🏡THE YOGI HOME COMPANION🏡

Lily’s home with a little cold today. She’s resting in our bed like I used to in my parents' room. I remember days like the one she’s having today. Home. In bed. Warm. Safe. Quiet. Apart from the activity of the rest of the world.

It’s fitting too, because I’ve been thinking a lot about home since she asked me the other day, “What is home to you, Maman?” 

With the Jewish holidays rolling around it’s fitting, even natural, to reflect on family and celebrations past in the beautiful home I grew up in; The place that saw celebration after celebration, ordeal after ordeal, the building (feels funny to even call it that) that held the fullness of our family’s life day in and day out. 

And, later this week I’ll be going back to spend a few days in the ashram I called home for many years, and which still feels like it in the best sense of the word: the most welcoming shelter for my being, where I get to let down the pretenses I didn’t even know I was carrying around, where I get to come back to my “why?” and rededicate myself to the most important relationship in my life, the one with my spiritual path.

It’s there where I come back to myself. The truest, most precious homecoming.

The poet saints refer to the body as a house, a temple even, where spirit takes residence. But today I’m thinking about home in this way, as the structures that shelter my being , the places that provide the framework within which life unfolds, the comfortable spaces where I feel welcomed and encouraged to simply be as I am.

I’m creating a new feature for our Skillful Yogi membership, daily writings about the home that yoga provides – the teachings, practices, learnings, the structures - that support a life lived from a stance of inner connection. It’s called the Yogi Home Companion. 

It’s included with monthly membership to The Skilful Yogi. To find out more about the yogi home we’re building here, visit:

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membersh…

It would be a pleasure to welcome you.

m.me/barrierisman

Welcome, Late Summer

🌄Here we are...Late summer, as a distinct and separate season, has always made so much sense to me. It's a transitional season, one of consolidating our experiences of the summer and getting ready for fall, harvesting the gifts of the past season as we move into a new rhythm.🌄

I feel it this week. We're on the cusp of turning the page to yet another fresh start (I always say I'll take as many chances to begin again as I can get!)

As always, our practices are there to help us make our way through this transition gracefully and consciously. 

Energetically, late summer is a time to center, to ground, to get solid on our feet. Here's an 8-minute routine to do just that.

And, there's so much more waiting for you on our member site. 

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membersh…


💙THE BLUEBERRY REVELATION💙

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These Lac St-Jean wild blueberries, as any good Quebecer will tell you, are simply the best in the world. Sweet, flavorful, juicy, available only for a few short weeks a year, they are the textbook definition of a PERFECT blueberry IMHO. 

I’ve been snacking often on them as I’ve been planning for my 5-day women’s retreat next week. The other day, it hit me: this is the first ever Evolving Your Yoga retreat. 

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a book about deepening yoga practice for the past several years. It’s soon coming to fruition, so it made total sense when I realized (duh! of course) that this will be the first in-depth event where I’ll be guiding teachers into exploring the content of my book in their practice and teaching, on the mat and beyond the mat. 

It’s like that moment where you’re in a workshop and through skilled sequencing and instruction the teacher leads you, almost unknowingly, into a place you’ve never been before. And you realize you’re just there, in a pose you’ve never done before, or avoided, or were sacred of, or didn’t know how to approach. You just find yourself in it. It was kind of the same feeling yesterday. 

I’ve been so immersed in the journey, it took a moment, and some blueberries, to realize what I’m doing is actually part of arriving at my destination. Pretty cool.

WHAT IF...

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✨What if I KNEW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that EVERYTHING in my life was unfolding exactly how it was meant to be?

✨What if I had FIRM CONVICTION in the perfection of my life, right here, right now?

Now, I’m not saying there are not things that need to change, or areas that must evolve and shift. Not that there aren’t actions I need to take to encourage that change, evolution, and shift.

But, how would beginning from that place of unconditional acceptance change how I felt and acted? How I approached unease, difficulty, and pain?

I journalled here yesterday about some of those questions. Like many of us, I’m feeling the intensity of these times. 

Maybe it’s the complex planetary movements, maybe it’s grieving for losses in my own life own life, and those of people around me, maybe it’s all that and more.

For so many reasons, there are times when the inner waters get muddied, when we are left with hurt, disappointment, unresolved situations, when we find ourselves in unfavorable conditions in which we, still, must act, must take a step forward, even

Sitting with all this, asking the questions, what if, even with all this, I still TRUSTED that ALL THIS was perfect? That things were unfolding EXACTLY as they should be for the perfect and necessary evolution of my soul? How would that change my experience?

In that very moment, I spontaneously took a deep breath. My jaw released. My shoulders relaxed. I looked up and and felt caressed by the warm summer air, I felt the sun on my skin, I heard the crickets and the birdsong. The present moment rolled out the red carpet for me. All was exactly as it should be on a mid-August afternoon.

To welcome the quiet, abiding joy that tinges life with sweetness,
That reminds us of the underlying perfection among the muddy waters of unresolved situations,
That infuses our challenges with allowing, acceptance, and contentment,
That restores our trust,
THIS is why we practice.

Next week, we’ll be doing just that. Late summer is the IDEAL time for this. The light, the air, all of nature seems to conspire at this time of year to turn our attention toward the inner fullness, the ever-present underlying ground of our being. If you know it’s time, I’d be honored to have you join us.

Message me for details.

m/me.barrierisman

WHY I STOPPED TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE SENSELESS

Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of my oldest sister’s passing. She would have been 60 years old and a grandmother of two, soon to be three. 

It’s on days like this when I realize, yet again, that I will never be able to understand WHY certain things happen.

As anyone who has lost a close loved one knows, we’ll never be able to answer the question why? Why what should have been, could have been, is never to be?

Yet, while senseless tragedies will remain just that, I choose to believe that there is something else, something greater, something more all-encompassing than the pain and suffering (as well as the happiness and joy) in our lives. 

Something fundamental, unshakeable, and essentially good. 

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I don’t want to say much more about that right now. But what I do want to say is that believing in goodness, believing in something beyond our suffering is a something I choose. It’s a decision I make over and over. 

It doesn’t mean I don’t question, or doubt, or struggle with the enormity of the suffering and injustices in our world. It’s just that I have come to peace with the futility of trying to figure it all out. 

Instead, I humbly accept that there will be some things that will never make sense to me. I also accept that I have the freedom to choose what I wish to believe. 

This perspective allows tragedy and hope to coexist. 
It allows me to embrace the immensity of the ever-unfolding mystery of life rather than shutting down. 
Often, it’s what allows me to keep going.

Letting go where I need to,
Doing my work,
Cultivating meaningful, authentic connection
Being a support for those I love and serve.

And perhaps most importantly, it allows me to remember the preciousness of it all. To savour each moment and each day of this fleeting life, including the challenges, the difficult days, the tragic stories – it allows me to be with it ALL.

This is what our practices bring us. Truly speaking, is there ANYTHING more urgent, more important than being grounded in the absolute preciousness of our lives?

I’ll be welcoming a handful of women to the beautiful countryside of Quebec in a few weeks to become established in this understanding. 

To dig deeper, to regain true perspective, to recharge, to once again turn toward the light. 

If you know it’s time, I’d love to welcome you into our sacred circle.

http://www.barrierisman.com/teachers-retreat-summer-2018/

HOW CAN I HELP?

I woke up this morning with a question on my mind. It's one I've been asking for many, many years, decades in fact. It's this:

How can I be of service?

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Like many of us, my yoga teaching (and practice) has ALWAYS fundamentally been about serving. Offering some of what I've been so fortunate to receive on this path. Generously, wholeheartedly. 

It comes down to this: SERVING is what motivates me, what fulfills me, what lights me up. 

I KNOW this is true for many teachers out there. We do what we do out of gratitude for what yoga has brought to our lives, in many cases, even SAVED our lives.

Truly speaking, I think we are ALL here to be of service.

So, the question is - what gets in the way? How can we, as teachers, ensure that we're able to CONTINUE doing what we're here to do? What brings joy and meaning to our lives? 

The answer is no secret. We all know that the ONLY way to be of service to others is to serve ourselves first. Regularly, effectively. There just isn't any way around it. 

I serve my body with nourishing movement.
I serve my mind with meditation and timeless wisdom.
I serve my spirit by surrounding myself with natural beauty and uplifiting company as often as I can.

What are you doing today (and everyday) to fuel your ability to be of service? How are you serving YOURSELF?

In a few weeks, a handful of women teachers will join together to dive deep into joyous, transformative, and sacred practices. 

This intensive retreat is INTENTIONALLY placed to arrive at the end of the summer and before the busyness of the fall sets in. It's the PERFECT time to do the ESSENTIAL work of rejuvenating, restoring, and reconnecting. There is no better moment to serve yourself, to fill your cup to overflowing. 

Here's the info, if it call out to you, I'd love to welcome you into our circle:

http://www.barrierisman.com/teachers-retreat-summer-2018/

 

🛶TAKING THE LONG ROAD HOME🛶

Earlier this week my family and I spent the day on a canoe. As we made our way down the idyllic, meandering Missisquoi river I got to thinking about how THIS was once the ONLY feasible way of getting from point A to point B. 

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There were no shortcuts, no highways, just a river with its twists and turns, sometime placid and peaceful, sometimes unpredictable, feisty and turbulent. There was no option but to go with it. We couldn’t take another faster or more efficient route.

In yoga, I’ve never been all that interested in shortcuts or promises of quick and easy transformation. For one thing, when we’re talking about delving into our inner landscape, I don’t think there ARE any actual shortcuts. I think there’s much greater wisdom, and delight really, in taking our time to nagivate all the twists and turns in the terrain of our own consciousness, whether it be physically, emotionally or mystically.

I know we LIVE in a culture obsessed with quicker and easier, faster and more efficient (and I too will NEVER, EVER turn down a way to make a 20-minute meal taste like it took hours to cook), but when it comes to yoga I’ve ALWAYS been much more interested in meandering, in decidedly NOT rushing, in savoring every moment and morsel of the journey, in taking the long road home.

It’s not for all travellers, for sure, but if you, like me, delight in the journey I have the perfect event for you. There are just a few spots left. Contact me for details.

m.me/barrierisman

CONTINUING

If there's one thing I've learned in 25 years of yoga practice, it's this: THE most essential skill in yoga is simply THE WILLINGNESS TO CONTINUE. 

Being willing to begin again, and again.

To get back on the path when you've veered away. Without judgement. Without shame. 

To greet yourself exactly where you are with tenderness and love. 

To once again recognize and make space for your heart's deepest longings to surface.

To gently welcome yourself back into the light.

Willingness to begin again is a skill, for sure. Something we hone over time. And, it is BEST done in supportive, focused, and joyous community.

Yoga teachers: Our sacred, intensive, and transformational 5-day retreat is coming up in a few weeks. We have THE PERFECT group of seasoned yoginis coming together and there are a couple of spaces left. Message me if you know it's your time to dive deep in celebrating your practice, your path, and continuing on. It would be an honour to welcome you into our intimate circle.

m.me/barrierisman

🤔IS THE SKILLFUL YOGI FOR YOU? WELL, IT REALLY ALL DEPENDS ON HOW FINICKY YOU ARE ABOUT YOUR YOGA🤔

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I’ve been speaking with some of our Skillful Yogi members over the past few weeks and, not surprisingly, there's a common theme emerging: We’re here because we're selective.

We’ve been doing yoga long enough to know that not just any local studio down the road is the one we’ll frequent, that we're not going to be satisfied with just any ol' drop-in class. We've come to KNOW what works for us, what we need, and it may not be what ANY teacher in our city provides.

We’re choosy, and rightfully so. There’s a lot out there in yogaland, and the truth is, much of it just doesn’t quite cut it for us. We want the real thing, skilled teaching and authentic community that reflect a dedication to yoga as a path of lifelong inquiry and ongoing discovery.

It’s for us, the discriminating students, the savvy ones, that I designed The Skillful Yogi membership. Nuanced, rich, textured teachings and practices to not SIMPLY give you your fill of yoga, but NOURISH your practice, quench your thirst for inspiration, and provide space for community, connection, input, and guidance. 

"Since taking the on-line course with Barrie, I am back on track with my practice and I am experiencing a more engaged relationship with my yoga and I am full to overflowing with joy for that. I approach my mat now with eagerness and delight. Forever grateful."

"So grateful for this program and my companions on this journey."

"That is the first time I have practiced yoga outside in my own backyard! It was AMAZING! The feel of the earth beneath my feet was stabilizing, I felt I could remain in the posture so much longer... just savouring! As the practice progressed, I slowed... stewed in each movement, each breath! Thank you for this!"

"Wonderful... What an amazing way to start the day! I feel full!"

We’ve been having a great time in our Love Your Yoga! 21-day Program of Practices to Savor the Season doing things like:
=> ROADTRIP RECOVERY CLASS
=> LOWER BACK LOVE- A nourishing practice for taking care of sore backs and cranky SI joints
=> HARNESSING THE VITAL POWER BREATHWORK
=> EXPERIENCING NATURE AS A DHARANA
=> 3 INTRIGUING PRACTICES TO EXPLORE AND REFINE HOW YOU WALK ON THE EARTH

See the full program here:
https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/loveyouryoga21da…

It's all included with your monthly membership. You can jump in anytime and begin right away. Video classes, teaching talks, breathwork, journaling prompts, meditations and much more are waiting for you when you join The Skillful Yogi Membership. You’ll get access to our complete Love Your Yoga! 21-day program which you can do at your own pace, in your own time. 

$30CAD/month, no strings attached, you can cancel at anytime.

Questions? Not sure? I'd love to hear from you.

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membersh…

m.me/barrierisman

YOGA TEACHERS: WHAT DO YOU TELL STUDENTS WHO SAY THEY'RE TOO BUSY FOR YOGA?

I BET IT'S SOMETHING LIKE THIS...

As yoga teachers, we’re experts in offering the best of ourselves to our students. As mothers, daughters, sisters and wives, we know how to be there for our families.

Most of us are really, really good at taking care of others, supporting those we love and serve with our positive energy and the wisdom gained from our study and learning.

Yet, as we all well know, it can be harder to turn the tables and direct that love right back toward our selves. Don’t we see this dynamic not only in our lives but in the lives of our students? How easy, almost automatic it is to think that taking care of our bodies, minds and spirits is something that can (or even has to) wait until AFTER we’ve taken care of everyone else?

How do you respond when you see this attitude in your students?

When you observe your students running themselves ragged, or getting “too busy” for yoga, when they tell you they just have too much going on to show up for class, what do you tell them?

I bet it’s something along these lines:

"I get it. I’ve been there. And here’s what I’ve learned: THIS is when you need yoga the most."

When you make the space and time for your own nourishment, upliftment and rejuvenation, you remember how ESSENTIAL it is to serve from a full bowl, how smart it is to PRIORITIZE your own well being so you can serve the well being of those around you, how necessary it is to spend time going deep into your practices so you can guide others to do the same.

And, when you DO make that choice, aren’t you are EVER so grateful to yourself that you did?

As many of us have learned the hard way, it’s actually not even a CHOICE, because NOT taking time for ourselves is simply not sustainable.

As women, as teachers, as students, we need to carve out the dedicated, focused time to dive deep, to restore joy, to rekindle the spark of yoga. This is how we go from DOING yoga to BEING yoga. Again, and again, and again.

We have an incredible, seasoned group of women coming together next month for a deep dive into practices and wisdom. There are a few spaces left to join our sacred circle. 

Message me for details.

m.me/barrierisman

http://www.barrierisman.com/teachers-retreat-summer-2018/

WHERE THERE IS DHARMA THERE IS VICTORY (LET’S HOPE SO)

I was talking with a few other teachers recently about showing up for class on days when we are totally not feeling it.

I could relate. Hasn’t it happened to all of us?

Maybe someone in our family isn’t well, maybe we’ve got a ton of other things that need attending to, maybe we are just plain uninspired. For whatever reason, or for myriad reasons, we just Do. Not. Feel. Like. Teaching. Today.

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Here’s the thing:
One in our group said that when she takes her seat something begins to shift. Effortlessly. The class comes into existence and honoring her role as teacher completely changes her state. As she steps into the stream of her dharma the teaching not only happens, it’s often even better than usual. She’s in flow, effortlessly serving in the energy of the moment. Have you ever experienced this? 

In almost 20 years of teaching, the class I taught on the morning of November 9, 2016 was one of the hardest. I was in shock, fearful, I felt I had nothing to offer, no inspiration. None. But taking my seat, tuning in, I was not only able to serve my people, but to create a space of comfort and support that was a lifesaver for me that day, perhaps even more so than for my students. I don’t pretend it was only me, but my willingness to honor my role even when it felt really challenging definitely played a part.

I believe that when we’re fulfilling the responsibilities set forth by the roles we’ve taken on, dharma, righteousness, steps in to support us. When we are doing what we’re meant to be doing, I believe it IS the right thing, even when it doesn’t feel easy, or comfortable, or we don’t feel up to it. We’re learning the lessons we are meant to be learning, letting go of what we need to let go of in order to serve our soul’s evolution. When we’re performing the right actions, it IS victorious, regardless of how it looks to the world,

I believe that where there is dharma, there is victory.
I believe that light will triumph over darkness, that love will win the day. Eventually.
I believe that goodness will prevail.
I believe all this not because it’s easy or convenient, but because I CHOOSE to believe it.

But this choice takes work. It needs to restored and refreshed daily. This is where yoga comes in. This is why we need our practices now more than ever.

Hope and faith in the future is easier to sustain in community. This is why we need connection.

We’re building an online community of yoga teachers and students dedicated to upholding faith in humanity, in restoring trust in goodness, in shining their light to support their communities.

If you’re one of us, we’d love to have you.

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membership

THE VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP

"You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other."
---Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching

In my summer online program, we’re exploring how yoga invites us to learn from nature, to recognize and benefit from the timeless truths she holds.

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Honestly, I’ll never tire of contemplating nature as an expression of a universal intelligence, and as a conduit for tapping into that wisdom. Take, for example, this mountain near my house.

For some time, I’ve been fascinated by the fundamental paradox of our existence as embodied spirits, as physical beings with a subtle essence. And, how yoga helps us to dance between these two polarities of material and spiritual, relative and absolute, earth and sky, with grace and skill. Yoga gives us tools to enhance the enjoyment of our physicality as well as for our spiritual benefit.

Exploring how to fully stand on the earth while embodying the sky is, I think, central to our task as yogis. It’s something I’ve been playing with in my own practice for some time.

One recent insight: Just as earth is heavy dense and weighty, it also builds, it rises to meet the sky. The mountain has a base and it has a peak. The mountain is at once immovable AND a spacious vantage point from which to see. So we can climb the mountaintop and see out, feet firmly planted on the earth. There is wisdom to be tapped here.

This lesson is helping me a lot in the figurative mountains I’m scaling in my professional life. From the perspective of my climb there is, of course consistent, daily effort. There are challenges, moments of disappointment, overwhelm and fear.

Yet, I also see the perfect circumstances and the ideal network of support and encouragement that is making the climb so much more fun and exciting than I would have imagined it could be.

Looking down from the mountaintop, I see myself taking leaps, growing bigger, elevating, becoming clear, steady and grounded in exactly who I am and what I offer (and who I’m not and what I don’t), and empowering others to do the same.

If you’re being called to expand your perspective, to rise to new heights in your yoga and your teaching, we’re here to welcome you.

Our monthly membership is off to a fantastic start. You can jump in anytime for all-inclusive access at $30/month. There is no obligation whatsoever you can cancel at anytime.

m.me/barrierisman

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membership

 

 

As Featured in Stylight Magazine: The Best Yoga Studios in Canada

Representing Sutton!

I'm thrilled that my new studio and online practice community were chosen to be featured in Stylight's survey of the finest yoga in Canada.

Of course, ANY teacher and ANY studio is only as great as the students we serve. When I think of the amazing people who I've had the privilege of teaching (including our very own Prime Minister who came for class with Sophie one Sunday morning), I feel pretty darn blessed.

But when I multiply that by all the teachers, all the studios who are lighting up hearts in every corner of our fair land, well, that just blows my mind. Canadian yogis, Canadian yoga teachers, you rock!

Namast-EH

Oh, Canada.

From Saturday’s spent at the rink, to traversing mountaintops and canoeing wild rapids (not to mention all the shoveling in between), it’s safe to say that Canadians are a pretty active bunch. Hockey’s a given, but did you know that the country is also brimming with yoga fanatics? Justin Trudeau himself is basically a pro (well, unofficially).

Google Trends reports that the country with the highest number of people searching Yoga around the world is none other than Canada. And surprisingly, within the country, the most yoga-curious bunch comes from the Yukon! British Columbia, Lululemon’s birthplace, came in a close second to the territory. Read on for the full list...

WHAT’S YOUR SUMMER SPIRITUALITY?

Like many of us, I was instilled with a deep love of summer from a young age.

I remember my two older sisters faithfully sitting out by the pool, baby-oiled up, reflectors in hand, baking in the sun for literally hours on end.  I think this was their “self-care” before that had a name. Linda Ronstadt’s version of “Stoney End” will forever bring me back to those days (still a great song IMO.)

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Sunbathing by the pool, riding on the back of Harleys, hanging out at the beach. This was what living in the moment looked like on a summer day in suburban Long Island in the1970s. For my sisters, summer was dedicated to enjoying every precious moment of summer to the fullest.  

This was their yoga, so to speak. 

Of course, these things have little or nothing to do with ACTUAL yoga practice. But for them, summer was about ultimate freedom, celebrating life, savoring the moment. All very yogic pursuits, no?

And it rubbed off on me. I love the rhythm of summer. And now that I live where we have 6-months of winter, summer is even more precious. Each blossom I smell, every cricket I hear, every freshly-picked berry I taste is something I intend to enjoy fully.

Perhaps this is why I’ve always approached my yoga practice a bit differently in the summer months. Occasional outdoor meditation and asana practice OF COURSE, but so much more than that. Yoga helps me enjoy everything I love about summer MORE FULLY. Practice allows me to be MORE AVAILABLE to make the absolute most of more family time, more PLAY, more LIGHT, more BEAUTY, more LIFE. 

The light and breezy rhythm of summer is exactly what’s inspiring my upcoming 21-day Love Your Yoga Summer edition. 

Because your yoga should help you play more, and enjoy everything you love about summer EVEN MORE. And that becomes easier, even natural and effortless, when you feel good in your body, clear in your mind, nourished in your being. 

Our Love Your Yoga! Summer Edition is 21 days of practices to fully savor the summer begins July 1. It’s free with your $30 monthly membership to The Skillful Yogi (no obligation whatsoever, you can cancel at any time.)

Join us for a 3-week dive into the yoga of summer to celebrate the season, to be filled up with the best of life.

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/loveyouryoga21daypracticeprogram

 

The Path of Reunion

Here's a thought: Yoga is about returning to oneself in this deepest sense. During most of our day, our awareness and attention is likely (and necessarily) focused outward on actions, tasks, conversations. In yoga, we turn our awareness back into ourselves. The first thing we do in class is sit, close our eyes, and become aware of our breathing. We start to turn our attention inside.

During practice, through consciously moving the body and engaging with the breath, we deepen this inner connection.
Consider how your yoga practice offers you a conduit back to yourself. Through breath, attention, kinesthetic and energetic awareness, the practice brings us home to ourselves again and again.

As we forge the pathway of return, we might recognize how far we’ve allowed ourselves to depart. Our relationship with ourselves might feel long forgotten. Our inner being might seem distant and far away since we last took the time to connect within.

In those moments, it can be helpful to remind yourself to be present for the reunion that is taking place once again, right here and now. Acknowledge yourself for making the time and space for practice. And, be grateful for the practice itself as the technology that offers us passageway toward reunification with our most essential selves.

Presence, remembrance, and gratitude have the power to erase the sadness and replace it with sweetness.

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membersh…

Perfectly Imperfect

So, the other day I had the first of several photo shoots for my forthcoming book.

How many of the poses I did that day were perfect?
Uhh, none.

And, how many were completely and undeniably perfect?
Well, all of them.

The truth is, I’ll NEVER do a PERFECT asana.

Yet, truthfully, how could my asana be ANYTHING BUT pure perfection?

Just as I was mulling this over (because its something I’ve been thinking about for only, say, 20 years now), THIS shows up in the comments of my program (written by a student, of course):

"You are neither good enough nor not good enough. An apple seed is neither good enough nor not good enough, it simply is in the process of becoming an apple, and then falling from its tree, and then transforming yet again to become food for the earth and maybe even the tree itself. And yet we could never say of a seed that it is not whole because it is not yet an apple, nor could we call a rotting apple imperfect. It just wouldn't make sense. And so you are always in the process of becoming, and yet always perfect."

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥ ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥ Om Puurnnamadah Puurnnamidam Puurnnaat Purnnamudacyate Puurnnasya Puurnnamaadaaya Puurnnamavaavashissyate-2.png

This is it. We’ve arrived. Perfectly imperfect. And nothing but PERFECTION.

What if…

--You KNEW that your journey and your destination were both HERE and NOW, fully formed, fully perfect?

--You firmly believed that you, your life, your circumstances, were exactly how they are MEANT to be right now?

--You knew you’ve already ARRIVED at the ideal place in your life?

--You were convinced that the universe is ALWAYS conspiring in your favor to provide the perfect path for your soul’s evolution?

It’s why we do what we do, it’s our work, our passion, our quest, our path.

https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com/p/monthly-membersh

Being and Becoming

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Some teachers will tell you that yoga is not a path, that it’s a journey and not a destination. That it’s simply about being present to what is.

I partially agree with this. Yoga IS a way of BEING with ourselves, a practice of inner attention, a way of seeing and responding to what ‘is’, with a stance of compassion and unconditional self-acceptance. Yoga IS in the things we do that we call yoga. Yoga IS the practices.

But it’s more than that, because JUST that can feel aimless and undirected. And, for me, the gifts of yoga are cumulative and progressive.

Yoga is also a process of BECOMING. It’s a path we travel. Yoga sets us on a clear trajectory toward inner expansion, freedom, and greater consciousness in every part of our lives.

Yoga has a goal. And that goal is awakening to the fullness of our inner being and, from that experience, becoming more benevolent human beings.

Isn’t it the case that over time (even after a single class) we are shifted as people as a result of these practices?

Yes, Yoga is in the BEING, 
but it’s also in the BECOMING.

It’s the journey AND the destination.

And, of course, the two go hand in hand, it’s the BEING, the daily things we do, that lead to what we BECOME. The choices we make in the present moment feed the arc of expansive shift that happens over time.

As you look back on your yoga life, what shifts have you experienced? How are you different? Are you becoming a KINDER person? More compassionate? More accepting of yourself and others? How has your life been made richer by your practice?

Where is YOUR practice taking you – moment-to-moment AND over time?

The choices we make today determine the way we evolve yoga over time. It’s not haphazard or random, it’s an intentional journey. And, we all need to be accompanied with a supportive framework along the way.

We need guideposts, checkpoints, a sounding board, and encouragement to ensure that what we are doing is, indeed helping us to become who we wish to be.

We need DAILY, FRESH, INSPIRED support for both the day-to-day ways we practice AND for the long haul – for continuing down the path toward becoming, integrating our yoga, living it more and more fully.

This is what we’re creating in my Skillful Yogi Online Practice & Study community. It’s a welcoming, respectful home for teachers and continuing students who honor both the journey and destination, the practices and understanding, the being and becoming.

If this integrated approach to yoga resonates with you, I hope you’ll reach out to me to learn more.

m.me/barrierisman
https://barrie-risman-yoga.teachable.com