Dolphin Love

Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett
Dolphin Pose. Fish River, Alabama, August 2015. Photo: LBuffett & MBuffett

This weekend while paddle boarding with my mother and her sweetheart on Fish River in Lower Alabama, dolphins appeared and swam beside us.  It was an extraordinary blessing and reminder that all sentient beings are essentially bonded to and by

Nature, Spirit, and Love.

In their honor I did a variation of dolphin pose on my board.

“Dolphins have a wise, innocent, purity of being which reaches out to our inner nature. Follow their lead and open yourself to the energy of love, harmony, and balance. Express your inner truth, be true to yourself. Follow your inner joy. Dolphin is asking you to go back to your roots, to the depths of your being and rediscover the love that you truly are.
Dolphins spend most of their day playing. Their life is lived in joyful harmony with each other and their world. Apparently they have learned the lesson that love is the most important factor in life.
Dolphin wisdom includes – knowledge of the sea, change, patron of sailors, harmony, balance, communication skills, freedom, trust, understanding the power of rhythm in your life, water element magic, unselfishness.
Dolphin reminds us to get out, play, breathe and most importantly to love.”
-from, Dolphin Power Animal, by Ina Woolcoat

silence is hOMe

Beach Sitting. Fairhope AL, January 2013. Photo: MBuffett

The practice of mindfulness is very simple. 

You stop, you breathe, and you still your mind. 

You come home to yourself so that you can enjoy the here and now in every moment. 

All the wonders of life are already here. They’re calling you. If you can listen to them you will be able to stop running. What you need, what we all need, is silence. Stop the noise in your mind in order for the wondrous sounds of life to be heard.  Then you can begin to live your life authentically and deeply.

-from Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh

Flying Yoga Birdies

Yesterday’s foray into Eka Pada Galavasana, also known as One Leg Pose of The Sage Galavasa, or Flying Crow Pose or Flying Pigeon, apparently it has as many names as techniques involved in getting there. It is a pose found on the bottom row of the Level 2 Anusara Syllabus. So, it’s pretty juicy! There are so many components to this pose; Chaturanga, Pigeon, Crow, Warrior 3, to name a few. Not to mention a sustained connection to easeful flowing breath. The pose cultivates super concentration, because it requires mega concentration—which as we know, when we focus really ‘hard’ we often hold our breath. That is so interesting to me. No matter how ‘good’ you are at yoga, if this is your first dance with the flying pigeon, you will find it mystifying and necessary to spend some quality time practicing the component parts that build the pose, then put them together and work on the techniques that make the pose steady. Like my teacher Scotta said during her last visit to Yoga Birds, “place effort in the (alignment) principles that make the pose, not in the ‘final’ expression of the pose”. And then voila, Flying Pigeon welcomes you into his nest, instead of you feeling like an uninvited guest. Everyone did beautiful variations of their versions of the pose and worked really intelligently. It was strong group of YogaBirdies! More Flying Pigeon in my Anusara-Inspired classes this week (tonight at 6:15p and tomorrow at 9:15a).

Meditation classes went great! A very funny thing happened in the 5:30 session…the electricity went out 8 minutes into our 15 minute sitting. Which wouldn’t have caused a big disturbance IF the surge protector alarms hadn’t gone off (which of course they are designed to do and I should be grateful, knowing they are working properly, but back to my point). So before we began, in my intro, I asked the group that if there was noise or disturbance to use that as an opportunity to practice staying focused inwardly on the breath. Well, what a GREAT opportunity they had! When the alarms went off, I quietly rose from my seat and went to press the on/off buttons on the power strips. I couldn’t reach one of them as it is tucked behind some very strategically placed furniture. The ‘broomstick-as-extension-of-my-arm/finger-trick’ didn’t work. Meanwhile the beeping and buzzing is LOUD and obnoxious. And I am pretty sure I was huffing and puffing a bit. So I took a deep inhale, stood on one leg, folded forward, bent myself in a very complex and interesting asana and stretched my arm so that my fingertip met the off button. I am going to break that pose down, name it and add it to the list of 84,000 asana, because, I KNOW it is a new one. Aside from that, the meditation session was very gratifying for me and also for the group. And it WAS a great opportunity to practice. Because it was PERFECT~in the way that life is PERFECT. Just simply being alive and well enough to come to meditation at the studio….is PERFECTION. The electricity did not come back on and it was 97 degrees outside. Needless to say, Foundations was like a Hot Yoga class. We had a very full room, which made it even toastier. Everyone were great sports about it and I changed my class plan on the fly and we practiced Restoratives for the last 40 minutes of class…ending with supported Bridge, Shoulderstand, Halasana, and Legs Up The Wall. People LOVE Legs Up The Wall Pose. I think we will be doing it more this week, even though the A/C is back on. Psyched for another day of Living Yoga!

Ocean of Inner Space

Mobile Bay. Gulf Coast Alabama. It can not go without saying that we are all bracing for how the oil hemorrhage story unfolds. Emotions of grief, anger, fear and despair abound. Let us turn the tide from negativity and ask the question: What can I do in my community to help in this moment? Now more than ever we need the tools for honest, refined, practical care for ourselves in body, mind, breath, and heart. Yoga helps us navigate the ocean of our inner space. It brings us back to our natural calm equilibrium. Yoga provides the gifts of inner strength and muscular stability, a daily retreat from the constant noise, techniques to expand the breath, and recognition that the joy in our hearts remains no matter what challenges we must endure. Our best course of action is to take good care.

Fortitude. Clarity. Vibrancy. Compassion.
Stay strong and keep the faith.
Mother Nature Will Prevail!
Love, Melanie