“No matter what is going on in my body, I strive to remain in a quiet place of peace.” Jennifer Miller
By Jennifer Miller
Marianne Williamson’s “A Course in Miracles” teaches that most of us live in a place of love or fear. We have a choice of how we want to be and act in any given situation.I have been reflecting recently that I am at a point in my life where I am aware of how am feeling and, if I am reacting to these feelings, I know it. I am striving to limit these “reactions”, and remain in the moment, a state of peaceful quietude where nothing can “rock my world”.
And I continue to make progress. There have been many situations in the past year that might have “taken me out”. I now strive to find that place of acceptance and often, detachment, which allows me to step back and say to myself “I see what is going on here…game over”.
Every one of us can chose to live in fear or love at that very moment. I recently watched Marianne Williamson speaking to Oprah about how our life’s blueprint is designed to achieve our highest purpose.
Anyone can “download” their life plan but if it is not synchronized with our emotions, we have little chance of fulfilling our highest purpose.
In yoga, we are trained to stay with our breath. Whatever asana or posture we are in, no matter what is going on in my body, I strive to remain in a quiet place of peace. Our body and mind follow our breath. I strive daily to remain conscious of this and come back to this “place of peace” when I feel rattled or off in some way.
Ahhhh… that beautiful connection to our soul is all through the discipline of BREATH…
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Balance, Book Reviews, Breathing, Detachment, Knowledge, Life, Love, Meditation, Mindfulness, Reflections, Self, Soul, Spirituality, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Books, Breathing, Fear, Inner Peace, Jennifer Miller, Love, Marianne Williamson, Peace, Quiet, Reviews
“If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy.”
“The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Guide by Ravi Ravindra”
Posted in Asanas, Knowledge, Life, Meditation, Mind, Mindfulness, Quotes, Self, Silence, Soul, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Meditation, Mindfulness, Quieting the Mind, Stillness
“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light…Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”
“Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”
Posted in Asanas, Life, Meditation, Quotes, Self, Silence, Soul, Spirituality, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Mahatma Gandhi, Meditation, Path, Quotes, Silence, Yoga
By Jennifer Miller
Walking through the doors at the Recovery House, the ladies came up to me with a request: they wanted to see a picture of me before I started yoga. “I bet you always looked like this” said one. The group’s interest turned into a discussion of one of the big benefits of yoga: getting in shape after having a baby. These questions and others are all very honest and touching, reflecting how concerned they are with their appearance and bodies.
A question then came up about whether my yoga practice excited my husband when I was married, again showing the physical and sexual interest the poses had in their minds. I then told them about very painful parts of my life, where yoga helped me to process my grief, to the point where I am now able to laugh at many of these traumatic times.
I could feel, and see in their eyes, that my words were very comforting to these women, all of whom were dealing with trauma and change in their lives. One of the young ladies asked me why I volunteered here.
I told her that presenting the gift of yoga allowed my soul to give back some of the beautiful calm and peace I felt during times of great pain…
They were all very moved and I knew some were true believers. I felt my heart sing with joy that they could understand. I began to work on some individual asanas with a few of the girls. At first they are scared in trying something new, but three of the girls all nail the “crow” pose. I was cheering and clapping and didn’t know who was more excited.
A girl in the back of the room asked me what poses would help her tighten her stomach and lose weight. I told her that yoga connects our minds and bodies, and that by maintaining the connection while eating, she could learn to eat only until feeling full. This honors the body as it is the temple for our soul.
Nearing the end of our time together, I hear that one of the girls is cleaning a yoga mat to take to her room to practice, while another one is listening to a yoga tape. I can see the slow progress we are making, and know in my heart that if you can touch one life you’ve made a difference in the world. On my way out they bring their babies over…the beauty of connecting with the human spirit.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Life, Mind, Recovery, Soul, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Body, Jennifer Miller, Recovery, Recovery House, Soul, Women, Yoga, Young Women
“Yoga…is the path and not the goal. It is the experience of the path that matters. The bliss that we experience during this path is the experience of realization, samadhi.”
“Tittibhasana” Pose by Jennifer Miller
From “Bhagavad Gita Demystified” by Nithyananda Paramahamsa
Posted in Asanas, Book Reviews, Life, Mind, Quotes, Self, Soul, Women, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, Bhagavad Gita, Books, Jennifer Miller, Path, Poses, Realization, Samadhi, Tittibhasana, Yoga
“Yoga is primarily a practice intended to make someone wiser, more able to understand things than they were before.”
“The goal is always bhakti…to approach the highest intelligence, namely, God.”
T.K.V. Desikachar from “The Heart of Yoga: Developing A Personal Practice”.
Posted in Asanas, Knowledge, Life, Quotes, Self, Soul, Spirituality, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Books, Knowledge, Quotes, T.K.V. Desikachar, Wisdom, Yoga
“Spirituality means energy and to meditate on that energy is spirituality. So, developing and having faith in this energy is spirituality…spirituality is believing.”
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Quote from Namarupa Magazine, Fall 2004 Issue: “3 Gurus, 48 Questions: Matching Interviews With SRI T.K.V. DESIKACHAR, SRI B.K.S. IYENGAR & SRI K. PATTABHI JOIS”
Posted in Knowledge, Life, Light, Meditation, Quotes, Soul, Spirituality, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Believing, Faith, Meditation, Quotes, Soul, Spirituality, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
“Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit.”
B.K.S. Iyengar, From “Light On Life”
Posted in Asanas, Knowledge, Life, Light, Meditation, Reflections, Self, Soul, Wisdom, Yoga
Tagged Asanas, B.K.S. Iyengar, Inner Life, Inner Wisdom, Quotes, Wisdom, Yoga
Arriving at the Yoga Center, I roll out my mat and make sure it lines up with walls that surround me. Each time I place my feet on this six-foot long, 2-foot wide space, I have a feeling of “returning home”. I fill my lungs with deep breaths, exhaling and begin the process of “letting go”.
In yoga, this breathing technique is known as “Ujjayi”, a Sanskrit word that means “to be victorious”. Breathing, or “Pranayama”, engages the diaphragm and the “chakras”, or “force centers”, producing a sound similar to waves crashing in the ocean. I feel a calming and quieting of my mind and begin a move inward.
“Ujjayi” is important in overcoming distractions, which prevent focus as we move towards “being in the moment”.
This mind-body connection produces a warming of the body, which increases to an intense heat in my pelvis as I bend and stretch deeply. I fuel this rise in energy with deep breaths, and become one with my movements, aware of the energy in the room created by other dedicated yogis.
I am grateful to my teacher and happily drive an hour each way to the Ashtanga Yoga Center. Nearing the end of my 1 1/2 hour practice, I complete work on a third-series pose called “Durvasana”, where I am standing with one leg behind my head. This pose requires me to stay centered and balanced, as I continue the journey inward towards my essential self.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Balance, Breathing, Meditation, Soul, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Ashtanga, Chakras, Distractions, Durvasana, In The Moment, Jennifer Miller, Pose, Ujjayi, Yoga, Yoga Mat, Yoga Practice
One of the great benefits of yoga, in addition to increased strength and flexibility, is that it promotes the peaceful state necessary for self-reflection, letting us go “inward” to establish a “mind-body-spirit” connection and nourish our soul.
Other forms of physical exercise require a great deal of external focus, with our mind and body “engaged” with equipment and people around us.
Yoga allows me to “be in the moment”, quieting my mind to focus on “being where I am.”
To “be in the moment” is a goal of “meditation”. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, developed “mindfulness meditation” to help people reduce the suffering coming from chronic pain and stress in their lives. This included a method of “moment-to-moment” awareness that allowed for increased “coping skills”.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) program combined Hatha Yoga and meditation to achieve extraordinary health benefits. But, in writing “Wherever You Go, There You Are”, he beautifully described what all of us can achieve when we quiet the mind:
“From the perspective of meditation, every state is a special state, every moment a special moment.”
How cool is that? Our modern society does a great job of promoting life’s “special moments” but requires most of us to “purchase” these as luxuries.
The “movements of the body” in yoga connect us to the “moments in the mind” where we can “nourish our soul”.
My yoga practice allows me to achieve serenity and peace, what many people would describe as a “special moment”.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Asanas, Life, Meditation, Pain, Reflections, Soul, Studies, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Health Benefits, In The Moment, Jennifer Miller, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Living in the Moment, Meditation, Mind, Moment to Moment, Pain, Pain Reduction, Quieting the Mind, Stress, Stress Reduction
We must all strive to connect our mind, body and spirit to find our soul’s true purpose.
Rumi, a 13th Century Persian Poet, wrote beautifully about the importance of following your heart to find love and purpose in life….
My video presents 5 of his most beautiful quotations.
“What I have come to treasure most in life are the hardships I have overcome, and the satisfaction of feeling “heroic” in many ways. To live through challenging times and not only survive, but to emerge victorious and “thrive”, will bring all of us a sense of incredible joy and satisfaction.”
“To live a truly authentic life makes us vulnerable, but it is a life worth living. I am who I am and I can live with that.”
Posted in Asanas, Gratitude, Heart-Based Healing, Life, Light, Love, Meditation, Poems, Reflections, Soul, Women, Yoga
Tagged Happiness, Jennifer Miller, Poetry, Rumi, Soul, Soul's True Purpose, Videos
“I am who I am”, not to be defined by conventions regarding a “role” as wife , mother, or daughter.
As a child, I was always told by people that “I beat to my own drum”. And because I did not always conform to the “rules”, my actions were frowned upon by my family and schools that I attended.
I can now see the beauty of following our soul and not caring what others think or say about us. Although I would lose this part of my soul at times, life would always bring it back to me.
Women, by allowing society and others to “define” them as daughter, wife and mother, come to believe that their “identity” resides outside their soul and bodies…Our ego becomes attached to these external realities, and it makes reclaiming our soul very difficult at times.
When my life collapsed several years ago, destroying all of my so-called dreams of having the “perfect family”, I found my soul again in the little girl that “beat to her own drum”. And her little voice told me that “I am who I am”, not to be defined by conventions regarding a “role” as wife , mother, or daughter.
“I am me…a soul free to grow and expand beyond societal restrictions”
As women, we must reach out and embrace the infinite as this is always in the best interest of the soul. Do not let anyone or anything define your Dharma. We should strive for independence, and like a child follow our hearts.
The best path to understanding the connection with “our truth” is to start living it, breathing it, thinking it, acting it and ultimately “feeling it”.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Posted in Balance, Child, Family, Freedom, Gratitude, Life, Mothers, Reflections, Soul, Wisdom, Women, Yoga
Tagged Connection, Conventions, Finding Our Souls, Happiness, Heart, Jennifer Miller, Roles, Soul