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know the difference

Nora, Ru and I are in the carpool line waiting for AM drop-off to begin.

BRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Morning bell rings. Cars start up. Almost time to inch forward.

“Oh no!!!!!” 7 year old Nora shrieks, “My water bottle wasn’t closed all the way!!!!!!!!!!!”

She’s digging through her backpack, pulling stuff out.

Dripping gloves, sopping purple crushed velvet purse (?!?) , damp crumpled up paper balls, more damp crumpled up paper balls.

Older sister Ruthie freezes for a split-second and flashes to the fix, “Grab a shopping bag and the towel from the back!” she orders.

We do. We dry. We get what is necessary. (Not the purple crushed velvet purse.)

We drop Nora’s lunch, her daily folder, and her now-closed water bottle into the paper bag.

We leave the rest.

We pull forward.

Nora giggles with her flowered shopping bag on her shoulder and yells over her shoulder at me, “Bye mom!”

I smile. Satiated by the simplicity of solving in this moment.

This.

Was a problem to be solved.

A thing to fix.

(Feels so good.)

These things happen.

Sometimes.

And sometimes
they
don’t.

Sometimes, our greatest power in the here and now is
to feel.
(ugh, yes, that thing.)

With love, care, admiration, and wonder.

What is here?

We can ask,

What is here?

Is it a problem to fix?
Or a moment to feel?

A solution to find?
Or a softening to be?

Is it the black and white?
Or the grey zone?
(Always and forever.)

I wonder. Sometimes I wonder.

Big love as we wonder – and dry up the spilled stuff as necessary,
Rachel

this made me laugh…

Not gonna’ lie, things are rocky in the valley of people-whom-I-love right now.

And I’m tripping over the rocks left and right.

Clues abound reflecting the obvious.

Clue #1: No appetite for Rachel last night. At all.

(Softening #1: Made ojas milk – similar to this one from Kripalu – to ground, nourish, and just-because it tasted darn good. Also popped a few dates while I was at it. They were super-yum in that crap moment.)

Clue #2: When I’m usually in bed come 10:00pm, I decided AT 10:00pm last night that I should organize my bookshelf. Like the whole thing. After all, I can control the damn bookshelf but I can’t control the other steaming piles of horse poo those around me are mucking through.

(Softening #2: I did it. Moved books around to the rhythm of “pull-move-insert-repeat,” for 10 minutes. Then when the timer went off, I walked away and got ready for bed.)

(Helper alert: My husband set a timer for me and oversaw my walk-away. Because I probably couldn’t have done it on my own.)

Clue #3: I just spent 2 hours escaping into “learning clips.” With the excuse of cleaning out my Inbox. Applied psychology, movement education, TED talks, and more, my oh my. About 90 minutes of indulgence in learning. Which is a sneaky escape from the moment for me. Granted, a not so harmful one to myself or others.

Until it is because it’s standing in the way of what I need to do.

Write the blog already, RM.

(Softening #3: See that I fell in the hole. Watch another clip to finish up which is, of course, about not being a jerk to yourself with the very real Dan Harris. Yup yup. I’m a fan of that approach but time to practice now.)

Stop the watching. Call it complete. Do the thing that needs to be done.

Don’t need to beat myself up for my learning binge but onward to the writing.
Er – and making some chai as a reward on the other end.

Yoga Therapy is apparently about pulling your head out of your ass.

(If you didn’t watch the video above, that reference will feel a bit crass. So circle on back when done reading because it’s worth a watch.)

Yoga Therapy is about reclaiming where we have choice and responsibility in our lives and learning to actually let go of the rest.

In whatever shape or form or act letting go takes for you. Or for me.

Over and over again.

This is not a single wash cycle we are on. Lots of laundry to do in a life.

So that’s it. I’m in some stuff right now. Watching those around me work through their stuff. Me doing my thing of seeing and sitting and Being. And thinking and writing and doing.

Being me.

Doing my Rachel’ing.

While you do your you’ing.

And onward we go.

Take good care,
Rachel

won’t you be my neighbor?

When we look out at nature, we’re looking at a mirror of ourselves.

We’re looking at ourselves.

Yoga also gives us this gift. The gift of a mirror to see ourselves. A mirror through the body in movement, the mind in philosophy, and the heart in meditation.

Yoga’s sister science of Ayurveda gives us this gift too. The chance to directly see ourselves as lived nature. No different than the tree, or the woodpecker, or the spider, or the grasses.

Each of us doing our duty. Each of us finding our way through the bounty and brutality of a universe seeking perpetual balance.

I’ve got 2 chances coming up to check-out the mirror of you through the lens of yoga and Ayurveda. How can these practices teach you more about you?

How can these practices help to heal you?

Opportunity #1 is a chance for you to nurture healing by way of moving smarter and different’er :

4 weeks of Yoga Therapy for Shoulder & Neck Pain
Fridays, October 14, 21, 28 and November 4
2:00-3:00 p.m.
$135 for series or $35 / one class drop-in
Cary Yoga Collective
2425 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC

Opportunity #2 is a chance for you to practice whole body, mind and heart healing. You’ll learn the simple yet brilliant Ayurvedic framework for moving forward in your life step by step, day by day. It’s a bigger investment in both time and money but also akin to a day at the spa. According to past attendees, you complete the day feeling grounded and calmer (aka spa day and nourishing meals) but you also walk away with tools to recreate the feeling at home.

A Day of Balance:
Fall Education and Reset for Body, Mind & Heart
Saturday, October 15
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Sky Pond, 118 Rocky Rd, Apex, NC 27523
Click here to see the schedule for the day and for registration details.
(Can you say fruit crisp, homemade chai, chicken soup, muffins, and more? Heart and soul food from my kitchen will abound…)

So that’s it.

When we look at nature, there’s a chance to see ourselves. In our purest, sweetest and most resilient form.

I deeply love being with the people that show up for this work. They never cease to amaze me.

You never cease to amaze me.

Won’t you be my neighbor for a bit?

I can’t wait to see you.

Take good care,
Rachel

4 weeks for shoulders and neck

A lot of clients come to me with neck pain.

And I’ve felt a decent amount of it myself – starting when I was a toddler, in fact.

My personal neck pain du jour tends toward a pinching inside my right shoulder blade that travels up and around to the back right side of my neck, locks the whole thing down and says (screams),

“GAME ON!!!”



It’s a bizarrely trustworthy friend of mine that never fails to tell me when I’ve pushed beyond my current capacity.

So I (usually) back off, listen well and respond with love.

It sounds cheesy but it’s true.

Love in this case is some combo of movement, breath, rest and – above all – mindfulness.

I listen. I respond. My lockup unravels over the subsequent days. I start again with a bit more skill on my next loop around the Galaxy of Shoulder and Neck Junk. (Because what’s lovely is that I now get to visit lots of other galaxies too… yet when I return – eventually one day someday always – to the Galaxy of Shoulder and Neck Junk, I don’t freak out. I know how to take good care there too.)

And I get to share much of my training and learning with a handful (handful = 8 humans max) of people soon. Here’s the scoop:

4 weeks of Yoga Therapy for Shoulder & Neck Pain
Fridays, October 14, 21, 28 and November 4
2:00-3:00 p.m.
$135 for series or $35 / one class drop-in
Cary Yoga Collective
2425 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC


Registered students will receive a pre-series questionnaire so I can target the class for the folks who show up. And afterward, you’ll get a short Vimeo home practice in which I sample from the movements that we do in class. (Kind of like this one.) One prior student from my spring hips & low back series sent me this note after she used her post-class party favor:

I just did 6 ways for the hips to move (10 minute practice) and it was wonderful! It was the perfect reinforcement that I needed for putting into practice what I learned in class.”

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!
was my celebratory response to that note.

What I love about yoga therapy is that it’s all about how we transfer the tools of yoga to our everyday life. It’s real, on the ground, and in-the-dirt-of-it-all-practice. Yoga therapy isn’t about making things look pretty or smoothing them over for a moment of Zen.

It’s about learning how to gently, skillfully and sometimes clunkily take good care.

I’d love to work with you on your cranky shoulders and neck.

Click here to register and join me for class.

I’m looking forward to it in a big way.

Take good care,
Rachel

p.s. Forward this along to a friend and encourage them to join you for the series. There’s a wonderful coffee shop around the corner that’s perfect for post-class together time. Their lemon ginger tea is a personal favorite.

free space inside!!! come one come all!

“All I need is a little S-P-A-C-E!!!!!” my insides rage.
(And sometimes my outsides too. oopsie.)

This happens to me for sure.

And it seems to visit more frequently in the heat of summer than other seasons.

Metta, or loving kindness, meditation can help to create some space.

And soften the heart, mind and body.

I recorded this 12 minute metta practice a couple of weeks ago for my Ayurvedic summer workshop participants. I think you should have it too.

When we try a something (truly any something) for a set amount of time, the rubber hits the road.

And we learn more about ourselves.

So maybe try this metta for the next few minutes. Or the next 3 days. Or 5 days.

To see what you see. Feel what you feel. Learn what you learn.

Or choose something else that suits.
???

There’s no one way.

Just a bunch of different choices.

So we begin.

Take good care,
Rachel

p.s. I hereby vow to only send you a practice snippit (whether movement, meditation or breath) once a month. Practice whiplash is a thing for me and I want to be mindful of it in our distracted culture. (Let alone my distracted mind.) Any other weeks I write to you will continue to be for my little wonder-walks-on-paper. Or perhaps some borrowed wisdom.

p.p.s. Forward along this metta meditation to someone who needs some love and care. Imagine our ripples heading out there…  Ah… see how they roll???

my friend told me to do it…

What’s that?

A crazy beautiful sky my friend saw after our walk yesterday morning.

Why does it matter?

Because it’s up there. (And confirms that August in NC isn’t all Hades-hell-fire-kinda-miserable.)

How do you see it?

Pause.

Look up.

Pause.

Welcome home.

It’s nice to be with you for this moment.

Take good care,
Rachel

sizzlin’ summertime reset

I’m trying to focus and it’s not going so well.

My mind is a butterfly.
Or a bumblebee.
Or some insect way more frizzy-busy and way less goal focused.

bzzzzzzzzzzz…. splat.

(ugh. Just hit a window. Get up and go again…)

My kiddos went back to school today.
It’s been a rockin’ sprint summer from our first Disney trip to lake fun squared.

Fun can be exhausting.

And it’s SUPA DUPA HOT out there.

Steamy, soupy, hella hot.

We can’t change the heat.
This is.
(That’s some yoga wisdom right there.)

And.

We can soften the blow of this heavy handed hotness.
(That’s some Ayurvedic wisdom right there.)

Ayurveda is the sister science of yoga.
It can sound weird, feel complicated and is hard for most of us to pronounce.

But it’s got a ton of simple smart stuff baked in.
You just have to know how to unwrap the package and see the pieces that are inside.

So let’s do that.

Ayurvedic Summer Reset
Saturday, July 30th
8:30-11:30 (AM Session)
12:30-3:30 (PM Session)
Or both!
Hosted at beautiful Sky Pond in Apex, NC
This is your chance to lower your temperature (and soothe your in-the-moment-temperament) with a sampling of simple but profound Ayurvedic tools. Tools that are more nourishing long-term than the go-to iced drink or cranked up A/C. Although yes, there will be A/C time as well during our Reset.

There are half and full day Ayurvedic Reset options available. All the details are here.

Think of this as a mini-retreat with a bunch of take-home goodness for body, mind and heart.
Including a full belly because I’m feeding you some Ayurvedic meals and drinkable treats.

Want to come for the full day? Grab a spot here.
Want a half day get-away? AM session is available here and PM session is right here.

Summer in NC isn’t just hot.
It’s a pool of close and thick that we get to swim through with each other.

Delightful, right?

It doesn’t have to be quite so hard.

Let’s take good care… together.

Treading in this summer soup with you,
Rachel

p.s. Forward to a friend as well if you know someone who’s in the lane next to you in this not-so-refreshing pool. And if you know you’re all-in, book by July 10th with the code ALLIN15 to get $15 off the full day.

what’s my antidote?

When I get a full blown migraine,
the only thing I can be in is

dark
quiet
and
still.

The day before I get a migraine,
the only thing I need is
a lot of

dark
quiet
and
still.

Two days before I get a migraine,
the only thing I need is
some

dark
quiet
and still.

Three days before I get a migraine,
the only thing I need is
a bit of

dark
quiet
and still.

And every day,
one thing I need is
a tiny bit of

dark
quiet
and still.

Pain flares are curious.

They offer many clues before they
D
R
O
P.

Like a hammer.

Many clues.

And they tend to want
the same thing
from us.

Most. Every. Time.

Huh.

Isn’t it interesting?

Take good care,
Rachel
Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com

to hurt and to heal

Joy.

It is most apparent to me in the work that we do on ourselves.
And the results that we see.

“I feel that with the physical, spiritual, and internal growth that you have helped me with, it will help me continue to get better and feel better. This feeling of somewhat normal feels AMAZING! Like I said to you, the pain I suffered for so long is unimaginable to me to have to suffer day in and day out. I am so thankful to you and the rest of the “squad”. It’s like regaining a second chance to enjoy and appreciate life.”

Right… this wise young man of 35 is so very right.

The results aren’t just what we see.

The results are what we feel.

I smile to have watched this tenacious client walk a bit of his journey of healing.

It is up and down and in and out and around – and back again.

But any interesting path offers us many views along the way. A hike with only waterfalls and rainbows would cease to be beautiful if we did not have contrast with the dense woods and the barely-there peeks out into the valley below.

Sometimes the leaves are so thick we can barely see our way out.

Dark shadows and entwined vines slow us down.

But we keep walking. Because that’s what we do.

And sometimes the woods thin out and the fog lifts and it’s crystal clear for miles upon miles.

That view.

Wow.

We each wind our way through health and healing.

We each find the people that support us.

We each do it so we can be in our lives as fully as we can be.

To feel the joy, the loss, the learning and all that fills (and overfills) the space between.

Cheers to you as you grow.

Cheers to us as we grow.

Take good care,
Rachel
Rachel@PureResilienceYoga.com

when the earth cracks

How do we Be
with the weeping of the world?

How do we
hold it and lay it down
to rest?

How do we rock it
and soothe it
and love it?

How do we know what to do

.
.
.

next?

How do we Be
with the weeping of the world?

How do we hold laughter,
joy
and sweet ever more?

How do we Be
with the weeping of the world?

How do we soothe
that small, crying girl?

How do we Be
with the weeping of the world?

How do we care
and
step back
all at once?

How do we Be
with the weeping of the world?

How do
you
flounder
and how am
I
dunce?