February yoga JAMM

the yoga has certainly been working with me in some very interesting and unique ways the past couple of weeks. I've had some experiences that seem to be solidifying I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. 

recently, a woman came into the studio to attend class while I was working the desk. right before heading in, she read a message that just popped up on her phone, and proceeded to have an hysterical, emotional breakdown. it turns out she's been hustling through a world of change the past couple months, complete with big job moves and multiple international relocations. her sense of place has been completely thrown off, and as a result, she had no grounding - nothing to hold onto, nothing in which she felt solid about anything she was doing or where she was going, every detail of her life completely up in the air. this all came to a head when she received news that a significant part of her life in her home country had been taken without her consent or knowledge. so here she is, more than 7000 miles away from this event without any ability to help or take charge of her life back home - I'd reckon that's enough to throw any of us into a state of overwhelming panic. having no training in psychology or therapy, I made a choice on how to best handle the situation - I listened. I sat her down, gave her water, and let her tell her story, interjecting some philosophy and yogic concepts when it felt necessary, and doing the best I could to simply be a place of solidity for her to work her way through. 90 minutes later, she felt much better about her choices and where she was headed, and was able to leave the studio with a sense of how to move forward in a way that felt supported and strengthened.

my neighbors had a room for rent in their home last October. by chance, I mentioned this to a girl attending a class I was subbing who was telling me of how she was looking for an apartment. I made the connection between the two parties, and now we have a new neighbor. I ran into her recently and she let me know that my introduction to her life had profoundly changed her course. by connecting her with my neighbor and assisting her in finding a home, she was able to settle in, start a new job and set a course that has her succeeding in all aspects of her life.

at mang'Oh, we feature a pose and theme of the month. this month, we're focusing on sirsasana (headstand) and our theme is facing fear. in a class I taught last week, 6 of the 8 students in attendance managed to achieve the pose, based on the approach and suggestions I provided.

I'm not saying that I'm in any way responsible for any of these things happening, but I am very much aware that by allowing myself to be a conduit for a larger purpose, things are taking shape around me that give me my own sense of purpose.

this reminds me of a concept we use in our practice called 'root to rise'. it refers to the idea that the more strength we have built in our foundation, the more ability we have to expand our lives in ways that serve us. this concept is not strictly yogic, either - it appears everywhere in the world constantly and consistently. think of the redwoods/sequoias out in California. these massive, monstrous trees are only able to reach the heights they reach because their roots dig as far into the ground, if not further than, their branches extend into the sky. think of the skyline of New York City - the tallest buildings are located downtown, in midtown, and in uptown. this is not simply because it looks nice - the city planners knew that in order to create tall skyscrapers, they had to build where the foundation, the bedrock of the island, was the deepest. they have to dig deep into the earth to make the supports that allow these marvels to rise and reach upward. think of any relationship you have - your parents, your siblings, your friends, your partners - these relationships only get better when we take the time to solidify our belief in them, when we take the time to work on them and make them strong, so they continue to grow and prosper. when we root ourselves in what we want to see in our lives, our lives rise up to bring us what we're seeking.