Learn, Share, Kinship

This weekend I took the opportunity for some continuing education. The BYS Yoga Collective hosted a Chair Yoga Training in Pittsburgh. From yoga teachers to therapists to social workers and medical staff, a diverse array of souls gathered to widen the definition of what it means to practice yoga.

A chair yoga practice can benefit those with mobility limitations, recovering from a recent surgery or injury, or simply interested in a gentle practice without having to get on the floor. In addition, a chair yoga practice can provide those of us who sit in class or at work most of our day with a quick movement/stress relief break.

We discussed and practiced poses, breathwork and mudras (hand gestures) to calm, energize, focus, strengthen and/ or soothe the entire body and mind. I’m so grateful to our instructor, Alison, and all of the BYS staff for their welcoming hearts and wisdom.

On a break, I planned to walk down to Starbucks for a tea. Instead, Beehive Coffee called to me from across the street (I enjoy Starbucks, yet when there’s a local coffee shoppe I’m all in).

The young woman with the beautiful blue highlights in her hair greeted me, and I asked her what she recommends … “the beehive honey mocha, of course.” Done.

As she crafted my coffee drink and I listened to the live music coming from the back of the cafe, I noticed handmade knit items for sale at the counter. This one stuck out to me … I picked it up and out it back 3 times … “You don’t need another scarf, Erica” … “Does it bring you joy?” … An absolute YES.

The young woman at the counter making my drink is the knitting artist. Her smile from ear-to-ear when I raved over her work made my impulse buy all worth it. A leap in both our hearts. We saw each other, and gave each other back to ourselves — kinship, as Father Greg Boyle says.

May you learn something new to add life to your work in the world this week. And may you find a spark of joy in someone, notice, and swap that joy in kinship with each other on your paths.

See you on the mat, Erica

Published by ericaengel42

I practice & share Hatha Yoga for a simple reason -- it works. Hatha Yoga in the Himalayan Tradition is a holistic system of philosophy & practices passed down through an unbroken 5,000 year lineage of Himalayan sages. What Hatha Yoga is not: trendy, bendy or one-&-done. What Hatha Yoga is: a systematic approach to uncovering the real, authentic YOU in body, mind & spirit. Hatha Yoga cultivates well-being, stability, clarity & ease in modern life through traditional, time-tested practices. I also recognize both our shared humanity & our differing privileges & barriers -- I am a cis-gendered white female with a graduate degree, who has dealt with family trauma & an eating disorder. My goals in my own practice include to cultivate awareness of my own privileges & social conditioning, unlearn & re-learn in order to be mindful & take compassionate action toward a more beautiful, just & peaceful world for ALL humans, creatures & our Earth. I'm making mistakes daily, & hopeful that I'm falling forward toward these goals & vision. I hope we can walk our paths & support each other along the way.

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