Tag Archives: yoga therapy austin

Awareness is good. Tools to do something about it is life changing.

Sylvia Colle, 1954 oil-on-canvas.  Balthus (French 1908-2001), collection of the St. Louis Art Museum

Balthus (French 1908-2001). “Sylvia Colle”, 1954 oil-on-canvas. , collection of the St. Louis Art Museum 

Differentiation: The ability to be in emotional contact with others yet still autonomous in one’s emotional functioning.*

I wish that when I was a kid—a ‘sensitive, moody, emotional’ kid, someone had talked to me about this idea of differentiation. I think it would have been so helpful to know that some people can be especially affected by the moods and energy of other people and that sensitive people can learn healthy ways to hold onto themselves during those interactions.

Having the language to describe something like this along with the awareness of what happens is usfeul. Having practices that help to establish one’s emotional autonomy is life changing. It’s empowering. Practice is where we develop tools to use in all sorts of challenging moments that help regognize when we are getting pulled in a difficult direction and can do something about it. Regular practice can also influence and change what we believe to be our relationship to ourself and to others. We can go from distrust or fear in these relationships to something more secure and even joyful. This pursuit has been central to the work I’ve been doing through yoga.

When I began, I participated in group yoga classes. These experiences laid the groundwork for this work. The biggest change came with individualized practice and a relationship with my yoga mentor. Regular individual practice, with the guide of a yoga teacher, provides the method and the support for personal growth. The practices and philosophy of yoga can take us a very long way toward becoming the kind of person each of us wants to be.

If you’d like to know more, contact me. I offer a 20-min call to anyone who has questions about individual vs. group yoga or wonders if it’s the right time to begin a guided personal practice.

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*I came across this definition in the book, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Mate. It’s an excellent book, though it’s not an easy one. There are stories of people who have suffered terrible tragedy and trauma and whose addictions have cost them greatly. Reading this has also provided plenty of opportunities to look at my own addictive behaviors (not easy either). Mate paints a very thorough picture of the different biological and psychosocial aspects of addiction and gives us hope for those who want to recover and heal. The book has stirred a lot in me. I highly recommend it.

 

sensitive and cranky… Is it existential angst or just the holidays?

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I’ve been crying at everything lately. It’s not because I’m terribly sad, but it isn’t always joyful either. And it’s a little exhausting.

I guess I’m sharing this because most of the time, the things I write about are generally upbeat and positive. Or something happens in my life, related to yoga, and even if it was troubling or difficult at the time, I learn from it and it leaves me feeling hopeful and it’s easy to share. But I’m in a place that doesn’t feel easy. I’m sensitive and uncertain, I’m rebelling against the things that are good for me, and I feel like I’m waiting to know what to do next.

Practicing yoga makes my life better. No doubt. But it doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be times like these – times where the predominant experience is something other than unending bliss. Even in the cry-fest that’s going on right now, I’m comforted by the teachings. There’s a way that yoga helps with these times, too. Or maybe it’s better said that this can also be yoga. I can notice and reflect on what’s happening. (svādhyāya). I can make efforts to care for myself in a way that supports balance and attention (tapas). I can trust, that along with the bliss and the joy, this is a worthwhile and important part of my experience. This isn’t permanent. And the result of this experience is more than I can imagine. (Īśvara pranidhāna).

 

I love you all.

This is what real success feels like…

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Here I am doing the very important work of being a warm pillow for a sick kid. The best job ever? Maybe so.

Our household was hit with the double whammy last week. Nora had a stomach flu on Thursday and then Hazel came down with Strep throat on Saturday. I think I did as much laundry, sanitizing, and hand washing in one week as I have all year.

Dave was traveling so with the help of my parents, I was able to make all of my teaching commitments. The rest of my time, I made soup, snuggled, and delivered cool wet washcloths to hot little heads. I did manage to lure the girls outside on their respective sick days by making a comfy pallet in the grass so they could get some sun. I took this opportunity to do a little gardening project in what might have been the nicest weather all year.

Even though I was sorry that the girls were sick, I noticed something about myself this week. I was so clear about what I needed to do. I didn’t have any problem postponing my social commitments and setting aside the things on my to do list. Those decisions seemed to make themselves. I showed up for my clients and took care of the girls.  I so appreciated the real privilege of being a special person in Hazel’s and Nora’s lives – someone that can offer a little comfort when they feel crummy. I had the peaceful and satisfying experience of following my dharma.

But then…

The girls started to feel better and Dave got back from his trip. My role and my work shifted. Dave took over the cleaning and cooking and as I re-entered the world of email and appointments and phone calls left unanswered, I kind of freaked out. Sitting at my desk, I had a moment of exasperation and overwhelm and I started talking to myself outloud (never a good sign) exclaiming, “Ugh! I didn’t get anything done this week.”

What?! How can I gush about how truly satisfied, blessed, and grateful I am for the chance to care for my children and work with yoga clients then, mere hours later, return to the work of maintaining my very satisfying yoga teaching career, and feel like my week at home was wasted? How is it that when in this other framework of emails and appointments what I actually did for my the people in my life and how I felt about it doesn’t even count?

Big question, but here’s my take-away…

I would like to be as satisfied with all the work I do as I am taking care of my girls. I would like my actions and my time spent to be coming from this place of dharma, because I can see that it’s a qualitatively different way of being. I need to rethink how I’m approaching the “work” aspect of my life. I’m going to have to listen and follow from a different place – some place other than, if I stay busy and spend lots of my time emailing then I’ll be doing the work that will generate business and help me to be successfulReal success is that feeling I had with my girls. Just the thought of spending most of my life in that place, the place of dharma, gives me chills. That’s the kind of success I want…the kind in which my role is clear, important, and satisfying. Decisions come easily because priorities are in place. And the measure of a good week has everything to do with the people I served and nothing to do with the number of emails I responded to.

Maybe you have thoughts about this or you’ve found ways that help you stay connected.  I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

 

amanda green yoga

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amanda