Ashley Bell, ERYT-200

Charleston, SC
July 31st, 2013 by Ashley Bell

you are not broken

I have the pleasure of teaching the Wednesday morning Yin Vinyasa class at Mission Yoga during Kelly’s maternity leave, and had several requests for quotes and playlist after class this morning.  Some context for the quotes: I almost always start a yin class with a quote to inspire a willingness to sit with process and the discomfort of change.  Today’s choice:

“We can’t be afraid of change.  You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.  Holding on to something that is good for you now may be the very reason you don’t have something better.”  – C. Joybell C.

I use the book Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers as a blueprint for many of the yin sequences I teach.  This book is a great resource, if you don’t have it you should check it out.  It’s super informative and very accessible.  Today we worked a sequence for the stomach/spleen meridians.  In her book Sarah explains in much greater detail how balanced spleen chi fosters a sense of “being at home in ourselves” as well as fostering “clear thinking, understanding and insight”.   Sarah also notes that on an anatomical and energetic level the stomach/spleen system helps us feel a “connection between ourselves and the outside world” , as food comes in and nutritional content is assimilated to nourish the body.  So the quotes below speak to these concepts and while commentary during class provided greater continuity, they still shine on their own.

“Despite illness of body or mind, in spite of blinding despair or habitual belief, who you are is whole.  Let nothing keep you separate from the truth.  The soul, illuminated from within, longs to be known for what it is.  Undying, untouched by fire or the storms of life, there is a place inside where stillness and abiding peace reside.  You can ride the breath to go there.  Despite doubt or hopeless turns of mind, you are not broken.  Spirit surrounds, embraces, fills you from the inside out.  Release everything that isn’t your true nature.  Whats left, the fullness, light and shadow, claim all that as your birthright.”  – Danna Faulds

“Until you make the unconscious conscious it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”  – Carl Jung

“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”  – Herman Hesse

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”  – Stephen Chbosky

Below you’ll find the closing reading, a poem from Hafiz as translated by Daniel Ladinsky, and the playlist, from pre-class tunes through savasana (I skipped a few today, yin portion runs Third Chakra through Come On, Come On):

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I’m most grateful for the courageous and inspiring crew in attendance this morning at Mission!  See you all soon….

July 12th, 2013 by Ashley Bell

wednesday/friday playlist

An amazing crew braved the rain for Lotus Inspired Flow at Mission this morning.  I had several requests for playlist info, so here it is.  While I love a silent practice from time to time, music moves me like nothing else.  Making playlists and getting lost in the depths of itunes long into the wee hours of the night is is a small part of what I do, but it’s big fun.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them.”   – Pete Townshend

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July 12th, 2013 by Ashley Bell

lay down and cover up

Recently I came across an Oscar Wilde quote that I really loved:

“If you want to be a doormat you have to lay yourself down first.”

Typically we associate “being a doormat” with allowing ourselves to be tread upon, giving the image negative connotations.  But the way Wilde worded his quote took me straight to the child’s pose that starts my practices.  The doormat is the place that opportunity lands when it knocks, where the new is ushered in and that which has passed makes its graceful exit.  More and more I am finding that if I lay down and surrender my ideas about how things should be, when I start to embrace the notion that everything is coming my way (thanks, Santana), then I can be the place “where love flows through” (infinite THANKS, Dana Flynn).  I continue to discover that when I let go resistance and allow things to BE then potential is limitless and growth is inevitable.  It’s like Joseph Campbell said, “When you follow your bliss the universe opens doors where there were only walls.”  So the way I see it, yoga mat = doormat, in the best way possible.

I love a good cover, here are a few I have in heavy rotation:

Such Great Heights (orig. Iron + Wine) by Joy Kills Sorrow
I Want You Back (orig. Jackson 5) by Lake Street Dive
Oh Sister (orig. Bob Dylan) by Andrew Bird
This Must Be the Place (orig. Talking Heads) by Meklit Hadero + Quinn Deveaux
Get Lucky – Banjo Instrumental (orig. by Daft Punk – more of a remix/remake?  Either way, I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so I love that banjo.  Go ahead and insert your Deliverance reference here, I don’t mind a bit.) by Daft Punk, Charles Butler +  Beats Antique