Tag Archives: balance

Super Stretchy Spinal Flow

It’s been a lovely, crazy, fulfilling, and this-life altering summer. This poor little blog has been neglected and I can’t promise that will change drastically with the months to come. I thought that in penance I should offer you a little gift so I hopped on my mac today and started to move. No plans but this came out so I hope you enjoy…

30 minutes of juicy, slow, stretchy spinal flow.
Shout Out to your upper back- the container for the other side of your heart.

(full disclaimer, my big fur-baby Olive decided she needed to be part of the show so there are some “hair ball in the throat” sounds and a few guest appearances of a furry black mug. Just go with it 😉  Also my breathing is much more exaggerated than it usually would be but sound isn’t the greatest in this room so I wanted you to be able to hear the rhythm as much as possible. Typically it’s strong but more subtle and in/out primarily through the nose )

For those of you in the Raleigh-Durham area i’m directing a new and amazing studio in Brier Creek under the name BURN Athletic. We’ll offer Yoga, Circuit Training, Cycling and BURNBlends (fusion/cross-modality classes). We’ll also have a few the Ballet Burn classes on our schedule. I really can’t express how grateful I am for this opportunity to gather an amazing community of instructors and students together in one space. I’ve come to realize even more through this journey that there is more than enough for everyone…and i’ve loved every minute, continuing to support the existing yoga and fitness community while integrating our vision into the mix. Wild Crazy Beautiful ride indeed!

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Sometimes it takes setting yourself free to truly come HOME

This is an especially emotional post tonight folks.

You know those moments where the universe opens up and says “so umm, I see you’ve been ignoring my subtle hints so…new approach. I will now be showering you with hints, cues, clues, and nudges…all in one moment! I’ll make you understand!” ? Well today was one of those days. They seem to be coming faster and faster this time of year. *sigh*

So back story: Continue reading

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Put some *Glitter* on it!

If that title didn’t make you smile then imagine it in pink sparkly letters dancing across the screen and there ya’ go…

So….shoot me….it’s been a long time. LIKE OVER A MONTH since these fingers have done the walkin’ and this blog has done any talkin’.

¡Aycaramba!

Any-hoo i’m back and ready to sparkle.

The holidays… ‘Nuff said right? Well not really. Continue reading

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Personal follow up…why you NEED a teacher in your life

I often ask my students in class to “lay it all out on the mat.” Whatever is spinning round the physical or energetic body, bring it, let it slide off the skin, flow IN it, and then work towards the release. Pretty good advice eh? *pat on the back*

In all seriousness though i’ve been bringing up more and more of this lately, and yesterday I realized why. Shoooo here we go.

CONFESSION

i’m am neither perfect, nor perfectly balanced. I get overly exuberant, ignore my own physical and energetic bodies requests and needs, and take life a little too gung-ho at times. So when I walked in to assist MY teacher yesterday the look on her face and the gentle pat on the hand said it all. “News flash Jennifer, you’re taking it too fast, and to far… AGAIN. Reign it in sister.” Wisdom’s little smack in the face, or as my teacher so sweetly called it a “love tap.”

Sometimes it takes that love tap to realize when things are getting a little too imbalanced. To much Sthira not enough Sukha…exuberance verging on the edge of himsa. Breathe sister, come back to your 8 limbs, find your damn center.

II:46 STHIRA-SUKHAM ASANAM

In this sutra, Patanjali explains that every yoga posture needs to be balanced with qualities of Sthira (steady, stable, steadfast) and qualities of Sukham(ease, delight, joy).

It is by practicing both of these extremes, between effort and ease that we find balance in the middle. By performing our yoga postures with qualities of Sthira and Sukha, we find ourselves ‘vibrating’ in the center, in our heart!  Patanjali says that the combination of Sthira and Sukham creates a state of equilibrium (satva) that is without agitation (rajas) or inertia (tamas).
Think of Tadasana (Mountain Pose). While there is a grounding and strong presence in this posture there is also a sense of lightness and ease that allows us to feel 10 feet tall and open to the possibility of the breath. This is the balance. There are some yogis that practice this pose only for their entire lives in order to reach that inexplicable place of light and dark, soft and steady that opens the body-mind connection to the divine. Take that and chew on it.

And yes…I’m not exactly in a place of that balance. But I didn’t really face it until the mirror was placed in front of me. Thanks Teach.

So today I started with a grounding practice, slow movement, meditation and deep breath work to sooth the Autonomic Nervous system. Tomorrow we’ll see what  I need. Heck tonight, in an hour, in 5 breaths i’ll re-evaluate. Constantly cultivating balance, especially when I hate the idea of slowing down.

Namaste Ya’ll

Jennifer

LIke this one? Check these out:

Never Trust a teacher without a teacher

Happiness is the mode of travel not the destination

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Happiness is the mode of travel NOT the destination

We’ve all had those moments of bliss, of joy. Tingles on the skin, a smile on the heart, a lightness of mind and matter. Yes, we’ve ALL had them, whether we remember them or not. It’s in these beautiful moments that we reach a hand to the divine residing within ourSELVES and let go. It’s BEE-YOU-TEA-FULL yes?

So why are these moments fleeting? Why do they come and go? Why can’t life all be snips and snails and puppy dog tails?

WHY WHY WHY WHOSAWHATSIT?!

blissAh my friends, the reality is that it CAN be. That source of joy isn’t something we find outside of our own skin. It is a well that resides deep within. Sure our friends, families, a really wonderful yoga class…they can all tap in to that well, but the well is still OURS. Nothing makes us happy, it isn’t something to aspire to. It is a way of moving through life. Joy is the mode of travel, not the destination ’cause honey pie, ain’t nothin’ certain about that destination except that it ends and renews. Circle of life darlin’.

The ancient yogis understood this, at least from a spiritual standpoint. They knew that residing in the world, indulging in worldly goods, feeding our egos with relationships and success, while all JUST FINE and DANDY weren’t the actual “tickets” so to speak to living a full life. Money, possessions, relationships they aren’t what make us happy and fulfilled, they are what fill our journey to uncover our own inner light by giving us perspective. Eventually we all complete this life, we all have the same destination. Why not let the journey be the focus?

(side note: you don’t need to go live in the untamed forest alone to see bliss as the old yogis did in their search of samadhi. Just because joy doesn’t reside outside of yourselves doesn’t mean there isn’t an undeniable connection the world around us, a UNION, that is bound to our dharma…another topic another day.)

So next time, dear ones, that you are on your mat or in the world and that little voice pops up in your mind, your joints, your muscles, your heart that says “oh he/ she/ it/ this, that makes me soooo happy! I have to get/ do/ experience more of this!” SHIFT your perspective and realize that if you open up and LET GO, you will find that state is inside already. Take the adult “sensibility” out of the picture and apply the innocence and vulnerability of true youth to every moment. You’ll start to see the beauty, bliss, and sheer amazement of every second as it connects back to your inner SELF. Aparigraha – Neutralizing the desire to acquire and hoard wealth- applies here. On the flip side in the niyama category is Santosa, modesty and the feeling of being content with what we have. To be at peace within and content with one’s lifestyle finding contentment even while experiencing life’s difficulties for life becomes a process of growth in which life opens up and the floodgates open. If you realize the wealth is inside there is no need to seek it elsewhere, contentment and joy are yours.  No need to seek, just SEE.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha

Jennifer

Other topics of interest:

– a Yogi’s Guide to Letting Go.

– “Don’t Make Me Wash Your Mouth Out!”

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Never trust a teacher without a teacher.

My teacher has said many things that have influenced my path on this crazy path to surrender. One that truly sticks with me is this statement “never trust a teacher without a teacher.” Essentially we are all students of life. We are all students of experience. We are all learning (whether we know it or not) from the forces around us. It is the human condition. When a “teacher” denies this and goes rogue…proclaiming themselves a guru outright or under the radar…they are disconnecting themselves from the essence of yoga–> union. After all teachers are simply students brave enough to give back a little of their experience. We teachers aren’t gods, we are PEOPLE and we go through just as much hoopla and shenanigans as our students. The difference is we have learned, or are in the process of learning, how to wrap the $h1t in grace and compassion rather than judgement and shame. We can giggle and let go of that which is truly secondary and breathe in to the beauty of life, and when we start to furrow the brow in an all too serious attempt at reaching “the goal” we eventually soften and smile, realizing that we have no control anyway so why stress?! To get clarity we should probably take our stretchy butts back to the drawing board, commune with our yoga community and get that perspective from someone maybe a little further on the journey.

Maybe I should change the title to “Never trust a teacher that takes themselves too seriously.”

That being said, I should probably bring a little balance into the equation…being a yogi and all.

I’m not saying that yoga is all giggles and smiles and that any yogi, teacher or otherwise, that experiences turmoil in life is not trustworthy. If that is what you got from the last paragraph I guess I’ve got some s’plainin’ to do :-0

Here is the thang. Life is full of bumps. Some of them are gravel in the road and some of them are the mountain. Yoga teaches us that pain is inevitable. We all experience it (mental, physical, emotional)…what is optional is suffering. Coming to the mat brings us back to the essence as we ground ourselves down and lift our hearts high. Recognizing, observing the obstacle and breathing space around it. All yogis will eventually do this and teachers will go to their teachers to deepen that awareness on the mat and off. Teachers help us to connect with our light and see the barriers to balance. So if a teacher doesn’t have a teacher then they have no one to guide them yogically through the hard times, no one to bring their minds and hearts back to the union and out of the suffering of seperation. These folks inevitably dump their junk enegetically and otherwise on their students, often without even knowing it. It’s pretty hard to hold space for a group of practitioners if you don’t have your own two feet on the floor. Back to point A. Never trust a teacher without a teacher.

In the end it’s all about finding balance. The balance of work to ease on the mat (sukha and sthira) and life. Experiencing the joy along with the pain. The duality. Not seperate but side by side.

Breathe in, Breathe out ya’ll

Jennifer

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