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Monday, February 2, 2015

How Do I Quit You??

Being present has been one of my big goals for #2015. Yoga is supposed to be practiced on and off the mat, but presence doesn't follow me out of the studio so easily  I've gone back and forth about upgrading my life and downgrading my phone, making proclamations for it and taking it back, then making them again. And.. I think I've had some valid reasons since 1. I'm terrible with driving directions and 2. I work from home, and oh my goodness what if I was to miss out on the email or social media message that was going to change my life!   -  But.. today's the day! I just give in far to easily to distraction, and my current little white device with an apple on it  has unnecessarily robbed me of moments with my family and friends that I can never get back.. especially family and friends. So here I go.. and I'm taking Julian Sol with me, however he hasn't gone down without a fight, what 13 year old would. I hope he thanks me later. I still haven't actually won this.. but I'm the momma. So, in a nutshell.. I do have a mobile phone , same number, and a landline. I do have wifi and still own a laptop and an iPad. I haven't even left social media, it's just not going to follow me, and you won't get the Casa de Jordan play by play until maybe just maybe the next day. But who knows.. maybe all the rest is next! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy On Me, A Sinner! Part 1

 Well, I'm not exactly sure where to start, but here we go! 
 If I told you my yoga practice led me towards a conversion, Orthodox Christianity to be exact, what would you think? 
 That is exactly what happened. My family and I were received into the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church on January 6th 2015, the Feast of Theophany.
Since its January, I see A LOT of people on Facebook making new goals for their fitness and well being, along with FB articles for or against certain dietary and fitness fads. My mom recently shared with me that her FB "friends" have been posting articles stating Christians should not do yoga. It's interesting to me when I hear that, having taught flow based yoga since 2009, I always wonder if the authors have had any first hand experience at a local gym or studio?

 (Now don't get me wrong.. you have extremists in anything and everything. 
For instance, I do love coconut oil, but OMG, apparently its going to save the world!)

At your neighborhood facility, a yoga class will mostly consist of flowing, detoxifying, strengthening, and balancing postures, with cued breathing. There may be dim lighting, candlelight or incense, and an OM or two, but that is pretty much it. Yoga really is awesome, and scientifically does so much for the body as well as the mind.
And.. ( hint hint)  if you take my class the atmosphere will include a killer Spotify playlist and a neck massage. Its almost like a grown up gymnastics routine with some deep relaxation at the end.  

This post is not to argue my mom's "friend's" FB articles at all, however if you would like to know more on the subject, click here. Yoga is not a religion, its a philosophy. For the committed, it is a way of life, and that is what I want to touch on. Because of yoga, I am now an Orthodox Christian. 
 I was searching for the sacred, that I just didn't find, in my on again off again non denominational place of worship. I was searching for a transformed community that lived the teachings of Jesus Christ. I was looking for the body of Christ that lived out the greatest commandment, LOVE.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

You see, I actually have seen elements of this transformation in my yoga community. I've seen broken humans come regularly to a class, starting out stiff in body and mind. Over time, and with intention, they become more mindful about their choices and actions on and off the mat. Those changes follow them, and bring change in their life outside of the studio as well. Part of practicing yoga is practicing non attachment and non judgement. This is not easy for anybody, and practice leads to getting better over time. I would see students day in and day out, and could not deny the transformation taking place. I told my husband Josh, if Christians (especially us) would practice and really live out the fullness of the faith, the way these students practice yoga, this world would change. The teachings of Jesus Christ are of love, mercy, self sacrifice, healing and restoration. We call ourselves Christians, but most of what I could see in myself, my community and mainstream media, was full of judgement and very self serving.
Lord have mercy!
Enter Orthodoxy
 Before giving up all together, I considered going to a Catholic church. I knew it was pretty old, lol! (so much for my knowledge of church history) I asked my husband if we could go check it out, saying they must do those "things" for a reason. What I know now, those "things" holy tradition, pious practice, and most importantly partaking in the sacraments was the "life" I was looking for. 

Shortly after this conversation I was on a plane out west for a visit with my sister, brother in law, and nephew. My brother in law Maximus, introverted, academic, and articulate, had been on a path that dug up church history bones a few years prior. At the time, he had been a catechumen in the Orthodox church for awhile. After 3 evenings of long conversations, probing questions, and a James & Ginger or two, it was as if a veil had been lifted from over my eyes. Something happened to me.
My brother in law took me back further then the reformation, further then the great shism of 1054 AD, to an even more ancient faith, the actual church established by Jesus Christ and his apostles. 
Yes, it does still exist, and has remained unchanged for over 2000 years.

There is so much to write about. I want to tell you what happened when I told Josh, the first time we went to liturgy as a family, and how because of yoga, I totally "got" it. 
However.. I think this is a good place to start, and that is why its Part 1. 

Orthodox Christianity has been changing and transforming my life since November of 2013. 
Depending on your back ground, you probably have many questions that just wont be answered in this post. Here are a couple of links I found helpful. 
If you are an Evangelical click here. If you are a Non- Christian  Seeker click here

XO
Jessica


Thursday, November 20, 2014

#TBT

Happy #TBT everyone. Did I ever tell you about the night of a charity event that ended in an iphone photo shoot with my best gal and band mate Jenny from The Polyphonic Spree, Jackie B. of V.O.D. Boutique, our boys, and designer Jeremy Laing? Details are blurry, but I think we called this Urban Ashram.

I am majorly procrastinating the inevitable. I don't know why I try to clean the house, pack for a cross country trip, build a new yoga flow and Spotify playlist all at the same time, but I did.. or I do.. or I'm doing it now. You know what I mean.

I gotta run, but if you are in Big D come take class tonight. Schedule is here. We will be doing a little something like this.
XO JESSICA

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Book Clubs. Nativity Fast. and Yoga. Oh My!

I started reading Christ the Eternal Tao with a FB Orthodox Christian Book Club at the beginning of the Nativity Fast (November 15th) this past Saturday. This month marks almost a full year of being an inquirer of Eastern Orthodoxy, and our family's first time to participate in Winter Pascha.

I look forward to sharing with you what that journey has been like, and how it has brought my yoga practice full circle on and off the mat. Until then, brew some Yogi Ginger tea, add some Mandarin Spark, and practice, because "all is coming."

Shanti Shanti Shanti
Jessica 

There exists a Being undifferentiated and complete, Born before heaven and earth. Tranquil, boundless, Abiding alone and changing not, Encircling everything without exhaustion. Fathomless, it seems to be the Source of all things. I do not know it's name, But characterize it as the Tao. Arbitrarily forcing a name upon it, I call it Great...
Tao Teh Ching, chapters 25 & 4 Translated by Gi-ming Shien and Eugene Rose