No mud, no lotus

In class there seems to be such inner turmoil going on with my students. 

In the past months one student has had a cancer removed, one has decided to end her life, many suffering from high anxiety, sore bodies, sore feelings and I’m sure much more. 

I used to really believe in the positive affirmation way of way. If your in doubt, be positive! If someone is pushing your buttons and/or annoying the hell out of you, dont see them…strike them off the list! Press the delete button. 

But through my own personal experience, through reading ancient texts, I believe that suffering really is part of being human. Of being here on earth having this experience of living. I don’t believe many people go through life without loosing someone, without sickness, without difficult situations presenting themselves. Its just not real. 

What is real is that life can be so awesome, picture perfect, full of great moments, of love, happiness and all that good stuff. But life also presents sadness, loss, pain, depression, hurt, betrayal, jealousy and a host of others.  

However, what if that difficulty was the way. It was part of the path forward. Because as a collective whole, how can we unite, become one and really feel and get what someone else is going through if we have never faced any of these situations before. 

I guess its like studying for a job, but not ever doing the job. We can read, study, discuss, philosophise and throw around ideas and how it might look. The experience itself is the great connector, I feel that’s how we relate and hold each other up. 

So to coin a book title that I recently saw on Amazon was “The Obstacle is the Way”. 

What if what we are in, or we are going through is a necessary part of the growing? 

The Lotus can’t flower and blossom without the soil, the rich fertile that is the mud. 

Much love. 

Sara 

Teachers & Learning

Hello there, 

This week I’ve been reminiscing and travelling down Gratitude Lane. 

When I finished my teacher training in 2010, I really sort of orbited around for a while looking for My Teacher. Here I am 4 years later and I thought today, wow, I have two really awesome teachers. I also am grateful for awesome family and friends! 

I found both of my teachers without actually searching (no google searches here lovelies). 

I work with the wonderful, funny, creative Kelly Connor-Sunrose. We meander through asana, sutras, mediation, and asana. She is a very kind and sweet person, and in 8 months I have learnt so much through her, my practice and I feel my teaching have taken on a way more “Sara” feel but also a depth I was looking for. 

Once a week I learn to sing, yup, sing with Rama Dasa. We chant, sing, discuss philosophy, laugh through an hour of awesome. He is such a talented teacher and a beautiful Bhakti Yogi. I really love to chant and sing but I was so nervous because I was pretty sure I had no vocal talent. At all. None. But I asked for a sign and Rama turned up, really, his sign was in our Yoga school. Funny. 

So, today I’m so grateful for these two teachers and the impact that have made and continue to make in my life. 

That’s my stroll down Gratitude Lane for today. 

Do you have anything that your grateful for, something that you didn’t “strive” towards, that just sort of showed up? 

Cheers & gratitude,

Sara 

Listening to your inner wisdom ~ Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah  Shivaya

Hello, 

Lately I’ve been working with my teachers, getting into a bit more of the depth of the chant Om Namah Shivaya. 

I’m really getting into it. 

Because, this chant sort of represents to me my life lesson (well one of them). 

To honour, respect, bow to, our inner knowing. The part of us, deep in our bones and tissues, that signals to us the right thing to do. To “…honour my highest”. I really love these words. To bow to, to respect, honour. They are weighty and soft words. They are the words that help me to turn in, to take a moment, a breath, before I decide what the right course of action is, if any. 

After my mum passed away last year, suddenly from Cancer I felt a surge of “shoulds”. They came from every which way, from myself to myself, from my circle. 

Honestly. I got a bit pissed off with all these “shoulds”. Other peoples expectations and visions of what I should or should not be doing. Mostly they expected action, and mostly I wanted inaction. I wanted to retreat in, to listen to what my highest was telling me. 

I can’t say its stopped, because I don’t think that others opinions will always resonate with me and my path. 

But I can sniff a “should” a mile away…well not really but I’m learning. 

So. Beware of should. 

Take your highest path. Honour it, bow to it, respect it. You “should”. Ha! 

Namaste. 

Sara 

8 things I didn’t know about Yoga when I started (many moons ago!)

Hello, 

IMG_2846

Nice bathrobe hey!

When I started Yoga many many years ago, I really thought it was all about Asana. I thought Asana, the physical posture, was ALL the Yoga. 

I didn’t realise till later that it was 1/8th of Yoga. Wow. 1/8th. Its small in comparison with the focus we put on Asana in the West. 

Here’s 8 things I didn’t know about Yoga when I started: 

  • 1. Savasasana, the final resting pose, its vital. Its not optional, nor a spare 5/10 mins to grab a latte when you’ve finished the class. 
  • 2. Pranayama, can help calm and centre me. Yup. Thats right, the breath can and does bring me back and help me to make better choices. 
  • 3. Handstands are fun, and not just for young things in their 20’s! I’m 45 and I love to do handstands, no free balancing yet, but getting there. Practice and all is coming! I’m counting on your Mr BKS Iyengar. 
  • 4. Asana does make me feel better, in my skin, in my mood, in my breath. Its far reaching and I always feel better after some asana. Grab what you can, 5 mins or 30 mins, a class at a studio, a mat in the backyard, a minute before going out. 
  • 5. Mudras are fun, interesting and effective. I love Jnana Mudra at the moment, the thumb and forefinger resting together. Nice. Yummy. Soothing. 
  • 6. Mediation is the nectar. Its the reason we do asana, so we can sit comfortably in our skin. So we can be with ourselves, so we aren’t running all the time; to things, away from things. 
  • 7. The Yoga Sutras are ancient but they have gold in them to help us make good choices. I’m loving studying the sutras with my teacher Kelly Connor-Sunrose. Yum. 
  • 8. Yoga isn’t a small part of my life, its the lens through which I try to remember to see my life. Its practice, a constant ever evolving practice. 

Tell me about your experience of Yoga? 

Happy Oms. 

Sara 

 

Chant ~ Om Dum Dum Dhumavati Svaha

I love to Chant. Thankfully chanting is not singing.

Edo and Jo

After my teacher training in 2010, I did a wonderful on-line Chant Course with Amy Cronise-Mead. It was 12 weeks, each week a new chant. This course opened up a whole new world for me, the world of metaphors, of stories, goddesses, of new ways to think and feel about life and its messages.

It feels so good in my heart and my bones to chant. Edo and Jo are my favourite Kirtan Band (picture above), gorgeous voices, lovely chants and such nice people. And big bonus, my kids love to go with me! My daughter is 12 and my son is 8, they like it. They don’t “LOVE” it, but they like it and it makes them feel good. So, I will keep taking them for as long as I can. Its either Katie Perry, Jlo, or Edo & Jo!

So moving forward. I’m working with this chant at the moment. Its a chant to Dhumavati.

Dhumavati stands for despair, sadness and failure. For waning, loss and disappointment. She’s not beautiful, probably because we think of these qualities as ones we would rather avoid.

I chant this, I sing it and I feel its weight and what it represents in my bones.

How it feels to sit with this!

Well thats another post for another day, because this is big work for me.

Oms.

Sara xx

Stars and Moons

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Stars and Moons

Its a huge full moon here in Sydney. I’m feeling the effects of the pull of the moon, all over the place, scatty, can’t think straight. So, tomorrow morning its back to the mat.

Sutra 1.12 Practice and let go. Keeping up with the practice, remembering and coming back. A sort of constant return of sorts, back to my breath, back to my cushion, back to my mat.