June is also National Rose Month
Happy June 1st! This is my favorite day of the year not only because it’s my birthday at the end of the month, but symbolically I see another birthday as a time to renew, to begin again. This is why I spend the month reflecting on what I’ve done the first half of the year but mostly how can I be of bigger service for the remainder of the year.
For my birthday last year, I held a yoga graffiti contest to help raise money for the Africa Yoga Project. That was so much fun! Remember that? I’ve been doing this type of “checking in” with myself for the the past several years and am convinced that if you don’t celebrate your birthday, you won’t get older. It’s true… celebrating the people around you and being of service to them is an integral part of the journey toward finding fulfillment. Happiness brings more happiness. No doubt about it.
It’s no wonder June is Rebuild Your Life Month. Life is full of opportunities and this month has been very generous to me. To kick off the celebrations, I am attending Yoga Life Coaching (YLC) training with one of my favorite teachers, Debbie. This program is going to empower me so that I can empower others more powerfully. And then little did I know that the Universe has diverted my other plans to “celebrate” my birthday, She has told me that I am going to Italy with Debbie to assist her YLC retreat at the end of the month. My first thought was, “is this a test?” I’ll complete my YLC and then I am given an opportunity to put it into action? For a moment, I could hear my thoughts of why I can’t go… kids, money, no passport, yadah yadah ya… I catch myself and just say “HELL YES!” The best part of June is finding out if I am the winner of the Jai Lao Foundation‘s School Search. I’ve submitted my entry to have a school built in the village where my mom grew up in Laos. If chosen, I will get to go with them and really be in service! Stay tuned… I’m gonna need your help to vote for my village.
So dear readers, if June 1st isn’t bringing you the opportunities you want, can you create it? If you’re not where you’d like to be, simply begin again with no rules this time. Catch yourself contained in the rules you’ve made for yourself. Get so excited about something that your enthusiasm propels you with momentum toward reaching your goal. Most of all, have faith that the rewards will come with it.
In any case, celebrate TODAY!!!!
Half way through yoga month and I have not scheduled my free yoga hike in honor of this special month. So many things I want to share, but time slips through my fingers. I have decided to commit my time to a very special cause instead: The Yoga Aid 108 Sun Salutation Challenge. A hundred and what you say?
The 108 Sun Salutation Challenge is an opportunity for people to come together to celebrate yoga, each other, and most significantly so celebrate community through giving… giving of our time, giving of our love, giving of our support to charities and organizations that are poised to transform the world by empowering people.
On September 18 – 19, 2010, this challenge will take place across the U.S. to raise money for four amazing organizations: Off The Mat Into the World, Yoga for Youth, 4 One World, and my favorite, Africa Yoga Project.
If you are in my area, please come experience this vibration at Studio Rincon in Menlo Park, Saturday, Sept. 18th at 7AM. The most challenging part of this experience is not in the practice or even in doing 100 or 108 or 200 sun salutations. The real challenge is saying “YES!” I will participate. The event is FREE to attend but participants can donate to any of the above charities or support someone else who is fundraising. You can register or donate to the Menlo Park event’s page.
Why 108? 108 is a sacred number in several eastern cultures/religions. In brief, a prayer necklace or mala contains 108 beads or stones where each one can represent a prayer or mantra. It is believed that our soul resides in the our heart center where there are 108 energy channels or Nadis. When a prayer or mantra is recited 108 times, the energy of the prayer or mantra travels to these channels which in turn radiate out to all parts of the body. So you can imagine that doing 108 Sun Salutations is a unique opportunity to not only challenge the physical body, but it’s a deep meditative experience. Now imagine a whole group of people flowing together…. the vibration we will create is beyond words!
To explore the meaning of 108 more, check out Cora Wen’s awesome post at Elephant Journal.
Be a YES and join me!!!!
Drum roll please….
The winner of the Yoga Graffiti Photo Contest is:
Bravo Tacoasana by Amanda
I could not stop laughing at this one. Taco, bravo,open… Very creative and brave, I must say. Congratulations, Amanda!
Here are the runner ups:
The coffee shop is now open by Jennifer
Tree pose at such an inconvenient time by Scott.
Emma, I will always think of this pic when I tell my students to get into fire hydrant dog.
Nadia, I will try to remember this the next time I freak out in swim lessons
And of course the real winner is Africa Yoga Project who will be receiving $500!!!!
Raffle winners: lululemon headbands: Emma, Lisa K, Tyrah
AND lululemon water bottles: Gina, Nou, Cindy
(If you’re reading this, email me your address so I can send these to you otherwise I will contact you this week to get that info)
T H A N K Y O U! You guys rock! And as they said at the 1st grade field day: you’re a winner if you had fun!
If you do more tagging beyond this contest, I would love to see the pics!
A HUGE THANK YOU goes to lululemon athletica: Palo Alto Store for letting me teach to earn the $200 gift card and Santana Row for donating the raffle prizes! I love me lulus!
… at the friday farmer’s market, of course!
Step 1: Find an isle. Inconspicuously walk there to claim your space before there’s a mad rush of organic maniacs.
Step 2: Place your right ankle on your left knee, squat down, right knee to right elbow, right foot hooks to left arm, heart forward, palms flat. Quietly begin to shift your torso forward and lift your left foot off the ground.
Step 3: Focus! The ground is hot. Never mind if anyone is laughing at you.
Step 4: Lift. Lift. Lift. and BREATHE.
Step 5: Quietly and inconspicuously land your feet before your face hits that hot pavement. Get up, wipe your hands, walk away, and sample the fresh blueberries.
Waiting and waiting and waiting for those pictures :) Have a great weekend!
Stop. Look. Yoga.
Today is the last day of school for my 1st grader and the last day we will see the super friendly crossing guard. “Run! Hurry Up!” She says as she stops traffic for us nearly every morning because we are running late and the second bell has already rung…
But not today… we made it early enough to chat with the crossing guard. For the entire school year, the only words that were exchanged were: hi, good morning, bye, have a great day, thanks. Well today, we made the effort to chat with her a little bit before the next group of kids came to the cross walk. Found out that she is going to Vietnam for the summer to visit her mother. She was kind enough to let me hold her sign that she used to control her corner of the street with… a powerful sign it was. STOP.
I am reminded to not only stop and obey all crossing guards, but STOP frequently to appreciate each moment, STOP to talk with a stranger, STOP to listen to whom ever is talking with me, STOP to pause, STOP to feel, STOP to breathe, and of course STOP to yoga.
And stop doing what you’re doing and send me those yoga graffiti pictures. I’m patiently waiting