CUL8R

Ever since I was a high school student, I have used acronyms as a mnemonic tool to help me study. I memorized all sorts of things from cell division to capital cities to math formulas using first letters. When it came time for exams, I just needed to remember the acronym. Most of the time it worked, but not always. Sometimes I forgot the acronym! To this day, I continue to use these tools to help me remember things, even when it comes to yoga (and remembering what to get at the grocery store). My favourites are:

BRFWA – breathe, relax, feel, watch, allow

STOP – slow down, tune in, observe, proceed

AAABS – the “yamas” (the don’ts of yoga ethics): Ahimsa (don’t harm), Asteya (don’t steal), Aparigraha (don’t be greedy), Brahmacharya (self-restraint), Satya (don’t lie)

SSSTI – the “niyamas” (the do’s of yoga ethics): Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Svadhyaha (self-study), Tapas (self-discipline), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God)

BKBK – broccoli, kale, bread, kleenex

And now I came across a new one to remind me of my Sankalpa (resolve or solemn vow; or as I like to refer to it, my “prime directive”):

LCKPC – love, care, kindness, patience, compassion

This comes from a full-moon online group meditation I recently participated in with the Global Care Room. We tapped in to the energy of our heart space then sent out good vibrations of love, care, kindness, patience and compassion to the planet (see https://www.heartmath.org/gci/introductory-heart-coherence-technique/ for technique). What I discovered was that this practice aligns well with all those things that I endeavor to model. And when I forget, and I react negatively or judge or withdraw, this acronym pops into my head to remind me to re-direct, re-balance, and re-align. It’s not always easy in the moment to switch from anger to love, or from impatience to patience. But part of the practice is simply RECOGNIZING when we are out of sync and then taking the steps to come back into alignment.

To be honest, all I really need to do is remember my name: DAYA ANANDI. My teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu, gave me this spiritual name as a reminder – of who I am, what I can share, and what I sometimes need to work on. Kindness and bliss, kindness and bliss, kindness and bliss…my true nature. Perhaps that is the best and simplest mnemonic of all.

As I depart for my India trip today, I will be putting all these tools to good use, especially when facing the unfamiliar, the unknown, and the unexpected. Whether across the ocean or in your own backyard, from the simple to the extraordinary, may we all take the time to STOP and BRFWA!

Just a reminder that my classes are on hold until the end of February. First class back is Yin Yoga at DSDS on Thu. Feb. 28, 2019.

TTFN and CUL8R!

 

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A New Year of Exploration

Welcome to 2019…a new year of discovery! I have a t-shirt that says, “Explore the world, Discover your self” and the phrase couldn’t be more true for me this year as I embark on another journey to India. I know I don’t have to go to the other side of the world for self-discovery as I’m unearthing things about myself every day right here in my own backyard. But there is something about a journey to a faraway land…perhaps a pilgrimage…that makes this seem like more of a big deal. Like I’m on the brink of learning something so profound, yet so simple.

Five years ago, I went to north India as a yoga student to study and live in an ashram. This time I am going to south India, partly as a tourist (guided through temples and villages and historical sites) and partly as a yoga practitioner and still a student (immersed in a retreat of self-study, practice, and holistic living). With an open mind and open heart, I look forward to visiting a place so different from my own home, yet somehow it feels like I’m going home…or I’m being called home. Strange how my heart feels such a tug to this country.

At the start of a new year, we all may feel like we are embarking on a new journey. An opportunity to let go of the year past and start this year with a clean slate. New hopes and dreams for the upcoming months and intentions for wellness; goals and milestones to achieve; and the shifting out of unsupportive patterns. So much to do it seems this month…However, we must remind ourselves that EVERY day offers this possibility. In fact, every time we end a yoga class in Savasana (corpse pose) or wake up each morning is a chance to start fresh. To shed a few layers, rejuvenate and restore, and then awaken again, re-born so to speak. We don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve or a full moon or the end of a month. It can happen on a moment to moment basis, breath to breath.

Today’s mini-journey is to finish the laundry, pay my bills, and clean up the piles left after Christmas. In two weeks, the journey will be to get on the plane and fly across the world, expanding beyond my backyard to a magical place full of new experiences. Wherever I go, there I am…exploring and discovering. I will post the occasional updates on this blog while I’m away, but mostly I want to just BE in the moment.

Happy New Year to you all and may we all navigate this moment/day/month/year with mindfulness, acceptance, patience, and love!