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I have written about freedom several times now, and it’s fun to look back and re-read how I defined freedom on various occasions, along the timeline of my life.
I’m not surprised I like to write about freedom or that it evolves each time I come to it; I mean the word is tattooed on my arm. Apparently, on some level it is important to me.
As a long-time yoga practitioner, I remember speaking with my teachers and fellow students 15 years ago about the discomforting fact that images in the publications were almost always those of young, white, athletic women or prominent male “gurus.” Some of us wrote letters to the editor protesting this fact, but nothing really changed.
I’ve been sitting with this idea all week long and it’s been a little challenging. You see, the idea of connection came to me when I sat at San Dominican University last weekend, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, to pay tribute to a special young man I had only just begun to know.
It can be easy to fill life with excuses. Anyone with us? Especially when it comes to working out. We don’t want to get all sweaty at a certain time of day, we’re tired, we have too much going on. You name it, we’ve been there. As Resource Girls, we pride ourselves in always trying to help cut down on these excuses and find better ways of doing just about anything.
When I became a yoga teacher 13 years ago, I was keenly interested in introducing yoga into hospitals and mental health centers. I began my own practice right after my father died, and experienced such grounding within my grief that I longed to share the benefits of yoga with people who’d experienced illness or trauma. I taught in hospitals, but it was five years later, in county drug court, that I found my true niche working with teens.
Seven years ago I found a copy of yoga teacher Matthew Sanford’s book Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, in the local used bookstore. The book lit me on fire: Not only did Sanford’s story of loss and healing profoundly move me, his deep and unique experience with yoga’s ability to transform touched into my own and inspired me to teach to people with disabilities.
The holidays are careening toward us again, whether we’re ready or not. It’s time to take a look at how we plan to take care of ourselves during the chaos. Let’s start with a few of the demands placed upon us. Although the list can be endless—shopping, parties, where will the money come from, baking, cleaning, entertaining, will Uncle Joe get drunk and ruin dinner—you have to carve out extra time for these chores.
A guest post from Two Fit Moms.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, but the Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to come back to center, to focus on all that is good, and to count our many blessings. This year, we encourage you to expand your day of gratitude into a daily practice. While this may sound like another task to add to your to-do list during a busy season, we believe it’s well worth the effort.
For much of my life, I was shy and withdrawn, deep in my own world and very uncomfortable in public settings. Over time, though, yoga, mountain ventures, friendships, and a variety of healing encounters have opened me up and connected me strongly to the life around me. So this summer I boldly ventured forth to participate in the Arise Music Festival in Loveland, Colorado, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.