Sunday, April 20, 2014

What is an intuitive energy session?

I consider myself an intuitive energy translator. I am able to read and interpret the body energetically and then translate that to you in meaningful ways. I also act as a channel for the spirit guides that wish to assist us with our physical experience.

Why would you come for an energy session?
When a client comes to see me usually they are working on an area of pain or discomfort in their physical body, have unresolved emotions that they are unsure how to release, feel stuck or dispassionate about their life, or posses a desire to feel more peaceful in how life unfolds. Some just feel disconnected to their soul, their purpose, their inner knowing and intuitive self. Really you can come for any reason that makes you want to ask the question why or fosters a desire to move on with your life in a greater state of connection and joy.

What is the session like?
I start with a foot bath of various salts and essential oils. We start by talking about goals of the session or what is on your mind or what you are feeling currently. Please see my how to prepare for a session section on my website to ensure we have the best success for your intentions.  It is helpful if you know what you want to cultivate or release. For example, I want to feel less stressed. I want to be inspired. I want to feel less emotionally unstable. I start sensing your energy and I am led by what your body tells me.  I will channel information from your spiritual guides. These guides will sometimes talk to you directly through me or they will pass along helpful information to me about you or suggestions for your well being. I will start helping your body release stagnant energy, old habits, stuck emotions and such by touching your feet or body either directly or indirectly or by allowing you to hold crystals, mudras or by using your intention. Truly, each person and session is unique as I am guided by what makes you feel at ease and what will work best for you that day.

How will I feel after a session?
Some people feel very relaxed right after similar to a massage and some feel sleepy, tired and feel the need to go home and rest.  Others feel energized and grounded. Everyone responds differently. I advise not having to go back to work or to workout or doing anything stressful or strenuous after a session. Sessions work best if you can arrive and depart without having to rush. The next day and following days you may experience some soreness or heightened states of awareness in your body. I compare this to doing a new workout and being sore the following day. You may also find that you experience vivid dreams after the sessions as well.

How long will it take to "work"?
Each person of course in unique in their readiness to make positive changes their your lives.  After the session you will have some tools to work with on your own to continue you healing process. Sessions are team work between me as your guide/translator and you as the director/captain of your healing process. I am not present to "heal" you or "fix" you but to help you clearly open to yourself in the present and to compassionately identify obstacles that prevent you from experiencing your true self.

What is my role in the session?
Your role is to remain aware and present in whatever you are experiencing. You can ask questions or share what you are experiencing or you can be inside with your experience. At times I will give you directions or suggestions to assist in moving energy. Sometimes you are only to hold to space or to set the intention.

How is this type of work similar to massage or other therapeutic body work?
Many different modalities work on the energetic body. My sessions are are similar to a massage or an acupuncture session but with the massage often happening without direct touch and with more awareness at times as to what the physical sensations of tightness, pain, etc are related to on an emotional or experiential level. You may feel afterwards similar to a massage or acupuncture. As with any healing modality your openness and belief in your ability to manage your energy and heal your body is the key.  The physical body is your reflection of how you are managing your energy.

Can you do phone sessions or sessions at my home?
Yes! I can work with you to accommodate your situation.

More information is on my website!



Four Directions Prayer



Creator, it is I. Thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations. Creator, hear my prayer, and honor my prayer.

As the day begins with the rising sun, I ask, Spirit keeper of the East, Brother Eagle, Be with me. Fly high as you carry my prayers to the Creator. May I have eyes as sharp as yours, so I am able to see truth and hope on the path I have chosen. Guide my step and give me courage to walk the circle of my life with honesty and dignity.

Spirit keeper of the South, Wolf, Be with me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all mankind. Help me to walk my path with joy and love for myself, for others, for the four legged, the winged ones, the plants and all creation upon Mother Earth. Show me it is right for me to make decisions with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt. Help me to grow and nurture my self worth in all ways.

Spirit Keeper of the West, Brown Bear, Be with me. Bring healing to the people I love and to myself. Bring into balance the physical, mental and spiritual, so I am able to know my place on this earth, in life and in death. Heal my body, heal my mind and bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.

Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo, Be with me. As each day passes, help me to surrender, with grace, the things of my youth. Help me to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort in the silences as they become longer. Give me wisdom so I am able to make wise choices in all things which are put in front of me, And when time for my change of worlds has come, Let me go peacefully, without regrets, for the things I neglected to do as I walked along my path.

Mother Earth, Thank you for your beauty, And for all you have given me. Remind me never to take from you more then I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take.


- Vera Dery, 2002

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heart Forward...

Full moon today and lunar eclipse last night! Lots of great energy to work with. My inspiration this weekend and into this week is to move heart forward. I am mindful of how my mind can so easily confuse me with justifying its causes and my habits. When I truly listen to what my heart has to say then the confusion is eliminated as the answer is always felt as true. Fall into the energy of this full moon and listen to what your heart has to say and perhaps let go of some baggage that prevents you from truly hearing your heart more often......



"The heart is quiet rather than noisy, intuitive rather than deductive. It lives entirely in the present and is at every moment accepting of reality as it is. Moreover, the heart does not seek to distance itself from or dominate anything or anyone by labeling. Rather, it begins with an awareness of its relationship with the rest of creation and everything and everyone in it. It accepts rather than objects, it finds similarity rather than alienation, and likeness rather than difference. Your heart knows no fear. It experiences no desire and never finds the need to defend or justify itself. And, unlike your mind, your heart never seeks to impose itself. It is patient and undemanding and does its work with no prompting. It nourishes your body in every moment. Little wonder then that the mind, always impatient and very demanding, manages to dominate the heart so thoroughly unless we are vigilantly watching and making our hearts the absolute kings of our beings."
{~Fr. Archimandrite Meletios Webber}


Let It Go from Danna Faulds

Let go of the ways you thought life would unfold:
the holding of plans or dreams or expectations – Let it all go. Save your strength to swim with the tide.
The choice to fight what is here before you now will
only result in struggle, fear, and desperate attempts
to flee from the very energy you long for. Let go.
Let it all go and flow with the grace that washes
through your days whether you received it gently
or with all your quills raised to defend against invaders.
Take this on faith; the mind may never find the
explanations that it seeks, but you will move forward
nonetheless. Let go, and the wave’s crest will carry
you to unknown shores, beyond your wildest dreams
or destinations. Let it all go and find the place of
rest and peace, and certain transformation.





Monday, April 7, 2014

Inhale Longer...

It is amazing to reflect on the inspiration to make changes that all the sudden appears one day and you make the first step. It can be something that you have been considering for a long time and then the day comes when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired or you just decide today is the day! I felt this intensely this spring. I have seen this felt by others in the means of needing to detox or cleanse. As stuckness, heaviness and old wants to break down and release our bodies sync with us to allow this to happen physically as well. Sometimes, this happens with dramatic releases and sometimes we just notice the releasing and the need to go with it. I see it happen in the form of getting ill, sudden aches and pains, bouts of emotions that seem to come from unexplained places...so many forms. This can feel good and we want to push it on and assist the process.   I think it is equally necessary to keep "watering" and supporting what we want to nourish which is our center, our spirit, our soul. While our bodies want to exhale it all and push it out, there needs to be an equal surrender and conscious intention to bring in support, the inhale, the anchor so that we are continuing to feed what is going to be strengthened. If we exhale and let go too much then we are depleted and what is left is not supported enough to carry us to the next phase which is the building, the growing and the nourishment of what we are trying to bring out. So, we need to ride the wave of release while all the while drawing in with the same tenacity our ability to feed ourself the breath, pleasure, good thoughts, beautiful food, positive words...anything that comforts our spirit and allows it to shine brighter and feel expanded.

My challenge for me is to "up level" my physical practice by first up leveling the breath and my allowance of support of my deep center before I move and go deeper in the poses. I can easily just muscle my way into a deeper twist with my shoulders and neck and say..."I am releasing out tension and stress" but am I then supporting this with a deep inhale to spark more of the spaciousness and ease that I want to create more of in my body and am I doing this from a place of groundedness and anchoring of what I want to move from?

I have been practicing Forrest Yoga with Angelina Vasile for about 6 or so months. This yoga style has heavily influenced me and my teaching. Originating from founder Ana Forrest, this practice allowed me to truly see some physical and emotional barriers to me really seeing and stepping into my true self. One of the physical items this practice showed me was my moving and holding of my body up by my shoulders and neck. This had been a place of chronic tension for me for so long and after a few forrest yoga classes...ding, ding the light when on as to why. Of course this also had a deeper more emotional correlation but for now I want to focus on what I learned physically. I was trying too hard to exhale and force the asanas to do their thing for me with a dismissal of the importance of supporting myself and moving from a deeper more connected place. For me "up leveling" became not making the poses more challenging physically but doing them from a different place and not trying so hard. Learning to use different, less developed muscles was challenging as I saw how "weak" these were and how "over developed" my neck and upper traps were. Balance was not a factor. I had to also start to breathe more and notice when I cut myself off from this important anchor."Inhale longer" my teacher told me today and "Ah ha!", it all made more sense.

 Sometimes, what we need more of is not the exhale or the letting go but a strong focus on filling up with the support so that when we exhale and let go it is from wholeness, from integration, from a place of knowing we are supported that we can ease into the new creations that are opening up for us.


Retreat Update and Extra Classes this Week and Next

Hi friends!
I have 1 room left for the yoga retreat in Cannon Beach. I also have 1 Yoga only (no housing required spot). That is it so if you are still on the fence grab your spot and then get excited. I am so excited for the wonderful group that we have attending!

I am subbing some extra classes this week and next as well as my new schedule starts tomorrow at Yoga Pearl and Monday at Root!
Here are some extra classes:
Tuesday, April 8th: 6:00a-6:55a Cardio and Strength Combo at March Wellness
Wednesday, April 9th 6:30-7:45p Power Vinyasa at Yoga Pearl
Monday, April 14th: 6:30a Power Vinyasa at Yoga Peal and 7:30p Hatha + Restorative at Root
Yoyo Yogi, Yoga Pearl and Root all offer new student specials and free trials so come on in!

Yoyo Yogi: 1st class is free/12 classes in 30 days for $38 New Student Special
Yoga Pearl: 2 weeks for $20 or 1 month unlimited for $50
Root: 1 week free classes

Have a great week! Hope to see you on the mat!



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Exciting News and Changes for my Teaching Schedule

I feel nothing but 100% gratitude for how the puzzles of my class teaching schedule have been perfectly arranged. Here are the changes and new additions to where I will be teaching...
New Class at Yoga Pearl: Starting Tuesday, April 8th I will teaching a Hatha Yoga class. I am so thrilled to be on the permanent schedule at Yoga Pearl! I have been attending yoga at Yoga Pearl since I moved to Portland.  This Hatha class is great if you enjoy a slower paced, alignment focused, mindful practice. Beginners will be comfortable and all levels will be challenged and allowed to explore how you can use the postures and your intention to heal and restore your body!
New Classes at RootStarting Monday, April 14th I will be teaching the Monday and Friday 12-1:15p Vinyasa class. I am so honored to be a part of the Root community. This is such a peaceful and healing wellness center that I am lucky to be able to share my yoga with. I previously announced teaching a Tuesday and Thursday evening vinyasa class but this change is for the better! Please come visit me here and enjoy all Root has to offer. 
Keeping Tuesday classes at OHSU March Wellness: With the changes at Root, I am able to keep my Tuesday classes at March Wellness. This is such a gift as these classes are so special to me!
Thank you to all my 24 Hour friends that have been with me for Body Pump and Cx and Yoga. I will miss your smiling faces each week but I hope you will join me at some of my other locations. 
I really excited for these new shifts to my schedule and for being able to venture into new locations that really excite me! I could not be more honored to be a part of Yoyo Yogi, Yoga Pearl, Root and March Wellness. I truly feel a deep love and connection to the students and  the owners/managers at these places.  I hope that you will come try out some of my new classes!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Temperance...

You have probably heard of the yoga pose and the phrase "cat chasing its tail". Well that could describe my most recent lesson on thinking you learned the lesson only to learn that I was in the middle of the lesson but on the other side of it. Yes, I got it basackwards.

This Aries energy came in quick and strong and I allowed my habitual pattern to take it and run with it. Run and do and expend and.... forgetting all the work of winter in slowing down, feeling it out, and moving from an integrated mind/body/spirit. I think that is the temptation this month. We have been feeling so sluggish and sleepy and when the energy comes and we just want to do it all. The problem comes when we are not aligned with what it is we truly want to do.  Our ego mind wants to do it all and get all the credit now. Our body may be leading us to a different direction...start action but temper it and ensure it feels right. .. don't over do it and don't do it all. Hence, the cat chasing its tail...we end up running in circles and thus running out of energy for the actions that truly feed us or we make decisions that box us in to old patterns.

I have found that the lesson is to feel the inclination to act, the rising of the energy of creation and then sit with it. Inquire about why? What is the intention? Where is it coming from? Feel it out. How does the decision make you feel? Get your foundation and from that place of integration determine if this is the right action for now. This helps us grow our energy and channel it appropriately. We can then avoid chasing down rabbit holes that do not really lead us into new growth. Our habits are familiar and often what appears to be "new steps" are just habits being reformed in new situation. That was my case. I didn't spend the time feeling it out. I thought it out but that is still the work of the ego and it can always justify the cause.

On the mat, you can practice temperance by really drawing your energy to your center and moving from this place, holding poses from this place. Feel yourself being held by your center...notice when the head, the neck and the shoulders want to take over...notice when you want to fidget and move restlessly. Can you temper your energy and stay in the fire and let it build? The fire of the poses can help you really see your patterns and your need to move and be held from places that are not integrated. I notice that my shoulders sometimes turn on when the poses get fiery and that is when I notice my habit of forging my way ahead and losing my center. Can you find balance with the breath..equal inhales and exhales...so there is no depletion or excess? This is what I can advanced yoga. If you can sit with all this on the mat..then this yoga is way more advanced than any arm balance or tricky pose.

I will end with compassion....if you like me notice yourself in the midst of "chasing your energy", breathe in some compassion. This is also part of the lesson. We learn and sometime re-learn and sometimes in thinking we got it we miss it. But we are again returning again from a place of greater awareness.

Cheers to temperance for me this week and for moving ahead into spring "feeling" first!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Allergy Relief..from a natural remedy lense

Seems like many of you are experiencing some discomfort these days from allergies. Normally, I am in this boat with you but not this year thankfully.  I wanted to share my favorite treatments for allergies that have eased my discomfort in years past.

 I want to state that this is just my opinion based on my experience and that I am not a medical professional..

1. Homeopathy: I use Sabadil when I think symptoms are starting (itchy eyes, sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose). For me within a day I see a reduction in symptoms. You can purchase this at New Seasons or Whole Foods. If you are not familiar with homeopathy and how it works check out this link from the manufacturer of Sabadil.
2. Essential oils: You can purchase some already blended versions from doTerra (Breathe) and Snow Lotus (Sinus Clear) that I have used and enjoyed. I have started making my own blend using the oils that have helped me as well as some help from my intuition. I do sell my blend in small sizes. Message me if you are interested. You can apply the oil blends to your feet, your sinus area, or you can diffuse the oil.  Essential oils need to be applied frequently to reduce and eliminate symptoms.
3. Acupuncture- For me this type of therapy works for about everything! If you need a recommendation I would be glad to give you some. Otherwise, NCNM clinic has group acupuncture and clinic hours where students treat you for reduced costs.
4. Western herbs: Quercetin and Stinging Nettles which you can again buy in capsules at New Seasons or Whole Foods. You must keep taking these herbs and from my experience they work best when taken for prolong periods before allergies start.
5. Use the neti pot to remove allergens from the nasal area and lubricate the nasal cavity with neem oil or ghee. This is an ayurvedic remedy.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Change is in the air...

Spring made its grand appearance in my life this year by sparking some changes in my schedule! I realized that I was spreading myself too thin and not allowing time to focus on my most important intentions. It is easy to get comfortable in our habits and schedules so that we just assume that what is= what is supposed to be. I find that in my life often an honest look at what are my intentions and how am I feeding them serves me well! I realized for me that expending so much energy teaching so many formats at so many places was not allowing me enough creation time and focused energy at what I am truly trying to grow in my work and my classes. It was a hard decision to wrestle with but in the end I feel that these changes will allow me to expand and to nourish what I am truly passionate about.

As of April, 7th I will no longer be working for 24 Hour Fitness. I have enjoyed teaching all the fun, athletic classes there for years and I will miss my classes dearly. I will enjoy focusing more on mindful movement based classes that allow me to keep my own pace slower.

As of April 11th, I will only be teaching my 9a Hatha Yoga class at OHSU March Wellness. Unfortunately, I was offered some classes that conflicted with my Tuesday evening classes. I have also decided to give up my Bootcamp class in light of my pursuit to streamline what I am teaching. My Pilates and Power Vinyasa classes were so joyful to teach and it was the hardest decision to make to have to give them up. Those of you that have been attending, thank you for your amazing support and energy. I hope I will be back on the schedule in time slots that work for me soon or I hope you will come visit me at Yoyo or Root.

As of April 15th, I am now teaching a 5:45p-7p Tuesday and Thursday Vinyasa class at Root Whole Body in NE Portland. I have been subbing at Root and I am excited to join the team on a permanent basis. This is a beautiful wellness facility that allows me to teach my most authentic yoga classes. I will also be teaching an Introduction to Yoga class every first Saturday from 1:30-3:30p. This is a great class to learn about what yoga is and the foundations. We will explore poses but also "yoga talk" and Q&A. It is a great class for those that have started yoga but really know nothing about the practice. This will be taught from a very exclusive perspective!

I am also opening up more time in my office for movement one on one sessions, intuitive energy sessions and for planning workshops and making more aromatherapy products!

Lots of good things to come! I hope that maybe this introduction of spring will spark your fire to ignite some changes in your life that will allow for growth and expansion for you!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What is a yoga retreat and why would I want to go?

Several of you have expressed interest in a yoga retreat but are unsure of what exactly it entails. I want to hopefully shed some light onto what the experience could bring to your practice and to your own self exploration.

Q: Why go on a yoga retreat?
-You can go to deepen your practice by practicing multiple times in a day. My retreat will be taught in a way that you can explore the poses more deeply in each class. Classes will be themed. For example a whole class could be focused on hip opening and we will work the poses in ways that allow you to understand more about your hips anatomically and experientially.
-It is a great way to meet other people that are interested in yoga and personal growth.
-It can be a nice way to get away for a reset and recharge for yourself. You can spend time away from class alone if you desire.
-It is a mini vacation with the addition of yoga!

Do I need to be a extravert or know a lot of people going?
-Not at all. You can hang out with others in between classes or spend the time in your room, on walks, hikes, etc. Your time away from class is your own. You do not have to eat with the group either.
-Often, you will meet like minded people that you may enjoy getting to know and socialize with.

Can I do all the classes in one day?What if I am new to yoga?
-The classes are structured so that you can attend all of them. The morning class is the most energetic but there are always options to tone down. The afternoon class is more mellow and grounding. The night class is a restorative class and will focus on calming your mind and body. Poses will be seated or supine/prone and will be very relaxing as well as allowing for deep stretching. The late classes also focus on breath work and meditation. All levels are welcome. With me knowing the group that is present at each clas, I can provide more hands on and personal assistance to meet you where you are.

Do I need to come for the entire retreat?
No, you can come for a day or the entire weekend. Pricing is based on the day although you can choose to attend only 1 class per day if you wish. Really, you can do whatever you like. :)

If I do not want to stay in shared housing where can I stay?
There are multiple hotels, bed and breakfasts and vacation rental houses in Cannon Beach and the surrounding areas. You can stay wherever you like or drive down for the day.

What is shared housing like?
-You can choose to share a room (with twin beds) or have your own room in a home. Both homes have a hot tub, bathrooms and a full kitchen. Bathrooms will be shared. The homes are located in Cannon Beach.

Where is the yoga held?
The yoga is held a local studio, Cannon Beach Yoga Arts. We have rented the studio for the times of our classes. We cannot use the facility outside those times.

What if I do not have a car?
Several people including myself will have a car to transport you to and from the studio. I can also help arrange rides to the retreat and home if that is needed. Just let me know.

What will the class themes be?
I am working on that now and will publish soon!

Is there a max for the retreat?
Yes. We are capped at 20 (being a tight squeeze).

What if I am on a tight budget?
Please write or call so I can work with you.


If you have further questions please let me know via email (jill@jillcasepdx.com) or post a comment!







The Yoga Pants dilemna

By request of a participant in one of my yoga classes...
Yoga pants are everywhere. How the heck does one sort out which ones are worth our hard earned money? Considering that I live in yoga pants most days I feel that hopefully I can provide some guidance. This is only my opinion based on my experience of course.

Tip #1: Good yoga pants are not cheap but worth it. Buying what is cheapest will result in a pile of them in your drawer that you never wear because they fit horribly and are not comfortable nor cute.
Tip #2 :Check out local studios for sales. You save on shipping and support local business.
Tip #3: Try on a few brands to find a brand that really fits you well and then splurge and buy a good pair. Maybe start with one and go from there. Honestly, I wear mine more than once before washing them. Just being honest.  Some brands are not built for some frames. It will really depend on your body.

My favorite all times pants are by Beyond Yoga. Yoyo Yogi sells them as well as Yoga Pearl and I am sure many other studios in the Portland area. These pants are flattering, feel amazing and are offered in many styles and colors. I have had some of mine for several years. I would sleep in them if it were not weird. I know both of the studios I referenced have sales on their apparel so you can often find them on sale locally. These pants stretch well yet maintain their form. LOVE them!

Lululemon has a large variety of styles, patterns, colors and such. They also have a great sale rack.  You are gonna pay though. I feel their pants last a reasonable length of time. You must care for them carefully to allow this to happen. No dryers!

Lucy has a large variety as well. They have a much larger sale rack. Their pricing is slightly better than Lululemon. I feel the wear is about the same as any other pants..but again you must take care of them. My older Lucy pants would last me many years...I think they were on to us and more recent pairs do not go that long.

Prana is another good brand. Not as many options but some good solid ones for a great price. There is a local store here too to try them on. I am an Influencer with them and have had several of my pants for more than a couple years. The fit is good and some of their materials are really super soft. Yoyo Yogi and Yoga Pearl also carry this brand.

I am sure there are other brands that are equally amazing but these are the brands that I wear and enjoy. I have some other fun yoga pants with some groovy patterns but they are not the best fit and they are not as comfortable so I trade that for style I guess. :)
Happy shopping!

Inspiration for the week: Being Authentic

The cancer moon this week spurred me into a deeper look into my own "feeling" self. I have a long history of listening to my mind the majority of the time and tossing aside any feeling bodily wisdom as irrelevant.  For many years I was a triathlete and through physical intensity taught myself to override anything my body told me that contradicted what my mind (ego) wanted to do. I of course found that this could spill into anything I wanted to do. Override feeling, forge ahead. So when I found yoga and wanted to start listening to my intuition and my own intuitive guidance, I found that it was really hard to know what that voice sounded like. I had not recognized that voice as an equally wise and strong part of myself. I thought I was just my mind (ego). Well, maybe I knew that I was not just my mind but my actions did not echo this. (I seem to notice that I "know" a lot with my mind that I do not really yet "know" within me...seems like that much to my dismay "knowing" is a process. Oh, how impatient I am!) I felt that "feeling guidance" was weak and mind guidance must be more tough and that is what it takes to get along in this world..right? Problem is that we are surrounded by contradiction. One study says A is the best thing for your body and study B says it will kill you. Your friend says go for it and your other friends says no way. How can we ever sort it out? We sort it out with our bodies wisdom..that "feeling" place...the gut instinct...that feeling you get when you know something is right even if logic would say it was totally wrong. The feeling you get when you get into a pose and you know that it just does not feel like a good idea or it just feels icky...and sometimes our mind overrides us and says do it..the teacher said to..everyone else is or on the contrary the mind tells you "You cannot do this. It is really hard. You are not strong enough. You don't want to look ridiculous.",, but nothing inside our body is telling us that same message. That is the fear talking! My point with all of this is to say that we are not just mind and we are not just body. No shock there. To be authentic to ourselves we must recognize that both parts of our self need to be heard and recognized. A lot of us (including myself) make decisions from one place whether is it on the mat or at work or anywhere. We can only truly step into ourselves when we start to see that each voice has a purpose and our true wisdom comes from the space that is found amongst them. In the space between.  We need to feel it out and use the mind to translate.
My challenge this week for my classes is to watch the place of decisions and actions on the mat. What voice are you adhering to? Can you make decisions that feel authentic to all parts of you? Can you choose to up level because it uplifts? Can you pull back because it soothes you? Can you feel your decisions in your body and know what resonates and what does not? Are you giving in to the "shoulds" and if so who does that please..your authentic self or others description and wills to be your authentic self? Be aware. This is tough work. Don't beat yourself up if you notice that you are not making authentic decisions. It took a lot of hard work to get to the point of even discovering that you are not being authentic. Excite in the fact that a hidden part of you gets to be revealed a little more each day!
Cheers on your path to being more of yourself!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Forgetting and Remembering..Part 2 Related to the Poses

I was pondering more about this topic and how it relates to the practice. If you had a scale that ranked people's effort during the practice and "10" was 110% and "1" was barely trying...I would say when I started practicing and up until not so long ago I was a proud 10. I used every muscle I could to "muscle" my way through the class forcing my not so flexible body into the poses that I sought to relieve all my tension.  Funny to admit but it was true. It felt good to just give it all and check out mentally from all in my life that was causing my body to be so tight and rigid.  The problem being that I felt good in my mind when I left yoga but my body was not really enjoying it as much as it could. I didn't really even realize that I was using up so much of my energy so frivolously. It was not until I started studying with some of my more recent teachers that they enlightened me to my habits. I realized I was overusing the very muscles that I was trying to relax... all by pushing forward with my "headstrong energy". I even noticed I was holding my breath during intense poses. None of this is uncommon and I understood this, but I was yoga teacher..how did I not see this? At first, I became really upset with myself every time I realized I had "done it again" during class. Then I would catch myself before class was over and then I had a choice...change my habit for the remainder of class and let go of some effort and breathe more deeply or keep doing what I was doing. Sometime I chose wisely and sometimes habit won. I started to notice it quicker...and now I notice it more often than not when I get into the pose by the first three breaths. Just like the 5th chapter of the story in my previous post, now often I just choose a more mindful yoga class that allows me the time and space to really check in to how I am breathing and moving. I tell you all this to remind myself and maybe others that our yoga practice is a very clear look into how we are moving through life. In the practice we learn many new things about poses, breath, alignment, and mindfulness... and we can cognitively understand and take the information in. Still, we are creatures of habit and we are bound to often forget this until we have lived the information in our bodies many times enough to create new pathways in our brains. Instead of being frustrated at our lack of getting it right all the time and remembering all we have learned, we can choose to be fascinated at how we are slowly but certainly changing habits that no longer serve us and incorporating the new information that we are finally ready to comprehend both mentally and physically. As a wise woman once told me the path from the head to heart is a short distance literally but sometimes a life-long journey actually. Good thing yoga is not a short term fix but a life long practice for discovering the new you each day. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Forgetting and Remembering...

This last week has been one in which I have had to practice compassion for myself on forgetting what I thought I had "learned" and sworn to never repeat. Funny how I would expect that a new insight would just erase my past patterning that had been ingrained in my actions for many years. Accidentally (or not), a story I had found from a friend Mark fell out of my yoga notebook this week to remind me of what I needed to remember...that it is not that we vow to never to forget but that we learn to remember so much more quickly and with a new awareness each time . I will share the story that Mark shared...

"My life in 5 Chapters"
Chapter 1:
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend that I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe that I am in the same place again. But it isn't my fault. It takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there and I still fall in. It is a habit...but my eyes are open and I know where I am.
Chapter 4:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter 5:
I walk down a different street.

I think part of waking up to being conscious in our every day life is accepting that when we see our outgrown habits and patterns that we realize that one it took a long time to create them and so we need to accept that it will take some amount of time to unravel them so that we just "walk down a different street". The process of revisiting them can be more of a interesting game of watching how differently we respond each time. We rarely respond the exact same way. Each time we may see the pattern more quickly, perhaps even change how to respond, we may see it coming even..really the point is just to notice and not judge or condemn. That never seems to make matters any better.
I will end with my favorite new quote...

"I know that I know and that I don't know. But I forget.

I see that I am blind and I see the blinding light in everything, but I forget.

I see what I know I think. I know what I see But sometimes I forget.

And this is the way it should be. At the end of every forget I remember.
-Lonny Brown