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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Feb 23, 2012

Real Food

"If you know what nourishes you and what you serve as nourishment, 
you know all that you need to know."  Swami Prajnapad

Right now, there are many Yoga teachers, myself included, who have to a greater or lesser degree, been invested in John Friend and "Yoga-on-High" and we have had a sort of shotgun blast to our energetic center by the events of the past 3 weeks.
By  "Yoga-on-High" I mean what Anusara became at the corporate level (as opposed to the actual practice of the brilliant method of Anusara; and I mean the "rock-and-roll-world-tour-mega-media-make-more-bucks-sell-sexier-yoga-clothes-teach-more-teacher-trainings" culture that has been happening in almost every form of Yoga at the popular culture level; and I am referring to "Yoga-on Facebook"- something I've been exposed to like a radiation poisoning in the past 3 weeks.

Here is what I am noticing in myself.  And what I plan to do about it.

The shattering of the spell of John Friend and Yoga-on-High - affected me in my center profoundly. Although it is true that JF / Yoga-on-High has had very little to do with Yoga at Garden Street, I have  nevertheless been energetically connected to it over the past 14 years - more strongly than I realized until 3 weeks ago.

Any entity or organization to which I pay money and allegiance is in some way providing me with a form of physical or energetic nourishment and I am in turn providing it with a form of support. We are connected at the level of the third chakra, (the "middle burner" as it's called in Chinese Medicine). It's the navel center where each of us receive our first nourishment and which continues to be a center of pranic nourishment throughout life.

When "Yoga Dork" pulled the cord on John Friend, the cord was also ripped from my own center. It has left an empty place where there used to be a line of support and nourishment.
I wish this were less true. I wish I had not been quite so energetically connected because I have known for a long time that it was providing only a thin and incomplete nourishment - a form of junk food.

Well -  OK - so I was connected.  I was asleep to - but also disturbed by - the connection of my will (sankalpah - anchored in the third chakra) to JF / Yoga-on-High. The past 3 weeks have been a major wake up call - and my disturbance (which had been a sort of dream-disturbed sleep) - is now a wide awake feeling of being shattered - in a way that is both terrible as well as beneficial and purifying. 

What now?
I am abiding with the energetically empty hole in the middle of my solar plexus and a sort of "lost kid" feeling I have, like a kid who has eaten a whole lot of candy and junk food and then can't find Mom and wonders who will make  dinner?

I am fully feeling the effect that the empty nourishment - the junk food -  has had on my energetic system or subtle body and staying present to and vulnerable to the threadbare place in the middle of myself - feeling how tired the last 3 weeks have left me, how lacking in stamina and focus (both of which derive from the third chakra). I want to abide in this empty place in order to see it starkly and not try to "platitude" my way out of it.

I  am continuing to do what I've been doing for a long time (thanks to my great teachers - (who include John Friend). I am continuing to nourish myself with Real food provided by my sadhana (my practices), provided by the teachings and by my work and relationships.   I am beyond grateful that I CAN recognize what Real food feels like. It doesn't have that disturbing emptiness to it, but instead has a steady, sustaining, satisfying fullness of Light. 

The real tragedy that might come out of this for some teachers is a loss of faith in the path of Yoga - in the practices, the teachings and the True Teachers of the path.  I have felt that heavy weight of doubt and cynicism in myself.  But when I step back from my lost-kid-junk-food hangover, I step back into  deep gratitude to my teachers, I step back into the amazing teachings that have ushered me onto this path, I step back into my relationships with the students at Garden Street, I step back into my own sadhana which provides me with a steady and consistent form of food - a subtle nourishment that I truly thrive on and that I can no longer do without.

And I will aim to Remember - Remember that I want to be nourished by the Light of Consciousness. Remember that I want to be food only for God.

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