Peel Away the Layers – Modern Life and the 5 Koshas

As the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s easy to see how hectic our lives are.

Even without the chaos of preparing for the perfect day, modern life tends to have a frenetic layer of haste.  We find ourselves multi-tasking throughout the day.  Add to that the layer of noise – from our children, friends, families, the news, your podcast, your playlist, the classic rock station playing while you shop.

With all of this hustle and bustle, it’s difficult to find the time to tune in to yourself.  Each layer of distraction pulls you away from the present moment, from that constant serenity and peace, the infinite space and possibility imbued with Isha, the divine presence, that dwells within each of us.

It is with that in mind that my friend Paty and I set about creating a Retreat to Reconnect.  We want to help you peel away the layers that are stopping you from connecting to your sacred self, so that when you step back into the beautiful whirr of your life, you step from a space of power and truth.

When we lose our connection to self, we might find ourselves reacting to small things with annoyance or frustration.  Perhaps you’ve gone all day today without taking a full breath, or had a full conversation with somebody without really hearing a word.

If we spend weeks, months, or years in this state, it’s easy to lose track of your Dharma, the goal that is your life’s destiny.

Modern life is a constant distraction, and we all get sucked into the mundaneContinue reading “Peel Away the Layers – Modern Life and the 5 Koshas”

Staying Healthy During Transitions

As our Summer in Florida finally transitions into Fall, I find myself and my daughter coughing and feverish as our bodies catch up to the changing seasons.  

Sick happens to everyone, and even more so to people who interact often with others!  Below, I’ll share some of my favorite preventatives and remedies, and how my yoga practice shifts when I’m feeling under the weather. Continue reading “Staying Healthy During Transitions”

Reiki – After Your Attunement

I was attuned to Reiki Levels One and Two in 2013 at the Chakra and Reiki Retreat that I co-hosted with my best friend and collaborator, Paty Hernandez of Mariposa Holistic Healing in Costa Rica.

At the time, I experienced some profound changes as my soul began to integrate and heal past experiences that had been unconsciously influencing my present.

Continue reading “Reiki – After Your Attunement”

A Prayer for One World

This has been a difficult month for many people throughout the world.

Whether your land has been buffeted by hurricanes like Houston, Dominica, Puerto Rico, or Key West, or shaken down by an earthquake like Mexico or Japan, we’ve all been affected in some way by the winds and earth that unite us all.

Yogis talk about the concept of Ishvara Pranidhana – the knowledge that there is a divine spark within each of us.  Events like these serve to remind us that we each walk upon the same earth and gaze up at the same sky.

Continue reading “A Prayer for One World”

Labor of Love

In the US, we celebrate Labor Day today, which gets me thinking about how we define work and labor.

The five principles of Reiki contain a line that says “I will devote myself to my work.”

Just for today, I will not anger

Just for today, I will not worry

Just for today, I will be grateful for my blessings

Just for today, I will devote myself to my work

Just for today, I will be kind to others

Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism all teach of dharma, which can be loosely defined (without getting too dogmatic, as each religion alters the definition slightly) as following the cosmic order or fulfilling your life’s destiny.

I like to approach my work in this way, as a reminder that I am a spark of the divine acting as part of a larger plan that I cannot fully comprehend.

Continue reading “Labor of Love”

5 Tips to be a Friendly Traveler in the Developing World

I got a lot of raised eyebrows when I first told my friends and family about my proposed travel plans.  Traveling through and living in the developing world proved some of the toughest and most rewarding experiences of my life.  Here are some tips and things to think  about if you are considering a trip of your own.

1.  Be Not Afraid

The most common advice that I received from well-meaning family and friends was to WATCH OUT.   Continue reading “5 Tips to be a Friendly Traveler in the Developing World”

Barriers to Practice

Creating any healthy new habit is not easy.  It’s heartening to me that Patanjali acknowledges this in the Yoga Sutras.  As he’s espousing the many benefits you’ll gain from your new yoga practice, he stops to mention the barriers you will encounter.

As with other truths discussed in the Yoga Sutras, these obstacles are as relevant for people today as they were for yogis committing to the practice thousands of years ago.

All nine obstacles are disruptions to the heart-mind field of consciousness (citta) and can be debilitating to a practice, because distracting thoughts and emotions (vrtti-s) arise when antarāya-s are present.  These nine obstacles are:

Disease

Apathy

Self-doubt

Carelessness

Fatigue

Regression

Sexual preoccupation

Erroneous views

Ungroundedness

~Nicolai Bachman, The Path of the Yoga Sutras

It’s great to know that these obstacles are out there, because, with planning, you can anticipate them and stop them from disrupting your practice.

Continue reading “Barriers to Practice”

Breath as a Bridge to Joy

“The yoga tradition tells us the mind and breath are twin laws of life, they travel together.  When the mind is calm and clear, the breath flows smoothly.  Conversely, when the breath flows smoothly, the mind calms and clears.

The condition of one determines the condition of the other….We experience the boundless joy deposited within the mind itself, which manifests when the mind is able to plumb its own depths.”

~Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, The Secret of the Yoga Sutras

When I started my yoga practice, I was regularly not breathing.

Crazy, right?  But my body’s reaction to stress was to tense EVERYTHING up, including my abdomen, and just hold my breath.

In that state, my feelings of stress would increase to feelings of panic, and everything would feel like a life or death situation.  Psychologists call this “fight or flight” syndrome, and it’s a classic reaction to stress.

Continue reading “Breath as a Bridge to Joy”

Be the Change

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the part I play in creating my world.  I’m not speaking here of my individual world – creating and taking responsibility for making a life that fulfills me and allows me to serve others.  Since being blessed with becoming a mother, my thoughts have turned to the part I play in my community.

I’ve also become vitally reminded of the importance of independently owned businesses. After returning from my travels where the majority of businesses are independently owned, it’s really come home that we need to be a little rabid in making sure that we frequent businesses we want around.  Otherwise, it’ll be all Walmarts, Targets, and Olive Garden, and that’s not the world I want to live in.


One aspect of traveling is that you’re always moving on.

Continue reading “Be the Change”

Svādhyāya – Non Judgement

I watched a lot of Monty Python growing up, and this scene from The Life of Brian always left me laughing.  And the joke, I thought, was everyone chanting in sync that they were all different while doing the same thing and thinking the same thoughts.

The revelation, which I understand now that I’ve lived more life than my 13 year old self, is that we are all the same.  There is no piece of the One Human Experience that any one of us is experiencing anew.  We are all sparks on a journey, and if we’re lucky enough to stay on the ride, chances are that we’ll pass through several different dichotomies of the One Human Experience.

In your lifetime, you will likely experience being a friend and an enemy.  Perhaps you will be the child and the parent, the student and the teacher, the innocent and the guilty.  Each of these are simply two sides of the same coin.  This transformation from one to the other and revelation that they (we) are one  allows us to immerse in the experience of Svādhyāya, one of the Niyamas of yoga, often defined as self-study, but also encompassing Non-Judgement.
Continue reading “Svādhyāya – Non Judgement”