All posts tagged: Practice

Satya as a Form of Grace

Satya is one of the most complicated of the yogic ethical principles.  It is translated as “truth” in many texts, but truth is, in and of itself, a construct of culture.  For example, I may hold as “truth” in my Quaker faith that everyone has the light of God in them (no matter behavior or evidence that seems to prove otherwise), while others may have very different ways of looking at the concept of Holy Spirit or the concept of the divine.  Am I telling the truth when I pray in this way?  Are the other understandings of the relationship between humans and the divine the NOT-truth?  And, how can we relate this use of the word “truth” when describing a commitment of faith to asking a person we work with if they are the ones who ate our yogurt in the shared refrigerator?  In the case of the yogurt, it could be seen that this is completely different.  Our colleague either ate our yogurt or they didn’t.  But, maybe when they answer us it …

Beautiful and Sensual

I have been using essential oils in my practice and for self-care for many years.  It all started when I participated in some classes and workshops taught by Amy Galper and Schuyler Grant around yoga, acupressure, and aromatherapy about sixteen or so years ago. A couple weeks ago, I received an offer from Utama Spice.  They very generously sent me a complimentary nebulizing essential oil diffuser with a bottle of their own Cajeput essential oil in exchange for my honest review of their products on my blog.  How could I say no?  Also, I very much appreciated the genuinely personal communication I received from Utama.  I made it clear that I would only write a completely honest review and they were in agreement with the conditions I presented to them.  As soon as I opened the package from Utama, I knew I was in for a treat.  The Danau Satu diffuser came in the most tasteful packaging with a floral decoration.  As soon as I pulled it out of the box I was amazed at …

Unicorn in the Sky and Other Magic

Hello there dear!  It’s Bibliotherapy Saturday  and I decided to start today’s exploration with a magazine I don’t usually read.  Ever.  I decided to start with February 2018 issue of Astronomy magazine.  Why you might ask?  Good question!  It’s because there was a hook on the cover that suggested that I could “TOUR Monoceros the Unicorn” on page 60.  I love unicorns.  How could I resist?  Monoceros the Unicorn is the 35th largest constellation out of the 88 constellations and the figure lies within the “Winter Triangle: the stars Sirius, Betelgeuse, and Procyon.”  The short article then has some pictures of and features of the area around the constellation and notes what is special that you can see either with the naked eye under a dark sky or what kind of telescopic enlargement is required.  This kind of night sky exploration is what I had been hoping for when I signed up for a basic astronomy class in college.  Instead, I got a whole lot of physics and math that I didn’t have the background …

Forward Folds and Bending Over Backwards in Nature

The number one thing that adults say when I tell them that I am a yoga teacher is: “Oh, I can’t do yoga!  I’m so inflexible and I can’t even get close to touching my toes.” For about twenty-years now, I have tried every socially acceptable way possible at these moments to try to explain that yoga isn’t about being flexible, that anyone and everyone can benefit, that one may or may not become more flexible through yoga, that flexibility is, truly….besides the point entirely.  As soon as I start talking, I see the recipient’s eyes glaze over.  They are no longer paying attention to me, mostly because they only asked what I did for a living as a social pleasantry in the first place. Now, they are filled with regret for having ever made eye contact in the first place.  I can almost see the thoughts of escape to the cheese platter or, even better, the bar, cross their mind. A couple weeks ago I was on a walk with a friend when t …

Geography of Awareness

Do you see these “markings” on the back of the fern’s leaves?  In fact, these patterns are spores.  Each one is a potential fern.  The ferns carry their fertility in each and every leaf.  If you are interested in joining a spore exchange group (not kidding), then you might want to look into membership in the Hardy Fern Foundation.  The American Fern Society is over 100 years old and has more than 900 members all over the world. Not only that, but each type of fern has spores that organize in a different pattern. Recently, I have gone on retreat for a few hours a week to the Fern Room at Phipp’s Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Each pilgrimage to this sacred space has brought me to a deeper place of respect for this amazing plant type.  I am also grateful to the amazing Theresa who cares for these plants and seems to have a well of patience for all my questions as well as some of the other horticulturists and care takers who work without …

Buddhist Philosophy and Yoga Anatomy Workshops

These workshops are no longer being held fall 2016. Please check back for future collaborations and check out Mark’s website for his teaching schedule. Philosophy and Embodied Anatomy Workshops I am honored to host our guest instructor, Mark Chandlee Taylor, the Director of BodyMindMovement to facilitate the following embodied anatomy workshops yoga students and teachers.  All workshops are held at Mookshi Wellness Center in the Regent Square neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  Sessions begin with an hour of practice and discussion of the required text with Sharon which will be followed by a short break and then three-hours of anatomy with Mark.  All workshops are from noon to 4:00 pm.  I recommend that students obtain a copy of “Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries” by Thich Nhat Hanh and read both his translations and commentaries in preparation for discussions.  Alternatively, I have provided links below where you can find PDF versions of the required texts. As space is limited, pre-registration is highly recommended.  Workshops are $45 when you register online.  If you are blocked from online registration, please email …

I Am The Door

Here are two common scenarios for me: Scenario One: A Friend or Client is Stuck This happens to me a lot and I guess it is an “occupational hazard” of sorts, but people come to tell me their stories when they feel stuck.  Many of my clients and students have tried everything, gone to every doctor, had all the tests, done all the treatments and they still don’t have the results they desired or the well-being that they were hoping for. I have friends that tell me about their stuck feelings in jobs, work relationships, personal relationships and just how they feel in their lives at this moment.  In many cases, though not all, a path to freedom seems clear to me, the observer.  When I first started this work, I was so delighted when I saw such a clear path because I assumed that if I could communicate it, then my clients could folllow my vision and get free fast.  But, what I immediately realized is that the clear path has always been present …

Say What You Mean

There is a short essay by Brian Doyle in the March 2016 issue of The Sun literary magazine titled, “The Way We Do Not Say What We Mean When We Say What We Say” (page 23) that suggests that, “Perhaps languages invent themselves and then have to hunt for speakers.”  When I read this, it made me think of a poem by Hafiz: Your Beautiful Parched, Holy Mouth A poet is someone Who can pour Light into a spoon, Then raise it To nourish Your beautiful parched, holy mouth. (Translated by Daniel Ladinsky and found on page 59 of “I Heard God Laughing” 2006) Many of you who have studied with me know of my fascination with the Matrika, the vibration of truth that finds its home in the central energetic channel of the subtle body.  It is the vibration of that which is most true and each of us has a unique symphony, that the human ear can never hear, yet is playing within us since the moment of our conception.  This truth, one …

Pounding On An Open Door

“How long will you keep pounding on an open door, begging someone to answer?”  ~Rabia As soon as I read this quote, I knew it was a question I needed to deeply consider.  It was illuminating to read this because I immediately visualized myself pounding furiously on the open door of life hoping that someone would arrive to help me find my way through.  Yet, there is no need to pound on the door, to kick, scream, beg or demand because the door is already open.  You can walk through, just as you are, right now. According to the Bhagavad Gita, “There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to be.  Therefore, play the role you’re meant for right now.”  It’s so hard to accept this in the busy, fast paced life of self-improvement projects that we all live in right now.  My clients all present various anxieties and fears that they are, at the same time, doing too much …

Benefits of Reading Sutras

This month, I am starting an online course called Radiant Heart and we will be reading a number of Classical Buddhist texts that provide guidance for both meditation and interacting with others that builds our capacity for happiness and joy.  This course is appropriate whether you identify with “being Buddhist” or not as none of the texts ask you to pray to a certain God or believe anything in particular.  Therefore, this course will not challenge your current belief system or commitment to a particular practice of religion.  Instead, the course challenges you to experiment with breathing, movement and mind practices that have the potential to change how you experience daily life. In the preparation of this course I have come across a relatively new science: neurotheology.  Regardless of what part of this science makes sense to you or doesn’t, it appears that reading religious texts and taking the time to consider ourselves as living beings in relationship to higher power is good for our health.  I don’t know very much about this, but it …

Hope, Marx, and the Body

I have had the great fortune of studying with and, in some cases, just been able to listen to, some people that I would consider to be genuine geniuses.  My fortune has been so great, that it would not be possible to list everyone here.  One of these people is David Harvey, who I met and studied with when I was a student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.  David Harvey is a critical geographer and anthropologist with significant passion for improving the conditions of life for humans everywhere.  Anyone who has studied Anthropology, or perhaps, any social science, knows that, it doesn’t look good for humans.  Almost every ethnography documents some kind of suffering—-the kind that we inflict on each other, the kind that we inflict on ourselves and the tragedies inherent with war, famine, natural disaster, racism, disease and the list goes on.  After six years of graduate work in Anthropology, I can tell you that the research consistently reveals that we aren’t that nice to one another and we don’t …

Wanting Mind

Love Letter Thursday 5.16.13 Pittsburgh, PA On this Thursday, I send you some ideas on the wanting mind.  Rooted in desire, the wanting mind is constantly evaluating what we like, don’t like, wish for and don’t wish for.  Although the world keeps changing right underneath our feet, we grasp with the wanting mind and hope (expect?) that somehow we can set the circumstances in place that will allow things to be “just so” and for as long as possible.  This is, exactly, the idea behind the love note itself.  Or is it? In Phillip Moffitt’s book, Emotional Chaos to Clarity (which, by the way, I can’t recommend highly enough), he explores the difference between expectation and possibility.  And, I argue that, based on his explanation of the difference between the two, a love note is exciting because it is filled with possibility rather than expectation.  Sure, you don’t expect to open my little note on Thursday and find something mean spirited, but the reason why you look forward to these notes is because anything is …

Matrika on the Go

  I’m taking matrika style on the go and you can find me offering yoga and meditation classes on Sundays and Mondays at mookshi wellness center!  Save your space in a series today.  I’m also offering a workshop for women and one for meditators.  I hope to see you at mookshi soon! GROUP CLASSES Mindful Flow Join me for this esoteric bliss mission!  In this yoga series open to all levels, we move with the breath creating joy in open awareness.  As our practice is a moving meditation, we use a variety of poses, breathing exercises and visualization techniques from Chinese, Tibetan and Indian yoga traditions to create flexibility and strength in body, mind and spirit.  This healing practice will help you feel centered, relaxed and inspired.  Enjoy a stronger and more flexible body as you build a foundation for profound happiness and tranquility. SERIES I: Mondays, March 4, 11, 18 and April 1 from 10:00-11:15 am SERIES II: Mondays, April 8, 15, 22, 29  from 10:00-11:15 am Tuition: $60 for each series of 4-classes …

Prenatal Yoga Classes in Pittsburgh

Matrika Prenatal Yoga and Exercise Follow this link to Sharon’s awesome Pittsburgh Yoga Doula website for all things delicious, expectant and new!   Group Class Schedule Wednesday at matrika (1406 S. Negley Avenue, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh 15217) 6:00-7:15 pm Saturday at matrika (1406 S. Negley Avenue, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh 15217) 9:45-11:00 am Tuition $18 for single drop-in class* $90 for 6-class package *First class is FREE when you buy a package the same day that you take your first class Payment Options Bring a personal check made out to SHARON RUDYK Use a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or any debit card Exact cash (no change is available) Matrika Prenatal Yoga and Exercise classes aren’t just regular classes modified for pregnancy!  Sharon has developed a unique system that prepares mothers in mind, body and spirit with the strength, courage and endurance necessary to enjoy a beautiful pregnancy, powerful labor and birth and mothering a newborn.  No experience with yoga or meditation is required, but Sharon suggests that you discuss with your  care provider and get their support …

Tianshan and Xuelian Feng

The image of mountains and the lake on my website are incredibly meaningful to me.  My first Chinese professor at the University of Pennsylvania gave me a most beautiful and strong Chinese name.  It was less of a phonetic copy of my English name and more of a destiny decision.  By giving me this name he provided me with an invitation to be more, to see more and to know more than I ever dreamed possible. My Chinese name, in pinyin is: Feng Xuelian Xuelian Feng is the highest peak in the Tianshan mountain range in what is now Xinjiang, China. Xuelian means “snow lotus” and it is an actual flower that grows in this mountain range.  Not the most beautiful flower, as it grows through ice and snow, it is a most tenatious little floral.   Whenever I meet any adversity in my practice or off my mat, I think of my Chinese name and I know that there’s just about nothing I can’t do. I hope that you have a teacher who planted …

Yoga for Meditators

YOGA for MEDITATORS A workshop facilitated by Sharon F. Rudyk SUNDAY, April 28, 2013  from 1:00-3:00 pm $25 Register by calling Sharon (412) 855-5692 or by sending an e-mail to: sharon@yogamatrika.com In this workshop, we will explore a variety of yoga-based movements for body and breath that help prepare the body, mind and spirit for meditation.  Sharon will introduce practice ideas for meditators who want to do yoga to help solve common obstacles faced by adults with a regular meditation practice.  We look at ways to increase energy, calm agitation, relieve stress, open the hips and ease back tension.  In this active workshop we explore asana that provide support for a seated meditation practice and a few restorative and rejuvenating tricks that super-charge the benefits of meditation.  You will learn how to find a more comfortable seat, address aches and pains associated with a seated practice and find relief for physical obstacles that may be preventing you from enjoying a rewarding meditation practice experience. Location: möökshï wellness center, above Biddle’s Escape Café at 401 Biddle …

Liquid Gold

There is now evidence that breast milk contains stem cells and the implications, both for the health and well being of newborns and infants and healing potential for mankind, are astounding.  It’s overwhelming really……. Posted by Sharon Fennimore Rudyk, an independent yoga instructor and doula based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Find out more about Sharon on her website www.sharonrudykyoga.com.

Yoga for Women

I am so delighted and honored to have been invited by The Yoga Room in Warren, Ohio to facilitate a workshop on the lunar cycle and womens’ health. In this workshop for women we will explore various cultural, physical and emotional beliefs around transitions in the menstrual cycle. For this experience, we will focus on the moon cycle that brings women through a variety of energetic wisdom cycles that are separate from the menstrual cycle.  Through visualization and meditation, we will learn a specific technique to tune into this energetic moon cycle and to use this cycle to support our creativity, decision making and intuitive trust.  Next, we will explore yoga poses, energy practices and aromatherapy that supports hormone balance, cardiovascular and reproductive organ health and sexual energy through pre-menopause and menopause.  Although this session will be about the cessation of menstruation, the techniques and yoga tools provided will be useful to women in all phases of menstrual cycle and experience. Participants will explore the anatomy of menstruation and the cessation of menstruation from the …