Join Yoga in ME at Eliot Festival Days, 2017!

Eliot Festival Days of 2017

The last Saturday of September marks the traditional date of the Eliot Festival Days. Eliot Festival Days are the last hurrah of the summer season here in Eliot, ME. Although the name seems confusing, (why isn’t it Festival DAY?), this annual celebration is always a great time! We love being a part of this awesome, local community event. It looks like the weather will be beautiful so come on down and join us for a day of fun!

The day is jam-packed with lots of outdoor activities such as: a 5K, a kid’s run, a parade, local vendor displays, and even an “outhouse race” (yeah, we weren’t sure what that is either, find out more here). This year’s Eliot 5K Road Race will raise awareness and monetary donations for the “End 68 Hours of Hunger” campaign, a cause near and dear to our hearts. Registration information can be found on the event’s website. You can find the full schedule of events here.

Create Your Own Inspiration

This will be our fourth year at the festival, and Yoga In ME is doing our booth a little differently at this year’s Eliot Festival Days. We are hosting a hands-on activity to cultivate inspiration and community awareness. At our booth, participants will have the option to create their own kindness rocks. Small rocks and craft supplies will be provided by the Yoga In ME staff. Expressing your most creative Self is greatly encouraged. This event is open to the public and participation is not required but all are welcomed to stop by, meet the Yoga In ME staff and talk yoga! We are looking forward to seeing you there! Learn more about our booth here.

 

Getting Down with Your Dog – Practicing Yoga With Your Dog

Yoga with your dog, not for your dog!

DOGA, the term coined to performing yoga practices with your furry friend has become increasingly popular as niche markets in the yoga industry have greatly expanded—you can do yoga with just about anything these days! You can do yoga with beer, wine, goats, and even yoga with your dog!

Lately, there has been some anxiety and ambiguity when it comes to practicing with your dogs, most commonly being: “I can’t even get my dog to sit let alone Downward Dog!?” Or another big one: “OFF LEASH!?” The answer is simply, no we are not teaching your dogs how to do Yoga, but rather how to do Yoga with your dog.

The Intention of Yoga with Your Pup

Traditionally, any yoga practice or class begins with setting an Intention for that time, day, class, etc. Similar to a yoga practice, dog ownership is a commitment that also deserves Intentions; whether it be daily, monthly or yearly—every good thing in Life stems from a genuine Intention.

Now you may think, “well dogs can’t literally set an Intention.” Although they may not be able to verbally communicate this to you, their actions speak louder than their barks so to speak. Dogs by nature are excellent ‘vibe feelers,’ and for the most part their anxieties and reactions are developed from the vibrations the owners give off on a daily basis—whether you realize this or not, your dog absolutely senses what you are vibrating at any given time (positive or negative!).

By setting a positive Intention with your canine, your yoga practice has already set off to the right paw. Intentions for these furry practices can range from:

  • Letting go. Let go of all meticulous control of the animal and letting it just Be a dog
  • Acceptance. Accept where your relationship is now with your dog and openness to the direction it is going
  • Peace. Peace with who your dog is and peace with yourself as its caretaker

Intentions for practicing with your pets are endless, and perhaps starting out small like completing an entire class without correcting your dog’s natural behavior is just enough.

The Ups to the Downdogs

As an owner, practicing yoga with your dog may just be the best part about your day and there surely are more benefits to a playful practice:

  • You don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your fur friend at home
  • You can begin to build a more organic relationship with your pup; both stretching and rolling around on the floor, basically getting down to their level
  • You may even gain a new respect from your dog as your own energies and vibrations begin to stabilize, thus allowing you to be more present in your dog-parenting

From a Dogic point of view, this an exciting new activity they get to share with their most beloved human being, another excuse to play and love. So the next time you hesitate about practicing with your puppy or bringing them to a Doga class, check your ego, ask yourself where is the anxiety present, and how could an Intention alleviate that second-guessing so that both you, and your furry best friend, can receive the good vibrations of Yoga.

 

Paw-ma-ste,

 

Dannika & Ole Miss

Who Do You Want to Be When You’re Not a Judge?

Who Do You Want to Be When You’re Not a Judge?

From time to time we post an essays written by the students in our 200 Hour Teacher Training Program as part of their homework. This is one student’s essay.

I was recently listening to a podcast and this is the question that took root in my thoughts long after it had ended.  Funny, but I didn’t think of myself as judgmental.  I made observations.  I’d think, “She shouldn’t have done that.” Observation, right?   I’d think, “He’s squandering his money.”  Observation, right?  I’d think, “She’s so needy.  Well, she is!”  Observation, right? Then, why did the question attached itself to me unless I needed to make a shift in my thinking.  I genuinely did not want to be the judge!

So, I asked myself, “Who do I want to be?”  It’s a bit of a daunting question.  But three attributes came to mind without hesitation – I wanted to be kind; I wanted to be compassionate; and I wanted to be grateful.  So, where to begin?  The niyamas say, “pay attention…watch yourself…become self-aware.”  Svadhyaya (or self-study) creates the space that allows you to observe your own behavior and initiate appropriate changes. Isvara Pranidhana says it will provide what I need when I need it.  Armed with a team like this, how could I miss?

“Success is measured not by eliminating all random thoughts but by quickly noticing the random thoughts and returning to a quiet mind. “

I started by trying to monitor my thoughts – I was on the lookout for judgments.  When I recognized one, I acknowledged it and then reminded myself of who I wanted to be – kindness, compassion and gratitude.  This exercise paralleled my experiences with meditation.  A quiet mind is interrupted by random thoughts.  The meditator acknowledges the thought, thanks it for coming, and sends it on its way.  Success is measured not by eliminating all random thoughts but by quickly noticing the random thoughts and returning to a quiet mind.  Similarly, I acknowledged the judgment, appreciated that I recognized it and reminded myself that I was choosing kindness, compassion and gratitude.

How’s it going, you ask?  Am I ready to retire my flowing robes and gavel? Not yet.  I’d say I am a work in progress. The baby steps I have made were predicated upon a desire to find the balance between vigilantly being on the lookout for judgments (hard) and not beating myself up when they do occur (soft).  Over time I expect the judgments to diminish and kindness, compassion, and gratitude to expand because where the mind goes, prana goes!

 

Who do you want to be when you’re not a judge?

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Be The Change – Don’t Wait For It! “Everything Will Be Better When…”

“When XXX happens, everything will be better…” Have you ever found yourself saying those words? Are you waiting around for something to change? When it changes, it seems like everything will be perfect. One small shift and everything should fall into line, right? You will be perfectly happy!

It’s easy to fall into the pattern of thinking about what’s coming next and how much better things will be! But will they?

“Everything will be perfect when I lose 20lbs!”

“If I wasn’t so busy, I would go to yoga!”

“When we buy a bigger house, I will be happy”

Most recently, for me it has been “When the kids are back in school, I will be able to *insert pretty much anything*”. But am I really going to be able to do all of these things when the kids are in school? Or am I just going to be a different kind of busy? Something tells me it’s option B!

But change is sexy! It’s attractive and sometimes elusive. Change can be great, don’t get me wrong (see my recent post on Tapas for more information about transformation and yoga). But it’s important to avoid obsessing over it and idolizing it. Yes, sometimes it is important to remember that making changes is necessary and/or unavoidable.

But will all of your problems really go away if you buy that bigger house or lose 20lbs? Or will new problems replace them?

Let’s embrace change as we head into fall, but not let it distract us from reality and the present moment! Instead of thinking about how much easier my life is going to be when the kids start school, I am trying to remember that I will still be human! I am working on getting more organized and budgeting my time to account for all of the things that are important to me. This includes work, but also self care and my yoga practice. I want my time management issues to change, but I know that when the do, I will still have all of my other problems!

What are you going to change this fall?

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