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Welcoming the return of Spring is a celestial treat for my soul. Right as the sun moves into her presentation of longer days on our side of the earth, the glorious full moon is holding her own precisely on the equinox. It is not very common for the solar and lunar calendars to converge and when they do, it is a sign of more synchronized moments to follow. It is an auspicious time to be celebrated.

This is the holding of pure balance between the opposites when dark and light, yin and yang are in perfect balance and harmony. Beginnings are once again presenting their gifts through nature as the life buds and the trees are regaining their garments, and the sounds of spring are awakening. We are witnessing what true miracles as the mystery of intelligence says I AM.

The next 30 days are a gateway for listening. A great time to redefine who you are, reinvent yourself, return to your body and decide what part of your personality or life you need to liberate in order to gain the gateway into your true self.

The ritual of Spring Cleaning is upon us. Our own divine inner self is calling to purify and let go of what is no longer serving the greater good.  Whatever has not been properly allowed to become conscious cannot be digested nor assimilated and therefore cannot be properly eliminated. We hold on to the past as a safety net of regrets covering our possibilities forward. Fear gives us hidden permission to stay stuck in our own muck! 

My teacher, Mr. TKV Desikachar, would say that the practice of yoga is 95% purification for 5% percent of awareness —that the tools of breath must be established for the lungs to help with the purifying the blood.

A breath of air is inhaled, and the oxygen from the air comes in contact with the impure blood through the thin walls of the blood vessels in the pulmonary capillaries. As oxygen comes in contact with the tissue, a form of combustion takes place. The blood takes up the oxygen and releases carbonic acid gas generated from the waste products which has been gathered up by the blood from all parts of the body.

Now the purified blood is assisted by the circulation of the heart. From the capillaries, the lymph of the blood exudes, bathes and nourishes the tissues of the body. The tissues take up the oxygen and leave the carbon dioxide. The impurities travel up the veins to the right side of the heart where the cycle begins again with every breath and heart beat.

Life is happening as the miracle of our intelligence. We take for granted the incredible working of our brilliant systems. However, the moment we consciously exhale longer and begin a slight pause after the exhale, well life has the assistance to flow in with a greater abundance of vital Heath. To actually begin a practice of breathing, we are in co-creation to our divine nature.

But Spring is the time we are renewed with the magi of our inner wizard allowing us to wake up and connect to the miracle of life simply in saying YES. Go out, walk, and take in the beauty of the birth. Take in the fresh scent of life as we enter sweet April, which in ancient mystic teachings is considered the month of miracles.

In our hemisphere, spring means longer days and the birth of life. The full moon holds the female energy of going inward as the sun brings forth the male energy of action. The full moon equinox gives us the power to complete things we started in the past and could never muster the desire of will or energy to bring into fruition. Doors are now opening and opportunities are being presented with the return of this magical season.

I welcome Spring especially after this crazy winter polar vortex! The blessings bestowed are so appreciated as I continue our commitment to renewed health of mind, body and soul with the fires of enthusiasm at YAF as we take in another April fools day as God’s fool. That fateful beginning is the  comic joke of synchronized timing which never ceases to make me laugh. Having opened on April 1, 1998, I never doubt the pure fun of my inner mystic! 

I hope to inspire anyone that wants a deeper understanding of these ancient tools of living life with more joy to consider my teacher training that starts in September. It’s a way to go deeper and nourish that hidden unspoken place of longing to grow. It’s not the outcome, but the journey, and it’s a great opportunity for understanding how the tools of Yoga heal! The course is for those students who either want to explore teaching or just want their own practice to be more defined. Julie Pate and I will be hosting an information meeting and discussion on Saturday, May 4 from 1-2pm for those wanting to learn more. You can also visit teacher training on our website.


Blessings,
Laura Jane

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Laura Jane Mellencamp and friends at YAF’s Mexico Yoga Retreat February 2019

My little voice keeps playing out, “I have so much to do”, “I am so busy.” Hearing the constant chatter of thoughts brings my heart to racing, and my nervous system once again kicks into overdrive. This habit repeats itself until I exhaust myself with the pull of resistance, creating an even greater struggle and suffering.  

The trickster of my mind is telling me that there is never enough time, never enough energy to DO. How did I learn to DO life—instead of feeling my aliveness and just BEing present to life itself?  Where did I collude with my little self and identify with my list of activities (and outer need to be seen) by needing to do all this stuff!? What is the quality of my doing—Driving to work, speaking with students, writing this newsletter, running errands, and dealing with all the countless other things that make up my daily life?

AM I  actually present to what I am feeling in the moment? The effort here implies my stress and strain, the need to reach a certain point in the future or accomplish a certain result so I will reach a state of happiness. Oh, how the little mind plays such tricks!

My joy arises when I surrender into a state of balance or yoga. In consciousness, I am able to step out of my habit of doing, and be still to the listening of my greater self. This is what determines my joy in life, not how much effort I make in getting it done.

Years ago, I used to call my little self the “elf.” I took away the “s” and found this elf self. The elf self tricked me into my false identity of holding on to my various roles and brought my mind into constant movement between thoughts of past and projections of future. The elf was running the show.

Not until I fell into my deepest heartbreak and asked for help, did the wisdom of something different and more subtle began to awaken. The greater Self began to emerge from those hidden places, deep in dark corners of my hidden shame. Grief began to flow, and the churning began. I let go of patterns and habits that no longer were leading me forward. Yoga was my gateway to a sweeter, gentler place of acceptance of all of myself. It was the merging the elf self into my TRUE SELF that left me with a new sensation of being in the NOW. 

Being in the NOW is a practice of which I am constantly committed to living. And when I catch my mind moving into the words of abuse, its witness arises and moves me back to the breath. In that split second of thought, I choose to move in another direction by sitting in the awkward confusion of not doing—and by feeling the tension (or the release)—as I slowly feel myself physically shift. 

It’s taken a daily practice to forgive myself for being so human. I go back to the floor and surrender into it. I guide my little self to observe where my body meets the floor. My body softens as I feel myself loosening, dropping, and melting into the floor. I can feel a profound sense of heaviness as I experience the quality of lightness around me and inside the space of my breathing.

I need to let go of doing and making anything happen and allow life to unfold naturally. I need to be mindful of my physical body, where my body parts actually touch and not touch as the space unfolds around me. I can have two opposing feelings at the same time. I need to witness these thoughts, these sounds, and choose to stay aware of these feelings in the presence of the experience.

How do I practice this mindfulness in my daily life? Can I be mindful of how I get in and out of the car, walk up and down the stairs, wait in line, talk to my daughter? Can I witness the pause between reactive little habits and the space of the pause as the complete observer at the same time? Can I choose to be more kind, practice more patience, and be more tolerant as I feel my elf self want to take over and run away?

Living with consciousness takes practice and yet, I feel we are at a point in history where we must slow down, go inward, and learn to be more loving to ourselves. At times even teaching yoga has made the experience just another “to do list” objective, a daily task master of feeding the abuse of self loathing. Effort to get the results diminishes the true desire to surrender all outcome and be present to what is being presented NOW. 

Mexico yoga retreat - February 2019

That’s why each year I relish the opportunity to host retreats. It is a true opportunity to gather people together to go deeper into the state of yoga. I am always amazed at how much effort it takes to unplug from our daily habits and roles and let go of our awkward places of hiding in our outer boxes or personalities of learned behavior. We all come feeling uncomfortable in our skin.

My love of teaching is to remove the fear and embrace each person in love. My joy comes from creating a safe space to drop the outer box. I want to know who is inside, the welcome guest at the dinner party of life. I want each person to find a welcoming to belong and be seen in the inner light and to feel enough.

It takes great courage to reveal our deepest longings to be enough and to move forward through the heart. The heart will guide us forward while the head goes kicking and screaming into our deepest fears. I know from my daily humble practice, I am not getting it perfect, but I have made a commitment to keep growing.

I have been hosting retreats for 20 years, and they always given more than I give.  I am hosting a gathering at on Saturday, March, 16 at 1:00pm for anyone curious to learn more about my upcoming trip to Ireland this October. I want to host this gathering to invite your soul to come forward and be curious. There is profound calling in each of us to awaken our soul and life is our playground. Let’s ignite the flame of passion to be enough, do less, but live more!!

Much Love,

Laura Jane

FREE Yoga & Meditation Retreat Information SessionSATURDAY MARCH 16, 1–2pm

Join Laura Jane Mellencamp-Murphy for a FREE sneak peek about her upcoming fall yoga retreat in Co. Clare, Ireland. Laura will share details of retreat and optional site seeing excursions while answering any questions that you may have.

Laura Jane will be hosting a like minded community on her retreat, Embracing the Mystic—An Irish Retreat Exploring the Journey Inward, October 11-18, 2019. Be sure to register and benefit from the $300 savings. Early bird pricing ends on April 1, so don’t miss out!  The discount drops to $200 off on April 2. Full price starts June 2.

KINDLY RSVP FOR IRELAND RETREAT INFO SESSION

Interested, but can't make the meeting...  No worries! Contact Laura to get your questions answered. 

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In deep respect to the brilliance of this quote (from my poet hero, Mary Oliver), I have spent the last few weeks watching how upside down and right side up our world presents itself as pure confusion and how quickly we shift perspectives. Years ago, I had a close student and friend who struggled with her embarrassment.

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
— Mary Oliver, 1935-2019

She was nervous to share that she worked for the branch of government called the TSA. She was ashamed and carried a belief that people were judging her for this job. She assumed she was a nuisance to the public as she endured endless long days of abuse and frustration from the many travelers annoyed with her required duties. I would listen to her and try and shift this perspective by helping her see the value in what she was doing for those many years of hard work.

Today, because of the government shutdown, the role of TSA is now seen as an unsung hero. There were cheers of gratitude and exchanges of “thank you” as I waited through the long and tedious lines back from California during the shutdown. I marveled at how public opinion can change and how our learned bias opinions are simply a perspective that can be shifted by holding the opposite.  

Yoga is a system of tools that help the mind hold balance in opposites. A state of yoga is a mind that is balanced. If I follow only what I like, it will without doubt lead to future pain. All addictive behavior starts with pleasure seeking, until the pleasure turns to pain.  If I avoid what I don’t like, I will remain in my pain and actually create more pain.

If the mind actually moves into attention of its habits, it allows for a space of grace for me to reveal a discerned choice. This glimmer of consciousness is the beginning of devotion. To be able to witness and hold opposites, and move in the direction that is going to serve the highest good for all, is the beginning of devotion to something greater.

Avoiding fear and discomfort is the path of a mind unwilling to let go and expand its consciousness. By making an effort to move into another thought and actually experience a shift of habit, is the practice of yoga. The ability to see from another perspective, and with compassion, is the opening of LOVE.

Love is not a striving (or a doing) of my constant desire to get love. It is a willingness to BE LOVE.  The pure action of love is opening, expanding and the willingness to let go of judgement, bias opinion, and the fear of not getting love. Survival is fear. Thriving in life is the gift of feeling the profound joy of being love.

I only know that to use fear as a manipulative vehicle is not in the integrity of this vibrational Truth. For example, trying to inspire health, by promoting fear of disease, is not going to change the mind to move to respect for life. To teach yoga as an outcome to win, or to be better than someone else, is also not in holding respect for the tools.

 I can only smile more, hug more. Let’s just commit to attention for a practice of being kinder to ourselves and see how little it takes to be the kindness you want to experience in the world. Attention to this vibration is the beginning of something that words cannot explain or understand. The intelligence of life is love and it is felt. Live, laugh, love and let go as you move forward through the heart. Thank you, dear Mary Oliver, for being this voice of devotion for me. 

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Ritual is such a huge part of our center’s daily practice. For me, it’s my daily walking up the many flights of stairs, opening the door, turning on the light, watering the fountain and the plants, answering the messages, sweeping up the floor, and sitting down on my mat.

I enter into the sacred space of our yoga room and say, "Thank you.”  Gratitude fills my heart for all of you many wonderful souls that have made the effort to “show up” and commit to the integrity of revealing your true deeper selves. You arrive and go inward with the only intention of falling in love and letting go—letting go of the outer need to get everything that our world today sells with such gusto.  

Yoga is not something one strives to “get”, but instead it is a practice that is constantly being explored through the actual ritual of making time and space and by allowing and creating an opportunity for witnessing something greater.  

Ritual offers a new beginning everyday to say "yes" to the moment, the day. Saying “yes” is surrendering into love and experiencing the pure joy of feeling. This joy of feeling might bring up emotions that the ego finds uncomfortable or awkward. It’s not familiar with experiencing our anxieties (or tensions) by being asked to just breathe into the body. We should try to look at this as a gift. The gift is to be able to release the patterns that hold us prisoner to our moods. Now the joy takes us by surprise as we start to feel and experience the presence of our awakening.

This is the ritual called life. It might present itself through release with laughter or tears, but it’s so sweet to feel one’s pure aliveness. In a world, where we have bullied ourselves with self loathing, cut off our deeper emotions, and told to “buck up”, we fall into the ritual of numbing and distraction. It takes a desire for self love to move into new directions inspiring true kindness and compassion. Being taught that the job, the relationship, the material world would offer happiness only created a vacuum for the soul to feel enough.

Living is full of challenges and frustrations. This year was filled with sadness, heartbreak, and deep grief for many of our students. To be human today will always rub against our fragile behaviors and deeper wounds.

In living fully, we cannot escape grief. But I can make the effort of my daily ritual to observe the thought as pure habit —and not identify that I am the fear, or the worry, or the pain of sadness. In my practice, I can witness that fear is being revealed, doubt is being observed, or sadness is being exposed. But while staying present to the quality of my breath, I choose to feel the actual sensations that are arising from those learned thoughts as they move through. I then choose to grasp on to something stable (or solid) as a foundation to a new awareness. My breathing is deeper, my exhales become longer, and my tensions in and around my body are relaxing. I choose to focus on the pulsations in my physical body, moving with breath, and note something in my nervous system has shifted. My overall mood starts to shift, and the effect is clearly calming. I am able to step out of the spiral of negative thought. I am willing to let the feelings arise in me without judgement, and experience the effect on the physical, emotional and mental layers of my being. My chest is not as tight, my jaw is no longer clenched, and my pulse has slowed down. I am feeling a sweet release in my stomach, and I am aware of a lightness in my heart. The word that now arises into my consciousness is ease. Life is ease.

To choose a better thought is the greatest sense of freedom—by actually choosing the quality of thought. I can choose life to be sweeter and lighter. The ritual is to feel those qualities, not to just think them. My intellect will never get yoga, so to even read this blog post may confuse the little mind. I want to feel these words as sensation in the presence of my ritual practice. I must feel my “yes” as a pure quality of knowing my heart is directing my actions of service.  

My new beginning is my ritual as an everyday practice. To me, it’s the beginning of my new day, my new year! Happy New Year! Let go of thinking the outcome of a goal will offer you happiness. Either getting it or not only feeds the little mind of need. Instead, just set your intention and create your daily “yes” around the desire to shine! You are already enough and MAGNIFICENT. Now choose to experience the yes of life. Embrace the joy of living. Blessings for another beautiful and adventurous year of growing brighter.

Many blessings,

Laura Jane

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The season of the silent night is here as I watch the winter snow fall so softly. A white blanket of profound beauty greeted me in the early morning hour. It’s a divine opportunity to be quiet, cancel my active day and be still.

Ahh..the best of being is in a safe warm home. However, my empathic heart is holding space for those less fortunate, whether they be stranded at a crowded airport or left homeless with the whimsy of mother nature’s wrath.

The extremes of climate change are present in everyday living and once again, I am reminded how fragile the ego is to the power of nature. Humble to the forces that are so out of my control. Giving myself permission this morning to gather space for deeper self reflection and push pause on the “to do list” that occupies my chattering mind. I enter a place of sweet reminders that life is precious and rushing is so abusive to the soul. I long for more days like this that have offered a permission to “not do”.   

This past year was filled with many blessings; and yet, I am so aware of the loss and grief that come with so many people’s hearts breaking. It was a year with many souls struggling to make peace with letting go and the uncertainty of solid ground.

The gift that I can give is to offer my profound enthusiasm for living life regardless of what chaos surrounds us in the moment. I greet each day with possibility for adventure and wonder. I make a true effort to see past my judgments or bias memory to view each soul as intrinsically kind.

I feel in our world today there is a sales pitch for Pollyanna naivety and that we market the idea of “happiness” as a product of manipulation. I am fully aware of all the horrors of human behavior acting from its bias fear. I just have chosen to stay in the witness of holding the opposites and choosing to see the world with possibility for higher good. It doesn’t mean that I don’t suffer at times with the confusion of doubt that will arise when I am tired, too distracted or confused. I too am very human and need to practice what I so love to teach—the tools of yoga. I am no guru or saint; yet I love to hug, greet and listen to another human being going through the pain of living.

Life will not give us only one flavor, and it is never a straight line. The many spirals will continue to break our hearts open. Our obstacles and challenges must be acknowledged. I refuse to offer a quick fix of distracting the mind with all the various ways we find to avoid the experience of feeling. Sadness of tears brought me to my knees in deep grief and pain is as much my life story as my joys of laughter and moments of pure ethereal bliss.

I refuse to rescue someone from their own sense of empowerment. I want to inspire each person to commit to their deepest desire in an effort to grow. To move forward as the soul propels itself deeper into an awaken state of self actualization. It takes patience, acceptance, and forgiveness. Not in the capacity of the intellect to go there but into the free fall of being held by the profound and mystical presence of a fully conscious soul. The path is to alleviate the suffering of the mind, not to harm it with anesthesia.

I have now realized that teaching yoga is not just to "feel good" but an opportunity to dig deep into the dark places of unconscious behavior. To change behavior can be just another form of abuse without first becoming aware of the hidden thought behind the action.

To make conscious one’s thoughts is the practice of listening that arises when opportunity for stillness is honored. Intention to be still, quiet and focus the roaming mind away from its daily identity of doing. Just as today offers opportunity as a “snow day” for me to share my heart. Permission to unplug and share my inner landscape.

I spent years resisting teaching any teacher training courses. I have always considered myself a practitioner of healing and never wanted to offer just an outer persona as teacher. But I realized that the course is an opportunity for students to learn the history, the philosophy, the function of the poses, and the many ways the mind needs to be refined. Teaching the course, gives students a way to help heal their own story and move into the joy of being enough.

I hope that I inspired a renewed commitment this season to embrace the quiet and the beauty of a silent night. Extending a heartfelt blessing to everyone in our community and beyond that may we will willing to embrace the fullness of life with passion, joy, and a renewed sense of wellbeing.

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Check out this article in Chicago Tribune by Kate Thayer on a way to know the tools of yoga are being used to ease our troubled thoughts and moods during this cycle of politics and elections. Laura Jane Mellencamp and Ann Walther contributed.

With political angst running high as midterms approach, voters on both sides worry: What if things don't go my way?

People on both sides of the political spectrum describe feelings of angst as the midterm elections approach. While Democrats are still reeling from Trump’s victory, those who are more conservative say they still recall a long eight years of feeling unrepresented under President Barack Obama.

Laura Jane Mellencamp said she often hears from her students about their reaction to the political divisiveness of the country. The political climate has people riled up, she said, and looking to her to help calm their nerves. Attendance is up at Mellencamp’s studio, Yoga Among Friends, in Downers Grove.

“They are coming in with great sadness or anxiety … to the point where I see people having more migraines or stomach disorders,” she said. “It’s definitely affecting people’s well-being.”

Read the full article>>

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Our world needs all of us to join in loving kindness and to forgive ourselves for learning wrong.

This past week has been one of incredible sadness for the state of mind acting out in violence. As a teacher, mother, and friend of many, I make the effort to be living in a state of consciousness where I am fully awake to the witness of my thoughts. I am asking my little self, “Is that thought bringing you into a better place of ease or is that thought colluding with the worry and fear of what your eyes are seeing?”

My outer self is being bombarded with profound images and sounds of hatred, provoked by the extremes of radical thought. It is taking greater effort to come back and delink from my reactive habit of presenting anger and rage. I am hurting deeply. 

The pain I feel is immense, and yet I am also holding amazing love and compassion for all beings as I am experiencing their pain. We are all in this together! While I want to separate and judge, I need to be fully engaged in the world and take part in my daily roles. I cannot go live in a cave and isolate. 

I am living a path of Karma yoga in service to the life I have been given. I just have to make choices and it starts with my thoughts. From every thought I have, I move into sound and action. I ask myself, “Is this thought leading me in better direction or am I only feeding the small mind of ego wanting to be righteous and react with unkind tones?” 

Habits of behavior are learned. If I continue to feed the mind that is afraid, I only resist LIFE. I fall into life daily with my practice and yet the outcome in not mine. I want a place that feels alive with a radiant sense of belonging. We all want to be seen, feel valued, and be honored as human beings. In a world today where we separate and judge ourselves on the outcome, we rate our effort "not good enough" if it isn’t  seen. We value the product the winner, and the loser is the one without the stuff of material worth or without a personal relationship.  

I want a shirt that has a huge “L” imprinted on the front. I am claiming that letter as my true self; it stands for love, laughter, light, LIFE! Let's choose the word that arises from the right thought and be the action of that which moves the heart forward. 

Our world needs all of us to join in loving kindness and to forgive ourselves for learning wrong. I invite you to chant, sing, write poetry, breathe into the right brain, and activate the space that cultivates consciousness, the space of awareness and love. I invite you to practice being awkward to the intellect of the left brain and begin to live life in a mind balanced between intellect and your greater intelligence. This is the gift of being present.

In a time of turmoil and unrest, practice daily coming back to stillness. As winter's darkness approaches, make a commitment to light your inner candle and feel the grace of the illuminated Self expand and send that vibrational tone by chanting OM. As Gandhi would say, “Be the change, you want to see in the world”. 

Hope is not in the intellect, for it will judge and argue until I find myself spinning down the drain of despair. I will simply thank my mind for the thought and not engage to change it. Instead I invite my awareness of the thought (or emotion) into my practice by thanking it and then immediately choosing to feel the opposite as a somatic experience. 

When you place the mind into the body with the breath (or touch or sound or mantra), you begin to feel the sensory sensation of being present. Your heart expands and becomes fuller, and you experience your true self resting in the heart. Try it. From this place of aliveness, begin your day being truly SEEN. 

Namaste,

Laura Jane


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The Language of the Soft Heart

Who are you? Never mind all your fears and insecurities, or all the things you have or would like to have. Forget that you want to be a better person. I don’t want to know your gender, nationality, age, family situation, ethnic background, and certainty not what you do for a living or your political views.

My question is this: what is your true nature? Do you ever ask yourself? Do you use the tools of yoga to ever practice exploring this question?

I’m not asking who you believe yourself to be or how you think other’s see you, but rather what you experience in those moments when you are not caught up in your wants and fears. What do you rely on to give meaning to your life?

These are hard yet essential questions for those who wish to consciously experience life’s fullness. I am always telling myself, Laura Jane, you are NOT your thoughts!

The veil of distraction is filled with wanting what I like and rejecting what I don’t like—the push and pull of life in my little mind. I struggle to remind myself that I am not my history. My habits do not define me as my true self. It is my heart that must find its true path.

Going inward is at times painful, and I do everything to distract myself with the outer world of my addiction to those “shiny objects” of attachment.

I must remind myself always that my practice is not to get anything, but to constantly be willing to let go, soften my heart, and breathe into that which has no form but offers a quality of spaciousness, expansion, lightness and ease. Only then, does the tension drop, and something is revealed in a way my intellect cannot conceive nor understand—the intelligence of “knowing” is felt.

Life is experienced as sensation as I sit in a stillness. I am more than my thoughts; there is a softness in my heart. The heaviness of worry and doubt are lifted, and I feel the flow of life—pure aliveness. I am this; this light of love! Yoga offers us the pathway back to our true nature. In sanskrit this is called the purusha. I call it, my soul. 

By coming to my yoga mat, I am telling my little mind that now we are beginning the journey inward, and I must practice reminding myself that the outer world can wait. It is desire to live in this consciousness of balance that inspires love. I am not here to win, to prove myself better than, or even judge myself as less than. I am only here to shine.

We are all given this beautiful life, and let’s remember to be kinder, gentler, and more forgiving to ourselves. Be willing to find who you truly are on this journey of living. Be courageous, be authentic, and be the language of a soft heart! 

This coming winter, I invite you to join me on the journey back to Prana Del Mar in Cabo, Mexico, my spiritual home, as a way of remembering and reconnecting to one’s true self. I will support you where you are, and I will offer you a safe place to be seen for who you truly are.

Namaste,

Laura Jane

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“When you receive whoever comes into the space of NOW as a noble guest, when you allow each person to be who they are, they begin to change. To know another human being in their essence, you don’t need to know anything abut them—their past, their history, their story. We confuse knowing about with the deeper knowing that is non-conceptional. One is concerned with form, the other formless.”
—Elkhart Tolle

This is the path of sharing the teachings of yoga:

  • to meet and greet the pure essence of one’s inner being;  
  • to hold a safe place where the little mind can let go of the form and experience something perhaps unfamiliar and awkward;
  • to allow an awakening of something greater that has no form but moves us forward into the pure gift of life.

This has been and will continue to be the way we can teach self love. This is our community at Yoga Among Friends.

I am today and everyday grateful that I followed an inner voice that tapped me on the shoulder and brought my ego to the knees. The depth of going into the dark night of our soul is not to harm but to offer the gateway to our inner light. I pray for the courage to live beyond my story, my fears and bias opinions—to live without the striving for the outcome.

I had no idea that inner knowing would lead me to establish a yoga center in a town call Downers Grove—to hold a space that would become a community safe haven for so many.

On Saturday, September 22, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary as a yoga center with a party. An event that could not happen without all of the many beautiful individual lights that have participated in the journey of yoga.

Without community, nothing can thrive and grow, and so we hope you will join us in celebration. Come honor your teacher who has helped to see you not in form, but in the place of acceptance that everyone matters as radiant life. Come fete your fellow yogis who have journeyed along with you. It might take one vision to plant a seed, but to help nourish and care for the plant takes a combined effort of loving commitment. We are community and belonging is where we can meet with our differences and be seen for our true self.  

We are all teachers for one another, and we at YAF have learned much from you, our students, and we are truly grateful. May each day offer another opportunity to continue our learning together. 

Learn more about our anniversary party and RSVP here.


Blessings,
All of us at YAF
 

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Listen in as Laura Jane joins as the featured guest of Christine Kathryn on her podcast, "Creating Space with Christine Kathryn."  

Episode 64, Spacious Relationships: True Belonging, has Laura Jane discussing her belief that we are living in a ‘hot-headed, cold-hearted world,” and her work here is to help cool the mind and warm the heart. Laura Jane and Christine Kathryn spend a good deal of time talking about belonging and how Laura says arriving there is an ‘inside job’. She talks about the greater depth of belonging to everything, and that true belonging is through being in relationship to ‘something greater’. They touch on self-love, and Laura Jane shares her unique perspectives on its relationship to forgiveness and recovery, and how we are all offered this path.

They cover so much more about learning to live in healthy relationship with the world around us, that you might want to have something handy to take notes and possibly listen to it more than once. There’s a lot of concepts you may need to sit with in order to let them soak in. One thing’s for sure, Laura Jane is a spitfire who’s proud to ‘take up a lot of space in this world’ and Christine Kathryn is so glad she does!  

Listen to the podcast on Christine Kathryn's website or on iTunes

Christine Kathryn guides women toward self-healing and empowerment by leading them on a journey to find the answers within. She has designed a variety of services to help with the journey toward inner discovery including: one-on-one mentoring, small group mentoring, workshops, and classes. Every Monday, she shares a podcast on topics that provide inspiration and techniques to gain more peace, calmness, and ease in your life.  

Learn more about Christine Kathryn and her work:


 

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