Meet Cynthia LaRoche
Meet The Muse: Cynthia LaRoche ~ yoga instructor, mindfulness teacher, holistic health coach, cubs fan.
It changes all the time. But today it is committing me to show up imperfect, just as I am and being OK with that. It is allowing me a space to know wholeheartedly that I am worthy and deserving and loved right now. It really feeds what I need at that point of time in my life.
What was your most recent leap?
Worthiness. I learned unworthiness at some point in my life. Out of the fear of not being good enough, I thought I had to show up perfect for everything. I recently took the leap and began showing up imperfect to my meditation, and it almost instantly helped me show up differently in my life. It’s a lot more fun to show up imperfect and not take every little thing so seriously – not to mention the rate of success is much higher. It’s been a leap out of shame, guilt, and perfectionism into lightness, compassion, and freedom.
How can meditation help us take a leap?
Meditation introduces us to ourselves. It can be a HUGE leap to say, I want to know all of me. We tend to hide what we don’t want others to see or what we don’t want to admit ourselves. Taking this leap, knowing our strengths and admitting our weaknesses, actually provides us with a power that is beyond the mind. Once we are armed with this strength we become free to “leap into” every aspect of our lives unafraid and only knowing love.
TAKE A LEAP INTO MEDITATION
So much about the practice of meditation is trusting in what you cannot see, having faith in what you do not know, beleiving in something you can’t touch.
I often get asked, “does meditating for only five minutes even matter?”
And I shout, “YES, YES, YES! Trust, have faith, believe.”
Then I hear, “but I can’t sit still, my mind won’t quit, I don’t have the time.”
My response is the same, “sit anyway, trust, have faith, believe.”
The questions that arise are natural, the activity of the mind is learned. We create these questions and skepticism, but can just as easily create stillness if we trust, have faith and believe. So what exactly does this look like? Who is it we are trusting in? Explain this leap of faith into the unknown.
For today, forget everything you have learned or read about meditation. If you have a designated meditation spot feel free to sit there, or in the grass in your backyard, or on a chair next to a sunny window, or light a candle in the peace of a dark room. Set a timer so you know how long you have been sitting. Take a comfortable seat, any seat will do, comfort is the key for today. Once you are settled, take a long exaggerated inhalation, sigh it out completely. Do this two more times fully experiencing each inhale, each exhale. Now feel the parts of the body that are connected to the floor or chair or prop, recognize that grounding, that support. Take three breaths into that support, you may even imagine roots shooting down into the earth connecting you with the center of the universe. From this grounding, become aware of the body from the navel up. Out of this rooting action of the low body experience the lifting, opening freedom up of the upper body. Take three long exaggerated breaths into this sense of space and lightness. Now experience your whole body, the duality of the rooting vs. lightness. Take three long exaggerated breaths here. Now with your body both grounded and free inhale fully, exhale completely and hold the breath out at the end of the exhale for about 1-3 counts. Continue the rest of your meditation inhaling completely and exhaling fully, holding the breath out at the end of the exhalation. With each breath, and in particular the hold, rest in that space of total stillness. Connect to what exists in that space. Trust in what is unfamiliar – stillness, silence. Have faith in the unknown. Believe in yourself.
Thank you for the inspiration. xo, muse
Bio: Cynthia has had a deep passion and love for yoga ever since she stepped into her first yoga elective class at Arizona State University. Yoga came in and out of her life for the next three years, but it wasn’t until she packed all of her belongings into her car and moved to Seattle, did yoga become the forefront of her life. This inner passion led her to the Himalayan Institute where she met an inspirational teacher who introduced her to the study of meditation and allowed her to find the true meaning of yoga in her life. In the summer of 2003, Cynthia attended the Himalayan Institute’s Teacher Training program in Pennsylvania. Life led her back to her home state of Illinois where she began to practice at Moksha Yoga Studio in Chicago. Through the support and inspiration of many of her teachers, she was encouraged to take Daren Friesen’s teacher training program at Moksha Yoga Center. Cynthia has been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2007. Through her teacher trainings and personal quest for knowledge she has had the wonderful fortune of studying with; Pandit Jerome Smith, Seane Corn, Gabriel Halpern, Aadil Palkhivala, Eddie Modestini, Nicki Doane, Sandy Anderson, Rolf Solvic, Daren Friesen, Rich Logan and has been so deeply inspired by the wisdom of Rolf Gates. Cynthia has been influenced by the lineage of the Himalayan Institute and Iyengar and Vinyasa styles of yoga. Her classes integrate dynamic vinyasa movement, well defined alignment, meditation and pranayama (mindful breathing) to create a fun atmosphere for her students to create strength, connect with their bodies, and ultimately develop the truth within.