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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Atha yoga anushasanam

What a crazy and amazing weekend!

In addition to the final installment of the Minneapolis Anusara Immersion, Ben and I were tasked with "house-sitting" for his aunt and uncle, aka watching their two dogs, Larry and Libby (short for Largo and Libretto... yay for music nerdery). Getting to hang out and play with two beautiful golden retrievers and getting free pizza to boot? Sign me up!

This is what Larry and Libby look like when they want Pizza...

They're quite convincing. But not quite convincing enough.

We watched Pan's Labryinth and finished off the Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble from last weekend, and had a great relaxing Saturday night. The next morning we woke up bright and early and took the dogs for a walk down to the lake.

Libby decided it was her job to try to eat eat everything in sight that happened to be on the ground - grass, elderberries, fluffy cotton seeds, bird poop (ew), you name it. All that eating must have worn her out though...

Seriously how cute is that??

Me with my girl Libby after our walk

I know I haven't blogged about the immersion that much, but that's partly because it has been such an internal journey. I've learned so much about myself and have made some pretty big shifts in my life, but it's hard to put it into words. All I can say is - thank you to the beautiful friends I have had the honor to meet and learn from through this experience. I know we'll continue to see each other and stay connected but I'm really going to miss our monthly immersion weekends.

"Atha yoga anushasanam" is sutra 1.1 of the yoga sutras of Patanjali - it means, "Now we begin, together, the practice of yoga." I am trying not to think of this final immersion weekend as an end, but to look at it instead as a new beginning - the beginning of a new community, new friendships, and a new understanding of what yoga means in our lives. I think Kathy said it best when she told the group "I've finally found a group of people that speaks my language." I feel the exact same way. So many thanks to my fellow yogis, our amazing teachers Ali and Ronna, and (from a distance) to John Friend for building this fabulous community of Anusara.

The ubiquitous bathroom line - 21 yogis, lots of tea, one toilet

Our fun picnic/playtime

Kate and Scott, picnicing

Stephanie, me and Kate

Scott and Ali working it with Parsvokanasana

With my Shri buddy, Rhonda. Rhonda and I met at my first-ever Anusara class - the Noah Maze workshop last fall - and have stayed connected ever since. Love you girl!

We were also tasked with putting together a piece that says what Anusara means to us. One of the quotes from the immersion that really stuck with me was an old sanskrit idiom:
"This is perfect, that is perfect. Perfect comes from perfect. Take the perfect from the perfect, only the perfect remains."
We are born perfect - we cannot become perfect, because we already are. I knew I wanted to do something with this quote, and that train of thought led me to another conversation we had about the goddesses Kali and Lakshmi. Kali is the goddess of death, and her name means "the black one." Lakshmi is the goddess of light, and embodies beauty and fullness. It is easy to see the beauty of Lakshmi, but without Kali and the cycle of dissolution and destruction, Lakshmi cannot be created.

You can see the fullness of life in a lotus flower - but the flower is nourished by the gross mucky roots and mud underneath, and it feeds off of mud and decomposing life. Lakshmi is in the flower, and Kali is in the roots, and both are beautiful. So, this was my artwork - I can't draw, but I can definitely paste together things that other people drew! Except the flower, that I did actually draw. With a little help from the gorgeous goods at Paper Source, the printer at work, and Ben's colored pencils, here is my artwork:

It reminds me to always look for the beautiful first, even when, and especially when, that beauty is hard to see.

Another week, another Monday... and less than two weeks from when I will be a married lady! So crazy... I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by. Peace and love to all.


  1. I know - I want one!! Hopefully soon we'll have our own pup :)

  2. Ah - just found your blog and I love it! Congrats on the engagement and the impending wedding - so exciting!!

    Your dogs are completely adorable :)

  3. Awww thank you! I wish those were my dogs, but they're actually my relatives'... someday soon we'll get a dog :)


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