Beyond Asana Blog
My weekly blog is a forum for contemplative inquiry into the intersection of yoga practice, traditional teachings, and real life.
The sun started rising during my morning practices today. First, there was a dim light. Then, a gorgeous soft peach that filled the sky. Now, it's a muted golden orb above the mountains.
It occured to me, the sun never says to the earth,
"Are you ready for me? Ready for another day?"
And the earth never says to the rising sun,
"Could you hold off for a little a while?"
Life is happening, whether we're ready or not.
Time relentlessly moves on, however we spend it.
Our relationship to time, therefore, is really about our relationship to our lives, isn't it?
Here are some questions to roll around in your mind today:
- How does yoga help you make peace with time?
The cords of wood we got this year are really wet. You can see and hear the water burning off when we start our fire every morning. Today, our logs held a lesson for me.
This morning's meditation was not what I would call quiet. My mind flitted back and forth from the focal point of my mantra to one of several streams of thought it was decidedly more dedicated to than quieting down. It's okay. I KNOW it is STILL meditation even when my mind never quiets down. I KNOW it is STILL working.
Furthermore, and maybe most importantly, if 27 years of practice has taught me one thing it’s that struggling or trying to MAKE my mind quiet only works against me.
In the La Presse article last weekend, I think Ève Dumas landed on several important qualities of my approach to yoga practice and teaching.
Slow, lasting, profound, are some of the adjectives she used to describe it,, and also the phrase “almost anachronistic,” which I admit I kind of loved.
I agree with all this.
The longer I teach, the more old school I feel. Maybe I’ll start to call my brand of yoga “retro yoga.” I’ve been looking for a catchy name.
Yesterday in our Power of YOU program, I gave a talk on reigniting passion for practice. The unglamorous work of continuing to show up.
If you’ve hung with me long enough, you’ve...
The companion to my daily morning contemplation and journaling is...a big, strong cup of coffee with...get ready...a generous helping of half-and-half.
I'm grinning as I say this because I used to think I should hide this habit of drinking coffee from my students, I would feel it wasn't yogic or that I wasn't acting in integrity.
I remember once on a retreat one of my students came up to me at breakfast and accusingly said, "YOU drink coffee?" As if I should be ashamed of myself for such egregious non-yogic behavior.
For a while, I admit I played into it. I felt ashamed for treating my nervous system and digestion this way.
Truth be told, when I do a 3-week cleanse once or twice a year,...
Happy New Year 2020!
Usually at the beginning of a new year I LOVE to create my goals, intentions, and visions for the coming months.
Like many of us I’m sure, I’ve been working on these over the past few days.
But something feels a little different this year.
I haven’t felt as strongly about all this as I have in past years. Until yesterday I wasn’t quite able to put my finger on it.
Today it feels clear.
What about the unexpected? The surprises? The gifts? The opportunities not yet known? The mystery and the magic?
I want to leave space for all of this in my life. Yes, I have goals and intentions. I plan to do my best to work toward them.
But I’m also...
"May you always know the truth and see the light surrounding you."
I couldn't have said it any better than Dylan (obviously), but this is the blessing in my heart for each of you, and all of those you hold dear.
Isn't it true, that in the end, only love is what will remain? No matter what our accomplishments, our failures, our gains, our losses, love is the essence of what makes life worth living. It's the underlying ground of our own being that will always be there to welcome us, to embrace us, to hold us. It brings sweetness to all the flavours and colours of our lives.
Love is the source of all the great virtues we can experience and share, kindness, generosity, patience,...
One of the steps toward turning the page and beginning the new year on the highest note possible is reflecting on the year that's passed.
This includes looking back on your blessings, your challenges, your accomplishments, and all the things that were not accomplished too.
Today, I invite you to turn the energy of peace we love to talk about at this time year inward, toward coming to terms with all that is left unfinished in your world, to make peace with all that remains unaccomplished and unresolved, all the works-in-progress that you will not see come to fruition in 2019. (Sure, we still have some time so don't limit yourself too much, but do be realistic.)
Reflecting back in...
The challenge of stepping fully into our personal power is one I know a lot about. It’s one that’s been a defining theme of my yoga journey, actually.
You see, power is not something that’s important to me. At all.
As a double Libra, my nature is the airiest of the air. I’m all about harmony, beauty, peace, and justice. I want everyone to be happy. Power just doesn’t interest me very much.
As a young person, I was known to be wishy-washy. It felt natural for me to subdue my will, to not take a stand for the sake of
Keeping the peace,
Wanting to please,
Not making waves,
Or ruffling any feathers.
I spent yesterday reviewing and relishing all the many things, people and circumstances I am grateful for.
A healthy body,
A healthy family,
A thriving livelihood doing work that is deeply meaningful to me,
The many, many wonderful colleagues, teachers, and students I am connected with,
Surroundings that nurture me,
Fresh, wholesome food to eat.
And on and on and on. Gratitude. An essential practice for all of us wishing to experience more love and appreciation for this precious life.
As usual, the question on my mind is, "and so?"
How do I live this? How does gratitude help me become happier? More fulfilled? Better able to serve?
Perhaps the more important inquiry for me, for all of us, is...
Every astrologer whose ever read my chart has told me I have the chart of a teacher, there’s no getting around it. Yet, I’ve also ALWAYS seen myself as just as much a community leader as a yoga teacher. It’s a role I love and take to heart because it’s crucial. It’s been critically important for me, and to those I serve. We all need to feel heard, seen, acknowledged, and supported in order to thrive in ANY area of our lives.
When I hear the stories of these longtime practitioners,...