Silence

Peerless Panther issued a quote challenge last week and its taken me this long to respond. Her quote?
“Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.” ~ Bob Dylan

And how does that relate to yoga? Well there are many different ways this could go and may end up. But let’s start here.

My yoga teacher training is difficult, and in-depth and challenging. And I love it. But one thing really scared me. The knowledge that before the year was out I would need to spend one day in silence. Alone, just me.  I love people, I need people, interacting with people give’s me energy and makes me happy.   When I first learned about this day of silence, I asked my teacher, “How long is a day?” Would six hours count? Would eight? Would four? Well the answer grasshopper, is that it’s different for everyone. This silence could include a tiny bit of reading to help direct the mind and a tiny bit of music to keep focused on the inner. but. that. is. it.

I’ve decided the time in the car doesn’t count, (six-eight hours alone at least twice a month) because I need to focus on staying awake and driving and I tend to think a lot and if I stopped I might run off the road, etc.  And unless I really focus, the time at home alone doesn’t count. I mean I live alone right? in Silence? right? Well, there is the internet, the phone, books and all sorts of distractions. It’s supposed to be purposeful and intentional and well, silent.

The words of a Pink song, say “Silence scares me cause it screams the truth” And in October I was a bit frightened of that silence, that truth.

I’ve always been the one to fill the silence, with chatter, with stories, with questions. As a journalist, I learned how to use the silence, to draw it out just a bit so people would talk more, tell more, give better interviews.

As a child, a lover, and a friend, I’ve had silence used against me as a weapon, which is probably where my fear of it comes from.  And I’ve learned the companionable feeling of silence with someone when you get to the point where words aren’t necessary.  And I’ve felt the silence, the terrifying silence of having performed, spoken, written something and waited for feedback and gotten

silence.

And in that moment of time silence is terrifying.

But the beauty of choosing your silence? is the beauty of looking forward to it with joy and not fear. It’s the beauty of stepping back and being an observer of self, not a critic. I’ve started playing with silence, a few hours here, a turning off of the phone there, a stopping the inner monologue and what I’ve found isn’t terrifying at all, its actually pure joy and knowing myself better and accepting myself more.

And the more I step into that silence and joy, the more I see I’m not alone.

Yoga for Joy

This past weekend I was at teacher training at Joyflow Yoga in Ridgeland, MS (near Jackson) and I was working so hard and deep and all the sudden I looked up and saw painted on the wall, “Experience Joy” and I burst into a smile as a song filled my heart.

The song?

Joy by the Newsboys

“You give me joy unspeakable and I like it!”

Flash forward to Thursday night. I’m teaching a new class and I’m not sure how its going. Are they “getting it?” how am I doing? After savasana and a time of relaxation, when they sat up I knew! I saw  the joy reflected on their faces! Oh what a feeling! and I know its nothing I did— it was the yoga!

Sometimes our joy,  its in there, its just buried so deep,  joy for life, for love,  for the sunrise, for the breath you take,  it just gets covered up with life. The process of yoga uncovers that inner joy, and I like it!

Who Are You?

One of the most interesting aspects of Yoga is self-discovery. Sometimes it comes at the end of a sweaty session when you held a pose, didn’t give in, and know you completed the challenge set before you. It gives you a quiet assurance that no matter what your day or week or life holds, you can take it!

Sometimes it sneaks up when you are your most relaxed and sitting quietly-there it is a thought that pops into your head, brings tears to your eyes and causes you to “frisk it” Is this true? does it have meaning? or is this one of those nasty things that gets on a thought loop that prevents you from moving forward in your life?

Sarah at Beer With a Straw, posed the question, ““The best way to learn to be a lady is to see how other ladies do it.” –Mae West”

Interesting.  And simple on the surface, but complex when you get right down to it.

Here in America, girls are bombarded from birth about what a “lady” is. And unlike some cultures where there are strongly defined gender roles, our definitions are based more on looks and buying the right things to enhance those looks.  Sometimes this makes us set up a definition that we use to judge ourselves and others, and without air brushes, wind machines, theater makeup, an editor to cut out parts of what we say and do,  NO one can measure up to that impossible standard. And why would we want to?

Thus, see how other ladies do it. My argument is that if a Lady takes out the trash, balances the check book, makes a cake, plants a garden, feeds the cows and chickens and hauls hay before going off to work on the road crew,  she is just as much a lady as the one going shopping and getting a new hair style and nail color every month. Why? Because by definition, If a lady is doing it, it must be what ladies do.

The art of being a lady is seeing how other ladies do it and finding out how to be the lady we want to be. The fault is saying,  “oh a lady would never _______. ” Because then you have set up the judges and juries to condemn some poor woman, possibly even yourself.

Years ago I set about taking pictures of the women in my life. Gathering eggs and washing them, bathing children, picking grapes, driving cars, cooking, laughing with friends.  What I noticed was that each of my subjects was beautiful.  The very art of being in that moment and being engaged in life made them so. The nuances of who they were deep inside shown through and was amazing!

So back to knowing yourself. Observe how other ladies do it. Be thankful for their ways if you love them. Learn from their mistakes if you don’t love their ways. Be your own kinda lady. The kind that knows who she is, and loves and accepts herself. In that moment, you are beautiful and the most ladylike of all.

Aloha

Aloha!

We searched and searched for a name for a yoga studio. Twisted Sister was cool, as was Pretzils and a few others. The one that seemed to fit, however, was “Aloha Arkansas Yoga”

Why? I made my first trip to Hawaii last year and fell in love. With the islands, the sun, the wind, the water, the lush greens and blues. And the people.

So I found this information:

HA Last but certainly not by any means the least of the contexts, is a breath, or to breathe, but with a distinctive emphasis on the breath, as the proverbial “breath of life”.

Aloha I m o means the “facade, face or appearance, of the breath of life”. Inmo* the word aloha is so broad and generalized in it’s english interpretation/ translation because English is a very poor language for speaking of things spiritual/ heartfelt ! In short I would say the word aloha is like the word/ phrase namaste’, “I recognize the (same) breath of life within you as I have within, and wish to present from me”.

And isn’t that Namaste? a recoginition of that same breath of life in others?

So I begin a journey. To learn first and foremost. About myself and what I am capeable of, about what I have to offer others and how to “breathe” every day.

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