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Yoga Girl, AKA Karuna Lynne Elson is an author of several plays performed in NY, NJ, CA and NE. She teaches theatre and Yoga. She has always wanted to save the world. Now through sharing the ancient healing lessons of Yoga and the creativity that comes from theatre, Karuna Lynne is trying to be the best superhero she can be.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Three Lessons From Puppy Love

I almost started Yoga class tonight with a thought about how my heart has expanded in ways I could never imagine.  When I think of my two furry babies, my heart glows and I get a bit giddy.  I was going to mention that could be a state of joy that we all live in all the time.  If we could only see the love and joy around us at all times-- let go of our judgement, misperceptions, fear, anger...okay there's a lot, as Patanjali states in The Yoga Sutras that we have to clean the mirror of, but it is not impossible.  Have you seen the Dalai Lama?  He looks as if he is in a constant state of giddy, bubbling over joy.  Maybe he has a puppy?  Just kidding, I know it comes from a daily practice of meditation and focus on love instead of hate.  Did you see the short video of Guruji Rev. Jaganath Carrera laughing while teaching about the philosophy of Yoga?  I am so grateful for my meditation practice for I get to feel this state of pure bliss for at least a few minutes a day.  And now to get that feeling to bubble to the surface all I have to do is think of my sweet girl and boy snuggling on a doggie bed made for one.

J and I just adopted the sweetest 3 legged fuzzball.  We named her Karmella (Karma for short.)  She nips all over Harrison, the Yoga Dog, to get him to play.  Harrison just takes it with a gentlemanly sigh of knowledge, patience and compassion.  Don't worry he plays, wrestles and runs with her -- he's never been so happy to have another dog, 24-7 to play with.  I watch them and can't help but smile. They live in a state of now.  They wake up with wonder of what this moment will bring, not the whole day, just the next moment.  They jump in the car with total surrender to wherever the driver is driving and enjoy the ride, not expecting anything.  Witnessing dogginess is witnessing Yoga in action.

This little girl stole my heart when I first met her.  I was worried about adopting a 3 legged dog. Would she be able to go up and down stairs?  Would she be able to play outside? Run?  All of the fear melted away once she put her warm soft head in my lap and licked my hand.  She is pure love.  She doesn't worry about not having a 4th leg.  She doesn't waste anytime feeling sorry for herself.  She just gets up and plays because it is fun.  She snuggles with anyone human, animal that she sees-- enjoying life fully.  She does take her time going down stairs, knowing her limits, but to watch her outside running full speed toward a tennis ball, you wouldn't know she was handicapped.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Often students ask me what type of Yoga I teach.  My usual response is a mixture of Sivananda and Integral Yoga or Yoga Life Society style.  When their eyes cross in non-comprehension, I then say, "Hatha."  Ah, then their eyes return to normal and I can tell they understand.  But do they really?  In America, Hatha means to many, a type of physical Yoga that uses breathing and is not "flow" Yoga.  

Yet, I have come to understand Hatha as a part of the Six Branches of Yoga.   Bhakti, Raja, Karma, Hatha and Japa.  Yogaville's website has a wonderful explanation:

HATHA YOGA actually is more than the asanas, relaxation & breathing.  There are also kriyas, or cleansing practices that strengthen the body and mind.  Here's my latest video on this subject.  Let me know if you end up trying it.  Or maybe you already do and have a story about it.  I'd love to hear it!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Oh, how I hated waking up yesterday.  A dark Pigpen-like cloud surrounded me most of the day for I hate New Year's Eve.  Ugh, all the lead up to the best fun night of the year.  The dilemma of to drink or not to drink, to make it a big eventful night or to lounge in footie pajamas watching Guardians of the Galaxy again.  The damn ending of a those 365 days makes me look back and judge myself, focusing on the negative.  All the things I didn't get done.  All the friends I wanted to keep more in touch with.  All the plays I wanted to see but didn't.  All the writing I wanted to get done but didn't.  All the-- yes I could go on and on but something happened this morning.  I woke up refreshed.  It's like clicking the reload button on the  browser-- everything just seemed to come in smoother, clearer and lighter.  I jumped up ready to start the year off right.  I did my Hatha practice this morning and my head was clear of the "Nagging Negatives."  I jumped in the Delaware with the intention of "Less thinking-- more jumping & having fun this year."  The old year was cold-burned off (along with maybe a toe or two) and I feel great.  

So now what?

How do I keep the mind clear and have ultimate fun?   Guruji says over and over that the goal of Yoga (all Yoga, not just Hatha) is to have ultimate, unwavering fun no matter what.

Okay dust bunnies, I will vanquish you with the joy of a youngster playing Star Wars.  Dishes- a doldrum?  Not possible-- (Okay I might need a little help with that one.  That's why I'm buying the mix of songs from Guardians of the Galaxy.) 

What else will I do?  Not get down on myself for what I haven't done and focus on what I have.
Such a simple concept.  

New rituals for the new year:

1.  Happy Thought of the Day

Elizabeth Gilbert has a Happy thought of the day.  She puts it in a glass jar each day, even on bad days.  Then she can pull one out when her dark days do come and she can smile remembering the happy moments.  I'm putting a jar next to my bed tonight.  

2. Practicing Hatha throughout the day-- a little in the AM, a lunch time ritual and then a few evening practices.  So if I can't get a full hour and a half session in, I still have done it throughout my day.  Might even make the nodding off as I ride home less of an occurrence.  4-5pm when I drive home from school-- that's my lowest energy time-- But not anymore.  That and my new suggestion from my doctor to take iron supplements.  I bet that's contributing to my lower energy.

Thank you "M" for the Spinach info.  http://www.vegetariantimes.com/blog/nutrition-face-off-raw-vs-cooked-spinach/  This should help with the low iron in my blood as well.  Lemon/Lime in my water to add vitamin C to aid in absorption of iron-- done deal.

3. And lastly see more friends this year.  Yes, a writer needs time at home in front of the computer, but the soul needs laughter & sharing.  So let me know if you'd like to catch a Yoga class, go for a hike, kayak, see a play or "Play Make Me Laugh" as we did when we were kids.  First one to laugh loses.  Or does she?

Happy 2015 everyone!

-- Yoga Girl

New Year of less thinking and more jumping in!

Air 35 Degrees 
Water 40 Degrees

Monday, July 28, 2014

Recently I took a trip and was delighted to find that changing my routine, reinvigorated my creativity and deepened my dedication to Yoga.  I wasn't on a Yoga retreat, wasn't on a gorgeous beach with palm trees lulling me into samadhi.  I was stuck in a cramped hotel room, with a view of DC's finest gray rooftops.  That is to say that it wasn't the beauty that inspired me, it was changing my routine.

I admit it.  I'm a Netflix junkie.  I watch movies as I make breakfast, then continue as I clean the dishes.  My dishes have never been so clean.  

Being away led me into a new routine and I'm so grateful for it.  Instead of constantly being bombarded by visuals, stories that were told to me and living vicariously through characters' lives, I found a stronger imagination.  

By fasting from stories, I dreamed deeper and remembered my dreams after I woke.  One of them has turned into a really great science fiction story that I hope to expand on.  

It is with this newfound knowledge that I implore you to change up your routine.  Turn off the constant input and let your mind find its own rhythm.  

I read somewhere that is what Tim Burton does.  He doesn't even do email.  (He has someone who does that for him-- which would be nice.)  He wants his creativity to flow and not be stifled from outside sources.  

Maybe you can't get away and change your routine.  Or maybe you just aren't ready yet to turn off the radio, Netflix, Twitter, emails.  You could then make a retreat for yourself...

Take a new class.  

You can join us for a Free Meditation class on Sundays in August 8 am to 8:30 am and stay for a Hatha class afterwards at the Yoga Loft in Freehold/Howell.  (Message me if you want more information.)

Or you might want to check out this free online class at UC Berkeley on the Science of Happiness.  It starts Sept. 9 and if you audit it for no credit, it is free.  

Another free possibility is:

Wishing you lots of creativity, joy, serenity and sunshine.