Friday, January 20, 2012

So Much Love, So Little Time

Hello Fellow Travelers!

One thing about this blogging business is in order to make it work, you have to keep it up (duh). So what I'm working on is a consistent day or days to actually post and then stick with it. Only problem is, life is happening at such a constant rate, that I hardly have time to thing about reporting one experience before I'm knee deep in the next one. And then the next. So since my last posting I have been to Greenville SC, Ashville NC and now in a little, but well know coffee shop called Jessee's in Carrboro, NC. Last night I slept in a barn (a very comfy, heated barn), that is actually Beth's Dance Barn. The owner, Beth Lavinder is well known in these parts for being somewhat of a Hoop Guru.

Beth Lavinder
 Her house is a work of art and her spirit is as beautiful as she is. And this is how it goes. It seems that many great souls have been place strategically along my path. With that thought in mind, I must set aside a few lines to talk about my experience in Greenville, Sc and the family I stayed with while there.

Sarah Kate


Joel, Audrey, Sarah, Aaron, Carmen and Jay
There are four siblings not picture above, which should give some clue as to the intense, close knit feeling of FAMILY you feel as soon as you walk through door. In this house only Sarah, daughter Evaline, her two youngest brothers and her parents reside. And each moment, every interaction, every occasion was an opportunity to display radiant love and affection from each other. A very devout family that prayed nightly together, and I can only imagine that this is as it has been going back to the birth of the first Hamilton baby. At dinner everyone, including guests, had to offer in round-robin fashion one thing that had been learned during the day, and on thing we were thankful for. Each night my answer was the same. The spirit of Bhakti yoga is alive and well in the abode of the Hamiltons.

And now tonight. Tonight I'm sleeping in a loft in a place known as The Flow Jo, where among the many things taught here, are circus arts. Aerial Silks and lyra hang from the ceiling, there are mats and items for juggling. There is a drum of every size and shape. There are instruments and enough hoops outfit an army (of hoopers). The gracious owners of this incredible place opened their doors, but more importantly, their hearts to a traveling yogi from RVA and his mat. Each and every step of the way I see more and more of the goodness in everyone, because that's what I'm looking for. I'm in a constant state of asking the Universe to guide me, to point me in the direction of good Samaritans, and to watch over me as I continue on this journey. Soon I'll be taking a break my brief nomad life and wind my way home. But only for a little while. My mat and I still have some traveling to do.

Give Thanks!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Place Called Charlotte, NC

Hello Fellow Travelers,

As I settle in one week into the start of my journey, I must offer thanks and gratitude to my hosts thus far. First, Bryce Abbott, son of my good friends Alec and Stacy Abbott. Bryce is a Master's Student at Virginia Tech, yogi, cross-fitter, bearded adventurer and all around good "dude". (i may never say the word "dude" again after staying with my buddy's Bryce and his awesome roommates. I should do a side story on his GIANT computer genius of a friend we shall refer to as "Mac") Bryce was kind enough to let me crash at his pad for a few days while in Blacksburg.

And now in Charlotte, NC, I am the honored guest of My good friend Brandon Powell, and his wife Kim. Included in the family: two American bull dogs, Leo and Kali, and a cat named Kitty. Brandon is a black-belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, yogi, philosopher and the owner of his own "Dojo" the name for his soon to be opening space for BJJ and and dedicated to the training of the body and the mind. His brother Randy is the Co-Owner of a great raw-food restaurant, Luna's Living Kitchen. Today I only got a coffee and a really good smoothie, but I have a few days to test out the menu.

It is such a blessing to have individuals along your path that can either show you the way, or offer you a place of refuge. I think it's even more of a blessing to BE the individual able to offer the aid to those traveling along your path. Have you ever given someone the directions to some place that you loved? Or knew precisely in what direction to send the traveler in? Have you ever shared with someone some small bit of information that the next person found to be invaluable? It is a great feeling! We do these small deeds because we were placed alongside those who needed us, even for a brief moment. And we perform this act not because we expect some great reward when the traveler finds the gas station. We do it without consideration or expectation. The task is done simply because we were in position to do so. I think this is Karma Yoga. When we begin to see every task or act as a simple offering to the continuous flow of energy, and in our own way begin to direct this flow around us in a positive way. I see this as the way we encourage blessings to come to us, whether it's someones hospitality or directions, or that thing you most need at that particular time.

We are all on the path so somewhere, may you all find a soft place to rest your head.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Off With A Bang!!

When I started preparing for this trip, I had no idea what was going to happen. Literally. But I knew something positive was happening in my life and I couldn't be afraid to tap into it. Over the past few weeks as the time approached for me to hit the road, the discussions about my travels took on a similar theme. Time and time again I was told that many people think about doing something bold, but never take the chance. Others cited family or work obligations. My friend Yaco said it best by saying "while others think, you do". It took me a long time to get that point, and honestly the various circumstances of life have been pushing into this direction for sometime now. I got to a point where I had to take a very intense introspective look at who I am, where I was in my stage of growth as a person, what was my value, and more importantly, what could I contribute to this life. With that I decided to take a chance. A chance on myself to do everything I was capable of doing to live my life to the fullest.

So I started making phone calls and sending emails. I wrote down the the info of yoga studios from VA to Florida, armed with my training, my experience and my love for yoga. That combined with the powerful energy from my students and colleagues in Richmond compelled some to take a chance on a yogi that hadn't written any books, or made any dvd's. Trust me, I received more "no's" than "yes's". But then, many things happened that could be viewed as simple coincidence or serendipity, such as my chance encounter with Becky McDaniel, owner of In Balance Yoga Studio in Blacksburg, Va. We were tagged in a note together on FaceBook. To me that was a  sign and I rode that Universal wave all the way down to southwest, VA. There I was met with many skilled and well-polished yogis, classes were well attended, and everyone left happy and empowered. And I got an invitation to return someday soon.  I would say, it was a success. And honestly, I knew it would be. I've been placed here like we all have, for a purpose. My Dharma is to help people realize that everything we need is already within our grasp. We only need to take hold. In two days I'll be off to Charlotte, NC, riding my Mat headfirst into the fullness of life. Thank you for riding with me.

Love and Respect,

J Miles

Sunday, January 1, 2012

T-Minus (part 2)

Hello fellow travelers,

Today is January 1, 2012, Happy New Year!!! In a few days I'm gonna gas up the Blackbird (my 94 toyota Camry, named after the jet the X-Men fly around in) and head to southwest, Va to start this oddessy. Since my last post I have picked up new teaching assignments in Charleston, SC. and added a complete teaching schedule. It can be found down on the left side of the page. I'm still fumbling my way around this blog business (as well as the twitter account, But I'll find a way to get the good word out as often as I can. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and I am so fortunate to have been encouraged and supported by many, many awesome spirits that have come into my life, thank you. I have been supplied with an abundance of energy to see me through, and I know I am on the right path.  See you soon on the Mat.

Love and Peace,

Yogi J Miles