Half the gate by fog, half the gate by light

Through the fog, there was light on the other side. Half of the bridge, dark and full gloom yesterday summer afternoon. The other half of this infamous gate, golden rays pierced the eyes from the west, beaming with warmth and grace.
We are the keepers of both the dark and light, one cannot exist without the other. Some will take ahold of such gloom and create forest fires from pain. Build relationships up only to tear them down; this is the fog, murky visions and desperate hands attempting to control via pain. That is the thing about darkness, behaviors established in attempts to control others and the external. When the ways are not granted, or when tasked to step up in esteem, it is choice up for ripening. You can stay the same or expand yourself into light.
That’s the thing with light, on one hand inviting yet terrifying. Darkness breeds comfort and staying small. The light beckons one to get uncomfortable, make shifts that are incredibly challenging. Move out of relationships of neediness and lack binding you to stand tall with your heart forward and up. The mind will work tirelessly attempting you to cave back into comfort, to stay in small relationships that don’t challenge or expand you. It is the mind that twists words and boasts action.
That’s the thing about action, it requires movement, it requires one to act. Words are taken to paper or channeled by chords, they look pretty or charged, at times a melodic driver, they’ll need a composer, you. It is following through with doing the very things you said you would do. It’s a practice. An intention. A pretty pose, font, voice, signage is but one gear to the grind.
Darkness is temporary unless you’re living to prove its cause. The light will carry you into new strengths, it will be sought by living outside of your comfort zone and choosing to rise up in love. You start with loving the shit out of yourself first and saying fuck yes even when it scares the shit out of you. I’m scaring the shit out of myself everyday to stay soft, even when faced with hardened shells of another. This is the light. This is the love.

stephanie birch

We choose

Healing is a choice. It is a requirement that you crawl inside of yourself. There will be tensions and triggers that often pulse in your body, listen to them well, feel them without blame. There’s no solitude in blaming the other, or the past. Your triggers are the very places you must go inside. It is a cue to check in.
You can clench your jaw, hold tightly onto pain, as a currency for attention. You can receive from others and take to comfort of the superficial. You can exhaust yourself chasing connection of the other. So afraid to be abandoned by the external, you’ll fold and fall and gravel at the doors of short comfort. This, my dear, is a hard pill, you fear the ones who may leave you, so reach, molding yourself into another. Know this: you’ve long ago left yourself.
You long for words and touch from others to fill yourself. To heal. To feel. To love. To forgive.
Come back to choice. It is the path traveled alone.
Only you can heal yourself.
Only you can feel yourself.
Only you can love yourself.
Only you can forgive yourself.
When you forgive yourself, you forgive all. You untie the ropes of blame, you untether yourself from shame, and release yourself from darkness into light. Again and again. It is not easy, it is absolutely necessary. You change your world within, one breath, one wing span at a time, one step at a time. Your life can change in a moment, if you so choose.

Fill yourself with so much love so that it overflows into your neighbor’s cup.

stephanie birch

I can and I will! lucy Activewear August blog post is up!

I can and I will! 

Your will power to do anything is how you do everything. Your will to overcome fear, your will to push your limits, your will to challenge yourself is closely connected with putting your heart in everything you do. Without heart, nothing gets done. 

This month's focus is - I can do anything! And...you can! Two posture that make me feel like "I can do anything" is forearm stand and handstand, and for very different reasons. 

The forearm stand was quite elusive to me, as a beginner. My brain said, "how is it possible? This does not make sense!" It became my "goal" posture as a way to work towards challenging myself through the unknown; physically and mentally. I had a daily working relationship with balancing on my forearms that left me feeling inspired every single time I fell out of the pose. With every fall, I learned something new. And falling is a part of the practice. When we are falling or failing, we are growing. Forearm stand intrigued me. It inspired me. And it awakened a drive within me to understand it. My handstand relationship was quite different, it made me feel anxious and it scared me. I would avoid handstands at all costs, if I could. Often times hiding behind other students in class in hopes that I would not be called to demo such a balance. Teachers have this innate ability of picking out students that do not want to be called upon during class. With handstands, the mechanics of balancing on the hands leaves a little less room for floor management than the forearms. I had to and still continue to work through my fear of heights and handstand is something I practice because it teaches me how to move through fear.

Today, challenge yourself to live in curiosity on your mat and push your limits to move through your fear. Whether it's learning a new posture, inviting a new lens or outlook, be moved by your attitude that you CAN do anything because you will it! Step outside, toss down your mat, and get upside-down. Fall, fly, and repeat! 

Read More

Can a yoga pose relieve period pain? My answer on elle.com

Elle.com asked me to chime in on period relief. Check out my favorite yoga pose for menstrual pain.

Article link and instructional GIFs here.

Moving around might sound like the absolute orst thing when you're sidelined with period cramps, but in this case, you'll be happy you did. "Oftentimes while I am going through mind-numbing cramps, I will lay flat out on my belly to get into Bow Pose," says Stephanie Birch, California-based yogi and photographer. "I used to curl up in a ball hoping for relief, but there is something so beneficial in lying face-down, adding weight to the cramping areas of the bod."

 

Source: http://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/...