Tag Archives: Baron Baptiste

Namaste.

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There is a word I have said nearly every day for the last six years of my life. A word I often say without considering its full meaning or intent. That word is Namaste. As a teacher and student, Namaste is the custom closing to a yoga class. To look up its meaning, you’ll find any number of ways to basically say, “I honor you. We are one.” Recently, I came to the eye opening realization that I’ve been doing a sufficiently crummy job of living up to this word.

As part of a six week meditation course I participated in, we were asked to consider a person in our lives we felt stuck around. A person where our flow of love was blocked (This is an exercise I was first introduced to by Baron Baptiste at my Level One training more than two years ago. Since then I haven’t revisited it.). Without thinking too much I wrote down, MOM. The exercise continued with our listing reasons why we’re stuck around this person (i.e. what’s wrong with them), what the other person should do to fix the situation (i.e. fix yourself so we can have a better relationship) and finally, what we’re missing out on by holding these stuck feelings. As I wrote my responses I became more and more ashamed of myself. As my page filled up I saw the point – I was the problem.

As long as I can remember I have held very strong opinions of my mother. Opinions about what she should and should not be doing with herself and her life. I was right. She was wrong. In just about every situation you can imagine (clothes, vocabulary, lifestyle, health, career…). By choosing to live this way, I have never seen my mother for who she really is. I have not honored her. And I certainly haven’t regarded us as ONE. Any ‘stuckness’ that I felt between us was put there by me and me alone.

With this new found clarity I had to do just one thing. Apologize.

The next time I saw my mother was when she came to babysit. As I sat next to her while she held my youngest son I simply said, “Mom, I am so sorry for always assuming I know what is best for you. All my life I have held such strong opinions about your choices and I have no right to do this. I am sorry.” Then, in true mom fashion, she simply smiled. She told me she loved me and that everything was OK. Then, she went on to tell me about all the great things happening in her life – her health, her relationship with my dad (which is stronger than ever in 30+ yrs of marriage), her exercise regimen (which includes YOGA) and her absolute love and devotion for my boys. She lit up and I finally allowed myself to see her shine.

Because of my Ego, my assuming, and my expectations I had been missing out on my mom. My vision was clouded. My own insecurities and self-judgments (because if I’m being honest, the things that bothered me about my mom are the EXACT things I need to check myself about) kept me from enjoying her.

Now, I honestly have new eyes. My heart and soul feel light. And I am looking forward to getting to know the woman I’ve known my entire life.

I love you, mom. Namaste.

The First Level

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I’m back from Level 1 training in Tulum, Mexico with Baron Baptiste.  Whoa.  To say that my mind has been blown would be a sorry-a$$ understatement.  Skipping over the details, here is what I would like to share with all of you…

During one of our group sessions, we were asked to write a letter to someone in our life (someone not so yogicly inclined), describing this training.   Here’s my letter:

Dear ________,
If mental clarity, enlightenment or feelings of warm juicy love are what you seek this training is not for you.  If you’re someone who wants to learn how to be a ‘yoga teacher’ this training is not for you.  If you’re hoping that a week away from the busy-ness of your life will somehow bring you stillness this training is not for you.  This training is about owning ‘it’. Owning your existence. Owning your life – warts and all.  About smelling the roses and the sh%#.  About appreciating the sunrise and wearing the sunburn.  About never saying sorry for who you are, but apologizing often.  It’s about speaking your mind, but listening to your heart. It’s about resistance (oh. my. GOD. Is it about resistance!), but noticing when you’re doing so.  It’s about finding freedom through the lies that bind, and perhaps most profoundly, recognizing that ‘Fu%#’ and ‘God’ often work hand in hand.

So if you’re ready to take charge of your life, disrupt business as usual, and play big – this training is for you!  Your playing small never served the world anyway.

You have the power.
Amber

 

Maya Tulum.

COMMonUNITY

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I’m 16 hours away from departure for Level 1 with Baron in Mexico!  Suitcase is packed.  Passport is at the ready. Instead of jitters and last-minute scrambling, I am fully filled with love and support.

This morning began with my parents and my little monster helping me to plant my first garden!  I do not have a green thumb. My house plants typically die.  But I had an opportunity to rent a plot in our local community garden and I thought – Why the heck not!  My mom has been gardening since I was a little girl.  So naturally I called and asked, “moooom, can you help me {insert whiny voice here}”.  No questions asked.  Mom and Dad were there.

Thank goodness Little Monster and Grandpa have green thumbs.

 

I’m also reeling with excitement about the Peace by Peace Yogathon I’m participating in this month through Karma Krew. This yogathon is nationwide for the month of June.  The goal is to raise money to bring yoga to under-served populations (victims of domestic violence, HIV clinics, drug treatment centers, etc…). Two days into the Yogathon and I’ve already exceeded my goal!  The support from my friends and family toward this cause is simply astounding!

Finally, I am feeling completely supported by my yoga kula at The Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse .  Words of congrats, excitement and encouragement keep coming from our teachers, studio manager and students.  My mentor/”sister”/studio owner has been empowering me to spread my wings since the day I met her.  And  in 16 hours I will be on my way.  These are the early steps and I cannot wait to see where they lead!!!!!

Support + Empowerment= COMMonUNITY.    Sounds a lot like Yoga  😉

See you after Level 1!

What Happens In Boston

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I’m just beginning to come down from the yoga high that was Foundations in Action with Baron Baptiste in Boston.  For three days I  sweat, meditated, sweat, contemplated, laughed, cried, sweat and grew more in a weekend than I ever would have thought possible.  The events and lessons from this trip are still swirling around in my brain.  I’m processing so much information that I can’t seem to get it out right now.  However, if there was one ultimate lesson or ‘A-ha’ that I took from this training it would have to be the Heart to Heart connection.

Heart to Heart, to me, is recognizing that all human beings come from and contain a divine source energy.  While our appearances and circumstances often differ we are all divinely connected.  I experienced this in a very big way on day three of Foundations in Action.  At the end of an hours long asana practice, 300 sweaty bodies were all resting in savasana. Music began to play as we drifted off into bliss (or sleep).  Soon, Baron was instructing us to roll onto our right side and sit up.  We opened our eyes and sitting before us was Krishna Das.

Krishna Das performs live

I am familiar with one of Krisha Das’ songs, Baba Hanuman.  Even though I’m a KD novice, his music filled me with much emotion.  I take that back , his music awakened  emotion within me.  I looked around and saw that it was awakening emotion in most of the yogis in the ballroom at the Seaport Hotel.  Not a dry eye as far as I could see.  As much as I tried to fight the tears, they kept coming.  I wasn’t sad.  I wasn’t upset.  I was simply allowing myself to release.  I was giving up control and doing so in a safe environment. Among people who felt permission to do the same.

So what does this have to do with the Heart to Heart connection? A reaction like that which took place during KD’s performance does not happen superficially.  It happens when hearts are open and vulnerable.  When people realize they are ‘part’ of something. When one soul shares itself so purely that other souls allow their walls to come down and weep.

Often we don’t see ourselves as a whole until the world literally comes crashing down around us.  Right now, we’re seeing this in Japan and  in Lybia.  We saw it in Haiti last year and we saw it when the US was brought to it’s knees in 2001.  But what if it didn’t take tragedy to open our hearts to those around us?  What if it only took the loving words of one person to another – in a song, in a poem, in a story about their life – that allowed us to remove our walls and share our hearts?  What if we saw everyone around us as an extension of our own heart?  Recognizing that each heart beats as best as it can to keep the life it holds in an upright position.

This is just one of the miraculous events that occurred in the Seaport Hotel Ballroom last weekend.  When the words find their way to me to explain the rest I will do my best to share.  Until then I send you my love, whether I know you or not.

From my heart to yours…

300 Yogis Feeling The Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Journey Into Power

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I teach at The Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse.  The Funky Buddha is the first hot yoga studio in West Michigan.  We teach Baptiste Power Vinyasa at the Funky Buddha and while I have yet to formally train with Baron Baptiste I have been reading his books and articles, listening & practicing to his podcasts (and those of his master teachers) and watching his videos  since the day I was introduced to his work.  I am hooked on Baptiste Power Vinyasa yoga!

This hasn’t always been the case.

I’ve studied Anusara.  Ashtanga.  Kripalu.  You name it.  While these disciplines/styles of yoga have all contributed to my growth as a student, it wasn’t until I was introduced to Baptiste Power Vinyasa* that I felt I could firmly stand on my place in this world. Baptiste Vinyasa and the philosophy which comes with it are the permission I’ve  needed to simply be myself without apology.  As soon as I opened Baron’s first book, Journey Into Power, I couldn’t put it down.

I had seen this book on yoga bookshelves before and I always passed on it because I thought, “Dude, what are you trying to prove? Buff guy with a bandanna does not = yoga”.  I was SO wrong!  Baron is on the cover of his book, in all of his buff-ass glory to say ‘Hey world, this is me! I take care of myself.  My body reflects this fact.  I’m not apologizing for who I am and neither should you!’ (Alright, so I have no idea what he’s actually saying, but this is my interpretation). Regardless of what he’s saying or not, I found absolute comfort and unconditional acceptance of myself through the pages of his book.  I no longer felt guilty for eating animals and animal products (nope, I’m not a vegetarian) and I no longer felt inadequate in the yoga world for not having traveled to some far away place to receive my teacher training. Through Journey into Power I came to see these and many other life altering realizations.  Mainly: That I do not need to be fixed, That I am not the sum of my mistakes, but the limitlessness of my possibility,  And that it is never too late to begin again.

Baptiste Power Vinyasa has changed my life.  It has changed my body, my ways of thinking and reacting, and my view of the world.  I wholeheartedly believe it can and will do the same for you.    If the hundreds of students that come to our classes each week aren’t proof enough,  I don’t know what is.

I’ll be attending a three-day workshop with Baron in March.  I’m already getting itchy with excitement!

*story on how I found Baptiste Power Vinyasa coming soon 🙂