Meditating on magic

Align and Shine Yoga
Saturday 10:30-12pm at Durham Yoga Company
Sign up now.

Staying focused on our foundational miraculous nature is actually very hard work in our modern culture of deconstruction. We are socialized to see what is wrong, missing, off, to tear down the ideas of others and uplift our own. To a certain degree, our entire future may depend on learning to listen… –Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown

resized ES.pattyI finally received my copy of Emergent Strategy (a birthday gift from my beloved) and I’m already underlining basically every word. I have been following adrienne maree brown‘s work for some time now, ever since I had the privilege of meeting her more than ten years ago at a week-long Direct Action training organized by the Ruckus Society.  She is a powerhouse of information and inspiration, of sacred strategy and irreverent insurgence. Her book is everything right now. Hop on over to a local bookstore and get yourself a copy.

Some of you might know adrienne’s work without realizing it.  For example, an excerpt of her writings went sort of viral last year in the midst of last summer’s uprisings which arose in response to another brutal wave of police murders of Black and Brown people. (Often it was shared without attribution…and it is still getting circulated so please do me a favor: if/when you see it shared without credit, please comment that it came from adrienne maree brown @adriennemareebrown. Folks need to be credited for their brilliance! And more folks need to know about adrienne’s work.)

amd.repost from Micah Bazant

Emergent Strategy has me meditating on so many things, and in many ways is an invitation to return home to some of the earliest teachings I received while on the path of yoga and transformation. Specifically, the opening passage I shared in this post has me thinking about the practice of looking for the good. It is a radical practice – in the context of disaster capitalism, white supremacy and patriarchy – to train ourselves to first see beauty, connection, and Light. It is a spiritual practice to choose first to see the ways that we are connected, brilliant, and always/already whole and complete.  While it might be a relatively basic or subtle shift, it is anything but simple.

Join me in class tomorrow while we exploring the deeply spiritual and transformative potential of learning to meditate on the magic…to look for the good…to focus first on possibility and potential.

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Class Schedule This Week

sub.friday12.1I’m subbing a class on FRIDAY May 19th from 12-1pm at Durham Yoga Company. This one hour class is the perfect potent combo – 40 mins Fast and Furious + 20 mins Sweet and Slow. Join me!

Tomorrow class is on as usual, 10:30-12pm also at Durham Yoga Company.

Heads up!

Next week I will teach Wednesday 5/24 as usual, 5:45 – 7:05 at Health Associates.
Saturday, 5/27, I will have a sub for Align and Shine.

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Standing in Your Light (Changes abound).

In my classes tomorrow
Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 InQlusive Yoga and 7:00 – 8:30 Yoga for Queers and Misfits.
Saturday 10:30 – 12.  Note I have a sub this week, I’ll be back next week.

Two chances for yoga with me this week: Wednesday at 5:30 and 7:00.
>> Reminder: I have one more sub this Saturday – I’m back in action next Saturday 5/6 <<


This is a time of transition for many. Scholastic calendars, seasonal shifts, birthdays, babies. So many things are in flux, so many things taking new shape.

So what’s new? The only constant is change. In yoga we call this Pulsation. The Divine Dance. Lila (pronounced LEE-luh). It is the magic of the Universe that is constantly presenting itself in new and different, ever-more magical and mysterious yet utterly accessible forms. Ironically, it is by flowing with Grace, dancing with the Divine, that you create steadiness. Opening yourself up to the creative power of Consciousness in each moment. Knowing and acting as if you are always being held. Standing in your light and blasting it out!

Looking to the outside world for steadiness and stability will only make you vulnerable to the inevitable shifts to come. The only true source of steadiness is within yourself. So you must learn to stand tall in your light, no matter what the circumstances; revel in the mysteries no matter how unforeseen. Squeeze all the juice out of life as fuel for the fires of your transformation.

It starts when you take your place on the mat, stand tall in your light, and open to grace. See you there.

Photo by @littlesoulafox Soula Pefkaros

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Spring Into Dynamic Balance

In my classes tomorrow
Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 InQlusive Yoga and 7:00 – 8:30 Yoga for Queers and Misfits.
Saturday 10:30 – 12.  Note I have a sub this week.

Two chances for yoga with me this week: Wednesday at 5:30 and 7:00.
>> Reminder: I’m away the next THREE Saturdays so Wednesdays are your only chances for yoga with me until May! <<

As always, I’m taking a cue from nature this week. Still slowing things down and working to make space, while also noticing that the internal work I’m doing is paying off because my inner fire is getting stoked and *I’m* getting stoked to begin again and start some new shit. Feeling ready to start going big or staying home, more and more. Nature is going big too this week, and bursting with lush possibility. Can you see it? Do you feel it?

Chani Nicholas reminds us what’s happening cosmically to shape the energies of the day, and brings it all home with her own version of the ever-present teaching around dynamic balance aka the nature of the Universe, “Balance is a constant state of recalibration.” Indeed!

This week we’re going to move some stuff, yogis. We’re going to Spring into Health / Action / Vitality / Creativity. We’re going to play with balance in all its multitude of forms, and remind ourselves of the constant course-and-fine adjustments that staying on our path requires. Ooh I can’t wait.

See you on the mat.

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Slow Down. Breathe. Savor. Repeat.

In my classes this week
Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 and 7:00 – 8:30.
Saturday 10:30 – 12.  Make life easier and sign up here.

I normally feel ambivalent about memes like this. I have felt that posts such as these are shameless ploys for “likes” or followers. At times I feel that they don’t add anything meaningful to the already-sometimes-questionable value of online engagement. At least for me.

But this post sums up what I am focusing on right now. It is really this simple.

This week I have begun a seasonal rejuve. Others might call it a cleanse or a detox. For me, it is very decidedly an opportunity to press the reset button. And without boring you with the (sometimes gory) details, my reset is focused on slowing way down. Slowing down and simplifying enough to actually perceive what is happening inside me. It is a sensitization process. While I simplify what I consume by way of food as well as stimulus, I sharpen my senses and hone my intuition. It is not something that I can really describe. It is definitely experiential.

This week’s classes will be focused on slowing everything down enough to really sense and perceive the rich depth of the process that is always unfolding, beneath the layers of crud and accumulated gunk and misperceptions. There is actually quite a lot happening on more subtle levels, in more nuanced ways. Sometimes we have to slow things way down to sense and savor it all.

Join me.

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On Waking Up

In my classes this week
Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 and 7:00 – 8:30.
Saturday 10:30-12.  Make life easier and sign up here.

Waking up is our birthright. When we wake up, everything flows. Rev angel Kyodo williams

Receive a deep breath.  Notice the sensations in your body.  Wherever there is sensation, there is life force.  Where there is sensation, there is energy.

Often times, the experience of waking up / enlightenment / Samadhi is talked about in very abstract and esoteric terms.  A state of bliss so sublime as to be both indescribable and unattainable.

In fact, waking up can be as simple as this: noticing the sensations in your body.  Noticing that you are noticing.  Breathing with intention.  Becoming more fully aware of how breath flows through your body and how thoughts flow through your mind and how energies flow through your life.

Waking up is tuning in, not tuning out. Checking in instead of checking out.

There may be fear that arises with this notion of tuning in.  Because in fact, being fully present, tuning in, waking up can open us to a world of pain, previously unattended to pain, long buried pain, or pain we didn’t even know we carried, pain that isn’t even ours but is that of our ancestors, our elders, our kin.  For many good and understandable reasons, many of us choose not to wake up.

But in choosing not to wake up – whether consciously or unconsciously – we cut ourselves off not only from the pain but also from the power.  The fear of waking up, the aversion to connecting fully with the breadth of our emotional, physical, mental and spiritual range of motion / bandwidth, this fear also stops us from fully accessing the very thing that will help us ride the waves of whatever arises.  Call it Spirit, Grace, Greater Energy, Shakti, God, Goddess…whatever name you give it (if any at all), this force is nothing less than Unlimited Creative Potential, Complete Freedom, and Infinite Steadiness.

It is exactly what we need to navigate the terrain of our lives, relationships, and struggles.  And it always available to us, as close as this breath.

Receive a deep breath. Notice the sensations in your body.  Look for where this energy is revealing itself to you. Wake up to it. This is your birthright. When you wake up to it, everything flows.

See you on the mat.

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The Pain of Rebirth and Renewal

In my classes this week
Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:45 and 7:00 – 8:30.
Saturday 10:30-12.  Make life easier and sign up here.

What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? Valerie Kaur

I finally watched the video that has been circulating for the past few months. I don’t think I was ready before today, perhaps. But today I needed it.

Among the many horrific things on today’s chopping block is the Affordable Care Act. Limited and scandalous as it is, the ACA provided access to healthcare for me and many people I know and millions I don’t. Now, the money-hungry anti-humans (who’ve been dreaming of defunding Medicaid since their days corralling around the keg) are about to pull the trigger (a term I am using with great intentionality) on a “new plan”…and deal a death blow not only to Medicaid and health care coverage for millions of people, but also to the jobs and ultimately to the lives of millions.

[It is not too late. They vote tomorrow. If you have a few minutes to spare, please call your representatives and ask them to vote against the American Health Care Act. Find their info at . Remember, emails and petitions do not bear as much weight as calls and visits.]

Today, I needed Valerie Kaur’s message of possibility and hope. With tears streaming down my face, I watched the powerful speech she delivered this past New Year’s Eve, in which she evoked her ancestors and the ancestors of those who’ve survived occupation and internment, enslavement and exploitation.

She called us forth into the magical space of dreaming, of awakening to the possibility that this is not a requiem but a rebirth, that the sounds we hear are not the laments of a dirge but the lilts of delivery. Not lacrymosa, not tears of sorrow and grief…but labor, tears of joy and growth.

What is this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? -Valerie Kaur

This week in my individual practice and in my public yoga classes, I am reflecting on what I personally need to let go of in order to make space for that type of hope and possibility. The Spring Equinox is naturally a time for this type of shedding and rebirth. I am feeling that need in a new, paradigm-shifting kind of way.

So tonight and on Saturday, the practice will center on the energies of rebirth and renewal, which necessarily includes the pain of grief, mourning, shedding, and release.

In the Hindu pantheon, Kali is the goddess of both Destruction and Creation…a recognition that these two processes are inextricably linked on the individual, social, and cosmic levels.  No new energy is ever created in the Cosmos…it is simply recycled.  We cannot build something new unless we are willing to liberate all the energy that is bound up in the old and out-dated.

What can we destroy, what can we let dissolve and diminish, in order to usher in a New Creation Story?




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