A Thoughtful Read

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It’s not often I find a magazine that has rich and meaningful content on nearly EVERY page.  So when I stumbled upon Origin Magazine I knew it was something special.  With meaningful musings about YOGA. ART. MUSIC. CONSCIOUS LIFESTYLE. HUMANITARIANISM. &  SUSTAINABILITY,  it is jam packed with interesting and inspiring articles.  I haven’t even finished this issue yet, but here are some of the gems I have found so far.

On Yoga:

“We watch our depths rise to the surface, and if we are sensitive enough, allow that which does not serve us to be released without judgement or disdain.” – KK Ledford

On Life:

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

On Food:

“Energy is like money; once spent, it’s gone. – Will the nutritional return justify the digestive energy expenditure?”              – Brendan Brazier

So pick up your copy at Whole Foods and see what you find.  :)

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Mindfulness Magic

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When my elementary students walk into class they find their spots, close their eyes, place their thumb and pointer finger together, and breathe quietly for a few breaths together.  This beginning routine gives me a chance to catch my breath, but it also gives the kids a chance to get ready and get centered for our time together.  Those beginning moments are peaceful, but the best is when I see a student fall into that shape and breath without my instruction.  I see it working, and I want to offer more.  So I went on Amazon and gathered all I could, and have been on a major mindful kick lately.

Kirpalu Yoga – by Richard Faults
Origin Magazine
Planting Seeds – Thich Nhat Hanh
Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Mindful Child – By Susan Kaiser Greenland

I have been devouring any and every resource about mindfulness.  Being mindful is something that seems obvious, simple, and accessible, but how often throughout the day do we really focus on our breath and the thoughts in our mind?  Mindfulness is being present – and with all the to do lists, replays of past events in our brains, and constant internal dialogues – it takes practice to know when and how to press the      p a u s e  b u t t o n  &  b r e a t h e.

I notice a big shift when I am able to slow down and bring my awareness to my breath – no matter what I am doing, my mind slows down, even if for only a moment.  I become more clear, calm, and grounded.  I have experienced the actual benefits of being mindful and I am  thrilled to share these lessons of mindfulness to my students as they begin to navigate through life.  More practical and age appropriate activities to come.

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Hang Time

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Yesterday’s yoga class was the first time that I ever ‘stuck’ my handstand while in the middle of the room.

…all for about a second or two, before I freaked and I didn’t know where to go or what to do.  At that point my body was moving faster than my mind, so my feet fell all the way over head and I landed in wheel.  It was awesome.  I had no idea I could pull off that signature move that the 8-year-old version of myself loved to do so often.

I have been practicing handstand for about 6 months now.  Every time I practiced kicking up without the support of a wall, I would hold back a little because of the narrative in my head.  ‘You are going to fall and land on your neck, you will knock over your computer, you will fall into something, someone.’  It generally ended up with a big old – ‘BAD IDEA LEAH, STOP!’  So I did practice kicking up, but not with all of my heart and soul.  I let that narrative rule me for a while.  What I learned from arriving into handstand for those brief moments was that all of my fears that were dictating my actions were way worse than what actually ended up happening.

I also realized that practicing with space surrounding me is key, so that there would be nothing that would be in my line of falling.  With that said – new apartment will come with a spacious yoga sanctuary!

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