The Urban Yoga Den

…where it's all yoga.

Love: Yourself February 6, 2013

LOVE: Brief (and maybe not so brief) explorations for our February class focus.

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BotanicalFlowersFace(July12)My therapist says that I am courageous for what I admit.  For facing my shame, my anger, my mistakes.  For requesting face-to-face communication with those I’ve hurt.  For writing letters where that is not possible…for them or perhaps for me.  For sharing my story of healing, growth and change.

Yes.  I agree for the most part.  Except here: I don’t feel brave when I admit my mistakes.  I feel terrified that the cycle of hurting others and being hurt by others will never end.  I feel concerned that I might never transform into the being I yearn to be.  And most pronouncedly – I feel ashamed.

Yet.  I am not ashamed to confess that I am working through a history of feeling ashamed.

Thankfully you encourage me.  You – the readers, the writers, the poets, the philosophers.  The yogis, the teachers, the friends, the strangers.  The higher powers, the healers.  You encourage me to love myself no matter what.  To unfailingly accept my humanness; to warmly embrace the messiness; to resolutely resign to the process; to absolutely, wildly and wholly surrender…

…to it all.

And I hope and pray that you will always love yourself this way, too.

“When you feel sad [or angry or terrified or ashamed, I would add  ~ HM], feel sad.  Be in it.  Offer it tenderness and a spirit of curiosity.  The yogi’s project is not to deny all complicated feelings in favor of forced joy, but to sit with everything human that arises and trust it will pass.  As everything always does.”  ~ Rachel Meyer, yoga teacher

Much love from me to you.  Thanks for reading.  OM Shanti.

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How do we recognize and trust our hearts’ desires?  How can we harness the impulses tugging at our hearts, and shape them into a deeper purpose?  Join me on Saturday, February 23rd, 3-5:30pm at Quiet Mind Yoga in Washington, DC for “Follow Your Heart.”  In this Sankalpa Vinyasa practice, Holly facilitates heart-centered Asana, self-inquiry and journeying, so students can tap into the flow of their deepest intentions. Re-ignite your 2013 resolutions – or, discover a completely new direction.

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Love: The Privilege of Teaching Yoga February 5, 2013

LOVE: Brief (and maybe not so brief) explorations for our February class focus.

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THWL2(18June2011)

Photo: Larkin Goff

It is a privilege to teach yoga.

It is a great responsibility to hold space for others.  For those who so courageously walk through the door, enter the room, step onto on the mat.  Who surrender themselves to be guided in this ancient tradition.

It is an outright honor to facilitate the birth of awareness, transformation, growth, intention, purpose, discipline.

I invite people to think or move or breathe or notice; I encourage, I cheer; I sit or stand or walk around; I instruct, I demonstrate, I practice.  Sometimes I pray.

This is my “vocation!”  And although I dedicate myself to mindful class preparation, ongoing trainings, regular practice, community building, yoga blog writing and other areas of this “job,” teaching yoga is not “work” for me.  The students do the real work.

Sometimes the depth of Sankalpa in the room is startling.  Sometimes the commitment to lengthening the breath and slowing down the flow makes me think I live somewhere other than Washington, DC.  Sometimes the determination motivates my own dedication.  Sometimes the closing OMs are so sweet and soulful I get choked up and cry.

My role in all of this?  To simply guide students’ process of discovering what’s already within.  Just as my teachers guide me – and, just as they prepared me to do for others.

At the end of a long, fulfilling day of instructing brand-new beginners, sharing yoga tools for big transitions with a couple who is moving cross-country, and leading an intention-setting workshop for a student’s landmark birthday…I can’t even believe that this is what I get to do with my life.  I am lucky to be in a position to pass on what works for me.  And when someone says it works for him/her, too, I am both pleased and grateful.

I love this.  More than anything else in my entire life, I love practicing, studying and teaching yoga.  Great gratitude to the inspirations, guides, teachers and unknown influences who led me here.

THWL1(18June2011)

Photo: Larkin Goff

Thanks for reading.  OM Shanti.

*  *  *

How do we recognize and trust our hearts’ desires?  How can we harness the impulses tugging at our hearts, and shape them into a deeper purpose?  Join me on Saturday, February 23rd, 3-5:30pm at Quiet Mind Yoga in Washington, DC for “Follow Your Heart.”  In this Sankalpa Vinyasa practice, Holly facilitates heart-centered Asana, self-inquiry and journeying, so students can tap into the flow of their deepest intentions. Re-ignite your 2013 resolutions – or, discover a completely new direction.