Khampiane Keodonexay (teaches Language Arts at Manning Middle School)
There are countless articles and books about how we respond to color. There is a lot of money spent on what will be the trendy colors for the year or for the diffierent seasons – from everything from cars to fashion. When it comes to a zafu or meditation cushions, yoga props or floor cushions, the tradition for meditation cushion has been mostly black.
I started making meditation cushions because I wanted some festive meditation cushions and yoga props for my yoga classes. At my core I’m an artist, so adding color to support cushion wasn’t a stretch. 😉 I try to choose colors that inspire, energize and calm.
The article What Color is your Zafu? by Elizabeth Marglin shares a quick list of what colors represent:
Yellow: Stimulates joy and uplifts the mind
Orange: Stirs up energy and boosts confidence
A book I came across a few years ago is Max Strom’s “A Life Worth Breathing: A Yoga Master’s Handbook of Strength, Grace and Healing.” I really resonated with this book, and it inspired me to go to the first Iowa City Yoga Festival, to hear him speak and teach. I still have family and friends in Iowa so it was a bonus that Strom was going to be there.
I’ve just learned that Strom has a new book coming out: “There is No App for Happiness: How to avoid a Near-Life Experience.” I’ve noticed lately that the topic of happiness seems to be a big topic of interest, and that we seem to need more guidance on the subject than one would think. Within a span of about a month, one of my favorite blogs posted “The Habits of Happiness: zen habits by Leo Babauto (July 9), and “The Pursuit of Happiness” (Time Magazine, July 8, 2013).
My question is, Why do we struggle so much with contentment, happiness, change and balance?
Here is a link to Strom’s Ted Talk:
Our Catspaw Cushions store includes our mediation cushions (round and rectangular), as well as neck wraps and eye pillows, both of which can be heated or cooled.
Catspaw Studio continues to teach ongoing yoga classes and private sessions.
Our blog has evolved from Yoga for the other 99 to There is power in pausing.
Yoga for the other 99 was inspired by the voice of a number of students and non-students alike, who have seen a yogi in a pretzel pose and say, “You want me to do what?” Many photos in Yoga magazines portray masterful execution of extremely difficult, advanced poses that lead most of us to think, “That is not me, and could never be me.” And that leads many to dismiss Yoga as simply impossible, as a practical matter. Catspaw Yoga, by contrast, practices Structural Yoga, a tradition created by Mukunda Stiles. It is Yoga that adapts to the individual, regardless of his or her limitations. Its philosophy is that perfection in the pose is never more important than honoring your limits and breathing. Of course, Yoga magazines and similar sources can be very informative and should be a source of inspiration in our practice, but Structural Yoga does not try to make anyone into a “Magazine Yogi.”
In addition, Yoga for the other 99 , we will be sharing what inspires us and things we like – from books to businesses. It’s about what keeps us creative. Thus, we will have a few guest postings. One of our first will be about “I can’t believe my hamstrings are so tight” teenagers who may be active in all kinds of sports, but are simply not learning how open up their bodies (and, we hope, their minds) as they progress in their sports. There are examples of world-class athletes whose spines will remain misshapen for the rest of their lives, because they failed to counter their hours of practice with movements that would have opened their hips, back and chest. Another post will introduce to a school teacher who use yoga before the start regular classwork to get the students focused.
Looking forward to sharing and exchanging ideas!