It’s been officially a little over a year since we embarked on building this Vibrant Life CommUNITY. Some people may remark that it is a yoga studio we built. I imagine most people think that. At least the ones who aren’t practicing here yet! “YET” is one of my favorite words. When a yogi insists he/she can’t doing something, I automatically say “YET!” Who knows what we will ever be able to do or not do. But one thing is certain, if we say we can’t or never ... we will prove ourselves right. So I like to say, “keep moving forward, you never know how far you can go.”
“Incremental change takes us further, faster than pushing ourselves beyond what we are ready.” That’s another of my favorite sayings. I have found that a little yoga practice everyday up-levels my life in so many areas. A committed yoga practice in community is a gift that truly helps us become happier, healthier people.
Integrating your yoga practice into your daily life is essential to reap the benefits that yoga can offer you. A yoga community like Vibrant Life supports and encourages you to develop your home practice as well. CommUNITY has never been more needed than today. With social apps and current societal pressures to take sides, people are finding themselves lonely and depressed. Practicing in a sacred communal space with others can be the safe human connection we all desperately crave. Yoga is a science and an art that enables us to develop skills in CommUNITY on our mats that we can use off the mat to help us navigate this complex world.
Even yoga teachers sometimes find themselves only giving/teaching and not participating fully in the yoga community. I know how easy that is to do. I am blessed to say that in this Vibrant Life endeavor, I have recognized how important it is for me to practice in OUR Vibrant Life Yoga CommUNITY!
Our yoga guides are chosen based on attitude, gratitude, compassion, and willingness to keep learning. Molly Chapleau and Donna Ashby are among the best people I know. They love their students and are truly grateful to teach and share their knowledge. They both are willing to continually learn so they can become their best selves!
I believe it starts with intention from inception. Our intention has always been and will always be to offer the highest quality, safest yoga instruction in a sacred space within a Vibrant Life CommUNITY that proves to be the rich soil we all need to learn, grow, and cultivate happiness and health.
Our society is enamored with yoga. High end yoga clothes, expensive mats, props, the trendy studio ... it's become all the "rage." Yoga Studios on every corner are touting the magical benefits of yoga. I'm not saying that practicing "Hot Yoga", "AcroYoga" or even "Beer Yoga" is not traditional, so we shouldn't do it. I believe any form of yoga that allows a student to connect with himself or herself on a deeper level, unite the body and breath, calm the mind and enrich the spirit is of great value ... and can be considered magical.
The secret ingredient in finding the answer to greater wellness and living a vibrant life is only within you.
You don't have to wear Lululemon to do a perfect handstand. A Manduka mat will not make you a great yogi. A trendy yoga studio may have attention deficit disorder, want to promote huge classes and may be too focused on it's popularity in the community. As a studio owner, I know all too well how we can get caught up in all of that.
Of greater importance is YOU. It's really only up to you to make a commitment to your own life and how you want to live it. Practicing yoga 1 time a week is not going to give you the enormous benefits that you will uncover with a disciplined yoga practice. I see so many people begin to really make a difference in their lives with a consistent practice and then "hit or miss" yoga classes because of work, travel, stressful personal lives and more. So many clients have no idea how far they can really go or how healthy and strong they can become, because "life interrupts" and they have to start over.
Yoga Sutra 1.14, Patanjali, “Practice becomes firmly grounded when well attended to for a long time, without break and in all earnestness.” Becoming sincerely devoted to our practice, we establish deep roots for a dedicated foundation of self-discipline, allowing us to truly transform our lives.
We must plan ahead to ensure that our practice remains stable and ongoing. Allowing ourselves to become distracted for too long will disrupt our routine making it difficult to continue on the path originally set. It also disrupts the class as a whole when students regularly come and go.
Our yoga practice can be one of the most transformative experiences in our life ... making a positive impact on our relationships, ability to maintain wellness, lowering stress levels, and ultimately helping us to create the life we all want.
Ethics, values and a code of conduct are vital to our Vibrant Life Studio.
While it's trendy to practice yoga and even embark on a Yoga Teacher Training program, many studios, yoga businesses and teachers have lost sight of the moral ethics of "Living Your Yoga" by Judith Lasater or "Teaching Yoga" by Donna Farhi.
Ethical standards must apply for all beings connected in any way to the practice of yoga, including but not limited to studio owners, teachers, students, vendors, product creators, retail owners, attorneys, neighbors, landlords, etc.
Unfortunately, traditional yoga has been diluted by corporate America and even the small businesses striving to make money from such a valuable life-giving practice. Many studio owners have created a business model that only supports the owner. The practice and teaching of authentic yoga takes enormous commitment, resources and passion ... truly a calling on the part of the teacher.
Many studio owners are quite aware of this and thus exploit the very ones who are giving of themselves to share their practice to make a difference in the lives of others. With Yoga Teacher Training giving the studio owner greater income and supply of teachers, the owner many times expects teachers to work for nothing or less than minimum wage.
Therefore, the most experienced and very talented yoga teachers must find alternative ways of making even the most meager living. Or quit entirely.
If yoga in it's truest form is to survive and thrive, we must find a better business model. We must value the unique, life-giving and often life-saving art and science of living your yoga. If you place value on your own health and life, then value the people who have committed their lives to the yogic path of moral ethics, continual learning, practice, sacrifice and service.
Our Vision at Vibrant Life Studio is to provide a safe, harmonius space filled with light, laughter and love that welcomes a diverse CommUNITY of people. We are committed to the healing, growth, renewal and vitality of every individual and our CommUNITY as a whole.
We invite YOU to join our Vibrant Life CommUNITY!
"Beyond being a parent, sibling or child ... Beyond my profession, hobbies or faith ... Who am I?"
You may want to contemplate this question prior to your meditation routine. Then allow whatever bubbles up to surprise you. Yes! This sounds good doesn't it?
I'd like to say I have a meditation routine, yet I have no real routine. After coming out of 7 years of several wrong choices, some bad experiences and extensive loss, I struggle everyday to just make it through! I used to know who I was over 7 years ago, but much of that identity was left behind or ripped away. Somehow you've got to find self worth even when you're lying face down in the dirt ... thirsty, hungry and feeling desperate for love.
Yet, the blessing from all this hard life experience comes my answers to the Meditation Soul Question #1! If I could do it over, I'm pretty sure I would have developed that meditation routine and allowed those answers to more easily make themselves known. So now I'm putting a little more effort into finding that routine. Alas, I do feel blessed, there is nothing like real life experience to teach you what you need to know. What I've learned about meditation is that it makes those crazy life experiences a little more peaceful. Ah ... Peace and contentment. It makes life easier and more pleasant!
Can one person really make a difference? You betcha!!! Sometimes we have no idea the difference we make for others or for our environment. You can be certain that if your intentions are from love, that those seeds, given time for germination, will grow and flourish! Everything we say (text/write) or do either adds to our overall growth and health ... or to our demise. See & hear with love, think & choose with love and write, speak & act with love.
Trust Divine Wisdom - Of course if we knew we were hearing messages from divine wisdom we would trust it! Our ego mind/logical brain tells us "that's not possible" or "it's too difficult" or "that doesn't make sense" or even "what will others think?"
As a Reiki Practioner, I am able to Trust Divine Wisdom as I allow it to move through, guide and encourage me. I test the wisdom I receive by feeling the energy that flows, asking questions and connecting with the energy of my client. I may also ask my client open ended questions, without leading them, and see if what I'm hearing aligns with what they are sensing, feeling or thinking. It's truly a remarkable experience!
So what can I learn then from my Reiki Practice that will translate into my everyday life?
First of all, I pray. I ask God, Jesus, Reiki Masters, Archangels Michael and Raphael, and my Sea of Beings of Light to be with me, speak to and guide me and I thank them for allowing me to be a servant of divine healing. I further ask that their divine healing energy flow through me to provide whatever healing is needed for my client. If I'm aware of some need they might have, I pray for that need to be healed as well. I also pray that anything that may come up that is not of the highest form of divine healing energy be transmuted to the highest level possible.
My focus is on goodness, light and divine healing. And I maintain that focus throughout the session. These sessions are done in a sacred, safe, light-filled, loving room set-up for this purpose and are routine in structure, yet flexible to adapt to the divine wisdom that flows.
So back to that question: What can I learn from my Reiki Practice that will translate into my everyday life?
1. Set aside a time for me to be present, open to and listen to divine wisdom.
2. Create a sacred, safe, light-filled and loving space to spend this time. (Oh, I already have this space! Haha!)
3. Make myself a priority and be disciplined about scheduling and showing up for myself! (Scheduling is easy. Showing up for myself ... well that's the hard part!)
4. Establish a routine so that it is integrated into my life. Again we're talking discipline!
5. Trust the Divine Wisdom that flows as true and perfect for me.
6. Follow the Divine Wisdom as a priority as I go about making decisions and living my life.
I get stuck by not making myself a priority. Why is this? As I am writing, I begin to realize that it's all about my lack of self worth. I don't feel worthy to take care of myself. In my mind, I believe that as others have hurt and abandoned me, that I must not be worthy of time, attention and love. I've been through more than my fair share of trauma and abuse. So I question God. My whole life I have strived to follow the Lord and do the right thing, believing that will win me favor with God, even despite and because of all the pain I have suffered! Yet, here I sit writing to figure out what it is I need to do or change about myself.
As a Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and Wellness Educator, my mission is to help people learn to love themselves. They say we teach what we need to learn!!! That is so true with me. :) I do know that loving yourself is an inside job. You cannot rely on others words or actions to make you feel loved. Everyone of us is fallible and will do and say things that fall short. Not on purpose, of course. At least most of us. So, how do I learn to feel worthy and loved? I think, perhaps, if I truly want to learn this, and teach this, I must commit to making myself a priority and doing the work of creating the time and space necessary to listen to and TRUST DIVINE WISDOM!
I'll let you know my progress. Many blessings to you and yours!