Yoga Ripples in the World

blue flower faces (c) 2014 Holly TroyWhat a gift! I just saw this post from Onieka’s Yoga Life, and I got goosebumps. Onieka Mays just started teaching yoga at Riker’s Island though Liberation Prison Yoga and the Prison Yoga Project.

An excerpt from Onieka’s blog about her work with the Prison Yoga Project:

. . . Today I met the students. Some were excited to show me a few asanas. Others were thrilled that they would be coming to class. The women were friendly, kind and chatty. A lot of these women are awaiting trial and couldn’t make bail and that’s why they are there. Without much at all to do many seize the opportunity to participate in the programs that are offered. Liberation Prison Yoga incorporates writing, yoga and meditation . . . 

I’m headed to meet Anneke Lucas, founder of Liberation Prison Yoga. I’ll be teaching students here at the Rose M. Singer dorm twice monthly.

Here’s a bit more about Anneke and LPY: 

Liberation Prison Yoga grew out of the need for an organized way to support yoga instructors interested in serving in prisons and jails in New York. Anneke Lucas started creating programs in different facilities in 2011, bringing along many teachers, social workers and psychologists, training them to use a trauma-sensitive approach while sharing their preferred yoga style. Anneke developed yoga programs according to the different needs in different settings, including discussion and free-flow writing in certain classes, and runs groups with sex-trafficked women at Riker’s Island.

 

“We have to be committed to rehabilitation if we are going to be an evolved society, a mature society, a just society. Correctional facilities should be correctional – not just because it’s healthy for the people who are incarcerated, but it’s healthy for all of us.” ~Bryan Stevenson, Grady Bankhead’s Lawyer/Director, Equal Justice Initiative

Check out Onieka’s blog to read the whole piece.

Namaste~

 

yoga roots and asana

I’ve been thinking about my yoga roots lately, and came across this video of variations on the twelve basic asanas sequence through the Sivananda school of yoga. It looks like this was filmed at the ashram in Grass Valley, California.

Some of these variations are very advanced. I’m inspired!

Om shanti, shanti om.

sun burst (c) holly troy 2014

Born on a Thursday #59 – Making Maps as We Go

Happy summer everyone!! I hope you are all having adventures and enjoying each day as much as possible. 

I took some time off from teaching yoga for a bit, sometimes I need the space and time to digest what i have learned and, also, to decide what I am going to do next. I do love teaching, and for me, part of it is following the ebb and flow of my own ability for give and take, for growth, and for creativity. I really get into it.

I’ve recently begun teaching at Truly Fit, and I have to come up with a teacher bio. Searching my computer to piece together a little something, I came across this essay about yoga and this blog. I think I was going to post it on my “bio” or “about” page. I’m not sure when I wrote it, but I never posted it (it’s a little ambivalent). However, in keeping with social media’s “throw back Thursday” – I am posting it today. 

Here goes . . . 

For the longest time I’ve had my Yoga Bio up on this page – and for the longest time I feel like it doesn’t say who I am. Really, how could it?

Yeah, I teach yoga.  It’s totally hip.

Nowadays, being a yoga teacher could mean I am a bored housewife who decided what fun it would be to stay in shape while I teach my other bored housewife friends yoga. We could dish about the latest articles and outfits in Yoga Journal over chai lattes after class.

Or maybe I am a middle-aged divorcee who started taking yoga to keep myself grounded after my horrible break-up.

Maybe I am a tree-hugging granola-type who likes to spend time all day spacing out.

Maybe I like to wear spandex.

IMG_0823Yoga is hip. Maybe that’s good, maybe it isn’t. Some people will try yoga. Cool.

I really can’t stand yoga clichés.

The truth of the matter is, I do yoga because it feels good. I like being around other people who are feeling good, too.

When I trained to be a yoga teacher back in 1996, most people thought I was crazy. Live on an ashram for a month? Is a yoga farm like that Spinal Tap song Sex Farm? Chant? Meditate? What’s a sutra? Why do you wanna be a freak and bend like a pretzel?

Sivananda - 12 Basic Asanas

Sivananda – 12 Basic Asanas

Yoga training was hardcore. One week into it, even I feared (for a moment) I was being sucked into a cult. But, I stuck with it. I weakly held on to the fact in the back of my mind that I was in a band, and without a lead singer they couldn’t play gigs, so one of my band mates for certain would rescue me if I needed it. Mostly, though, I let go and allowed myself to be and to learn and to change.

I remember the night before yoga teacher graduation. I was in a group hug with four of my classmates. We declared that our time on the ashram was “the eternity that never was”.  That cosmic blip in the space of my life experience softened me (and still continues to soften me).

Since then, yoga has become very popular in the U.S.—and far more westernized than how I learned it at Sivananda. But then again, perhaps the whole world is a bit more westernized.

My life has shifted since I began practicing yoga, too. Sometimes I am not as steady with my practice as I’d like to be, but I do the best I can. Perhaps yoga helps me to settle my experiences in my body and consciousness.

My yoga bio is only a small part of the story. I put it on the site because I teach yoga.

But what is Sacred Folly blog about?

It’s about what I’m into—and I’m into a lot of things. I’ll post stuff about (and not limited to): yoga, spirituality, music (my own and other musicians), visual art (painting, photography, etching, artists), crafts, writing (essays, poetry, short-fiction, book reviews, other writers) sub-culture, counter-culture, perma-culture, DIY-culture, bicycling, Beauty (with a capital B), nutrition, medicinal herbs, magic, astrology, tarot, alternative healing, sustainability, mother earth, shards of memory, and dreams—stuff that makes me marvel at being alive.

Maybe I made this site to help myself navigate through what it means to be human.

Om shanti, shanti om.

Thanks for reading!

Yoga on Thursdays and Breathing

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” ~ Donna Farhi

buddhaGet in touch with your body, your breath, get in touch with life.

I’m teaching gentle hatha yoga at Truly Fit on Thursday mornings. My focus is on noticing how the breath expands and relaxes the body, how it stabilizes the body and mind when fear and challenges arise.

Thursday Mornings – 8:10 to 9:15

Truly Fit
5200 E. Cortland Blvd, Suite A19
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004
928-556-0198

I hope to see you there!

Below is a short video from my last session of Writing the Energetic Body. Enjoy!!

And another video by the amazing Kate Bush. Breathing . . .

Born on a Thursday #58 – Fire, Rain, Bicycles

Fire.
So much smoke.
Rain.
Finally.

I almost cried when we went back for one more thing. Mountainaire was eerily still with low-lying smoke. I said, “It is strangely beautiful.” Tom replied, “It would be beautiful if it weren’t so devastating.”

I am tired today.

My friend Anthony says, “This is a good song for today.” I agree, so I am sharing it.

Bjork is beautiful.

Plumes of smoke from the Slide Fire viewed from Bell Rock in Sedona. May 26, 2014.

Plumes of smoke from the Slide Fire viewed from Bell Rock in Sedona. May 26, 2014.

Summer energy is here. Lately I am a bit sporadic with Born on a Thursday posts. I am expecting that trend may continue into autumn. I have been out, enjoying the days, riding, riding, and more riding! I have been learning so much about mountain biking these last couple of months – it’s exhilarating!

I choose to be active right now and explore where my body will take me. Latest and upcoming explorations: cycling, beauty, love, yoga, writing, painting, cooking, friends, music.

Life is good!

Born on a Thursday #57 – I Am Happy

After an introspective year, and an especially introspective winter looking at my relationships and at my relationship with Flagstaff and with nature, I have come to the conclusion that I am happy. I made the conscious decision to let go of old responses and compromises and am experiencing presence and trust and love.

I appreciate my life and those who are in it.

I am also riding bicycles! Oh, riding is so much fun!

meadowlands (c) 2009 Holly TroyLast night I had a dream that I was visiting my mother and step-father. It was somewhere in New Jersey – where I grew up but not where I grew up. I was afraid to visit because I knew the house they lived in was haunted. When I arrived, I walked up a pathway through a glorious garden. When I opened the front door, I was greeted by a black cat, which I had to pass in order to step into the house. In my dream I thought, “This is an omen.”

I was afraid of the ghosts in the house, but I managed to train one of them. I told my parents the house was haunted, and proved it by telling Morris, the ghost I trained, to open and close the door, which he did. My parents told me I should stay even though passing through weehawken (c) Holly Troy 2009the place was haunted. I said, “These ghosts are yours, not mine.” I had to leave.

I left the house and walked out beyond their garden and into the vast wasteland of highways and progress. The city no longer interested me, and the roads were littered with beer cans and road kill. Plastic bags and papers blew around in the breeze.

sunset (c) Holly Troy 2013When I awoke, I realized I let go of the ghosts. I was in a place where I felt absolutely safe, happy, and loved, and it was a place I chose to be. Outside the sun was rising and the air was fresh. Pine. Big blue sky. The entire day ahead of me, and all I had to do was notice.

All I have to do is notice.

Thanks for reading! Have a great week.

 

 

 

Born on a Thursday #56 – Rebirth, Bike Love, and Playing the Fool

Thanks to all who voted! The Fort Tuthill bike park won the $30,000 grant! Flagstaff just keeps getting more amazing for cycling.

Spring is blowing in fresh air here in the mountains. And with it, new thoughts, new feelings, new hopes. Playing the Fool (see April’s challenge) has been difficult, but somewhere in this last month, there’s been a shift. I’m not exactly sure when I became so serious – it crept up on me – I have had to shake the seriousness off my back.

pines! (C) 2014 Holly TroyThe children I live with are obsessed with the soundtrack to the Disney movie Frozen, which means they play it repeatedly upon waking every morning. There is one song where the chorus is “Let it go, let it go . . . ” with predictable ascending key changes. Of course, I am singing the songs along with the household now, and when Let it Go comes on, there is much gesturing, dancing and agreement from the adults (Martine and me). Honestly, so much shit has been happening that to be cheesy for five minutes is a great way to wake up – and the kids love it.

Letting go has been the theme of the winter. In fact, it’s just been a good way to be. If we can’t move forward with love, if we are taking actions out of fear or low self-esteem or anger, then it is time to just stop. I feel fortunate that I had the ability to slow down and recalibrate, shift direction, and relate to the natural world.

This morning I am sitting outside on a patio, the temperature is 66 degrees and it’s breezy.  I can hear ravens clucking and cawing, the higher music of smaller birds rounding out the concert of sound in this back yard. The sun is shining and the wind in the pines sounds like ocean waves crashing on the surf.

There is no pressure to do anything today. The plan for the day is to enjoy good company, bicycle into town entirely on 13 miles of back trails, go grocery shopping, ride back and make dinner. Enjoy the meal with friends.

It’s a perfect day.