Check out my ruminations on a number of topics
What is the notion of "yoga off the mat"? It can have different meanings, some more superficial than others. For me, it means learning about myself on the mat - and taking those learnings into my life.
Yoga on the mat is an exercise in Svadhyaya, self-study. While being guided through a class and moving through the practice you learn things and take those learnings off the mat.
On the mat, you may find yourself being judgy about yourself or others in the class. This is instructive. It's also important to be aware of how you respond to the instructions and how you are doing in the poses Are you struggling? Are you trying to be perfect? Is this how you approach your daily life off the mat too?
What you do on the mat you also do in your life.
How you show up on the mat is how you show up for your life. Pay attention to what's going on. But, ultimately, be compassionate with yourself.
I encourage you to drop into the healing modality that yoga is. To...
It could be like you're in a similar situation or pattern that keeps occurring over and over again. It may be a relationship that is no longer fulfilling or a job that is no longer brings you joy.
The yoga tradition offers some tools to assist you in getting unstuck.
We know inertia starts in the mind but it manifests in the body. By moving the body we can shift some of that energy, thus shifting the mental landscape. We are holistic beings after all!
Sometimes it's as though we are walking around with our head and body disconnected. When we make stronger connections between the two we start addressing inertia.
First, is the recognition of being stuck. This can be a painful discovery but one worth making. With this realization it is important you don't beat yourself up. Be compassionate.
Breath is life. Breath takes us to the higher essence of practice - to deep meditative states.
Meditation is now becoming better understand and taught in yoga classes, it's on Netflix and is being popularized. From TM in the 60s and 70s, to mindfulness and now to yoga meditation.
In lineage-based systems, you work with time-tested meditations. In my lineage, we use mantra as our system of meditation - the repetition of sacred sounds. Your guru provides a meditation to you.
To be successful at meditation keep it simple:
The breath is the link between the body and mind.
While challenging at first, a focus on the breath as you evolve in your practice is essential.
Connecting with the breath in such a way that it leads the practice - this is yoga, as opposed to exercise. The inhalation awakens the opening into the posture and the exhalation takes you into the close of the posture, ideally.
The breath takes time. It is more challenging than fancy poses. So be patient.
In time you work with various pranayama techniques, including retentions/suspensions. The nervous system needs to be strengthened through practice first, so don't rush.
Start working with pranayama right away though. Ujjayai breathing, a gentle contraction of the throat through practice and after practice leading into meditation is super powerful.
The breath is always a direct reflection of the state of the mind. We can't change the mind easily, but we can use the breath to affect the state of...
Many of us start yoga as a physical process, which feels great. Yoga may be a simple exercise regime for some.
Over time, people build a wonderful mind-body connection. They may actually learn to love themselves through yoga practice. That was my experience.
But yoga can be so much more than a physical practice. It can be a journey to your spiritual awakening.
Once you start connecting on a deeper level with self, using various techniques and multi-layered approaches, you'll have experiences that are more than physical.
One way to start this approach is to make breath front and centre in your practice. Get established in the rhythm of your breath, make it the stable point of the whole practice. This becomes a catalyst to the spiritual side of the practice.
Breath is the link.
I also recommend that you be more alert and aware of all the levels of sensation that occur during the practice. This stepping into the energetic level of practice creates a...
The beginning of the year for many involves setting New Year's Resolutions. These wishes for the future are often lost in the first days of the year. What the yoga tradition teaches is something much deeper. intentions set from a place of deep knowing.
The sages of the tradition teach that life is bereft without Sankalpa Shakti, using the power of intention to shape your life.
There are a number of principles that inform how we work with Sankalpa:
You can use the events of 2020 to practice letting go.
Letting go is a big part of the yoga tradition; you need to leave things in the past so you can grow and evolve.
2020 was a year in which many issues came to the surface. It shone a light on the structural inequalities in our society resulting in some bearing the brunt of Covid-19 more than others. Economic and racial inequality are parts of our society that we could choose to let go of. But this won't be easy. We get attached to our ways of being, including social systems.
Many want to get back to "normal". We have to let go of this notion as we are now going to be living with and adapting to a virus, perhaps the first of many, that society has to adjust to living with in the future. We can - and must - move forward with new ideas and systems that support this new reality.
Start with you. You can consciously move forward and affect positive change if you let go of aspects of your life that no longer...
I'd like to share my thoughts on this Thanksgiving 2020 Weekend.
First of all, thank you for being part of this journey I'm on. Together, we can make great strides in these changing times.
My commitment is to continue to share life-changing teachings in a manner that meets your needs. All you have to do is show up! There are now dozens of archived practices on a range of themes - all of which can serve you.
You can also join me live online at 7 p.m. EST from Sunday through Thursday evenings.
My message is one of gratitude. I'm incredibly grateful for your ongoing support and interest in learning from me. I continue to grow as a teacher and support your growth as a seeker. let's continue this journey of growth in a time when it's needed more than ever.
It's important that you identify those things for which you are grateful as well. Gratitude when a part of your daily practice shifts your mind's pathways - your brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the...
It's been a while since my last vlog. I really needed to take some time away to reflect on the challenges Covid-19 brought to my life. Losing my yoga space to a pandemic was not something I would have ever imagined, but alas, it happened.
During my reflection time, I noticed how many of us are processing the impact of the pandemic in our own way. The feelings seem to range from pain, grief, sadness, disappointment, confusion, uncertainty to indifference. Some of us have experienced isolation and with it the feeling of loneliness. Some have reflected on their situations and decided to make significant changes - divorce rates have skyrocketed. I pray for those who have experienced violence and economic distress.
I hope whatever transitions you are going through you are finding a sense of calm, strength and direction to move forward.
I'm calling upon you to double-down on self-care, this includes your practice - no excuses, there are now dozens for you to choose...
For your security, we use a two-step opt-in process. You'll find an email in your in basket where you'll be able to access your Worksheet.
Not email? Check your junk folder.