Tag Archives: adapt

Resilience and Adaptabilty

Resilience and adaptability are an intrinsic part of nature. Weeds survive, cockroaches will inherit the earth, and water will always find its way. Unfortunately, the possibility that one can become stuck in a rut of being, obdurate and unable to be fluid like water, is as great a potential as falling in love. 

Nevertheless, life invites us to be flexible. Too much fragility and we will crumble under life’s pressure. Too much rigidity and we will stubbornly refuse to adapt with changing times. Get left behind, looking out at an unfamiliar world from an inner gaze hardened by our own stubborn shortcomings.

So much of this journey of life is a dance among paradox. Dancing between stability and freedom is the dance of liberation. Freeing ourselves from our attachments to the past and desired outcomes, yet holding the gaze steady on the intent and the motive is the recipe for a vibrant life. Despite the length of that sentence, the concept is still much easier said than done.

None of us are outside the circle of loss. None of us are exempt from desire. None of us are without needs. Life, being what it is, will test our capacity to meet ourselves in the company of ourselves, during loss, overcome by desire, with needs unmet. What we do when we arrive at thes thresholds is what becomes the fluid and flexible bouncy of resilience or hard brittle bark of unfluctuating obstinacy. The most beautiful part is that we get to decide. We get to decide how to respond to life’s undulations.

The key ingredient is knowing that responding is not reacting. Life happens. Take a breath. Connect to the deeper part of you. The part that evolved with the ever evolving universe, conscious, adaptable, resilient, and remember what drives your heart. Take another deep breath, move away from the drama, exhale. Take another deep breath, choose the direction you wish to go, take one small step in that direction. Responding mindfully to life’s unsavory as well as life’s more rich and delicious circumstances is like becoming the resilient and ever buoyant material of a trampoline. Not only do you bounce back but you catalyze movement into the future.

Regularly returning to practice returns you to your capacity to connect to your breath. Regularly returning to your practice invites deeper connection to your adaptable and graceful heart. Regularly returning to your practice reminds you of your ability to skillfully spin, twirl, and jive on the paradoxical dance floor of life. Stepping gracefully between stability and freedom, acknowledging your innate ability to be simultaneously fragile and rigid, embracing your innate ability to be resilient and adaptable, will bring you ever closer to the vibrant freedom of peace you were born to enjoy. Carry on!

With Love, always, in all ways, for giving,

Genevieve 

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Legs.

Legs.

Loving on our bodies in general is not exactly encouraged in our culture. The pressure for us, as spirits in form, to perfect the form, rather than tend to the formless, is real. We live in a weird time and place where the focus on the external is far sharper than support for the depth of process it takes to look at what lies beneath. Pockets of pure perspective (like a community at your local yoga studio), do exist. Seek them out. Find a yoga teacher who inspires you to look with respect, rather than mistrust, into your body, as a step on the path of awareness. The following practice is all about dissolving the confusion and negative language around legs. Let’s call it “leg-loving-life-giving-practice”.  See what twenty minutes or so of exploration, stabilization and gentle stretches can do for your legs, those amazing limbs that carry you about all day long.

Put your feet up.

Legs up the wall helps to drain excess pressure, like the kind that builds up after a lifetime of mostly living on your feet, from your lovely legs. Lie down on the floor and kick your feet up. Five minutes.

Fold forward.

Find the position of your pelvis that allows your spine to move toward the earth with gravity in a forward fold. Start standing, using the strength of your legs to rock your pelvis forward and back, and get familiar with both actions, as they are both useful. Then, apply the forward tip of the pelvis to your forward fold. That means that your lower back is below your tailbone as you reach to touch the earth. Bend your knees as much as you need to maintain that alignment. Your back will thank you and your legs will actually be stretched (not stressed). One to two minutes.

Strengthen.

Harvest the power of all the muscles from your feet to the core of the pelvis. Hug muscles to bone and draw, like you are pulling on spandex, from the furthest points (toes), to the nearest (pelvic floor and base of spine). Play with keeping the muscles strong, and softening skin around them, to avoid over-strengthening, or becoming rigid with power. If you can breath and move, the power is good. Thirty seconds in a couple of standing poses with this fluid strength will build confidence and grace.

Lengthen.

For legs that go on forever, connect them to your solar plexus. Rather than the very limiting idea of legs ending at the tops of the femur-bones, give yourself an extra foot or so of gam by expanding the concept to the center of your body. It’s a literal connection, you don’t have to make it up, just change your mind about where things begin and end. From right around there, the psoas muscle extends, giving freedom of mobility and stability to your legs. See how it feels to move from here (above your navel, below your heart, deep along the center-channel of the spine), and allow your spectacular gams to grow. Take some time to shift your perspective, on and off the mat.

Relax.

Either with your knees over a bolster, supine, or returning to legs up the wall, give your limbs another sweet respite. Five minutes.

Yours,

Suki

Goals, Resolutions, and The Yoga Of A New Year

The beginning of the year is a great time to get our thoughts and goals in order for the coming months and/or years ahead, we often call these goals new years resolutions. A common loosing point on a new years resolution is that we set ourselves up for failure by setting goals that are, in all actuality, really hard to be resolute about. We so often in our new years resolution bite off more than we can chew, and then we loose a taste for what it is we are working toward.

Perhaps this year you resolved to get more in shape and feel better. Perhaps you set this as a goal for yourself and to do it you told yourself you were going to get to yoga five days a week. Perhaps you are two weeks into the year and have already let yourself down by not making it to yoga at all this last week and now you have decided to give up on your resolution. Well, that is one way to handle the fall out, and another would be to modify your plan, adjust, and renew the pursuit of your goal. In life, just like on the mat, things are changing all the time. Whereas one day you may have done a cobra and saw the wall behind you, and the next day it’s possible you didn’t have the strength, or the space, to even get your bottom ribs off the floor. This is an extreme example, but life can sometimes be extreme, and when it comes to new years resolutions, we are almost always extreme. On the mat when a pose doesn’t feel right we modify, and we feel relief. In life we can do the same.

The most powerful ingredient that makes the difference in the long term for any purist we undertake is constancy. If we wish to do some crazy asana like scorpion handstand, than constantly returning to the pose and poses that enable it, will in time, lead to desired results. If we wish to become proficient at playing an instrument, constant return to the practice will make the world of difference. If we wish to experience more regular love in our lives, than constantly loving ourselves with less conditionality will pay off in a great fortune that is hard to describe in words. The thing about the constant measure is that it does not have to be a large one. Modify the formula for what works for you. Perhaps one yoga class a week. Over the course of a year that’s 52 classes, a lot of health can be gained in 52 classes. Perhaps 1 hour of guitar practice a week, that’s 52 hours in a year, and 520 in a decade, that’s on the way to being a Clapton. Perhaps five minutes of telling yourself you love yourself in the mirror everyday. I know it sounds pretty hippy dippy woo-woo, but over the course of a year that’s 30 hours of love, and 300 hours in a decade, and if you live to be 100 and start young that could be over 30,000 hours of pure, unadulterated, unconditional love in a lifetime, guaranteed.

So wherever you may be with the goals you would like to accomplish this year, or any year in your life, set them, and when life arrives, adjust. May the force be with you.

Love Always, In All Ways, For Giving,
Genevieve