Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it gives everyone permission to look for the good in their life, to appreciate the wonderful gift of life, and to express gratitude to others.  It's actually cool to show your appreciation!

Thanksgiving invites us into Svadhyaya -the practice of self-reflection. It encourages us to go within to examine our lives and our selves, to reflect on what we are thankful for, to find the positive in those things that may not seem so good at first glance, to grow the feeling of gratitude, and to express it - to share it.

Thanksgiving is a celebration of what is good and the growth we've made along the way.  This celebration becomes fertilizer to help grow more good.

Here is a funny video about gratitude or lack thereof:

Check it out and then go Give Thanks for something or someone in your life!  Make everyday Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Svadhyaya - Part 2

Svadhyaya, as with many sacred teachings, offers many levels of wisdom.  On one level,  it is the practice of Self-Study, of Self-Reflection.  On another level it teaches us that we must do our own study - we must make our own effort - to do our own work.  No one else can do it for us.  We can have teachers, parents, family, friends, gurus, scriptures all guiding and supporting us, but in the end, we must do the devoting, the contemplating, the learning, the practices, the choosing, and the living for our selves.  When we do, we become strong enough to soar above, around, and through any potential pit falls we may encounter.   

The teaching of svadhyaya reminds me of the story of a little boy who while playing outside saw a butterfly emerging from its cocoon.  The little boy saw the butterfly struggling to get out and wanted to help.  So, he opened the cocoon and released the butterfly.  But he soon found that the butterfly could not fly!  His mother later explained that it is the butterfly's self-effort to get out of the cocoon that makes its wings strong enough to fly.  And only the butterfly can do the work necessary to build its wings strong enough to fly.  

So,  too, only each of us can do what it takes to be strong enough to fly!

Will you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Svadhaya is the fourth of the five Niyamas as outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali.  The Niyamas are practices offered to us that when we accept the invitation of their practice lead us to the knowledge and experience of our essential nature.

One's Own

Going into

Self -Study
Going into Self
Take into and Make One's Own
Bring out the essence of Self
Bring out One's Own
One's Own Study

Yoga for Better Digestion

Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose) We've all heard the old saying,   “You are what you eat” .   And while this is generally tru...