_Yoga is skill in Action
The New Year is a time of new beginnings, a time for reflection, review and re-prioritization as we chart our course for the upcoming year. I have been re-reading the Bhagavad Gita and am choosing this text for my teaching theme for Winter 2013. The following quotes from the text strike me as powerful reminders for the upcoming year.
“Yoga is skill in action.”
The word yoga comes from yuj, to yoke, to unite, to connect. Yoga is to yoke your mind, body and heart, to connect to the deepest truth of who you ultimately are. Yoga also is action, practices that you do both on the mat and off the mat. When you establish a clear connection with your deepest core and act from that place, that is yoga, skill in action.
So, now that it is now 2013, how are you choosing to act and what are your actions? How are you consciously yoking your mind, body, and heart together? With what care and attention are acting? What is important to you? What actions are you choosing to take? What actions are you choosing not to take? For even in-action is a form of action.
“No one, for even an instant, can exist without acting.”
Everything you do or don’t do is an action, and every action begets other actions and consequences. Therefore, choose be present. Prioritize what is important. Connect to yourself and to others. Act with care whether you are preparing a meal, reading to a child, responding to an email or practicing asana. When you are connected to your true self, then your actions are skillful, precise, exactly what is needed in any situation.
When you find you have not acted skillfully, there is no need to reprimand yourself. Simply return to the practices and tools that help you come back to yourself once again. Pause, soften, breathe. Come back to your breath again. This is yoga, the repetition of practices that yoke, elevate and liberate. Re-set yourself and begin again. Ahhh... new breath... new year!
_ Dear Yoga friends, students and colleagues,
Today, alongside many of my colleagues, I choose to resign my Anusara-Inspired Yoga license. It has been more than three months since my yoga world was shaken with the unfortunate news of misconduct by John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga. I have been deeply saddened and shocked by his actions, and I no longer align with John Friend and his vision for Anusara Inc.
I have been a part of the Anusara community for 14 years, and have clocked thousands of hours training and teaching in this system. I align myself with the Anusara method which has transformed me. I offer gratitude to John Friend for offering this beautiful method – the marriage of elegant alignment principles with the heart-oriented teachings of Tantra.
I kept my license until now because I was interested in supporting the proposal of a teacher led Anusara yoga school separate from John Friend that would embrace the values that I hold most dear with regards to this beautiful method, and which would have allowed me to continue to be in association with other amazing teachers of this method. I have waited patiently in respect for the dedication of time and energy on the part of committee members working for this change. But, this is not going to happen at this time and not under the banner of Anusara, and so I choose to move on today, and I see a bright future ahead!
What I have loved most about being part of Anusara has been belonging to a group of intelligent, creative and compassionate souls who share my enthusiasm for this method. Today, I resign my Anusara license, but I take these practices and teachings with me, and I keep my many friendships and connections with others who share the love of these practices. I will continue to offer alignment based, heart oriented, non-dual, Tantra inspired, body-mind positive yoga practices. I give credit and honor to those who have taught me and continue to teach me, even as I make own authentic, heart offering, shaped by my years of practice and experience. I continue in my dedication to refining my practice and teaching, serving my community, seated in my heart, and unfolding my highest potential as an human-being.
I am flying free and high toward a bright future! I look forward to sharing this future with you!
RYT 500, E-RYT 200
New Year's Ritual:
Blessings of Thanks and Intentions for the New Year
Dear Yoga Friends,
Last year I began a New Year's Ritual in which I make two lists: one is a gratitude list with the people, events, opportunities and challenges that have blessed and shaped my year. The second is a list of Intentions: my goals, desires and plans for the upcoming year. I keep these lists close at hand, usually near where I practice as reminders of who and what is important and how I should spend my time and energy.
Recently, I read my lists from last new year, and was delighted to see all the ways in which I had grown and expanded. 2009 was a year of beautiful unfolding opportunities. My intention last January was to expand my yoga teaching to new areas. Over the past year, I expanded my teaching to 4 new locations. I give thanks for the many students who began with me at The Evergreen State College and who have followed me to new locations. I give thanks to all the new students who have found me this year at my new locations. I give thanks to the studio owners who have granted me the space to teach. It is truly my delight to share the gift of yoga with all of you!
2010 will be full of new opportunities as well. From now through mid March, I will continue to offer classes at my current locations. (See schedule below.) In late March, my family will travel to Peru for 4 months with my husband Steve's TESC teaching position for an exciting long-dreamed of adventure. Who knows what opportunities beckon us there?! We will return in August and I will resume my teaching schedule, although class locations and times may change. In the midst of all this, I will be participating in a year long study course with Yoga and Tantric scholar and meditation teacher Paul Muller Ortega.
My intentions for this year are to be wide open to the rich opportunities coming my way, to be present for these and for the people in my life and to continue to integrate these into my deepening yoga practice and life.
May 2010 be a fabulous year for you! May you be open to receive the blessings of the people and events around you and may you create ever expanding and enriching opportunities for yourself!
In Light and Love,
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.