Welcome to "Resonating Moments." Each week I share one lesson from parenting, teaching yoga, practicing on my mat, and simply living life. I like to think of this blog feature as a conversation about the stuff of life. My intentions for sharing these lessons are twofold: (1) to make a personal effort to record moments that resonate or ring true (Chime) with who I am at my core, and (2) to offer what I have learned in hopes that you can relate and share about your experiences in the comments below.
Here's what I learned this week:
Lesson from parenting: This week I learned how important it is to not let painful memories from my past hold back my children from experiencing new adventures. Although I may have had a rocky relationship with a family member, that does not mean my child will too. For me, this lesson is a true practice in dropping "my story" and allowing my daughters to create their own. I find this takes a whole lot of self-awareness and mindfulness. Can you relate? Please share in the comments.
Lesson from life: How do we hold steady in overwhelming moments? How do we maintain the quiet mind we cultivate on our yoga mats when we go out into the world and are bombarded with responsibilities, filled schedules, and other stresses? I can't say that I have "learned" how to do this all the time, but I am more in tune with finding small, consistent ways to "hold steady" after co-teaching a workshop on sthira (steadiness) and suhka (ease) last week. By exploring this topic with other yogis, I learned that we are not alone in our heavy feelings of overwhelm, and that when we pause and take time to share our experiences, we gain a refreshing perspective. We literally pull ourselves out of a negative space and gain positivity. By shifting our mood—even for just a few moments—we create space and reprieve. What are some ways you cultivate a sense of steadiness or ease when you feel overwhelmed? Please share your strategy in the comments.
Lesson from my mat: As you know, I am an avid fan of props during yoga practice. I always have two blocks handy for my own practice and encourage my students to have at least one. But yesterday I learned how sometimes props, like anything else, can become a habit. I always use a block for half-moon pose. I have been using a block in that pose on the highest height for as long as I can remember. With that much lift, I feel open and more aligned. My good friend and talented yoga teacher Julia Paddison challenged my "block habit" in a pretty big way. While in half-moon she came over to me and whispered, "Come on, Jennifer. You don't need the block that high." Whoa! Did she just challenge me to do the pose differently? I put my ego aside, accepted her challenge, and shifted the block to the lowest height. To my surprise, I still felt open and aligned. I just had to work harder, which is exactly what I needed to experience. I have a new half-moon to play in now! A new perspective on the pose can only open me to new perspectives within and about myself. What are some habits you have fallen into on your mat? Give it some thought and share in the comments. I would love to know!
Lesson from teaching: After working on my 1st article for my new blog series YTT: Yoga Teacher Talk, I couldn't help but feel a deep appreciation for new yoga teachers and the hard work it takes to get comfortable teaching as well as the grit required to find teaching jobs and build a following. The teachers who contributed to the YTT post taught me that, whether we are new or experienced teachers, we are always putting ourselves at risk of being out of our comfort zone. Because of that, we are steadily growing as individuals and teachers even when we don't feel we are. How has teaching forced you out of your comfort zone? Please share in the comments.
Perhaps some or all of these lessons resonated with you as well. If so, I’d enjoy learning how! Please share in the comments below.
Other Tidbits of Inspiration and Information
On Teaching and Gratitude: In a short video (less than 2 minutes long!) on Teachasana.com, Brittany Gagné offers the gentle and important reminder for yoga teachers to say thank you to their students. Hear what Brittany has to say about the power of gratitude.
On Yoga and Transformation: Big appreciation to Stacy Lee Ghin for sharing how her yoga practice serves as a diagnostic tool for personal, spiritual growth. "A committed yoga practice fine-tunes the awareness of your behaviors toward encountering difficulties without judgment," Stacy writes. "The yoga studio is your emotional testing ground, a workshop for you reacquaint yourself with you." Read Stacy's story and learn how her yoga journey has led her "to feel satisfied and abundant and renewed instead of unfulfilled or depleted."
On Mindfulness: I am loving this quote Everyday Mindfulness tweeted this week: "Sometimes, it’s best to leave your phone in your pocket." This just may have to be my mantra for next week!
Do you have any good reads you would like to share? Leave them in the comments!