March Newsletter: Wood Sheep, Teacher Trainings & A Side of Yoga Goodness

March 15, 2015

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Belated wishes to all for a Happy Year of the Wood Sheep! It’s been nearly a month since we entered this female or yin energy year, which makes it a good time to focus on family, friends, home and intimacy.

One of the most inspiring invitations I have read for stepping into this new year is “bloom where you are planted.” And that is just what I am doing right now by opening a new yoga studio! Yoga Goodness Studio will bloom in the Riverviews Art Space, a beautifully renovated warehouse in the historic downtown district of Lynchburg, VA.

 

Honestly, after closing OM yoga Center and leaving NYC in 2012, I never thought I would ever open a yoga studio again. I have missed that community deeply but I didn’t really miss running such a big small business in such a big big city. But now that I have lived in Virginia for nearly two years, it feels good and right to plant some yoga roots and help them bloom right here.

Yet there is a deeper layer to this invitation to bloom where we are planted. Actually, we can ONLY bloom where we are planted. This is obvious, but we often we forget it. Instead, we think about how we will bloom in the future when “this” finally happens. You know “this.” It’s when I get enough money, the right job, get in shape, find my true love, live in a different city, get noticed for who I really am…you can fill in the blank for yourself.

When we live this way, we abandon ourselves. We give up on ourselves. It’s not wrong to have a goal but to accomplish that goal you have to see where and how you are right now. Instead of the old saying, “you can’t get there from here,” Buddhism teaches us that we can ONLY get there from here. Who we are, as we are, is the raw material given to us. We can resent it and wish it was different or we can pull up our socks and take responsibility for our own life. This is called spiritual maturity and it is tremendously liberating and empowering. This is how we can live into a sense of our goodness and share that with others.

So if we know who we are as we are, and we know our goal is to feel free and good, how do we connect these two dots? You know the answer! Practice! Practice is the path that transforms our anxiety, confusion, stuckness, self-centeredness, fear and anger into confidence, compassion, clarity, strength, stability, joy and contentment. This inner planting and blooming is the ground (pun intended!) for planting and blooming in the world.

So in addition to opening a new studio in Lynchburg, I am entering into a two-year Buddhist Chaplaincy Training at Upaya Zen Center under the auspices of Roshi Joan Halifax. I’m writing you from Santa Fe where I’ll be studying with RJ, Sensei Alan Senauke and others, in Socially Engaged Buddhism; Complexity, Spirituality and Compassionate Action; Social Resiliency; Conflict Transformation, and Wise Leadership. These are all integrated with the Six Paramitas and Precepts of Buddhism.

Starting from the inside and radiating out. Isn’t that what we practice with our asanas? Many of you have heard me give this instruction: “Let your awareness spread throughout your entire body, as a tea bag dropped in a cup turns the water into tea.” And then, sometimes, I even say, “extend that awareness to the other people in this room, and outside this room and not just people, but all beings and all things everywhere.” To do this, while remaining steady in an asana is a powerful practice, indeed. That is how we can bloom where we are planted.

Looking forward to seeing all of you soon, on the mat, cushion or on the trail.

Much love and gratitude,
Cyndi

 

 

 

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From The Yogis

  • Terri Bender Morrison, Owner, Mindful Motion Yoga, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi, I feel that my teaching has shifted a bit - sequencing is more interesting and effective. As I was driving home tonight, I thought about the statements of "leaving crumbs" and "connecting the dots". While you meant that for us as direction to be better teachers, I recognize you were doing that for us as well. I believe I am just now processing some of the things you taught this summer. The subtle parts of classes escaped me, but I am getting them now. Thank you for the crumbs, for leaving plenty of space between the dots....I think I see the moon."

  • Zan Margolis, OM 200 TT , 2012

    "The more yoga I experience, the more I realize how special it is that in your teacher trainings you actually teach your yogis how to *teach*"

  • Susan Golden, Studio Owner, Maine

    "Cyndi’s sense of humor and genius teachings have made this OM 500 TT very, very stimulating every minute of the day. I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to let it all come together and bring this to my teachings and to my life."

  • Natalie Levin, OM Yoga Graduate, OM Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program 2003

    "I am a graduate of the OM 2003 Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program.  I had the honor to teach at OM yoga in New York City for several years.  I have since moved to another city and was instantly offered teaching jobs based solely on the fact that I had been a teacher at Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga.  Studio owners in my current city thought so highly of Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga Teacher Training that they hired me immediately and I found and continue to find that my OM yoga Teacher Training opens door after door for me.  OM yoga (practicing there, teaching OM yoga, and learning from Cyndi Lee) helped me professionally in my own yoga-teaching career.  Even more meaningfully for me, I feel that the path of mindfulness and attention to alignment that pours through the pores of OM yoga has influenced me and helped me to soften enough to become more “myself” since I first walked into the OM yoga studio."

  • Jeri Wilson, Studio Owner, Maine

    “I’m Jeri and I’m a studio owner in Maine and I just finished my 500 hr TT with Cyndi Lee. It was an excellent experience, partly because I had been trained primarily in Anusara and I was challenged to think very differently. I found it was very helpful to come back to teach with Cyndi’s influence. She is very, very funny and she will work you and challenge you and you will feel like you have actually gained something really deep from the training.”

  • Jeanie Gasque, Yoga Teacher, South Carolina, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi's skillful guidance lead me to a greater clarity of alignment based vinyasa.  The yoga combined with the charm of Lynchburg made the Sun Session an unforgettable experience."

  • Gina Callendar, Yoga Teacher, Yonkers, NY, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi truly follows the middle path and instills that in her teachings.  She combines disciple and humor to create an engaging, thought provoking and enlightening experience.  I had the pleasure of taking her 500 hour OM Yoga Teacher Training.  I have deepened my practice, work to continue challenge myself and never want to stop learning.  I am pretty comfortable teaching, but withCyndi’s guidance I am more confident in my hands-on adjustments and clarity of instruction with my students.  Thank you Cyndi for reinforcing my foundation, challenging me as a student and becoming my teacher.  I hope to continue to learn from you for many years to come.  Namaste."

  • Erica Settino, Founder, , Karuna for Animals

    "I have been teaching yoga for 12 years and over those 12 years I have often felt burned out and at a loss for inspiration. Now that I have taken Cyndi Lee’s OM 500 Teacher Training, I feel completely different, completely inspired, and so, so blessed. If you are even considering it, you must do it."

  • Donna Levenstien, Yoga Teacher, Lake George, NY

    "I am a student of the OM 200 and OM 500 TT. I keep learning from Cyndi Lee who is just a master teacher, every class I take, every hour I’m here she says something wonderful that I can bring into my life, onto my mat, into my classes with my students. As a teacher and a student, I feel enriched every time I’m with her and in her class."

  • Ann Megyas, Actor, Yoga Teacher, , Hospice Worker

    "I’m so glad I decided to take Cyndi Lee’s 500 hr TT. It advanced my personal practice in ways that I could not imagine. There is no pose I am afraid of anymore. It’s advanced my teaching practice, it’s advanced my dharma study. It’s just been a thrilling experience the whole time."