intentions

  • Sow Positive Seeds

    sow positive seeds

    At some point, we’ve all wanted to get back at someone - like really get back at someone. Sometimes the hurt is so overwhelmingly powerful and treacherous that dealing seems impossible. We cry. We do yoga. We read self-help books. We go into the mountains. We blast empowering music annoyingly loud. We gorge on chocolate cake. We drink one too many cocktails. We do everything we can think of to subdue the pain. But then...everything settles into stillness. The noise and distractions fade. In this place of silence, that person unexpectedly pops into your head like a jack-in-the-box, haunting you and laughing at you. And here begins the vindictive fantasies. Scenarios whirl around in your head of how you could right their wrong. Because that person deserves it, right? It only makes sense that they should get a sampling of your suffering, right?

    I feel ya. It's messed up. People are messed up. But just because you are on the receiving end of someone’s messiness, doesn’t give you any right to play with karma. You are not the Karma Comptroller. Unfortunately, you can only receive what the universe handed to you, learn a lesson or two, and ride it out. Planning and executing payback will probably not bring you the pleasure that you’re envisioning anyways.

    Why not?

    Because karma isn’t so straightforward. It’s pretty sneaky. Even if you do go bat sh-t crazy and play out one of your fantasies and even if you royally hurt that person, they still might not receive their lesson. They might be hurt (or just think you're crazy), but it won’t keep them from repeating their messed up behavioral patterns. So, your efforts to teach that person a lesson will undoubtedly be futile. Nice try, though.

    Plus, putting that person aside (because they probably don’t deserve your energy), you are doing your self a HUGE disservice by trying to get back at anyone. 1) You’re wasting your energy and 2) You're polluting the world with more negative energy. Instead of stopping the negative karmic cycle, you are fueling it, now infected by the negative energy of this person. Don’t let them exert that power over you. Don’t let their messiness poison you. And whatever you do, don’t let it spread.

    What you put out in this world matters, even if it’s not always readily apparent. You have a choice: Sow positive seeds or sow negative seeds. Know that in some shape or form, what goes around comes around. It might seem like the universe doesn’t always play fair. It might seem like this person got off scot-free. My advice: Don't worry about it. They will get theirs without you stooping low, sowing negative seeds, and taking karma into your own hands.

    To transform your energy from positive to negative and shed some of that heaviness and resentment you’re clinging to, practice Jeanne Heileman’s online yoga video: Anahata: Finding the Lightness of the Heart. In this yoga video, you will be guided through a specific pranayama called Viloma that moves the breath against the grain of what is comfortable to create expansion and strength in the lungs and heart. Jeanne will then guide you on an online yoga journey deep within the heart, using Tantric techniques she has learned from her master teacher, that can help you find a beauty and deep love that dwells at the darkest cave of the heart. This online yoga class can be a life-changer if practiced for 30 days in a row. It's highly recommended.

    Jeanne Heileman yoga online

    Keep up the positive vibes, yogis. Keep sowing those positive seeds...even when you don't feel like it.

  • Seeds of Intent: Plague the World with Joy

    “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ~ Swami Satchidananda

    forearm balance Practicing Joy via www.deeeezzy.tumblr.com

    Yeah. Why not?

    We get so caught up in how we think things should roll, both in our practices and lives. We survey the external and think about ways we can tweak this or that, struggling to control the uncontrollable. Maybe we attach to grandiose ideas of changing the world or aspects of it. Maybe it’s not that big. Maybe we form attachments to ideas of how certain people or things in our worlds - be they friends, asanas, lovers, business endeavors, family members, teachers, co-workers - should be. We all do this. It's natural.

    But guess what? You cannot expect to change ANYTHING outside of you. In fact, the more hung up you get on changing and controlling what’s out there – beyond you - the more lost, confused, and stuck you feel. You become a slave to expectation.

    Peace isn't having everything rolling as you think it should. Peace, instead, is detaching your self from these fantasies of how things, people, and circumstances should be. Peace is knowing that the only freedom you’ll ever have in life is your ability to control your reactions and maintain your cool in the in the midst of madness and messiness. The other stuff going on around you isn’t necessarily yours to change. All you have control over is your experience. So, why not make it serene? Why not color it with joy? Why not die happily, laughing?

    I think it’s because we take things too seriously, including ourselves. I get it. It's easy to do. And sure, there is a place and time for seriousness. Sometimes, you gotta put your game face on. Yet, too often, we are all walking around with our game faces on, wrapped up in tasks, lists, distractions, chatter, expectations, fantasies, etc. I say we all walk around with our smiley faces on and move through this world without all the heaviness. I say we wrap our worlds in joy, laughter, peace, and freedom. Because...why not?

    To tap into your inner joy, practice a vigorous online yoga class: Causing Breakthroughs in Your Life Through Your Asana Practice. Instructor Jen Pastiloff will lead your through meditations to release unhelpful thoughts and manifest your life's goals. Explore arm balances and inversions and enjoy singing by Samadhi Bishop. (90 mins.)

    Jen Pastiloff yoga online

    And for a dose of laughter - the best drug - join Gigi Yogini for an online yoga class weaving together meditation, pranayama, and Kundalini yoga: Throat Chakra Opener. Find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself in this practice. You'll play with mantra and affirmative singing, smile, and, if all goes to plan, crack up. (12 mins.)

    Gigi Yogini yoga online

    Sending joyous vibes to you all!

    Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

  • Seeds of Intent: Challenge Your Perceived Limits

    Challenge everything. Do anything.

    challenging yoga poses

    Truth is, most (if not ALL) limits you think you are up against are illusions. Finding release from the bonds of illusion is what yoga is all about. The practice allows you to work through and break down mental habits, thoughts, and behaviors that are not serving you and your higher purpose.

    To begin unveiling your unlimited potential, you gotta throw yourself into the fire. You can’t just sit around and expect great things to unfold. You have to do something. Conquering your perceived limits in the practice and beyond means you must keep challenging yourself in mind, body, and spirit for without challenge, there is no change.

    This month, we’re heading a 30-day yoga challenge to get you conquering your limits on the mat. Interestingly enough, the obstacles that are holding you back on the mat are oftentimes the same obstacles holding you back out there in the “real world.”

    Take a second to think about it:

    What limits are you creating? What destructive thought patterns are getting in your way? How will you get them out of your way?

    First step, as always, is cultivating heightened awareness of your mental ways. Yoga is good for that. Changing those ways isn’t clear-cut. It takes work. It requires you endlessly challenge your perceptions, thoughts, and actions. The path to limitless possibility and liberation is uniquely yours, yet totally within your power.

    Embrace challenge to realize greater possibilities.

    For the details on this month’s 30-day online yoga challenge, click HERE.

  • Seeds of Intent: Live Creatively

    What exactly does it mean to live creatively? 

    levetation

    Does it mean you take it into the woods Thoreau-style? Does it mean you take your self and practice to an ashram? Do you go off the grid? Do you quit your job to put your all into a business idea? Do you write a book? Do you travel? What do you do?

    Well, it could mean one of those things or a combo of those things or something entirely different. The thing is, you only know what it means for you to live creatively. I can't quite tell you what it means. No one can.

    To find that creative place, you gotta be brave and follow your gut. In yoga, we say that you gotta follow your intuition.

    But it could be that you don't really have a gut response going on at the moment. It could be that your intuitive body needs some fine-tuning - a little TLC if you will. If you haven't built up this intuitive body, journeying to that creative place won't flow so naturally. In fact, it won't really flow at all. That's where yoga comes in.

    To build intuition and fine-tune your internal compass, practice this creative, expansive Vinyasa flow with Ashley Turner to stretch your awareness and interior spaces to realize your fullest potential. In this online yoga class, focus on widening the physical and pranic body in every direction to take up more space and strengthen your aura. Also, explore the mantra "I AMPLIFY IN STILLNESS." (64 mins.)

    vinyasa yoga online

    Living creatively isn't cake wake. Only hard work will take you into the wilderness of your intuition. Once you get there, however, you won't be disappointed.

  • Don’t Just Do Yoga; Feel Yoga

    meditation

    When I first started practicing yoga, it was all about doing yoga. I was at yoga to get sh*t done. I approached the mat like I approached the starting blocks of a sprint. I was an all business, poker faced, tough-nut-to-crack yoga newbie. Once the OMMMMMs went off, I was ready to beast through that stream of asana and breath and, if all went well, cross the finish line with strength and some grace. At this stage in my journey, I was mostly doing yoga. I wasn’t really feeling it.

    I was sprinting through the practice, missing out on the scenery of the flow. I robotically did the asana, inhaled and exhaled, and chanted foreign vibrations when commanded, but I didn’t really feel any of it and if I did, I wasn't very aware of what I was feeling. I didn’t feel the postures, the breath pulsating through my entire being facilitating the physical openings and closings, and the powerful inputs and outputs generated by creating and receiving high vibrations. It all went over my head…instead of through my heart.

    This was okay. The more visceral, abstract elements of yoga aren’t always the initial appeal for people. At least they weren't for me.

    I think many of us come to the practice to do asana - the physical element - and soak up the benefits. We’ve heard only good things about the practice from strangers, family, friends, etc. We’ve witnessed various yogis flipping their bodies upside down and twisting into cringe-worthy shapes, displaying strong, sculpted physical bodies. Maybe we’ve noticed that our yoga-practicing acquaintances have changed, acquiring a fresh, seemingly mysterious sense of calm in lieu of their former neurotic, baggage-heavy selves. And that gets us thinking: Hey, what’s up with this yoga thing? After ruminating on it, we finally say: I’m gonna do yoga.

    And we do...

    At first, it is about the doing, but eventually the switch is ignited and a flame is lit. Eventually, you feel it. You feel that deep sense of integration and fluidity – that union with all. You feel that heightened sense of awareness – that lifted state of consciousness. You feel elevated. You feel yoga.

    Looking back at my yoga beginnings, my practice really was a metaphor for my life. What was going on mat-side, was also going on beyond the mat. I was mostly just doing life, running through the motions like I was racing through a sprint. All the while, I was missing out on the scenery. While I was highly emotional (we all are), I was completely out of touch with my feelings. I had no idea how much I was feeling. And if I was feeling something, I had no idea how to accurately describe or even label it. I know that yoga, among other outlets, cracked open my tough shell. Yoga opened me up to feeling on the mat, which opened me up to feeling in my life.

    If you’re at the doing stage of yoga, keep doing. If you keep up with the doing, the yoga will start doing work on you. If you keep doing yoga, the feeling part will inevitably surface. You don't really have to wait though. You already have it in you to feel yoga - to feel the effects of the postures, to feel the breath simultaneously expanding and grounding you, to feel the vibrations exciting your soul. You have it in you to feel it, if you can just be receptive to the feeling of it. If not today, yoga will eventually crack open your shell. It's only a matter of time.

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