It seems disrespectful to write about anything else today. We’ll all go about our business, but it will be there. The knowledge. The memory. The grief that marks any big anniversary of loss. And this is a big one. So today, let's remember … The day that changed peoples lives for ever. The day where innocent people lost their lives but also a day where heroes were born. This day will always be a scar to remind us of our suffering but it is also a reminder of the power of the human spirit to overcome it. Of all of the stories told to mark the occasion, I think I’ve been most touched by the “Survivor Tree.” since it is true to my optimistic nature, I embrace this story of strength, hope and renewal. A lone Callery Pear tree became known as the "Survivor Tree" after enduring the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. In October 2001, the tree was discovered at Ground Zero severely damaged, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible distinction between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands and thrives as a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth. So before we begin our fun spirited practice this morning, let the words of fellow yogi, Deepak Chopra remind us to live each moment to it's fullest: “For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent and uncertain. Therefore we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity and laughter.”
My personal yoga practice has strengthened and supported me for the last 20 years. I feel that how we are on the mat, is a direct reflection of how we are off the mat. We have a choice in life: We can give up, give in, or we can give it our best.
I prefer a pretty vigorous vinyasa practice. Through the challenging series of vinyasas and sequences, I am literally forced to transform. In this "pressure cooker" I am forced to melt and bend into these postures. That is the beautiful part of the practice. At first the practice can seem deceiving- it can appear only physical but there isn't a way to support myself here without working internally. By using my dristi, and being constantly aware of my alignment and movement in the flow, I get carried away with the breath, and at that very moment the magic happens: my energy takes over. Once you tap into that rhythm, it becomes energetic. Then I can tap into this part of myself that is limitless. And that is personally what keeps me coming back to my mat each and every day. Namaste.
Gratitude is the best attitude.
I am so grateful for all the amazing yogis who came out opening night and opening weekend at The Zen Den's second yoga studio in Ocean City, NJ. It was beyond awesome! This is my 16th year teaching yoga and the best thing about it is seeing these amazing yogis show up over and over on their mats and give it their all. That is really all that matters. The showing up. And my loyal yogis in Margate, NJ, who have been practicing yoga with me for years, do just that. They show up and don't get caught up in how "well" they do on that mat, but just that they DO.
So thank you, you awesome yogis. Thank you for being present and continuing to bring it each and every practice. The ocean city yoga studio has been so much fun to get up and running and we are enjoying the new people we are meeting. It's a great retreat for those frequenting our Margate, NJ studio -- lots of great stuff to do & lots of awesome eats in Ocean City as well.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." -Oprah Winfrey
It is easy to find gratitude. And it we focus on all the things we are grateful for we can literally change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns. The positive emotions we evoke can soothe distress and broaden our thinking patterns so we develop a larger and more expansive view of our lives. Gratitude is an emotion of connectedness, which reminds us we are part of a larger universe with all living things.
Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of any spiritual practice. It opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain. Regular practice of gratitude. To begin bringing gratitude into your life, you can meditate on all the things in your life that give you pleasure. Gratitude can lead to feelings of love, appreciation, generosity, and compassion, which further open our hearts and help rewire our brains to fire in more positive ways.
So start to count all of your assets, cause you will always show a profit.