Axiom Seven

August 21, 2018

Everything is connected : Come experience this at Tribe

 

Yoga is the art of relationships. First to ourselves then to the each other, then the world around us and infinitely to our legacy and the collective conscious. How we live echoes into the world; our energy, our vibration, it resonates from us and imprints on those around us. We are NOT in this alone. The collective of consciousness is a wave through humanity that moves us all. Community. Serendipity. Destiny. Dharma. Radical alignment. We are all playing a part in a cosmic drama, we all have karma (our lessons, our unfinished business)  and Dharma (Our divine work, our purpose) whether we are aware of this or not. And contracts of the soul to those around us. None of this is separate, none of us are separate.

 

You and I are not random.

 

“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler

 

We’re in this together. The most valuable currency you have in this world is the effect you have on others. Jim Carrey said this.

 

I like comedians. I think they say absurdly true things which make us reflect on humanity. Comedy is about laughing at our truth, it’s about seeing the light in the darkest corners. It opens us up in ways lecture or deep conversation cannot. It lets the light in.

 

Because everything is connected, this axiom completes a circle, it brings us back to the initial principle; You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

 

My struggles and heartbreaks are connected to my success and my growth. My pain and fear are connected to my laughter and play.  Rest compliments my exercise, touch and intimacy connect me deeply to the sentient beings around me, because all of this is impermanent I will live these principles with passion, humor and depth. And my experiences are connected to yours, all of us, whether we meet or not, we are affecting one another in a very real way

 

The practices of yoga, if done with the purpose in mind and at heart can supercharge your energy, help you clear away the fog of your day to day existence, the practice helps you to truly meet yourself.

 

Through exercise, rest, healing, self study, and self expression, yoga connects you deeply to yourself again and again. The true practices of yoga aren’t about the physical results (which are a REALLY nice benefit to be sure) it’s about discovering the absolute best version of yourself and living ecstatically in that energy.

 

Everything, everyone is connected and at Tribe Yoga we aim to make those connections; healthy, inspiring, powerful, playful and real! We truly are a place where You Belong.  Join us as we recapture the art of yoga and share the depth and true purpose of the practice.

 

We are your people, This is OUR Tribe

 

                                                               Tribe Yoga 614

Axiom Six

August 16, 2018

Everything is impermanent

 

All of this is temporary. Yoga teaches us non attachment, it teaches us impermanence. It shows us through our practices the nature of existence is change. Whether we are moving through the meditation of asana practice or indeed sitting in contemplation, with practice we become skilled at the art of witnessing. Becoming a witness allows us to see more clearly the facets of our life, it allows us to move more freely from one moment to the next no longer trapped in the eternal struggle of chasing what we want and running from what we don’t. In this way we can appreciate those things that have passed, look forward to all that lie ahead and revel so deeply, so exquisitely in the very moments as we live them. The only constant in this world is change.

 

Seasons change and then change again, days, months, years, they pass with or without our blessing. We will all age, we will all have struggles, we will all have triumphs, we will all experience awe, have moments we wish will last forever and moments we disassociate from, our emotions, thoughts, our outlook, our perception it is all subject to change, this is humanness, this is life.

 

Buddhism suggests that we suffer in this life for two primary reasons; we fear not getting what we want and losing what we have. When we dig into any one of our stressors, we will find that these roots are indeed true. Our false motivation in this modern life is to accumulate and never die. We chase material and success, we grip, we strive, we struggle but we don’t have to. If we can see that this is all impermanent and accept that fact, then turn that perspective into passion, how significantly can we transform our lives? What would we truly live for then?  Perspective and energy are everything and the great news is; you have control over both of these things. You are not fixed to the ways in which you have behaved in the past, you are not doomed to your history, you are the wisdom and resilience that rises from these lessons.

 

Life isn’t necessarily long or short but it is fragile and finite.

 

I can only relate these concepts through my own experience. I can only test the value and truth through the filter of my days. I can see beyond my borders, I can feel my way into your perspective, but I cannot live there. I can only relate my view through the telling of my experience. I can only attempt to understand your world through the listening to yours.

 

I was in love and this concept was a contentious theme in our relationship. If “all of this is temporary,”  why do anything at all? He saw this as evidence of a pointless pursuit, “if it’s going to end anyway, why try” his words broke on me again and again. I knew better than to try and convince anyone of this truth so I just lived it as best I could. This value became so important to me, living this lesson, this axiom with such perfect timing. Through the process of starting my business, the struggles I was experiencing felt insurmountable, the pain and fear I was living through were so necessary for my growth but they were, in fact, painful. Rubbing these concepts against one another was vital, his perspective was a strong test of my resolve. Through my fears I saw the future, through the suffering I saw my ease, this was temporary, all of it, I just needed to live and relax right through it. I learned that no matter how much I struggled it wouldn’t change a thing, I had to live to my best energy no matter what. I’m not perfect, but I always try my best. I would seek out simple pleasures and revel in the quiet, I would be kind to myself when the stress of single motherhood and new business ownership was blinding, breathe deep and try again.

 

One night late in September, my heart pressed against him, riding on the back of his bike, racing down Riverside Drive after a particularly stressful event, I felt it so purely. It could end right now, it could end at any moment but either way I will live and love. As the crisp wind whipped around me, the sad emotions coursing through me dissolved into tenderness, I felt secure in the fleeting nature of this world and was more sure than ever that all of this is temporary and that is to my benefit and yours.

 

Create a comfortable position, if possible sit outside, quietly. Connect to the energy around you, feel the hum of the world, the steady, ever present energy that supports and swirls around you. Feel the nature of your history, of your past. Breathe steadily and call to mind a moment you had anticipated, recall how it felt to wait, the energy you experienced. Was there fear? Longing? Sadness as it passed? Feel the grip of anticipation, of hope and then free yourself from it, draw yourself back to now. Feel the simple pleasure of this ordinary moment this is the beautiful stuff of your life. More potent than the ghosts of your past, more real than the holograms of your future, this very moment is your reality, how will you choose to experience it? 

 

Axiom Five

August 14, 2018

Touch and intimacy are basic human needs

 

We have become a culture of isolation and desensitization. We work, we self medicate, we hook up and watch life happen through the filter of social media. Intimacy has become a romanticized notion from an era gone by. This detachment is  destroying the fabric of our lives, and our communities.

 

From an article in The New York Times: It should be great news that something free, widely available and lacking in harmful side effects is so good for us, but it gets ignored in a touch-averse culture like ours. Yes, Americans are generally gregarious but, unlike, say, Italians, Greeks, the French or Latinos, that friendly intimacy is largely limited to our mouths. According to Jay Skidmore, former chairman of the psychology department of Seattle Pacific University, “social-cultural trends in America have focused for decades on reducing touch.”

This lack of touch has dangerous implications, it creates the potential for apathy, depression and violence. We can suppress our basic need for touch all we want, the consequences of this are dire. 

 

Humans need more touch, more intimacy, more connection, more community.

 

Create for yourself a comfortable seat, close your eyes and think about the warmth of a hug, the sensation of being held and felt. Breathe with yourself and connect to the feeling inside, the sensations internally. How your heart responds, the tempo, how your blood feels, how it flows through you. Connect to the energy you feel, see it, perhaps in color or maybe just as a vibration. What form does it take for you? share this, in safe communicative ways reach out and connect, touch heals. 

 

As with everything in this world, touch can have a dark side. Every. Single. Human needs touch but not every human feels safe in accepting it. Trauma can lead to a disconnect from intimacy and leads to shutting down the positive feelings it provides. In fact, for some, touch feels scary, dangerous and uncomfortable. As humans it is vital for us to accept that not everyone can meet us where we are. Creating safe space is essential to our connection, physical or not. This is the power of consent.

 

In yoga we are at a tipping point with touch. The old school view on adjustments has teachers manipulating and “fixing” postures, moving bodies in ways that may be unwittingly destructive and traumatic. We all, sadly, have these stories. Another view has teachers touching “every single person, every single time” this style of assist is disconnected, arrogant and purposeless. There IS a middle road, a place where we use verbal and non verbal consent to facilitate intimacy, trust and perhaps touch in a way that is instructive, kind and peaceful. May we continue to skillfully address, assess and adapt these styles of touch.

 

Humans need touch and intimacy to thrive but just like anything else in this world we each have an internal experience that can never be fully shared. This mystery, this personal dialogue is the intimacy with self and it may be the most powerful type of them all.  Yoga provides us with a skill set that allows us to become extremely knowledgeable about our personal needs so that we may be better communicators with the world around us.

 

Axiom Four

August 9, 2018

 

 

Feel your heart racing against your chest, feel the slow, steady surrender of your pulse as you ease your way down from an intense workout. The surge of hormones and the flood of blood through our bodies is nothing short of euphoric, it’s magic.

 

Exercise in any form is a necessary component for a vibrant and healthy life. Most of us have experienced phases of sedentary life, whether it be from the “too busy”schedule, to lifestyle changes, to family conditions, injury, depression, etc. It happens to most of us, we lose the urge or forget to MOVE. Our bodies are designed for it, we are meant to be active creatures and yet our modern lifestyles have “convenienced” and scheduled our truest nature out of our daily existence, the results are tragic. The phases in my life when I have lost sight of this or been in cycles of abuse with myself have been the most painful. Obsessively weighing myself daily, obsessively working out, never resting and then the opposite times. Times when I would go months on end with no movement, eating in ways that made me feel further sluggish and sad. These extreme times have given me insight, insight that tells me never to live in such extremes again. The only way to live fully is to live in harmony, in peace with myself and my body.  

 

The longer we stay sedentary the harder it is to get motivated to move, in some regards we feel like we’re dying, we’re not. Our bodies crave and need movement, we need to sweat, we need to breathe heavy, we need to get our hearts pumping hard, we need our muscles to get a surge of blood & oxygen, we need our bones and joints to experience doses of stress. This is not something reserved for athletes, this is not something relegated to “fit people” exercise is for EVERYONE and shame on the fitness industry for shaming you out of your true nature.

 

It goes too far. There is an ugly side to this. This piece of our culture and this industry that shames you counts on your inability to see your own beauty and strength. Tribe Yoga is ready to stand up for you and with you. Because while you are absolutely meant to work your body into a froth, you are absolutely meant to push your edges you are also meant to rest and you are meant to do these things for your health NOT someone else’s approval. Not for some arbitrary number on the scale, not to keep up with the stream of Instagram celebrities, not to change a damn thing about how you look. Exercise and rest are there for you to feel ALIVE!

 

Yoga and fitness on a whole are there to guide you into your most full experience in this life. Our community at Tribe Yoga is supportive and inclusive we are here to meet you where you are and take you to where you want to be. Most importantly, we are here to help you enjoy the journey, to experience your vibrancy in real time. This life is NOT a destination, it is a series of experiences meant to be fully realized in the very moment they happen. Exercise has this uncanny way of getting us out of our mind and into our bodies, into the moment, into the flow state, this. is. bliss.

 

Let it happen.

 

Move your body! Today’s practice is to move and then truly rest. Move yourself to the point of full exertion and then feel the ease of complete relaxation. This is the essence of yoga; whether you practice the asana or not. The union of opposites is the art of yoga, the word itself says so! These are not luxuries, these are necessities, love yourself so much that no matter what your body may look like, it deserves to FEEL good!

 

Axiom Three

August 7, 2018

Laughter and play are the keys to the fountain of youth

 

To play means to surrender, the act of laughing has been shown to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine. When laughing the brain also releases endorphins that can relieve some level of physical pain. Laughing heals.

 

Watch children at play, notice how fully alive they are, unconcerned, uninhibited. It’s a state of pure bliss, it’s something we condition out of them, out of ourselves, out of society. In this way we age ourselves and them prematurely. Recall a time when you were in flow state, immersed in the present moment, no stress, concern or thinking, just total engagement.  Yoga can do this for us, it can help us strip away the layers of concern and stress and get us back to our truest nature.

 

This pure form of yoga only exists when we disengage from the industry. This type of experience is only accessible when we drop the idea of competition and expectation. Yoga accesses WONDER. Yoga is play in its purest state. See yourself in ecstatic movement, connected to your breath, connected to your body, connected to your soul, bypass the mind entirely and just FEEL.

 

We were graduating our first class of teacher training students at House of AUM. Melissa Herzog and I are co-creators, we are driven by service and experience. This picture so perfectly captures our purest state. We were at play, chasing through the forest of Glen Helen in Yellow Springs, Ohio. We didn’t outrun the storm we ran WITH the storm, giggling and grinning all the while.

 

This is the fountain of youth, this is play, this is YOGA.

 

Do it! Go out there and PLAY, watch a comedy and LAUGH! Put it down, the worry, the concern, the fear, today the practice is to live.

Axiom Two

August 2, 2018

Fear and pain are life’s greatest teachers:

 

We have all known fear, it’s unavoidable and it comes in many forms. Primal fear, fear for our life is actually quite rare and yet our modern lives have forced us into a constant state of hypervigilance. The stream of hormones required for our body and brain to be on high alert are seemingly constantly flooding us transforms our fear thoughts into fear scenarios. The monsters in our minds are interpreted by our chemistry as monsters in our real world. This is the root of so much of our suffering. Humans cling to the physical world, we suffer because we are afraid of losing what we have and not getting what we want. At the heart of this is expectation, attachment. When I first opened the yoga studio in Columbus I had this naive belief that it would easily succeed. The location on Bethel and 315, in the heart of the Northwest of Columbus was PERFECT, nobody else was there! Fear and pain set in quickly when it became apparent that it would take more than everything I had to really build the community I dreamed of. Fear was in play and I had an option, I could give up or I could dig in. The days of panic and anxiety did absolutely nothing, my yoga tools were more important than ever. I dug into my meditations, I got clear with myself and I cultivated my relationships. First and most paramount was the relationship to myself and what I really wanted, Then to my children, what was it I wanted to show them? Then to my intimate relationships, how am I being of service? Then to my community, what more can I provide? I was planting seeds of intention and through this my fear subsided, my anxiety diminished and I reconnected to the primary purpose of yoga, connection. My fears were unfounded but nonetheless my thoughts gave them life, gave them form and until I reconnected to purpose and community I couldn’t see it. But without this fear experience I never would have been compelled to reach out, to try, to change, to work, to grow; my fear taught me to act and in this fear scenario, it did indeed teach me.

 

The power of fear and pain is that they push you to GROW, it will either force you to reach out or cause you to withdraw. In order to stop the unrelenting discomfort you must move forward, the only way out is through. Fear will teach you that your mind has little to do but make up stories, our culture has forced us into thinking that responsible people are fearful, that worry is caring, that anxiety means you are problem solving.  Our conditioning has put us in a constant state of hypervigilance. The greatest thing fear can teach us, if we’re open to the lesson is that, it is not a preventative measure. All the fear in the world will not keep “bad” things from happening, what it will cause is a cascade of chemical responses in our bodies, it will cause us to hesitate when we need to act, it will cause us to resist when we need to release. Yoga and meditation guide us into the knowing that our emotions, our thoughts aren’t real and if we allow it, they will keep us from experiencing life in real time, they will block us from our bliss. The work here is to remember the truth.

 

Sit quietly and first connect to the nature of your breath, simple and unmanipulated, notice the cadence of it, connect to that simplicity. Find ease with it, see that it sustains and supports you, recognize all that it has already carried you through. Find the rhythm. Now dare to call up your greatest fear. Witness it, see what thoughts and sensations arise, let them wash over you, let it swell, let grow, let it loom as large as you imagine. Stay with it, feel your body respond, what is that like? Witness now your ability to breath right through it, connect to the deeper, more calm, unabiding rhythm that exists underneath. THIS is your true nature.

 

Pain will teach you about strength and resilience, it shows up in many forms. The physical experience of pain in the form of injury or illness is obvious. Then there are the nuances of pain, the kind of pain that resides deeper than your tissue, this pain is cellular, it’s soul deep. This ineffable pain is so often the source of our deepest addictions, our most damaging habits and cyclical behaviors, beyond our comprehension. Pain along a spectrum leads us to protect ourselves to varying degrees. It’s these mechanisms that block the very path of healing. We protect ourselves from the medicine we need in an effort to resist accessing the source of our struggle. We become so entrenched in this pain we identify ourselves by it, and THIS is soul sickness. When we can no longer see ourselves without the pain, without the fear, it becomes our master status.  This is an epidemic, we are, on a global level, soul sick.

 

Practice connection, reach out to people loved ones and strangers alike. How we show up in community can change lives, kindness transforms pain into a point of connection and compassion. Today, reach out to those around you and express your love, witness those around you and see, in real time, their pain and yours subside.

 

The remedy is seeing the path through, taking the lesson but shedding the guilt and shame that would blanket us from the growth. You are NOT your fears or your pain, you are the stronger and wiser energy that emerges from them.

 

The Seven Axioms

July 31, 2018

                         You are exactly where you are supposed to be:

After the sudden death of my Mother, I struggled to see the value in where I was, how is THIS where I’m supposed to be?! My son was not yet three, my daughter only six months and I hadn’t yet turned thirty. Nothing was right.

 

My then husband and I were moving, our home was packed up, our whole life was loaded onto a moving truck destined for Columbus, Ohio, life in NY was already history and I was numb.  Years later I still haven’t neatly packaged how this event was “supposed” to happen, but I have found that the course of my life has been powerful, if I try to reflect on “what if it hadn’t happened” I get lost in the “why” and “what if” that is nowhere to build a life. This axiom, this truth has given me the freedom to put down the idea that I am a victim of circumstance, it has emboldened me to live my life with forward momentum, rooted in now, ready for tomorrow.  

 

As I have expressed, in our worst moments this concept feels offensive. Struggle, tragedy, trauma these things aren’t “supposed” to happen to anyone. It’s easy to look back at our lives with regret or longing. Our history is the wave that we have ridden into now. Now is a place so fleeting it barely seems real. The irony is, it’s the ONLY thing that is real. Our history is part of the fabric that binds us to ourselves, our beliefs and our concept of self but it is not meant to define us, only propel us.

 

This is a golden opportunity because it means that we are always at the start of something, we are constantly at the beginning of an opportunity, it’s up to us what we decide to do with it.

 

It is the very circumstances of NOW that launch us into what comes next.

 

This is the power of the yoga practice, it teaches us to be present. These lessons come through intentional breathing, skillful movement and cultivated awareness. You learn the art of response over reaction, you learn to put down your assumptions and open to possibility. Yoga is the direct connection to now.

 

You really are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

 

Take a few moments now and sit. Close your eyes, place your hands gently over them, palms resting on your cheeks, fingers lightly covering your closed eyes and connect to the energy in your hands, let it settle and slow down. Take three breaths like this and then place your hands palms up on top of your knees. Feel the temperature of your face, it’s cooler now, your hands slightly warm and receptive. This witnessing brings you into the moment. Repeat this process.

 

You are exactly where you are supposed to be, this is now.

Teacher Training

September 17, 2017

​What if Teacher Training was Yoga studying? What if training was more like exploring? What if training was more about discovery of self, of yoga, of culture, of community?

Yoga Teacher Training is wildly popular, but the expected results are off base. So many people want to study yoga, they want to participate in a training but hesitate because they don’t want to teach. Good news! What the yoga industry calls teacher training is 100% for YOU!

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This started out as something I was in denial of, a dream I doubted and ignored. As my life evolved and the universe again and again nudged me forward, we are finally in a space of manifestation, of actualization and I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to live my dream and offer my beloved community; Tribe, it’s family. Here we celebrate all of our “whys” Our inspirations, our legacy, our dreams, our passions. (more…)