Yoga Workshop Update #2 + Review of Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

Yoga is going great! I’m up to Day 16 of doing some form of yoga -whether at home or at the studio – and I’ve begun to notice subtle differences. My awareness is heightened, I’m starting to do some poses with my body I’ve never been able to do before, my mood is generally better and I’ve been able to handle stressful situations a little better. I discuss things a little more in detail in the video below, which was actually filmed 3 days ago. Those of you who are Facebook Fans probably already watched this, but I figured I should also share with the rest of you :)


The Workshop

Last night was Night #2 of the yoga workshop I’m taking at my local studio. As I mentioned before, it goes a little more in depth than a regular class and there’s more room for discussion. It’s purpose is to give you a good foundation and understanding of basic principles so that you carry them over into your regular practice – whether it be in a class or at home.

Last night we touched upon how yoga, through asana and the subsequent mediation,  helps us stay in the present moment and calm our minds. We also discussed how this affects different parts of the body, which was tailored to the conditions and injuries of the students in the class. We had anywhere from forms of insomnia to fibromyalgia.

We’ve also touched upon having patience with our bodies and with ourselves. Anyone who has known me for a while knows that I tend to go at 100mph. I did this all throughout college to the point of illness and it continued through much of last year. Even my boss told me how I’m extremely high energy and I do a lot so I should start taking it a little easier.

 I had a tendency of being the same way with yoga. I’m so impatient that I want to get everything down NOW. I want the positive effects NOW. I want the spiritual aspect NOW. I want to be able to do a pose NOW.   However, I have noticed that with time I can ease into things (yay for touching my toes and ALMOST getting my heels down in downward dog). I’ve noticed that if I just let go and stop overanalyzing it, that I can move more easily into a pose. These are principles that are not only helpful in yoga, but in life. All I need to do now is work on patience and learn to enjoy the ride.

A Review of Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

After stumbling upon Gabrielle Bernstein and her Authors@Google talk (Thank you The Daily Love!) I decided I had to pick up her book and give it a try. In it she discusses how she was able to overcome hardships such as drug addiction and bad relationships by changing her perception of life. Her change was thanks to A Course in Miracles .

Through her story of modern-day spiritual struggle Bernstein is able to explain the basic principles of the course in a way a new generation can understand. Our minds are on constant overdrive and we look for instant gratification from the outside instead of turning inward. We think that new iPhone, or a boyfriend or an awesome job will complete us. . In reality we’re pretty much just fooling ourselves. We also have a tendency of stressing ourselves into ruin and our health suffers as result of it.

According to Bernstein we already have the tools we need, we just need to learn how to reconnect with what she calls an “-ing”, otherwise known as our inner guide. I was completely hesitant at first because it sounded kind of new-agey, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t at all preachy, nor did it sound totally crazy. In fact, a lot of it seems like common sense and the visualizations really help to put things into perspective. I found myself saying “Holy sh*t that sounds like me!”  or “Dammit I totally do that!” throughout much of the book. The book also emphasizes the importance of journaling, which is an old habit I dropped long ago.  Through it’s meditation and journaling exercises you then start to recognize what’s ailing you, how to release it and how to stop controlling every little detail of your life. Most of all, it teaches you to trust your intuition and start seeing others as equals rather than separating ourselves from them.

All in all it was a pretty cool book narrated in a way that our generation can totally relate to. I highly recommend giving it a shot.

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