Friday, March 30, 2012

Thank You for Your Service



I’ve posted almost nothing about my 200-hour yoga teacher training and how I’m now applying it in my life. It’s still a lot to process and live. I plan to sift through the journal I kept over the nine-week program and reflect and write some more about the experience. 

Meanwhile, I’d like to tell you about my day yesterday. 
Daniel Hickman, founder of Silk Road Yoga, generously welcomed me to his bi-weekly yoga class at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 
Daniel has been teaching veterans -- wounded warriors -- their care givers and civilian staff for five years. He brings a blend of yoga, breath + mind/body work to make a significant difference in the lives of so many people. And, now me.
The hour-long class was small: two physical therapists, Michael, a 22-year-old Marine  from Tampa, Florida, his care giver, Daniel’s lovely friend and fellow yoga teacher Anna, and moi.
We warmed up the spine, all six movements. We then worked through seated and supine poses and focused on upper body strength with modified dolphin pose and upward facing dog. 
Near the end of class Daniel encouraged Michael to try a few additional poses. Before he could finish talking him through headstand, Michael rose on his own. 
What’s remarkable is that Michael is missing his left arm from the elbow down. He used a short stack of yoga blocks to steady the left side of his body. 
Michael also had to rely on core strength to pull himself into headstand, since he lost both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan. With Daniel’s guidance, Michael pushed himself up into scorpion. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when he came out of the pose.
I’m still awed and moved by Michael’s exhibition of sheer determination. OO-RAH, Michael, it was an honor to bear witness. 
And thanks, Daniel, for making a difference one soldier at a time.

Dites moi, SVP, how are you making a difference?

Photo: Not Michael, but fellow noble vets participating in the Wounded Warrior Foundation’s Soldier Ride in Washington, D.C., last year. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Play the Hand You Were Dealt



On my walk to the neighborhood yoga studio yesterday I spied a red and white playing card facedown on the sidewalk. It begged me to turn it over. 
Ace of Diamonds.
Then, further down the street I noticed a second card. I picked it up. Queen of Clubs. 
And then, a third. A Jack of Hearts.
Twenty-one. Vingt-et-un. Blackjack.
Dites moi, SVP, feeling lucky?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blossom




Spring blooms beautifully here, in shades of fuchsia to the palest of pinks to a touch of coral. I'm blooming, too, with the launch of another endeavor. Unrelated to yoga (or so it would seem!). Details to come.


Dites moi, SVP, how are you blossoming?



Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspiration for Blossoming Sutra -- The Mala


One hundred eight pearls on a nylon thread with a lump of turquoise as the guru bead captured my imagination. 
It was a simple strand of prayer beads on display in a Tibetan shop in my neighborhood, standing out from the others made of seeds and stones and bones. So different; beautiful in an incredible simple way.


In a moment of inspiration, I thought of transforming another strand by slipping a knot in between each pearl, like this super long strand of glass pearls. 


A few days later by coincidence, I ran into a crafty friend. When I mentioned my new found interest in hand-knotting, she directed me to all the resources I needed. I ordered a knotting tool and bunches of glass pearls. And began.
Piles of pearls remind me of Gabrielle Coco Chanel. As I knotted I also wondered, if she was alive today -- and a yogini! -- what sort of mala might she own? Fabulous faux pearls, bien sur! Perhaps several, comme ca. 


Flash forward to today. I’m delighted my new etsy shop is open and available via the Shop! tab above or through this link: www.etsy.com/shop/blossomingsutra.
Dites Moi, SVP, WWCoCoD?