For me, happiness has been about coming back to who I really am, the person I somehow always was underneath it all. It is strange how we are born perfect, exactly as we are, and then we often spend our entire life trying to reshape ourselves into what we think we are supposed to be. I think I have finally gotten back to me, but I am afraid that ego will get in my way and ruin my enjoyment of the experiences and opportunities before me. It is a fine line between enjoying being a performer because it is my nature, and creating my performer persona. It is my nature to invent and perform, but I need it to be for me. If living with multiple sclerosis has taught me anything, it has taught me that any action that I take contrary to my true nature is highly detrimental to my health and happiness. So I create characters and book shows, and I try to remember why I am doing the things I am doing. I notice the minute I think too much of my work as obligation or business, it robs me of joy and causes stress. The stress in turn causes health issues and obliterates the point of even performing and owning a moving arts business. It is a fine line. I want to "make it" as an artist and teacher, "live the dream" but not lose sight of the stuff that actually matters.
Why share this here? I guess that for me, that is what yoga is really about. My yoga practice (living my yoga) has become a continual act of examining and reexamining my feelings and my actions. If something does not "feel right," I try not to dwell on the bad feeling, rather, I try to ascertain what it is that is actually troubling me. When I do this, I find my discontentment is usually coming from one or two sources. One source is failure to be present, and the other source, the relevant one for this entry, is when I allow my ego to take control, rather then my true self. What I mean is that when I start worrying about how others are viewing me, filtering my thoughts and actions through how I think something I do or say is being viewed, I am quick to succumb to either self-loathing or self-doubt. No one likes these uncomfortable feelings and I am learning that really they can be avoided if I just keep putting the things I do through the filter of my true self. If what I do and say is not a disconnect from my true nature, then I do not need to waste time worrying about pleasing anyone other than myself.
As I grow a business and perform more and more, I just have to keep coming back to the idea that the person I really am is beautiful. There is no need for doubt or apology as long as I allow myself to be just as I am. We are judgmental by nature, our own harshest critics, but there will always be those who we do not connect with, those who do not like everything we do, so why waste time and energy worried about pleasing the masses? I remind myself of this every time I get insecure about advertising myself as a teacher and as a performer. I just keep coming back to my motivation. I try to encourage myself to go boldly forth, shamelessly self-promote, and trust that there will always be at least a few people interested in what I have to offer. No matter what, it is always a balancing act but ultimately, I just have to trust my best self to guide me along the way.
Thanks so much for all your votes and support. I got the nomination to compete in the RAW Denver Awards show for the city of Denver title of best Performing Artist. The show will be on November 8th.
Here is a link for my show video from Thursday night.
Nominate me for the RAW Denver Artists Award Show:
Use the link in this message to nominate me and to buy tickets to my upcoming show.
You will need to register the first time you go to vote to get a login but after that, you will just be able to login and vote once daily.
Please take the time to do this because this presents an enormous opportunity for me as a performer. You don't have to be a local to vote.
I never understood all the fuss about partner yoga until I tried Acro Yoga. This practice fuses everything I love about acrobatics with everything I love about yoga. In acro yoga there is the joy of flight, akin to my experiences with aerial yoga and dance, but entirely unique in apparatus (your apparatus being another human being). So while you fly in this practice, you never fly alone.
Acro Yoga is a beautiful practice requiring, focus, strength, empathy and trust between partners. Even then, the practice is much more expansive than two people. I think a meaningful practice requires a willingness to develop a rapport with multiple partners and spotters. Often only two people execute a sequence of poses while physically connected, but even in practice, this again requires more than two people. We practice with spotters. We also practice things that require multiple people. For me, this practice exemplifies what yoga is all about. The word yoga means union, and there is no acro yoga without union.
Want to try it? click here to find a teacher in your area.
Many people who practice yoga are aware of its health benefits. Yoga postures and breathing exercises can provide both relaxation and stress management. With yoga classes offered just about everywhere these days, more and more people are getting started with this meditative practice. What might not be so clear, however, is how yoga therapy can help with recovery from drug addiction or alcohol addiction. The same benefits, namely stress and anxiety reduction, that yoga offers everyday exercisers can be immensely valuable for recovering addicts. Here are some reasons that yoga therapy can be an important component of addiction recovery.
Stress Reduction— With its calm, exact movements and concentration-requiring poses, yoga can provide a relaxing refuge in the midst of a busy day. This is especially true for addicts, who may experience extreme emotions, such as shame, anger, or self-loathing. Yoga can serve as a way for a recovering addict to control and release their emotions instead of channeling them into destructive behavior.
Improved Fitness— Yoga poses can help improve flexibility, balance, and range of motion. Because drug and alcohol addiction can take such an immense toll on the body, stretches, bending, and breathing methods can help to re-strengthen the body and reduce shame about physical health.
Management of Health Conditions— Regular yoga practice could also help with maintaining a variety of other health conditions, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, or chronic pain, which may go hand in hand with addiction.
Advocates of yoga therapy tend to agree that it is most successful when used in combination with other methods of treatment, such as methadone maintenance or group therapy sessions. For recovering addicts who are jumpy and have difficulty soothing themselves, yoga can provide much needed relief from racing thoughts, fear, anger, or frustration. Many experts believe that recovering from addiction is a holistic process, requiring physical, mental, and spiritual strength. Therefore a range of treatment methods are necessary. Traditional treatment methods include behavioral therapy, which may include counseling or psychotherapy, and medication. Behavioral therapy focuses on helping recovering addicts cope with cravings and prevent a relapse. In addition, case management, which may include referrals to other medical, psychological, and social services, can play a big role in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.
Proponents of yoga therapy for drug or alcohol addiction see it as most closely aligned with behavioral therapy. Yoga offers the kind of discipline and self-acceptance that is necessary in a twelve-step program, with added physical benefits. Therefore, more and more health professionals are finding that yoga can be a valuable complement to traditional treatment methods.
Alex Kerwin writes for Treatment-Centers.net to raise awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol addiction.
I love teaching aerial yoga. Over time we have been learning that the practice seems to have something for everyone. These pictures were taken during class today and illustrate a little bit of the range of students and range of poses we have the good fortune to offer.
Om – Shanti, Shanti, Shanti… This Sanskrit chant, which is intended to invite peace to the mind, speech and body, is often recited at the end of yoga classes. While its message can speak to any yoga practitioner, its benefits are twofold for cancer patients, such as mesothelioma patients looking for healing through their yoga practice. Yoga’s benefits are physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual for some practitioners who wish to connect with their personal faith during practice. Physical Benefits of Yoga The series of poses, such as a Forward Bend and Downward Dog, provide patients with a gentle exercise regimen that can help them sleep better and feel more energetic when treatments such as radiation therapy cause fatigue. Spending several minutes practicing yoga can also help stimulate the appetite if it is difficult to eat. Other physical benefits of yoga include: • Improved cardiovascular health • Regulates blood pressure • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to promote a relaxed body and mind Mental Benefits of Yoga Yoga can help ease the mind. Mesothelioma patients especially can benefit from the peace and restoration found on the yoga mat as they face an emotional diagnosis. During the final pose of a yoga class, known as Savasana, patients are typically invited to quietly relax and meditate for several minutes – a technique that has been found to help many mesothelioma patients cope with anxiety, stress or fear related to their disease. Not sure what to focus on during meditation? Try: • Thinking positive thoughts about your body’s ability to heal itself • Sending healing thoughts to the part of your body where the cancer developed • Reassuring yourself that upcoming treatment sessions will go well • Imaging your favorite color or a bright white light permeating every cell of your body with healing light Even simply clearing your mind and allowing it to think less – or worry less – about anything at all will be beneficial during your time of meditation. Yoga for Mesothelioma Patients Because mesothelioma does make strenuous exercise difficult, patients may benefit the most from easy styles of yoga such as gentle yoga or yin yoga classes. More advanced yoga classes – such as power yoga or Bikram yoga – may be too demanding on the body. During a class, if mesothelioma symptoms intensify and you find it difficult to breathe, simply relax into Child’s Pose. This resting pose, where you kneel on the floor with knees together and your torso resting on your thighs with your arms extending in front of you or alongside your body, can give you time to regain and connect with your breath.
Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.