Last April I received the following e-mail from one of our Mindful Motion Yoga family:

Terri, 
I met two friends at Guana this morning at seven to do a shorebird survey. We had just entered the south park boundary when we found a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle on the beach. It was still alive but definitely in trouble. We took it back to the research station....... It was so amazing to be so close to such a creature.....they are the rarest and most endangered of our FL sea turtles.  

Because the tide was then too high to continue the shorebird survey, we hiked into Guana and looked at, what else, birds. What a day! 

 

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Condron, a juvenile Kemp's Ridley sea turtle on the day of discovery

 

I love that this individual began her morning on her much loved hobby, birding, found and addressed another's need and then continued with her hobby.  

More about Condron's rescue:

The Guana Turtle Patrol retrieved her and she was subsequently transported to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island for rehab.


According to GSTC records, Condron arrived debilitated: anemic, thin, with lots of epibiota (barnacles and leeches) and algae on her shell along with some severe shell lacerations which took a long time to heal. She was also found to have a P.I.T. (Passive Integrated Transponder) tag which indicated she had been in rehab before. A

repeat offender! Then named Little Sunny, she was found in a gill net with hooks in her GI tract, was rehabilitated at the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Center on Topsail Island in NC, and was ultimately released there on June 1st, 2011.

Yesterday, personnel from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center brought Condron, along with another juvenile sea turtle which had been successfully rehabbed, to Mickler's Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach for release.
 
On Thursday, I received notice that Condron was being released into the ocean in Ponte Vedra the following day!
 
Do you recognize this guy? 

I was there for the release on Friday - It  was such a fun experience!
 
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Condron - has been rehabilitated is  healthy and has been released into the ocean!   He was so excited! He was carried into the ocean and held above the water until in the appropriate depth.  As he was held above the water, he seemed to begin to swim in the air by rapidly waving his flippers.  His eagerness and enthusiasm was so beautiful and moving.

He was released into the ocean following the passing of a wave and the small crowd cheered as he quickly disappeared into the ocean.  :-)
 
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I hope that you follow your passion and fully enjoy your life.  As each of us move about, following our unique paths, we will surely come upon opportunities to pause, serve others, then return to our path. 
 
Namaste'

What a Yogi Learned at Football Camp June 2013 4th and 1

I should clarify.  4th and 1 is not simply a "football camp"  It is a free football and life skills camp for student-athletes. I am beyond proud to have been a part of this innovative program founded by Daron Roberts,  Cleveland Browns defensive quality control coach and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

 

For six days, the student-athletes lived on the Jacksonville University campus and gained exposure to college life. They were exposed to college admissions counseling, business skills training, life skills courses, and motivational speakers. The curriculum also included daily yoga, résumé writing workshops, SAT skills classes, dinner etiquette instruction and of course football.  

 

WHAT I LEARNED AT FOOTBALL CAMP

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Football is not a game. It is an opportunity to: 

  • work with others toward a common goal  
  • be courageous and take chances
  • succeed and celebrate
  • let go of the past -  errors happen, what now?
  • be an encourager
  • trust others 
  • protect others
  • to trust that others are protecting you
  • forgive, move on and trust again (see above)
  • Play, laugh, breathe, experience joy and roll with the unexpected! 

 

Be amazed. 

344From a physical standpoint, can you see how side angle, triangle, our revolving poses, shoulder opening poses, and warriors (quad strength and knee stability) benefit this movement?  From a mental standpoint,, do you
think there might be a tiny bit of focus to create the just right timing necessary to catch the ball at this height? All while potentially surrounded by others working to stop you!
 
Beautiful.
My Yoga Philosophy as Applied to Football
  • It is not where you start, it is how far you travel
  • Persistence combined with patience pays off
  • Accomplished athletes are yogis on the field.  they are focused, in the moment, working at the body's capacity,and removers of obstacles
  • You don't need a mat to practice seva (selfless service) Too many examples to begin to describe!

Check out this beautiful Side Angle Pose!

 

 

 

 

 

 

350What I will carry with me:

When given a place of acceptance we shed our protective exterior. and the true self emerges   The true self is beautiful, joyful and kind.  It takes strength and courage to expose the true self.  The 4th and 1 student athletes have strength and courage. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What triangle looked like on day 3. Beautiful, right?  

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The camp is sponsored through a grant from the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation.

A special shout out to the Jacksonville Jaguars Organization, for making generous contributions to our city and its residents. I am grateful for the time, the professionalism and graciousness shown to the 4th and 1 participants. How awesome for them to get to see the stadium, locker room,and talk with accomplished professional athletes!  No longer a fair weather fan, I'll be cheering. I am all in!

 

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4th and 1 student athletes in the Jag locker room!

 

A deep bow of gratitude to the MMY community for generously doanting yoga mats for all student athletes!  Thank you for participating with me!


Moving Forward, Choose the Good - September 11, 2001

We all have memories of September 11, 2001.  Mine  starts with a phone call from my husband while walking my daughter into pre-school.  He was in New York on business  and called to say there was a bomb (what he thought at the time) in the World Trade Center, and that he was fine.  He had spent the night at the World Trade Center Marriott, had checked out and was attending a meeting in a nearby building.   In short, my husband was unable to leave the immediate area until late in the day and witnessed up close all the terror we have seen so many times on television.  Five days later, he arrived home safely.

 

flagIn addition to the horrific tragedies of the day, he also witnessed bravery, compassion, and in the face of uncertainty, strangers caring for strangers.  Likely you witnessed it in your community as well.  And felt it.  As we moved about in the weeks following, did you notice the feelings of being connected to those in your community?  In the grocery store, at work, even while driving?  Do you remember hearing heart warming stories and sharing them with others?  In addition to the image of the towers falling, we were also shown images of great compassion as communities came together and cared for one another. 

 

The media continue to show us images of the destruction of the day.  Are we imprinting ourselves and our children with images of fear and hatred, when we have available to us images of courage, compassion and love?   Rather than replaying the image of the destruction, what if we replayed the compassion, the kindness, the unity that arose that day and the days that followed?  We don't need to rely on the media to do that for us, the images, the stories of our unique experiences are available to us if we choose to recall them.

 

Recall the feeling of connectedness, the compassion and selfless actions you observed and felt. What a beautiful way to live. Today, be mindful, not in sadness, but joyfulness that today you have an opportunity to choose to live unified, with compassion and with concern for the interest of others.  Allow actions to follow.

 

Namaste,

 

Terri

 

Want to do more?

 

Visit: The Corporation for National and Community Service

 

The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the 9/11 nonprofit MyGoodDeed with wide support by the 9/11 community and leading national service organizations. This effort first established the inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks.

 


Are You Growing? How do you know if your practice is advancing?

This week in classes I have focused on the subject of growth.  How do you know that you are growing in your yoga practice? I asked students to think back to the first time they came to the mat and compare the current experience to that first experience.  We considered the increased strength and flexibility as well as other, more difficult to measure, changes.  Following our 7pm Wednesday evening class, one of our students, Angela,  looked at me and stated “January 13, 2007”.  This is the date of her “yoga birthday” which she celebrates each year.  If you talk with her, your will discover that she has clearly identified ways in which her practice has enhanced her life experience.

 

In our physical practice, we practice awareness of the sensations of the body and respond appropriately to those sensations.   When we feel a sensation in the hamstring that feels beneficial, a “good stretch”  we lean into it, breath into it, enjoy it.  When the sensation is too much, we back away from it.  When we begin to apply the same concept to other areas of our lives we see changes beyond the physical body.

 

 

  1. We begin to eat mindfully.    We notice how we are feeling when we eat certain foods.  Some make us feel good and healthier.  Other foods drain us, make us uncomfortable and feel less well.  When eating mindfully, we tend to consume foods that make us feel well and resist those that do not.   Not only do we become aware of how foods make us feel but we begin to notice more about our food, we become less detached from the processes and consider how our food is grown and treated and develop preferences from that knowledge as well.
  2. We begin to choose recreational activities that are beneficial to us spiritually.  Prior to a mindful yoga practice, we may not have noticed the relationship between our actions and how we feel.  For example, watching a certain type of movie or television show may us feel irritable or anxious.  Time with a particular person may lead us to feel less satisfied with ourselves.   When living mindfully we begin to notice connections between our actions and how we feel.   Progress on the mat allows us to be more at ease with the true self because we are leaning into right actions, with regard to postures,  food, relationships, activities, even whether watching the daily news is helpful or harmful to you
  3. We begin to notice a spiritual connection with the true self, or perhaps simply open up to the concept that we each have a “true self”, one that may be different than previously viewed.  We develop more confidence in the inner voice (your truth) and are less swayed by others and by prior conditioning. 
  4. In time, we experience fewer conflicts in our relationships as we grow in acceptance of ourselves and in turn others. We develop an awareness of our connection to each other, recognizing that we are all truly connected.  With this knowledge we find a greater sense of community and less conflict.

 

Enjoy the physical challenges the mat offers and apply the lessons off the mat.  Much love and light to each of you as you grow in this beautiful practice.

 

If you haven’t yet experienced the practice of yoga, we welcome you to join us at Mindful Motion Yoga  in Jacksonville, FL or contact us for a recommendation of a great yoga studio in your area.   

 

Namaste,

 

Terri

 


Loving Service

From time to time, I wake up  with a thought- something that I feel  I “must” say.  Sometimes with an understanding of where it is coming from.  Other times it is simply something that in my mind needs to find the printed form.

 

This is what came to me this morning>

 

There is no greater pain than witnessing the suffering of someone you love deeply.

 

There is no greater gift than having someone to love with such completeness that their pain is yours. 

 

In the midst of dealing with the pain of a loved one, due to illness or other reason, we may find ourselves teetering between regret of the past (and the often accompanying guilt) and the fear of what lies ahead. 

 

If you find yourself in the midst of this balancing act between past and future, I encourage you to bring yourself to the “right now”.

 

Smile, enjoy and roll around in this glorious, beautiful, present moment. Right now.  And now.   And now. 

 

Pause here.  Take a breath and consider how you are just fine in this one second, this one moment.  And in this moment.  And in this moment. Without the thoughts of the past, or the worries of the future, just this one beautiful moment. 

 

If you are caring for a loved one.   Hold the gift of the moment to love and nurture.  If you are being cared for, hold the gift of the moment to not just be loved, but to allow the gift of service to another.  Knowing that loving service is the most precious gift to be given and received.   The energy, the love is traveling both ways, from recipient to recipient.

 

It is my belief that the way to living a meaningful life is to live each moment with attention, as if it is the only one that matters.  In truth, it is.  When living this way, mindfully, our choices fall in line with our personal truth, our Satya. When we live  our precious moments with clarity and intention, loving, giving and receiving  with attention and appreciation, we will end up with a collection of beautiful  moments, without regret or fear.

 

Love generously.  Give generously.  Receive generously.

 

Namaste,

 

Terri

Winning

A beautiful rainy day! Like much of the country, Jacksonville has experienced dry conditions and is in need of rain. In addition to the all that the rain provides to our vegetation and lakes (scenic retention ponds) the slightly cooler temperature and intermittent rain seems to consistently improve my mood. Interesting for a girl who lives in Florida and grew up in West Texas. There might be an answer as to why I feel lighter and happier in the cool rainy climate. I could go back and examine the details of my life, looking for attachments, or just enjoy the feeling.

Today, I will choose to just enjoy the feeling

Cheri Huber, is a Buddhist Monk whose writings have been meaningful to me (thank you Janice).

A very long time ago, I purchased a cassette recording (did I mention it was a long time ago?). The recording was titled "The Swiss Cheese Approach to Life). While I no longer remember the significance of the "Swiss Cheese", what stuck with me is her thoughts on competition and achievement. 

I am going from memory here so my apologies to Cheri if I re-state incorrectly. This is where my mind took it. Achievement means different things to different people - winning, earning, acquiring, being loved....bring to mind what achievement means to you.

When we achieve we feel good. Right? For most of us, tangible, quantifiable signs of achievement ( a trophy, bigger paycheck, newer, more expensive possessions), let us know that we are achieving and we feel good. It is particularly powerful when we stack up our achievements against our peers and come out in a perceivedfavorable way (more stuff). 

If we step away from that way of thinking, we realize that we make the decision to feel good based upon the achievements. What if....drum roll....we allowed ourselves to feel the same "good feeling" whether or not we had that trophy, paycheck, etc.

Think about that. 

In Cheri's recording there was a man who challenged the idea stating something to the effect of "But I didn't earn it"...."I don't deserve to have that feeling if I didn't win".

Part of me is right there with him. I mean what does winning mean if we don't get to feel better, more special? Right?

What would happen if everyone walked around feeling happy for no justifiable reason?

That mindset tells us that we have to earn our happiness. That some of us who aren't achieving in a quantifiable way, don't deserve the same level of happiness. 

In reality, we choose how we feel. 

Does that mean we don't work to better ourselves, even win? No. It means that you can feel just as good without the win as with the win. Either way, you are still you. Your spirit is still your spirit. Hopefully, doing the good work your spirit was intended to do.

Play, work, achieve and give yourself permission to feel good, happy, accomplished and important - regardless of the outcome.

Let me know what you think!

Namaste,

Terri

 


Ed Dust

I heard a beautiful story this morning.

Our 2011 MMY yoga teacher training concludes this coming weekend. We have a tradition of giving graduates imprinted t-shirts upon closing our training. Joe of joestees.com has created our t-shirts for all of our special events. While no doubt, my account was a very small one, I have always been treated with the warmth and respect of an important customer.

Sadly, I learned this morning, that Joe's father passed away unexpectedly earlier this summer. Joe's father, Ed, was a real people person. He seemed to be the company greeter, asking about yoga and seeming to want to know more. In reality, he was just connecting with me, another human, through my interests. He was funny and joyful and made me feel the same.

This morning Joe shared a story told by the minister at his father's service. While Joe's retelling of the story was beautiful, it is simply stated as this:

Think about how, when you open a bag of flour, the flour dust floats up and gets all over everything including you- Ed was like that bag of flour - You couldn't be around him without getting a little "Ed dust" on you.

I have been thinking about this much of today. Throughout the day, we all leave "dust" behind in the form of energy. In our homes with our families as we start the day, at our offices, grocery stores and countless other places we visit in our busy days.

When we are angry, we leave anger, when we are joyful, we leave joy.

What kind of dust are you leaving today?

Namaste,

Terri

Thank you, Joe, for allowing me to re-tell this story.

 


Healing Grief

Recently I had a conversation with my mother regarding grief and how individuals seem to process grief differently. After much thought on this topic, and my mother's wise words, I have this to offer. We all grieve at some point in our lives, the obvious loss of loved ones and pets, but also dreams, performance in our careers, stressful human relationships - dissappointment can come in many ways. 

When disappointment and sadness appear, consider this: 

Consider the idea that each of us has a spirit that is good and capable of handling all that life is throwing at us. A spirit that is loving and compassionate. Our NATURE is loving, good and capable. 

We also have a mind, that is conditioned by our life experiences. Often telling us things that are not helpful or kind. 

When dissappointment and grief arise, it is not the spirit that is in pain or suffering, but the mind, telling the story of what should have been, speaking to us of our shortcomings and speaking to us of the meaning of our loss. 

Our feelings, followed by actions, may stem from the spirit - a place of love and compassion, or from the mind - a place that is often directed toward suffering. 

When feelings of sadness and disappointment arise, try practicing your awareness meditation. See if you can get past the stories that the mind is bringing you and tune in to the more basic, simple spirit of love, kindness, strength and simplicity. 


Anxiety, Stress Relief and Yoga

It seems more and more often I am listening to stories about the stress many of you are experiencing in your work and in your daily lives. 

Many of you are experiencing stress over how to honor your work and family commitments, you are caring for aging parents, worrying about your children, concerned about your own health and about the health of those you love. You are concerned about your financial well-being and job security the list seems endless. 

All of this stress creates an unhealthy body and mind and prevents you from fully enjoying your life and the opportunities available to you.....I know, one more thing to worry about, right? 

I am looking forward to sharing Mindful Motion Yoga's current online offering from our at home study program. "Easing Stress and Anxiety" is a 30 day e-mail program that will introduce easy yoga poses (seriously, EASY and rest inducing), meditation techniques (getting rid of that nagging chatter), and subtle breathing techniques (your c0-workers won't even notice). 

There is even a Parent's Corner of the daily e-mails to provide you with tips on how to deliver the same processes to your children to help reduce the stress from academics and competitive sports (teachers will love this as well). 

Daily e-mails begin August 15, 2011 run for 30 consecutive days.

Simply stated, daily tips to lighten your emotional load. 
www.Mindfulmotion-yoga.com
Sign up under workshops. 

Namaste,
Terri

Real Yoga - Beyond the Asana

I am often asked questions about my personal yoga experience. How long have I been practicing and teaching yoga or why. At this point it seems like all my life.

We all have our own unique path and way of getting to the point where the yoga is no longer all about the workout (an awesome perk!) but is about helping to support a rich and truthful life experience. 


I have such a passion and belief, my absolute truth, that this practice can heal the body and spirit and assist in removing suffering on so many levels. 

Many years ago, in the prime of my love for the physical practice of yoga, while jogging I witnessed a tragic accident resulting in the death of an 18 month old child. My involvement went beyond witness as I administered CPR to this beautiful little girl and placed myself right in the middle of more grief and pain than I can possibly express.

As the following year unfolded, I became increasingly introverted. I spent time with my family and went to yoga. I actually just "showed up" for yoga. That is when it all began to unfold. No expectations, no goals, just there in the moment seeking a space to just "be".

Day after day. Always yoga. The class, the teacher, didn't matter. It was me on my mat and nothing else. As long as there was quiet space, I was okay. Over time, the real thing happened. Real yoga. The internal stuff we hear about.

Now years later, through self-study, formal education and much time on the mat, I have a better understanding of the principles, history and philosophy of the practice that support my real life experience. 

It is my deepest intention, to provide the knowledge and quiet space for people to heal, grow and find joy through yoga.