About Me

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Author of "Yoga and the Twelve Step Path" and "Life in Bite Sized Morsels". COMING SOON! "Yogic Tools For Recovery, A Guide To wroking the Steps": November 14, 2017.
I have been a yoga teacher for several years. My primary focus is on classes designed for people recovering from addictions. I take my classes to recovery homes, halfway houses,detention centers and jails. I also lead Y12SR groups in the south SF Bay Area, CA. I am a certified Yoga of Recovery Counselor. I have designed a certification course for yoga teachers titled S.O.A.R. - Success Over Addictions and Relapse which I teach in person and ONLINE.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ethics and My Daily Practice

HOT, MEDIUM OR COOL - How to I integrate my ethics into life and practice.

It was suggested to me that I think about how I live my ethics; is my practice "hot, medium or cool". My first internal response to this was - I am rigorous about my attention to my ethics. I am a practicing member of my recovery fellowship, AA, and I am a practicing yogi. I work the steps, and practice the principles in "all of my affairs". I have a daily spiritual practice of listening to my inner stillness and honoring the 8 limbs of Raja Yoga.

On more reflection I realized why it is called a PRACTICE (and not a perfection). Some days may approach is lukewarm if not totally "cool". I sit in stillness only to make note of all my thoughts of things to do. The stillness is merely organized inactivity in preparation for wild activity. There are days my personal yoga practice is so perfunctory as to be merely extended stretching while putting on my socks and pulling on my sweater. I may stop at a sink or wall to extend my back and experience the tightness in my hamstrings or calves, push my palm against the hallway wall and linger for thirty seconds to open my tight shoulders but that is it. It is the practice of yoga while I am on my way to doing something else. Certainly not a mindful mat practice. 

My engagement with my ethics is another part of the journey. First, what are they? I embrace the Yamas and the Niyamas (and the corollary of some of them in avoiding the 7 Deadly Sins) and they do form the basis of my ethical behavior. That includes the practices of forgiveness and compassion - so critical for me to be able to express and act in these ethical manners.

When do I fall short? I fall short when I am feeling less about myself. I fall short when I feel I need something that with my own current skill or resource level, I am unable to earn on my own. This can apply to the material; but more often now it occurs when I feel I need or want something non-material. This can be ability on the mat, this can be artistic and technical skills in the pottery studio, this can be wisdom to navigate difficult situations in life. When I am feeling badly about myself I have more opportunity to "regret the past", I have more need to control the outcomes of situations, I am unwise in my speech and attitude and am more likely to cause harm. When I am angry at myself I am much more likely to find occasion to be angry at others. This may sound simplistic - but is IS all about me! It is my "stinkin thinkin" that gets me into difficulties.

Compassion with myself begets compassion with others, Acceptance of myself as I am "leaks out" to manifest in acceptance of people, places and things as they are. And this causes a wave; a smile given is a smile returned. Listening quietly with an open heart allows the speaker to be in there moment unfettered to expectations. Employing Tapas, discipline, to acquire the skills I need to be better at what I do will remove the need to yearn for others' abilities. When it comes to things - examine why I need then, what it is I really "want" and then, work and save for it if that thing is necessary. So how am I with my ethics? Better in this moment, better when I consider them in what I think, say and do. Will I ever think I am "hot" or 80 to 100% attentive? I don't know. I am concerned that when I feel "hot" I am really "cool".

Today, however, I am going to reinvigorate my attention to this question; I will remind myself again and again (I have an over active "forget-er") to come back to the question and then, to come back to compassion.

Kyczy Hawk E-RYT200, RYT500 is the author of "Yoga and the Twelve Step Path", "LIfe in Bite Sized Morsels" and a leader of Y12SR classes. She is the creator of SOAR(tm) (Success Over Addiction and Relapse) a teacher certification training. Recovery infused yoga classes are available on Studio Live TV. Find out more about her, her classes and the training at www.yogarecovery.com

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Learning how to receive

Over this holiday I received a gift of money. I was astounded, surprised and very grateful. This was un-budgeted, unexpected cash. Over the last several years my "wanting" has decreased. We live close to the bone, within our means and it suits me. I have no pressing need for any material goods. I am of an age where I have collected all I want and have all I need. My kitchen has pots and pans, my closet has clothes that fit, and I have ceased craving the next new design or color for my towels and sheets. I have it all! I am totally grateful and aware, deeply aware, that not all people can say even a fraction of that.
But this was a surprise and it opened up the door on wanting, the revisiting of craving. Was I going to toss this money into the "bill" maw and allow it to be part of the PGE, the water, the insatiable gas needs of my truck? It could certainly go there. It could provide some measure of security, some "prepaid" assurance against some unforeseen need like tires, or a house repair. But I didn't want to do that with all of this bounty. I did feel like I needed to practice receiving. This was a gift to me, an opportunity to do or have for myself something that I wouldn't permit myself otherwise. I don't often see the gray, but this time I did. What if I used some for myself and some against a rainy day?
So I did. I registered for on online course on intention and self care. I am taking: Living on Purpose; Group Coaching on Deliberate Creation - with Rolf Gates. I have been thinking for a while that I would like some time for self development: development that has, at its end purpose, my own self care. I have a habit, an unfortunate focus of intent, of signing up to learn things SO I can teach. Take a sculpture class so I can better explain it to others, take a training so I can lead and so on. It is important that I be in service; but just now, while I face a lot of new and unknown things I need to, I want to, take care of myself. So this wonderful gift of surprise money allowed me to take advantage of this idea I had; taking care of myself, without having to purloin funds from the family fund.
First step in self care... learning how to receive. I guess that is the second part of the present.