Tag Archives: Namaste

Forgiveness = Compassion and Self-Care

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A few years ago while I was helping a friend with her “resentments”- see 12 step program… I was reminded that the goal of  creating this “list of people we feel have harmed us”, is to begin the process of seeing our part and then taking the  steps to forgive them. Not for their peace of mind… for our own. This article by Adri Kyser co-founder of Maha Shakti Yoga Teacher training reminded me of that very powerful process of forgiving…

 

Have you ever felt hurt, betrayed, disappointed or all of the above? In our lifetime, many of us have felt this way one time or another due to the words, actions or lack of action by others. Sometimes people that have hurt us don’t even know what they did. Other times, their actions were intentional and uncalled for. Regardless of the intention, we are the ones that are deeply wounded and carry the pain, hurt and anger within us. Normally, after our initial stage of being hurt (it may be few days, weeks or even months), we try to move on with our lives and let the incident be a thing of the past. It is easier (not easy) to move past the event when we receive a heartfelt apology, but often times we don’t get an apology at all. Unfortunately, we can carry the memory of hurtful events and the feelings associated with them for a long time, taking a toll on our physical, mental and emotional health.

Forgiveness is a conscious decision to let go of resentment and even thoughts of revenge. It is a journey to freedom from our past. Learning to forgive can lead to feelings of understanding, compassion and empathy for the one (s) who hurt us. Like Deepak Chopra says “What we don’t recognize is that holding onto resentment is like holding onto your breath. You’ll soon start to suffocate”.

Forgiveness does not change the past nor does it free the person from their responsibility of his /her wrong actions. Forgiving will not erase what happened but it can lessen the intensity on how you remember such events. Forgiveness actually frees you up from the ties that are holding you back. It opens the doors to healing and to new possibilities. Forgiveness is something we do entirely for ourselves.

One of the most common obstacles I find in the process of forgiving is that many people, deep down are expecting an apology. They want the person that hurt them to know the pain his/her actions have caused them. Some even want that person to feel the same pain. This type of thinking does not lead to freedom, inner peace and inner power. As long as you are expecting the other person to apologize or to hurt the same way you have, you are still tied to their hurtful actions. You are giving them your power and peace. You are the only one that can find freedom and strength by forgiving and cutting the ties that bound you to them and their past actions. I know it sounds really simple and easy but I know it is harder that in sounds.

Take a moment here and ask yourself these questions:

–       Are you ready to be free?

–       Are you ready to be happy?

–       Are you ready to let go of the past?

–       Are you ready to forgive?

If so, start the process of forgiveness. Here are few things that may help up.

–       Be patient with yourself and don’t expect everything to be ok overnight.

–       Reflect on the event, the facts, on how you’ve reacted, and how this has affected your life and well-being.

–       Actively choose to forgive the person who has offended you.

–       Write in a piece of paper the name of the person, the event, and your feelings. Then say a prayer and say you are done with holding on to this and you are finally releasing it and letting it go.

–       You can burn the piece of paper as a symbolic act of burning the ties that are preventing you from living a happy, loving and peaceful life.

–       If the circumstances allow it, maybe have a polite talk with the person causing you pain. This will close and complete the cycle and hopefully will give you some resolution.

–       Pray for their well-being or send them positive energy. They may be going through something in their lives. This one is not as easy but it sure is powerful.

Remember that you are not a victim and you can choose to claim back the control and power you have given consciously or unconsciously to those that have hurt you.

Of course there is also the “Power of Forgiving Ourselves” but I feel that merits a new discussion in itself.

If you have experienced successful tools or actions taken that helped you forgive, I would love to hear about it.

Love,

Adri Kyser

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Well into our first Module and wow what a group of students!

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 Teacher trainings are an opportunity for a yogi to “up their game”… not that YOGA should be competitive, it’s just how often do we really dive into new information in our lives voluntarily??? The literature, the sanskrit and of course the TEACHING of yoga to your fellow student is what sets this RYT 200 apart.

On the very first day these yogis were instructing each other and finding their own voices … on many levels.

Namaste Maha Shakti Students, you are creating the lineage that will be taught for years to come!

Raising your game!

Yoga-yolk,union…YES!

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So you decided to expand your knowledge and sign up for teacher training huh? Well get ready, you are in for a treat!

This day reminds me of my first day of Maha Shakti Teacher Training last year. I was so nervous, I could hardly sleep the night before… no really, I was excited and anxious and very self conscious of my yoga practice. As I looked around the room at these beautiful yogini (we had no boys that round) I thought, “what am I doing here? These ladies obviously know more than I do about , well, EVERYTHING”! I was like a kid in kindergarten… sizing everyone up, figuring out who they were before they even opened their mouths… BOY, WAS I WRONG about everyone of them! I don’t mean I was being necessarily critical, just thinking I could tell who was whom just by observing them. What actually happened was this, this group, or KULA as we were called, transformed me.

Now, I work with people very closely every day, but it had been a long time since I was EXPOSED.

When Adri and Amy told us to find a partner and start teaching her yoga… I froze. I lost my words. I forgot how to do any of the postures. Gone from my brain was everything I knew about my own practice… I was self conscious about everything… My brain said” your’re too old to start this thing, stick with what you know, you don’t have the body for a yoga instructor, what makes you so special that someone would want to learn this  from you?”  Panic.

I went home and didn’t sleep , I kept playing my day over and over. Then it hit me… “I don’t KNOW this”.  That’s it, simply put, it had been a very long time since those words have rang in my ear… like learning a different language, or a new dance step…  and then having to teach it to someone else! UGH!

Well, I will spare you the long story although it didn’t take that long actually. I overcame my stagefright, I started feeling alot less self conscious and I am actually starting to teach yoga this month at the City of Dallas Churchill Recreation center as an independant vendor, all thanks to Adri and Amy and their Maha Shakti Teacher Training that made me the teacher on the first day.  Yes I survived …and thrived!

…and so will you!

Namaste New Maha Shakti Teacher TrainersThe New Teachers in action

Finding Inspiration… Internationally!

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Adri Teaching Internationally

 

April 17, 2012 by Adri Kyser | 1 Comment

I just came back from an amazing weekend in Canada renewed, empowered and with new found Inspiration. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet and practice with such a lovely group of yogis, who opened their hearts to make me feel welcome and like one of their own.

When I first started teaching yoga,  I knew how powerful yoga can be but I did not know how powerful yoga can be when you surrender completely and get out of your own way…. Not just for the students but for us as teachers as well.

I found myself teaching this weekend to a group of yogis I have never met, yet there was a sense of trust and connection from the very beginning. We were ready to breath, move, and dance together. We were ready to flourish and awaken….

The transformation I witnessed within myself and among everyone present was a gift we all welcomed. Tears of joy and gratitude along with laughter, love and hope filled the room through many of our sessions.

Many of us got more clear definitions of what and where we want to be. Many of us got confirmation that we are doing exactly what we need to be doing or that we are on the right path. Some of us stepped out of our comfort zone and reached new highs never thought possible.

Trance dance was one of those moments for me. I have participated in many trance dances led by others. I danced to my fullest without any limitations or concerns, but I have never led a Trance Dance on my own before this weekend. I felt I was not ready yet. I made excuses and tried to justify it by making statements like” I am afraid that people won’t come or I would wonder how I would be judged….”

The day came and I could not hide or run anymore. I would find freedom and the willingness to be vulnerable to dance for my own liberation.

The saying, “when the teacher is ready the students will appear”, is not a joke! I not only got several students but the people that participated were looking for something like this for months. We all danced till exhaustion. We all danced to be moved and transformed. We all danced to find freedom.

The most powerful part about all this was that I completely surrendered and got out of my own way. I did not worry about the DJ having the perfect songs to play in the order I would like, or what to say, what to do and when. I trusted myself, I trusted the flow, I trusted that I would be guided in the right direction. I opened my heart and got out of my head! This was my yoga in action, I let go and let God guide me and take over and the best part was everyone did the same.

This was very transformational for me because I gave myself the space to be open and let things unfold naturally. I am someone that likes to plan, organize and have everything ready so I can do my very best….Don’t get me wrong I prepared and thought about few things, I even asked a friend for advise but at the end I let my heart be the guide.

Many of the participants were so grateful for my teaching and for what I was able to offer to them but I am not sure if they realized how much the gave me as well.

Here is something one of the students wrote about how she felt after the weekend with me…

Adri Teaching internationally

Adri Teaching Internationally

Adri in Canada

Teaching in Canada!

 

 “I feel my tummy… my own power and strength… I feel the flame burning stronger and higher than ever to continue trusting my hearts passion in holding space for reverencing water, honouring and recognizing our fluid bodies, going with flow, adapting, ever changing, cleansing and nourishing souls, welcoming tears for healing, allowing E (energy) Motion to be felt and move through, for clarity, for vision, for miracles and manifesting and revealing uncensored truths. I am water, strong and powerful yet yielding to that which rises as resistance in my mind and body…. and in the heart of that… I find surrender and peace. Thank you Adri Kyser ” ~ Sheena

I am so grateful for this weekend and for the opportunity I get everyday to step on my mat and follow my heart.

When was the last time you found yourself completely free? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to try something new, let go of control and found complete surrender? Maybe today is the day you dance for freedom and liberation!

Love and Peace,

Adri

“If not now, when?” by Brooke Kochel

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I laid a friend to rest yesterday; a young friend, at the ripe old age of 30. Moments like these make you question everything in life: your path, your love, your philosophy, your faith, even your yoga practice.

I was sipping coffee, on a morning full of promise, when I got the phone call. It was a Friday in Dallas. I’d driven in for a Shiva Rea yoga training due to start that evening. Shock ripped through my body and soul. As elevated as we strive to become through our various spiritual traditions and physical practices, we are still human after all.

I used to be a bereavement counselor for parents who’d lost children, so I’m familiar with the 5 stages of grief. It seemed I was having an outer body experience as I watched myself pass through: 1. Denial; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; and finally— 5. Acceptance.

I tenderly looked upon myself for any clue that yoga, the philosophy and practice I hold so dear, had any positive impact on me during these dark days.

In everyday life, I’m certain that my practice has sustained me and given me an amazing quality of life. It generates a mindfulness and presence that fills my days with loving moments. It’s given me a strong foundation in who I am, a stability which keeps me centered when the whole world in swirling around and balance that allows me to safely enjoy a little bit of everything life has to offer.

In yoga, we mimic the life cycle, from child’s pose to corpse pose, but what about the taboo subject that balances out life. What about dealing with death?

(Photo via Flickr: Wonderlane)

I went to yoga that night. Is it appropriate or respectful to stand on my head and flow through a Namaskar while mourning the loss of a loved one? I decided to go because it was a safe place to find solace.

Haven’t we all found ourselves on our mat in the studio, with the comfort of wooden hardwoods beneath us? Knowing you’ll sit in quiet reference, never explaining yourself to the silent person just inches away from you. It seems there was a pact created some time ago where we could just quietly be human together in this tradition of yoga.

And no matter the studio, there is a sublime quality in each one. Namastes have been uttered by thousands in each room. “The Higher Power in me honors the Higher Power in you” has blessed the room so many times, that although we boldly claim yoga is no religion, when you enter the studio, it can feel like holy land.

Tears have been shed in savasana. Intentions have been silently held in hearts and minds. Bodies have pushed themselves to their limits for the sake of a million different personal agendas.

As I entered my practice with a Namaskar or Sun Salutation, as I had a thousand times before, I felt the familiar flow of energy running through me, reminding me that I was still alive. I felt the strong urge to offer my body as a moving prayer.

In my childhood religion, I was taught not to pray for the dead, but my heart told me otherwise; and as a yogi, I’ve learned to listen to that quiet voice in between the heartbeats.

I was also reminded that the Namaskars we traditionally initiate each practice with, are meant as greetings. Surya Namaskars are greeting the sun or the day. Chandra Namaskars are greeting the moon or the night. Namaskar literally means greeting the divinity or cosmic force within. No wonder that all that time spent on the mat seems to delve deeper than the physical. We are spiritual warriors in those cozy, little studios; purposefully or inadvertently bettering ourselves for a better world.

Master Teacher, Adri Kyser’s, theme and mantra for our practice was:

“If not now, when?”

Life if short. Too short, it seems sometimes. A good yoga teacher will bring that element of manifestation to your practice. Set your intention. Put some energy behind it. Then go out there and manifest it. If not now, when?

I cried in savasana, seemingly appropriate being Corpse Pose. She placed one loving hand on my third eye chakra and one on my chest, bringing my aching heart and questioning mind together in balance with a “peace that passes all understanding”.

Even Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died, I’ve read. It took courage to show up that night, being present in my pain and guiltily grateful to have a body still so full of life.

Moments before his casket was closed for the last time, I placed my Indian mala in his hands. Symbolic of my own heart wrenching life journey and of the conversations we’d shared about the great cosmic ride we’re all on; A symbol of hope, faith, love and gratitude.

Graveside, the last to leave, I took comfort in watching his body returning to the Earth. I threw coral colored flowers down six feet as a last act of Earthly love.

After all,

“We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, but spiritual beings on a human journey.”

~ Chardin

This is a re-post from an article in Elephant Journal…