Thoughts

Getting Into The Flow

I am currently going through a phase where I really like Flow Yoga.

With all the different types of yoga out there you might be wondering what exactly is Flow Yoga. According to About.com Flow yoga would be classified under the broad umbrella of Vinyasa Yoga. A breath synchronized class where poses or postures are strung together smoothly. Following your instructor’s lead you are asked to match your inhales and exhales to a specific posture, flowing from one pose to another creating a very rhythmic meditative dance.

Some instructors are very good at creating this illusion of a dance; their choice in poses is well thought out, they synchronize smoothly, the inhale & exhale comes naturally and their choice in music complements the overall feel of the class.

I have run into all different types of Flow classes. That is the beauty of Vinyasa Yoga; it allows for so much diversity in teaching styles that you would never get bored. It does require you to come with an open mind as you might find it can take a few tries to get the teacher you like.

One instructor’s choice in music was not to my liking, but I learned a lot about Plank pose, and Chaturanga. I have found that even if I don’t like everything in a class, there is always something I have learned that I can take from the class.

This past week I was lucky enough to catch a Yyoga flow class with Christie Baumgartner.  She is a wonderful instructor. A beautiful soul packaged in a tiny dancer’s body; playful yet welling with good informational tips on posture and proper alignment.

Her arrangement of postures seems to flow naturally, allowing for maximum breath and ease of motion. Without even thinking, your inhales and exhales seem to flow naturally with each pose she suggests.

This is where the dance begins. She varies her Sun Salutations with enough freshness that it never seems to get dull. She builds each pose upon the previous so that the muscles slowly warm up, yet you do not feel fatigued. From beginning to end I feel as if I have been skilfully guided to achieve what I set out to do; experience my body in all its beauty of movement, to breathe with fullness and to awaken to a new sense of calm.

You can tell that Christie is very passionate about yoga, her enthusiasm is contagious. She makes you want to strive higher, not for her, but for you. To push yourself just a little more in order not to miss a step in the dance she is sharing with you.

She makes yoga fun! She laughs through-out her class and truthfully I appreciate that. Why not have fun?

I have yet to disagree with her choice in music. I literally caught myself singing along.

Even though you will sweat through-out her class, you will be so engaged that you’ll hardly notice until the end; at which time you will be very grateful for those Yyoga showers.

If you get the chance try out one of Christie’s Flow classes at Yyoga Flow Wellness on Burrard Street; I highly recommend it. She just might make you fall in love with yoga all over again.

(Source: jameswvinner.com)

My Top 5 Favorite Vancouver Yoga Review Articles

This was tough! But, here are some of the articles that have lately spoken to me and have stuck to my heart. Hope you enjoy! I would love to hear your fave!

1.  Memory Dredging by James Liang. Time traveling through the senses – how smell, sight, taste, sound and touch can revert us back to a time that was significant in our lives. We hold onto these moments (both good and bad). Sometimes we may not even be able to remember the entire instance, but select pieces and parts of it, but for whatever reason, a particular sense captured its imprint. I believe that perhaps a reason we record this instance is for energy. In those places (memories) we experienced something profound, memorable, a particular feeling or emotion. Perhaps they are also places for us to return to learn from and use the experience and its energy for strength to keep going.

2.  Coming Back To You by Leeana Anaka. Yoga helps us to reconnect with our bodies in a way that we become more in tune with it and, in a way, we become better at listening to what it’s telling us. Yoga also helps us to take control of the mind, especially when it comes to dictating unrealistic expectations or negativity. As Leeana has written, yoga cultivates a calmness that allows you to believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

3.  Browse with Moderation by Sophie Legrand. In this article, Sophie talks about not squandering our energy and exercising our will-power in a modern world of cyberspace. We often resort to things like the television and endless hours of Internet surfing when we are bored, lonely or in need of stimulation. Sophie has some great recommendations for nurturing ourselves instead of giving in to mindless surfing.

4.  How to Start Your Day Calm & Relaxed – Without Yoga by Taya Ng. An article from Vancouver Yoga Review’s founder, Taya describes some very nice ways to start the day without yoga. Not everyone can or chooses to start the day with asana practice, and that there are other ways to capture and manifest a sense of relaxation and calmness upon waking up. Yoga can be done at any time of that works best for you.

5.   21 Beautiful Benefits of Yoga by me. One of my self-written faves, this article covers some of the benefits of yoga practice. Perhaps it’s a bit weird to choose one of my own, but I constantly come back to this. It’s important we believe and trust in the process of yoga, surrender ourselves to it and know that the more we do yoga, the more we believe and dedicate ourselves to discovering our true selves, the more will be revealed.

Namaste.

3 Ways to Pamper Your Soul!

{Source: http://www.portalmico.com/?p=244}

Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage or a stroll on a beautiful spring sunny day, but how can we continuously pamper our soul? How do we make the time to make our soul and or our heart feel good? We may get these feelings from the above, but generally they are only temporary solutions.

Our lives are made up of a bunch of moments, and while every moment may not be the best experience it makes an impact on our soul and our subconscious.

Here’s 3 Ways for Long Term Soul Pampering;

  • KARMA
    Seems to be pretty self explanatory, especially with the old adages “what goes around comes around” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”Derived from the Sanskrit word “kri,” karma literally means “to do.” Then if we take the meaning of yoga as “union”; karma yoga translates to the path of union through action. In some philosophies the word karmanot only means action but the effects that your actions have and can be further described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which someone acts in accordance to their dharma (one’s duty) without personal self-centred desires, like or dislikes.In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:

Therefore, without being attached to the fruits of activities, one should act as a matter of duty, for by working without attachment one attains the Supreme.

           Take into consideration how your actions influence life around you and your life.

  • SEVA
    Otherwise known as Selfless Service, Seva is the action of giving back, it is a sincere sharing of wealth (money, talents, service).  Our community is nurtured through voluntary gatherings, where teachers and students can connect with each other while, at the same time, doing something that makes the world a better place.Swami Niranjan, a modern master of yoga, explains the word Seva is made up of two words, ‘saha’ (with that) and ‘eva’ (to). Therefore, the word Seva means ‘together with’ and is describing actions that is an expression of compassion, of the desire to uplift and assist people and can be a strong practice for self-purification.How do you do this? Start small, maybe helping a senior citizen with their groceries or offering to run an errand for a friend. Or take a look at www.govolunteer.ca which lists countless of opportunities to volunteer from bringing your dog to visit the local care home or teaching yoga.

Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.
Anthony Robbins

  • DHARMA
    Buddhists believe in the Law of “Dharma,” which means, the purpose in life. This law says that we have taken manifestation in physical form to fulfill a purpose. You have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it meaning there is something that you can do better than anyone else in the world. By understanding your purpose and special qualities, you will be able to reach your goals and get closer to your dreams.Is what you are doing in life your dharma, are you not sure? Write down all your biggest hopes and desires and work to live by them!

Souls have different journeys. The best thing to know is, not what everybody else does, but what you do. Self-discovery essentially is finding your own dharma, your own rhythm.
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While all of these items are life skills and or lifelong ways of interacting with the world, they can lead to healthier, happier you and a pampered soul!

The Exposed Afterglow

The cast of Sex and the City

“Hi honey, I’m home,” Amy calls to Jon as she walks into the house.

“Uh, honey. You look different – like really good and glowing. If I didn’t know any better I’d think you were just having amazing sex,” Jon says cautiously.

“Ha, of course not,” Amy replies, “but I did just have an amazing yoga class.”

We yogis are familiar with this look. Completely relaxed, eyes softly open, skin glowing, bodies refreshed, mind present. The afterglow of yoga is quite frankly, similar to the afterglow of sex. There are several parallels between each activity.

So what creates this serenity we feel after both yoga and sex?

Poses: Both yoga and sex involve holding certain positions to reach a certain state of mind or nirvana. The movement that first comes to mind is the strengthening of our pelvic floor, our Mula Bandha. We engage these muscles in yoga and in sex and by doing so, we can hold a pose longer by gaining stamina which  makes both practices more enjoyable. (http://www.thatsfit.ca)

Presence: We tend to always look better when we are thinking clearly. When we’re not interrupted by what happened at work earlier or what tomorrow will be like, but focused on the now.  Being fully and completely present wipes the look of worry, frustration, confusion, resentment, sadness, anger (the list continues) off our faces and allows us to share the look of just being. To reap the benefits of both yoga and sex, we must be present.

Relaxation: Being at ease in yoga. Calming the lines in our faces. Just letting ourselves go, most of all in Savasana, is an alternative to having that glass of wine before or after sex. Arising from Savasana may feel similar to arising from the bedroom, accompanied  by the eyes’ soft gaze, messy hair, and a subtle, low voice. (http://www.thatsfit.ca)

Breathing: The deep, long inhales and exhales during yoga and sex creates space in our muscles and cells, which helps soften and relax every part of our body and gives us more energy. (http://www.thatsfit.ca)

Sweating: That sun kissed look we get from wiping the dampness away from our faces. The healthy, refreshed glow that comes from the removal of toxins and the release of endorphins. Sweating, whether during yoga or sex, makes us feel and look better than we did prior to engagement. (www.thespicybananas.com)

So the next time you try and bust your glowing, refreshed, messy haired friend for not telling you who she’s sleeping with, think again – she may have just been to one of Vancouver’s many incredible yoga classes.

Do you know of more similarities between yoga and sex?

Finding Balance

I am out of balance. I keep getting sick and sometimes I’m bored and then I’m too busy. I know that yoga is the answer, but I still have to keep asking the right questions. Life is an iterative process. All the things worth doing have to be done again and again– like forgiving someone, and dishes.

Finding balance is constant work, balancing this part of your life with that part. Being a good person– being good both to me and to the people I love. Not always the same thing, is it?

I also need to find balance in my yoga practice.

When my practice is out of whack, so goes the rest of my life. I’m loving hot sweaty power classes these days. I miss my hatha and yin teachers, but I keep going back to vinyasa to burn through something inside me. Where my knee is and what my hip flexor is doing is not as important at the moment as connecting to my core and finding the devotion and grace that I find on my mat in power classes. Recognizing what I want and need is the first step to coming back to balance.

How do I find balance?

1. Listening. Yoga is intense and sometimes it’s important to take a break. It’s also important to work hard, so I work to listen to my body and my spirit.

2. Taking breaks. I have a daily yoga practice, but some days I lay off. I have a glass of wine instead because I need to keep that part of myself alive too.

3. Find joy. I like to work hard, and progress– hit my marks. But sometimes I get driven, and get way out of balance. Connecting to my joy in something allows me to go back to a sustainable and rewarding level of intensity and effort.

Like an elephant in crow pose on a beach ball, balance keeps me elegant and powerful.

BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN YOGA AND FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT PART 1

What do Yoga and Functional Movement (FM) have in common?

In Sanskrit the word Yoga is derived from the root “yul” meaning “to control,” ” to unite,” and “to join;” meaning whole. There are many paths in yoga, all of which lead us to the same ultimate destination; which is optimal health and wellness in body and mind and a connection with something greater then ourselves. Functional movement aims to achieve the same destination, but does so through a more scientific modality. One rooted in understanding the approach to freedom in movement through the application of transformational biomechanics.

 Let’s take a closer look at the fundamentals of both Yoga & Functional Movement (FM):

  • Yoga: Anamayakosha – the physical body and its systems.
  • FM: biomechanics, anatomy & physiology of the human body
  • Yoga: Pranamayakosha – the energy body and breath
  • FM: deep diaphragmatic breathing & energy flow distribution
  • Yoga: Manomayakosha – the psychoemotional body
  • FM: sports psychology & emotional mechanics
  • Yoga: Vijnyanamayakosha – the watcher state or higher mind
  • FM: visualization & skill attainment
  • Yoga: Anandamayakosha – the bliss body, higher consciousness and the enlightened state
  • FM: homeostasis & equilibrium, in mind, body  & spirit

As a health practitioner of movement coaching we focus on aligning the body, and controlling movement through the use of transforming negative restrictions or “bio mechanical breakdowns” into symmetrical movement patterns. These movements are based on real-life situational biomechanics that affect us daily. They usually involve gross motor movement involving multi-joint movements that prepare the body for real life developments; which also place a high demand on the body’s core, segmental stabilizers and innervation of the body processes.

Yoga and Yoga therapeutics have been a growing niche market of the Western Yoga World for many years and with more teachers becoming more educated on human anatomy and physiology and more health practitioners understanding the benefits that Yoga modalities can have both mentally and physically on their clients, it’s easy to see the direct connection between the two disciplines. Both aim to teach on-going adaptation; which is required for people to remain injury free, and to maintain freedom of movement and peace of mind.

Join us next week as we look at the role of Yoga therapeutics and transformational biomechanics in rehabilitating back pain, a common issue in today’s society. Your spine will thank you! Namaste!

Continuing Along The Path

Within last week’s blog post: Letting in the New, I wrote about Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Eight Fold Path. Patanjali offers guidelines to help you cleanse the body and mind in order to lead a more meaningful and purposeful life by following an eight limbed path. One limb of that path is the Yamas.

One of the five Yamas I focused on was Aparigraha: non-covetousness/non-hoarding. By allowing yourself permission to let go of those things that no longer serve you, you lessen the burdens in your life. The less clutter you have in your life the more meaningful life becomes. The more you practice Aparigraha the more you will come to understand that Aparigraha embodies the idea of letting good things come to you.

Not only does this apply to actual physical things, but also to our own thinking. Getting stuck in old patterns of belief can become very harmful. As we age it is necessary to continually re-evaluate old thought patterns based on the new knowledge we have gained; although sometimes thought patterns are so ingrained in our sub-conscience that we hardly question them. Thus it is necessary to always be in a state of awareness; to live in a state of acting not re-acting. Allowing yourself a moment to breathe, step back and look at the situation with new eyes. Ask yourself why you are feeling the way you are, is it because of something in the past or are you truly in the moment. Allowing yourself to let go of old patterns opens you up to new ways of relating.

I also mentioned that Sophie Legrand discussed Brahmacharya in her post titled “Browse with Moderation”. She discusses the concept of Brahmacharya: sensory control; not giving into the ego’s excessive demands & striving to live a balanced life, without squandering precious energy.

Further to the above two Yamas there is Ahimsa: nonviolence.

Ahimsa refers to not only the abstention of physical violence but also discouraging violent words or thoughts. It is necessary to be actively aware of our thoughts and interactions with ourselves and others in order to eliminate these destructive behaviours. Remember that thoughts become actions and actions eventually become behaviours.

To truly practice Ahimsa one needs to participate in the practices of compassion, love, understanding, patience, self-love and worthiness.  First and foremost it is necessary to begin with oneself. You cannot be patient or understanding or compassionate with others if you haven’t first started with yourself. It begins from within. It is only from the love of oneself that you understand that ultimately there is no separation between you and me. To do violence to you is to do violence to me.

Starting with little baby steps, such as on your mat, be kind to yourself. The body is always changing; what you were able to do one day you might not be able to do the next. Just try to believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Practice forgiveness within yourself so that you can give that to others. This patience and understand that you give to yourself on your mat will naturally flow into other aspects of your life given time.

(Source: cominohotels.co.uk)

The Neti Pot How-To

If you get sinus headaches, pressure or pain, or have allergies, you know just how agonizing it can be. Here’s something that might help.

Using a Neti Pot is a very old cleansing technique and tradition of India. There it is referred to as Jala Neti. The literal translation means ‘water cleansing’ or ‘water irrigation’. It is a flushing out of the nasal cavity. Our nasal cavity is full of fine hairs called cilia. This flushing helps them to move faster and thus push irritants, bacteria etc, to back of the throat where it can be spit out or to the nose where it can be blown out.

Some people use a Neti Pot to help with sinus congestion, sinusitis, allergies, and sinus infections or as a preventative measure. It’s also a more cost-effective form of treatment and, in addition, doesn’t have all the side effects of prescription medication.

The way it works is that the Neti Pot is filled with a body-warm solution of water and salt (it is recommended to use Iodine-free salt or natural sea salt. Also, remember to use a fresh solution every time). The solution is then poured into the nostrils one at a time while breathing through the mouth. You then switch sides. Remember to learn forward and tilt your head to the opposite side of the Neti Pot. Also, when finished, it’s good to first sniff in gently a couple of times to help return the nasal passages back to normal (sometimes referred to as ‘helping them dry’) and then gently blow your nose – do this oh so gently. If any gets into your mouth, don’t worry, just spit it out. If you accidentally swallow it, it’s OK too. It is also important to note that there should be no pain or uncomfortable feeling involved. If there is, stop immediately and reassess.

The solution helps to remove anything that may be ‘stuck’ up there – dust, pollen, bacteria, excess mucus, pollutants, etc. It is typically eight ounces of water and a fourth teaspoon of salt. The salt should be dissolved completely. If you use too much salt, your nasal cavities will be sure to inform you with a nice burning sensation. Also, the water must not be too hot. Test the water both for temperature and salt before using. Also, it is very important to take the time to ensure all of the water has drained from your nasal cavities. Take your time and it will be a worthwhile, healthy experience.

Click here for a  short how-to video that could be helpful. I have not purchased my Neti Pot from this company, but I feel the video is helpful and has some really good tips.

And, as you may already know, yogis, as cool as they are, do some pretty weird things, but these weird things usually pay off in the end. Enjoy and try something new!

Yoga Pants or?

I’ve heard a LOT of talk over the last little while that “Yoga Pants are Not Pants!”  From newspaper articles, word of mouth, to even a pol on Virgin Radio a couple of weeks ago. While yoga pants, specifically lululemon branded ones, seem to be the staple in the yoga community around Vancouver, there seems to be a lot of huffing & puffing about whether or not yoga pants should be worn out in public.

Whether you want to call yoga pants and all the accessories, tanks and hoodies as part of the fashion industry or not, there are certainly enough styles and colours and fabrics to enter them into this category, as I’m sure all the designers who make these items would agree.

So being the devils advocate that I am, I’ve compiled a list of 3 Places to NOT where Yoga Pants and 3 Reasons Yoga Pants are Pants!

3 Reasons Yoga Pants ARE Pants;

  • Well, let’s just say – They are PANTS!
  • They are more cleverly designed than a pair of sweat pants from the 80’s with the elastic ankles.
  • They are available in multiple colours, fabrics and styles and there is something for everybody from straightlegged to tights to capris.

Posted in a Gastown Shop Window; Ishara boutique, 38 Water Street, Vancouver, BC

While the argument can be construed that they are great if you are going to or coming from yoga they aren’t meant to be worn everywhere. Sure, but in reality how are most yoga pants different from regular pants? Form fitting? Yes, but so are tights or pencil skirts for that matter.

But realistically, there is a time and a place for everything! While I will admit, I do wear yoga pants A LOT, as tights or in the summer as capri”s, they are multi functional when I want to run in & take a class, I don’t need to go home and change first. But there are places that we really don’t need to see the lululemon logo!

3 Places to NOT Wear Yoga Pants;

  • Funerals – Take the extra 5 minutes and put on a pair of slacks that will make you come off as being a little bit more modest, especially if you are in a church.
  • Weddings – Unless the wedding involves a yoga class they are probably way too casual to pull off at a wedding.
  • Job Interview and maybe the job depending of course what it is, if you work in a business office downtown, the lulu’s won’t fly!

While I’m sure there are the lover’s and the haters out there on where they should and shouldn’t be worn, but my vote is in; Yoga Pants are Pants! What do you think?

Yoga-ee People

Patti Paige Baked Ideas Custom Baking

“So, where do you work?” I ask a new acquaintance.

“Oh I work in Kitsilano,” she replies with an unimpressed tone.

“Oh yeah, I work around there too and used to live there. I love Kits, such a nice area,” I respond cheerfully.

“Yeah, it’s ok. It’s very Vancouver and all yoga-ee,” she states, accentuating the ee.

“Yes, I know,” and to her surprise I add, “I’m actually all yogaee myself.”

Vancouver yoga people. Just a bunch of clones wearing Lululemon spandex suits, headbands, and legwarmers with yoga mats on our backs, shopping for organic produce in Capers or Whole Foods. We prefer Naturopaths to Doctors, tea to coffee, and vegetables to meat. We believe that because we practice yoga, we are better than the general public. We feel better, act better, and look better in tight clothing.

I used to be convinced of this stereotype, allowing it to create negative feelings towards practicing yoga. Then, a few years later, I went to my first class.

Rather than being surrounded by the image-conscious people I expected, I was surrounded by all sorts of focused, non judgmental yogis enjoying their practice and supporting mine. Lululemon? Yes of course it was worn – and good thing since most spandex pants reveal bum crack during every Downward Facing Dog. Matching outfits? I couldn’t tell you since my attention was drawn inward rather than towards analyzing classmates’ clothing choice. I even had the option of sipping a free cup of tea before class.

There is an instant sense of comfort when you begin class and recite om for the first time. We’re all there for our own reasons and it has nothing to do with personality type or fashion sense or where we choose to buy our produce. I wasn’t being looked at or stereotyped, so how could I speak of these yogis with negative connotation?

There is no denying that Vancouver is full of practicing yogis who do fit the stereotype to a certain extent. I’m a vegetarian, Lululemon wearing, tea drinking yogi. Yet this doesn’t determine who I am. There is such a wide range of people who practice yoga in this city and we are much more diverse than any stereotype’s classification.

I used to think yoga was for wealthy yuppies in need of an indoor activity during winter. Until I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. Perhaps this new friend of mine should just try it, too.

Are We Too Comfortable?

I was putting on a record the other day– yes, an LP. My mom and I got into a discussion about how she used to take care of her records… lots of work. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to make a playlist. I put 10,000 songs on random rather than take a minute. My day to day experience is so far from lovingly and painstakingly taking care of something in an elaborate ritual in order to listen to 20 minutes of music.

My life is so easy I get bored sometimes.

Except on my mat. I never get bored on my mat. One of the things that I love about yoga is the work. There is no hiding in my yoga practice, I sweat and I’m honest with myself. Part of my yoga is to really listen– both to what’s going on inside me and to the people I love and the people I meet in my day.

Yoga is work. It’s work to let go and it’s work to cultivate the habits of body and mind that will lead to freedom. It’s work to forgive the people that have wronged me and it’s work to forgive myself for all my shortcomings. Yoga is also work that matters. I do these things because it is the most important work that I can do.

My yoga practice is also the most rewarding thing in my life.

So maybe I need to work harder in the rest of my life. Work hard like I do on my mat– spend more time out of my comfort zone.

4 Things You May Not Know About Yoga Teacher Training

1. For some of us, it may be our first yoga-type training…

Typically practitioners at all levels and ages show up to yoga teacher training. I attended with students who had been practicing and studying for several years in addition to others, whom like myself, had been practicing for less. The important thing to remember is that it’s not a competition and no one is going to judge you – if you feel a little unsure about where you are, you can always contact the teacher(s) hosting the training to get their opinion. Most schools seem to accept all levels, but there are also some who suggest a recommended amount of experience. The training will most likely be challenging both physically and mentally, so some experience and preparation will indeed be helpful.

2. It’s not always about learning to teach…

Not everyone may attend yoga teacher training to learn how to teach, but to deepen his or her knowledge and practice. Typically yoga teacher training offers comprehensive and invaluable information. Areas of study can include meditation, chanting, philosophy, Asana practice, Pranayama (breathing techniques), anatomy, physiology, diet and nutrition, in addition to how to start teaching and setting up logistics. Training to become an effective yoga teacher typically takes many years of dedicated practice and not everyone who graduates may immediately start to teach. Instead they may be inspired to go even deeper into the exploration of yoga, broaden their expertise within different aspects or specialties or continue to develop and evolve their personal daily practice.

3. Be prepared for the unexpected…

As the time becomes nearer, you may be both anticipating the experience and feeling a little anxiety. This is natural. It is important to get plenty of rest and to try and arrive with an open mind and ready to be teachable. It is also a good idea to prepare for not only the physical challenge, but also for the mental. Yoga training can be intense and detoxifying. Along with it can come moments of bliss, but also strong sensations and feelings. You may find yourself asking quite significant questions or wanting to deal with a certain issue. There may also be elements of resistance, even confusion. One of the best things you can do during this time is to simply trust in the process of yoga. Know that the experience is worth it and that all the effort it may take to deal with it is too. And, most importantly, know that you already have what it takes to get through it.

If you are taking a residential intensive, may not be able to return home or  to your family or friends. Don’t be afraid to seek the support from other willing students or teachers around you.

4. The changes are continuous

You may experience both subtle and dramatic changes during your yoga teacher training. It will most likely not stop there. The transformation may happen all at once or gradually over time. Either way, you will more than likely start to grow a clearer understanding about who you are. Yoga brings us to places within ourselves where changes need to occur. Doing yoga everyday will definitely bring a dramatic change as it will relieve stress, release negativity and promote awareness and a positive outlook on life.

I would love to hear your experiences.

MOVIE REVIEW: FIERCE LIGHT, WHEN SPIRIT MEETS ACTION

What does Yoga and Activism have in common?   COMMUNITY!

Last night I watched the ground breaking documentary, “Fierce Light, When Spirit Meets Action” an in-depth look at the power that is released when our spirituality/belief and activism meet.

Sparked by the movements of Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu,  Thich Nhat Hanh, and Mandela, by igniting a global movement of positive, compassionate action. It is a global journey of social change motivated by love, and the necessity to save our world through ethical action.

When asked by students what my message is, I say I am an Activist for Compassion, thus my message is to be an activist for compassion.

It is here, where we see a direct correlation between Yoga and Activism; both deeply rooted in community. The growing popularity of yoga at this time of global transformation and shift of inward search for our own humanity is not a coincidence.

If we look at the definition of a Yogi it is someone who strives to live in harmony with the earth, our environment and embracing the connection with another; which is at the heart of belonging.

A yogi seeks self-realization through the practice of action to become a more centered and rounded partner of society. By living in an other-centered way rather than a self-centered way, the yogi lives harmoniously with the earth, with all beings and things, and ultimately with oneself. This is the very way of life that is reflected in our leaders who have taken compassionate action towards a better world.

The practice of yoga on the mat can provide us with very practical skills to enable us to dismantle our present negative culture, a culture of dis-ease, based upon the exploitation of the earth and injustice of our fellow human and to act with non-violence to shift the paradigm towards social change.

So the next time you are on your mat, think about how you can transfer the loving, compassionate traits evoked from your practice and take them off the mat.  Imagine individuals and organizations connected by a shared commitment to compassionate, positive action….that’s most definitely Fierce Action!

Transform.  Inspire.  Enable

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