“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” ― Rumi
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers - for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. ~Osho
“Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary.
Attention rouses the soul to study itself and its longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy.
Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it thus: be attentive. Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep… Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory.
Thoughts, desires, and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention.
One must remember the saving words of the Lord: ‘Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive.”
- Saint Nectarios of Aegina
I lost my mom this past June and as a result experienced a feeling of loneliness. Since losing my mom, I have spent a lot of time and focus on my yoga studies and have read so many things over the past month... looking for answers... looking for a way to heal... Finally I figured I just needed to be alone with this loneliness and so I recently went into my yoga room here at my home in Minnesota and I sat there for 4 hours... meditating... staring at a wall or out the window... being alone with my loneliness...
I remembered this time in fifth grade, when the group of girls that I hung out with stopped speaking to me. When they would pass me in the hall, they would turn their backs and giggle. At lunch, they would turn away from me... basically implying that I was no longer welcome at the lunch table that I had sat at most of the year. It was my first experience of real loneliness, and I admit at the time it felt like the end of the world.
That experience stayed in my emotional backpack for years. Even now, just the word, "loneliness" can trigger the emotion—part melancholy and part loss—of those days and others after. My loneliness in fifth grade taught me compassion for those who are unpopular and inspired me to seek friendships based on intimacy rather than the need to belong... but it was only after a stay at a Vipassana Center this past spring that I began to see that the emotion of loneliness is not just personal. Like anger and fear, loneliness is one of those universal, primal emotions, a groove in humanity's subconscious. Most of us (even those of us who like being alone) can't help but fall into it at one time or another.
While at the Vipassana Center I continued my yoga (in secret) and meditation in my room. And it was there that I came to terms with the deep roots of loneliness. I did such intense self-inquiry. From my seat within the woods (they provided a walking path within the woods), I could see and hear women giving up, begging the teacher to be allowed to go home. I sat in my room or outside a lot, and contemplated the sort of person I was, and came up with a list of qualities that I wanted to see in myself.
I also began to realize that nothing outside myself would take away the pain of loneliness. I had never thought of it as an emotion, but it certainly welled up like one... As I contemplated the difference between being alone and loneliness, I would say to myself, 'Why are you lonely? Look what you have. You have the tree outside your window—a big, beautiful tree.' I would have silent conversations with that tree, because after I had been in that room for a while I began to recognize the unity of human beings and nature. I also began to appreciate everyone and everything in my life 1000 times more than I had before.
While meditating on this here in Minnesota, I realized that this journey laid before me could not be taken unless I was willing to face my loneliness. Maybe that's one reason why loneliness, or even the fear of loneliness, can be such a stumbling block on the road to inner growth. But I was still scared to face it..... The irony, of course, is that I knew that if I accepted my loneliness, I would discover something powerful and freeing on the other side of it. I knew this... but it was still so hard. Even though teachings and practice can reveal that the feeling of separation is an illusion, my ego had a hard time believing it. Even when I "knew" that this sense of separateness was the true cause of most of my pain, something in me clung to it and allowed its tendrils to unfurl in every corner of my life.
But then I recalled that I had come right up against loneliness as an existential condition while at the Vipassana Center. And like others who have been to the depths of loneliness and been willing to fully engage it, my solitary state became a vehicle for transformation. Why couldn't it be once again in this situation? I pondered....
"Alone... and the soul emerges," ~ Walt Whitman.
I guessed then that the question I should have been asking myself was not "How can I make this empty feeling go away?" but, "How do I turn this painful state of loneliness into a transformative state of solitude?" So I pondered this question... for another two hours... ..............................................................................................................................................
And then it struck me... a memory so real... so close to home... like it happened yesterday...
The extreme loneliness I experienced when I heard I was probably going to lose my mom (I did lose her), while I was stuck in a cabin at the end of fifty-five miles of paved/dirt road, catapulted me into my first genuine experience of present-moment awareness; I still remember the surprising joy of the hours spent watching the path the raindrops made as they streaked down the window of my vehicle as I drove to the nearest airport (6 hours away)... trying to get to her. Or the rainbows that I swear she created... I felt peace and connection to her... the wind on my face... it was so cool, like it was made to dry my tears... I felt joy for every butterfly that I noticed on the flowers along the road once the rain cleared... they made me aware of each detail in front of me... keeping me safe... I felt peace watching the sun set on the lakes and within the trees... Even with the fear of losing her... of being all alone in this world ... I still managed to feel appreciation for my present surroundings... appreciation for my connection to her... the road to her really was beautiful....
My recent reintroduction to my yoga and meditation practice has shown me that this apparent emptiness is not empty at all. One of the practice's deepest goals is to train us to see that what looks like scary nothingness is actually creative, nourishing awareness, the substance—less substance that is threaded through everything and connects us all. I felt connected to that tree while contemplating in my room at the Vipassana Center. I felt connected to my mother through a rainbow or a butterfly even though she was taking her final breaths on this planet 100's of miles away. While driving to her I got to know the pure awareness that lied behind my thoughts and feelings, and I realized how full of potential it was.
Remembering this while in meditation allowed me to see that its impossible to feel lonely, at least for long, because I am connected to everything... I am connected to her... I always will be. ~ Ashle
This blog entry is dedicated to those of you that suffer from loneliness too... with the hopes that it will help you heal... It is also dedicated to my future self...in the event of a future loss of a loved one ... "Don't forget that feeling."
Most importantly, I hope that what I've learned through my studies will also help my family recover from the loss of my Mom and from the previous loss of my Grandma... I love you all, Bobbi, Josh, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins. I love you so much.
"May I be happy. May I feel loved. May all my suffering be healed. My I be at peace.
The practice of metta, or what's called loving-kindness—or indeed any practice in which you send blessings or good wishes to others—is an ideal way to transform your feelings of separation into feelings of connection. There's a variation I sometimes do when I'm feeling fearful or sad, and it works just as well for loneliness.
Love Your Loneliness
Begin by feeling your own loneliness. Without resistance, tune in to it. Then, connect with your breath, and with each one, send these thoughts to yourself:
Breathing in, think, "May I be happy."
Breathing out, ask, "May I feel loved."
Breathing in, send forth, "May all my suffering be healed."
Breathing out, ask, "May I be at peace."
Next, imagine other people in the world who might be feeling lonely at this moment, people you love and those you don't know (lonely children, homeless people, people breaking up with their partners, people in prison, people in war-torn countries, and anyone else who might come to mind). With the breath, send out the same loving thoughts to them: "May you be happy. May you feel loved. May all your suffering be healed. May you be at peace."
Finally, take a moment to send these thoughts to everyone in the world. "May all beings be happy. May all beings feel loved. May the suffering of all beings be healed. May all beings be at peace."
If you do this powerful practice, you will discover how it can soften and change your own heart. When you consciously send blessings to others, especially in this systematic fashion, they forge your connections not just to the people you know but to all the beings you include in your well-wishing. And then, sneaking in with the breath, comes the realization of your unbreakable connectedness. You can't be lonely when your hearts are joined, even for a moment, to the hearts of all.
I found this article by Dr. Frawley... I enjoyed reading it and hope you do too!
Yoga and Ayurveda are two interrelated branches of the same great tree of Vedic knowledge that encompasses all of human life and the entire universe. In this regard, it is important to understand the respective roles of Ayurveda and Yoga in the Vedic system. Yoga and Ayurveda are not merely two separate but related healing disciplines of India. Each has its unique place and function, but each overlaps into the other on various levels.
Vedic knowledge is the ancient mantric science of the seers and yogis of India designed to show us the inner workings of the universe and of our own consciousness, leading us ultimately to the state of Self-realization and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. To this end, it has given us not only spiritual disciplines but has touched all aspects of healing, science, art and culture.
Ayurveda is one of the four Upavedas or secondary Vedic teachings, along with Gandharva Veda (music), Sthapatya Veda (directional science), and Dhanur Veda(martial arts). These Upavedas apply Vedic knowledge along specific lines to supplement the Vedic quest for wholeness and liberation. Ayurveda is probably the most important of these because it addresses all aspects of healing and well-being for body and mind.
Yoga – particularly in its formation through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – is one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy (shad darshanas). These are the systems of Indian philosophy that accept the authority of the Vedas and try to systematize the meaning of the Vedic teachings. The other Vedic systems include Nyaya (Logic), Vaisheshika (Categorization), Samkhya (Enumeration of Cosmic Principles), Purva Mimamsa (Ritual) and Uttara Mimamsa (Vedanta or Metaphysics). Yoga to some extent pervades all the six systems and represents their practical side, outlining the prime principles and methods for developing the meditative mind that is the basis of all Vedic knowledge.
In this classical Vedic scheme, Ayurveda is the Vedic system developed specifically for healing purposes. There is no other Vedic system of healing apart from Ayurveda. Yoga is the Vedic system of spiritual practice or sadhana. All Vedic sadhana or spiritual practice involves some form of Yoga practice.
This means that Yoga is not originally or inherently a medical system. It does not address either physical or psychological disease or their treatment in a primary manner. Yoga aims at relieving spiritual suffering, which it defines according to the kleshas or spiritual afflictions starting with ignorance (avidyà) of our true nature as pure consciousness, which leads us to a false identification of ourselves with our transient bodies and minds.
Yoga is an inner spiritual practice, what is called Sadhana in Sanskrit. This does not mean that we cannot use aspects of Yoga medically, but that this is not its primary intent or orientation. To do so would require applying Yoga in a different manner than what it was originally meant to be.
If our aim is to turn Yoga into a medical system, in the Vedic scheme this requires turning Yoga in the direction of Ayurveda. Yoga for healing should be applied according to Ayurvedic guidelines of diagnosis, treatment and health maintenance if we want to keep yogic healing within the scope of Vedic knowledge. In fact, there was never any yogic system of medicine in India apart from Ayurveda historically, not only among the followers of the Vedic tradition but also among the followers of non-Vedic traditions. Even Buddhist medicine in India and Tibet has been primarily Ayurveda.
Vedic Chikitsa or Therapy
The term for therapy in Sanskrit is Chikitsa. Ayurvedic textbooks like Charak, Sushruta and Vagbhatta all contain sections called Chikitsa Sthana, or ‘section relating to chikitsa or treatment’. They have complementary sections like Nidana Sthana, ‘section relating to diagnosis’, and Sharira Sthana, ‘section relating to the embodied soul’, which includes the anatomy and physiology of the physical body. The Ayurvedic view of our embodied nature (body, mind and soul) and how it works, the causes of disease and the treatment of disease are all connected together in a beautiful, clear and wonderful system of optimal health and total well-being.
Ayurveda addresses all aspects of medicine including diet, herbs, drugs, surgery, bodywork and its own special clinical procedures like Pancha karma. It brings in ritual, mantra and meditation for healing the mind. In addition, it provides life-style recommendations for health, longevity and disease prevention as well as special methods for rejuvenation of body and mind. It includes the practices of Yoga from asana and pranayama to mantra and meditation as part of its healing tools.
Yoga texts like the Yoga Sutras have sections like Samadhi Pada, ‘section relating to Samadhi or deep meditation’, Sadhana Pada, ‘section relating to spiritual practice’, Vibhuti Pada, ‘section relating to yogic powers’, and Kaivalya Pada, ‘section relating to liberation’. The yogic exploration of consciousness, the subtle energies of prana and mind, and various types of spiritual practices are all inter-connected. Yogic texts contain discussions of meditation, concentration, mantra, ritual, pranayama, asana and related factors but as part of spiritual practice, not as a therapy.
We do not find any Chikitsa Padas or therapy sections in the usual Yoga texts. The term Chikitsa does not occur in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and is not a major topic of concern in Yoga philosophy. This is because the concern of classical Yoga is Sadhana, not Chikitsa, which was regarded as the field of Ayurveda. Most importantly, we do not find in Yoga texts a discussion of disease, pathology, diagnosis or treatment strategies apart from the approach of Ayurveda. There is no Yoga system of medicine in terms of diagnosis, pathology and treatment, apart from Ayurveda.
What we do find commonly in Yoga texts are discussions of the pranas, senses, mind, nadis and chakras, worship of deities, discussion of the inner Self and nature of consciousness, as well as the types of samadhi or inner absorption. Disease is addressed briefly in some Yoga texts as it is regarded as one of the main obstacles to Yoga practice. But when this does occur, the language of Ayurveda is usually employed.
Yoga Therapy Today
Modern Yoga has defined itself primarily in terms of asanas or physical postures. These are usually taught en masse in exercise classes for people primarily seeking physical well-being. We commonly identify Yoga teachers as those who conduct asana classes. Some of these Yoga teachers may have some knowledge of the greater system of classical Yoga. This situation impacts what is popularly regarded as Yoga therapy, which is colored by the Yoga as asana emphasis.
Yoga therapy or Yoga Chikitsa is a new, popular and powerful movement in Yoga today that is still trying to define itself and its scope of application. However, for the most part, modern Yoga therapy, following the asana as Yoga model, consists primarily of an adaptation of asanas or asana styles to treat disease and improve health. This view of Yoga is different from and a reduced version of classical Yoga that is defined primarily in terms of spiritual practice and deep meditation (Sadhana and Samadhi).
Any therapy must rest upon a system of medicine for diagnosis and overall treatment strategies. A therapeutic method – whether herbs, drugs, asana or pranayama – cannot be applied independently of a medical orientation and an examination of the patient as a whole.
So if one is practicing Yoga therapy, the question arises as to according to what system of medicine that therapy is being applied?
Modern Yoga therapy largely consists of the application of Yoga asanas as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine. Modern Yoga therapists aim at working with doctors, nurses and other biomedically trained professionals in hospitals, and rehabilitation settings. Such a Yoga therapist, we should note, is not himself or herself necessarily a doctor or primary health care provider but functions more like a technician, applying the techniques of asanas as guided by a doctor or nurse. While there is nothing wrong with this approach and much benefit can be derived from it, Yoga therapy as asana therapy does not unfold the full healing potential of classical Yoga and its many methods. It keeps Yoga subordinate in a secondary role, reduced primarily to a physical application.
A Yogic System of Medicine is Required
For a full application of the methods of Yoga for healing purposes, we need a complete medical system that follows the philosophy, principles and practices of Yoga, and that can employ not only asana as a therapy but also pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, and which follows a yogic life style (yamas and niyama). While modern medicine can be helpful as a background for applying the physical aspects of Yoga, it lacks the yogic understanding of life and the human being for a full application of all the branches of Yoga for body, mind and spirit.
We need a yogic system of medicine not simply in terms of asana or physical therapy, but also in regards to internal medicine or diet, herbs and drugs. We need a yogic system of medicine not simply for treating the physical body but also for treating the mind, emotions and psychological disorders.
Such a greater yogic system of medicine need not be invented. It already exists in the form of Ayurveda. Ayurveda develops its view of the body and mind, nature and healing from the background of Yoga philosophy as outlined through the twenty-five tattvas of the Samkhya system. Ayurveda provides us a complete mind-body system of medicine in terms of all aspects of diagnosis and treatment that reflects a Vedic and Yogic approach, values and wisdom.
What we need are ‘Yoga doctors’, primary health care providers following a Yogic system of medicine that covers all aspects of internal and external medicine, physical and psychological well-being. This can be accomplished by bringing Ayurveda back into Yoga. Those trained in Ayurveda are in a better position to interact with modern medical doctors and show how yogic, holistic and naturalistic healing approaches can be useful for their practice and for the health and well-being of everyone.
Integral Yoga and Integral Ayurveda
The term Yoga itself means to unite, combine, harmonize or integrate. A truly yogic approach is inherently an integrative approach, harmonizing body, prana, senses, mind and consciousness. It cannot be reduced to the body alone. A yogic approach to healing is not a specialization or a side-line technique but requires a synthesis of all levels and aspects of healing. That is why classical Yoga has an eightfold approach from life-style practices and values through asana, pranayama to samadhi. If we reduce Yoga to asana, we are not practicing Yoga or an integrative approach but falling into the same trap of mainly focusing on the outer material reality and losing track of the inner reality of prana, mind and consciousness.
A real Yoga therapy must consider all eight limbs of Yoga. It cannot just isolate the physical aspects of Yoga like asana. Otherwise it is caught in the same type of physical reductionism that too often occurs in modern medicine. In this regard, not only asana has important therapeutic application, but all the limbs of Yoga.
The first two of the eight limbs of Yoga, the yamas and niyamas, the yogic principles and practices of right living, provide the foundation necessary to sustain any spiritual or healing practice. They also provide an ideal code of conduct for doctors, therapists and Yoga teachers.
We can call asana the ‘external medicine’ of Yoga. It primarily treats musculo-skeletal disorders, but indirectly can benefit many other conditions and can provide an ideal form of exercise for everyone. Yet without the proper diet, its healing potentials are limited, as bodily activity is going to reflect the nutrition the body receives. Asana works best in the context of Ayurvedic dietary and life-style recommendations.
Pranayama can be called the ‘internal medicine’ of Yoga. It brings Prana or vital energy directly into the body and can be used to direct prana in various ways as needed. Pranayama directly impacts the doshas or biological humors of Ayurveda (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), which are modifications of Prana. Pranayama primarily treats conditions of the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems but through these has a powerful impact on all physical and psychological conditions. Pranayama is a great aid for the use of herbs and functions much like them to correct the movements of energy within our physiological and psychological systems.
As all forms of healing involve altering the movement of Prana and increasing the healing power of Prana, pranayama is a primary and direct form of healing for body and mind, whereas asana is secondary and indirect. This means that a real Yoga therapy even for the physical body must emphasize pranayama over asana and employ asana in the context of pranayama.
Pratyahara is the internalization of energy necessary for deep healing or for true meditation to occur. If we have not reached the stage of pratyahara, we are still not really practicing Yoga as a sadhana or spiritual practice. In pratyahara, one withdraws the Prana and mind within. For real healing, the body and mind must be put in a relaxed state and the energy directed within. Many forms of treatment like massage or Pancha Karma are largely simulated forms of pratyahara, putting the patient into a condition of deep rest in which all toxins can be removed from the body.
Yoga as a Psychology
Dharana is the necessary concentration of mind and the development of the power of attention required to sustain any healing practice. Dhyana is reflective meditation, the inner balance of awareness, which allows the mind to heal itself. Samadhi is the unitary state of mind, prana and awareness that develops the full healing power of body and mind and releases us from physical, emotional and spiritual suffering. These higher aspects of Yoga, aid in providing the right attitude and state of mind for healing to take place on any level.
The internal practices of Yoga (dharana, dhyana and samadhi) or the inner aspect of Yoga are primarily for treating the mind and used in Ayurveda mainly for dealing with psychological disorders. This means that classical Yoga therapy is primarily a psychology employing mantra and meditation. Yoga as applied according to Ayurveda is one of the most powerful approaches for healing the mind and emotions that is available in the world today.
Conclusion and Summary
It is important to reintegrate Yoga and Ayurveda in order to bring out the full healing and spiritual potential of each. Bringing Ayurveda into Yoga provides a yogic and Vedic system of medicine to allow for the full healing application of all aspects of Yoga. It provides a diagnosis and treatment in harmony with Yoga philosophy, as well as a diet and herbal treatment that follows the spiritual approach of Yoga. Bringing Yoga into Ayurveda adds a spiritual and psychological dimension to Ayurvedic treatment,
without which Ayurveda tends to get reduced to a physical model in which its full Vedic healing powers cannot be easily realized.
Ayurveda provides the appropriate life-style recommendations for Yoga practice, as well as the background to unfold the full healing potential of all aspects of Yoga. Yoga provides the spiritual and psychological basis for Ayurveda and its higher applications.
For a truly holistic and spiritual approach to medicine and healing, we need both Yoga and Ayurveda, but with Ayurveda providing the medical foundation and Yoga the spiritual goal and practices. This is the original Vedic scheme. The key to a comprehensive Yoga therapy and Yoga system of medicine lies in restoring Yoga’s connection with Ayurveda. This reconnection of Yoga and Ayurveda will also provide the basis for a real dialogue with modern medicine addressing not only specific therapies but also the real causes of disease and how to maintain health and well-being in society.
This means that we need to do some fundamental rethinking as to the nature of Ayurveda and Yoga healing and therapy. There are tremendous resources for us to draw upon both in Ayurveda and in Yoga for this purpose, particularly in the classical texts. We should examine the ancient literature of Yoga and Ayurveda for this purpose and look to those teachers who combine both together, especially deeper applications of pranayama, pratyahara, mantra and meditation.
At the same time, we should examine Yoga’s connection with other Vedic sciences including not only Ayurveda but Vedic astrology (Jyotisha), Vastu (Sthapatya Veda), and Gandharva Veda (music). We should explore the healing potentials not only of Hatha and Raja Yoga but also of Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Jnana Yoga (knowledge) and Karma Yoga (ritual and service).
Combining Yoga and Ayurveda in their full applications and in the greater context of Vedic science offers a complete system of well-being for body, mind and consciousness, such as perhaps has no parallel anywhere else in the world. It can become the prime force of planetary healing that is so desperately needed today. It can add a spiritual and preventative dimension to modern medicine as well as adding important new keys for the understanding of disease and for applying natural therapies that can reduce the growing cost of high tech medicine.
Dr. David Frawley is an author on Yoga and Ayurveda, and the founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which offers courses on Yoga philosophy, Ayurveda, and Hindu astrology. He is also a Professor of Vedic Astrology and Ayurveda at the International Vedic Hindu University, besides being a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor), and a Jyotishi (Vedic astrologer). For more information please visit his website at www.vedanet.com.
I've been tucked away in the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota since May, but I am now preparing to rejoin the world of internet service, cell phone service and yoga classes once again. Just a few more weeks! The BWCA has treated me well though. It's beautiful here, but I admit, I miss you yogis and the world of public yoga classes. :)
Business has been good here at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters. The season is almost over and the fall leaves are on their way. I might take one more trip into the wilderness if time allows it. Take a look at what I've seen so far...
The summer has been a roller-coaster ride for me... it's quite a change to go from everyday yoga to yoga only every once in a while. Before I left for the BWCA I practiced yoga everyday, sometimes 8 hours a day's worth. I taught on average 3 classes a day. I participated in courses and meditation retreats. I read a yoga book probably once a week.... my life revolved around yoga. Now, I've been working in my office from 7-7-7... 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week... it doesn't leave me much time at all to practice a strong Vinyasa flow... but it doesn't mean that lessons haven't been learned...
What this change has taught me is to find and live yoga in other ways. It has provided me an opportunity to sit in my office chair in double pigeon or animal pose for long periods at a time. To touch my toes each time I stand. To practice hand stands when I get sleepy and to be aware of the results. To breathe deeply more often and with more presence. To enjoy a long walk every morning. To be grateful for a sunny day and a moment to experience wind on my face. I may not have touched my yoga mat as often as I liked, but that's okay. We all seem to go through waves within our yoga practice. Sometimes we are really into it and sometimes life happens. It's okay.
Oh yes... and there's one more lesson to be learned from this summer. I lost my mother this year. :( She died in an automobile crash on June 26th. She was 48. It's been really difficult for me to feel joy, truly, since then. The complete opposite of the way I've been my whole life. I know there is a lesson to be learned here. I didn't want to know it right after she died, but as of today... right now.. I think I am open to learning it. For a while there I felt guilty if I smiled at a bird chirping in a tree nearby or when I smiled because I thought the sky was beautiful. Because I missed her. Because I was sad... Guilt is a funny thing. So, here I am. Openhearted. Ready to learn the lesson that might help me make sense of such a loss. To help me heal.
I believe yoga has the power to heal. I've always mentioned that to my students. That we have the power to heal ourselves and that yoga can help us. I'm going to take my own advice and dive deeply into my yoga studies. I applied for a space in the Yoga Therapy Course at 7 Centers Yoga yesterday. It's 300 hours and will make me a 500 hour yoga teacher as well as grandfather me into the International Association of Yoga Therapists. I am looking forward to it so much. I am already feeling less emotional pain with just the thought of practicing and studying yoga and Ayurveda again. Yoga really is powerful. I don't know where I'd be without it. Namaste Lovely Yogis.
One of my mom's last posts on Facebook was a quote from Peter Pan, "Come with me where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land."
My mother once created a page on Facebook called the Howl at the Moon Party... She was so silly :) She said that if people would just take a moment to howl at the moon and then laugh that the world would be a better place... I think she was right. I love you mom and I'll miss you forever and always. ~ Ashley
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley