Hello and Happy Monday,
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and a happy Mother's Day. Mother's Day invokes a lot of different feelings. There are those that miss their mom, have an estranged relationship with their mom, want to be a mom, the list goes on with the complications with this day. I hope everyone enjoyed the sunshine and spent the day the way they wanted to.
This month we are exploring the Kleshas, the obstacles that cause us suffering, and this week is about Asmita or ego. I want to mention that having an ego is not a bad thing. I once heard that our egos allow us to get in our cars every day and drive them. My ego has allowed me to get up and teach thousands of people over the past decade.
Asmita, our ego, is our identification of ourselves. It’s the image we create that we believe is who we are. This can be internal, such as I am a bad listener, or external (I am too overweight). Both of these are false projections that we become trapped in believing. Our ego tricks us into believing this mistaken identity.
During this time at home, this is week 9 (I base it all on when the kids started staying home from school), I've had a lot of time to reflect. I made significant changes to my teaching schedule dropping many classes that allowed for space in helping my children with school and finishing up my advanced yoga teacher training program, among making dinner just about every night. I don't know how people do that creatively, but I digress.
I identify strongly with being a yoga teacher and all that it infers. I am desperately trying to live my life with ease and peace, I aim to be calm and steady. I find that when I am teaching yoga I embody those qualities without really trying. I sit down to teach and it comes easy to me, I feel calm and peaceful. When I led my first international yoga retreat to Guatemala, I cried on the way to the retreat center. Joe sweetly asked me, "happy tears?" and I agreed. I was so happy that I got to be "Jess Purtell Yoga" for an entire week. Jess who is light, Jess who is calm, Jess who is peaceful, Jess who seems to know how to handle most things with ease. Jess Purtell Yoga is my best self. The one I aim to be most moments of the day. I attach to this identity and am quick to tell people what I do because most people also think yoga teachers are calm, cool, and collected.
During the last few weeks so much has changed. Taking the step back from teaching so much so I can be present for my family, also left me present for me. I got to take a pretty hard look at the other things I identify with that I don't like to share; being angry, judgemental, reactionary, selfish, and not perfect, to name a few. It was weird, once I got my classes up on zoom working with music and had a set schedule and things were flowing, I wasn't as tired as I had previously been from a heavy schedule or figuring out how to make online classes a thing. Not being drained from teaching a loaded schedule left me less irritated and happier for my family. Being less irritated lead to me responding instead of reacting, not all the time, but more of the time. And let me tell you, responding always creates amazing conversations. I'm still juggling all of this, I'm still uncovering what all this means, I am having many insights and I'm enjoying life a lot more.
This is what the Kleshas have taught me; that all these statements I identify with: I am angry, I am a bad person, I am selfish, I am judgemental; they are all illusions. Not only are they illusions, but they are also great big limiting obstacles. I am none of these things.
Sri Swama Satchidananda said this, "The Self will always be falsely represented by the ego until our ignorance is removed. I often refer to these two "I"'s as the little "i" and the capital "I". What is the difference? Just a small dot, a little blemish of ego. The capital "I" is just one pure stroke.... Without the dot we are always great, always the capital "I". All the practices of Yoga are just to remove that dot."
I am peaceful.
I am calm.
I am peaceful.
I live my life with ease.
I am a good person.
I am perfect.
Do I believe this? Honestly, not all the time. But I will keep practicing. I hope you do too.
Please make sure to sign up for this week and going forward - you can sign up for as many as you like.
Classes are live during the time listed, but you can watch and join in at any time.
Monday 9:30 am Yoga Flow
Tuesday 10:00 am Gentle Flow
Wednesday 9:30 am Pilates for Yogis
**** Friday 12:30 pm Pilates for Yogis Express - 30 min class - this is a one-time event.***
All classes as Pay What You Can (suggestion is $5-$15 per class). I know it's not easy for everyone to pay right now, but I also know the benefits of movement on our nervous system. If you cannot pay right now, please don't allow that to deter you from signing up and taking classes. If you can pay, I am so very appreciative. Payments can be made via PayPal CLICK HERE, Venmo @Jess-Purtell, or check. I can send my address to you separately if you want to do that. Also, I've set up my class packs to be used with my online classes. Visit my webpage and check out the packages you can purchase.
With so much love and virtual hugs,