Hope and Fear

Friday, October 2nd, 2015
Bastille Vault, Canal St Martin, Paris. September 2015. Photo: MBuffett
Bastille Vault, Canal St Martin, Paris. September 2015. Photo: MBuffett

“One of the classic Buddhist teachings on hope and fear concerns what are known as the eight worldly dharmas. These are four pairs of opposites–four things that we like and become attached to and four things that we don’t like and try to avoid. The basic message is that when we are caught up in the eight worldly dharmas, we suffer.

First, we like pleasure; we are attached to it. Conversely, we don’t like pain. Second, we like and are attached to praise. We try to avoid criticism and blame. Third, we like and are attached to fame. We dislike and try to avoid disgrace. Finally, we are attached to gain, to getting what we want. We don’t like losing what we have.
According to this very simple teaching, becoming immersed in these four pairs of opposites – pleasure and pain, praise and blame, fame and disgrace, and gain and loss – is what keeps us stuck in the pain of samsara.
We might feel that somehow we should try to eradicate these feelings of pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and disgrace. A more practical approach is to get to know them intimately, see how they hook us, see how they color our perception of reality, see how they aren’t all that solid. Then the eight worldly dharmas  become the means for growing wiser as well as kinder and more content.”
-from Comfortable With Uncertainty, by Pema Chodron

Bodichitta: The Heart of Everyday Life

Monday, August 24th, 2015
I-10 East, New Orleans to Mobile. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett
I-10 East, New Orleans to Mobile. August 2015. Photo: MBuffett

Even ordinary people like us with hang-ups and confusion have this mind of enlightenment called bodhichitta. An analogy for bodhichitta  is the rawness of a broken heart. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we are arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart broken open is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all.

The openness and warmth of bodhichitta is in fact our true nature and condition. Even when our neurosis feels far more basic than our wisdom, even when we’re feeling most confused and hopeless, bodhichitta – like the open sky – is always here, undiminished by the clouds that temporarily cover it.
-from Comfortable With Uncertainty by Pema Chodron

Thieves Oil, Today’s Savior

Friday, March 14th, 2014
40 Days of Young Living Essential Oils
40 Days of Young Living Essential Oils

Uggggghhhh. I woke up feeling a scratch in my throat and pressure in my chest. NO!!!

It is NEVER a good time to get ‘the crud’ as my family calls it.Today I have a long day of teaching RomneyRide classes, ending with teaching my first ever Pilates Reformer class (more on that in a future blog post). So it’s kind of a big day. I want to be 100% on my game.

First thought…. Get thee to Thieves Oil.  Literally one minute after rising I put several drops of Thieves in my diffuser. And because it’s a therapeutic, food-grade product, I dropped some under my tongue. Yes it tastes like medicine. Yes I made a funny face. But it has worked for me before and I need it to work today.

Courtesy of Dolf Cheng
Courtesy of Dolf Cheng

I took an extra steamy shower using Eucalyptus and Thieves. I mixed a healthy smoothie to take to work. I also packed my Thieves oil and small Thieves spritzer spay. Before my first class at the fitness center I dropped another bit of oil under my tongue and I sprayed down the instructor bike and surrounding area.

By the end of the first class…. no more scratchy throat and no more chest pressure. It worked again!

I am so grateful for this stuff! Thieves has so many more uses. It is definitely the one product that got me hooked on Young Living Oils. Check out the cool graphic from Dolf Cheng that shows more ways to use and enjoy Thieves oil.

Friends, BE WELL and BE PREPARED. There’s LOTS of crud out there :)

Several folks have contacted me  inquiring how and where to purchase the oils. If you’re interested in buying oils please see the post from Day 4: How To Purchase Young Living Essential Oils. You can also reach out to me via email at melanie@yogabirds.com.

In Peace, Health and Scented Bliss,
Melanie Buffett
Wholesale Member #1572095

www.youngliving.com/yogabirds

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. I’m just  sharing my experiences for entertainment purposes! As always, do what you feel is best for yourself and your family.

 

A ReInvention of Sorts

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
A ReInvention of Sorts
A ReInvention of Sorts

This time last year I had one of those pivotal moments where I hit a wall and was faced with the reality of my life and the choices that lay before me.  Things were going relatively well. A third teacher-training group was about to graduate from my Yoga Birds program and the studio was chugging along offering valuable services to the community.  I had a nice house, great husband, awesome dogs, and loving family all around me.

My practices of daily asana and meditation were steady, life at home was good…but something was missing or just not right with me. I prayed and I meditated and finally realized that I was not where I wanted to be or doing what I truly wanted to be doing.

It was one of those God-moments when I realized in full force the finite nature of my time on earth, the importance and impact of every choice I make, and the preciousness of every moment that has been given to me.

I started making plans to close my beloved little yoga studio and to get back into film acting which I had left  in 2008 when I moved to Fairhope from New Orleans.  So, in case you were wondering, that’s where I have been all year…. In acting classes in New Orleans. More on that later…

I have not abandoned yoga.  Or, more accurately,  yoga has not abandoned me.  I have taken a massive break and rest from daily vigorous asana (poses) practice. It was not intentional and happened naturally as I stopped teaching so much. I am still a firm believer and advocate that asana yoga teachers should be practicing what they are asking of their students. I asked a lot of my students ergo I spent a lot of time on the mat in my own personal practice doing sun salutations and warrior poses, etc.

This break from the physical yoga for me has been utterly healing and informative…which is essentially what our practices should be about. So yes, my chaturanga and my pinca mayurasana probably SUCK right about now, but really…. I don’t care. And this is cOMpletely LIBERATING for me!

What I do practice regularly is Restorative Yoga. Apparently my nervous system needs a daily re-set to truth, consciousness, and joy.  My husband Burke who is a brilliant wordsmith dubbed Restorative Yoga a practice of ‘pillows and gravity’.  It is  absolute heaven and gives back to me ten-fold in the currency of connection to Spirit, relaxed groundedness, breath awareness, clarity, patience, kindness, happiness, contentment, and vibrant energy.  All it asks of me is to stop, become still, and hang out there for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. And BTW… it’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.

In these past several months I have explored different neighborhoods –literal and figurative.  I miss my friends and family and community of yogis in Alabama and further east. I have made some incredible new friends in the acting and film and fitness communities of New Orleans. Life is a constant paradox.  But it is certainly wonderful.

I am ready to start teaching again with a fresh new perspective on how yoga can support day to day life and courageous choices that foster the manifestation of the sparkling, healthy, vibrant  lives that are our birthright.

Next month I will be in Fairhope at Prana Health and Wellness Sunday, November 24th. Becky Ardrey and I are co-hosting an open house and discussion about the collaborative 2014 Yoga Birds Teacher Training being held at Prana. Stay tuned for more details about the open house and about the training.

Also in the works in New Orleans is a yoga class in conjunction with the indoor cycling classes (called RIDE) I have been teaching  at Romney Pilates Center on Magazine Street.  More details TBA.

On Sunday morning, November 17th   I am presenting a Restorative Yoga Session at the Mahabhuta Yoga Festival. I can’t wait to immerse in yoga for the whole weekend with so many friends and teachers! I hope that you can join me there for my class or to attend some of the fantastic classes of other teachers with me.

That’s all I have for now. Please be in touch with a comment below or drop me a line or a ‘like’ on my personal profiles at  Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And if you’re interested, check out my new acting website at www.melaniebuffett.com. Hope to see y’all soon in a festive and joyful place!

Much Love and Peace,

Melanie Buffett

 

On Not Teaching Yoga

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
IMG_1097
Life is an Adventure!

I continue to receive messages from folks looking for my public teaching class schedule. For the record, I joyfully report that I am on a teaching ‘Sabbatical’ and spending some quality time in my home away from home, New Orleans.

It feels a little bit strange to not be teaching a regularly scheduled public yoga class. It is the first time in nearly seven years that I have taken more than a week off from doing it.

This break has been utterly restorative. It is giving me fresh perspective on my reasons and intentions for practicing and teaching yoga.  In a nutshell it is that yoga provides a relief from suffering.

Until there is no suffering, I will continue practicing and teaching yoga to the best of my abilities, in the context of perpetually evolving life.

I am still meeting with private clients and working with folks in therapeutic and restorative applications of yoga. I really enjoy working one on one. sharing yoga in this format, I feel like I am really helping people identify with good practice techniques  for relief from the individualistic physical pains that we all suffer. This teaching break has also been a great opportunity and time for me to re-commit to my studentship and finish the Therapeutic Anatomy training with Leslie Kaminoff.

Combining my love of the Classical Ashtanga Primary Series with training in therapeutic yoga (which, believe it or not really can integrate well), this Summer I am excited to present a workshop at The University of South Alabama Recreation Center in Mobile. And then there’s the retreat to Jamaica in September. All of the info for these events is on the website. One thing not yet posted on the website is a Fall one-day retreat at Camp Beckwith, Saturday October 26. Be sure to save the date for that.

I am enjoying being more active on Twitter (@yogabirds), Facebook, Instagram (@melaniebuffett), and sometimes Vine. If you’re on any of those platforms. I’d love to connect and keep in touch while I explore life outside of Fairhope and the yoga studio for a while.

Wishing you all the best Summer ever. And of course PEACE LOVE & YOGA!
xoxo Melanie

P.S. If you liked this post, please leave me a comment! I’d love to hear from you. Also, if you’re there, we can keep in touch on Social Media too!

 

Bliss On A Bolster

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

Supta Baddha Konasana, aka reclined bound angle pose, is one of my all-time fave restorative poses. Draped over the support of the bolster I go deep into relaxation in this one. The shape of the ‘propped-up’ pose  makes for an effortless opening of the front body and a natural lift of the heart. It  always leaves me high and full of light.

Judith Hanson Lasater is the queen of restorative yoga. I love her and have read most of her books. Check out her web site at http://www.judithlasater.com/about/

 

Certifiable Yogi

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Hooray! I finished a 200hour Yoga Teacher Training program today. I am officially a yoga teacher. Validation. Accreditation. Yoga Nation.

Never mind that I have been teaching for over five years. None of that counts. That’s the old uncredentialed me. No more struggle and sacrifice for yoga. No more learning from mistakes–no more mistakes! It’s a high and happy time for this yogini.

I am pulsing in this moment. I am a real yoga teacher now. I shop at lululemon and wear super hot hard tail clothes. I hug earthy long pigtailed pretty girls. I am standing on my hands on the cover of yoga journal magazine. I am featured in cereal and soy milk ads. I score athletic shoe contracts. My classes are sprawling across the universe. Everybody is perfectly healthy flexible and beautiful. Everybody’s got a hard tail. I am a yoga star. My dreams are reality. In this moment. Money is just another form of energy. NRG my muse.

It’s all glossy and real that I’m certain to certify… one day like 2day.

Namaste.

Yoga Off The Mat or Tantra Latte Factor

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

It is the eve of my graduation from Yoga Teacher Training at a big studio in Austin, TX. I love yoga and I love to teach yoga and tomorrow after a nine month program, I will, in the eyes of the Alliance that deems us qualified, be certified to teach my art. Certification vs. qualification– another day’s blog.

So we talk alot about yoga off the mat. I am, in this moment, having a truly ecstatic yogic experience–yes– right this second. I don’t normally do it, but since I am on the road, and cruising on foot, I went to the nearest coffee shop –you know the one. It’s on every street corner and 4- lane highway in America.

So I went in for a decaf. I got swayed into buying some dark chocolate covered graham cracker cookies. Not on the ‘yogic diet’. But the pierced, tattooed, cool-chunky- dyed-hair girl barrista was SO Austinite-nice and convincing about how totally awesome dipping the dark chocolate covered graham cracker cookies in the hot coffee is. I was easily sold. Because really, how can chocolate get any better? How can coffee get any better?

I walked back to the apartment where I am staying alone. And I sat down at this computer. I dipped the cookie into the coffee as instructed, took the first bite and OMG–it’s like the union of Shiva and Shakti. The graham cracker softens and dissolves within the chocolate while on your tongue. Then the chocolate slithers all melty-like covering the entire cavern of the mouth. It is a simultaneous textural experience and taste bud explosion. This yoking, or union of cookie, chocolate, and coffee is simple in theory yet multifaceted in experience. This is tantra man! Pure delight in my heart, the free choice of a pleasurable foray (in an area usually ‘disciplined’), and it’s ALL intrinsically good. This is one of the most profound lessons from my yoga teacher training here in Austin. Oh, if the course had only cost $4.71…I would certainly be investing more into my latte factor.