Yoga Dance

Dance With Yoga Asana. I choreographed and performed this a couple of days ago. It was a lot of fun and very healing. Feeling that creative energy flowing. Excited to put on a show! I hope to write and dance more soon. ❤

Tiff

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Inspired: Bryan Kest Yoga Workshop

Last night I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting and studying with a well known Yoga teacher, Bryan Kest. It was the first time I had ever met or studied with Bryan, and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

bryankesttiffandjessica
Me, Bryan Kest, and Jessica McCarrick

The room was crowded, full of yogis.  The workshop began with a lecture, or a talk rather. Bryan is funny, charismatic, and a bit of a rebel.. His words are what I will remember long after these sore arms of mine recover.

Bryan shared the story of how and why Asana practice began. He talked about the true meaning and purpose of yoga.“To still the fluctuations of the mind.”  He talked about the ultimate goal of yoga, enlightenment, Samadhi. Not pose perfection.”You are never going to heal relationships with loose hamstrings. We have to try to develop the benevolent qualities of our mind. Through awareness we can start eradicating the shit that is hurting us.”

Something in him, I connected to on a deep level. Perhaps it was his honesty. He was real. He talked about his angry and wild past (which I can totally relate to).  He openly shared that he smokes pot, and he said the “F” word, more than once. He did not come across as a phoney know it all yoga purist. He came across as someone just like me, a person, a parent, who came to yoga to heal.  He talked with passion about the state of our world, and how we are all contributing, creating this world, this chaos. He also stressed that it is up to each of us to change. We have to be the change… or nothing will change. 

He also talked about how even within the yoga community, there are fights, judgments, egos, teacher bashing, blacklisting.. Each style claiming they do it correctly and other practices, styles, and teachers are wrong… I have experienced this first hand, and it is really toxic. The snobbery that can be found within the yoga community is intense. Yoga is not about designer yoga pants and a perfect body. It isn’t about memorizing the sanskrit words for poses. It isn’t even about the ability to perform a difficult pose. It is about stilling the fluctuations of the mind..

Bryan is known for teaching a strong physical practice called Power Yoga. And while I am a yoga teacher,  I do not have a very strong physical practice, and I certainly don’t have buns or abs of steel. Since my recent car accident, my practice has become even more gentle. I am very aware of my injuries, and I am very gentle with my body.

Thankfully, during the asana practice, Bryan repeatedly reminded us to listen to our bodies. He said, “No yoga teacher on earth knows where your body should be.” He instructed us to rest in childs pose whenever we needed. “There are 7 billion right ways to do a yoga pose.”  With a strong voice he told us not to look at what other people in the class were doing, but to focus on our own breath, our own body. I was dripping in sweat halfway through the practice.

We ended the practice with a long and quiet Gratitude meditation..

I feel grateful and inspired by Bryan. I feel grateful to connect with a yoga teacher who is sharing (on a much larger scale), the message that I share with my own students..

The workshop was hosted by The Cozy Yogi, a yoga studio in Lake Worth Florida. The workshop was awesome. It ended up running late, past the scheduled time. So, without a proper thank you, I had to rush off and pick up my son and breastfeed my tired daughter.

Bryan Kest, Thank you. When I do my “head touching my leg pose” I will think of you and smile.

~Tiff

 

As The Path Is Revealed

Yesterday I had lunch in a tiny village named Anjos.  It is the village where my ancestors are from. Yesterday, while enjoying the beauty of the day, the waves, the village, I noticed a small rusty  piece of metal in the ground near our picnic spot. Always drawn to old things, treasures, history,  I tried to pick it up.. The rusted  piece of metal was bigger than I thought. I started digging. I kept digging. What I thought was a tiny piece of metal, ended up being a very old and large 16th century cannon. There are two other old cannons nearby, rusting away. Pirates massacred the village hundreds of years ago… And just a little under the surface of the earth, a piece of history was revealed. 

Uncovering History..
Uncovering History..

As The Path Reveals Itself Often our lives play out in very unexpected ways. Lately, I have been feeling growing concern for my son’s future. He is so smart, that I fear an island this small, lacks opportunities for his growth, development, education. HIS FUTURE. Sometimes one persons paradise is another persons prison. My son has had alot of fun here, no doubt. He fluently speaks Portuguese.  But he is starting to think about college, jobs, a drivers license, etc.. and these things are much more difficult on an island of 5000.

In helping me get some clarity, I asked my Buddhist teacher for advice. He did a divination, a type of astrocartography. Astrocartography, in a simple explanation,  can show us the places on Earth that resonate well with our personal energy and path, and the places on Earth where life will be difficult. Based on Astrocartography, this is a very  difficult place for me to live. I have the energy of Saturn running right through this small island. And I feel it. The island is beautiful, no doubt. I have gotten to share and spread the magic of yoga. I have met amazing people here. Friends, family, TREES. Adventures.

Teaching Yoga in Anjos in the Field Where I Found The Cannon
Teaching Yoga in Anjos in the Field Where I Found The Cannon

But I have also been tested. I have had to learn to put up big boundaries. My boyfriends family, tried to cross my boundaries many times.  But it is a different culture with different family dynamics, different expectations, different and very specific gender roles. If a man here is seen unshaven,too thin, or looking a little scruffy, it is believed to be the fault of his wife or girlfrend. She is to blame. SERIOUSLY!  Living in a different country, especially a country with very old-fashioned ideas, behavior, and rules really forces us to tap into our inner strength. ( The younger generation is slowly creating change-thank goodness).  Living in a different country, especially a poor country, is also a huge eye-opening lesson. A lesson in privilege, a lesson in history, a lesson in economics, and a lesson in life.

I have been praying for clarity and doing lots of energy work. And although, the path has not entirely revealed itself, it is very likely, that we will be moving back to the United States at the end of summer. At least until my son,who is nearly 16,finishes high school. He qualifies to dual enroll in college starting this fall. College Application submitted.

On a very exciting note, over the weekend there was a Science Contest here, a big contest with teams from all of the islands in the Azores. My son was the presenter for his team!! His team made it to Nationals!!They will be heading to the mainland of Portugal next week! YEAH!

And on a funny but slightly traumatic note: NEVER let your boyfriend (who has never cut hair) experiment on yours.. AHHHHHH!!!! 😉 It will grow. This I know. The lessons we learn. Peace and patience as the path is revealed. -Tiff

I have so many stories. I am starting to write a book about my experience here, The Good, the bad, the ugly. It is certain to be a page turner!  I would love advice, funding, encouragement, publisher connections.. Ha!,)

Therapy For The Third-Eye Chakra

The Third-Eye Chakra-The Anja Chakra

Third-Eye Magic
Third-Eye Magic, The Unicorn

Color: Indigo, A deep bluish purple

Element: Light

Location: The Space between the eyes, sometimes located at the center of the forehead.

Bija Seed Sound: OM

Energy, Emotions, Feelings Associated with this Chakra: The THIRD EYE chakra is associated with psychic abilities, visions, messages, premonitions, and the ability to “see” things that cannot be seen with normal vision….

A closed THIRD EYE causes close-minded thinking, overly logical, critical, and untrusting thoughts and behavior!

On the other hand, an overly active third-eye can be very intense, even frightening, too much information to process. This can make us feel crazy. It is very important to find balance.

 

Childs Pose, Third Eye To Earth, Nourishing, Grounding, Healing Power
Childs Pose- Third Eye To Earth, Nourishing, Grounding, Healing Power

 

Of all my chakras, the one that is most active, is my third-eye, and that is sometimes very intense. Child’s pose, helps rebalance excess energy, and helps process so much. Sometimes after doing yoga, meditation, or Reiki, my third-eye chakra remains wide open. And I do not feel normal.-Spending time in childs pose helps me so much. So does resting my forehead on the trunk of a tree. Bowing down, moving inward, grounding into Earth, we are humbled and reminded that with our increased awareness, and sensitivity, comes responsibility.

Breath Work: Deep nostril breathing, with the eyes closed, directing the breath to and from the Third-Eye is very healing and stimulating for this chakra!

Try wearing Amethyst, an excellent third eye stone.

Healing Affirmation: I trust my intuition. I am open to receive my Highest Wisdom.

Yoga Asanas For Third-Eye: Eagle Pose-Garudasana, Childs Pose -Balasana, Easy Pose, Half or Full Lotus..

Foods that help awaken and balance this chakra: ALKALINE FORMING foods, almonds, leafy greens, avocados, bananas, flax seeds, and more can help tremendously.

In yoga, psychic ability is referred to as “siddhis.” There are many texts that talk about one of the dangers of the siddhis, is ego involvement. A feeling of “I have superpowers, I must be very special.”  This is another important reminder to balance!! All the chakras working together in harmony.. 

Honoring the Journey. Namaste.-Tiff