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REAL(LY), TRU(e)LY GRATEFUL (Thanksgiving Schedule & News) November 22, 2016

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Books, Buddhism, Faith, Fitness, Gratitude, Health, Life, Mantra, Minneapolis, Philosophy, Suffering, Texas, Twin Cities, Wisdom, Yoga.
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When I first got back to Houston, a man I didn’t know inserted himself in a conversation with my mother; I only got to see a handful of friends; it took a really long time to walk a few blocks; I ate way too much sugar; and I took a yoga class many of my students would hate.

Wait! What? That doesn’t sound right. In fact, it doesn’t even sound like me. And the truth is that while the facts above real(ly) happened; they are not true.

In his book Open Heart, Open Mind, the Nepalese Tibetan Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche describes how something can be “real but not true” – and offers the words as a mantra which allows us to check in with our attitudes, our perspectives, and the past conditions which establish both. The bottom line being that we view our current circumstances through the lens of past experiences. Mindfulness-based practices like yoga and Buddhism create the opportunity to examine our kleshas – or, how our thought patterns color our experiences.

So, if I were to re-frame what happened as I actually perceived it: When I first got back home to Houston, a man I’d never met before asked if I needed help with my bags (I did); I made plans to spend the day with friends who are like family to me; I spent part of the afternoon on a walkabout with two of those friends, exploring their neighborhood and quacking as we ducked; I ate a lot of dessert; and I took a yoga class with some super groovy hip openers!

Yeah, still colored, but suddenly the events are joyful. Suddenly there is room for gratitude.

“Gratitude awakens another way of being in the world, one that nurtures the heart and helps to create a life of meaning and purpose. The old barriers no longer confine us and the old fears no longer constrict or claim us. Gratitude opens us to freedom, a sense of generosity, and connection to the wider world.” – Angeles Arrien

“I didn’t say, ‘We can be grateful for everything.’ I said, ‘We can be grateful in every given moment for the opportunity. And even when we are confronted with something that is terribly difficult we can rise to this occasion and respond to the opportunity that’s given to us…. Most of the time what s given to us is the opportunity to enjoy, and we only miss it because we are rushing through life.”

– Brother David Steindl-Rast

Right now, a lot of people are struggling to be grateful. That’s super real. It’s so real that we sometimes forget there is more to life than struggle. We struggle so much we actually look forward…to more struggles. However, it’s also true that each of us has something for which we can be grateful – and, we get to choose how we spend our time and energy. We get to choose how we look forward.

 “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” – Leo Christopher

When someone gives us a precious gift, we give thanks. So, thank you to all the people who have spent time with me this year – on and off the mat. Your presence reminds me to appreciate every aspect of the practice, and every aspect of life. Your presence reminds me of all the ways one can practice. Thank you also, to the very talented teachers covering my classes this week – and to the people who show up for those classes. Thank you all for the opportunity to learn and grow and love within this practice.

Every time I step on a mat, I learn something new. Maybe I learn it from the teacher that’s leading the group; maybe I learn it from the teacher on the mat; maybe I learn it from the teacher within – either way, my future self is grateful. This week, “Do something that your future self will thank you for.” (unknown)

Practicing with my big dawgs20151122_191851

The Nokomis Yoga schedule will be as follows:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 22nd @ 12:00 PM (60 minutes with SARAH)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 22nd @ 7:15 PM (75 minutes with ERIKA)
  • Wednesday, Nov. 23rd @ 4:30 PM (60 minutes – CANCELLED)

Sarah Kalweit and Erika Peterson 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 23rd. Please join me on November 30th.

Weather permitting, I’ll return to Common Ground on Monday, November 30th.

For information on my incredible YMCA subs, please check the online schedules. (Also, please note that the Downtown Minneapolis will run an alternate schedule 11/24 – 11/275)




1. whereschrisscotch - November 22, 2016

Perspective and Joy. I am thankful for you showing me where to look find them in myself so many years ago! Happy Thanksgiving Myra.

ajoyfulpractice - December 10, 2016

So good to hear from you (and Cooper)! Hope you guys are all well. I am always grateful our paths crossed. Peace, Myra

2. Gregory and Julie Heaton-Hill - November 22, 2016

Hi Myra,

Your perspective on life is most appreciated and we are grateful to know you! Hope your trip is going well and you are reconnecting with those you intended to and sounds like you are connecting to surprising folks!

I’m off today and went to a gentle yoga class this morning at Blaisdell. Mike was subbing for Vance. It threw everybody off a little to be up in Studio A to start, then a sub??!! Mike did a great class and I smiled when I walked out to the parking lot with two ladies who were surprised and delighted with a good class! I had just read your post below before the class and found the synchronicity interesting! And then I see Mike is your sub on Sunday.

I/we look forward to another good class then. (No one is Myra when it comes to yoga, but then no one is Mike, or Vance, or Michelle or……) But learning new things = good thing!

Learning new things: I work as an adult nurse practitioner and did primary care for 20 yrs for Allina, “moonlighting” in urgent care. I transferred to Allina’s urgent care clinics on January 1st.

I loved primary care but towards the end it became clear to me that I was ready to do something different. I was lucky that I had something to move into.

And I really like what I do. Learning has always been a favorite part of my job. And nothing like draining pus from somewhere for patient satisfaction. J

Yoga, good teachers, and draining pus from somewhere – perspective and grateful for all of it!

Enjoy the rest of your holiday break!

Julie & Greg


ajoyfulpractice - December 10, 2016

Yes, it was a great trip! Going back to TX reminds me how fortunate I am; as does coming back to MN. I’m grateful to know you both, and hope to see you soon!

3. mychildsafe - November 22, 2016

Beautiful Myra. Thank you and have a wonderful thanksgiving.

ajoyfulpractice - December 10, 2016

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

4. kpmvhm - November 28, 2016

Hi Myra, and welcome back ! I wonder if you saw the article in Sunday’s NYT about the 98 yr. old yoga instructor !! If you haven’t, I will send it to you 🙂 But I don’t have your email address. Hope to see you this afternoon. with gratitude for you, Karen

S. Karen Mohan

ajoyfulpractice - December 10, 2016

I didn’t see it, but I will look it up. Good to see you. I am so grateful for all the many ways we continue to intersect with each other! Miracles will never cease! Peace, Myra

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