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Interested in living skillfully?

“Yoga is skill in action.” Bhagavad Ghita

What does this mean? For starters yoga is much more than striking a pose. Yoga offers tools for living with greater composure especially when times are tumultuous. Living skillfully requires self awareness and acceptance of life’s realities recognizing what is within our control and what is not. It’s a lifelong practice.

I’ve just completed my intensive Mindful Yoga certification with Kimberly and Jim Carson of Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU). They developed an evidence-based program using the wisdom of the ancient yogic tradition, the discoveries of neuroscience, and the integration of both through a dynamic group experience.

My training has taken me to Duke (my alma mater) and OHSU learning about cancer and chronic pain, respectively, and how Mindful Yoga can relieve symptoms and improve mood. I have established a mindful meditation practice inviting my mind to wander less and be present more. Again, it’s a practice and each day reminds me that showing up is sometimes the hardest part.

This spring a lively, committed group (in the picture) joined me for eight weeks as we explored riding the waves of life through discussion, meditation, breath work, and movement. We talked, laughed, and learned about many things. How do we recognize the stories that our mind tells? When do we fail to extend compassion to ourselves? Where in the body do we experience stress? Can we be in this moment without resisting?

Interested in living skillfully and riding the waves of life with greater equanimity? Stay tuned for upcoming Mindful Yoga programs. Here are some insights shared.

“One of the things that I will carry with me is 'Riding the Waves.' Almost every day I find myself repeating those words when I need to de-stress and return to my breathing. It is amazing how often it has released my tension and brought me peace. It is unfortunate that I need to use it almost every day...... ha.” Linda Corliss

“I have heard, studied and taught a lot of this information but I was finally able to listen and make a practice for myself. I think I was able to hear this time because of your manner (calm and strong) and instruction (clear and simple), and because it came at the right season in my life.”

Ivy Spencer

“… I can’t tell you how much you were “with” me at the meditation retreat. I kept hearing you say, “Let’s just see what’s here." I think the best part of your class was the easy pace and variety that made the two hours fly by.” Connie Kohler

“I've become much more aware of my breath, and of how breathing with intention and awareness is much more effective. The group discussions each contained several jewels. It is always reassuring to know that whatever problem one might have, there's someone out there who's got a similar one. As for postures, I think you have finally managed to convince me that slowing down and relaxing into what one is doing is a tremendous step in the right direction. – Ellen Erdreich


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