In Inquiry
In Inquiry
Yoga is at its essence the study of the Self. The path to Self-realization requires inquiry, study and reflection. What are the important questions? Where can I look for answers? What does it all mean?
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Kate

Burn away the old. Make space for the new.

A longleaf pine habitat needs fire to survive. Without fire, the seeds can’t germinate, more aggressive plants take over, and new growth is inhibited. Ironically, fire suppression, which was first implemented to protect forests, was actually leading to the extinction of our native longleaf pine forests in and around Savannah.

In the Hindu tradition, Shiva represents this concept. He is the god of creation, destruction and regeneration. He is often pictured dancing in a ring of fire, stepping on a demon, which symbolizes ignorance, and lifting his left leg in an act of creation. He typically has a slight smile on his face, showing calmness despite being immersed in the contrasting forces of the universe.

Faced with fire, we can choose to see ourselves as victims or we can consciously choose to burn away the things that we do not need and make space for something new.

As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, I want to personally invite you to join me in burning away the old and making room for something new.  A regular yoga practice has helped me learn to sit in the intensity of life and resist the urge to flee. Every once in a while I also need to take some time and identify what I want to create and I what I need to leave behind to make space for this new growth.

As we enter the new year, let’s take some time to identify what we need to release and what we are committed to creating for ourselves and others in 2017.

shiva

image source: By Chathurasj (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Kate

Commit to Imperfection

As we near the end of the year, if you’re like me, you start to think about and welcome the clean slate of a new year. For me, 2016 was filled with intensity and the unexpected, so I am ready for 2017.

Before I can start fresh, there are some things I need to process and set free. I come from the corporate world, where reviewing "lessons learned" has always been an important part of closing any project. In my new world I like to think of this process as an “inventory and release”. What have I learned this year and what do I need to release?

If you look up the definition of release, you’ll find: “to set free from restraint, confinement, or servitude.” Where am I restrained and confined? What am I in servitude to? Wow. Lots of things. My fears, my drive for perfection, my desire to make others happy. As I sit here considering what is confining me, I can see that all of these things restrain me in some way. What if this year I could commit to fearlessness and imperfection. Just writing down a commitment to imperfection sounds scary AND sort of beguiling. What if I could just show up and do my best and let others be good enough doing their best? What if I could be in service to my higher self and the greatness of others instead of in servitude to my “shoulds.”

That sounds pretty good to me. I think I’ll start there.

See you on your mat,
Kate