Getting to the Heart of Meditation and Yoga Practice with Linda Sparrowe
Meditation and yoga can help you connect deeply with yourself. However, some people doubt how their practice helps them at first because it’s unfamiliar and new. You may think you’re doing it the wrong way, so you bury that voice at the back of your mind. But if you don't let go of your doubts, you won't be able to get to the heart-centered healing place that you seek.
In this episode, special host Tessa Tovar joins Radically Loved Radio to interview yoga teacher and author Linda Sparrowe. Linda talks about her journey toward discovering meditation and yoga and merging her yoga path and writing career. She also shares her daily rituals and some eye-opening spiritual practice wisdom.
If you want to get to the heart of meditation and yoga practice, this episode is for you!
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Learn about the marriage of writing and spiritual practice.
- Discover what it means to be radically loved.
- Understand the importance of our agency and the practice of letting go of attachments.
- The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
- Radiant Rest by Tracee Stanley
- Yoga At Home by Linda Sparrowe
- Read Linda’s articles on Yoga Journal
- Connect with Linda: Website | Email
- Create a daily meditation ritual in just seven days! Download BUILD YOUR DAILY MEDITATION RITUAL and other freebies at com!
- FREE Action Guide! Apply the lessons you learn from this episode as you listen! Sign up at com, and I’ll send it right away!
Linda’s Meditation and Yoga Journey
- Linda’s yoga path started with meditation.
- She previously had many body image issues and had a worsening disconnect between herself and her body.
- Linda met a professor who told her stories about Indian mythology and the Vedas. Because of this encounter, she ended up going through transcendental meditation.
- What spoke to her, in particular, was mantra meditation.
- After her divorce and ending up in Berkeley, she met a Tibetan teacher who told her to stop with the mantra. She eventually came back to her breath and furthered her path.
How the Writing and Yoga Path Intersected for Linda
- Linda went to Yoga Journal and got a job as a managing editor. She was already writing before this.
- She started doing asana because of an offer, but she hated it.
- She then met a teacher who was so soulful. Her body instantly responded when she trusted her teacher's touch, presence, and wisdom—it became a lifelong practice.
- In the midst of that, her writing started to connect more with her heart, wisdom, and what spoke to her.
- She started writing books and left Yoga Journal to write more. Linda became known as the “book doula.”
The Marriage of Writing and Spiritual Practice
- Linda loves helping people move their passion, ideas, and wonderment and what they want to amplify out into the world.
- We all have a story, and we're the only ones who know how to tell it. But sometimes, we get in our own way when we try to say it.
- There’s a deep connection between moving inward in our spiritual practice and emerging from the inner wisdom onto the page.
- It’s a process of listening to what wants to be known and bringing forth what needs to be told.
Linda’s Practices and Daily Ritual
- Linda went on to study with many teachers whose teachings she has absorbed into her being along the way.
- Her yoga practice begins in the morning when she wakes up. Her inquiry is “How am I doing?” and “What do I need?”
- She tries to separate her life from her work. Between those two things, she does at least one thing for herself in yoga.
- Part of the yogic practice is to be fully present and finish one thing before beginning another.
- She tries to do a short Yoga Nidra practice before going to bed to remind her body what it means to prepare for sleep.
Setting Boundaries Around Work
- Setting boundaries is hard to do for Linda because of two things.
- One is because opportunities don't always come to a freelancer.
- Second is there are a lot of exciting things that she wants to be a part of.
What Being Radically Loved Means for Linda
- The concept of radical self-love is fundamental. It's part of the trio of Tapas, Svadhyaya, and Ishvara Pranidhana.
- Tapas refers to the willpower and engagement to show up and commit to our work. It also means simplicity and releasing things to look at the essence of who we are.
- Svadhyaya refers to self-reflection and self-awareness.
- Being radically loved means that connecting to something bigger than yourself. It helps you understand you're worthy of love and connect with yourself.
- We are sometimes not aware of how our voices can potentially cause harm.
Controlling Our Thoughts
- We can’t control how we feel, but we can control our actions, speech, and emotion.
- People can sin not just through actions and speech but also through thoughts.
- We can control our thoughts, but we can't predict them.
- Our minds do what our minds do; they carry on, move things around, and bring them up.
- Without agency around your thoughts, it can end up as a speech or action that causes irreparable harm.
- It is the practice of letting go of attachments.
- Staying in svadhyaya can become self-absorption. We don’t understand how we cause pain or bring joy.
- It's the idea of surrendering and letting go of the judgment you hold on too tightly.
- Linda’s mantra: “Isn’t that interesting?”
- One of the things meditation teaches about grasping is that you can cut ties to a thought.
The Meditation Practice
- Don’t ever think that you’ve failed at your practice. The moment you notice something within yourself, it’s already a meditation practice.
- Just sit down. It’s what meditation practice is about.
- There’s no judgment in meditation; it’s just practice.
- The kinder we can be to ourselves, the more freedom we have to be kind, gentle, and generous to others. It also works vice versa.
- Tonglen is the ancient practice of taking in others' suffering and outwardly expanding the gift you have to give. We have an infinite capacity to do this.
- Yoga Nidra allows us to dive deeply and help us realize our capacity to love and receive love.
Getting to a Heart-Centered Healing Place
- It's an individual matter. One thing that yoga allows us to do is to experiment and freely come in and come out.
- When someone is deeply in trauma, there is no relationship with the body, or the relationship is triggered. Thus, even the slightest sense of agency can be empowering.
- Yoga allows us to test our relationship with our body both on a physical and emotional level.
- Yoga is not yoga until it’s personal, and it’s never personal until you take it home.
- Within a safe community, yoga can help you connect and create a deeper, loving relationship with your body, mind, and heart.
- We can’t separate our practice from our life.
- Our practice allows us to accept and allow things that we’ve never thought about before.
- Return to the idea of love.
5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode
[06:51] “We all have a story to tell, and we're the only ones that know how to tell it. And sometimes we get stuck in our, ‘Am I worthy? Do I have anything to say?’ And sometimes we get in our own way, when we try to say it.”
[14:34] “Tapas means not just the willpower to show up and the work that we have to do in the engagement that we commit to, but it also means simplicity. It means paring down, pulling apart, releasing things so that we're looking at the essence of who we are.”
[18:27] What it is truly is that I can imagine the pain and suffering of others. I don't have their same experience, and I will never have that experience as a cis, white, privileged, elder woman. I won't, but in my practice, I have the space and the capacity of infinite love.
[24:19] “Everybody who works with me, or who studied with me, know that I have this mantra. That is, ‘Isn't that interesting?’ I know, because then I don't judge myself so much. So I can let things come up and go, ‘Oh, here you are, again. Me and you. Wow. Isn't that interesting?’”
[32:06] “If you take in the suffering of someone, and then you exhale, a sense of joy, or connection, or groundedness, or love, or whatever it is that you have in that moment to give. That's a beautiful exchange, isn't it? And we have an infinite capacity to do that.”
Linda Sparrow is a yoga teacher, author, editor, mentor, and speaker on women's health and holistic healing. She is the former managing editor of Yoga Journal and the former editor-in-chief of Yoga International Magazine. She has been highly instrumental in introducing and bringing out yoga's authentic voice to practitioners through her works.
Linda has authored numerous books on yoga, including Yoga At Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Own Personal Practice. She also wrote the highly-acclaimed Yoga: A Yoga Journal Book.
If you want to connect with Linda, you may visit her website. You may also send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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