I have been making friends with impermanence. It may sound silly, but after a profound meditation experience, I came face to face with the realization that I am a control freak, and while that control has helped me in some ways, it has also caused me much suffering. I’ve opened up to the reality that everything is in a state of impermanence — the seasons change, each day is different from the previous one, all living things grow, relationships change, the years go by.
At first this was rather scary to me, as it brought up all of my fears of the unknown. I wanted to hide in my usual pattern of planning in order to maintain some power over the future. Then it dawned on me: My life is in a much better place than it used to be, and that is due primarily to the moments over the past few years when I let go and went with the flow.
Any yoga pose can be done in an inspired way. In fact, the more inspiration you put into it, the better the pose. (This goes for Savasana too, yo.) Be present, breathe, look inward, breathe … be inspired. This is yoga!
Nevertheless, most of us yogis aspire toward the more advanced asanas, and one that usually comes right to mind is Handstand: Adho Mukha Vrksasana. Downward-Facing Tree. In which your hands and fingers are the branches reaching down into the ground, and your feet and toes the roots reaching for the sky. There’s nothing like it for a new perspective — on yourself and on life in general.
I love good food and celebrations with family and friends. Which makes Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays — it serves up both in spades!
But this Thanksgiving, I did something a little different. Rather than filling my belly with the usual feast, I decided to observe a day of fasting, which I followed up with a donation to our local food bank.
That’s right: a no-food Thanksgiving!
By The FIRM Master Instructor Marguerite O’Brien
While I try to be mindful of the blessings in my life and give thanks on a daily basis, there are times when I am humbled by life’s circumstances and my gratefulness is magnified. I’ve had several experiences recently that I wanted to share with you, in hopes that they will inspire you to take a moment to be present to what is going on around you and give silent thanks for every blessing.
When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown
Hope is having positivity, belief and faith — in yourself. Hope is perseverance, because it doesn’t give up. With a little practice, you can make hope a habit. Not only will you improve your health and fitness, but you also will improve your life.
by Tania Kazi
There comes a time in life when the old ways begin to peel and shed away.
This happens when you start to notice one too many undesirable patterns recurring in your life. You vow to change things, but the patterns keep reemerging with renewed force. The wise thing to do, one hears, is to step back, take a deep breath and reaffirm your intent to break away from the pattern. To stop doing that which repeatedly gives birth to an environment that accentuates the gray and uncertain hues of life in the core of your existence. This is where courage comes in. Lots of it.
Inhale, pause… Exhale, pause… The pendulum of the breath swings effortlessly back and forth, in and out.
During these cold days of the year, we may catch ourselves fascinated with the phenomena of the breath. And in your child’s first year, you may be constantly listening to his or her sleeping breath.
But most of the time, the breath goes unnoticed. As yogis, we harness our minds and balance our bodies by observing the breath and the life force vibrations that travel inside the fabric of the breath.
If you want to increase the amount of joy in your life, it has to begin with the way you love, treat and honor yourself. If you are reaching outside of yourself for people, things, food, drugs, alcohol or jobs to be your source of joy, you will be at the mercy of circumstance. Real power comes when you realize you can feel joy for no reason at all.
If you could attend a workshop with Gandhi, the Dalai Lama or Martin Luther King, Jr., you’d sign up just as fast as you could, wouldn’t you? I felt just as excited when I heard that Thich Nhat Hanh — a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, master meditation teacher and renowned advocate for peace — was offering a day of mindfulness near my home. The day-long program was put on by the Omega Institute at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, meaning all this Brooklynite mom had to do was arrange for childcare and get on the subway. Done.