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DON’T BE GREEDY; BE GRATEFUL (Thanksgiving Schedule & News) November 24, 2015

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Buddhism, Changing Perspectives, Faith, Fitness, Food, Gratitude, Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Music, Peace, Philosophy, Texas, Twin Cities, Yoga.

We are born knowing what we like

– “The Foundation” by Thievery Corporation


“Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?”

– Rosalind as Ganymede as Rosalind in William Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Act I, Scene 4)


At this point in our lives, we’re pretty clear about what we like – and what we don’t like. We build our days, as much as we can, around our preferences – enabling us to indulge in what we like and avoid the things we don’t like. We often equate this to indulging in happiness and avoiding suffering. But, there’s a loophole. It’s not the things that make us happy or not happy. And, our little, seemingly innocuous, preferences can lead to big suffering.

Buddhism teaches that attachment leads to suffering. And yoga – like Buddhism – teaches that true freedom comes from the practice of non-attachment. But, it’s so hard! I mean, when you find something (or someone) you like, appreciate, and value, it’s human to want more…and more….and more. And, as long as it feels good and serves us in the present moment, there is very little incentive to give up our attachment. Unless, of course, we’re practicing – or forced/encouraged to practice – non-attachment.

Within hours of arriving in Houston, I was hip-deep in a discussion about yoga preferences. (This always sounds like an oxymoron or the beginning of a bad joke, but it’s just life.) My friends and I made plans to attend a class led by a teacher one of them liked. The studio was packed; there was amazing live music; I was between two very dear friends; and just before we started one of them placed her hands on me, looked deep in my eyes, and whispered, “Sorry, this isn’t going to be what you’re used to.”

Got it; time to practice my new mantra!

The class was great. So great, that two of us made plans to take another class from the same teacher the following night. Only our timing didn’t work out – and so we quickly made plans to take from another teacher. My friend apologized for the change and asked how I felt about taking a class from a teacher neither of us had tried. Only my answer didn’t matter, because this unknown teacher had a sub. Who was super nervous and (it seemed) relatively new as a teacher.

I marveled at how quickly we become attached…and then I focused on practicing my new mantra.

My annual Thanksgiving trip to Texas is definitely part of my practice. It’s a break from my current routines, which is actually a break from my old routines. And as I reacquaint myself with my old routines, everything becomes new. I get a chance to soak up all the people and things I love and appreciate about being home, while also giving me the time and space to reflect on all the people and things I love and appreciate about being in Minnesota. I also get to notice what’s different, what’s changed. And this year I came with a mantra in hand:

Don’t be greedy; be grateful.

It’s simple really. When you find yourself “liking” something, take a moment to remember that all of life is not Facebook (or Instagram). Step back, take a breath, and appreciate – express a little gratitude by being specific about why you like something. Then, when you find yourself wanting more (which is the next step in that whole attachment thing) repeat the process. Step back, take a breath, and appreciate again. This works when you’re contemplating a piece of homemade peach cobbler (thanks Helen) or a great yoga class with friends and live music (thanks Lee, Mimi, Kelly, and Ganesh Express).

It also works when your regular yoga class has a sub.

I am super grateful for all the very talented teachers who are covering my classes – as well as for all the people who show up for those classes. Thank you to everyone who has shared their practice and their thoughts about the practice over the years. There is a leaf on my gratitude tree for each of you – and for every one of those practices (on and off the mat)!

Practicing with my big dawgs20151122_191851

The Nokomis Yoga schedule will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 24th @ 12:00 PM (60 minutes with ERIKA)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24th @ 7:15 PM (75 minutes with ELIZABETH)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25th @ 4:30 PM (60 minutes – CANCELLED)

Erika Peterson and Elizabeth Carls both teach regular classes at Nokomis Yoga. For more on their teaching, check out their bios.

The Wednesday night Slow Flow at Flourish will be cancelled on November 25th. Please join me on December 2nd.


For information on my incredible YMCA subs, please check the online schedules. (Also, please note that the Downtown Minneapolis will run an alternate schedule 11/26 – 11/27.)


Finally, an extra special thank you to Shelby (at Blaisdell) for covering my 6:30 PM class on Sunday, December 6th!




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