You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2012.

Happy Thanksgiving! As I write, Iwait getting ready to go yet another family gathering to laugh, eat, celebrate, eat some more and laugh some more! Gratitude permeates today. I am writing this on my iPhone so I will be brief today, but I offer you the idea to practice gratitude everyday. Practice it even on the days it’s not easy to practice. Find gratitude even in the hard times of life.  In the poem The Guest House by Rumi he wrote,

“This being human in a guest house

Every morning a new arrival

A joy, a depression, a meannes

Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows

Come to sweep your house of its furniture

Treat each guest honorably

He may be clearing you out for some new delight”

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I amgrateful for you all!

 

Check out this link for practices in finding gratitude.

 

 

 

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So, as always, I try to stay clear of these statements and discussions with students.  What are the things you shouldn’t talk about at work…politics, religion, and….sex maybe…well, if not, those sound like good topics not to discuss at work 🙂

But, this post, while still politically based, has a different intention.  The intention is to express the way I feel about the state of our country with no political lines drawn around it.  I will go ahead and tell you, I am a registered democrat, but I do not vote a straight ticket and I most certainly never vote for the President of the United States by what political party he is aligned with.  Now, certainly, there are issues that stay true to each party that make people lean towards voting more consistently with one party than another.  My husband is a registered Republican, but we agree on many issues.  So why, in a time where we push to break down the lines that divide people in our everyday life, do we continue to accept and basically thrive off of having a division between the people of US right down the middle?  Why do we as American’s (the melting pot, the most innovative, the most _____you fill in the blank) continue to play into the “us” and “them” card?  Every four years, why do we put two people who otherwise are two of the most respected people in the world for their intelligence, their national pride, and their dedication to country in front of the TV screen and start tearing them down for the accomplishments as well as the failures they have had in their life?

It is absolutely ridiculous to me.  It really hit home this year when my 6 year became interested in the election.  I noticed that everything that was being publicized on television as well as talked about amongst adults in ear shot of clever little ears were lessons that I actually preached against to my son.  We teach our son to applaud accomplishment in others.  We teach him to love his neighbors.  We teach him good sportsmanship.  We teach him to do his best everyday and no matter win or lose he should be proud of what he was able to do.  We teach him that if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!  Well, the election was definitely not modeling those lessons and many others.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he told me “I hate ___(fill in the blank of a presidential candidate___)”.  I spun around quickly, shocked.  One, because I didn’t think he knew anything about the election, and, two, because we do not “hate” things in our house.  We can disagree, we can strongly dislike, but hate is a word that is reserved for the worst of circumstances and in most instances not used at all.  So, this lead to a discussion with him about politics, the political parties, and how we make our decisions based on the issues the candidates stand for, not the candidates themselves.  This amazing little 6-year-old actually sat with me for about 20 minutes and wanted me to read and explain the major points in each candidates platform.  He then made his own decision on who he was going to vote for.  And, I will tell you he decided he would vote for Romney because he liked his K-12 education plan, which is something that would be important to a kindergartener.  Nothing made me more proud, because he did it because he believed in the issues.  And, now that the election is over, do you think I have heard that little man say one negative word about where our nation is going or the state of our education system?  NO!  Because, we have taught him to do his best, but you win some and you lose some.  We have taught him to be a good sport and that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.  And we have taught him to love his neighbors.  Most importantly through this election we have taught him to love and respect his country and now that we have a president elected we stand behind him and those that help him make decisions.  What we have taught him is that after this election, we drop the two sides and we come together as one.  One strong body of people who respect each other and want the best for one another, because that is the road to success.  I hope that we adults can actually model this for our young people – or maybe we need to learn from them.

So, anyway,  my not so political statement may actually be pretty political.  There may be people who say I am naive or that I have my head stuck in the sand.  But, that could not be farther from the truth.  I have my eyes wide open.  I see all the division and all the hatred and all the anger.  I choose to believe that we as a group of people are better than that.  I choose to have faith in humanity and faith in Americans.  I choose to have faith and hope.  Hope for our country, hope for our future, and hope for our children’s future.  We all have a choice.  I hope the choice of the majority is to put aside the division and move forward as one.

What does this have to do with yoga?  Not much…but yoga is the ultimate teacher or union.  The yoking together of the mind, body and spirit in a way that makes us more connected to the bigger picture – to the universe – to each other.  The Bhagavad Gita states, “Free from all thoughts of “I” and “mine”, that man finds utter peace.”

This is a little late in current events.  I wrote this last week in the heat of the moment and then put aside to proofread later.  Life happened and here it comes a week late.  Hopefully still thought-provoking and hope you enjoy 🙂

So, like most people this time of year, my family is feeling under the weather.  One week the oldest has a headache, then the youngest has a runny nose, and before you know it my husband and I are coughing, achy and fatigued.  I guess it is the curse of having little ones running around your house.  The blessings of children more than make up for the aches and pains though!

So, while it is perfectly okay and sometimes completely necessary to run to the doctor for an antibiotic or to grab a dose of NyQuil to catch some sleep, here are some tips and “yoga tricks” to try this season if you are feeling not so great.

Headache and sinus congestion

Take an ace bandage and wrap it tightly around your forehead.  You can even wrap it so it covers your eyes if you have a really severe headache.  Then lie down with a few pillows or a bolster supporting your body at an angle.  Place the bottoms of your feet together for Supta Baddha Konasana.  Have a rest for 5 min – 15 minutes.

Nasal Congestion

Try alternate nostril breathing or  Anuloma Viloma.  This breath will not only help to clear the nasal passages, it will restore balance to the flow of prana or life energy in the body.

Fatigue from Illness

When all is said and done, you have kicked the bug that was weighing you down, but you still feel fatigued??  Try one of two things.

1.  Get a few minutes of complete, deliberate rest during the middle of your day.  Sit for meditation, do a few restorative yoga poses, or focus on your yogic breath for 5-10 min.  The meditation can be as simple as watching your thoughts and practicing letting go of each thought that enters your mind for a few minutes, and restorative yoga poses done for 3 -5 minutes can calm and heal.  A few moments of deliberate rest throughout your day will recharge your system.

2.  Do a few rounds of Sun Salutations to get you going.  This sequence of poses will invigorate your body and wake up that groggy mind.

Listen to your body and whatever technique best suits your recovery try it a few times until you feel better.

Here’s to health and happiness through the rest of the year!

Namaste’ Ya’ll!

Happy Fall!  This is a picture of my kiddos when we visited the “pumpkin patch” in our new town.  While this church lawn scattered with pumpkins was very different from driving out to a farm and riding a wagon to pick our pumpkin as we have done in years past, it was still a fun family experience.  As we continue to settle into our new community and celebrate all our first holidays here, we are taking each day and each event as an exciting new experience and loving every minute.  Santosha at it’s best – contentment with what is now!

I have been here 5 months now, and we really feel settled in our home and our neighborhood.  I just recently started teaching yoga here.  It has only been a couple weeks.  Things are going well, but for things like yoga when you leave a location you leave your current students.  It is not only sad to leave those connections and those friends, but it is hard to find a new community when you arrive in the new location.  I am definately enjoying those I am meeting and having fun teaching to new folks that have different experiences, needs and desires from their yoga practice.  But, I am also trying to connect back to my beginner’s teachers mind about how to reach those new to yoga in our area or my studio.  I am trying to get folks excited about their practice and about the community that yoga brings to a location.

I have question to you folks who have been my student for a long time or for those yogis for a while regardless of who your teacher is/was…what was it that made you come back to yoga time and time again?  What drew you to yoga in the first place?  What if your favorite thing about yoga?  How do you really fit it into your life?

So, asking for feedback this time.  Give me some fresh ideas that will inspire me to inspire others in my community.  Thank you so much for you time and your thoughts.

FYI, getting geared up to blog more.  Changing things a little though.  I am going to try posting more info and articles on yoga as well as fitness, training tips, and sample practices.  In addition, I will get a regular Jessica orginal article on yoga philosophy and how it relates to life.  I look forward to “seeing”you all online more.

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Jessica Hagler King

"Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt