On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Your aversion to some people may actually be your response to fear that specific qualities you see in them also exist within you.

 

As much as most of us wish we could exist in harmony with the people we encounter throughout our lives, there will always be individuals we dislike. Some simply rub us the wrong way while others strike us as deliberately unaware. We may judge others as too mean or abrasive for us to interact with them comfortably. Yet no person should be deemed a villain because their beliefs, opinions, mannerisms, and mode of being are not compatible with your own. You need not embrace the rough traits they have chosen to embody. There may be times in which the best course of action involves distancing yourself from someone you dislike. But circumstances may require that you spend time in the company of individuals who awaken your aversion. In such cases, you can ease your discomfort by showing your foe loving compassion while examining your feelings carefully.

 

The reasons we dislike some individuals are often complex and, at first, indecipherable. Often, we are automatically averse to people who are different because they compel us to question our values, spirituality, culture, and ideologies, threatening to undermine our self-assurance. Realistically, however, those you dislike have no power to weaken your life’s foundations. In fact, your aversion to specific individuals may actually be your response to your fear that specific qualities you see in them also exist within you. Their presence may force you to face internal issues you would rather not confront. If you meet someone who inspired an intense, largely negative response in you, ask yourself why your reaction is so laden with powerful emotions. Remember that you control your feelings and, if necessary, you can minimize this individual’s impact on your well-being by choosing how you will respond to them.

 

Though you may not have an immediate breakthrough, your willingness to consider your dislike rationally can help you better understand the root of your feelings. Your aversion to certain individuals may not wane over time, yet the comprehension you gain through reflection can help you interact with them sympathetically, benevolently, and with a greater degree of kindness. There is nothing wrong with recognizing that you are incompatible with some people. You may never achieve a shared harmony with those you dislike, but you can nonetheless learn to modulate your reactions to these individuals and, ultimately, to coexist peacefully with them.

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What Makes People Tick?

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Many people are very different from ourselves and coming to a place of acceptance can make the road easier.

 

All people have their own way of being in the world. It is easiest to comprehend this basic yet profound fact when we consider that every human being on the planet occupies a distinct role in the universe. We grow up in different environments, affected by a unique range of influences. The preferences, values, and beliefs we embrace are frequently related intimately to our origins. And the need to individualize our experiences is instinctive, as doing so enables us to cope when we must face challenges on our own. Consequently, each of us has developed a perspective that is uniquely ours. Interacting peacefully and constructively with people from all walks of life is a matter of first understanding where they are coming from. Then we can adjust our expectations so that we avoid making undue assumptions about what they are about.

 

In the face of emerging interpersonal conflict, it is easy to assume that others are being difficult, unreasonable, or stubborn. We are apt to grow frustrated when someone in our environment does not share our opinions or feel compelled to support us in our endeavors. It is likely that the individual or individuals before us may simply possess differing notions with regard to what is and what is not important in this life. We can ease the tension that exists between us by reaffirming our belief in the fundamental right of all beings to determine their own destinies. To foster a harmonious relationship, we need to do our best to relate to the unique universes they inhabit. And as we discover what makes them tick, our ability to find a mode of interaction that is pleasing to both of us is enhanced.

 

When there are barriers keeping you from connecting with someone else, think of questions you can ask them to gain a more thorough understanding of their point of view. You may discover that in addition to the differences in perspective dividing you, they are subject to insecurities and other personal issues that influence their way of seeing the world. It is likely that you will never fully grasp the myriad complexities embodied by humanity, but you can go a long way toward encouraging mutually satisfying relations by reaching out to others in the spirit of sympathetic comprehension.

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Giving Excuses by Madisyn Taylor

 
When we offer nothing but excuses in our lives, we are not being honest with anybody, mostly ourselves.

 

Excuses may seem like rational reasons for us not to do something, but if we’re not careful we can allow them to keep us from reaching our goals. Too often we accept our excuses as reasons why we cannot accomplish what we set out to do, and instead of finding alternatives we give up. But if we can be honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our choices, we will begin to notice that we no longer give excuses. When we keep our minds focused on our goals, we will find that excuses fade away in the light of our priorities, and issues become challenges that can help us become wiser and stronger.

 

Sometimes we may give others excuses rather than be fully honest. We may think it is kind to tell someone we are willing to do something with them, whether work or play, but then keep putting them off. This diverts our energy into keeping the truth at a distance while continuing a falsehood. But when we can take responsibility for our feelings and express them honestly, but gently, the other person is free to find someone who is better suited to accompany them while we are free to pursue the things we like. When we can do this, our energy can be invested in building better lives and relationships.

 

There’s another way in which excuses rob us of energy–and that is in the power of our thoughts and words. If we find ourselves in a situation, for example, where we are being asked for a financial contribution but we use the excuse that we can’t afford it, we create and attract lack and limitation into our lives. The same goes for seemingly simple things like pretending to not feel well or any other false statement. We may think that excuses make things easier, but they complicate matters with smokescreens. When we can commit to our priorities, take responsibility for our choices, and communicate them honestly to others, there will be no need to make excuses, and we will have much more energy to dedicate to all the things we love.

 

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By Madisyn Taylor

 

Conflict should always be met with open ears and an open heart.

 

Conflict is an unavoidable part of our lives because our beliefs and modes of being often contrast powerfully with those of our loved ones, acquaintances, and associates. Yet for all the grief disagreements can cause, we can learn much from them. The manner in which we handle ourselves when confronted with anger or argument demonstrates our overall level of patience and the quality of our energetic states. To resolve conflict, no matter how exasperating the disagreement at hand, we should approach our adversary with an open heart laden with compassion. Judgments and blame must be cast aside and replaced with mutual respect. Conflict is frequently motivated by unspoken needs that are masked by confrontational attitudes or aggressive behavior. When we come at conflict with love and acceptance in our hearts, we empower ourselves to discover a means to attaining collective resolution.

 

The key to finding the wisdom concealed in conflict is to ask yourself why you clash with a particular person or situation. Your inner self or the universe may be trying to point you to a specific life lesson, so try to keep your ears and eyes open. Once you have explored the internal and external roots of your disagreement, make a conscious effort to release any anger or resentment you feel. As you do so, the energy between you and your adversary with change perceptibly, even if they are still operating from a more limited energy state. Consider that each of you likely has compelling reasons for thinking and feeling as you do, and accept that you have no power to change your adversary’s mind. This can help you approach your disagreement rationally, with a steady voice and a willingness to compromise.

 

If you listen thoughtfully and with an empathetic ear during conflict, you can transform clashes into opportunities to compromise. Examine your thoughts and feelings carefully. You may discover stubbornness within yourself that is causing resistance or that you are unwittingly feeding yourself negative messages about your adversary. As your part in disagreements becomes gradually more clear, each new conflict becomes another chance to further hone your empathy, compassion, and tolerance.

 

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I don’t know if any of you get the Daily OM delivered to your inbox each day, but lately the topics have really been resonating with me so I thought I’d share them here on my blog. Hopefully they give you some insights, inspiration and perhaps a little validation too!

 

Accepting Compliments by Madisyn Taylor

When we willingly accept compliments, we are reminded that others see us through different eyes.

 

Many of us find it difficult to accept compliments but easy to believe the slightest criticism. Today, right now, let’s make a choice to fully accept compliments as we would a gift. Sincere compliments are gifts of praise. They are kudos given for wise choices or accomplishments or perhaps for just letting your light shine. There is no reason not to accept the gift of a kind word, but some of us argue against them, even giving reasons why they aren’t true.

 

If we visualize the energy of a compliment, we would see beautiful, shining, positive energy being sent from the giver. That energy, if accepted graciously, would brighten our personal energy field. Our gratitude then returns to the giver as warm, fuzzy, glowing energy, completing an even circuit of good feelings. But if we reject a compliment, what could have been a beautiful exchange becomes awkward and uncomfortable, making it a negative experience instead. Misplaced modesty can ruin the joy of sharing this connection with another person. But we can accept a compliment and still be modest by simply saying “thank you.” However, if compliments are rejected due to a lack of self-esteem, then the first step would be to start believing good things about yourself. Try giving yourself compliments in the mirror. Beyond the initial feelings of silliness, you will notice how good it feels and can watch the smile it puts on your face. The next step would be to see how it feels to give compliments to others. Notice how great you feel when you’ve made another person’s face brighten and how differently you feel when the gift you’ve offered is rejected. Having experienced all sides, you will be ready to play along fully and willingly.

 

We are our harshest critics. When we accept compliments, we are reminded that others see us through different eyes. All living beings crave positive attention, and we all deserve to have positive energy shared with us. Perhaps if we happily and gratefully accept compliments, we will give others permission to do so as well.

 

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Yoga can help us transform many aspects of our life, including our diet. It helps us cultivate mindfulness so that we look at what we eat in a new light, and notice how different foods affect our energy & health. Yoga also nurtures a greater awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of our food choices.

 

Whether you’re curious about eating a healthier diet but lack the resources & support, or you have already been making healthy changes and want to go even further, this Immersion is for you. Through fun field trips, a potluck & movie night, reading and group discussion, learn how eating healthier really can be easy, delicious and so much better for you, your family & our planet!

 

 

VEGAN POTLUCK & MOVIE NIGHT ~ SAT, MARCH 18, 6-9PM

GROUP BOOK DISCUSSION ~ SAT, MARCH 25, 10:15AM-12:45PM

VEGAN RESTAURANT & FARMERS MARKET ~ SAT, APRIL 22, 11:30AM-1:30PM

FIELD TRIP TO LOCAL FARM ~ SAT, APRIL 29, PM TIME TBD

 

 

You will come away from this Immersion with greater insights about where your food comes from and lots of valuable resources to help you eat a healthier, more vegetarian/vegan diet.

 

 

$150 early reg by 3/5; $160 after

Click HERE for more details & to register.

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chakras

 

 

In this 2-part Immersion we will spend time examining which of our chakras is out of balance—as a result of physical or emotional issues that may require our attention. We will then work individually with each chakra to find balance and healing through:

 

*YOGA ASANA

*MANTRAS

*MEDITATION

*CONTEMPLATION

*JOURNALING

 

 You will come away from this workshop with a more relaxed mind & body, greater self-awareness and some tools for self-care.

 

Saturdays, January 21 & February 11

10:15am-12:45pm

$105 early reg by 1/7; $115 after

Click HERE to register!

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Halfway through week two of our ‘Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga’ session our second law, the Law of Giving & Receiving, took on a whole new meaning. In the wake of a very divisive presidential election, many of us came into the yoga studio feeling shocked, saddened, scared, frustrated, betrayed and confused. At times like this it is so important to draw upon our yoga and meditation practice for inner peace and clarity.

 

The Law of Giving & Receiving reminds us that we are all part of the same life force energy, that we all breathe the same air, that we are all interconnected. We must remember this at all times, not just when it is easy or convenient. We must not stop the circulation of love, kindness, acceptance and compassion. 

 

With that in mind, I wanted to let you all know that one of my long-time Yoga Room students, Sandy Momper, an associate professor of Social Work at U of M, is headed to Standing Rock this Wednesday to join the peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline that is slated to traverse through sacred Sioux land. I asked her if there was anything I or other Yoga Room students could do to help. She sent me a list of needed supplies (below), but said probably the best way to contribute would be through monetary donations, and she would be happy to take any checks made out to Sacred Stone Camp with her. Please remember that part of the reason people are protesting this Pipeline is because it will have a negative impact on the Sioux’s water supply. The election of Trump, who just tapped a climate-change skeptic to oversee the EPA transition, should have us in the Great Lakes state concerned about our beloved lakes and our water supply as well. It is time to take action! If you are so called, please give to this good cause–by either bringing in a check to the yoga studio that I can give to Sandy, or contributing on your own–and keep circulating the love!

 

NEEDED SUPPLIES (For more info, check our FAQ)

Supplies, cash, or check donations can be sent to:

Sacred Stone Camp P.O. Box 1011, Fort Yates, ND 58538

or

202 Main Street Fort Yates, ND 58538 We also have an Amazon Wish List.

>>At this time we have a surplus of clothes and are only seeking very warm, good condition coats, sweaters, and other winter wear.

>>>Please be aware that we only have limited solar and wind power at the camps.

TOP NEEDS

* FIREWOOD (PREFERABLY OAK, MAPLE, ASH)

* TIPIS/TIPI POLES/TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER

* PICK-UP TRUCK W/ 4 WHEEL DRIVE

* TRAILERS/CAMPERS (FOR WINTER SHELTERS)

* SNOW TIRES – VARIOUS SIZES

* GIFT CARDS FOR LOWES OR MENARDS (THERE IS NO HOME DEPOT NEARBY)

* WALL TENTS WITH WOODSTOVES AND POLES

* SLEEPING BAGS FOR SUBZERO TEMPERATURES (INC. MILITARY STYLE)

FULL SUPPLY LIST

* BANNERS, SHEETS (WE LOVE IT WHEN YOU MAKE BANNERS AND SEND THEM TO US!)

* BATTERY PACKS FOR CHARGING PHONES

* CANVAS – HEAVY DUTY ONLY PLEASE

* CAR PORTS

* CARTS AND WHEELBARROWS FOR HAULING WOOD

* CIGARETTES-MARLBORO REDS AND CAMELS

* COME ALONGS

* FIREWOOD (PREFERABLY OAK, MAPLE, ASH) <<< THIS IS ONE OF OUR BIGGEST WINTER NEEDS

* FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

* PROPANE

* FUR BLANKETS

* TESORO GAS CARDS

* GAS GENERATORS

* GIFT CARDS – LOWES/MENARDS, AMAZON, VERIZON

* INSULATED CARHARTT TYPE COVERALLS, OVERALLS, COATS

* LIGHTERS

* MATERIAL FOR TOBACCO TIES (ALL COLORS)

* MONEY

* PAINT (INC. SPRAY PAINT)

* PICK UP TRUCK

* POWER INVERTER

* PROPANE HEATERS (SMALL)

* ROPES, TIE DOWNS

* SHIPPING CONTAINER 20 FT

* SLEEPING BAGS (FOR 0 DEGREES F AND LOWER – PLEASE NO WARM WEATHER BAGS AT THIS TIME)

* SNOWMOBILES

* SNOW TIRES (INQUIRE FOR SIZES)

* SOLAR CHARGERS FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES

* SOLAR PANELS, INVERTER

* STORAGE BINS – HEAVY DUTY – ALL SIZES

* TARPS – HEAVY DUTY ONLY

* TIRE CHAINS

* TENTS (THAT CAN STAND UP TO HIGH WINDS, SNOW, SUBZERO TEMPS)

* THERMAL BED ROLLS

* TIPIS AND TIPI POLES

* TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER

* TOW STRAPS

* WALKIE TALKIES WITH LONG RANGE, CB RADIOS

* WATER BUFFALO (TANK)

* WATER TANK WITH HEATER

* WINTER COATS (FOR VERY COLD TEMPS, GOOD CONDITION ONLY PLEASE)

* WINTER SALT FOR ROADS

* WOOD STOVES (MOSTLY SMALL ONES FOR TIPIS)

* YOUNG WARRIORS!!

 

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In week two of our seven week November-December class session, we put the Law of Giving and Receiving into practice on our yoga mats. The Law of Giving and Receiving states that the universe operates through a dynamic exchange, and we must be open to giving and receiving in order to keep the life force circulating within us.

 

We are giving of ourselves so much throughout our life that is important to remember to give to our self, to fill ourselves back up so to speak. One nice way to do this is through our yoga practice. On our mat we can be aware of our breath and our body and just be grateful that we have the opportunity to experience life in this human form. We can listen to and honor our body, and really give it what it needs that day. And we can take time to reflect on all the benefits we receive from our practice–physical, mental and emotional. 

 

After class this morning, one of my students was telling me that in some cultures that are more community-focused than our society, it is seen as selfish to not be open to receiving help or gifts from others because this is a form of taking care of yourself, and if you can’t take care of yourself you will not be able to take care of others in the community. Selfish to not take care of yourself. Hmm, something interesting to think about.

 

 

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Wow, I can’t believe I have been a Registered Yoga Teacher for 17 years now! When I look back at my early years of teaching I have to admit that I cringe a little. There was just so much I didn’t know back then. Over almost two decades I have learned and grown so much, getting to the place where I am today, confident not just in my abilities to come up with interesting sequences and themes for my classes, but to really be able to assess my students’ movements to see what kind of physical issues and postural imbalances they might be carrying over to their yoga mat, and then to help them find possible solutions to these issues.

 

To that end, I have invested a lot of time over the last few years furthering my education as a yoga teacher by attending workshops and webinars, mostly (but not exclusively) having to do with anatomy, an area that seems to be lacking in most yoga teacher training programs. Many of these workshops and webinars were taught by highly-acclaimed yoga teachers, doctors and other experts in their fields. I have learned so much from them, and I feel that they have really deepened my yoga teaching. I am able to apply what I’ve learned in my group classes and working privately with students who need very tailored sequences to work on specific physical issues they are experiencing. Some of the subject matter I’ve studied include:

 

Postural Alignment (Gokhale Method)

YogAlign Method

Yoga for High Blood Pressure

Yoga for Back Pain

Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga for Lymphatic Health

Yoga for Insomnia

Yoga for Sacro-Iliac Instability

Yoga for Scoliosis

Yoga for Piriformis Issues

Yoga for Tight Hamstrings

 

If any of these topics are of interest to you or relate to issues you have, please consider setting up a few private sessions with me where we can spend some one-on-one time focusing on your specific challenges and coming up with yoga sequences tailored to addressing them. I also love to work one-on-one with students who want to begin or deepen a meditation practice, and who want to practice ‘svadhyaya’ (self-study) through reading selections and discussions. You can find more information about my private sessions at http://yogaroomannarbor.com/private.php

 

 

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