By Myra Lewin
We’ve been working with a family here at Hale Pule for several years. They come to visit about once a year, and I work with their mother around ways to support their health at home. As the children have grown up, they have been taught to notice the positive and negative consequences that come as a result of their choices. This year at summer camp, they were offered oatmeal for breakfast topped with ice cream (a way to bribe them to eat the oatmeal). The children have experienced enough stomachaches and eczema from eating poorly and made the decision to turn down the ice cream. At 7 and 10 years old, they are exercising viveka, or discernment. In other words, they know how to think for themselves.
If you are used to doing Yoga asana in a group setting, it’s a common pitfall to compare your progress with the people around you. But there is no end goal in Yoga asana. No matter how long you have practiced, there are always new steps and levels to reach. If you are focused on trying to get your hips as open as the next person or do sun salutations with the most flair, you’re not honoring your personal journey. Progression in asana is something that comes over time and with dedication. Rushing into the full expression of a pose runs counter to the teachings of Yoga.
Green vegetables are showing up everywhere lately -- raw in salads, pureed in smoothies, even baked as chips. It’s good to see more people interested in eating healthfully, but just because a little bit is good for you doesn’t mean that more is better. In fact, too many green vegetables without enough grounding, nourishing foods can quickly send vata dosha soaring.
Recently I have been looking back to February 2016, when I found myself on my mat in the bright, spacious yoga room at Hale Pule’s Yoga teacher training. In that expansive month-long opportunity, I learned to look ahead.
Landing with a thump in my plank pose, I hear Myra say, “Look ahead.” “Look ahead when you jump back.” Later when I jumped forward to meet myself at the top of the mat, I noticed how I clung to the image of my feet, following them compulsively to meet my hands, as if they might not be there if I didn't strain my neck to ensure they were moving.