The Namaste Counsel


We All Can FLY (First Love Yourself)

First Love Yourself workshop For many years, I’ve led First Love Yourself (FLY) workshops. My next one is November 4 at Serasana, in Southwest Austin (scroll to bottom of linked page to register).

As a yoga therapist, I emphasize the mind and spirit. That’s why I feel learning to FLY is essential for everyone. Some attendees have joined more than once, as we can always benefit from emotional well-being refreshers. Plus, my sessions are never identical.

The purpose of FLY is multi-pronged. Yes, I want people to have a heightened sense of self worth, and self-care is essential. Additionally, to love yourself, it helps to fill yourself with gratitude, love for others, life, and the planet. 

My workshops begin with a mini-cacao ceremony to open the heart. Then, I guide the participants in long-held heart-opener restorative poses after which we journal or pair off and share a-ha moments or commitments to FLY. 

However, the crux of these workshops are guided meditations which tap into uplifting and thought-provoking poetry from a wide range of people. For example, I may read quotes from Maya Angelou, Radhanath Swami (featured in my book “From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram”), Leo Buscaglia, Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra, or Pablo Neruda.

Inspiration to FLY from Kia Miller

Kia Miller, is not a poet or an author. However, she’s a yogi with whom I’ve been fortunate to practice periodically over the last ten years. Most recently, I prioritized “me time” by attending one of her classes at Bhakti Fest. While Ananda Das sang beautiful mantras, Kia shared many comments that jived with my FLY readings. For example, as we practiced repetitive Kundalini kriyas in the hot and sunny Joshua Tree desert, she said, “This world is so beautiful, and we’re reminded of it everytime the sun rises and sets. There’s that awe.”  

Absolutely. When we have a sense of mindfulness, awareness, and respect for what’s surrounding us, we can also have a greater appreciation of every life step and turn, or stumble — and have awe for ourselves.

During Kia’s class, she referenced one of the oldest of the Vedic texts. “Tend the sacred fire within.” What a powerful reminder to love and care for one’s body, mind, and soul.

“Let’s keep a part of ourselves aware of the sacred fire. Remember who you are. Your mind is here to serve your soul. Befriend your mind. That which you are seeking is here. Every moment of awareness counts. Wow,” said Kia enthusiastically. “What capacity we have to transform this world — To walk as your highest self and share.”

Tuning in to the Gut and Heart 

Kia led us in core-strengthening exercises, not unlike those I incorporate in my Gutsy Yoga workshops. Based on Kundalini teachings, she noted that  “when you do navel work, you feed that inner fire,” which is the premise of many of my yoga therapy workshops. And, that fire, agni, is the focus of one of the chapters in my book.

However, in my First Love Yourself offerings, we focus on the heart chakra. Kia, speaking about the heart center in yoga traditions, said, “We open ourselves to receive…[the heart] is the meeting point at the center.”

Give it a shot. Contact me for virtual FLY sessions, or join me at Serasana in Southwest Austin on November 4 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Somehow, in the I me mine world that we live, emotional and physical well being has escaped the vast majority. The Namaste Counsel encourages simple proven practices to live a healthier and happier life. Any time. Any where. By anyone.
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