Saturday, October 25, 2008

ACTION OVER FORM... on and off the mat

I've chosen to begin my autumn series of yoga classes with the theme of "action over form". This basic premise of Anusara yoga's Universal Principles of Alignment and of life itself can help us "let go" of our mind's fascination with results, or what we look like (ego mind attachments) and instead align us with yoga's true virtues through the utilization of our own divine energy which is always within us - awaiting activation. Act for the sake of action.

" You have a right to your actions,
but never to your action's fruits.
Act for the action's sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.

Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure."

Bhagavad Gita 2.47

We've all heard the euphemism, "the way things look aren't always as they appear"; in some asanas and in our 'doings' through out our days, we can have the appearance of looking effective even with little effort, in these cases we are not practicing yoga; we are not in an asana if we are not in the "seat of our soul".

An Anusara yoga practice values the importance of "action over form"... physically we experience the internal heat of muscular energy as we isometrically root into the earth while simultaneously hugging into our midline. By hugging our muscles to our bones we experience something and create change. This action is so much more productive than just holding ourselves up in a "form".

A central idea within the Universal Principles of Alignment is to uphold the 3 A's: Attitude, Alignment, and Action.

This is a foundational concept within the Anusara method in which every pose is infused with meaningful intention connected to the grand purposes of yoga* through the awareness of specific postural alignment, and balanced action between stability and freedom.

* Yoga is a powerful path to fulfill all of our deepest spiritual longings.
What do all people fundamentally want?
A: Happiness, love, health, peace, well-being, inner knowing.

To rephrase the Tao Te Ching:

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serentiy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It is sooo time for CHANGE...

I am thrilled that Barack Obama is closer than ever to be becoming our next president. Yee Ha! ...to the end of these miserable and frightening Bush years!! I am so excited that my liberal and imaginatively innovative son will be able to creatively partake in a green economy under the leadership of Barack Obama.

I just spent an hour listening to the second most powerful person in the US, and hence world... CA Democrat, Nancy Pelosi. The succinct, intelligent and honest Speaker of the House of Representatives, answered questions as asked by Charlie Rose on his PBS program. (Yes, I missed Jon Stewart's The Daily Show and the Colbert Report to hear her speak.) She, to me, is the clearest and most to-the-point speaker of any politician and governmental official I have ever heard.

"Educate, innovate, compete and prevail!" Nancy respectfully chants is the direction she sees Congress and our new President taking the country if indeed Barack Obama becomes our next President. She is confident of Barack Obama's ability to run the White House in a fair, bipartisan way, almost revolutionary to what we have seen for the last decade. Having hopefully 150 Democrats in the House and maybe 60 in the Senate... but always having a strong 2 party representation. It's what makes this country work... we need more moderate Republicans to be elected though, not the ultra right conservative cronies that have created such wide divides (not to mention fear and isolationism for millions, which is the opposite of true freedom.)

Nancy also states, what clearly is not understood by McCain-Palin supporters who rant "drill, baby drill!", that "in maybe TEN years we'll see a 2 cent reduction at the pump with the proposed increased drilling in Alaska, not a reduced dependence on foreign oil. The US uses 20% of the world's oil and we only have 3% of it in reserve- drilling the 3% is not as important as conservation and innovation in the long or short run of things. We have the ability NOW to create a new economic model and energy infrastructure via green technology and education; we need a president who'll encourage government incentives and who says YES to rebuilding our country's infrastucture, and NO to spending billions on Iraq's infrastucture; YES to health care for every American and easier paths to higher education, and NO to the millions of dollars in tax payer subsidies that have been given to wealthy oil companies making 40 billion dollar yearly profits.

Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi will change this country by saying yes to our country's patiently waiting potential... " the dirt will fly" she says, meaning the changes and growth potential will begin right away and new opportunities will abound. We've been waiting for a President to make the decisions that matter and President Bush has avoided them, ignored them, or said no to them, well we can rest asure that with Barack Obama in the White House, change is gonna come!

Now, in my personal life... economic pressures have continually led me to spend more time selling the creativity and talents of others than in pursuing my own talents and abilities. I know I can earn a living if I put my mind to it, but my minds always elsewhere, if not on the struggle to survive, then on the tasks at hand. Everyone's Dharma is to find what they do best and enjoy most which in some way can serve others. I feel a natural pull to follow my soul's path, which is also the path of all souls- for it is the flow of Universal energy toward happiness and bliss, towards the fulfillment of Dharma and one's heart's desire.

The time has never been better to honor one's path by being truthful, why with all the tumultous change currently occurring, the mix, as ugly and difficult as it is, is getting rid of falsehoods and clearing the path for heart opening flow. I am setting an intention to honor my heart, and to be not only free from struggle and full of grace, but to also dedicate more time and energy to the "beauty I love" ... to my son, my yoga and our community and the beautiful natural world, and through our creative, giving spirits we'll have fun!

"Let the beauty you love be what you do... there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth" - Rumi.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

hOMnaturale: accessing my website for now

web.mac.com/rebeccabriggs9

I'm still working on getting my URL to be hOMnatuale.com
In the mean time please go to the above site address. There you'll find more info on me, my classes, the child care program at Yoga School of South County and lots on ANUSARA yoga.
Know anyone who'd like to be my "techie"? ... Rebecca

Monday, September 22, 2008

Returning to my dharmic path... I'm teaching yoga again!

Ohmmmm, I am so excited and feeling really content... I'll be back teaching in the community of Wakefield, RI beginning Oct. 2nd, with two weekly classes, Thursdays 7-8:15 pm, and Saturdays 11:30am - 12:45pm. The 8 week sessions run through Nov. 22nd, and for only $62/session, that's less than $8/class. I have to thank Rose and Richard of the YOGA SCHOOL of SOUTH COUNTY and SK Parks and Recreation for the opportunity. Thank you, thank you!

ANUSARA is the fastest growing yoga style in the world, yet there are currently no certified Anusara yoga instructors in RI, but many eager practitioners. I myself will be teaching a vinyasa yoga class that emphasizes ANUSARA's Universal Principals of Alignment and heart opening wisdom. I am still in the process of becoming an ANUSARA Inspired Instructor, and it's an even longer process to become an ANUSARA Certified Instructor. I've seen many friends of mine in California go through the process. It's like getting your PhD in yoga. All I know is I enjoy learning and teaching and am delighted to have so much to offer to my students, new and previous, whatever level they are at. For lack of a better word, Anusara's teachings are impressively affective. The classes are fun, therapeutically mindful and spiritually enlightening. You'll see!

More good news, we are in the midst of starting a cooperative childcare program that will make coming to class less stressful for parents. Rose offers a Mom's Yoga Class, Fridays, 9:30-11am and I hope to also have child care covered during my Saturday 11:30-12:45pm class. Basically, we are providing you with highly responsible babysitters working for yoga trade or tips. Some of these baby sitters are yoga students with children of their own who are willing to sacrifice a class now and then to cover the child care shift in exchange for a free class.

The YSSC via SK Parks and Recreation has provided a comfortable, safe space for young kids to play while their parents are in class. There is a cap of 8 kids/class, ages infant and up. We've got primarily wooden toys, some dress up clothes, trucks, trains, dolls and lots of books to play with. The beautiful yoga studio is located in the lower level of the Peace Dale Office Building on Kingstown Road (the old post office), conveniently located adjacent to the Village Green playground (across the creek from the Neighborhood Guild and across the street from the Peace Dale Public Library.

Please see my hOMnaturale website, or link to the YOGA SCHOOL of SOUTH COUNTY's (makeitsoyoga.com) or the SK Parks and Rec Dept.'s website to review their fall schedule and access more information. My classes will not be found in the printed Parks and Rec book for fall, since they were added post printing. 

I Hope to see you smiling in savasana soon! 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Autumatic Change... tis the season to get it together

It's September 8th, the beginning of autumn and I am feeling the task master Virgo's influence. Astrologically Virgo helps us  "autumatically" change for the better. Virgo's influence helps us create order and to align us with the purest of our intentions, that of our soul path.  I've been trying to converge my life mission with all the changes, still in a chaotic state whirling about me like a hurricane blowing leaves. I'm feeling exhausted from all the recent changes and am still detoxing from a stressful summer. 


My son Shane started kindergarten last week, the day after we moved into our new rental home in the Green Hill Beach section of Matunuck in South Kingstown, RI. It's been the easiest move I've ever made, mainly because this is a winter rental with furniture and kitchen supplies already in place. So my move has been simplified. 
I've also recently connected with a yoga studio and teachers that I respect and look forward to teaching along side. I loved where I used to teach here in RI, but I am looking forward to working in a studio that is open to having childcare available for students.

I'd love to change my life by actually pursuing one of my life long dreams- to teach yoga and have less stress in my life and in my students' lives over trying to find childcare for our little ones during class time. I don't see any major changes approaching like a steady relationship that develops into a live in mate, or making enough money to hire a babysitter every time I want to teach or practice. But I do know that I can move forward toward all of this by doing what I love.

Afterall " Let the beauty you love be what you do, " as Rumi poetically shares, and yes "there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth," as he continues.

I believe that when we help ourselves we also help others, and vice versa. We can also help the world by all doing what we love, and if we find a way to serve others on this path, then world peace may very well prevail. May we all go towards, and create the changes necessary to make this happen in our lives.








Saturday, May 10, 2008

hOMnaturale...a walk in the budding woods

Mother's Day weekend '08 -  finding silence, reclaiming wisdom... taking a walk to listen

My five year old little boy Shane just gave me a lovely mom's day gift made at his preschool...an old sneaker repurposed as a flower pot with a blossoming fuchsia; wrapped in a hand designed reusable canvas bag... it is the perfect gift... great job teachers and Shane's so proud of it.

Shane and I returned to my native Rhode Island in February of this year, after living six months in California, nearer to where his father lived in the Santa Cruz mountains. Shane (named after the rouge and regal cowboy in the b&w film) loves the west- it's our classroom to the world filled with open minded friends (eco-conscious yogis and dinosaur diggers alike) with a grand appreciation for what we feel innately connected to- lifestyles of health and sustainability. 

We also love Rhode Island with its smooth beaches and large leafed maple trees- the deer tick returns as our nemesis, where as mountain sickness and aerial spraying (to kill the light brown apple moth) were the cons to living in CA. We returned to Rhode Island in February, after living 6 months near where his father lived in the Santa Cruz mountains.  We sold our RI home after a year on the market and it was California here we come... until that dream unraveled.

 Papa actually just called, now living further north in Sonoma County, some 3,000 miles away- Shane, even with his Saturday morning cartoons off, was not interested in talking. His father understood, but that meant talking to me for a bit... and inevitably we argued. Hmmm.... more OM needed to unify this broken home. 

Shane and I are going to take a walk now... I need silence or the sounds of nature to reconnect me with my feminine side... my nurturing mother side...