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2016 Kiss My Asana #10: What Happens When You’re Full of Grace? February 10, 2016

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Books, Changing Perspectives, Confessions, Depression, Dharma, Donate, Faith, Fitness, Food, Gratitude, Healing Stories, Health, Hope, Karma Yoga, Life, Loss, Love, Minneapolis, Music, One Hoop, Pain, Peace, Philosophy, Science, Suffering, TV, Twin Cities, Volunteer, Wisdom, Women, Yoga.
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“You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as you love yourself….”

– Leviticus 19:34


“And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or saw you naked and gave you clothes? Truly I tell you, just s you did to one of the least of those who are members of the human family, you did it to me.”

– Matthew 25:38


 “…and do good to orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer that you meet, and those who have nothing.”

– Qur’an 4:36


At least 7 yogis walk into a bar…. I know, it sounds like the beginning of a really silly joke. But seriously, if it weren’t for Yogi #9, I wouldn’t know Yogi #10 (and a few other yogis down the line).

Friday, February 5th, Yogi #9 (Elizabeth) invited me and my housemate to a fundraiser for a tutoring program at a school in St Paul. It was cold on the first Friday of Kiss My Asana, I’d just finished teaching, and I had stuff to do. But, I could hear Elizabeth in my head saying, “Come on. It’s kids; it’s for a good cause. You don’t have to stay out all night. I mean, you could, but….” (Note: She didn’t actually say this, but I could hear what it would sound like if she did.)

I acquiesced, in my own mind, and we headed over to the Urban Growler. It was not my usual scene, but it was super cool – and packed! We made our way around the pub until we found Elizabeth with a table full of her family and friends. She proceeded to introduce us to (drum roll, please) Yogi #10 (Molly S).

“Yoga changed my life!” Molly S exclaimed when she heard I teach yoga. My housemate asked how, and Molly left no doubt that yes, indeed, a single introductory course in yoga not only changed her outlook on her mind-body, it changed the way she engaged her mind-body. As a prelude to asking her, a perfect stranger, if she’d answer my 7 questions, I mentioned what I’m doing for Kiss My Asana and how the yogathon benefits Mind Body Solutions –

Before I got anymore words out of my mouth, Molly S delivered the Universe’s punch line:

“Wait, Mind Body Solutions in Minnetonka? Matthew Sanford was my first teacher!”

Yep, turns out, it wasn’t just yoga that changed Molly’s life. It was Matthew Sanford.

When grace happens, generosity happens. Unsquashable, eye-popping bigheartedness happens. “

– Max Lucado

 “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi


As if it wasn’t beautiful enough that she let me video tape her, on the fly (questions unseen), Molly left the fundraiser and proceeded to Kiss My Asana. (Thanks Molly!)

(NOTE: There’s still time for you to be like Molly!)

Don't forget, you can turn on and tune in with me this Saturday (5 PM & 7 PM) at the Walker! And February 27th is a Pucker Up and Kiss My Asana Saturday!


2016 Kiss My Asana #9: One of the 20% February 10, 2016

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Books, Buddhism, Changing Perspectives, Confessions, Dharma, Donate, Faith, Fitness, Gratitude, Healing Stories, Health, Hope, Karma Yoga, Life, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Music, Peace, Philosophy, Science, Twin Cities, Volunteer, Wisdom, Women, Yoga.
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“Economists often talk about the 80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the “work” will be done by 20 percent of the participants. In most societies, 20 percent of criminals commit 80 percent of crimes. Twenty percent of motorists cause 80 percent of all accidents. Twenty percent of beer drinkers drink 80 percent of all beer. When it comes to epidemics, though, this disproportionality becomes even more extreme: a tiny percentage of people do the majority of the work.”

– Malcolm Gladwell explaining the Law of the Few in The Tipping Point

In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell observes that, “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.” The he describes the people who move things to the next level: Connectors, Mavens, and, Salesmen. We all know someone who fits into each category. To me, however; Yogi #9 (Elizabeth); is like Paul Revere – she defies the categories. She’s a connector, a maven, and a saleswoman all rolled into one.

She’ll make the simplest introductions – and leave no doubt as to why someone (or something) holds a special place in her heart. She will stand up for what’s right, even when taller people shut down and quiver. She will travel far and wide, just to touch a place people think is divine – and then she’ll share the moment with people who may not have ever thought of going beyond their living room walls. And watching Elizabeth work it on the mat is like watching the Universe at work (or maybe it’s at play).

“I am Pure Consciousness….Nothing whatsoever exists separate from My Divinity. There is no power in the cosmos that does not emanate from Me and belong to me. The entire universe is suspended from Me as if I were the string in a necklace of jewels. The gems may differ vastly, but the force holding them all together, the central thread, is Me, Divinity.” – Excerpt from The Bhagavad Gita

“…there is said to be a network of pearls so arranged that if you look at one you see all the others reflected in it. In the same way, each object in the world is not merely itself but involves every other object, and in fact, IS every other object.”

Hindu Sutra provided in Anodea Judith’s Wheels of Life

From a Buddhist perspective, Alan Watts refers to the network (that is the universe) as a “spider’s web in the early morning covered with dew drops. And, every dew drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops. And in each reflected dew drop, the reflection of all the other dew drops.” Being around Elizabeth, on and off the mat, is like watching dew drops (or pearls) reflecting each other.

We shot Elizabeth’s video after class, and you can tell she worked it. But, it doesn’t matter if she’s balancing on one leg; opening her heart in a backbend; twisting, untwisting, and re-twisting; or flowing through a “waxing and waning” squat, Elizabeth practices with gratitude and makes all the hard work look effortless and fun! She’s one of the people who makes me want to practice, teach, and share yoga with more people.(Thanks Elizabeth!)

Even though she doesn’t practice adaptive yoga, Elizabeth reminds me that a regular yoga practice is a gift – for everyone. By KISS(ing) MY ASANA, you help Mind Body Solutions give this gift to people who may not realize they can benefit from a little sitting (asana) and breathing (pranayama).

Don't forget, you can turn on and tune in with me this Saturday (5 PM & 7 PM) at the Walker! And February 27th is a Pucker Up and Kiss My Asana Saturday!


~ windin’ up twenty-one thousand, one hundred forty pounds of string ~