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Do Nothing

In yoga, we create a pause….we pause at the top of the inhale, and we pause at the bottom of the exhale…this pause can save your relationships.

Yoga, as my dear friend and teacher Max Strom says, is a breathing practice accompanied by movement. So, let’s talk about the breathing part of yoga, your reactiveness and your relationships.

If you’re like most people, you’re most reactive with the people closest to you.

So how can yoga help? Yoga teaches us to act versus react.

A regular practice of yoga and meditation creates space between your thoughts, grounds you and creates awareness that allows you to see the other person’s perspective. It teaches that there’s more power in controlling your reactivity then in your witty/cutting responses or impulsive actions.

I shared this with many of you a long time ago but I think it’s worth sharing again. It’s from Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga:

Communicating for the Future

“Communication is very misunderstood by all human beings. When you are angry, when you are emotional, when you are hurt, when you are insecure, or when you are into an ego trip- that’s when you feel you must talk, and that’s why you mess up! Because when you talk it should be for the future, not the past or the present. Communication is the art of building heaven in the future.”

–Yogi Bhajan

Being in the heat of an argument is tough! You want to fight back; you want to do something. Do nothing…take that deep breath first. Remember it will create space between your thoughts, ground you and create awareness that will allow you to see the other person’s perspective.

We practice exercises in Kundalini yoga where you hold your arms up for interminable amounts of time, remember? Just as in that argument, you’re being taken to your limits. Here is where the real transformation happens, you learn to breathe through the discomfort and find incredible strength within you. You find the part of you that chooses to be happy rather than be right all the time.

Today I choose peace, and I will choose it again tomorrow and the next day.

And, I know I will mess up, and I will blurt things out that I hadn’t intended but the more I practice, the stronger my resolve to be peace.

If you’d like to learn more about the tools and techniques that will transform your relationships, join me for my next online Kundalini Yoga Immersion, Heal Your Heart.

Sat Nam

Gloria Latham

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons From A Beach Stone

A few days ago, I stepped on a sharp beach stone that’s become nicely lodged in my heel, ouch!
At first I ignored the pain not realizing that somehow this stone is actually “in” my heel. I finally had to get busy and remove it. And while I work on removing it, there’s nothing else I can do because it requires both my hands, all my focus, and my concentration. This is the most irritating part because it feels like such a waste of time. But it’s become like a meditation. It requires me to reign in my senses and focus on one point . And, I have to calm my breath to keep my hand steady, and the pain manageable. So, during this “meditation” I realize this tiny stone has taught me quite a bit.

As I sit here, needle and antiseptic in hand, I think about what a pattern this is in my life… to ignore things that are irritating or uncomfortable until they escalate and demand my attention.
When things hit crisis mode, I’m mobilized into action but before that I often hope that whatever is irritating me will just magically go away.

But as they say, whatever you resist, persists.

So, as I sit here, days later, still trying to remove this tiny stone, I’ve accumulated quite a list of areas in my life that need attention.

Success….whatever that means to you, means fulfillment in all areas of your life, your health, your family life, friendships, career, finance and adventure!

I’m making a list of:
1. The difficult conversations I’ve been avoiding
2. Relationships I’ve neglected
3. Minor health issues that need some attention

What does your list look like?

What are the tiny irritants in your life, you need to address before they turn into a crisis?

Namaste

Gloria

PS: To register for updates about my upcoming online course, Heal Your Heart, please click here.

Coming Home

As I’m on the road quite a bit these days, I think about what “home” really means.

I no longer think of home as a physical location, but a feeling of being at ease.

That feeling of internal comfort can only be experienced through alignment.

Now alignment is something you hear a lot about in yoga, for instance in my video I posted from Nice, I explained that to keep your knees safe in crow pose, your knees have to track in the same direction as your toes. This will keep your body physically safe.

To feel “at home” in your body, there’s a different kind of alignment that’s required and that’s alignment between your thoughts, your words and your actions. The more you study and practice yoga, the more difficult it is to act or speak misaligned with your deepest values. And that’s a good thing because that discomfort forces you to “clean up your act”. If you want to be experienced as a kind and loving person, then your speech and actions have to match that desire.

Practicing yoga gives us an experience of peace, of being “home”. Knowing how that feels makes us crave that feeling more. The more you experience this peace, the less you can live with your misalignment.

Yes, practicing yoga will make your physical body feel good, but more importantly it brings you home to yourself. To find out more about this inward journey home, check out my new online course, Heal Your Heart.

 

Flexibility

People are often surprised when say I’m not that flexible even though I’ve been studying and teaching yoga for almost twenty years now. The style of yoga I practice builds strength more than flexibility but that isn’t the only reason, I’m a little stiff. The flexibility I’m working on is the flexibility of my mind.

If there is tension in your body, you can bet there is tension in your mind.

Tension can have many sources and is mostly created through repressed emotion.

It could be anger, anxiety, guilt, fear. You can become quite masterful at repressing all of these emotions because you have to “get through” your days or you have to “keep peace” in your relationships. Continuing to supress these emotions will shut down your heart. When you don’t let yourself feel the pain, over time you won’t feel joy either…in fact you can become quite numb and lose your sense of gratitude that should be a part of every day.

Wow, I have another day to try and live better and love better.

Does your day start with “wow” or does it start with “sh..” I’m so tired of everything.

Move your body and you will free your mind. There is a gentle stirring of repressed emotions that happens through yoga. Have you ever experienced a good cry in class? Or maybe you’ve become uncharacteristically angry. This gentle stirring in practice brings to the surface what needs to be released.

Your yoga practice often starts off as a nice cozy place to be. A quiet room, a sweet community, soft music, and then something gets stirred up. You start to see what you haven’t wanted to see. It’s your gift. It’s your opportunity to see what you need to take responsibility for.

Do I need to forgive someone? Do I need to ask for forgiveness from someone?

What if you were open to different perspectives than your own? It could change your relationships and it could change your life. This is true flexibility.

To find out how Kundalini yoga can heal your heart, check out my new online course.

Sat Nam
Gloria Latham