Recently I was invited to write for The Limestone Post Magazine, a local online magazine celebrating Bloomington, Indiana and the surrounding area. As any of my friends can tell you, I am in love with Btown and all it has to offer. Often taken for granted by life-long residents, and not as well-known outside of the mid-west (unless you follow basketball), Bloomington is a hotbed of intellect, music, art, culture, cuisine and comedy. To my friends back in Denver who asked why in the world I would move away, I described my town as a little less weird than Boulder, CO and without mountains. But honestly, without a doubt, this is where the deepest part of my heart resides. Limestone Post gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts and views on the things I love most and introduces me to other perspectives about this place called home. Click on the photo above to read my first article.
Yoga doesn’t care if you have read the Sutras chapter and verse. . .
you are welcome.
Yoga doesn’t care who Lulu or Lucy are or if your pants are vegetable dyed hemp. . .
you are not your clothes.
Yoga doesn’t care if you are having your best day or your worst. . .
any day is a good day to practice.
Yoga doesn’t care if you believe you are physically broken or emotionally bankrupt . . .
come as you are.
Yoga doesn’t care if your pants are see-through. . .
and they are, trust me.
Yoga doesn’t care if you speak English, French, Korean or Sanskrit. . .
just speak your own truth.
Yoga doesn’t care if you are Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Aetheist, Agnostic. . .
as long as you walk in love.
Yoga doesn’t care if you think you are “all that”. . .
it will humble you.
Yoga doesn’t care if you are fat or skinny, tall or short, brown or white. . .
you are not your vessel.
Yoga doesn’t care if you do not believe in yourself. . .
it will show you the way.
Yoga doesn’t care if you’ve been a jerk your whole life. . .
it will reveal your inner light.
Yoga doesn’t care if you practice yin, Bhakti, Bikram, vinyasa. . .
this practice offers so much.
Yoga doesn’t care if you practice in the heat or cold, in a bed, on a cushion or in a chair. . .
it cannot be contained.
Yoga doesn’t care if you practice one limb or all eight. . .
you have to start somewhere.
Yoga doesn’t care if you can’t shut off your mind. . .
that is why it is called a practice.
Yoga doesn’t care about Chaturanga, Adho Mukha Vrksasana,
or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana. . .
those asanas are the illusions to which we attach ourselves.
Yoga doesn’t give a shit. . .
Let go of judgment, labels and perfection. . .
Yoga Doesn’t Give A Shit was originally posted on this blog December 26th, 2014. As I move into another year of teaching and exploring this beautiful and powerful practice, this post continues to be my most viewed. My yoga practice and study has given me the courage to risk being vunerable and share my thoughts with a wider audience. Thank you to those of you who have been willing to listen to and connect with me. I wish you light, love, and blessings in 2016.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there – standing in front of our collection of clothes and muttering to ourselves that we have nothing to wear. This is definitely a first world problem, but a problem none-the-less that we can make a little fun of, right? I mean seriously, it isn’t that we have nothing to wear, it is that we have too much to wear!
Many of us don’t realize that amassing more than we need often leads to feelings of not enough. To put it simply, the more we have (beyond what is necessary for survival), often, the more we crave. Feelings of discontent and lack are not uncommon when trying to find an outfit. If we really think about it, it is a ridiculous state of mind. So what can we do when we are faced with abundance, yet still feel discontent? Patanjali advises in the 8-limb path of yoga to practice the 5 codes of restraints called Yamas.
Aparigraha (Sanskrit: अपरिग्रहा), the fifth restraint, is the concept of non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness. Aparigraha is the practice of only taking what is truly necessary and no more. Parigrah is Sanskrit for ‘to amass or crave’, the prefix of A translates to ‘non-‘.
We can explore Aparigraha in two ways; through our outer and inner worlds. Outwardly, it encourages a simpler way of life and non-hoarding. If we look through the lens of our inner-world, our minds, it is encouraging non-attachment and non-craving with the goal of creating inner-peace and contentment.
So, how can we practice Aparigraha in our modern lives?
First, recognize and have a sense of humor. I just counted and will admit to amassing at least 20 pairs of yoga pants. Do I still stand in front of my closet and mutter that I don’t have anything to wear – yes! Do I still crave more? Yes. Am I ridiculous? Absolutely. But, I choose to have a sense of humor about my hoarding habits. I can recognize my tendency to justify this collection by listing the numerous classes I teach and times I practice heated yoga per week. But really, I just get sick of my clothes and love having the variety. There was a time when I was practicing the same amount of yoga with only two pairs of pants, that I would diligently wash out each evening in preparation for the next practice. That worked too. I recognize that when I stand in front of my closet bursting at its seams, that much of what hangs there is more than I need and often ignored due to lack of quality, ill-fit or simply being tired of the item.
Second, get rid of everything! Just kidding. Get rid of everything that isn’t necessary, well-fitting or loved. Living your yoga in the modern world doesn’t mean we have to give up having anything extra, frivolous or unneccessary, but it should be something that you love and will use. So yes, you can have a great piece in your wardrobe that you only wear occasionally, simply honor its place in your closet. Living your yoga isn’t about giving up everything you love, however being weighed down by more than you need can create more discontent than we realize.
Recently, I found this great strategy for downsizing your closet, by creating a capsule wardrobe. It is a great way to have a little fun practicing Aparigraha. For myself, it helped me realize how much I already have, lessened my desire for more and created simplicity in my life. I have started to apply the technique to other spaces in my home that weigh me down mentally. . .next stop? The home office. . . ugh!