MmmmYoga!

Hello, Yoga & Writing Friends!

Two Quick Things: 1) Social Media Update 2) Yoga Practice Opportunity.

Social Media

I’ve been updating some social media things and want to let you know what to look for.

The Backstory ~ My new site at amysecrist.com is Generous Wisdom | Spacious Heart where we explore movement, metaphor, meditation, and meaning. This is how I ended up with four M’s. Yoga is a huge part of my work, but Generous Wisdom| Spacious Heart lives outside of the yoga box. It’s wordy, I know, and “not good for the internet.” Those of you who are familiar with me are laughing right now, both because I’m wordy AND because I don’t spend much time on social media!

Because of this, my site, my tagline, and my handles are not as easily searchable as they’ve been in the past. But I feel STRONGLY called to make this shift happen, so I’m asking for your help. Would you be willing to follow me and share to your networks? If so, please click below, follow, and share wildly.

Yoga Practice Opportunity

Anyone interested in a Yoga TLC Refresh? If yes, click here! Fill out the contact form and let me know if you’re interested in online class, in-person indoors, or in-person outside in nature.

Right now I’m thinkin’ about an indulgent 90 minute class with, you guessed it, movement, meditation, metaphor, & meaning-making. (MmmmYoga.)

This class is for you if:

  • you feel you don’t have enough time in your life to squeeze it in
  • you’re interested in neuroscience
  • you’re running on empty
  • you have no personal bandwidth/brainspace
  • you’re curious about interpersonal neurobiology
  • you feel on the edge of burnout
  • You Are Burnt OUT
  • you’re wondering about polyvagal theory
  • you would like to feel better or more like “yourself”
  • you don’t want another power vinyasa flow
  • you want to be in community with other yogis
  • you’re interested in exploring mindful movement
  • you’d like to experience what “mindful yoga” is like
  • you want to engage with yourself and others in a new and supportive way
  • you think moving slowly sounds delicious

I’m excited to share what I’m practicing and learn from the wisdom of our community.

Amy

A Universal Yogi

“The word mindfulness is not used [much] in Christian and Jewish circles because mindfulness is a Buddhist word.  But what is mindfulness?  Mindfulness is to be aware of everything you do every day.  Mindfulness is a kind of light that shines upon all your thoughts, all your feelings, all your actions and all your words. Mindfulness is the Buddha.  Mindfulness is the equivalent of the Holy Spirit, the energy of God.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Striving & Savoring

Dear Friends,

Right now is a new moment. Breathe in and feel the new breath in your body. Breathe out and feel the old breath release. Every breath takes in the new and releases the old. There might be sadness here or tentativeness; there might also be sweetness and joy. Notice what is present with a spot of kindness. Offer yourself any amount of compassion for whatever you are feeling in this moment.

STRIVING

I’ve done a lot of striving in my day, and I bet you have too: striving for the best education, the best job, the best partner, the best family, the best meal, the best soap, the best meditation, the best yoga practice, and on it goes, possibly without end.

I invite you to join me in not striving – for a moment (or even two) – as you take in the words of Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman who speaks of striving in her poem “The Hill We Climb:’

“And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside”

Sometimes striving is necessary. And sometimes savoring is what’s needed.

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

SAVORING

I invite you now to look back and notice the good work you have done, just one tiny nugget of goodness you gave to the world, whether it was earlier today, yesterday, or 20 years ago.

Perhaps it was a smile, a delivery of groceries or a warm meal. Maybe you drove someone to work, school, or an appointment and then drove them home, walked your dog, or picked up trash that wasn’t yours. Or, you gave yourself permission to go for a walk, or to sit and rest.

Our striving is not for perfection, friends. It is for a life with purpose, to compose a song filled with various rhythms and key changes, dotted with eighth notes and swept with drawn out phrases and pauses, a life of tiny little nuggets of goodness. Not perfection, but purpose.

My invitation to you today: Savor what is sweet and leave the rest.

Yours in Practice,

Amy

The Universal Yogi

PS – Follow the links above to learn more about Amanda Gorman and hear her reading “The Hill We Climb.” My encouragement is to listen twice. Once with your eyes closed and once with them open (in either order).

PPS – I didn’t want to leave this out in case it might be useful: try savoring your yoga practice, instead of striving throughout the whole thing, trying to get somewhere you think you’re not. Do the yoga as something to enjoy, not to cross off your list. Practice as play.

Go play some yoga 🙂

Unfolding

Just last week I decided the word Unfolding would be my guide. Throughout the next 12 months or so I figured I would discover some wisdom looking through this lens, but I didn’t expect to find so much so soon.

Being & Doing

If you read the clock post (Hurry Up & Rest), you know I’ve been wrestling time and working with control, productivity, and rest for as long as I’ve been a mother (17 years). My perspective began turning a corner by noticing ease and feeling what it feels like to allow. Adding this third practice has given me new eyes.

Ease was something I did, and allowing was something I decided, which also has that sense of doing. But unfolding? This is like allowing times TEN. This isn’t me doing anything. It’s me being undone. And not in a bad, scary way, but in a fascinating, journeying kind of way.

It’s almost like waiting. I’m peeling off the layers of doing and kinda hangin’ back, watching what’s moving where, and who’s doing what, and how things are shaking out. And myself, too; I’m watching how I respond to what’s being revealed, or sometimes what’s being lived in front of me. It is a great work in balancing the being & the doing, the participating & the observing.

So what’s next? Maybe a lot less forcing and a bit more receiving? I don’t know. I’m sort of ready for the moment to come to me rather than always moving into the moment. I’m often saying, Hello, moment. Here I am. I wonder what would happen if I didn’t speak. What would all the moments say to me?

Photo by faaiq ackmerd on Pexels.com

Feeling You

My beautiful and kind teacher often asks us, “How does it feel to be you, right now, in this moment?” I remember the first time I received this inquiry. It was in an iRest Yoga Nidra class, and I was totally snuggled in and supported with bolsters and blankets beneath, beside, and around me. I was so surprised I smiled out loud (not just in my mind) feeling my face move into happiness. What is this sweet thing? Who in the world is asking me what it feels like to be me?

Of course I knew who was guiding our meditation, but this question felt like it was coming from the deep, from somewhere beyond us ~ what does it feel like to be me? Perhaps it’s the moment that is asking me this question, inviting me to see and be seen. Maybe when I’m silent, and allow the moment to speak to me, this is what it offers – an opportunity to see and be seen, which is really to love and be loved.

Photo by Lachlan Ross on Pexels.com

To Explore

There is much to explore here. Choose one of the suggestions below that seems interesting or supportive and try it out. Or, make up your own experiment and let me know how it goes.

  • Unfolding – what does it feel like to allow a moment to unfold in front of you? During simple daily interactions or activities, notice any impulse to intervene, lead, follow, speak, or act. Pause to notice if the impulse fades, and watch what’s happening around you. Decide to act on the impulse, adjust it, or let it pass. Continue to notice what’s happening around you, as well as what sensations are present within you.
  • Feeling You – How does it feel to be you, right now in this moment? Take a few minutes to settle into stillness, breathe deeply, and feel sensations in your body. Instead of thinking about how you feel, experiment with feeling how you feel. Journal or sketch your discoveries.
  • Being & Doing – Choose a block of time (an hour, a half day, a full day, a week) and notice how often you sense that you are engaged in doing, and how often you are engaged in being. Both of these ways of living are necessary and one is not valued over the other. We have to do things in order to live, such as plan, gather food, cook, study, work, and so on. These aren’t only necessary, but can be good and fun! What’s interesting to notice might be how much time we spend being alive, rather than doing life. Being alive might feel like rest or being “in the zone” or “in the flow.” “Being” doesn’t mean you are sitting still on a meditation cushion, though that is certainly one of the choices. In fact, you might not realize you are/were engaged in being until you are not.

Remember there’s no wrong or right way to explore these practices. I encourage you to make it fun. 🙂

Happy Exploring!

Amy

The Universal Yogi