How I Aligned My Flow (so far): Part 8

Alignment Adjustment 8:

“Make a new memory.” 

Craig King, owner of Glow Juice Cleanse, Maui HI

Craig King

 I was 27 when I lived in Boulder and had already attended and dropped out of college, moved to Maui and put myself through massage school, was a licensed massage therapist and, now that I had figured out what I wanted to study, was in the process of putting myself back through college. Listing these things, it sounds like I had already lived quite a bit, but I was (and still am) a pretty late bloomer.

There was a raw food restaurant in town that I used to go to with friends. It was on my way to school so I would pass it on my walk and often stop in and eat. The owner, Craig was a friend of the woman I nannied for, and we became friendly. One night, I was out at a bar and we bumped into each other. Without my knowing it,  he bought me a shot of tequila, and when they served it to me, I froze.

I had tequila shots only one other time when I actually didn’t know what tequila was, and didn’t have a lot of experience with alcohol at all (I was 23). I was with a friend and just drank as much as she did, not realizing what I was doing. My entire life changed course in that night, and lets just say, I definitely didn’t drink tequila after that.

“Do you have a bad memory associated with it?” Craig asked when I told him I didn’t drink tequila.

I told him that I did. 

“Well, it’s time to make a new memory, ” he said smiling, and clinked my glass.

A flashbulb went off in my head. It was a totally new idea to me, and yet so simple. I realized that I actually had the ability to make a new memory, to break the charge that my old emotions gave an inanimate object. 

Ever since that one sentence, I realized that we have the power to attach meaning to things, and also to take that charge away. It really worked. It’s empowering, liberating, and I encourage you to try it. It frees up a lot of band width in your life.

Last year, when I set up my first retreat at Lumeria in Maui, the friend that I used to nanny for sent me a message letting me know that Craig was now at Lumeria too. He had moved out to Maui and had started a juice  cleanse that was now island wide and had him delivering vat loads of fresh juice every single day. It was great to see him while I was there, although I never had the chance to tell him what a huge difference that one sentence made in my life.

I have been thinking about writing this particular post for awhile, but today on Facebook, Craig shared the story of how his mom’s battle with her health and tragic suicide led him to so passionately pursue chemical drug free healing. His story began with, “The shot that forever changed my world:”

Craig is out in the world sharing his passion for the power of natural healing. He has changed so many lives because he took a traumatic experience and used it to power a mission to save people from the outcome his precious mom met with.  I already had a lot of admiration for Craig, but knowing his story has deepened my respect. So, this post is a big thank you to Craig King for the direction he has chosen to take with his life and for the shot that forever changed my perspective and so, my world. I pray that the simple yet powerful ability we have to “make new memories” continues to ripple out and empower more people toward fuller, healthier lives the way it has for me.

How I Aligned My Flow (so far): Part 7 (Happy New Year!)

IMG_3424

Beginning the new year with gratitude!

 

2014 has begun and with it many new or renewed goals have been set and the losses and challenges from last year often gratefully left behind.  I have been thinking of what to write in this post for the past week. As I pass countless January editions of glossy magazines in the grocery store and open email after email boasting the ultimate plan for the new and sparkly you in the new year, and the lists of how to’s, and the top whatever’s of 2013, I honestly feel a little wearied and like something is missing.

Even though there are so many things that I am excited about in 2014, I keep wondering how best to inspire them in the every day and how to encourage the best from my students and clients. There is one thing I keep coming back to, and it’s this: Our best and our worst exist in every moment. They co-existed in every day of 2013, and they will do the same throughout 2014. Does that sound like a gigantic buzz kill? I hope not, because it is excellent news.

So, how on earth do we stick with our goals?

Alignment Adjustment 7:

Discipline Is Simply Remembering What You Want

I’ve written about this one before, but it bears repeating. When I was a nanny in Boulder to one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met (Lauren Larsen, author of : “Zuzu’s Petals”), she had this taped to her refrigerator door. This quote has stuck with me every single time I’ve set a new goal, tried something new, or reflected on my shortcomings.

In each moment, we vote with our energy. Our Prana (life force) is our currency in this life. How we spend it is entirely up to us. Isn’t that totally empowering? If you truly want to accomplish something new and scary, in each moment you get to choose which energy to buy into. Do you want to give over your Prana to the fearful thoughts or to the empowering and creative ones? Do you want to use your Prana to avoid the challenges you need to face or would you like to use to take one small step in the direction of your dreams?

I know that this sounds extremely simplistic, but this is my practice, and so far it seems to be working. No matter how long it takes, or how big the mountain is, you can stand at the bottom afraid to climb, or you can take one small step after another. Does this mean I am never scared? Absolutely not. Honestly, I the ideas I have often scare me to death so I pray a lot. 🙂

This year, I am committed to living my intentions in each moment, to remembering what it is I really want, aside from any momentary distractions and to supporting you as you face your goals and fears!  This doesn’t mean not having fun, or allowing space for new ideas or adventures. It means using my Prana to support the underlying goal of uncovering more of the inherent light within myself and supporting you in the doing the same thing!

Let’s shine more light this year! 

Thank you so much for practicing yoga and working with me in 2013! I have been overwhelmed with support and encouragement and it has allowed me to dream even bigger for this new year!

If you haven’t yet, please sign up for my newsletter! It will be the first place I make new announcements and where I hope we can cheer each other on as we face our mountains in 2014!

Many blessings to you in this new year!

May it be filled with new adventures, much joy and an overflow of peace!

How I Aligned My Flow: Part 6

Alignment Adjustment 6: Slowing Down To Become More Accomplished

“I have so much to do that if I didn’t spend at least three hours a day in prayer I would never get it all done.”

Martin Luther

I haven’t written one of these Alignment Adjustments in a long time, and this is a quote that is particularly helpful during this busier time of year.  I talked about this in my yoga class this morning, so for some of you this is a repeat performance, but a good one to repeat. I grew up here on the East coast, but lived away for nearly a decade before coming back. When I did (8 years ago!) the fast pace was immediately noticeable. Do you realize how fast we do EVERYTHING here? It’s crazy! I started to notice how busyness is equated with success. When people greet me they often say, “How are you doing? Keeping busy?”

I was introduced to the opening quote on this blog when I was at Naropa University where we were taught to slow down and turn inwards in meditation. It continues to benefit me (and hopefully you too if you come to my classes or are a client of mine).  I also wrote about  it on the Prajjali Blog a few weeks ago.

When we turn inwards (in yoga its called Pratyhara- an inward drawing of the senses), we recharge. We have the opportunity to come home to ourselves and reconnect to Source. When I go a long time without doing this, I feel dried out, uninspired, and exhausted. I am literally running around trying to give from a dried up well. Taking time to slow down and turn in allows me to connect to and give from a Source that never runs out, and to give the kind of full attention that I want to give to you all!

This morning, Gabrielle Bernstein (who I love) posted a video about this topic. It’s really great! Check it out here, get inspired, come home to yourself and recharge, and then take a look at her other videos. She is an inspirational guide and speaks from experience and from the heart!

Thank you for reading! Recharge and connect so you can be present and enjoy all that this season has to offer! Please comment below and let me know what you think of the video!

Lovelove,

Christy

How I Aligned My Flow (so far): Part 5

Alignment Adjustment 5: Fear

“When I dare to be powerful,

to use my strength in the service of my vision,

then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

-Audre Lorde

On Friday, I discovered this quote I had written in the front of a the notebook years ago when I was about to embark on a new and slightly intimidating adventure.  Over the past few days, I have  been reciting this to myself as a reminder to keep perspective.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the role of fear in moving forward and in going upside down. Fear came up again while I was researching a venue for a new event (which will be announced soon!) , I realized that I was only looking for places that could support a small crowd. When it was suggested that we go bigger, I felt my belly tighten up.

For the past 3 months or so, I have been working with a life coach from the Handel Group. It has changed my life in several very profound ways and about 100,000 small ones.  My awesome life coach, Elaine Cohen, asks me to dream big. She not only challenges me to do this, but she calls me out when I avoid doing what I set out to do (which I am beginning to see happens rather often).  When this avoidance comes up, she reminds me of the intention I have set for myself: my vision. Remembering the reason why I was inspired to try in the first place robs fear of its power.

So, this is my offering to you! Take this quote with you! Put it in your phone, memorize it, stick it on your bathroom mirror or the dashboard of your car (to read at red lights, not while driving), and give more energy to your vision rather than to what you fear.

I would love to hear about your experience with this! Please share in the comment box below!

Much love!

How I Aligned My Flow (so far) Part 4

Alignment Adjustment 4

“The Voice In Your Head That Says That You Can’t Do This Is A Liar”

From This Video

This post is dedicated to all of the yoga students who have trusted themselves and me enough to try inversions in my class. 

Yesterday in my beginner’s class at Prana Yoga Center I did something that as I rule, I never do; I introduced Handstand.  Handstand is not a beginner’s inversion.  I had a smaller class yesterday morning and we had done a lot of shoulder and core focused postures, we practiced Vasisthasana (side plank) with options for modifications, and then I offered L shaped handstand (or legs up the wall for those who wanted a cooling inversion), and the energy in the room was pretty high. Several students had that glow that comes from trying something that they thought might be out of their reach and realized that, not only had they done it, but that it was not as difficult as they had imagined. For those who felt comfortable  in L for 5 breaths and were willing, I demonstrated, offered, and assisted them into Handstand.

I always introduce inversions by telling students that I believe inversions to be about 70% mental. Obviously some strength and knowledge of the alignment of the postures is required, but if you do not trust yourself and if you aren’t really wanting to come up, you won’t. This is coming from someone who has been playing with inversions away from the wall a whole lot. If inversions aren’t something you aspire to, that’s fine too, but for those of you who really do want to do them and back down mentally, it is really a defeated feeling that plays a much bigger role in your life than a yoga pose.  Inversions are just one outlet for this fear/self-defeat to express itself.

When I see the expression of fear and doubt on your face accompanied by the willingness to trust me to assist you into something that scares you to death, I feel completely honored and humbled. I also feel SUPER EXCITED recognizing that you are starting to examine  the validity of your self doubt.  This is one of reasons I teach yoga.  I know you are about to have a major breakthrough not only in your yoga practice, but also in life.

I have been participating in some Instagram photo challenges the past few weeks, and have been so inspired by observing the practices and challenges of others.  There is a rolling feed of my photos on the right side of this page, and if  you are on Instagram you can join me in the challenges by liking ChristyNaidaLinson. Let’s keep approaching our self-doubts!

IMG_2604

How I Aligned My Flow (so far) Part 3

Alignment Adjustment 3

Warm Fuzzies

By Claude Steiner

Happy Monday and thank you for reading my blog! Alignment Adjustment 3 is all about Warm Fuzzies. When I was in 2nd grade my teacher, Mrs. Dowell (who is still a part of my life, although I now call her Marita) read to us aloud.  I remember 2 of these books vividly, but this one in particular changed my life. It is Warm Fuzzies by Claude Steiner. It contains such a universally important message (regardless of age) that if you were in my 200 hour teacher training, I read it to you during the business and marketing module.

Warm Fuzzies is a story about abundance. I won’t tell you the entire story, but the moral is that we all have something that is inherently ours and cannot be taken away. There is always enough and there is no need to worry that our particular gifts do not have a place in the world.  Whenever we offer our gifts to others, we help build a better community and a better world.

At 7 years old, I was taught that I had something that, if I offered it out, it could help others feel good, just like everyone else. Every single person has a light. Celebrating and encouraging the light in others does nothing to dim our own lights, it only makes the world a brighter place. Sometimes this is a hard understanding to hold, even as yoga instructors and students.  There are so many people out there who do beautiful and amazing things. What do we do when we are feeling insecure and insignificant?

When I having these particular thoughts, I know it is a sign that I have not spent enough time practicing. The beauty of yoga is that as you move, breathe, and unclog yourself, you start to see more of your own light. Every single person has this light, but it shines differently through us all. Our experiences, scars, choices, and beliefs stain us and make us like stained glass windows. We are all beautiful and slightly different. If you get all tied up because you think someone else’s window is more beautiful, you only dim the light through your own window. We only see the smaller picture. It’s the Divine perspective that sees how we all are necessary, and it takes each of us shining our light to make the picture complete.

Claude Steiner, true to his story of abundance, offers the book for free if you go here. You can also purchase a hard copy of the book on amazon.

I hope this serves as a reminder to celebrate your light as well as the light of others! Go and create and beautiful week!

How I Aligned My Flow (so far) Part 2

Alignment Adjustment 2

“Future Pain Can Be Avoided”  

2:16 Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Sunset Meditation

Sunset Meditation

Hello, Welcome back to the “How I Aligned My Flow” series! Thank you for reading these. I hope that they can support and serve you in whatever you are practicing with in your life!

The second “Alignment Adjustment” I want to talk about comes from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one of the basic handbooks of philosophy for yoga practitioners. The Yoga Sutras have 196 verses on the practice of yoga and only 2 or 3 of them actually mention taking a posture. The rest are about the mind.

One of my favorites says, “Pain that has not yet come is avoidable.” Wow. This may seem really obvious, but when we commit to the practice of yoga (not just asana, but also asana), we start to slow down. When we actually take the time to live in each moment we start to see things that we were traveling too quickly to observe before.  When we pause and experience the moment we are in, we might feel sadness, anger, frustration, boredom, anxiety, things we generally don’t love to just sit in. The beauty of noticing all of this, is that whatever we are experiencing in this moment has come from a decision, response, or action that we have taken previously. If we are not happy with where we are, we can take steps to get honest with ourselves, speak our truth, and begin to take steps that are more in alignment with how we truly want to live and what we want to create with our lives.

Sometimes a little space and awareness is all it takes to stop and not say or do something that we have to spend the next few weeks and months undoing. Some heated reactions might create a lifetime worth of separation, guilt, or regret. 

“Future pain can be avoided,” is also extremely helpful in asana practice. Sometimes you really want to get into the deep beautiful postures that you see someone else practicing. Instead of coming from where you are in the moment (say, your second yoga class ever and herniated disks) , you may force yourself into variations that you aren’t quite ready for and get hurt.  Taking time to use props and modify to find and stay in anatomical alignment is great for helping keep us all  to avoid future knee, shoulder, and back pain!

Slowing down to experience the way things feel physically, mentally, and emotionally offers the gift of lifelong growth in a direction that we truly want to go in. Once we start to surrender, we come into greater alignment with the Divine  and our lives open up in ways we never could have imagined.

How I Aligned My Flow (so far): Alignment Adjustment 1

Hello! I am beginning a new blog series called, “How I Aligned My Flow (so far),” starting with this post. Sometimes a quote or piece of advice comes into my life at exactly the right time and shifts my perspective  (I am sure you have examples of this too). I am going to intersperse these  little “Alignment Adjustments” with other blogs over the coming months. They have helped me so much and I am hoping that they will do the same for you!

Alignment Adjustment 1:

“Good Idea, Bad Reality”

-my friend Nick

After a particularly disorienting relationship breakup, I was lamenting my loss to my friend Nick over the phone (probably not for the first time).  This relationship was everything I ever thought that I wanted up until that point in my life.  I was not only in love with a person, but an entire family, location, and lifestyle. Over the duration of the relationship I had reshaped my sense of self into something that no longer resembled a person I liked. When the relationship was over and for a very long time afterward,  I was devastated.

While talking with my very patient friend Nick and going over all of the things that I no longer had in my life, he said something that was a like a slap to the forehead. He said, “Christy, good idea, bad reality.” I was so stunned by the truth of this statement.  Nick is from the West Coast and is super mellow. He has a way of cutting right to the chase which is a great quality in a friend.  I remember asking him to repeat it because I was so blown away. It changed my perspective and allowed me to let go of an idea that clearly wasn’t supporting my highest good.

As human beings we often have ideas of what we want in life, of what will make us happy and fulfilled. It is easy to get wrapped up in these ideas and lose sight of what is happening in the moment. For me, I was so attached to the beautiful idea I had of this relationship working out that I couldn’t see that in reality, it didn’t work at all.

What Nick said was simple, brilliant, and probably saved me from crying myself dehydrated. I have used it to keep things in perspective ever since.

Thanks, Nick.