Right Action & right Movement

Most people come to yoga for very specific reasons. Some come for the mental steadfast meditation, other find the movement takes away the aches and pains of living. But what about the pain that gets passed down from generation to generation? My dad had knee surgery, and so did my brother. I’ve had problems with my knees as well. 10 years ago I took a tumble skiing, and heard my knee pop. I tore my meniscus, some inner cartilage that holds your knees in place. My choice was rather than to undergo surgery, I would use my yoga practice to rehab my knee. I did so successfully, although some might argue a little slower than surgery, but my yoga practice got the job done.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, some generational pain will come knocking at our door. That is where I employee right action and right movement. Right movement is a combination of strength building and flexibility. Right action is looking deeply at my life (in my meditation) and deciding what I’m doing (similar to my dad and brother) that is causing the knee pain. You might think that is a bit over dramatic, and that the skiing caused the meniscus tear, but I believe that the body has everything it needs to heal, and that my emotions and actions of what I say and do can indeed cause harm to my body. Whether or not you are a religious person, Jesus said much the same; that things from the outside cannot harm us, but things from within our own minds, hearts can harm us.

Therapists do such a good job of this, but they miss the key component of right movement. The body is a tape recorder, and will remember every action done in the past. Simply talking about your problems will help you gain insight into making some right actions of changing your behavior. But, lets say you are depressed, and your chest is collapsing. Talking about why you are depressed will go a long way in healing, but the physical body always remembers your depression, and your chest collapsing, so the chest will influence the mind to hold onto that depression. But if you make some brave decisions to change things, and employee right movement of opening your heart and chest with the practice of yoga, the depression cannot have a hold on our body anymore.

We must face the truth of our behavior if we really want the pain to be gone from our body and minds. We must “weed” out the undesirable actions for better actions that are based in love. Believe me, when I started yoga, the furtherest thing from my mind was reviewing my life. I just wanted a good workout. But, the yoga we do has a way of creeping into our dark crevices and bringing light to see who we really are.

To open our hearts to others is a beautiful thing. We are called to do this. To love one another just as we have been loved by others. When you come to my class I use physical therapy, strength building, and the tools of yoga to gain the flexibility you need to keep that pain away, and usually a sprinkling of yoga philosophy.

See you on the mat,


our guru

What is guru, and more importantly who is guru? The definition of guru is this…. a Sanskrit term forĀ a “mentor, guide, expert, or master” of certain knowledge or field. In Sanskrit, guru means literally dispeller of darkness.

Some people in the yoga world say your guru is your teacher, and that is so, but that implies that the guru is someone else, another person. We all have a guru and that guru is inside of us, it’s our conscious. The inner feeling we should do something; a calling of sorts. When I started yoga I never listened or hardly listened to this knowledge inside of me. I just did. I did life; worked, played, laughed, cried, slept, and repeated everyday.

Inside of your conscious your body knows exactly what you need to heal. And unbeknownst to you, your “guru” brings you to places, and brings people in your life for you to heal from. That annoying co-worker? yep, your guru brought you two together, so you can learn from you being annoyed. The job that sucks the life out of you? The guru got you that job, so you could get so fed up, and find that dream job, where your body and mind “sing”. Every experience, and thought that we think, we can use to heal.

When we first start yoga, your thoughts are NON-STOP. I often get the questions how can I quiet my mind. My answer…..Yoga. At first when you start yoga, your mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a scorpion. Slowly as you practice yoga, your mind starts to have “intervals”, where there is no thought. This is a great step, because it will clue you to know the yoga is working, deep inside of us. As your practice progresses, those intervals become longer, and closer together. The goal of yoga is not to stop these thoughts, but to slow them down, so you can either let them go, or take action about them……

Let me explain. Your thoughts will circle around a pattern, that begins to change over time. For instance, Yet again, you are asked to make a donation to this organization, and a thought of, wow, I don’t want to do that, ie: don’t have enough money comes in. That thought is greed, something we all have in varies degrees. To ease the mind, and rid that thought, we make a definite action of doing more giving. After a while, that thought of greed never enters the mind, because you have killed that thought with many giving actions that choke that thought.

Your thoughts drift all over the place, but with the practice of yoga, you can gain insights into your very being, and become a better person. This is called evolution. Yoga helps us evolve our soul, our spirit, to be one of giving.

Stop, listen to your thoughts….and if, when necessary, take action. Your guru will thank you for that!

See you on the mat,