Monday, May 24, 2010

30 Days of Yoga

I’ve signed up for another awesome online class! Isn’t it wonderful all the cool stuff out there? This is a yoga class, 30 Days of Yoga, with Marianne Elliott, an amazing instructor (and human rights advocate) in New Zealand. It starts on June 12th and I absolutely cannot wait, especially after reading her response to a question on her website today. The question was about how Marianne is able to do the kind of hard work she does. This part of her reply really hit home for me:

“Another option is to keep our eyes and hearts open to the world around us and to allow ourselves to feel deeply the suffering as well as the joys of that world. This has always been my approach, but for a long time I followed this approach without the stability that I needed to make it sustainable. My heart was open but my roots were shallow. I was blown about by my heartbreak, like a reed in the wind.

“It wasn’t until I was on a yogic meditation retreat in March 2008 that anyone really explained this to me in a way I could understand, which is to say, in a way that made sense in my body. He was a yoga and meditation teacher, a man whose career training had included a 50 day silent retreat in a Buddhist monk’s cell in India and a period as the personal meditation and yoga trainer for Olympic athletes in Australia.

“’Marianne,’ he said, ‘you move through the world with your heart open. Your compassion is a beautiful thing to see. But until you release your weight into the ground beneath you and trust that the earth herself will hold you, you will continue to be blown about by the joys and heartbreaks you encounter.’

“‘This is what we practice in yoga,’ he said, ‘trusting the earth to hold us, releasing our weight into the ground beneath us and finding a stability even in the midst of the turmoils of life. Without compassion, stability can become rigid, but without stability, compassion can drown us.’”

In the version of the class that I signed up for, Marianne puts together a yoga practice geared toward the answers the student provides to a questionnaire, so it’s specially geared to what you need. I’m picturing lots of wonderful opportunities for getting more grounded. Have I already mentioned that I can’t wait?