The Big Wave – Bimini Bahamas!

  The big wave happened in Bimini Bahamas, and no I’m not talking about surfing waves, but in true unbridled happiness extended out to me in the form of a gesture and wave of hello.  A wave so big and genuine by strangers that seemed to be coming from the heart center of their being. Which reminded me of a time when years ago I moved from South Florida, where I was raised, to Western North Carolina where I went to college.  

In South Florida there were so many people that I felt a little anonymous. I’m not sure anyone particular person taught me this but, it seemed to me that everyone was just moving with their head down and doing their own thing. That I was to be cautious around strangers, always lock my doors, and to be mindful of what situation I was walking into.  In Western North Carolina, people would wave to you when you drove by them and greet you when you were walking by them.  It made me feel for a long time on edge, like…what do these people want from me – are they trying to tell me something. When in reality, they were just being polite and spreading good cheer. Now, that I’m back in South Florida I don’t find that to be true, everyone I meet tends to be generally nice and friendly, so it was probably a culmination of many factors that made me feel that way.  But here I am again many years later faced with a similar situation in Bimini Bahamas. While riding around on a golf cart, and met by Bahamians on theirs, I would do my familiar finger tip up wave that I learned while in North Carolina without too much thought but trying to be friendly, and they would outstretch their arms as if they were reaching out to touch me, and wave there hand energetically side to side, with the biggest grin on their face. They were fully present and mindful of the wave. Their gaze was fully on me, and I felt it. It’s something I would do if I unexpectedly saw my best friend, and I was trying to get her attention, after years of not seeing her. This time however I wasn’t scared or uncomfortable, I just smiled and truly embraced the greeting. It brought me a lot of joy.

It made me want to bring the big wave back to the states and into my daily life. Being in Bimini Bahamas made me think of the many ways that we can be kind to one another without much effort but in just creating new habits. I felt it also in the kindness of my host Kenny and Pauline, Bimini Bahamas Rental , who I witnessed not only treat me with the utmost kindness, but selflessly serve the Port Royal community with gatherings, and in continuing service. Anything anyone needed in supplies or in repairs they would contact Ken. So much so that Kenny claimed that this was the Summer of Ken, and that he was taking it off. You could see the panic in everyones eyes, but he still compassionately served. I could barley keep up, but learned many great lessons of kindness and compassion this summer in Bimini Bahamas, and hope I take them with me for many years to come. 

So if one day your driving around and you see a person with an outstretched arm, energetically waving to you, don’t get scared it may just be me saying hello!

Is YOGA right for me?

When people find out I’m a yoga teacher, the questions start flying. Is yoga right for me? Will yoga help me? Where should I start?  Yoga meets you wherever you are, with forgiveness and kindness, to who you are in the present moment.  Some days you will be strong and centered. Some days you may just want to sit there and breathe.  Whatever is best that day is fine – no judgements.  It’s your practice, and it can help you in every area of your life. Yoga is a continual reminder to live in the present. To focus on our breath and our bodies – right here – right now, as we are.  Continuously redirecting ourselves back to the present moment, where 99% of the time we are fine. We have breath, we have life. Most likely our stomachs are full and we have shelter at night – so in this moment, we are more than fine. We cannot change the past or predict the future, but we can take care of ourselves in the present. Nurturing ourselves, or doing whatever it takes to bring us to a place of peace.

When doing our asana practice of physical movement, it becomes a sort of meditation in motion. Focusing again on our breath, movement and alignment, in the present moment. Noticing the rhythm of our breath, noticing the movement in our bodies, and the placement of our hands as we press them into the mat. Then finding it easier to be in stillness at the end of the physical practice. Leaving with a sense of being grounded, and centered, and at peace. Being able to see things more clearly from this place, without judgements, with what is happening around you.

At least this is what I like to think my class that I teach is like. That being said, saying you want to go to a yoga class is a lot like saying you want to go out to eat. There are so many types of foods and yoga, and then there are so many different ways to cook that food. So many different recipes, and then even with the same recipe, two chefs will cook it differently.  Just as eating an ice cream cone is so different from a gourmet meal at the finest restaurant in town. So is just as large of difference from Yin yoga to Power yoga. Because yoga does meet you with where you are right now, you can take any style, and just do the best you can do that day. Just remember if that style of yoga doesn’t resonate with you, try something else. Just as you like one Italian restaurant over another, or loving sushi more than Italian food, so will it be with yoga. You need to find the right teacher and right style of yoga that suits you just right – right now. As your yoga practice progresses so may your choice of yoga style change.

My advise is to try a few different yoga styles. Find the style that suits you best with where you are right now, then always remember that it’s your practice. It’s you and your mat, always doing what feels right – you are in charge of you.

Just a thought…

Love, Goldi

How Do You Walk Through Life?

I teach yoga. And, you would think that most people who walked into the room, would be open. Open to the possibilities of how the class will unfold in whatever way it will. Open to different styles, Open to – whatever – that happens – to be, – ending with – just perfect, in that time and place. Today, a student walked in first unhappy that I wasn’t the teacher that she had wanted, even though she had never taken a class from me before. Then asking if I was going to turn the heat off on a cold morning, with temperature inside the room hovering at low 70‘s, because the artificial heat would bother her asthma, she declared. I thought the cold would be better than a student who couldn’t breathe, so I honored her request.  Then while warming the students up, and easily noticing that she had not been following my warm up, since she was right in front of me in the front row. She screams out. Oh come on. Is this an hour long class, Yes, I said. Then in her sarcastic tone, Well can you speed it up already. Disregarding again, all of the other students, in her wannabe, I guess, private class.  Disregarding all the other students who are regulars to my 6:30 am morning flow, who know my class, who were today practicing in the cold for her, and who were now, being disrupted by the outburst.

I tried to keep my composure and continue the class in a calm, positive, and uplifting place.  But, as she was having to deal with me, which clearly wasn’t what she wanted, I and the other students were having to deal with her, in what clearly wasn’t the experience that we had wanted. We’re not going to be all things to all people. Some will like us, and some will not. Who knows whats going on in her life personally… All I could do is remain clam, grounded, and positive. Teaching the class, as I had intended, for the good of all.  I think we both came around. She looked like she relaxed as I gave her an assist in shavasana, sending love as I did it.  When the class was over, she calmly walked out of the room when she left.

You can’t be all things to all people, but you can decided how you will handle all things. Walking in the path of kindness, happiness, and love, is not about pretending that life is always easy and working the way you have perceived it, but it’s about how we respond to the challenges that life brings us.

Just a thought…

Love, Goldi