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Hanuman

Hanuman, the monkey god, leaping from Ceylon to India.

Ah, my dear friends, it’s been a full few weeks! I have been hard at work setting up many aspects of my business – and another piece came to fruition on Friday: my new monthly Full Moon Newsletter. I hope you’ll find it to be an inspiring addition to my blog musings here.

My intention with the newsletter is to provide time-specific, uplifting and useful information from Ayurveda’s vast treasure trove of insight, as well as a regular listing of my upcoming events and special deals or opportunities I want to share. It will come out every full moon, reminding us of this pervading natural rhythm present in all of our lives.

I will continue with the “Ayurveda in Translation” blog, which will serve up more frequent bite-size tidbits, perhaps relaying a personal experience I have had that underlines a concept I am working with, or some other real-life application of Ayurveda and Yoga. I aim to write in the blog 3 or 4 times a month (and we’ll see how the timing evolves!). I love your comments, and I hope to inspire questions and dialogue as you reflect on your own life here.

I hope you’ll want to follow both the blog AND the newsletter (to subscribe to the newsletter, click here and find the “Join our mailing list” button in the right sidebar). If you sign up, you will always be able to easily unsubscribe.

As additional enticement, I will email you a little “thank you” gift when you sign up for the Full Moon Newsletter, along with my impassioned wishes for your unending health and joy.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Here’s to sharing more thoughts and ideas about Ayurveda, health and inspiration!

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Laxmi, the goddess of abundance and beauty

In February I enrolled in an online business mentoring program for yoga teachers designed around the many faces of the Divine Feminine. I had been looking for a “How to market your holistic health/yoga-like business” type of thing, something to inspire me and give me some tools – and as much as anything else, to give me some structure and hand-holding while I make some decisions. Every program I was finding, however, felt too slick, too much about “marketing” and not enough about “inspiring.” When I found this program, I realized of course the goddess herself is my perfect business guide.

Yoga here in the U.S. is practiced by an overwhelmingly female community. Something like 85-90% of yoga practitioners here are women, as are the majority of our yoga teachers. And yet, among the successful national teachers or high-visibility leaders in our yoga community, a much larger percentage are male. Interesting. The leader of the Divine Feminine mentoring program, Laura Cornell, speaks powerfully of her perception that many yoga teachers in the U.S. today actually feel quite disempowered. Although we are teaching methods to find freedom, empowerment and ease, many of us do not actually feel free, empowered and at ease, at least not in our businesses.

This is certainly true in my own circle – most of my yoga teacher/Ayurveda practitioner friends do not feel their businesses are thriving, or at least would not describe them as “abundant.” Many do not feel they are making enough money, or have taken on additional jobs in order to pay the bills. Many teach ten or more yoga classes per week and end up feeling burned out or drained. Hardly an inspiring example of empowerment. This contradiction has been in the back of my mind for years, and last month it came screeching to the front.

Our mentoring program is organized around the strengths of four particular goddesses as we explore business-building, sales, self-promotion and our personal power.  In the first unit, as we dove into identifying the types of students we most love to teach and the unique gifts we bring to that particular niche, we invoked Durga, the fierce, fearsome, poised warrior goddess. This particularly feminine form of conviction and service is embodied in the mother bear defending her cubs with unrelenting focus and passion. From Durga we can model impassioned commitment and the mobilization of our unique skills to serve our ideal students. (Saber-brandishing, anyone?)

As I listened to Laura speak in the first tele-class, a lightbulb went on over my head. I have been operating (unthinkingly) under the assumption that in order to build my business, I need to work harder, faster, MORE – a linear, rational, some might say masculine, model for expansion. This style of effort syncs up quite nicely with the Pitta strategy for progress that is my natural tendency (and periodic downfall!). I have been on the hunt for other models, models that recognize the cycles of Mother Nature, powered by fluid waves and circles. The path forward is actually rarely linear – sometimes it’s even a spiral, appearing to move backwards before spinning around the bend and catapulting ahead.

In the last week, as I’ve been inviting the goddess to hang out with me while I muse about my next steps, I have also felt a resurgence of acceptance – of myself, and of circumstances –  I am “already alright” just as I am right now, half-cooked, in the middle of everything. I don’t have to do more. In fact, as always, I must practice what I teach. Breathe. Rest. Go outside. Practice faith. It really is that simple. The presence of the Mother is divine guidance indeed.

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