It appears the word consciousness is being tossed around quite a bit these days and rightfully so, as the world has been and is changing right before our very eyes. But in what context am I using the word consciousness? There are many definitions of consciousness, so let’s start by boiling it down to one simple word: awareness.
As a culture we are become more and more aware of the origin of what is going on around us. We are noticing the motives of our corporations, we are noticing the origin of our food supply, and we are noticing each other in a new way. Motive is a great indicator of Consciousness or awareness as the intent of anything you do is the fuel you put into it. If your motives towards your fellows is clean so is the outcome of those relationships.
By: Helena Monica
When planning your post-holiday workout approach, stop and think twice about what you’re going to commit to. Let’s face it, whatever workout you do, it’s your commitment that is going to get you the results you are looking for. Any trainer will confirm that! But what do you really need for your body to be in balance, look good, and be pain-free? It is common for one to go to the places they feel comfortable with. We see the familiar faces, we do the familiar routine, we know what to wear, and basically know how our body will respond. But is that what your body really needs?
A healthy, fit body is a body in balance. It is body that has the form from strength and the movement of flexibility. It is a body that is challenged to be strong while simultaneously challenged to breathe freely. It is a body that stands straight and is pain free. It is a body that sleeps well and craves a balanced diet without too many restrictions. It naturally craves the right foods rather than being imprisoned by an overly strict diet to obtain a desired result. It is relaxed in and out of movement while carrying a form of structure that feels strong and stable.
By: Helena Monica
A great deal of people have the desire to be in shape and feel good at any age but as we get older that takes on a different meaning and has a new set of rules. When you look at fitness in your prime the one factor you have to consider is that you have some history behind you. That history is going to play a big role in what choices you make moving forward. Aside from the fact that once we hit our prime we are more spiritual than we are physical as a whole. In other words, we are not nearly as fixated with what we see in the mirror as with feeling strong, pain free and clear headed.
Before you can make choices moving forward you have to look back. Your body has been recording every bit of information you have given it since the day you were born. I like to call this cellular soup. All of what you eat, think and feel has become a part of you.
Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love the yoga competition, but I'm afraid the yoga competition is largely misunderstood, especially from folks outside the Bikram world. You might think, "How can there be a yoga competition? Don't the two words oppose each other?" The answer is, it depends.
Calling it a competition is necessary because if you called it a demonstration, no one would show up. This is bad for Box office.
In this country, we love competition. We love our baseball, football, golf, etc. If there is a score to provide a comparison and a hometown player to follow, we are in! So why do people get their feathers ruffled over a yoga competition? We have come to believe yoga should be non-competitive and that we should never compare ourselves to another person in the yoga room. Well, that is true, but in a yoga competition you are comparing yourself to yourself. Your getting a score for your demonstration of yoga.
I have been hesitating about writing what I am going through, well publicly that is, as motive is everything when putting stuff out there. A bad motive just stinks and a conscious person can smell the stench.
It is difficult to trust the process. I have to laugh as I have tried and failed so many times to explain to a new yoga student the process of purification. The process of purification is a good thing, but it seems like a bad thing, yet I am questioning that very process. My teacher has rolled her eyes at me so many times, "Helena, stop acting like there is a goal, an end point. It doesn't end. You cycle through and I hate to tell you this but you really haven't gotten that far." Spoken from someone who is in a place I can only dream of at this point.
She is right. I want it to end. I want there to be this point at which I am at the top of the proverbial mountain, victorious in my efforts (you can all picture that scene) rather than accepting the ebb and flow of the never-ending river of life. I want to trust what is bigger than me, bigger than this little drama we play out down here, bigger than my business or my bank account, but I don't. I do, but not with everything in my being. The only thing I have is practice. Yoga practice, not yoga perfect.
From the first week I stepped on my mat I wanted to open a yoga studio. I went home and told my whole family, “I’m going to open a yoga studio in Stockton!” My family probably rolled their eyes as this could very well have been just another tirade. I had no previous connection with the Stockton community and had only been practicing a very short time. To them it probably seemed off the wall, but when you are meant to do something you just know.
Yoga studio owners have the best intentions. We find this amazing modality that makes us feel pure and vivacious and we want to share it with the entire world. I did not go into owning a yoga school with dollar signs in mind. Not at all. I wanted to share my passion for yoga and I wanted everyone in my community to feel as amazing as I did and above all, to be free.
When I opened the Bikram Yoga Studio in Stockton I was like Tarzan beating my chest, yodeling the Bikram name. I was so happy and so proud to have my very own studio and to be teaching the Bikram Method to the Stockton community. Well, that yodeling worked! The success of my studio was over the top. I loved the Bikram brand and the Bikram way. It all made sense to me. My strict teaching style reflected my passion for Bikram as well. I was described as militant one too many times, but I was flying high, my studio was packed, and the miracle of the Bikram series was working wonders.
It wasn’t long after I opened the Stockton Studio that I met my second Yoga Teacher. In a very short period of time I began to work very closely with her. Whether my students knew it or not, they felt the effects of my work as her teachings came pouring out of me in class. I was being taught yoga: Inner creates the outer.