Perhaps this is the most challenging pose of all?

Perhaps the most challenging pose of all? Taking a seat and going inside of yourself. We see the oohs and awes of getting upside-down, bending oneself into pretzels, hand mudras, perfecting the cues, technique here, dare-deviling there. Yes, that is all great fun and pizazz; it will challenge you to your peaks, at times, you’ll fall and plant and get up again, you’ll learn about balance, the body, and perform such party tricks for shits and giggles and sometimes seriousness. Yes, it’s all that and more. You can perform and play until your limbs fall off. Sometimes I wonder if the performance outweighs the practice? In a time where standing on your hands takes up more time and attention than taking a seat with yourself. I’ve taken to witness people investing another teacher’s class to handstand press, or a completely sequencing on their accord. Now, this doesn’t mean it is rude, good, or bad. It brings up questions. I often think, what are we avoiding when we are hard-pressed to the fancy? Is it an attraction? Distraction? Where do you go in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual? Is it loving? Not everyone or everything has to be unison, surely. But we can learn from each other. Let others be your guide. If you’re grinding, it’s the cue to go inside. I don’t like every class I go to, however, I do the practice and give thanks. I know I don’t always have to like something in order to learn and find gratitude. One thing is for certain, it’s not about perfecting the postures, it’s about getting in touch with your highest self. I use the word “touch” because I feel that many are starving to be living in such a way that calls for us to be our best. We touch moments of this. In order to discover ourselves, we must know ourselves. Love ourselves. At times, the hardest to practices and to teach. Yet, so beautiful to witness. Can you take this seat and look into yourself? Can you love yourself when you hurt yourself? Can you forgive yourself? Can you empower yourself? Can you inspire yourself? This means to breathe life into yourself. And say this: I love my life. It is your greatest gift and greatest power. To be in love. #loveliveshere #takeaseat


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