June 3, 2010

All in the Family.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:
 whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~ Jane Howard

Treat your family like friends and your friends like family. ~ Proverb

Some Musings

I had the pleasure of being at my grandson’s first birthday this weekend. Even better, I was in attendance with my own mother. There’s nothing like three generations under one roof to get you to wax poetical about the joys of family. To see your grandson walk for the first time? Truly amazing.

But something else put me in the mind of family. I had the honor of attending a mediation and chanting class on Sunday at Karma Yoga Center with Angelique DeSilva, in Denver. Not that going to chant is all that unusual for me, but this class was led by a dear friend, one that was instrumental in shaping my future as a yoga guide myself. My work with Alanna Kaivalya led me to Angelique’s residence more than once for a Kirtan (call and response chanting) or JivaMukti class several years ago and it was there that I first came to experience a new “tribe” created by my practice.   My Sunday sojourn reconnected me, or should I say reminded me of that precious connection. To chant Patanjali’s Sutras with my son beside me, led by a friend and mentor, well it was inspiring, humbling and expansive.  And that experience struck a chord reminding me of the value, the worth, the sheer enormity of “family” and how it means so much more than mother and child, husband and wife, brother and sister…It’s the people we share any bond with and yoga ultimately leads us to that understanding that in the end we are all family. Connected by our divine nature and our human experience.  I spent the weekend with my blood family,  visited a “sister” gained during teacher training, chanted with another yoga sister and then returned home to my husband and my puppy and I look forward to seeing my kula (community) at my classes this weekend and I can’t help but marvel at how much family I have been blessed with…and you? Who is your family? Chosen? Granted? Wished for? Created?  And have you recently connected with them and shown them gratitude for all that they are and all that they teach you?  If you read this and feel that you are in need of family look no further than your yoga studio, your coffee shop, your health food store…we are all family…feel the connection and watch your soul open up and rejoice.

Yoga Pose of the week

Vrkasana (Tree Pose): Grow your “roots”, practice a soft drishti (gaze) and take a moment to reflect. Like our family a strong foundation is important, looking softly on each other and a calm center make for a healthy tree.

Fitness/Health Tip of the week
Workout Buddy! If you are an aficionado of fitness magazines and health tips then this comes as no great revelation to you, but it really can’t be stressed enough.  What we do together, sticks. It makes EVERY thing (even the gym) more enjoyable and we gain the benefit of quality time with our fellow travelers.  Schedules don’t mesh? Even sharing your experiences, tips, and trials on the phone or online can help you stay on track.  Start a meetup group or join one in your area, don’t “exercise” create a healthy, friendly lifestyle.  And since we are on the subject of family — don’t give up kid time for “treadmill” time. Workout time can be family time and there is no better Win-Win in the world (Might I suggest family yoga??)

Weekly Mantra

inhale: we are
exhale: one

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Aminda R. Courtwright  |  Contribution: 9,785