smile

A Crash Course in Being Kind

Nichole Golden by Nichole Golden | February 17th, 2014 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: Brithandaranyaka Upanishad, judgement, kind, kindness, oneness, smile, spirituality, support, uplift, uplifting, Yoga

There’s nothing more heartbreaking to me than when people are unkind to one another.

When we are young, we learn the most fundamental teachings about being human: be nice to one another, share, clean up after yourself, don’t take things that aren’t yours, etc. But it seems that when we become adults, we often forget everything that was a part of these original lessons of life. Even the yoga community is littered with heartbreaking exchanges. If unkindness is evident in a community dedicated to conscious living, I imagine it is even more insidious in other spheres.

Yoga — Why So Serious?

Brian Penny by Brian Penny | April 5th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: Ally Ford, ashtanga, Bikram, compassion, discipline, disruption, expression, fun, joke, laughter, Mysore, sense of humor, serious, Shala at White Orchid, smile, solemn, Yoga, yoga class, yoga studio

serious yoga

I don’t mean to Bikram-bash, but my first yoga studio experience happened to be in a Bikram studio, and it wasn’t great. What turned me off the most about the experience was the energy in the room. Nobody was smiling. I can’t stand being places where no one’s smiling — my defense mechanisms kick in, among them a very snarky sense of humor. I found myself trying to fight laughter from the jokes I was telling myself internally to qualm the awkwardness, while staying as silent externally as everyone else. It’s difficult to ground yourself and balance on one foot when you’re shaking at your core from fighting hysterical laughter!

This isn’t the way a yoga class should be. Yoga is fun. I enjoy the practice. So why do most yogis seem so serious all the time?

On Staying Open (Plus a Playlist)

Dionne Elizabeth by Dionne Elizabeth | December 17th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: community, connection, eye contact, fear, heart, music, open, outgoing, people, rejection, Relationships, reward, risk, shy, smile, songs, Spotify playlist, strangers, Yoga

Staying openI was reminded this weekend, whilst walking through town, about the magic of staying open. Two strangers openly greeted me with big smiles, and I am ashamed to say I was consciously taken aback. But once I acknowledged it was me they were smiling at, I responded by grinning with appreciation at them (possibly scaring them, apols about that!).

See, after I moved here, I often found myself talking (or rather, trying to talk) to strangers in the street, or at bus stops, or as I queued to pay for groceries. Despite my best efforts, the funny looks I often received in return took their toll, as I assumed they were a negative reaction towards my behavior. This eventually led to me becoming more shy and reserved, and less likely to try to connect with those I met.