Looking Back on 2014
I am taking time to reflect today as this moment welcomes us to a new year (in our counting of calendar days). I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had to dive into and explore practice in 2014.
Yoga and meditation have nestled their way deeper into my life, my work, and my home. A deep bow of gratitude for all those who have shed light on my path this year. I am grateful for the moments of challenge when things felt tight and boxed in, and for the moments of ease when space and breath were free. Each gave such amazing perspective to the other and they helped me develop grace in the moment (sometimes more successfully than others).
The study of yoga and meditation brought me back to Santa Fe New Mexico in March and August where I practiced at Prajna Yoga Center with Tias & Surya Little. I am so blessed to have studied in their sangha with such a dedicated group of practitioners. The friends and connections I made during these visits have touched my life and I am happy to be a part of this community.
The practices and teachings of Prajna Yoga have humbled me again, and again. It amazes me to think that I met Tias & Surya ten years ago! As I reflect on how their teachings have evolved and how their school has grown, I can see how it has helped shape my practice, teaching, and life. I am eager to unfold their gifts in the coming years.
With the guidance of Christina Sell, my second year of participation in a local teacher's practice has been quite a gift. Christina's sequencing and cues have helped refine my practice in such interesting ways. I have been able to explore asanas I never thought possible, only to be reminded that things come and go! This dedicated group of Santa Cruz teachers has been such amazing support and inspiration to me. A deep bow of gratitude to them and Christina for creating this container for exploring and learning.
2014 brought new elements to my teaching as well. Workshops in the spring and fall at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym gave us a chance to dive into longer practice sessions (such a gift!). These sessions offered focused time to explore specific themes, and I am grateful for those who were able to participate in these sessions.
In early December I was honored to be a guest teacher for a weekend of the Divinitree teacher training. It was such a pleasure to meet this dedicated group of practitioners and see their growing understanding of the depths of this practice. I am reminded of my own early days as a teacher (hard to believe it was ten years ago!), and excited to guide others in this exciting chapter of their path. Thanks to Denise Lapides, Ann Averbach, and Hannah Muse for inviting me to be a part of this course.
My work at the Hidden Peak Teahouse also offered great learning and another place to practice taking my yoga off the mat. In this third year as the manager, I witnessed a building, growing, and changing community develop around tea and gung fu. In November, we launched the first stage (more to come soon) of an online store, and are eager to share this vision of tea far and wide. Thanks to David & Marilee Wright for building this container and having the vision for such a space. Thanks to the staff (who are like a family) for supporting this vision and offering it to others with each steeping and each sip of tea.
Last night, I was able to close the chapter of this year with a Candlelight Yoga Flow at Divinitree. This was the seventh year I was able to share an experience of light within darkness at the turning of the year. Celebrating with this flow of body, breath, and the stillness of mind is such a gift to me. Thanks to those who were able to make it -- it is an honor to share in your practice both on this special day and throughout the year.
Two hands together to all those who have entered my life this past year. A bow of reverence to those that have left. A wish for ease, grace, and love to those who continue to stand with me on this journey as I shed old habits, cultivate new, and grow and change in 2015.
saha nau bhunaktu
saha viryam karavavahai
tejasvina vadhita mastu
om shanti shanti shanti
Let us together be protected by god's blessings. May we work together with great energy and strength for the benefit of humanity. May our study be luminous, filled with joy, and endowed with the force of purpose. Let us never be poisoned with the seeds of hatred for anyone. Om. Let there be peace in me. Let there be peace in my environment. Let there be peace in the forces that act upon me.