They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky — not the Addams family, but a few choice chilling yoga poses and practices. This isn't yoga's doing. We are particularly practiced at getting ourselves worked up when we meet with shadows, dark corners, creepety sounds, and goosebumpy, hair-raising films. Somewhere beneath the surface, we know it's all in our trickery-treaty minds. The mind is mighty powerful, beyond that of witches' brews and love potions.
Make certain you peer over your shoulder before you read on. Just in case.
Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose) Not unlike a mummy, this pose sets off feelings of suffocation and triggers trappedness. The last time I took Kurmasana, I got stuck and am pretty certain my brain exploded. Something to work on. Have a Turtle Untangler nearby and breathe through it. Slow and steady wins the race.
Neti Pot This is an Ayurvedic practice often employed by yogis and yoginis to ease allergies and cleanse the nasal passages of primordial ooze. Many people cringe at the thought of pouring water into their noses ("But I'll drown!"). Imagine you are a crusty old pirate (fierce, feisty, and desperately needing a neti session). Yaaarrr! A little saline drizzle is nothing you can't sail through. Relax and float off into the horizon.
Chanting Putting your voice out there, even if it will commingle with many others, can be as scary as the shrill cries of goblins or a well-timed ghostly "BOO!" Know this: your voice has the power to turn darkness into light, regardless of its tonality. Come in to the light.
Inversions Handstand, Headstand, and the rest of the crew often strike fear into the hearts of many a yoga practitioner. Fear of falling, fear of getting hurt, fear of looking strange. You have a friend in the wall. Not like someone's IN the wall (goblins and such), but the actual wall. Begin there. The goblins, the wall, and I all believe in you. You can do it.
Meditation This may very well be the spookiest of all. Sitting alone. In the dark. In complete and utter silence. With. Your. THOUGHTS. Aaaaaccccckkkkkk!!!! They just keep coming, like the vampire or boogeyman who won't die! I won't lie, this one takes an inordinate amount of time and practice. I run into a lot of cobwebs and get tangled up regularly. But those few moments of peace, which will eventually grow into periods of peace, are worth it. So when the mind tells you to turn back, that it's just too terrifying in there — forge ahead, flashlight of calm in hand.
Sending you only the best scares — the kind that move you forward on your path,
There's a little Stella in all of us. Shit goes down. Shit gets real. And then we lose our shit. The carefully cultivated practice of self-care is the first thing to disappear. From there, it's all downhill. Your energetic spoon is scraping an empty bowl.
So what did Stella do? Well, she took a vacation. And she broke herself off a piece of sizzling young ass...uh, asana. Yep. That's what she did. She also recognized that she was worthy and deserving of all good things. Just like you are.
Your yoga practice is, amongst other things, a mental / spiritual / physical vacation you need on a regular basis. It is crucial that you keep your bowl bountiful so you can be blissful.
Don't Beat Yourself Up When Your Practice Falls Down. You are not alone — falling off the yoga wagon happens to ALL of us. Instead of expending precious prana feeling poorly about it, channel that energy into diving back IN.
Schedule Yoga. You already calendar meetings, calls, appointments, and more. Commit to at least one class as often as you can do it, and SCHEDULE it. Treat it like a important meeting that you absolutely cannot miss. Because it is. And you can't.
Mix It Up. Stoke the creative practice fire with a new class that you've been dying to try. You have a smorgasbord of yoga flavors to choose from — Jivamukti, Kundalini, Anusara, Acro, the list goes on.
Bring Your Homegirl Along. When you buddy up, it's harder to back out. Plus, you'll have someone to make kooky faces at and blibbity-blab with after class. Shared experiences are like gems in your pocket.
Make Stella proud. Tap that yoga asana and watch your path unfold with sukha.
There is a growing epidemic, my friends, and my sincerest hope is that you have not been afflicted. This serious dis-ease is called Degenerative Thank You Dementia. The cause? Being ungrateful. Expecting. Feeling entitled. And otherwise being an asshole. You don't want to be a cack, do you? No. The good news is, this condition is reversible.
It takes < 1 second.
The tiniest bit of your breath + vocal cords = someone deserving feels appreciated.
Respiration has your back. You will recover perfectly from this "expenditure."
We have many things to be thankful for.
Your mouth to the Universe's ears.
Say it. Spray it. Show it.
with love, thanks, gratitude, and only a slight amount of accidental spittle,
sometimes i yoga slow, sometimes i yoga quick. smart-ass with a heart of golden lotus petals. i embrace my quirk. take my practice seriously, but like to find humor everywhere. this is where i get deep, comedic, curious, philosophical, self-reflective, + silly. me: LA face with an Oakland booty.