Adaptability is the expression of constant change – Swami Saraswati

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Despite my best intentions, sometimes I get behind. . . way behind!  The past couple of weeks has been a whirlwind of engaging in my passions; family, travel, food, friends and teaching yoga.  Consequently, although I have been focused on teaching #TheItyProject, I have neglected blogging about the last few virtues.
So let’s see, what have we missed?  Non-irritability and adaptability!  As I move through the Eighteen Ities in my teaching and personal practice, I am astounded at how much I am learning about myself.  Even a week on each virtue allows me to uncover some often unrealized truths.
Irritability is the precursor of anger.  When I focus on what causes irritability throughout my days I am able to quickly come up with the usual offenders.  Lack of sleep, hunger, loneliness, and feeling overwhelmed are huge triggers in my life.  But when I look deeper, past those external triggers which can be prevented with a good schedule and connection – I find the biggest trigger for irritability is my feeling as though I am not good enough.  I’ll talk more about this in a future post, but for now I’ll say that my pattern centers around making unrealistic lists of things to accomplish in a given timeframe.  When I fail to make it through these lists, I follow-up with negative self-talk and self-doubt.  I then become irritable.  I am afraid will take longer than a week to sort through and change this pattern, but I’ll keep you posted.
If the last couple of weeks has highlighted anything it is that once a pattern is noticed, it is very difficult to un-notice it.  Now that I have begun to understand this unhealthy pattern in my mind I can begin my work.
Adaptability is the virtue that follows non-irritability and if you believe in serendipity it couldn’t have come at a better moment for me.  My family and I followed our passion last week all the way to Kansas City to join friends to celebrate the Royals‘ World Series win.  It was a last-minute, “fly by the seat of our pants” road trip and it involved juggling of schedules, teaching, practices, school, jobs, pet and home care.
It also involved reaching out to friends for help and making compromises in budget, sleep and those all-consuming lists of things to do.  Adaptability is the very expression of constant change according to Swami Saraswati.  When we cultivate adaptability, we are able to consciously act.  We learn to take a step back, breath and act wisely.  When we do this, we have time (even if it is just a moment) to access the best action for ourselves and others.
It is important to understand cultivating the ability to adapt is not the same thing as submitting to a situation or giving away your personal power.  Adaptability is NOT self-denial.  Adaptability is a mindful balance of one’s needs and desires with those of others.  It is the art of compromise and managing one’s energy.
Along with our incredibly fun and spontaneous trip came exhaustion and a back log of work when we returned home.  Normally, this may have sent me into a tailspin.  I would slide into feeling over-whelmed and grumpy thus ruining the experience we created.  Focusing on cultivating these virtues over the past weeks has allowed me to better predict future pitfalls and react accordingly.
If you haven’t been following along with #TheItyProject, join in anytime by reviewing older posts on this blog or following my on Facebook or Instagram.
Go Royals!

 

The ity Project

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How do we find peace and joy in our lives?  How do we live our fullest potential and not get swept up into the darkness and negativity that can sometimes seem to dominate our world today?  These are tough questions with seemingly no perfect answer.
Sri Swami Sivananda taught his students how to achieve this peace by using the Eighteen ities Song.  He believed when one focused upon and cultivated each of these “ities” or virtues, one could begin to transcend everyday things and find a deeper meaning in life.
The Eighteen Ities

Serenity, Regularity, absence of Vanity,

Sincerity, Simplicity, Varacity,

Equanimity, Fixity, non-Irritability,

Adaptability, Humility, Tenacity,

Integrity, Nobility, Magnanimity,

Charity, Generosity & Purity

The ity Project begins now.  For the next eighteen weeks, we will work to cultivate each of these virtues.  Follow along with this blog, my instagram, Facebook and Twitter to gain insights and inspirations each week.  Eighteen weeks from now, my hope is that you will feel better focused, more at peace, and closer to your true nature – just in time to move into 2016!

Open Your Legs and Hips With This Mini Flow To Go. . .

Legs & Hip Opening Sequence
Anjaneyasana, Ardha Hanumanasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, & Parsvottanasana

This week, my pal Ellie Bernstein and I are hosting a little Instagram challenge #GetYourHanumanOn as we prepare to travel to Boulder for my favorite yoga festival, Hanuman Festival!   Hanumanasana, or squared hip splits is a big posture that can be very challenging!  This asana necessarily requires patient opening of the hips, hamstrings as well as the quadriceps.  It encourages us to cultivate a burning desire to work towards a long-term goal of a pose that may never show up in our bodies.  It demands that we check our ego at the door, so we can avoid pushing too far, too fast.   Working towards Hanumanasana just might help us open the back line of fascia that often tightens causing problems up the back chain of our bodies.  It could help open our hip flexors that tighten due to our desk jobs and sedetary lifestyles.  Finally, it teaches us that if we have faith in the work, reaching the asana will simply be icing on the cake.

The above sequence can be done anywhere, anytime.  Once in Parsvottanasana, you can step back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) or forward into Uttanasana (forward fold).  It can even be added onto your Sun Salutations to make a mini flow!

Have Faith.                        Do The Work.                      Keep Practicing.

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