when the world comes crashing at your feet
it’s okay to let others
help pick up the pieces
if we’re present to take part in your happiness
when your circumstances are great
we are more than capable
of sharing your pain.
– rupi kaur –
Hello, fellow friends on the path,
Wow, we are a little over halfway through our month of yoga together! YIP YIP!!
Well done to those who are showing up to their mats every day!!! As we know, the hardest part is making it to the mat, so good job, friends!!
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we launched the first virtual challenge. I can believe it’s been a year since we went into lockdown. Vancouver is back on semi-lockdown with new restrictions. Who’s over this?? ME ME ME. You? You? I’m looking forward to when we get to look BACK on this.
This week’s theme is community – heh – as of now, it’s still virtual, but we can still be here for each other. I hope you’re reaching out to your peoples, getting outside, and doing things that feed your soul and keep your spirits up. Me, I’m trying. Cooking, taking care of my house, going for walks with Alejandro and Karmen, and enjoying the sun we are blessed with lately.
I love coming together as a community; Kula is my dharma, and it’s something I’m very much looking forward to when things eventually shift and reopen.
Community may be the very thread that holds the fabric of our lives together; it’s a space we may rely on with the support of like-minded people of similar interests. Coming back to the quote at the beginning of this email – it’s important to talk, express, and share how you’re feeling with your inner circle/support network – both the highs and lows.
Questions to marinate on:
- For those of you in the challenge: what has changed in either your body, mind, or life since we started the challenge?
- If you could describe how you feel right now in one word, what would it be?
- How are you feeding yourself today?
- Who is in your inner circle/support network? When was the last time you reached out and had a catch-up?
See the details for the upcoming LIVE classes:
Here’s the info on SATURDAY’S class:
The Origins of Love
This week’s myth comes to us from Greece. Clara first heard this myth in the play “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and loved it. It is Aristophane’s theory of the origin of love. Clara loved the perspective it gave on why so many of us don’t feel “whole.”
After the myth, we will work towards the inversion headstand, Sirsasana.
The class will work on opening shoulders, side waist, and hamstrings. We will strengthen our chests and core.
Props you’ll need 2 Blocks, 1 Blanket.
Here’s the info on WEDNESDAY’S class:
Join Clara and guest for a partner yoga class focused on the lunar/cooling part of the class.
You’ll learn how a few hands-on assists support your partner in exploring the stretch in their bodies.
A partner is not necessary for this class; you can still participate if you’re practicing solo.
We’ll be exploring 4 poses that include a twist, hip opener, and forward fold.
The class level will be open, but I will always offer modifications to make it accessible.
Props you’ll need: 1 Block.
There is no Spotify playlist for this class.
Three New Classes on PWC:
Modifications for Common Injuries & Sensitivities
MODIFICATIONS FOR SENSITIVE KNEES
In this short tutorial, learn the various modifications for knee sensitivity or knee injury in a vinyasa yoga practice. Our knees take a bit of a beating in our day-to-day, so be conscious of the flexion and internal/external rotation around the knee joint to preserve longevity. Happy knees = happy people!
WRIST MODIFICATIONS & STRETCHES
In this short tutorial, you’ll see how to modify for a wrist injury and sensitivity in a vinyasa yoga class, plus some great wrist stretches to warm up your hands and forearms for arm balancing practices!
LOW BACK MODIFICATIONS
Protecting and preserving the spine is one reason we practice yoga; this tutorial features the modifications for low back injury and sensitivity in common poses offered in a vinyasa yoga practice.
The Various Lenses to Perceive the World:
An examination of systems that classify behaviours and energies.
The way we view the world is subjective and assumed from our perception. Perception is the process of making sense of the various stimuli we encounter combined; interpretation is based on the meaning we assign to each event. How we form and apply meaning depends on our experience, cultural and socioeconomic context, upbringing, trauma, education, and inherited beliefs.
No two people share the same sequence of experiences. Even twins, who’re conceived simultaneously, have unique experiences of being in the womb and are brought into the world at different times. As a result of the vast and diverse events we experience, perception, interpretation, and meaning are distinct to the individual.
The way individuals assign meaning may seem confusing, eccentric, or upsetting to our own methodologies and may disrupt how we communicate and resolve conflict.
When two people, or groups of people, do not see eye-to-eye on a subject, it’s usually a result of two opposing viewpoints of the world coming into contact. Our belief systems are a significant contributor to how we see the world and are generally linked to politics, culture, social structures, and religion.
When our beliefs are challenged, we’re tasked with developing confidence and clarity in communicating the intentions behind our thoughts. Adversity may be a great teacher in showing us where our passion and principles align. Disputing the ideals and refuting the ideas of others may strengthen the bond we share with our tribe’s mythologies.
We may also use these experiences to practice radical acceptance for the alternate views and realities of others.
Ahimsa is the Indian principle of non-harming or nonviolence, and it also relates to the concept of radical love towards self and others. From Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, Ahimsa is one of the five Yamas, which governs how we integrate with others and act with integrity.
A practice of radical love towards self and others can be as simple as a practice of acceptance for how others live, act, think, feel, perceive, and assign meaning to the world and events.
Throughout the centuries, humankind has created numerous methods to classify human personalities and recognize the various energies present in the world. An example of such classification would be the generations. Millennials and Gen Z belong to different ages marked by distinct personality traits; such concepts are devised by humans and don’t exist outside of the rhetoric we provide.
Classification provides us with information to better understand ourselves and all the unique personalities we encounter. It’s a way to learn and appreciate all the qualities we perceive globally, especially the qualities we find upsetting or outrageous.
Here are a few of the methods used to determine a person’s personality and preferences:
A natal chart explains where the planets were in the sky when you were born based on your birth time, date, and location. Each planet symbolizes sets of characteristics that influence the individual depending on the planet’s position. Your natal chart is a more in-depth reading of your zodiac sign and goes into the planets’ features and their degree of impact.
Zodiac translates from Greek as ‘cycle’ or ‘little circle of animals’ and is divided into 12 signs that correspond to the sky’s constellations. The Earth’s rotation at the exact time of your birth determines your zodiac.
Carl Jung used archetypes to express the qualities of the human psyche. According to Jung, every action and impression in the psyche is influenced by our ancestors. Jung believed that human behavior is a direct result of the efforts of our primates. The Jungian archetypes are universal models that represent patterns and symbols of innate human knowledge.
Of the 12 archetypes, Jung focused on four: the Self, the Persona, the Shadow, and the Anima/Animus. Jung refused the idea that the human mind was programed solely by personal experience. Instead, he believed that every mind retains our ancestors’ unconscious aspects, primarily the primordial images that set the foundation for human existence.
Enneagram Personality Types
The Enneagram is a popular system of classifying personalities that share how people manage their emotions and interact with their environments. Nine personality types in the Enneagram illustrate how each of the types relates. Each type is attached to a core belief concerning how the world works, which drives the essential fears, motivations, and values of a person. Enneagrams show how different personality types react to stress and share distinct core beliefs and patterns upheld in society.
Myers-Briggs Personality Types
Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother Katherine created the Myers-Briggs test based on the basic preferences of dichotomies described by Carl Jung. The purpose of the test is to identify the four primary cases devised by Jung and categorize 16 unique personality types that result from the individual’s unique preferences.
The four dichotomies are:
- Favorite world: inner versus outer worlds, classified as extroverted or introverted.
- Decisions: based on logic or special decisions, classified as thinking or feeling.
- Structure: a preference for decisions or the desire to stay open, classified as judging or perceiving.
- Information: based on how you take in information, classified as sensing or intuition.
Ayurveda and the Doshas
Ayurveda is an ancient Vedic practice and one of India’s oldest medicines, originating more than 5,000 years ago. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means ‘The Science of Life’ and is the sister science to yoga. Also called the Mother of Healing, Ayurveda’s practice is rooted in preventing the prevention of illness through balance and reflection on each individual’s diet, thoughts, relationships, environment, and activities of each individual.
Ayurveda focuses on three energies that make up everything we see and every living being. In Sanskrit, these energies are called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each person has a unique blend of these three energies. The three energies are made up of the five great elements: air, ether, fire, water, and ether.
- Vata: air and ether, governed by movement, creativity, flexibility, vision, space, and sound. In harmony, Vata is inspired and inclusive. Out of balance, Vata is anxious, fearful, and flighty.
- Pitta: air and fire, governed by digestion, metabolism, direction, absorption, assimilation, and intelligence. In harmony, Pitta is a leader and advocate. Out of balance, Pitta is angry, resistant, and jealous.
- Kapha: earth and water, governed by structure, stability, patience, compassion, nurturance, and immunity. In harmony, Kapha is loving and vulnerable. Out of balance, Kapha is lethargic, withdrawn, and greedy.
Joseph Campbell’s Character Archetypes
Campbell’s eight character archetypes are from his prolific novel, The Hero with A Thousand Faces, and outline archetypal character stages in well-known mythology. For creatives, the roles serve to create memorable literary figures. Similar to Jungian archetypes, the characters represent popular motifs exemplified in society and may inspire readers to apply similar characteristics to their own lives.
Native American Totems
First Nations tribes use totems to represent a sacred symbol, tribe, or individual. Some tribes connect the individual with spirit guides who act as protection. ToteTotems serve as physical reminders of the totems that are alive in the spirit world that act as guardian spirits of the individual or clan.
Animals are often used as characters that present the qualities of the innate human process. Spirit animals are used to provide inspiration, counsel, and protection.
A birth totem is assigned to your birth chart based on the moon and where and when you were born, similar to the zodiac signs.
Similarly, the Hindu, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Aztec pantheons reflect energies present within the cosmos and the individual. The gods and goddesses are a way to perceive, receive, and channel the energies we wish to embody.
These systems provide a way to examine others’ unique behaviors, intentions, preferences, and interests; some may consider such classifications solely for entertainment purposes, as generalizations and stereotypes are prevalent.
Or, we can recognize these systems as a method to develop a deeper understanding of the multifaceted personas and tastes we encounter in the world and means to create more awareness, compassion, empathy, and acceptance for diversity.