Embrace this Liminal Space, Sing and Let Your Yoga Dance!

liminal space

Today I attended a powerful meeting via Zoom from Michael Meade and the SAND community. SAND represents the cross pollination of ideas from science and spirituality. Michael Meade is a renowned author, and scholar of mythology, anthropology, and psychology. He took us into todays’s crisis and explored the myths and stories from ancient sources that can help us navigate this time of transition and transformation.

Where we are today is Liminal Space.

The word liminal comes from the Latin word ‘limen’, meaning threshold – any point or place of entering or beginning. A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, a time of waiting and not knowing.

Liminal space is where real transformation takes place. When we learn to look into the space beyond, we find new insight and can follow our calling in the next chapter of life.

Author and theologian Richard Rohr describes this space as:

“where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy. The threshold is God’s waiting room. Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect an appointment with the divine Doctor.”

A threshold of waiting. Between the step before that was the past and the step forward into the unknown future. It is often seen as a sacred time where we retreat and contemplate the world as we have known it, and our place in it.

It feels just right for these times.

As I was exploring I came across more inspiration:

Sing to the shadows, sing and do not fear

But sing them into love little by little.

Begin the song exactly where you are.

And so I start again here in the middle.

– Malcolm Guite, The Singing Bowl

Yes, sing and transform fear into love. Start in your Middle Ground.

Coincidentally (or not), yesterday I attended a Kripalu Let your Yoga Dance class via Zoom with Jurian Hughes. We paused, then moved, danced, breathed, sang and found our own joyous rhythm in community. It was so uplifting.

Each one of us can find the joy and open our hearts to love. Find your voice, your song, your passion, your joy and a new rhythm for these times.
I truly believe that when we do this we will be better prepared to meet the collapse of the old and embrace the new.

Namaste

 

Kripalu Training Awaits

Kripalu in springToday, I head north to Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires. There’s still snow on the ground and cold winter temps to greet me. The perfect time to be nourished and restored.

I will stay in touch this time around.

 

Cheers!

Kripalu Training Awaits

Kripalu in spring
By the time you read this I will be at Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires.

I am excited to be here for a five day program offered by Dr Timothy McCall (Physician and author of Yoga as Medicine) and Ginny Jurkin ( Physical Therapist and fellow Kripalu Yoga Teacher)

Ginny and I met at a module in our 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training, and we had a lot of fun together. I hope we get to play again in this wonderful learning environment😎

The intention of the program is to refine our ability to observe subtleties of anatomical alignment, breath, and even the elusive flow of prana, or life-force energy, in a wide variety of poses.
We will learn to view the body holistically, looking at the ways bones and muscles work together and how to assess tensegrity, which includes alignment, the smooth flowing of breath, and the balance of effort and ease in a posture.
We will also explore ways to work with imbalances and abnormalities, allowing us, our students, and our clients to go more deeply into poses for improved health, balance, and well-being.

Having a therapeutic approach to teaching yoga is so valuable, especially when working with older populations.
I’m looking forward to bringing back new insights into my classes and to share with my private clients, and fellow yoga teachers.

I will not be active on Find Your Middle Ground this week, but have scheduled some posts that I thought you might enjoy while I am away.

In the meantime, breathe easy my friends 💛

Haiku – Yoga

Watts of Yoga class
~
Merging breath with stretch.
Mind, body, prana, spirit.
Middle Ground yoga
~

Find your Middle Ground is about stepping away from stressful days and anxious minds, and taking time to pause.

When we are mindful of the present moment and embrace it, we open a door to our natural state of being – accepting, loving, peaceful, kind and content. Most of us are so distracted and moving so fast that we get caught up in the world of “doing” or worrying about what we should be doing next.
Too much doing and thinking disconnects us from our sense of “being”and who we really are.

I found my own Middle Ground when I began practicing yoga and meditation. Now I teach Mindful and Gentle Hatha in the tradition of Kripalu Yoga.  This is what I love to share with my students and client every day

Namaste

Let Life Be Like Yin Yoga

letting go in yin yoga

I am back from nine days of Yin Yoga teacher training and retreat at my beloved Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. It has been a time of learning, of support, of challenge and of exploration. It opened my body, mind, and yes … my heart 💛

Let life be like Yin Yoga – Lean into it.

The foundations of Yin Yoga are rooted in the Taoist tradition. It is about finding wholeness and harmony in tune with the constant flow of yin and yang in nature and in all beings. Yin is the stable, unmoving, feminine, receptive, cool and hidden aspect of things; yang is the changing, mobile, masculine, hot and active aspect.

One cannot exist without the other.

Yoga in the west is Yang oriented, focusing on building strength, engaging muscles, movement and action.
Yin Yoga is the counterpart to this. It is a slow deep practice where poses are held for longer and the muscles relax. The deeper connective tissues of the body awaken, which allows for increased flexibility and prevents rigidity that comes with aging. The poses also stimulate the Chi and Prana energy in the body, allowing the practitioner to become calmer and more focused, and the body to be nourished.

It is a practice of paying attention, letting go, and developing the witness to whatever comes up in the physical body, mental body, emotions and breath.
By leaning in and surrendering to what is beyond resistance, the path to acceptance and peace opens up.

In this place of stillness, we meet ourselves and begin to understand how we deal with the pleasure and pain in our bodies and in life.

Each practice strengthens our entire being to allow for deep inquiry and acceptance. To find our Middle Ground.

Namaste

Haiku – Kripalu Awaits

kripalu

~

Take time for a break

Serenity is a choice

Kripalu awaits 

~

I will be away from February 24 through March 5 at Kripalu center for yoga and health

We all need to take time for ourselves and nurture our inner being and creative spirit. This trip is for a Yin Yoga Teacher Training program. I look forward to being in community with some wonderful, kind and talented yogis.

While I am away I will be taking a break from social media and blogging. Thank you for your understanding 🙏

See you on the other side 💛

* Self Acceptance

being present

In the midst of difficulty
my curiosity is piqued
and I aim the lance of
self inquiry into the
center of my deepest fears.

I give myself permission
to feel exactly what I feel,
to be just as I am, and in
that self acceptance I find
energy, awareness, and a
thousand gifts I never
guessed were with me
all along.

~ Danna Faulds

Being present and self acceptance go hand in hand. When we are not fully aware of our negative thoughts and feelings, then we tend to believe that there is something wrong .. and something wrong with us. Taking time to be fully present with what we are thinking and feeling in that moment, is the gateway to self acceptance and all the gifts beyond.

This poem captures the essence of a mindful awareness practice that is at the heart of Kripalu Yoga. It is referred to as BRWFA: Breathe – Relax – Watch – Feel – Allow

Learn more by watching the video or clicking on the page The Practice of Being Present

* Everything is Passing

Kripalu dawnAs I stood outside in the misty dawn at Kripalu I noticed the emerging colors of Fall and the ghostly calm that comes at the beginning of a new day.

A thought came to me softly and gently … “Everything is passing”

Like the mist …. my time at Kripalu … the day ahead … the learning to be learned … the sharing and community of sangha… the wonderful people in my life … and my time on earth no matter where I happen to be.

It is always changing and passing from one moment into the next.

So its pointless to try to hold on to our times of joy and pleasure or to resist what is happening when times seem full of struggle and sorrow.

Everything is passing.

Simply be with each moment as it unfolds.

With gratitude and love.

Namaste