Greetings! You’ve arrived at the 8 Limbs 28 Day Commitment Blog for February 1-28, 2018. For more information on the 28 Day Commitment click here. This blog will be updated every day in February with tips and info to support Building a Sustainable Practice.
You’ve done it!
You’re powerful beyond measure, and your light shines bright.
May you keep your practice vital, and be a beacon to others.
Thanks for joining us for the 28 Day Commitment 2018!
Took class at 8 Limbs every day of February? Ask the front desk for your congratulations water bottle!
Photo of 8 Limbs staff (Claudette Evans, Lauren Kite, Anne Phyfe Palmer) by Samantha Fisher
Shuja De’Peace’s tattoo is a modified version of a Marianne Williamson quote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. It is that we are POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE! It is our Light, not our Darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? YOU are a child of the Infinite Consciousness. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are ALL meant to SHINE, as children do. We were BORN to make manifest the GLORY of the Universe that is WITHIN us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in EVERYONE. And as we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. As we are Liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically Liberates others.”
Photo courtesy of Shuja De’Peace
A meaningful practice can be just fifteen minutes.
It’s like flossing your teeth, only much more fun!
If you feel that you don’t have enough time, make a list of things you waste time on.
Which one can go?
Photo courtesy Maritza Vargas Reyes
25 days of practice, how about a 25 minute savasana?
Give yourself some Sunday self-care.
Lie down on a padded surface with a blanket under your head and set a peaceful timer for some extra-long corpse practice.
You can try a Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep, a guided relaxation) from the internet, or just drop down into the quiet of Sunday.
Photo courtesy of Claudette Evans
Amelia Gailey shares her thoughts on daily practice. “I walk Alki every day, sometimes twice. I try to watch the sun come up and down everyday. Seeing the city helps me tune into the importance of being for others and their busy lives; the wildlife, eagles, cranes, seals, remind me of my connection to all living beings; watching the sun and moon do their dance serves as a reminder that I can always begin again. The water reminds me to go with the flow. And on the days that the sun is covered by grey, I remember that no matter what, there is always light.
The image of Ganesha surrounded by dimes is my most important altar. My Grandpa impressed upon me the importance of practicing my gifts daily; yoga, art, playing the violin, teaching in some capacity. Just before he died he told me he would always be there for me. When I asked how I would know, he said “you’ll know, but if not, I’ll show up as a dime.” I find dimes EVERYWHERE! So I toss them into that dish with Ganesha and other important trinkets. I put the dimes in another plastic box at the end of the month and start over. I have a bazillion dimes.
The other image is more of my statues. The framed mandala was my aunt’s; a picture of her is also tucked into the frame. She’s the one that taught me to meditate at a young age. Then she died of an asthma attack when I was 16. That’s when my mom introduced me to yoga to help process her death.”
Share your own photo on our Facebook page or tag #8limbs28days. We want to see what daily practice means to you.
Photo courtesy of Amelia Gailey
Sutra 1.14 tells us that to become well-established, practice needs to be done with sincerity and respect for a long period of time without interruption.
Is your relationship to your practice sincere?
Is your relationship to practice respectful?
What about it brings about this depth of feeling?
Can you really tap into that and deepen the experience in your body?
Can practice be a delightful discipline rather than a duty?
Photo courtesy of Douglas Ridings
As we head into our final week in the 28 Day Commitment, we want to set ourselves up for success when February turns to March.
A sustainable practice is one that can continue beyond a commitment or a “challenge.”
A sustainable practice is one that fits in your life, that you find valuable enough to prioritize, that you will return to even when you’re busy, that you’ll love.
Photo courtesy of Melina Meza
Yoga Sutra I.32 tells us that meditation on one single truth is the way to overcome those obstacles. When we are steady, interruptions can’t take root. Our mind wants to be a monkey, jumping from one branch to another to look out for danger or grab the next pleasure, and in practice we train the monkey to STAY.
Stay in one pose.
Stay with the breath.
Stay with a mantra.
Choose one thing, and stay.
Photo courtesy of Lasara Jarvis
It’s Teacher Tuesday!
Some thoughts on practice and living from Karen Gamble:
“I’ve been in a cycle of ‘not knowing’ — it’s a reflection I think of my life and also the state of the world. This has caused some difficult emotions. To balance myself I turned to a set of Mala beads a beautiful 8 Limbs yogi gave to me. I use each bead to experience, offer and reinforce gratitude or the deep sense of love I believe resides in all beings.”
Photo courtesy of Karen Gamble
As we examine our obstacles to practice, it’s helpful to know that for all of our reasons not to practice, there are millions of other beings with the same experience.
Practice is a strong commitment because we are hardwired to be distracted. Our brains are quite literally made for it, in order to protect us from harm.
We can appreciate this amazing ability to be distracted as part of our desire to survive, AND we can re-focus.
Photo courtesy of Megan Sloan
It’s Self-Care Sunday! For those who work during the week, weekends can be a time to reset and recharge, to find sukha, “good fit.”
What kind of practice is most juicy and self-caring for you?
A heart-centered flow practice?
Half an hour of meditation in the special quiet of Sunday morning?
Does solitude or company recharge you?
Photo courtesy of Donte Quinine
When one or more of the obstacles are present, Patanjali goes on to say in Sutra 1.31, we experience pain, mental agitation, shakiness of the limbs, and disturbed breathing.
The word for pain in Sanskrit is duhkha, translated more directly as “bad space.”
We don’t feel ourselves, and can feel a desire to fix this, to find sukha, which means “good fit.”
Photo courtesy of Misha Kellner-Rogers, Poem excerpt by Nayyirah Waheed
In Sutra I.30 of The Yoga Sutra, Patanjali speaks to the nine obstacles, or disturbances, that keep us from practice (Sanskrit term in italics):
- Vyadhi: disease, physical illness
- Styana: idleness, lack of enthusiasm
- Sashaya: doubt, indecision
- Pramada: carelessness
- Alaska: sloth
- Avirati: lack of detachment, desire for sense objects
- Bhrantidarshana: misapprehension
- Alabdhabhumikatva: failure to attain a base for concentration
- Anavasthitatva: instability
Remember your list from yesterday. Are there any you particularly identify with?
As we head into the second half of the 28 Day Commitment, it’s time to talk about what gets in the way.
Take a moment to write a list of the reasons you don’t practice, not to beat yourself up, but to bring those obstacles into the light of day. After each one, can you send yourself some compassion, and consider a positive reframing?
We’d love to hear your favorite excuse! Does your cat prefer your mat to her bed?
Photo courtesy of Lasara Jarvis
You’ve made a Sankalpa by joining this 28 Day Commitment, and you are halfway though!
Take a moment to appreciate this commitment. Really savor it. What a gift to give yourself.
Sit for a minute and let the value of practice and your connection to it spread through your whole body. Doesn’t that feel great?
Photo courtesy of Natasja Lady Krishna
It’s Teacher Tuesday! Rosie Llewelyn shares her thoughts on daily practice:
“Commitment looks like a daily asana practice, but it feels like loyalty when I transfer this energetic quality into my lifestyle. It becomes an adventure beyond physical matter, layering in this dedication towards self-care, creative outlets, and the well-being of others. It’s motivating to show up with a choice to be attentive and supportive of growth however it unfolds. Like a keen way to stay true to your word and follow through, not only for yourself but the people in your circle. I feel it offers this influence on us to be an active participant in the world we wish to create, with a gentle reminder to trust our unique process!”
Photo courtesy of Rosie Llewelyn
The word Sankalpa means a commitment that is made in the heart above all others.
We cannot do everything in life that we want. We have to make choices, and Sankalpa helps us to clarify what it is we REALLY want, above all other things, so that we keep our attention focused and clear.
What do you want to realize, above all things? Can you capture it in a word or phrase?
Photo courtesy of Terilyn Wyre
Happy Self-care Sunday!
Sometimes practice is simply a way to care for ourselves.
Today as you practice can you be kind and tender with yourself?
Can you hold yourself sweetly and in the highest light?
Can your practice nurture and restore you, no matter how challenging or intense?
Photo courtesy of Samantha Fisher
When we act out of a clear purpose, we bring awareness to our action. This permeates the rest of our life and asks questions of the habits we may have outgrown.
We might then ask “why do I stay too busy?” or “why do I procrastinate?”
This month, be curious about why you are here on earth, and how your practice can support that. That will be sustainable practice.
Photo courtesy of Anne Phyfe Palmer
One way to understand practice is as a support to our purpose in life, called Dharma in Sanskrit.
Practice gives us the strength, capacity, and stillness that allow us to both find and follow our Dharma.
Is your practice supporting you to realize or follow your Dharma?
Photo courtesy of MJ Daniels
Now that we have a week of daily practice under our belts, it’s time to talk about INTENTION.
Ask yourself, “Why do I practice?” There may be one clear answer, there may be a multitude, or “just ’cause.”
See if you can get past any feeling of obligation or outside pressure (like our commitment to practice!) and ask yourself what really matters?
What is really important to you?
Tonight, join Anne Phyfe Palmer for the first (free) 28 Day Commitment Check-in, 6-7pm @ 8 Limbs Capitol Hill, 500 E. Pike St. for a guided meditation practice and group discussion about daily practice.
Photo courtesy of Lauren Kite
For a daily practice to be sustainable, it needs to walk the line of discipline and self-compassion.
We can be committed, and kind.
We can show up on the mat, and just sit there and breathe.
What amount of discipline helps you to show up? A minimum number of minutes? A class date with a practice buddy? Writing what you did every day in your practice log book?
And then how can you show yourself appreciation for showing up? A big hug? A long bath? Maybe you treat yourself to a chai latte, or a new yoga book for making it these first 7 days.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Hodgeman
Welcome to Teacher Tuesday!
Marni Yamada shares thoughts on daily practice:
1 Dinacharya- My daily routine that keeps the body moving. I have found my morning, mid day and end of the night oil application has become a ritual in self care.
2 Nature- When I am not in the city on the mat, my practice is on the mountain. Breathing in fresh crisp air, making turns down the hill and getting outside no matter what the weather condition is. The more blistery and snowy the better when riding the chairlift
3 Jai Ganesha- I bought this metal Ganesha at Bhakti Fest this year. He sits by the front door and every time I walk in or exit there is a moment of AHHHH when I look at him.
Photo courtesy of Marni Yamada
It’s Monday, have you scheduled your week of practice?
What are you letting go of to make space for a stronger commitment to practice?
What new type of practice can you introduce to bring balance – a Gentle or Restorative class, or maybe a Level I if you’re used to Level II Flow?
Which days will you spend in your home, as your own teacher?
Photo courtesy of Jeff Wildenstein
It’s Self-care Sunday! Get ready for the rest of the week with a batch of soup you can have for lunch every day.
Kitchari is an easy-to-digest Ayurvedic food that supports our systems when taking on extra commitments. Pick up a kitchari recipe at an 8 Limbs studio or on the 8 Limbs blog or make your own favorite simple vegetable soup! Freeze a few extra servings for easy meals next week.
Photo courtesy of Tess Ball
Today, as you practice yoga, connect to the action of practice as a way to reduce the waves of the mind, yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah.
What happens when you hold a strong pose?
What happens when you move in and out of a pose with breath?
What happens when you smooth out your breath?
Photo courtesy of Abiola Akanni
The practice of yoga can involve many things, but the Yoga Sutra defines yoga as “the reduction or the reining in of the waves of the mind.” In other words, yoga is a state when the mind is still, and the practices that contribute to that stillness.
Today, can you witness your mind like a lake that experiences ripples and waves of thought, and sometimes experiences stillness?
Photo by Melina Meza of Chiara Guerrieri
Welcome to Day 1 of the 8 Limbs 28 Day Commitment! February is a great month to establish a daily practice, with the support of the 8 Limbs Community.
This month we’ll be calling upon the wisdom of The Yoga Sutra, a yogic text written in Sanskrit from 300BC, to help cultivate our daily practice. The very first word in the very first sutra is ATHA, meaning NOW.
Now is the time! Now is all we have! Now we begin!
This year, our daily posts are sweetened by photos taken by 8 Limbs teachers. They were asked to contribute an image that said “practice” or “commitment” to them. We want to see YOUR image! Tag 8 Limbs Yoga Centers and use #8limbs28days, as we’ll do on all of our posts so that you can see them in one place.
Read the February Newsletter, focused on the 28 Day Commitment.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Hwang
Ashley Dahl helped us to consider the commitment to come in her Mid-Month Newsletter and Blog: Sustain Your Practice.
Posted by: 8 Limbs Yoga