What Is In Your Heart?
What calls to you?
What do you listen to? Respond to? Aspire to?
What is in your heart?
Maybe it’s whispering, maybe it’s loud and clear.
Those of you who have practiced with me know that “yoga” is way less about the perfect pose, and entirely more about finding your own “somewhere in the middle,” where your breath can facilitate your body and mind where they are today. We practice these poses, which to the outside eye, are little more than athletic accomplishments with cheesy themes splashed on Instagram. But on the inside of a yoga studio, we are practicing patterns of movement, becoming increasingly aware of our defaults, and empowering ourselves to allow time for observation, so that we may make more informed decisions about our behaviors… we are facilitating our own ability to roll with the punches of life… or get off the train, and create a new mode of transportation.
With the solstice – a significant time of year in the astrological and Vedic calendars – we look to reflect on the previous year, and set new intentions for the year to come. It is the darkest night of the year… you might say its magical. Sweet, subtle, and very quiet. A perfect time to listen. A perfect time to set a new goal, intention, or a wanted benchmark, and then create proactive measures – boundaries, commitments, support – around it. We listen deeply to what our hearts – the central “voice” of the body in terms of philosophy and the nervous system – are saying to us. And then we agree to act in a way that honors the message of our hearts.
As I plan my own intentions for the new year, I feel compelled to go outside of my own box. (Which I commonly ask you all to do.) As many of you know, the first dozen years of my professional career were spent as a performer, a singer. Yoga was how I survived my professional career. I still use my voice as a voice-over artist, but I miss participating in music in a public setting. I miss the incredible internal vibration created by singing, and I miss the community that arrives around a public performance.
I believe it is the utmost responsibility of a teacher in any discipline to lead by example. So I guess that means I’d better get out of the “I teach asana” box, and take a strong, if unknowing, step onto the “I teach asana, and I do this performance art thing where we move and breathe and sing as a kind of group interactive experience,” box.
I hope you’ll join me for the annual solstice class on Thursday Dec. 21st 2017 (with the other YOGA Garden teachers!) and participate in a very special music and movement class on Monday, January 1st, 2018. We’ll explore some slow floor stretches to open up the body and breath, followed by a gentle yoga class, and ending with some group vocalization: Om’s, holding tones, simple harmony, and simple melody. Both will be hosted at YOGA Garden Minneapolis – 1229 Tyler St. NE.