Heart Practice Yoga
November 2004 Yoga - Art - Expression
Heart Practice Yoga & Press Newsletter
in this issue

The Road Less Traveled

They say, "If you open yourself up to grace, miracles happen." A few months ago, I borrowed a book from my friend Jackie entitled, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth, by M. Scott Peck, MD, published in 1978. Just recently, the book caught my eye and I took it with me on my long plane ride to Massachusetts.

The first sentence rings true in this point of my life. "Life is difficult." Peck goes on to say "It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it." Perhaps many of us believe that life is supposed to be easy. Why else would we complain and become resentful when challenges arise or things don't turn out as we expect? When Peck says, "Life is a series of problems," I am relieved. Because once I accept it, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters, and I can choose to solve those problems, instead of asking, "Why can't my life be easier?"

I especially found valuable his definition of love: "The will to extend one's self for the purpose of nurturing one's own or another's spiritual growth." Since love requires the expansion of ourselves, love is either work or courage. No exceptions. And again, not easy.

These days, I have chosen to focus on svadyaya (self-study) and satya (truth) and miraculously tools and teachers have appeared to move me along my spiritual path. Whether it is a book that falls off the shelf, a detour that takes us out of our routine, or a choice to take a chance, grace is always present, just by simply being aware. Practicing love as courageous action at each cross road opens us up to vibrant new landscapes along the way.

What truth have you transcended today?

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This monthly newsletter is created to provide you with resources to nourish your practice and inspire your spirit. Please send an e-mail if there is anything you would like to see featured for our yoga community. Because I skipped October's issue, this one is chock-full; grab a cup of tea.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for you all.

- Peace and Light, Monica Paredes

Special Heart Practice Yoga Products

Desiree Rumbaugh's workshop in September was an uplifting experience with over 60 attendees from around the US. Many of San Antonio's most influential yoga teachers came to enhance their own practices and teachings and left the event feeling highly motivated.

Many thanks to Cecelia Norman who donated her studio and provided cozy accommodations. Thank you also to Stephanie Norman, the macrobiotic chef who prepared nutritious and satisfying lunches as well as gave an informative talk on the benefits of a macrobiotic diet.

Donnabelle Casis', artistic and meaningful yoga jewelry made their debut at the workshop and were quickly snapped up by attendees for themselves or special friends. From the colorful Italian yarn, to the silver fittings and pewter heart, each piece is made with loving attention to detail. These necklaces harness the healing and energetic qualities of semi-precious stones. The colors correspond to a complementary chakra.

The jewelry is festively packaged and includes a card with a personalized description. A sample of necklace designs include "Clarity & Self-Expression" for the writers on your list, "Friendship & Commitment," for your gal pal; and even "Optimism & Inner Peace" for someone experiencing tough times. Due to popular demand, Donnabelle will be making a limited number for the holidays, so place your orders early. Great for mindful gift-giving!

There are also a a few remaining boxes of Revolution Teas available. They were served at the event to a thirsty crowd. These are the teas the Four Seasons serve their guests, and are not easy to find locally. Flavors are: Early Grey Lavender, Sweet Ginger Peach, Royal Plum (decaf), Bombay Chai, and Honeybush Caramel (decaf). You can purchase any of these items from my Web site or by calling.

Authentic Freedom: November 2, 2004, 7 pm

Heart and Soul Yoga is hosting a meditation gathering with Vanessa Stone from the Foundation for Divine Consciousness. After you vote, come for a meditation sitting for healing ourselves and our Nation. Gentle yoga stretch for meditation offered from 6:30-6:50 pm.

Heart and Soul Yoga Studio, 28060 FM 3009, Garden Ridge Texas, 830-438-8585, heartandsoulyoga.org

Fee: suggested donation: $10

For more information on Vanessa or The Foundation for Divine Consciousness please see their Web site: divineconsciousness.org. Call or e-mail if attending: 830-438-8585, e-mail: cecelian@gvtc.com. Please enter in silence.

Deep Emotions You Can Hear: Mis Recuerdos

I have to thank David Gallegos for getting me to dust off my Cordoba Spanish classical guitar and begin playing again. Practicing is a form of creative meditation for me as I focus on the notes and rhythms and release the accumulated events of the day. David is my guitar teacher who specializes in Latin and Flamenco styles, where the most important thing is to express from deep within the heart.

Just last month, David finished recording his first solo CD. Upon hearing the demo, I was immediately mesmerized by the pure emotion of each song. Whenever I play the CD during my yoga classes, students have such great responses. This CD is a self-funded project and I am inspired by his vision and hard work in sharing his gift of music.

"David Gallegos' self-release debut CD, Mis Recuerdos combines Latin & Flamenco flare with a New Age feel, painting relaxing sonic textures that will ease the mind and sooth the soul. Current Release date: 11/23/04." For more information and sound clips, please visit: www.davidgallegos.com.

Music for Little Ones (and Big Ones, Too)

Ok, I admit it. I am crazy about my tiny nephews and can't stop featuring them in my newsletter. What can I say? Their mom engages them in so many cool things; I have to share them with my prenatal/postnatal students.

On my last visit to Northampton, I accompanied Mathieu and Stefan to their first music class, provided by Music Together®, a program of developmentally appropriate music and movement classes for children from birth to age four and their parents or other caregivers. The kids sang songs, clapped their hands, made music with shakers, and danced with billowing scarves. The hour flew by and we were given CDs and workbooks to continue the songs and play activities at home.

If you are considering an activity for your child, see if there is a Music Together program in your neighborhood. And if you have some musical background, consider obtaining certification to teach this terrific program in your community.

"How do people learn music? How do infants learn? Toddlers? Four-year-olds? Early childhood experts believe that each child learns from a rich and varied music experience and that, given a variety of engaging activities, each child will learn the things she is ready to learn at any given moment.

This approach, which is often called 'Developmentally Appropriate Practice,' allows each child to be responsible for his own learning and helps adults view children's growth through stages of development, not ages." - Music Together LLC

For local San Antonians, contact Fiesta Music Together, 5902 Lost Creek, San Antonio, Texas 78247, (210) 862-9276, e-mail ellen@fiestamusictogether.com.

Last-Minutes Items

I have not yet restarted my prenatal classes due to some scheduling conflicts. In the meantime, if your group would like to schedule a prenatal yoga workshop, please call. Workshops generally last two hours and include tea, yoga, meditation, visualization, breath work, relaxation and discussion. Husbands are also welcome and we can tailor the workshop to include natural labor and delivery techniques for partners. Workshops are also available to address the needs of postnatal students.

As the holidays approach, one of the best things you can do with friends or family is to take a yoga class. If you are unable to get to a studio, consider hosting a yoga gathering to reduce stress, promote creativity or simply to spend time practicing self-care with those you love. Please call for available dates.

"Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it." - Maya Angelou. No matter who your candidate is, please become informed and then get out there and vote.