The heart of the summer

Dear Ones,

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We are in the heart of the summer. July is here. Long, bright days, with time for trips and exploration. We are off our schedules, out of routines, and it is a perfect time for new energy and intention. This month is the kriya of the heart.

For this newsletter, I'm simply sharing a fantastic few paragraphs from a book I highly recommend for any practitioner - Becoming Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza. His thoughts on the heart and its energy and magnetism are the backdrop for what you can achieve with this month's sequence. 

[My summer schedule, the fall workshop series open house dates and how to sign up for the 2020 April retreat to Mexico are at the bottom. Meet you there xx]

"Once you're in the sweet spot of the generous present moment, where all possibilities exist in the quantum field, how do you turn one or more of those potentials, those immaterial possibilities, into reality in the three-dimentional world of matter? This requires two things: a clear intention and elevated emotion. Your clear intention is exactly what it sounds like - you have to get clear on what it is you want to create, getting as specific as possible, and describe it all in detail. Make it detailed - as real as you can, because you as you make your intention clear it becomes the electrical charge you send out into the unified field around you.

Now you have to combine that intention with an elevated emotion, such as love, gratitude, inspiration, joy, excitement, awe, or wonder, to name just a few examples. You have to tap into the feeling you anticipate you will have when you manifest your intent, and then feel the emotion ahead of the experience. The elevated emotion (which carries a high energy) is the magnetic charge you are sending out into the field. And as you have read, when you combine the electric charge (your intention) with the magnetic charge (elevated emotion), you create an electromagnetic signature that is equal to your state of being.

Another way to describe these elevated emotions is to call them heartfelt emotions. Usually when we feel emotions like those I just mentioned, we notice that our heart begins to swell. That's because our energy is moving to that area, and as a result, we feel these wonderful elevated feelings that carry an intent to give, to care for, to further, to trust, to create, to connect, to feel safe, to serve, and to be thankful. Unlike the stress emotions that draw from the invisible field of energy and information that surrounds the body, these heartfelt emotions contribute to the body's energy field. In fact, the energy that I created when the heart opens makes the heart become more orderly and coherent, just like the brain, so it produces a measurable magnetic field. It's this action that connects us to the unified field. and when we marry an intention (the electric charge) with that energy (the magnetic charge), we create a new electromagnetic field. Since energy is frequency and all frequency carries information, it is that elevated energy that carries your thought or intention."

Bring these thoughts to class this month. Feel your chest and back expand and rise. Become a vessel for your elevated emotions and they will lead you into a bright reality. Proven.

Let your practice not only follow my instruction, but follow your sensations. Where it feels Right - which may be easy or may be new challenge - keep leaning into this and leaning into your Great Self. I will meet you there. 

Much love,
Martha

Awakening Energy

Dear Ones,

I am just back from our gorgeous Sunday morning together.
You are so astounding!

And you are getting so much stronger! You are wholly in the room, united in your breath. Your eyes closed, and a greater familiarity with your Selves is showing. I love you so for all your light and tears and sweat.

The body makes energy for action by changing ATP to ADP. We require this energy to move, to act. We require energy to close a fist. And given that our muscles are made in pairs, we also require energy to open our fist, to uncross our arms, to slow our breath, to forgive, to open, to change.

When I’m quiet and still and aware, I find a connection and what I call The Instructions. I experience little nudges of what to read, what to see, when to rest. Through experience I know for certain that when these are disregarded I pay the price later with fatigue or an idea falls flat instead of blossoming into greater inspiration. As a result, I’ve been deep into practice toward spiritual surrender lately so that I can be available to this greater Guidance more completely. 

In yogic philosophy everything has prana. Even choices and moods. So if we want to change our mood from a low state to a higher one, we need more prana/energy than the mood has. This month we are building our capacity to summon our power. As Guru Singh says, “You have power. Get over your issues and get into your power.”

This strength to stay open when we are challenged, when the way feels blocked, when we are afraid, in despair or in grief, is mighty indeed.  I am learning that as familiar as I am with physical ability, with grit, with pushing through, it is the process of building it (showing up when I’m tired or frustrated or moody) and sticking with it is what changes my spiritual life the most.

Because, when I am tired or in despair I retreat into myself and fall into assumptions that it is up to me to fix what I’ve encountered. I feel I can’t face the conversation or the choice. When I am fatigued, I put “I” at the forefront of my thoughts. This strength you are making is enough to keep you Connected so that instead of retreat/isolate we learn to fall into the waiting arms of great inner guidance and ASK. 

Reading recently, I encountered this prayer for surrender:

Dear Inner Guide,

I need help with my judgement toward ____. I’m ready to surrender this now. I welcome in the presence of love to guide me back to truth and grace. I’m ready to release this judgement and see through the eyes of love.

Try it out. Rewrite it in words that make sense to you. I’ve written it out six times with different themes and names in that blank. I’ve tucked the notes into my pillowcase, into my wallet, into my car glove box, into my closed-eyed nighttime prayers. The magic is that my physical strength contributes to the power of this prayer, to the ability to come wide open, fierce and free, ready to feel and then listen and then continue, knowing I am not alone.

It takes strength to believe. To listen. To pray. 

This month you are unblocking the way ahead and within. You are building the tenacity to forgive, unblock, and be free of what you are ready to set down. 

Feel. Acknowledge. Know. And move on. Again and again. 

This is the practice. Come with me, loves. Keep at it.  Martha xxx

Victorious!

Dear Ones,

April = VICTORY

Ever wanted to break a bad habit, put something new in motion, but in the moment - on the cusp of change - you found yourself falling back to the same old choices you didn't want to perpetuate? This month in class we will activate the magnetic energy of the heart center. The magnetic field of the heart center is said to be 500x stronger than that of the head. It serves to bolster our inner strength to melt habits of inertia and distraction.

We are all exposed to new ideas every day. We learn better nutrition tips, home organization, business ideas, parenting perspectives, innovations, personal products. We are learning all the time. And with that learning we are able to make new choices, to craft new lives, day by day. We can see shift is all around, but your choice for your life needs its own pattern and power rather than the momentum of its past.

Boost your personal power this month with simple, accessible movements that require wholehearted commitment one moment at at time. You will prove to yourself - you can do it. You are made for VICTORY.

I'll be teaching every day of April.
Every single one.
Join me when you can.
Initiate and substantiate your power.
This is how we heal, change, and grow.

We are made for VICTORY.
I will see you there.

Much love, Martha xx

Food matters

Dear Ones,

Twice recently I ate poorly. Too sugary. Too rich. Too late. Well-worn, poor choices. Within an hour each time I was sure of my failures. Not just the failure of my food choices, but my failure as a teacher to sequence correctly or instruct wisely, my failure as a parent to get through the tasks of the day as planned, my failure to my self to find a moment of quiet to reflect and relax, my failure as a friend to reply to the email I'd been meaning to for days... the list went on.

On an ordinary day, I would pause and write considerations of how to alter or tweak my teaching knowing it would lead to better classes and that's always my goal. On an ordinary day I would alter our schedule, finish strong with the kids and spread what wasn't covered into the days ahead. I would feel the bumps in the road, I would act on them, they would smooth out. This is the practice of my life; act, observe, receive, refine, restart, act again

But this time my blood chemistry was against me. I was a science experiment, pure and simple. I was familiar with the ride. What I eat affects my temperament, my perspective, my judgement, my creativity, my sense of what is possible or impossible. Simple put, food changes my outlook on EVERYTHING.

So the simple solution - change what I eat to I change what I think. The inner rodeo concluded as my digestion did its best and I could start again and watch with amazement and appreciation as my self-love returned, my self-respect returned, my faith that I am unconditionally held and helped by a power greater than my own returned.

This is one of the reasons food matters so much to me. I can teach you all the yoga I know, but when you leave the room and return to your plates and your kitchens, you are doing the real connecting or disconnecting to your Self. The chemistry of food becomes the chemistry of us and the chemistry of us becomes our thoughts and our beliefs. I work hard to create classes and sequences and experiences that remind you of how astounding and miraculous you are. How worthy of care and investment and attention. And food can support / amplify that or it can diminish it completely.

Notice, I started with how I'd fallen from the choices I'd LIKE to make. We all do. We all get hurried. We all get frustrated. We all do what we can in the moment. Me for sure. However, this is what I would offer you:

For the next few days, notice how you feel after you eat. Does it lift you up, create focus and accomplishment? Does it thicken your thoughts and make your limbs heavy and slow? Does it sadden you, uplift you, space you out, fill you up? Just notice. When you want to feel this way, eat that way. Only you know. Your kitchen is a pharmacy. Use it wisely. 
...
This ties to our April sequence for victory because food has mattered to me for over 20 years since my sister hauled me out of a bathroom stall where I had collapsed from an eating disorder. After that I tried everything to eat Right, to feel Right about what I ate. It was years of effort and little progress. The only thing that started to make sense and provide traction was to start to simply enjoy what I ate. To eat with other people. To take my time with shopping and preparing and clearing up afterwards. When I allowed the food to get larger and consider it an act of loving and being loved, I started to make progress. A victory, right? (Go, go April sequence!)

I have wanted to share teachings on food with students for years but it felt too personal. I wasn't brave enough to help with how to eat. A week ago, the first Martha's Kitchen dinner was held. I smiled for three days straight afterwards. I was SO excited, so happy to open my fridge and share what I know. It was a huge, healing victory for me as a woman coming through eating confusion for so long, as a teacher offering more than what fits on a yoga mat, and as a friend and participant in our community to open my front door and find some of you there. Victory victory victory.
...
So, as we come into the conclusion of this month, what will heal you? What would you love to offer out into the world but have hesitated? What feels like victory - big or small? 

For example - a wonderful, wise student of mine had an idea to teach cooking in her son's school. While the school commitee meets to decide on the details, she has had a class of one and taught my daughter about sourdough bread. Now we are feeding a yeast starter every day and making bread better than we could imagine and her skills and interests are loose in the world. You matter. What you love and what you know are needed. Find it. Let it loose. Big or small. One student or a whole school. Feel into it. Maybe no one else needs to know - or if you like, tell me. I'd love to know. I'll cheer you on. 

May you be victorious xx 
Much love, Martha

Surya energy considerations

Dear Ones,

I got into some interesting conversations with this shirt recently. With men mostly, who were asking why it was necessary. Wasn't I already Woman-ed Up, just by being a potent woman?

Maybe so, but for me it is far more nuanced, more interesting than simply power.

Surya Kriya this month activates our solar energy, our more masculine energy. It comes from the right side 'nadi' or energy channel, and correlates to the right side of the body and the left side brain. Western science has made us aware of the cross-activation of brain and body and most of us are familiar with how the right hand will light the left hemisphere of the brain if watched in a brain scan. This left side of the brain is responsible also for our sense of logic, schedule, routine, physical structure, problem solving, and analysis. This is our solar - surya - energy.

Surya energy has dominated our society for centuries. It is the form of empires, dictators. It has created feudalism and financial markets. There is order to its power, clear and direct.  And most often, men have been in power in these social hierarchies.

Now, however, we are at a point where there is a need for a new form of thought. We need a deeper relationship to what is around us, to what lies within us. We need to understand how best to connect to one another and leverage our differences. We need solutions we have never seen before, and we need them from the people who require them. 

We need to use every capacity. We need music and community and sound and flesh. We need to reach deep into ourselves and into each other. There is no time to waste. This innovation is our lunar energy, the right hemisphere of the brain.

Too much solar energy and we become rigid and dictatorial, stuck in our own patterns of thought and in our past. Too much lunar energy and our emotions are unwieldy, our creativity becomes volatile. What is needed is the structure and the clarity of the solar to enable the lunar to be free within boundaries and direction and purpose. 

Surya Kriya of this month feels so good because of its clarity. We remove the fears and doubts which can be a sort of creativity of the emotions as they over-interpret and double back on our perceptions. I leave this practice with a powerful ability to Get It Done, to check the box, to sweep the floor and clear the table so that the flow state can move through. I am more creative because there is clarity. 

Why 'Woman Up'? Because it is time to use what we have and with it, create something new. Men and women alike are invited to access their solar and lunar qualities - their masculine and feminine tendencies - to our collective best advantage. I need you all to dig into the true passions that fill you because it is there that your contribution lies. That passion becomes power when it has businesses and roads, wi-fi and websites to hold and deliver it well. 

Let this month show us how we need both - a solar flare to clear the way, a lunar softening and wild daring to share what matters most. Use surya energy to create a channel for what you believe in. Woman Up. Use surya energy to have the strength to look and listen to what hurts in the community around you without flinching, to have the steady strength to listen to those you disagree with. Woman Up. Can you see how they go hand in hand?

Daniel Pink's recent book - A Whole New Mind - addresses exactly this and is interviewed in two worthy two podcasts, one with Oprah Winfrey and one with Tim Ferriss. I'm sure there are more if you like, but these stood out to me. He says the time is now for right-brain thinkers. That's his way of saying we all need to Woman Up. And I would agree. And I would add that to do so most effectively, we need a new relationship to the masculine we all possess to power up our inner sun and shine on.

Surya Kriya in the studio until the end of February. Come and get it done!
See you in class or online xx

Much love, Martha
...

2019 Resolutions

Dear Ones,

This year...I am hungry to feel magical. Powerful. Feminine. Free + focused. I want to amplify the Good of me, the talents only I have - the reasons I am Here.To listen to what I'm thanked for, to lean towards the moments when time melts or stands still. To reside in moments rich with inspiration. We all have them. They are our inner instructions. Our real hunger. 

Very often, in the standing asana postures like warrior 1 or 2, we have a stance we are familiar with, a length of stride that has become habitual. But the thing is, as we practice, our abilities grow and our stance doesn't shift to match. When this happens, 1. we can't see our progress, and 2. we can't continue to deepen our work or see to grow. 

I feel a need to redefine boundaries I've assumed over the last few years. To feel my growth, notice what it's built. To feel my capabilities, and then hear what calls next.

As I've tuned into these desires/instructions recently, I have gone beyond the traditional bounds of what is typically taught in kundalini and in asana. I've broken the mould I was taught in. It has been time to explore, to create.

That means...

...No wearing only white for me just now. I need color. I need black. I need to choose for myself what each day requires. I need the outside and the inside to work together. I need to feel free enough of tradition to create what hasn't been seen yet. If you have taken to wearing white - to adding color, to shifting how you come to class in anyway - keep at it, honor it, and make it right for you. I give you permission. Explore. Dream. Show me. I will meet you there. How will you dignify your practice?

...Creating more Gatherings similar to Jan 1 - Kundalini by Candlelight. I relish the chance to use all the yoga tools I know to meet the season, the spirit, the moment with music and movement and community. The next one is A Night of Love 7:30-9:30pm at Midtown on Friday Feb 15. Such pressure on Valentine's Day to find love, woo and be wooed. Give it your all, then come the next night, just you, to release and repair the elements of deep love. Wring what is unforgiven from your body, lift and free what is heavy in your heart, and redefine what you understand as love in THIS moment so you can feed your spirit directly. I can't wait. There will be another in late spring on creativity.

To gather together, move, sound, explore, and return to ourselves. This is my goal for the year ahead. Somewhat scary, racy rather, but this means I'm standing in the right current and the Guidance will carry us.

...Making more time for rest, for stillness, for wider reading. I am thirsty to pause, to sit with new ideas. So I will honor it and let it lead me. The time is marked upon my calendar, as important as anything else, this is how it can show me the way. Make time for what matters. Don't hope for it. Don't wait for it. Carve out the space, in your room, in your day. Invite it in. This is how you become what you seek. 

...I'll be offering evenings of Dinner + A Documentary at my house. Like a field trip workshop where you can learn plant-based meals, enjoy good company, and see/discuss meaningful media. More detail will follow, as will a schedule and a menu to match. For now, know it is coming. Food matters. It is where we start. It is how we vote, for business, for the planet, for our health. You may come and just enjoy the meal, you may come and learn to cook. Each Saturday evening will be different, but you will leave wiser and fuller and able to enact your choices.

...THE RETREAT. Yes. Xinalani Yoga Retreat in Mexico is still calling. I think I was holding off because I thought, "Who am I to just go off and have an incredible week of yoga and beach and fresh air and food when there is WORK to be done?!" This past year I got caught in a  mentality of grinding forward. The retreat was so different. I didn't allow myself the possibility of being away, something new, delicious. Notice if you did that too. If you don't have a retreat of some sort on your calendar, don't wait for it to show up, you have to claim it for yourself. What do you need? Where? With whom? Oh you, take the time. We are here such a short moment, listen to what you need, and may it be so.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO COME, the deadline for April 27-May 4 registration is now March 15. Take your time. Make your plans. Come along. The next date will be October 19-26, 2019. My website has all the details. Email me if you are interested. (Blessings on Laurie and Stephanie for making it happen xx)

...Regular classes will go on as ever. We will develop as a community. Your practice will wax and wane as time/weather/work allows. I will be there through the year, grateful for each chance I get to move and breath and learn with you. Remember, you can always bring a friend for free as my guest. I am always available online; youtube, Facebook Live Mondays 7-7:30am, and Spotify. Follow me on Instagram for latest glimpses and snapshots.

And you? What are you doing differently? What are you shaking loose or claiming close? The year lies ahead, open and ready. Listen and make order so you can tell me what is on your list for 2019. 

With much love,
Martha 

New Year 2019

Happy 2019, Dear ones!

It has felt such a relief to turn to a new year, to start again. 2018 was thick and worthy, full of lessons. But still, a fresh page is exciting. Of course, like many, I spent time considering my resolution

Many options. One answer.

Smile.

So simple.

Smile.

It is under everything. It is the landscape under my thoughts and honestly, I have been lax in the use of my smile. Returning it to use has shown me its rust. Trying to use it more often feels unfamiliar sometimes. Stiff. But I can feel its influence as I use it more.

In the past ten years I have worked so hard to go from what felt deep dark to light. But the diligence to get here had a shadow, its drive left a residue. Every moment seemed driven not to slide back, to push forward. The present moment became coated in fear that I would wake lost in that dark again. Worry became a habitual state of mind. Rarely contented. I was never enough.

The worry says “I won’t find a way around this. I don’t want it to be so.” It creates fear, denial, and withdrawal.

But my smile invites me to engage. It means I am participating. It means I have an opinion, I've chosen an attitude. I'm not neutral or distracted. I am offering a response. I claim a state that has an inner safety and sufficiency. 

My smile says, “It will happen. It will all happen. The ups and the downs, gains and losses. I am here to experience it all and help as I can.”

Notice now, as you see these photos. Let them encourage you, let them invite you to your own smile. Feel it change your posture. Feel it change your breath. It starts here. Our expression is the threshold between outside and in. And by smiling I create an intentional positive, kind, interaction with what's happening. I want to live from here. My inside rising to meet the day around me with this state of mind. 

Other resolutions will come and go, goals and resolve will intertwine this year to make my efforts strong and supple. But this is different. I want this under and in everything. It isn’t that everything is good. Suffering is here. Everyday. But I am here to meet it. I am fortunate to feel, to participate, even in what hurts. This is not denial. This is full-attachment living, in love with my Whole Life.

As a result, my smile takes stamina. Determination. Subtlety. Honesty. Reflection. And it rewards me each time I remember use it. 
...
As I've practiced this resolution I've noticed how often I’m not smiling. So...

My Loves, please, if you catch me unsmiling, smile at me - with a wink and a nod - it will remind me to lift out of my hurried thoughts and concerns (is the class good enough? on time? prepared? good kids? good food? car full of gas and insurance? contented/supported Love at home?). Your smile will remind me to be here with you, that you are glad to be here too. And my smile will rise to meet yours and our together we will be elevated.

I am so grateful for you. Keep coming. Keep practicing. Happy New Year xx m

Got your sunhat? Too cold to smile?
XINALANI YOGA RESORT IS CALLING US...
Retreat with me to Mexico. 
April 27-May 4, 2019 - registration ends Jan 15, 2019
Register + details HERE.

Can't make it these dates?
Next trip will be October 19-26, 2019
Registration will open March 1, 2019
...
Until then, meet you online Facebook Live Monday mornings 7-7:30am
Or on YouTube on my channel + Spotify
Or in the studio for classes all month long:
Kundalini : Mon noon @Fells, Tue noon @Midtown, Wed noon + 7:30pm @Midtown, Thu noon @Fells, Sunday 8am @FedHill
Vinyasa : Saturday 9:30-11 @FedHill
...
POP-UP VINYASA CLASSES
FEB 17 6:30-8pm @FedHill (registration opens Feb 1)
MAR 17 6:30-8 @FedHill (registration opens Mar 1)
spots are limited. free to members. regular class cost drop-in.
Claim your space!