Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kids Yoga Starts Today!!!

WOOHOO!  I am so excited!  I love kids and am happy to be able to share the gifts of yoga with them.

Classes will be held on Wednesdays, starting today, and are at 3:30 to 4:15 (ages 4-7), and 4:30 to 5:30 (ages 8-12).

Kids yoga has many benefits, other than being down-right FUN, including:

Builds confidence and self-esteem
Increases concentration and focus
Enhances overall physical health, including increased strength, flexibility, coordination and balance
Promotes creativity while exercising their imagination
Develops mind, body and community awareness

I plan on having the classes for the summer, except for on August 11, when I will be out of town for a required teacher training retreat (I am in the 500 hr teacher training at Yoga Loka in Reno-already have my 200 hr and want to play bigger!).  If there is interest in continuing through the school year, I will re-evaluate at that time.  (I want to continue the classes!!!)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Being Devoted

This week we talk of ishvarapranidhana, devotion to a higher power.

When speaking of ishvarapranidhana, we don't have to mean that traditional God of our Judeo-Christian culture.  It is YOUR sense of the Divine.  The Divine can be described as that which makes you feel connected to everything else.  Your sense of the Divine can be an actual god, kharma, nature, your sense of the eternal, or anything else that moves you to think of that Divine connection.  It is a very personal choice.

One way we can practice ishvarapranidhana, is by practicing bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.  Many bhakti yogis chant, or practice kirtan, as a path of devotion.  That is a great way!  Singing to the divine can provide a very blissful state.  But that is only one way to practice devotion to a higher power.  You can practice by engaging in a regular meditation or prayer practice, service, by regular walks in nature, or simply by being mindful to be the best "you" that you can be.  It doesn't matter how you do it, it only matters that you do it and that it matters to you!

Devotion to your Divine gives you a way to live fully, using your object of devotion. your higher power, to guide your life.  It gives you a benchmark by which to judge every action you make.  It gives you direction and a moral code.  Before you act, you might think to yourself, "How would this affect my life and the lives of those involved?  Is this the best way for me to behave?  Would acting in this way be consistent with my spiritual path?"  Think also of what and how you think, not just your behavior.  Our thinking directly affects our behavior.

When you consistently and sincerely practice devotion, you may feel one or more of the following:  as though you are one with the your higher power; peaceful and filled with love and joy; as though you are the servant of your higher power, as though you are caring for your higher power; that your higher power protects and cares for you; or, as if your higher power is your friend.   All these feelings are natural.

We have to be careful where we place our devotion; we want to be devoted to a worthy higher power.  So often, though we state a devotion to a higher power, we are actually devoted to our job, the food we eat, or even the TV or internet.

Your assignment is to discern what are you devoted to?  Is it worthy of your time and devotion?  Are you devoted to the higher power you want to be devoted to?

Until next time...