Most days a small act you happen to be fully present for can be all you need to make it feel like a really good day. The above photo reflects that moment for me today. I took it while waiting for my boys at their surf lesson in Sopelana, Pais Vasco, Spain. The beach was not very crowded today so people were spread out a bit farther than their usual, sardines packed in a tin can distance. I barely noticed the sweet couple above who were sitting 20 feet away from me, until they started to pack up for the day. It was like a beautiful dance as I saw the couple gently sit up from a reclined savasana position, laying completely flat on the sand, to a slow seated posture. Mind you, I very rarely see anyone over middle age sit directly on the sand anymore, so this was something in itself. Then ever so slowly the beautifully adorned woman gently made her way on to hands and knees as if in a yoga table pose. Next, with tenderness she leaned her hand onto her husbands shoulder, the other on her thigh, and ever so steadily she took a deep inhale and exhaled on the press to stand. The two to three minute process was with concentration, thought and great attention to breath and body awareness. Her husbands assist was sweet, kind and fully present. And then, it was his turn. The floral bride widened her stand to a little more than hip distance and put a tiny bend in her knees. The grace came as she offered her knight a firm hand to assist his rise. From a camel prep position the man raised his bent knee to a thigh parallel with the ground and foot firmly planted next to the woman. There was a pause, a small exchange of words, and a brisk change of legs to prepare for the assist. The man took a few full breaths, looked lovingly in to the woman’s eyes, and with matching inhales he rose to standing with ease. I was awe struck! I really wanted to go hug them both and tell them how much grace and love I felt in their presence. Unfortunately I still struggle as a foreigner to posses genuine emotion in my bumbling Spanish and I actually sensed they knew, by my gaping mouth and bright eyes that my day (and much, much longer) had been made.
Sometimes I wish I knew a little more of others stories or history. This was one of those occasions. But with just pausing to witness their tender connection I think what they revealed to me was all I really needed to know.
Be present, be patient, tender and available.
A gorgeous day at the beach (in Plentzia, Spain) creates so much healing for the body, mind and soul. Our family soaks all of it in, sight, sound, touch and taste trying to be silent a little more so as not to miss the gift of what we can receive. What ever powers came together to bring this day to us I am eternally grateful. Namaste!
My asana practice today was a sweet 15 minute pre-surf stress from YogaGlo…http://www.yogaglo.com/online-class-1585-Pre-Surf-Stretch.html
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or is it in the minds turning over of the vision the eye is beholding. Todays thoughts lead me to a yoga practice of compassion towards others and experiencing beauty through their eye (mind).
Above photo by me taken April ’14 in the Gothic Barrio of Barcelona, Spain.
The humidity is so great today that I am reminded of a yoga teacher who once instructed his students to employ the humidity to open up even further into it’s embrace. As if humidity were a blanket ready to catch you as you fall, relax or settle. My brain’s muscle memory reminds me of being here before and the words that were so powerful, they were never lost. The skin feels and the eyes see this familiar place, and the mind recalls the rest. Our physical and emotional bodies are so much more intelligent than we completely understand and for that reason I am grateful to always be astounded.
The above photo was taken by me in Getxo, Spain. It is an open window leading to a brick wall. Some days just feel like that. My asana practice today was a core flow from Tiffany Cruikshank on YogaGlo, ( http://www.yogaglo.com/teacher-53-Tiffany-Cruikshank.html ).
Is there anything more wonderful than the smell of bonfire in your hair? OR, Is there anything more wonderful than the sound of a an ocean lapping the shore while being warmed by a bonfire. To my delight I’ve been lucky to have both this week…It must be summer in Northern Spain! It has been a true delight of the senses as we celebrated Noche de San Juan (June 23/24) and the beginning of summer vacation. For the next few months with a house full of children and the beach tempting us, it will be hard to stay focused on a daily mat practice. Just this week I have found my yoga drifting outdoors including a sporadic session of balance poses while touring our town with my son “the photographer”, and while kayaking on the river that threads it’s way through Bilbao working on some arm and core building poses. Yoga is all around us and the mat is just only one place to find it. Don’t let a mat stand in your way is my mantra this week.
Some days are a haunting reminder of the past. As you have made progress on the road to your life there are dark moments or traits that resurface to remind you that you aren’t quite finished yet. I imagine that when life comes to a close, barring tragic death, that you might end life having worked through some of your personal madness and refined the attitude to become your best personal self. Then again this could just be the idea of my ideal, which again leads me in a circle back to the reoccurring dark moments. Funny and true!
The practice of yoga makes me feel incredibly bright and beautiful. Even if for just the time I am on my mat or sharing a genuine and heartfelt moment with someone, if I have yoga in my life I am my best self. Yoga to me is the meeting of the hard and the soft, the body and the mind, and bringing the balance in to a full alive wakening. Practicing in the morning is a gift for the whole day as it kick starts the opportunity for possibilities that lie ahead.
My asana practice today was this beautiful sequence that I hope to revisit again and again. Jo Tastula’s early morning practice @ http://www.yogaglo.com/video_2383_l.html
I took the above photo in the town of Vitoria, Spain last week 6/6/2013. A gorgeous blooming weed was growing in the gutter of the wall surrounding the old city. It was full of shri! Vitoria is the capitol of the Basque region and the old town is worth an overnight. The public murals, old cathedrals, history and people are all enchanting for both the old and young, modernist and historian.