To yoga or not to yoga

Most yoga addicts at some time or other will injure themselves.  I have experienced this often and most recently the within the last week, I felt something pinch in my back during a class. After discussion yesterday with a good friend (also a yoga addict), I wonder if we are in fact doing the right thing.  Athletes injure themselves and this is considered normal.  So why would it not be normal for yoga students to injure themselves.

What I did experience with my injury is that I healed exceptionally quickly.  From Saturday where I could literally not get out of bed to Tuesday where I could walk with ease.  My feeling is that the yoga works deeply on the whole body allowing the body the heal quickly.  If I had injured myself in the same way and I had not been a regular practitioner of yoga, I may not have healed as quickly.

For me, the yoga addict, the answer seems to be to continue my practice but to learn from the injury.  After an injury or even during an injury, we carry the body in a different way.  Awareness is bought to those areas of the body that we usually take no notice of.  So instead of bemoaning the fact that I have an injury, I used it to teach me about my body and about others who are far less flexible than I am.

Something that I do so effortlessly like the bridge was not possible 4 days ago.  It really gives me a deeper understanding of a student with an inflexible back or an injury.

Have a wonderful week

Namaste

Riva

 

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The will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not

I am sharing this with you with thanks to my very dear friend who sent this to me in an email

‘One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving along when suddenly a car turned out of a parking space right in front of us. The taxi driver slammed on breaks, skidded and missed the other car by inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. The taxi driver just smiled and waved at him.

I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!’ That was when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck’. He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally – just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so … ‘Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t.’

Life is ten percent what happens and ninety percent what you make of it!

‘The will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not’.’

 

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Yoga


Happiness, steadiness and firmness must be felt in the sacred postures.

II.46 Patanjali’s sutra’s

According to Patanjali,  ease or happiness is found in the postures through firmness, steadiness and endurance.

I was asked recently what is the difference between Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar yoga (the yoga that I practice).  My understanding is that the practitioner will be drawn to do the yoga that his or her body and or mind requires.  As long as you are practicing, that is what is important.

Take the time to get onto the mat whether it be in a class or at home on your own to practice the asana’s.  It is only through steadfast practice that we gain the full benefits of the asana’s such as improved health, clarity of mind, supple body amongst others.

My yoga addiction is Iyengar yoga.  I love the work on alignment, balance and harmony that it brings in the body.  This practice allows for deep anatomical work on the body which brings clarity to my mind and works my body in a very intense way.

Be In joy

Namaste

Riva

 

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Silence

 

We do not have to stop the world to be still within ourselves.  We do not need to bring wholehearted attention and a commitment to being present in order to discover stillness.  Throughout days we can remember to the touch of our feet on the ground, to listen fully to the person who is speaking to us, to feel our breath moving in our bodies, and to attend to what is right in front of us.  We can carry stillness with us into the business of our day.  We can always, no matter where we are, what we are doing, or whom we are with, remind ourselves of the happiness of just being and the joy of stillness.

 

Silence, Christina Feldman

 


Although yoga and meditation can help us to find our way to silence, it is in our everyday being that we can be in silence.  Just by connecting with our breath, noting our inhalations and exhalations bring us into this very moment.  Right here.  Right now. In whatever we may be doing.

Use this also in your yoga.  It is good to focus on the alignment.  Where the foot should be.  How the arms should work.  Then come back to your breath and just be in the asana.  Become  aware of the breath moving into you body and leaving your body.  Be aware of the pause at the top of the inhalation and at the end of the exahalation.

A friend going through a rough time reminded me, why postpone your happiness until the threat, the trauma is over.  Enjoy yourself in this moment. Why not?

Be in joy

Namaste

Riva

 

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Schedule of classes for March

Hi all,

I will be starting a new class, working from Judy Farah’s studio in Camps Bay, Cape Town.

Wednesday 6:00  pm – 7:30 pm

The first class will be the 9th March.

Please pass onto anyone that may be interested in joining this class.  I can be contacted on riva.hirschowitz@gmail.com

Namaste´

Riva

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Magnificent Existence

Magnificent Existence

God has made existence magnificent,
He has made it through nonexistence.
He has concealed the sea
And exposed the foam,
Concealed the wind and displayed the dust.
The whirling dust flies like a dancer,
The wind is invisible, known only by trust,
The foam moves all about you,
But without the sea no whirling takes place.
Thought is hidden, speech is manifest.
rumi

 

After a class on Friday on bringing ease to the yoga postures, I came across this poem by Rumi. When I learn a new asana, there is tension in the muscles, the mind is anxiously working trying to find the ease in the posture. Especially for beginners to yoga, this is the anxiety of trying to learn these new positions or asanas and finding no ease at all.

The body has to understand what the mind is asking of it before we can put the mind to rest and find the ease we are looking for.

Like the wind which is only displayed by the swirling dust, the sound of the trees swaying, allow the energy of the posture to come through you and  be the dancer. Trust that your body knows. Place the mind to rest.

The Guru lies within. Practice with inspiration, playfulness and enjoyment. May your practice be a unique expression of your own Divinity.

In love
In Yoga
Namaste

Riva

 

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