Write It Down

Things happen for a reason. I’m more convinced of this than ever. A series of events align and it allows you to see from a different perspective. This happens whenever I venture north to Portland for a class with Chase Bossart. I’m there for a series on Asana Sequencing and a review of the Yoga Sutra, and a little nugget on meditation appears. Chase says, “If something comes up in the process of your meditation, write it down.” In other words, don’t stubbornly resist it.

I knew this. But why wasn’t I doing it?

At Kripalu, one of the concepts that was presented during our training was to “give permission.” Maybe I needed permission. So I sit down to my meditation the day after our weekend sessions, and I have no paper, no journal. So I write nothing down. My mind is addled, things come up, but I ignore them and press on.

I finish my meditation, and it was ok. But I realize I did not take advantage of that clarity. Thank the stars, Buddha, whomever… a process like this no longer drags out. The next day I have paper handy.

Wow. So much stuff is in my head.

There’s uncertainty in so many areas of my life right now.  But yet, little epiphanies arose out of meditation.  This time, I wrote them down. I have to say, though I seemed to stop many times, it did not affect my meditation. Time flew by and I was unburdened and more refreshed. And, beautifully so, I had a plan for one area of my life where I could bring some certainty. There was progress immediately.

I have had periods where I have meditated, each with different intentions. For some reason, I had meditated 45 days straight just prior to when the worst news of my life was revealed to me. I was amazingly stable. I meditated every day for a year. And more recently, with a workplace wellness challenge as an incentive, I meditated 31 days straight.  But, it dropped off again.

With all that is up in the air, I need my meditation to be regular.  This time, I will keep a journal nearby.

Enlighten Up!

Enlighten UpEnlighten Up!
A Skeptic’s Journey into the World of Yoga
Directed by: Kate Churchill, 2008

My friend Dudley recommended this movie, and I finally got around to watching it. Enlighten Up! is a documentary that takes Nick, a reluctant yet curious individual at a crossroads in life, and immerses him in yoga to see what happens.

The movie follows him as he seeks out many famous teachers, takes classes from them (sometimes to gain an audience) and interviews them. There are predictable scenes of Nick in uncomfortable poses, and clips from yoga proponents; some sounding wise, some appearing surprisingly grumpy, while others just seem a bit too far off in left field to be taken seriously. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Yoga

The Wisdom of YogaThe Wisdom of Yoga
A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living
by Stephen Cope, Bantam Books, Inc., 2007

Yoga is the practice of experience.  This is often lost on the western mind.  We see Yoga as a physical exercise and don’t understand or perhaps fear the depth of what experience beyond intellect can teach us.

The Yoga Sutras are incredibly distilled.  Much like the Taoist advice from the Tao Te Ching, the Sutras can seem maddeningly simplistic or even contrary.  In short, I’m not sure the Yoga Sutras would have made any sense to me had I not had the experiences I had in the studio. Continue reading

Jim Kallett and Bikram Yoga

Jkallett posterim Kallett – Lecture
Friday, January 4, 2013
Corvallis, Oregon

Jim Kallett was invited to town by my local studio to offer a posture clinic.  He also gave a lecture the evening before.  As a Bikram Yoga aficionado of 8 plus years, I was interested in what he had to say and looking forward to the Q&A.

The talk started out as I would have expected; a biographical review of Bikram Choudhury, his youth, his training and the history behind the sequence and bringing it to America.  As one who has read his books, I knew much of this and was a little impatient at the pace.  However, not everyone is as geeky about Yoga as I am, and lineage is a major element of Yoga.

Continue reading

Fight disease with balance

Fighting Parkinson’s disease with exercise, balance: Not strictly Yoga, but certainly challenging and strengthening the mind/body in ways similar to Yoga.  And the story is local, Dr. Blatt is right here in Corvallis.  I don’t know Dr. Blatt personally, but I like his approach:

“It is time to challenge conventional expectations about what Parkinson’s disease and other neurological diseases are supposed to do to us.”  He is quite clear, however, that he used exercise and medicine to “maintain good physical function in spite of the disease.”

For more information you can check out his website and additional articles:

http://www.exerciseforparkinsons.com
Active healing: Exercise class serves Parkinson’s patients

Yoga and Tai Chi help with balance

Yoga for MS patients:  Starting with traditional yoga and modifying it to take into the balance, muscle stiffness and fatigue that patients can face.

As you know, I’m a huge proponent of Yoga.  However, there are many modalities.  This study found Tai Chi can help Parkinson’s patients improve functional movement, walking and balance compared to resistance training and stretching.

Studio Roll Call

This series, the same postures again and again, tends to attract those with some OCD type behaviors.  I’ll admit I’ve got some tics; I keep track of how many classes I’ve taken and I do like to check out studios when I travel.  I haven’t traveled much lately.  But here’s a list of where I’ve taken a class with links, comments or reviews.

08/06/2003 – Corvallis Bikram Yoga, still my home studio!  Strictly Bikram.

11/30/2005 – Eugene Bikram Yoga, now Sweaty Ganesh Yoga no longer affiliated with Bikram, other styles also.

04/01/2006 – San Louis Obisbo, nice folks, funky room, no showers.  Other styles as well.

05/18/2006 – Bikram Yoga Fremont Street, Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

06/10/2006 – Bikram Yoga Mount Vernon, WA. Closed May 2013.  Facebook page and more info.

06/14/2006 – Bikram Yoga Tacoma, WA. Closed June 2015. There are other options in Tacoma.

12/22/2006 – Bikram Yoga Reston, VA.  Strictly Bikram.

04/20/2007 – Bikram Yoga SE Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

08/07/2007 – Bikram Yoga Seattle, now Sealevel Hot Yoga.  Strictly Bikram.

08/21/2007 – Bikram Yoga St. Johns, Portland, OR.  Strictly Bikram.

02/27/2012 – Boston Bikram Yoga, Historic.  Strictly Bikram.

03/26/2015 – Blue Moon Yoga, Fresno, CA.  Small, nice, no showers.  Bikram and Vinyasa.