Adapting My Mind to a New Perspective about Yoga! by Chellyz View

Chair Yoga is Giving me LIFE!!!

Adapting My Mind to a New Perspective about Yoga! by Chellyz View

I am trying to remember my first encounter with Yoga. There was a mat, people who may not have resembled me, the instructor, and a studio. I have practiced Yoga, or should I state, inconsistently participated the art form on the mat for years. However, it wasn’t until I enrolled in the 200hour Yoga Teacher Training Program offered by My Vinyasa Yoga and conducting the research that I had a newfound realization about the Practice. It is different for everyone and can be for anyone, especially for people who look like me! 

2020 was so disrespectful!

It’s incredible how we discuss healing but are hesitant about finding methods to help us heal. 2020 was grueling, challenging, upsetting, and downright disrespectful. I’ve said this before but let me state this again, a national health crisis by the name of COVID-19, the ills of racism, the pain from witnessing police brutality, and the aggressive death angel who snatched my beloved granny by November 2020 was too much. Rewinding to June 2020, a confident being by the name of Imani @imaniizlove shared that there were Scholarships available for People of Color to obtain their 200YTT certification. After applying, I was one of the hundreds of recipients awarded the scholarship, but I was scuuuurrreedd, nervous, and excited all at once! 

Subconsciously, I knew I wanted to be a Yoga Teacher. As I mature in life, healing and trying to maintain my sanity are essential values that I have adopted. Yoga would help me remain afloat, and I could assist others to stay above water with me. Still, after observing others on their journey and remembering my experiences with the Practice, I began to believe that it wasn’t designed for me (a woman of color). I would practice and study on and off, but I felt intimidated, so I didn’t take this opportunity as seriously as I should have.

Allow people to help when you need it!

Eventually, by the end of September 2020, the Holy Spirit allowed me to cross paths with Queen Yoga Pro Sis Jinave, who graduated from the program in January 2021. She taught me to start embracing my journey as a Yoga Teacher in Training, quit overthinking the process, and challenged me to create and present Yoga flows. She held me accountable! Also, she stressed Yoga is practiced on the mat and most definitely off the mat. By November and December, I read more and more about this Ancient Practice’s philosophy, but it wasn’t until January 2021 I became dedicated to practicing more consistently. By then, Queen Yoga Pro Sis Jinave @baldheadedbusiness introduced me to the P.H.D. Queen of Yoga Maya @naturallymaya. These two mentors were not placed on this Earth to play. They showed me that Women of Color in this world show up and show out to help and heal with Yoga by their definition and not how society “believes” it should be.  

Since increasing my knowledge base about Yoga, I have learned that there are adaptations to various poses and different forms such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Restorative. My brain was dancing with delight as I mentally absorbed the foundations and concepts of Yoga. I knew this was a lifetime journey that I can apply to myself daily. I was learning about Compassionate Self-Forgiveness in the program. I was retaining valuable information about the Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga which are the first two paths of the eight-limbed paths of Patanjali. These first two limbs can be described as the moral codes of conduct for Yoga. There are five concepts associated with the Yamas and five concepts related to the Niyamas. The Yama principle that stood out for me was Brachmachaya (moderation). 

My path to enlightenment is ongoing. I am dedicated to building a stronger relationship with the Holy Spirit. I am integrating the philosophies of Yoga to help me to become a better human at home, work, and in the community. I am patient with myself as I learn about standing poses, inversions, flexions, and extensions. Earlier in my training, I eagerly tried to jump into bridge pose as a beginner and was traumatized for two weeks. It made me realize I must build myself to that point. Again, there’s that word MODERATION! Take your time with the Practice! Learn at your own pace. 

Sometimes you have to block out the negativity

Two years ago, I was at a Yoga Studio attempting to move into a pose (asana), and a lady turned and looked at me and stated, “Oh, you are doing it wrong.” I just looked at her and shrugged my shoulders. However, I wanted to yell and say, “Who are You? You don’t know me like that.” Any who, now, I know there is no right or wrong way to evolve or allow your body to move into a pose. We don’t have to adapt our bodies to Yoga when feeling bullied in a studio, watching some You Tube video, Instagram post or Tik Tok Challenge. However, Yoga must adapt to our bodies. When trained properly, we can safely make Yoga look like we want to as we allow ourselves to heal. People need to understand it is perfectly fine to “modify a pose!” I am sharing the fundamentals I am acquiring about the Practice with my teenaged daughter as she shows interest in Yoga. She recognizes when the world tries to convince her how Yoga “should” look, they are wrong. 

I also learned about unwanted samskaras. Those are the negative thoughts I continue to welcome into my life after showing them the exit door. Yes, they kept walking back into my life and were holding on so tight that I almost strangled myself with constant self-doubt. I thought I had recovered from this, but I needed a gentle reminder to slow my thoughts, release the pain and breathe. I am becoming more self-disciplined when focusing on life goals. I will be a Yoga Teacher offering light in times of despair. I am strength. I will be compassionate to myself and others so we can welcome healing into our hearts and souls.

I am appreciative to all those who are helping me on this journey. I am thankful for the program and scholarships founder Michelle Young of My Vinyasa Practice, and the organization Yoga Pose has offered to allow scholars of color to obtain their 200YTT certification at no cost. I have delved deeper into understanding the foundations of the Practice and feel more confident. Yes, Yoga is inclusive, and there is space for every race and shape to enjoy its mental and physical healing powers! Namaste!    

I have Graduated! Now time to teach and practice with YOU!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

2020, The Grief and Broken Heart You Have Given to Me

Granny and Me in 2017

2020, The Grief and Broken Heart You Have Given to Me by Chellyz View_

– Granny this is dedicated to you

No matter how much you try to convince yourself you will be strong as you watch a loved one transition from their earthly form to evolving into a spiritual being, it isn’t easy. At some point, my family and I knew we couldn’t be selfish because we wanted her to stay. During one of my last visits, I whispered in her ear and assured Granny that we would be alright because we didn’t want her to suffer anymore. A couple of weeks before she left us, her last prayer was, “Father, take me to the Heavens,” with her hands lifted to the sky.

On November 15, 2020, at 2:13 pm, on a cold and windy day, my Granny took her last breath, tiptoed out of her bedroom of 62 years, and peacefully walked into Heaven. I know she was welcomed by the Heavenly Father, ancestors, and many individuals she missed so dearly.

One and a half years old with my Granny

I don’t know about you, but 2020 broke my heart and, at times, my spirit more than ever. There have been other years where I have faced heartache and pain, but this year’s rounds of ups and downs have been more severe. Thanksgiving was very different this year. We didn’t have Granny, but we had each other. My family is small, but we have big hearts. This holiday taught me the importance of what courage and love from family truly meant though we may not always agree. We understood without a doubt that we can lean on each other. We smiled, laughed, danced, cried, and created new beautiful memories despite our sadness. I know Granny is proud of us!

First Family Thanksgiving without Granny 2020

Grief is very draining, and it can deplete every bit of you. It was challenging to grieve during this pandemic. Only so many people could attend the funeral and no risk of having a repass because we wanted to be cautious. As a grieving heart begins to heal, there will be those painful times when things seem so heavy. A challenging moment occurred while I was trying to find a song for Granny’s slide show. It was dark outside, and the tears began to flow while playing a rendition of “Grandma’s Hands.” Suddenly, the sun peaked through my window for a quick second. It felt as if Granny stopped by and hugged me right then, and I felt a sense of peace and thankfulness.

I must admit one of the most important lessons I learned this year is to be grateful for every minute. Family members, friends, legends, and famous people have been leaving this Earth in record numbers; it seems this year. Show appreciation to those you love before it’s too late. Try to forgive others and ask others to forgive you. However, if the efforts of resolving old wounds and binding broken relationships go awry, then it is time to let things go.

I know you heard this a thousand times (probably in a previous post), but life is too short to hold on to bitterness and anger. Life is too precious to hang on to people who keep reminding you of who or what you used to be. You know the ones who don’t know how to let go of the past. The present time is waiting for you to live life to the fullest with your presence even while navigating through grief!

Granny at her 70th Birthday Party

We are moving closer to a new year. I can’t promise you that soon as the clock strikes midnight in 2021, everything will be perfect. So, don’t wait for 2021 to find peace. Find it now. Be grateful now. Search for what can heal you now. Grow through this now. Learn to find a moment every day to practice thankfulness now.

It’s ok not to be strong all the time. Please know it is alright to lean on others that can help you. Reach out to someone now. Take care of yourself now. Look to the Holy Father to help you renew your strength now. 2020, you might have broken my heart in so many pieces, but step to the side while I welcome Love, Peace, and Happiness. I know with time time my grieving heart will slowly mend!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Jeff Lorber featuring Eric Benet. “Grandma’s Hands.” He Had a Hat, Blue Note Records, 2007.

We Are Not All Safe While Staying at Home by Chellyz View

Raising Hands

 

We Are Not All Safe While Staying at Home by Chellyz View

Attention: This post is not directed to those who are intentionally going out just for the sake of going out, but for those who may not have a safe or comfortable space to call home.

Today, I am going to simply keep things simple! I wrote a post at the end of March about staying at home during this crisis. I know this is a matter of life or death, but everyone’s space is different. So, at this moment, I am not here to go on a rampage or soapbox about what people should or should not do. Those of us who are grown and reside in a safe and comfortable space know what’s up. Those of us who are not grown and have a safe and comfy space to live in should take heed to wisdom when our elders are trying to drop those nuggets (and not the ones from that fast food place).

Since the occurrence of the PANDEMIC, I have been looking around my home. I had to stop myself from complaining and appearing to be a tad bit ungrateful. I noticed all the flaws, the leaks, and the unfinished projects that were projected to be finished but never were. I began to feel a little frustrated. Staying at home made me realize the foundation of the inside and outside of my house, desperately needed to be fixed. I sat still for a moment, and I spoke to the Holy Spirit. I offered my thank you’s and lifted praises for having a safe place to stay. Shortly after, I made a mental note of what needed to be repaired. Some could be salvaged now, while other repairs would be completed after this partial social isolation from the world.

Next, I thought about my children. Things are not perfect, but I believe they are like me and didn’t realize how blessed they are. The two of them have their own room, own iPhone, own game console, own Smart TV, and their own iPad with the options of unlimited snacks! Well, until I tell them, “Don’t y’all snack on another nothing. You are not hungry. You are bored.” Then, I had to politely walk away from the fridge and preach the same sermon to myself.

My children don’t have the worries of sharing or fighting over who would enjoy which series or movies to watch or games to play. They don’t have to fuss unless they are restless and need to take their frustration out on someone, which is known as typical sibling rivalry.  The children, Hub, and I have enough space to scatter ourselves if we feel overwhelmed by being enclosed under one roof. Now and then, we stream and watch movies together or play board games. On a couple of Sundays, we rode out to Belle Isle just to change the scenery. Thus far, the income flows. My overdue bills are from my lack of not being a good steward over my finances. I will post about that at a later time.

Then, I thought about the rest of the world as the #stayathome movement is stressed. Some people are struck hard, and the punches sting. Some people couldn’t apply for unemployment because they may have been paid under the table, not worked long enough, or just didn’t qualify. Some households are busting through the seams because the Head of the Household has their children. Another family member may be living there with their children, then there might be an elderly family member or cousin or friend or two all sharing one common space. Living conditions may not be ideal. Stretching food has been extended to the limits. People are becoming too restless and anxious because the walls are caving in as the people are overflowing in the home.

No back porch to chill on if you are living in an apartment building.
For some, there are no long drives for a change of scenery if there’s no reliable transportation. No time to take a whole day to catch up on laundry because there is no washer or dryer. No catching up on long-overdue home improvement projects if you are renting because the landlord owns the home. The list goes on and on.

Then, I thought about the problems that haven’t disappeared though COVID has appeared. Abuse lurking leading to fists and words scarring innocent souls. Addictions brewing leading to children being neglected. The cycle of poverty is prevalent, and the reflection of pain is shown on the face of a man, woman, or child who longs to escape, but the chance of COVID attacking them is on the other side of the door. Someone out there feels trapped more than ever.

I want people to be safe, but I don’t want us to ignore the issue that everyone doesn’t have the option of feeling safe in a comfortable space. What do we do?

I can tell you what I must do! I am more thankful, I am praying for healing, I am requesting protection for those who need it, I am providing resources when possible, I am pleading for a cure, I am asking for Mercy, and I am taking this life one day at a time. Cause staying safe in a comfortable space ain’t an option for everyone.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

 

Photo by Luis Dalvan from Pexels