Over Father’s Day dinner my Grandmother turns to me in shock that I went to Chicago for yet ANOTHER yoga certification training – “what possibly do you still need to know?”

Yoga is a process and a journey, free of destination. We grow, and then our yoga grows. We change, then our yoga changes. We are continually refining the process, attracting just what we need in the moment. When you gather with individuals who are groovy and dig the vibes you dig, it just gets that much more amazing. Breath, blood, sweat, and tears!

2011 Chicago Yoga Center Manju Jois Ashtanga Teacher Intensive/Workshop & Training

The windy city was amazing last week. I grew in relationships with others as we sweat our way in self-discovery in very fast paced primary and secondary series. After or before training, I would sneak away to practice-Hot Yoga at a proximal studio, Om On the Range (a Baptiste inspired studio).

I had some huge kinks that were being stirred to the surface from our interludes in “Carefully hurting each other” in our hands on practice of the adjustments, to my salty sweaty practices at Om On the Range. Terry said it best – “You can take as much as you like, as long as you can breathe with it.” That statement was so profound, I had to leave the room to choke it back with some water.

In life, in our culture, everything is an all you can eat buffet – information, styles, methods, personalities, thoughts, food, etc. As Americans, we like to try everything, shop for the best deal, and quickly jump to conclusion when we are certain we know the facts because we learned it from a source that agreed with us. We expect others to give us a break, show us compassion for our shortcomings, but heedlessly point out our own flaws when they happen to manifest in lesser degrees in those who show us kindness – sort of like the dog that bites the hand that feeds it.

As I sat with this statement at the water cooler, a fellow light noticed my abrupt departure and wanted to be sure that I wasn’t having heat stroke, or a negative reaction as I was pink to the touch and my curls were a blazin’. This was an understatement.

I feel that when you are learning to get back to your authentic roots, speaking truthfully, from the heart, that in these moments the necessity to act as a warrior of the heart is mandatory. We want the art of vulnerability to accompany us into our experience as strength, not as an invitation for others to come at us and approach us as prey or something weak to be taken advantage of – hold to your boundaries that are in place because they lift your spirit and help your soul to soar!

I returned to my mat to methodically feel out what I had been breathing with for over 96 hours. I came to the conclusion there in that moment that what Jim always tells me is it is not what people say, but why they say it. In this moment of clarity, I compassionately felt for the unfortunates whom had fallen prey to beguile and falseness with misinformation and the twisting of words. I empathized with them, as it is sad when you let something small ruin an experience because ego gets in the way. Integrity is something that is the same behind closed doors or in front of an audience. In this moment, I felt better – as I know myself, my experiences that I elect to have by choice and do not let fear run or ruin my life. Each day of my week away, I found my journey attracting the powerful relationships and experiences that real foundations are built upon.

As for what I was breathing with, it was clothing itself in the cloaks of resistance. It did not care if I paid attention or went about my business. It was seeking though to take me from my path, my path of growth of self, growth of passion, growth for purpose, and the growth I was choosing by design. This is my little echo into the Universe to say – thank you for the challenge – we all need reminders why we have the good life and why we chose to see it that way.