Nirodhaḥ Yoga Blog
As it gets darker and cooler, we naturally head inward. Many of us use this inner time to take stock of what we have and let go of what we no longer need to hold.
Maya Angelou wrote, “when we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” Giving within our capacity has a wondrous way of affirming our purpose and our enduring connection to each other.
When we look at charity as a blessing for all involved, it stops being a transaction. I don’t expect anything from the giftee because by giving, I have already received enough.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able to view giving like that all the time? Those who didn’t have enough of something would be able to enjoy the use of things that weren’t previously being used. And those who had too many of something would be free from the burden of carrying the surplus.
It’s not just things either. When I feel an abundance of love and joy, it costs me nothing to send that on to another. Not only is it free to give, it multiplies when given and often comes back to me ten-fold.
When I have the resources (either inner or outer) to give, it feels good to send something I’m not using to another. Swami Satchidananda said that a “gift should be given with the whole heart. Don’t even call it helping. Call it service, because you are the one who benefits by it.”
However, at this time of year it’s easy to accidentally give beyond our capacity - filling our calendar with endless commitments and events, overspending, overeating…
Then, we arrive at whatever we’ve over-committed to and feel resentment because we’re overdrawn. We’ve given something that is outside our capacity to give. And as Sonia Sumar often tells her students, “you cannot give what you do not have.”
If you don’t feel peaceful, there’s no way you can create peace. If you don’t love yourself, there’s no way to give love to others. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t truly take care of another.
When I feel tapped out, I’m going to try to remember that giving is an act that should benefit all parties. If I try to be of service to another when I don’t actually have anything to give, I’m not doing anyone any favors, least of all myself.
And if I can’t be of service to myself, I certainly can’t be of good service to anyone else.
What brought you to yoga?
What brought me to yoga? I am an actress and instructor for the performing arts for many years. Along this path, learning to use the science of yoga came naturally to me. As an instructor of improvisation and acting, I have bridged the two sciences of the art of performance and yoga into my company, Yes And Yoga.
What is your approach to teaching?
My approach to teaching? Interesting question. My style is very…me which I admit is quirky and tangent but for only educational reasons. I see what is needed at the beginning of class and then go from there. I want my students to find space they didn't know they had and leave my class relaxed but eager to research what was mentioned during the practice.
Why do you choose to teach at 5KY?
I am extremely delighted to teach at 5KY. This is a pure Hatha studio in Chicago. You want to learn yoga?practice here. I consider myself lucky to instruct here.
What makes your soul sing?
What makes my heart sing? Knowing that as I exhale that the Universe is breathing me in and vice versa. The present moment. It all comes back to the breath. Oh, and I still love my teenagers who give me no end of apathy for now. I can find the love in the apathy. Find the love.
Just some thoughts about yoga as I go...
FIVE KEYS YOGA
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Five Keys is fantastic! The studio is lovely and soothing, and the teachers are very caring and attentive.
I've ... probably been to 25 different yoga studios. This is one of the most welcoming, calming spaces with very talented instructors.
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