I am creating these "Yoga Extras" blog posts for those of you resonating with the public yoga classes & Yoga Teacher Trainings I am leading. Inside of these blog posts you will find extra resources that support our weekly class theme. The weekly classes I guide are themed according to the season & collective energetic "weather"--This is of course influenced by many things; for instance, not only national and global events but how masses of people are feeling about and reacting to those events. It is also influenced by space weather (see spaceweather.com) & the current movement/placement of celestial bodies ie: the sun, moon, planets, nodes, stars, etc. You can find me teaching currently at Black Swan Yoga (North-Anderson) in Austin, TX. I am on the schedule as "Erika K." Mention this webpage for a free class.
⭐️ Hey! ⭐️
In this blog is an awesome video on OUR NEEDS with universally beloved author/teacher Gabor Maté. Scroll to the bottom to watch!
Physical Focus (Peak Pose): Alternative prep/version 2 of prep for Archer Dolphin (an inversion/arm balance/shoulder opener). This pose and sequence were so well-received I'm bringing the basic principles back with greater preparation for the hamstrings to hopefully give more of us a chance to feel our way into this wildly creative and fun shape.
Philosophical: Reclaiming the word/idea of: "Selfish"
I am the human to this cat. This cat's name is Pauntoufle (pawn-toof)...Toof for short. I caught her breaking her whole-day-long nap with a big cat-yawn. I spent most of the day right by her side. The cultural influence in me pretty regularly pipes up by saying, "Erika, get up and get shit done please. Your to-do list is growing!"Am I lazy? Selfish? All of the above? Regularly enough it feels frustrating to feel like there's not enough time in a day to get all of the things done. But as often as I notice that frustration, I also give myself the permission to prioritize my system's needs over late bills, unfixed vehicle issues, work-expansion plans & unscheduled doctor's visits. Don't get me wrong, I feel the genuine importance of getting the above moving, I suppose I'm just in an extended moment of, as a fav poet Mary Oliver would say, " letting the soft animal of my body love what it loves." & on a day where my body is pulsing with some extra energy, I'll use that fire to get that ever-present list checked off. I don't have the answers for other people, I can only do my best to attempt to accurately read my own supply of divine guidance. If there is one thing I think I know it is that there is a certain power that lies in the middle way, or balancing point. I've heard several private clients lately express how they "waste their time" on such "selfish, superficial [...] guilty pleasures" such as napping, binging on Netflix, playing video games, etc. It hurts me to hear them say that. Especially when I see these dear beings simply meeting important personal needs such as rest, wandering-brain-time and play (non-negotiable needs according to life-educator Gabor Matè), when their lives have been overly-filled with responsibilities, sometimes from very early ages.
I heard SUCH a GREAT quote this week, source unknown. But, wow! Read the caption below (emphasis on the penultimate "needs met" section).
I find myself spending time IN my comfort zone to recharge as well as OUT of my comfort zone as that's where I was once told by wise counsel is where the magic happens. Two other ways I've heard this put: "Push and then relish, push and then relish." And: "Do, be, do, be, do." Yoga as a practice/philosophy is so massive, and I don't resonate with every shred of wisdom I learn from it, but it DOES make sense to me that our personal power lies in the middle, ie: the yoking (yoga) point or point of union between opposites. What doesn't make sense to me is to heap insult upon injury by calling ourselves, in a derogatory sense, selfish, when so many of us, so it seems to me, are all doing our best on our unique and oftentimes challenging life journeys to take care of all that life asks of us, including ourselves.
Lastly, something that struck me just yesterday...
I took such a good yoga class this week. It was so full of spirit, power & energy. I told this to my buddy/colleague after the class she taught and she said: "It’s because I took your class before and was so full and filled/recharged I felt inspired to give more." I gave, she received. Then vice versa. But she had to first prioritize herself by receiving before having anything to give. Well shit, yet again I’m reminded that the heart sends itself blood before any other organ. That word “selfish” has gotten such a bad rep. Defining selfish as either "positive or negative" requires context, discernment. A favorite old quote is "We must give of our overflow, not of our essence." It's so cliche. Simple. I know. But I am continuing to find that Truth is simple (and). The infinite Heart is simple (and). The soul is simple (and). It's the finite human brain that likes to overly-complicate things.
Wishing for all of us to continue to go easy on ourselves in meeting our own needs, especially when there are plenty of us that have lived lifetimes where we've not had essential needs met, and are finally starting to learn to meet our own.
In Love & service, ek. xo
Click the image below for this week's playlist!
If we "lack" consideration for others, doesn't that also mean that we have consideration for a yet-to-be-met, primary need of our own?
Click the image below for the totality of this week's reading.