Tag: Yoga

If It Floats…

With tears in her eyes, Sasha said, “I could see it coming but I hoped you and dad would work it out.  Tell me one more time how the two of you got together.  I love that story.”

Sasha and I sat on Flagler Beach watching the sunrise.  I chose the ocean as the place to tell my twenty-year old daughter about the end of a love story that started on a California beach three decades earlier.   Life had come full-circle.

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After twelve months on the road sharing a VW bus with Victor, I thought I knew everything about him.  We were sitting on a bench in the ashram meditation garden, looking out at the ocean.  The sun was slipping out of sight, creating an orange glow, erasing the horizon.  Sky and water became one.

Out of the blue, Victor squeezed my hand and said, “I am going to become a monk and follow the Guru on his world tour.”

Jaw open, eyes wide, breath in my throat, I managed a confused, “What?”

The next day I moved out of the bus and into the ashram.  On the upside, after a year living a Buddhist life style I was drug-free, sober and healthy.  My thoughts were clear and my heart open.  On the downside, I was three thousand miles from home with no money or transportation.  I’d cut ties with my family five years ago.  Plus they would never understand my lifestyle choices.  There was no point in reaching out to them.  I would have to figure out on my own what to do next.

* * *

I attended as many lectures, yoga classes and evening sessions with the Guru as I could, hoping for some insight about the future.

It was impossible to avoid Victor.  When our paths crossed I held my head high, looked him in the eye and nodded silently.

Living in the ashram required thirty hours of service each week.  When possible I worked in the kitchen.  There was something meditative about preparing food for residents and guests.  I spent most of my kitchen time working side-by-side, laughing and flirting with Henry, another lost soul.

When not in the kitchen Henry and I explored the ashram grounds.  Nestled between the ocean and mountains on the California coast, we found lots of places to disappear from view, or so we thought.

Word got back to Victor that I had moved on and was seeing someone else.  Suddenly I was more interesting.  He would stop me in hallways to talk and he would sit next to me during morning meditation.

One day he asked, “Would you let me buy you dinner Friday?  There’s a new vegan restaurant in town.  I hear it’s pretty good.”

And so the courting began.

* * *

This was a very different Victor than the one I’d followed around the country.  He seemed focused, considerate and interested in something besides himself.  One night he prepared a picnic and took me to the beach to watch the sunset.

He popped open a bottle of champagne and popped the question, “Will you marry me and create our future as we live in the present, one day at a time?”

At a loss for words, I put the top back in the bottle and threw it in the ocean.

“If the bottle floats, my answer is yes.”

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The Road to Om

Again, it has been awhile since my last post.  I am trying not to make this a “dear diary” sort of blog and stick to the high points.  Since last I spoke…

I have been busy writing a book and getting it self-published.  It was on my bucket list for about twenty years.  I can finally check it off.  If we are not connected through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In or some other social medium, the title of the book is Your Holiday Coach.  My intention in writing this book is to help you or someone you know prioritize what will bring joy, peace and happiness during the upcoming season.  It is full of tips and activities to craft a realistic plan to survive the holidays.  It is currently available in paperback and as a Kindle book on Amazon.com

Your Holiday Coach has its own blog site and I will be posting on that site about twice a week into December.  You can follow along at yourholidaycoach.wordpress.com.

Now that the commercial is over, what else have I been up to on my year of self-awareness?

I believe I was at my best as a human being when I was immersed in Yoga.  Yoga is so much more than the poses most people think of when they think of yoga.  Yoga is not a religion.  For me it is a spiritual compass.  The basic teachings and philosophy of yoga are based on ten ethical precepts that allow us to be at peace with ourselves, our family, and our community. They are known as the Yamas and Niyamas.  Rather than a list of dos and don’ts, they tell us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest, and, peaceful.  If you want to know more about the Yamas and Niyamas, you can find explanations on the Internet.

My yoga journey began in 1990.  I was introduced to the poses and a specific guru.  I started going to classes and an occasional weekend workshop.  I must admit that I was more faithful to my weekly yoga practice than any other path I have followed.  In the late 1990’s I attended teacher training and moved to Homosassa to help manage a yoga retreat center.  I mainly taught seniors (before I was one) and special needs children.  In 2004 I moved back to Michigan and my yoga practice began to unravel.

Fast forward to the present day.  I have enrolled in Yoga teacher training in Lexington.  Since my first go-round, certification has become more formal and I will be an RYT (registered yoga teacher) with Yoga Alliance.  My goal is not to teach again, though I’m not opposed to it.  This time around I want to reconnect with the best part of me and strive to be a compassionate, generous, honest, and, peaceful human being.

Also on the horizon is NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month – November.  If you can write 50,000 in the thirty days of November, you will have a first draft.  That is my plan to get started on my next book.  More about that in my next post.

I will end this post with a traditional Sanskrit greeting used to begin and end most yoga classes.

Namaste (na-ma-stay) – I honor that place in you where the whole universe dwells.  It is a place of peace and love and light and truth.  When I am in that place in me and you are in that place in you, we are one. Om!

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