSmile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thich Nhat HanhBreath is Spirit. The act of breathing is Living. ~Author
Quotes by Wayne Dyer from Roni's Class:A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe. We don't attract what we want, we attract what we are. What we all are is the beliefs we have about ourselves, and what we are capable of.Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice. Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul.
Conflict cannot survive without your participation. Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life. Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also
Today's class is called "It's not All About Me!" and I wanted to talk about an idea that changes my life when I remember it. That is that there are as many realities as there are people on the planet. We each live in our own special world with our own special definitions and our own ten commandments of what is important and what isn't. We make everything about ourselves, not always because we are egoic, but because we believe that everyone else is living in the same reality. It isn't necessarily selfish, its just an uninformed, unconscious way of living. Here's the truth: no one cares about you, they care about themselves. Harsh but true. Every conversation you have you're thinking that you are teaching someone something and they're just wondering how what your saying applies them. So
"At some point, you gotta let go and sit still and allow contentment to come to you. Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well – that would be the end of the universe. But....try dropping it. Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens. The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid-flight, after all. The trees do not wither and die, the rivers do not run red with blood. Life continues to go on. Why are you so sure that your micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential? Why don’t you let it be?"- Elizabeth GilbertSometimes we have to
I have come to understand more and more that beauty is an experience that we have not a sight we see. Below are the quotes used during Roni's classes on the idea of Beauty:
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” - Elisabeth Kubler“Pretty is something you're born with. But beautiful, that's an equal opportunity adjective.” - Unknown"No object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly.” - Oscar Wilde“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart” - Helen Keller“I pull you from your tower, take away your pain. Show you all the beauty you possess,
"Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation." "I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens. I've been knocking from the inside." "In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves." "You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?" "What you seek is seeking you." "When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." "If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" "Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form." "The wound is the place where the Light enters you." "Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." "My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up
Eckhart Tolle wrote “Evolve or Die”. During a trying time in my life I had those words hanging in my room. That sentence resonated with me on every level. I literally felt that things either had to change or things were going to end. The other quote that hung on my wall said “The recognition of insanity is the beginning of sanity”. To me this meant that I didn’t have to try to tackle my whole life and everything about myself I wanted to be better. At that moment all I was able to do was call the crazy crazy every time it popped up. Over and over in my mind I met my own thoughts and said “you’re not true”. We have all had that moment, at the end of a job or a relationship where we sat there and thought “Well I can’t keep feeling like this, something has to
Tricia Schuster is a Bella Prana student and the creator of the Zirit Lifestyle! What is zirit? In short it is the combination of "Zany" and "Spirit", two things we must have at all times to foster true joy. She has now created a blog on www.zirit.com where you can read more about the zirit philosophy, and read more about her inspiring and fun way of looking at life. To the right you will see Tricia front and center with other Bella Prana students who turned a night in Ybor into a zirit moment!
Below is her most recent blog post:
"I am not the abnoxious-yoga-pusher even though I know you are all saying to yourself “if I have to hear about Tricia’s yoga classes one more time I think I might vomit”..and I am not my compulsion of plucking stray hairs..I am not my rollerblading
I became a Christian at the age of 15, a transformation that you never would have expected had you known me as a child. I remember standing in religion class with my little finger in the air telling the Priest that people just needed to something to believe but that didn’t make it true. And then the shift…I won’t go into the details, mostly because I don’t understand them myself. But on December 31st 1993 something changed and all the sudden the idea of a God made all the sense in the world. I remember saying to him “I’m gunna give this thing a shot, but if you don’t show up, then neither will I.” It’s 15 years later and I can tell you, he showed up. The problem with my search was that I was looking for answers, to understand God, to be able to answer questions clearly