7 Benefits of a Consistent Practice

When I completed my 200 hour yoga training, my lead teachers kept talking about having a home practice.  I would go home and roll my yoga mat out and try to recreate a sequence I learned in class.  Often, I would get a few poses in and and just get stuck.  I’d be hanging out in a high lunge trying to think of what comes next.

Or I would “forget” to roll my mat out at all.  Living in Austin in my 20’s meant that there was always a farmer’s market, new band, or food truck to explore.  It wasn’t rare that I would be too tired to come to my mat between social time, work, and all the yoga I was doing in my training and regular classes.

Once I received my certification and began teaching, I still struggled with creating time for a regular personal practice, despite one of my favorite teachers telling me that real teaching starts at home.  It wasn’t until I signed up for an Anusara Immersion that required a regular home practice as a pre-requisite that I finally began to settle into a steady practice. Continue reading “7 Benefits of a Consistent Practice”

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”

Grief and Loss

It certainly wasn’t my intention to write two posts about Grief back to back, but I am left reeling after hearing about the sudden death of a young girl in my church community.This news has me reflecting on the times I’ve been faced with the death of a friend or loved one, and it’s a hard truth.

We know that not one of us will get out of life alive, but we always assume we have more time with the people we love.

Continue reading “Grief and Loss”

On Detachment and Conflict

It’s easy to maintain a sense of detachment when you’re only passing through.  It’s also simple to have perspective and true vision when looking at the trifles that capture people’s egos and lead to conflict

When you don’t call a place home or interact with people every day, it’s simple to see the overarching harmony that we all share and are capable of.  When I first arrived to California, I was able to observe moments of tension for what they are — a distraction from our shared One Human Spirit and an opportunity for each of us to learn.  That is the gift of being a traveller.  As a gypsy, I hadn’t alighted down.  The perspective provided from that height allowed me to see how small these stumbling blocks truly are and how easy to overcome.

fairies6

But oh, how that perspective changes when you land.   Continue reading “On Detachment and Conflict”

Find Your Path

When you align yourself with intention, the universe begins to open for you.  That’s not to say that suddenly your days become easier, the dishes do themselves, and responsibility fades away.  However, when you begin to take action towards a goal – no matter how small the action — the goal gets closer to you.

“When the time is on you, start, and the pressure will be off.”

~Yogi Bhajan

Sometimes it’s difficult to take action because you don’t have a clear idea of what the goal is.  In those instances, quiet yourself.

Breath of Life by Dizzyflower28
Breath of Life by Dizzyflower28

Continue reading “Find Your Path”

Mat Revelations

A practice I find myself constantly refining is a return to the present moment.  The more I learn about this world and people, the more I believe that the secret to happiness is moving our consciousness away from the constant chatter of the mind and into the here and now.

I know I’m not revolutionary for thinking so.  All of my inspirations essentially say the same.  Whether it’s Patanjali saying “yoga chitta vritti nirodha,” yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or it’s Ram Das reminding us to “Be Here Now,” this simple teaching is oft repeated by teachers throughout the ages.

This is a good an helpful thing.  Because of the fluctuations of the monkey mind and the strong distraction from the present moment, we often need to hear something said multiple times in different ways before it sinks in and we can integrate it as truth.

I had this realization in the middle of a yoga class when a teacher was offering a refinement cue for Warrior Two. As I worked to ground my back heal into the earth and inner spiral my back thigh, it suddenly hit me that *this* is what my other yoga teachers had been trying to correct.  It just took a different combination of sound bites and a mind unclouded by what to buy for dinner for the wisdom to sink past the thought bubble and into my body.

Virabhabdrasana II

It’s no accident that I consistently return to the practice of yoga.  Revelations like this on the mat reflect right back to life experiences.   Continue reading “Mat Revelations”

Meditating with the Monkeys

I woke at 5 and captured this recording of the monkey’s morning ritual to share with you.

Howler monkeys can be heard throughout the day here, but tend to more active right before dawn and at dusk.  I’ve also noticed that they’ll hoot and holler if they hear a sudden loud noise, like the large trucks that rattle down the road throughout the day. Continue reading “Meditating with the Monkeys”

That Which Sustains

I finally got to see the sun yesterday in this Costa Rican paradise.  The heat and light transformed the town and brought the beaches to life.  Still pristine, the ocean yesterday was peppered with people from all over the world enjoying their dia libre a la playa.

Today, it’s back to un dia fresca, with a bite in the air and lots of rain.  I noted the grey crowds as I began my yoga practice this morning, looming heavy above the green canopy of the forest.  Continue reading “That Which Sustains”

The Negative Mind

One of the gifts of this world is that every person we encounter is a reflection. We are each a mirror for all the beauty and chaos encompassed deep within our hearts.  We are each shining examples of our one flawed, shared humanity.  When we notice a particular attitude exhibited in the people around us and it triggers a reaction in our own hearts, that is information telling us that we are holding a similar fear or emotion within that needs our attention.

Number Two 1968 Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) 1892-1990 Presented by Curwen Studio through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P06117
The Negative Mind is represented by the number 2 in Kundalini Numerology

Continue reading “The Negative Mind”

Kali, Tearing Down Time

techo

This is the pretty roof of the room I call home these days.  On Sunday, said room began to smell a little mousey.  I cleared out all my things, shook out and then refolded each item of clothing and each bag and suitcase, yet did not find a mouse.   My friend correctly guessed that some small animal must have crawled between the tiles on the roof and the bamboo on the ceiling before Spirit left the body behind.  Unfortunately, there was nobody who could tear the roof apart for a day and a half, so the smell permeated the space I sleep and practice.

I can’t help but bring Kali to mind.  Kali, the  Hindu goddess of destruction and time whose devotees dance in graveyards and spread themselves with the ashes of funeral pyres.  Continue reading “Kali, Tearing Down Time”