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Yoga Goddess Followers
By Jennifer Miller
My yoga practice continues to teach me about my inner self. Working through advanced postures, I am conscious of how my mind makes “excuses” during periods where I struggle: too many babies, weak bandhas, arms and legs that are too long (very creative). But through discipline and focusing my mind, I am able to block out these thoughts and “distractions”.
This past Thursday at the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas, CA, I finally nailed the difficult Urdhva Kukkutasana B pose (a lifting lotus) in the advanced series. But this short-term success highlighted a major theme in my overall practice: that difficult transitions in my life had reduced the desire to “push forward”.
As mothers, we must be able to “detach” from the emotions and negative energy that arise as we watch our children grow older and naturally struggle with life’s journey. We need to remain objective with the strength to make the tough calls that do not enable a continuation of poor decisions and actions.
My yoga practice and personal life both thrive when I maintain a healthy mind-body connection. My teacher noticed from across the room when I succeeded with the difficult pose. I quickly do the pose again to confirm it in my muscle memory. My mind has thoughts of “I CAN” running through it and the body responds.
I remember with a smile back to a day when I worked with girls at the Recovery Home and demonstrated this same pose. The purpose was to show them that a yoga practice mirrors our daily lives. We can feel stifled and stuck in life, but we need to have the strength to push through the barriers holding us back.
One of the girls had said “…you’re so strong you could probably take us all out”. We all laughed. They had reacted to the positive energy I demonstrated when facing a seemingly impossible situation.
We must maintain the ability to focus our minds on the positive things we can accomplish each day in order to push through even the most difficult of times in our lives.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller
Full Quote: “I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic madness or patterns of fear. All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is the one waged within the individual soul.”
All of us put our desires and dreams out into the universe and hope they are realized some day. But it is very unhealthy to keep putting our energy into people and things, over and over again, and then wishing for a different outcome. The Einstein quote I referenced defines this as “insanity”, or “crazy”, reminding me of a favorite quote:
“Crossing the Street” is recognizing when we have become “attached” to harmful and debilitating thoughts, actions and “things” in life and taking the steps necessary to avoid repeating the “same old mistakes”.
But it is hard to break with these “things”, and many women choose to numb out and block the pain and suffering of attachment through drinking and sedatives. They are in denial while justifying their lives to family, friends and themselves. I advise them to make the tough choice to feel their emotions; all of them know their situation or choices are not healthy or stable.
I will write more on the importance of living in the present and appreciating and loving ourselves. Embrace your emotions because when you feel them, you are living your life and not avoiding reality. This is the beauty of feeling and healing; and the secret of breaking the cycle of suffering.
Namaste, Jennifer Miller