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Learning imperfection perfectly! (May 2019)


Millennium Yoga Taylor is working on being imperfect. Every week I give him assignment to introduce some imperfection in one of the areas of his life and he needs to capture his thoughts as he gets accustomed to it. Initially it took him more time than I anticipated, and my cell phone kept buzzing with frustrating messages about how difficult (and maybe unnecessary) all this exercise was.

Taylor is not alone. Many of my clients are perfectionists. Perfectionism is one of the major stressors in their lives. Many of them know it. If they love their perfectionist selves and determined to continue it, we focus on how to accept and manage ongoing stress associated with being perfect. If at some point they recognize that there is a need to change this habit (at least in some areas), then our lesson on imperfection begins.

For Taylor, it started with just shifting the place of his 5 books. I actually thought of it as one of the simplest assignments I gave him till I started getting frustrating messages from him. After a week, I really had to simplify the assignment to include just 1 book. Yes, you are reading it right, I had to ask him to change the position of just 1 book out of his entire stack and just be ok with it for a week. It took him little over 2 weeks to actually get used to it. This may appear obsessive to the readers, but for Taylor this is the norm and the right way. Taylor’s current assignment is: parking the car at different locations at his workplace.

For Natalie, who is just 10, changing the directions of yoga mats and formation of kids in Kids’ yoga class was unacceptable. She kept complaining about not liking the “new” arrangement (which was different than what she was used to for 2 previous classes). Using some specific tricks to make her comfortable with “new” arrangement helped. Am now working with Natalie on “how to be ok with “new” or “different” in other areas. Deliberately exposing to smaller doses of “imperfection” really helps.

For Dan it was keeping his car unlocked for 10 minutes before our meeting. It helped in removing the intense fear of his car getting stolen.

Perfection has its beauty and advantages. People do love themselves for their perfectionism. Jonathan Livingston Seagull is my hero too, but there are times when even Jonathan dives in water in a perfectly imperfect way hurting his body and wings. He is ok with it. Are we?

The questions to ask are:
• Do I like and love perfectionism in myself but recognize it as a major stressor?
• Is it costing me too much of my emotional energy to continue to be this way?
• Do I think learning to be imperfect in some (insignificant) areas can save my emotional energy? Will it loosen and relax me?
If you have answered yes to all of the above questions, then you are ready to join my learning to be imperfect sessions.

It’s a perfect way to learn to be imperfect! ☺
Links to previously-written blogs in May.
May 2018: Understanding "to understand"
May 2017: Do you see signs that something needs to change?
May 2016: Role Models Are Everywhere: Showcasing Vidya Vaidya
May 2015: Getting a different pair of eyes
May 2014: Am I Choosing to be busy?
May 2013: We may never fully know what we really do…

Pranayama for Home (April 2019)


Millennium Yoga After brushing teeth today morning, I noticed that water was taking more time to drain from the sink. I blocked the sink and while releasing the stopper paid close attention to the familiar whirlpool effect and the sound. Nope, it was definitely taking more time.

I fully knew the reason as I was ignoring “Pranayama for Home” item on my calendar. I knew that it was time to treat it as an emergency and take action.

This item -“Pranayama for home”- sits on my calendar every 3 months. It takes approximately 30 minutes to make all the drains at home breathe clearly by doing this Pranayama right.

I decided to adjust activities on my calendar to create 30-minutes for home pranayama right away after noticing severe congestion.

I started with getting the right tools/ingredients from 5 different storage locations: They were plunger, small plastic hair cleaning tool, plastic bucket, vinegar, baking soda, lemons, salt, and ice. When I stepped in the backyard to get lemons, the ignored garden did everything to get my attention. Humming bird appeared ready for shower thinking I was watering. I would have allowed myself to get distracted, but today was not that day.

The ritual started by first cleaning the hair from sinks and shower stall and the bath-tub. This little plastic brush is amazing and it works perfectly to remove the clog from the sinks. Pouring baking soda and vinegar in all the openings in sinks, tub and shower followed it. Using plunger to push the released residue was the next step. The rhythmic pushes of plunger reminded me of Kapaalbhaati. Then I blocked the water in tub and the sink and released all the stoppers together and simultaneously flushed the toilet. Building the pressure of water columns and then releasing all at once to haul away the clog is surely more organic than using pipe corroding chemicals like Drano. After two rounds of blocking and releasing water, it appeared that all “inflammation inside the pipes” went away and I imagined them breathing smoothly.

Then came the turn of kitchen sink. After enjoying the cocktail of baking soda and vinegar it was ready for another drink. Next was the blend of thinly sliced and cooked lemons, and the ice cubes. By the time the musical melody of garbage disposal ended, the lemon fragrance has filled the entire kitchen.

Another Pranayama I give to home is opening up all the windows and doors and starting all exhaust fans and other fans at full speed for 30 minutes. Today I skipped this as it was very cold and rainy.

The home had performed one cleansing pranayama and somehow I felt that I was breathing better and fuller too.

Links to previously-written blogs in April.
April 2018: What should I do?
April 2017: An Invisible Thread
April 2016: Am I A Bad Girl?
April 2015: Was It A Dream Really?
April 2014: Behavior Change In An Hour
April 2013: Is Life Continuous?

Communication Channel (March 2019)


Millennium Yoga 2 months of the New Year are already over and we are entering into March. The signs of upcoming Spring are visible. The nature is ready to bloom.

There is a yellow daisy shrub (Euryops pectinatus) in our front –yard. I love that shrub because of its bright smiling flowers almost throughout the year. The shrub looks good even without flowers due to its green foliage. The shrub delivered 2 off springs which I could separate successfully and now we have three plants. One is very shy, so slightly hiding and growing slowly. The other baby is very smart and has grown even bigger than its parent. It looks as if it is standing and performing on stage with full pride.

The parent daisy shrub, sitting in between the boundary of our front-yard and the adjacent park, is slightly tilted forward due to its weight. In spite of trying to adjust its balance by appropriate trimming, I decided to let go of that thought and left it as is. After a few months, I noticed that the big pepper tree decided to talk to this daisy plant by sending one branch down. One of the branches came way down to touch the daisy. Every time I see it, it appears that the pepper tree wants to offer support to bring daisy back upright. Or maybe it is whispering some advise in daisy’s ears. Daisy- not being a climber-cannot hold hands with pepper tree, but am pretty positive that some communication channel has opened in between them.

With gentle wind blowing, the daisy and the pepper tree branch dance together. In strong winds they appear to compete and run after one another. The daisy is ticklish and giggles when pepper drops rain droplets over it and sometimes they are just quiet as if mad at each other without talking or any eye contact.

***
Trees talking and exchanging information with each other is now known. Scientists are researching that trees communicate using fungi network on their roots.Check out article

It’s amazing to imagine and recognize how everything in the Universe is closely linked. Sometimes these communication links are used to support the other and sometimes to sabotage.
***
As I look out of my living room window looking at both of them, I admire the friendship between these 2 very different species.

Links to previously-written blogs in March.
March 2018: Voice Messages
March 2017:On Being Creative
March 2016: Finding and Cultivating Happiness
March 2015: Learning to be “Self-Eesh”
March 2014: Am too overwhelmed…
March 2013: Teacher In My Class

Role Models are Everywhere: Doreen Tiwari (February 2019)


Millennium Yoga My profession gives me opportunity to meet wonderful people with varied skills, backgrounds, cultures, personal/professional expertise, and energy. These people bring in their unique selves and also life experiences to the session and make my life very rich. I always look at them more as teachers than as class participants.

These are my “Role Models”, and through this series, I intend to introduce them to you.

Am extremely happy to share about Doreen Tiwari in this blog.

It has been over 4.5 years that Doreen is attending yoga sessions at TechCU . TechCU corporate yoga program started on June 5th 2014, and Doreen is one of the most consistent participants in the group since then. The entire TechCU group is amazing and I have already written a blog post on this group before. If you are curious why I chose to talk about Doreen after already writing a blog on the group, please read on.

Doreen is very systematic, disciplined, and always willing to give her time and energy for others in whatever ways possible. Her love for her family, relatives and friends and her caring gestures do not go unnoticed. Tidiness comes to her naturally and so does love of plants. She is a born leader and courageous enough to stand up for what she truly believes in and what is right.

When it comes to daily routine, Doreen is one of the most self-disciplined persons I know. After learning and attending yoga sessions, she has created and incorporated yoga in her daily routine and practices it very diligently.

It was just another TechCU Yoga day. We ended the yoga session and Doreen started walking with me to the parking lot. Initially I thought she needed to take some stuff from her car. When asked, she said she was on PTO that day and just came to attend the yoga session. Till that day, I could not even imagine someone driving 20 minutes, when on leave, to come to office just to attend yoga session. I felt grateful and was very impressed at her dedication. This according to me is the height of sincerity and self-discipline and consistency. Am sure Doreen has done it multiple times and not just once.

With this act, Doreen has taken what Sage Patanjali calls “Abhyas- consistent practice- to a whole new level.

Doreen, am very positive that whenever there will a temptation to let go of the task on my part, I will remember you and will be able to push myself through it.

Thank you for your teaching!
Namaste.


Links to previously-written blogs in February.
February 2018: Beauty of Not Knowing
February 2017: Doing Yoga Consistently Works
February 2016: Role Models are Everywhere! Showcasing Rajashree Suraj
February 2015: Role Models Are Everywhere: W1 and W2
February 2014: Managing Guilt
February 2013: Starting Self Exploration

Monitoring creativity (January 2019)


Millennium Yoga Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Fun-filled New Year 2019!

How do you start your New Year? Are you the one who makes some resolution at the beginning. Making a New Year resolution/s is not me, but this is something I am choosing to develop as a habit going forward during this year.

As creativity is considered to be a spontaneous phenomenon, the title may sound paradoxical. Creativity just blooms in the areas that we are passionate about. Starting this year, I am choosing to observe my actions, behavior and thoughts especially in the areas that do not interest me/come naturally to me.

Am giving this observational assignment to myself and will keep you-my readers- posted about the learning in January 2020.

Do you have anything specific in your mind for this year?

Links to previously-written blogs in January.
January 2018: Simplifying Multitasking
January 2017: Gratitude Rain
January2016: Ramping up in the New Year!
January 2015: Tracking the true inner voice…
January 2014: Welcoming New Year
January 2013: Exploring Self

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