Tag Archives: yoga

Collecting Waves

On my daily commute, I give myself ample time to get to work and typically stay in the right lane with other slower drivers.  Driving is fun for me.  I am proud to be a good, safe driver.    Yet at one on-ramp, I am always cut off.  Drivers overtake me on the inside and pull right in front of me, causing me to brake.  My irritation builds and I arrive at work annoyed at such aggressive driving behaviors.

Over the years, this has happened so many times that I began to protect the space in front of me.  Instead of leaving 3 car lengths, I close the gap so the cars that come barreling up can’t jump in front of me.  They try but my focus is on protecting my space.  I’m determined not to give in.

Recently a car in front of me braked sharply and without my usual 3 car lengths, I had to brake really sharp to avoid rear ending the car in front.  I said to myself, “I give up” and mentally raised my hands in surrender.

My annoyance stayed with me at work, I realized how ludicrous it was that I was trying to hold onto the space in front of me while driving over 50 miles per hour.

Jackie at Yoga Village

Jackie is completing the Yoga Village Teacher Training Program

When I really thought about it, I was shocked at my trying to hold onto, well, nothing really.  This is when I became aware of the silliness of my actions.  So I decided that the next day, instead of trying to hang onto my space or giving up my perceived space, I was going to surrender that space to the next, would be “cutter upper.”

The next day, a “monster truck” comes barreling up the on-ramp and starts to overtake me on the inside.  I let off the gas and waved him on by.  To my surprise, through his back window, I saw him wave at me.  As he pulled into the next lane, he was still waving.  It was such a great quality wave; I couldn’t stop smiling all day at work.  I felt great.

From that moment on, I have collected so many waves, even from pedestrians.  I’ve even begun to categorize those waves.  There’s the looking down, hand up wave, there’s the look me in the eye wave –sometimes with a smile– there’s the little finger wave as people walk past with a cell phone to their ear.  However, no one has done the queen’s wave.

Even more fascinating is how I notice my own waves and trust me, I make sure I do the full on smile, look you in the eye, open handed, surrender wave.

Now I realize the insanity of hanging on to this imaginary space  I discovered the difference between frustration of giving up and surrendering.  I saw the sweetness of surrender as it opens you up to so many new and positive experiences.  Of course it has made me a better driver and as I collect more waves, my heart swells.

Jackie Edgington

Make the Impossible — Possible!

Farrah in Handstand at beach

Impossible – now possible in handstand

There are so many things I have learned with Jaye, that I really don’t know how to even begin to explain how great of a being and teacher he is. I met him in Costa Rica in 2008 when he went to the studio I used to practice at for a weekend workshop. At the time, I had been practicing yoga for about 6 months and was a very constant student. I took regular classes 6 or 7 times a week and had only done 1 workshop in that period of time; though I had gotten physically strong and flexible, and had come to feel at ease within myself; I had not yet been exposed to much yoga philosophy and certainly not to Anusara yoga. It was such a great experience to have this magnificent, happy, sweet and approachable teacher talk about basic concepts of Tantric philosophy, explain to us the meaning of the mantra we were chanting and facilitate an asana practice that helped me go beyond my limits that I immediately knew I would always want to study more with him.

One of the most amazing things I accomplished that weekend, was loosing the fear of doing inversions (headstands, handstands, etc.) as Jaye made it seem easy and accessible to everyone. The entire weekend he was talking about “how to make the impossible, possible; the possible, easy; and the easy, elegant and refined” – and he gradually and slowly had everyone in the room do just a bit more, he made us go one step further every time, with a sweet and loving approach, which created a trustworthy atmosphere, enabling change to take place. I was inspired to try a little harder and at the same time without pressure and feeling safe, it was just magical : )

Since then, he has been one of my most beloved teachers & mentors, and has become a dear friend. In his presence, the best of me comes out, not only in my asana practice, but also off the mat. He has the capacity of making everyone feel appreciated and special, and he also has a very unique ability to explain complex concepts and ideas in a very simple way, which makes it very easy to understand for anyone. I always look forward to studying and spending time with Jaye, with his presence and guidance, life certainly gets better, more enjoyable and easy to live, specially through the challenges as he usually helps to make me see things from a different perspective.  I feel very fortunate and lucky to have Jaye in my life.

Farrah Yaspe

Remember — Re-remember

Each time I come to the mat the yoga tradition of creating an intention for the practice comes to mind.  Often my intention is to dedicate my practice to someone close to my heart.  But sometimes during the warm up poses, my mind becomes so focused on the physical aspects of the yoga practice that I forget my intention.

In Jaye’s class this week it occurred to me that I’d like to give more power to the intention so that it is alive and fresh during the whole practice. Jaye enabled me to discover the discipline required to encourage the mind to return to that intention.

As I listened to Jaye’s detailed alignment instructions, he skillfully linked physical instructions with ways to encourage us all to attune to a higher purpose. Jaye instructed us to connect to that which inspires us and then remember and re-remember that moment.

Bill and Sally Watson

Bill and Sally

When I heard Jaye’s words, “remember and re-remember,” it helped me to come back to my intention for the practice that day – to honor Bill, a man who totally inspires me regularly through the actions of his daughter Sally, who has been a good friend for the past 7 years.  I remembered the time that Sally described her father’s life. Bill was a coal miner who got out of bed every morning and went to work in darkness beneath the earth and came home with clothes covered in the blackness that had surrounded him during the day.

Although I never knew Bill, I remember and re-remember the story of his dedication to his family and his clarity of purpose each day as he went back into the mine in order to serve a higher purpose – the well being of his family.  I am able to see how his actions and attitude influenced his daughter Sally, who in a seemingly tireless manner is always actively helping family, friends and neighbors in need. Thank you Jaye for enabling me to work on the skill of remembering and re-remembering Bill whose love and steadfast commitment continues to inspire me through his daughter Sally.

Rita Knorr, St. Petersburg FL

In Jaye’s Garden

Entering Jaye Martin’s class is like stepping into the garden of tropical plants that Jaye has cultivated in his front and back yard. He provides the soil, water, and nutrients (the inspiration) for us so that we are able to open like blossoms to our fullest potential.

As we explore various asanas with him in class each week, he’ll introduce gardening references—“Root your heels into the earth” or “Let your heart blossom”—to encourage us to think of our bodies and spirits as part of nature. In Jaye’s view (a view based on Tantric philosophy), the natural world is simply another expression of divine consciousness, always present, forever accessible, within reach in every moment.

“How can we make our poses more beautiful?” Jaye might ask at the start of class, and, as the class unfolds, this question might lead us to a new way of understanding how the more beautiful we make our poses, the more beauty we can bring to our lives.

In a pose like Downward Dog, he might invite us to be more mindful of how we set our hands on the mat or where we place our feet, and then encourage us to bring the same mindfulness to our daily routines so that, long after we leave his class, we become more aware of life’s beauty surrounding us and within us.

Jaye’s passion for anything that brings joy and beauty into the world—an exotic plant, a challenging pose, a seemingly mundane rock—shapes every story that he shares with us in class, every pose that he demonstrates. With each question, each observation, Jaye nurtures us with the same love and care that he showers on the delicate orchids, tender bromeliads, and sturdy palm trees that grow in his garden.

And after each class, we feel well nourished by his teaching. Why? It’s simple: he has taught us how to connect with our essential nature, to root ourselves in the present and open our hearts like unfolding blossoms to gain a glimpse of our true selves.

— Bruce Black, Sarasota, FL