Posted by Michelle Azar
I had always heard it takes 21 days to change a habit. Too short, I realize now. Too easy to revert to the previous ways. I have been on a repair program now for a good 7 weeks ( and three days, but who’s counting) and I am feeling change in a way I have never felt.
I know, everyone in Los Angeles is on some kind of a food plan. It would be COMPLETELY redundant to talk about gluten or coffee or sugar as the evil doers they are BUT… This plan, REPAIR VITE, (created by chiropractor, Dr. Green and offered through Apex Energetics) gives the adrenals a break.
Adrenal glands can get overworked and sorely underpaid by daily life. The normal stress of life coupled by erratic food or drink choices can really take their toll on the bodies internal ability to replenish. Chronic pain is more difficult to release when the body’s intestinal membranes are comprised. Sleep disturbance or a feeling of just being spent can also ensue. This diet restricts all inflammatory items, including grains and nuts as well as the more obvious culprits.
I have to say, I felt a difference pain wise nearly immediately. The addition of their supplements, a powder to add to water or a smoothie twice a day, their Tumeric drink, as well as an adrenal lotion, has me going on a fascinating ride toward a more stable general feeling of health.
And weight loss. It certainly is gonna work anything you are holding on to unnecessarily in this department as well. It might be worth looking into if you have suffered from chronic pain, fatigue, irritability or weight issues. I would recommend asking your doctor about it however. If this sounds like a commercial, I apologize. I share it only because it has been useful to me. Here is the address if you are interested : www.primohealthcoach.com
OUR ASANA (posture) PRACTICE THIS WEEK REMAINS THE SAME.
LOOK FOR THANKSGIVING SPECIALS! As I thank my students for their practices with PAY WHAT YOU CAN classes throughout the month of November!
In hope and appreciation, Michelle
12.11.13 at 2:54 pm |
11.22.13 at 5:30 pm |
11.11.13 at 3:17 pm |
10.4.13 at 2:36 pm |
9.18.13 at 1:14 pm |
8.30.13 at 10:37 am |
October 28, 2012 | 10:25 am
Posted by Michelle Azar
As my brain searches for its wakeup today, the morning prayers rumble within me like shooting stars. I hear one in my head and try to catch it only to find another one ready to burst into view. I am simultaneously energized and contented by these flashes around me, flashes of Hebrew and hope and thoughts from our tradition. I feel a sense of belonging as I link myself to the legacy of prayer givers that have come before me. Others who search out organization in an often chaotic life. Being a regular synagogue goer and some time lay leader, I know enough to let myself be led by memory rather than book. So there I lay in bed, next to dog and child and husband, and I find myself both observer and participant. I hear the words that had once troubled me, and now they seem more in balance with the ones that had always brought me joy. I am grateful for having stuck with the practice of these morning blessings, however unconventionally offered, that I can now say them without complication. I choose not a yoga practice today as is my early morning gravitation, and instead, stick to the silence of the light and the words of my faith. How lucky am I to participate.
October 19, 2012 | 10:53 am
Posted by Michelle Azar
My dad called me the other morning.
“Meeshelle….” He was trying out his Saturday morning leisure voice, but I knew better. Born in Iraq and raised in Israel, my father has a thick and specific Middle Eastern accent. We, his American fans, compete vigorously over who can imitate it the best, yet his Israeli clan swears there is no trace of an accent left.
I hold the receiver and wait. I’m amused both by his mispronunciation of my name, and surprised that he even used it, as for years now I have just been called: Rebbetzin.
“I am sorry to bother you, but I am looking for your mother’s mobile phone number.”
Yup, my self-made businessman dad knows not how to put a phone number in his phone. His mobile phone that is (does ANYONE use the word mobile anymore??) He looks at us like annoying flies whenever we offer to insert a number or two. And email you ask? Nope. Nothing like that touches those massive fingers that historically might do better working on a farm than pressing some tiny buttons.
As I was about to berate him AGAIN for not knowing or inserting or even JOTTING DOWN HER NUMBER somewhere, it suddenly dawned on me. I was no different from my dad in this arena. I remember when my husband first talked about email. I said there was no need to buy into THAT fad. Forward thinker that I am. I am one who had no interest in computers or video games, save for the few times that my big brother allowed me to PAY to use his. And I’ve always been afraid that paper and pen will disappear if we sit in front of these big ole screens for too long.
So who was I to laugh at or condemn my dear father, who has built a huge life for himself by thinking forward to his capacity quite often?
I let my 11-year-old set me up with a Twitter account later that same day. In the moment, I saw no correlation, but now, these few days later, I wonder… Was my sudden acquiescence to this threatening thing called THE INTERNET meant to close a loop ? An opportunity to find a different use for my past rather than my current one ? I can’t say I get it all yet. But I know I am having a little fun trying. And I know that’s worth something!
SO do look out for me on Twitter, Facebook, and my blogs as I try to embrace this monster and make it less scary. I will be posting and advertising and looking for yours too.
SOME NEWS (and shameless promotions!)
this SUNDAY NIGHT AT 5 PM, I will be singing in Cantor Yonah Kliger’s OUT OF THE BOX concert. Hope to see some of you there! www.tebh.org/calendar
You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter @yogaazar, and find links there to my acting demo and other writings as well.
ALSO do yourself a favor and check out this new website, http://thefriendex.com// – to find things you might like, or to say how much you might like YOGA-ing with me!
Schedule remains the same week of OCTOBER 22. Bring your friends and enjoy our YOGA-SAGGE! (yup, yoga and massage…)
In peace and gratitude,
October 18, 2012 | 12:22 am
Posted by Michelle Azar
As I lay on my mat for savasana the other day (Wanna know what SAVASANA is? Come to class..), the Sh’ma escaped me. Truly, that is how it felt. I have often said these words after practice in lieu of or in addition to the closing Sanskrit chant. However, this time I said them not out of any conscious choice. This time, my first exhalation WAS the silent words of this prayer.
Sensible, the connection I suppose. The name of the posture seems not dissimilar to this prayer’s first sound. We practice both with eyes closed, and a sense of stillness.
In this moment of linkage, however, of prayer to posture, I was led somewhere else.
I think I found the Sh’ma portal. It was a bit like Alice going down the rabbit hole, save for the rabbits. I was aware of being guided, tenderly, through a long enclosed tunnel, and the sound SHHHH was all around me. It wasn’t a terribly long ride from my mat through this tunnel. Once there, I saw myself as a younger version of me, or at least, smaller than my already small stature. I was now in the company of a guide, male I believe. He remained next to me, quietly, smiling, as I looked around at the lush greenery of this new area.
I felt a surge of happiness. A blend of calm excitement, and infinite acceptance of myself. I knew here in this little portal, which the sh’ma and the post practice rest opened for me, I was safe and could always be so.
Since that day, when things get rough, I try to close my eyes a moment, and allow that sh’ma breath lead me back. Back to the portal that I know resides within me, within all of us, always.
October 9, 2012 | 1:12 pm
Posted by Michelle Azar
The thing is, I don’t want to leave my sukkah. I know, it’s time to move inside, to stop shaking greenery all around, and just let lemons turn back into, well, lemons. But we only got the darn hut up in full regalia a couple of days ago, AND it's southern California, of course I want to remain outside!
Furthermore, this time period is called Z'man Simchateinu, season of rejoicing. Why wouldn't I want to linger in Joy Time??
I used to hate hearing about joy from the Jewish context. It felt so negating of the times that joy was just too far away to reach. I felt that I had to choose one feeling state over another, the happy person in a joy time, or the more sad person in a difficult period of reflection. This sort of fragmenting of myself showed up everywhere. I felt for years I had to be EITHER the actress OR the Rabbis’ wife. Either the yoga teacher or the yoga student. Either the seeker or the leader. The mom or… you get the picture.
Yet, the more I learn and live, the more I see the illusion in that perspective. I realize the power that comes in integration. Integrity. The ability to be with and present the whole person in acceptance. As the Sanskrit word yoga actually means to yoke, viniyoga teacher and Yoga Sutra scholar Gary Kraftsow says, "Practice, contemplation, meditation, and working to transform yourself lead to the qualities of an integrated human being. "
Reb Nachman of Bratslav, the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov and a seminal figure in the history of Hasidism, wrote that a person should allow himself only "one hour of a broken heart a day", and then, the rest of the 23, demand of yourself joy. I Love that. Reb Nachman was known to serious bouts of depression, so perhaps he was trying to find a way to remain in the world he was brought into, by working toward integration, with some serious boundaries, of his opposites. My drama therapy professor from N.Y.U., Dr. Robert Landy, taught that the sign of a healthy person is one who can live within the ambivalence of oneself.
Yes, balance, breath, practice, it is all the same sermon. Finding your “core” through trial and error, and knowing that as the official z'man for simchateinu ends on the calendar, it opens up for many more moments. We can turn our complexities into courageous action by coming inside.
October 5, 2012 | 3:39 pm
Posted by Michelle Azar
There is a wonderful little spot in Santa Monica called INSIGHT LA. They hold workshops and retreats, as well as a weekly meditation night on Thursday's. By donation only .
The lovely Diana, newly invested as a teacher there, speaks from her teeny body about the difficulty with, and the challenges she still feels when it comes to quelling the many meanderings of her mind. People nod and share their own experiences after the 30 or so minutes of guided meditation .
WHY sit through the kind of suffering that only lengthy periods of forced silence can put a person through was asked. Diana's answer was one of my favorites I've heard this far on the subject:
As we learn to sit through just the frustration of sitting, we can learn to tolerate the many moments of real discomfort in our day to day.
We get more out of 5 minutes of a disturbing sit than 40 minutes of a blissful one. There, sadly, is no magic to it, no quick fix, just the practice. For those of us who say, "I'm just too antsy to meditate!" well, this one is for us.
Life sounds nicer if lived with more options for behavior. Seeing what we do with our discomfort is one way to integrate our options.