Beyond Asana Blog

My weekly blog is a forum for contemplative inquiry into the intersection of yoga practice, traditional teachings, and real life.

A Holiday Wish Dec 23, 2020


Thank you for welcoming me into your practice, for your trust, and for the honour of accompanying you on your journey in some way.  The opportunity to support dedicated practitioners like you is a privilege I don't take lightly. 

Thank you for all the ways you stepped up to meet the challenges of this year. Thank you for all the ways you cared for yourself and others. Thank you for bringing more goodness and light into the world.

This holiday season, I wish you moments of peace, tenderness, levity, and continued appreciation for the blessings in your life.

 

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Advent Calendars Are Not Just For Christmas Dec 17, 2020

 

Being from a Jewish family, we never had an advent calendar growing up, but I just love the idea of opening up a different little window to find a new surprise each day.

This morning, I woke up with this exact feeling.

Isn't it true? We open our eyes every morning not knowing exactly what the day will bring.

Today, like most days, I pretty much know my schedule, my appointments, my to-do list. But here's what came to me as I thought about the advent calendar:

What if you approached every day as a mystery waiting to be explored?

What if you entered into each experience, every conversation, every task without expectation, as a new adventure, not quite sure of what was in...

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 Insightful Dec 10, 2020

 

Insight: The power of seeing into a situation; apprehending the inner nature of things.
 
Sounds like a worthwhile skill to build, don’t you think?

Insight takes us beneath the surface of a situation, conversation, or quandary. It allows us to penetrate deeper and become sensitive to nuances, motivation, and energy. In doing so, it brings the discrimination and clarity needed to shift our limiting reactions, habits, thoughts, and feelings.
 
I experienced this just today. Someone came to me with a choice that felt unfair. My habitual reaction would have been to look for someone to blame. And I did go to that place of blaming (internally)...

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Held in the Heart Dec 04, 2020

 

I first became acquainted with Jim Dine's hearts as a freshman in university. I bought a print of this one, "The Heart, South of Naples," from the shop at the Hirschorn Gallery in Washington, D.C. 

 

 

Even back then, years before I knew anything about yoga, I was drawn to the energy and passion it conveyed, the tremendous activity taking place yet contained, as if life itself were being held in the heart.


All these years later, I still love to imagine the fullness of my life experience being held within a larger perspective. I envision the whole of my lived reality - all the ups and downs, ins and outs, upheavals, hopes, dreams, hurts, disappointments -...

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Nov 26, 2020

 

As we near the end of year that has been challenging, uncertain, and even terrifying for so many people, I realize that it may not be so easy to feel thankful.

It’s said that gratitude is the quickest route to the heart. It’s the perfect day to try it out and see if it works. 

Take a few minutes today to look around, to look within, and see what you can feel thankful for. Here's my partial list:
 

  • My health and the health of my family
  • Nourishing food
  • A safe living environment
  • My spiritual path
  • An astoundingly beautiful planet
  • All the wonderful people I get to teach yoga to
  • The ability to make a living doing what I love
  • My daughter's teachers and school...
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Your Bedrock Nov 19, 2020

 

I recently had a visceral experience of the effects of ungrounded-ness on the treadmill the other day. Just as I was ramping up my speed and incline, ready to go for it, the machine suddenly hesitated, just a teeny bit.

But this tiny hiccup through me off completely. I went from feeling free and powerful in my stride to cautious, wary, and unsure. My body went from being ready to launch forward full steam ahead to hesitating and holding back so I wouldn’t fall.
 

This little incident made me aware of how even the slightest uncertainty about the ground beneath us can have a big impact on our momentum. It reiterated how important a steady, reliable support is in order to...

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Restoring Our Light Nov 11, 2020

 

As we lead up to Diwali this week, the Hindu celebration of light, I’m thinking about the triumph of light over darkness. Diwali is a celebration not only of light, but of abundance of all kinds, of the restoration of dharma, or righteousness. 

Of course, this is not the task of one day or even one lifetime, right? It's ongoing.

As yogis, we play an active and deliberate role in this work. We take on the auspicious responsibility of aligning and re-aligning with our inner light. This light is the essential goodness that yoga teaches shines bright within each and every human heart (even though it can be so thoroughly forgotten, or buried beneath such pain,...

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I’ll Meet You There Nov 05, 2020

 

Out beyond ideas of wrong and right there is a field. I'll meet you there.

- Rumi

 
What hasn’t changed?

When everything around you is uncertain, what stays the same?

Things being what they are, the world being what it is, we all have a chance to find out.

Sat is the term in yoga that refers to the unchanging truth. That which is true at all times in all places.

It’s the transcendent field beyond right and wrong, beyond all duality.

It's the spacious, all-embracing awareness of wholeness and goodness that has no opposite.

It’s the abiding and constant presence at the very ground of your being.  

Let’s meet...

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Meeting the Moment Oct 29, 2020

 

Here’s the funniest thing I read online today:

“I wish I could be the person I thought I was when I bought all this produce.”
 
Ain’t it the truth? 

I could substitute the end of that sentence for…

…When I had that incredibly peaceful meditation
…When I balanced in handstand in the middle of the room longer than ever before
…When I did that deep backbend
…When I had that sublime Savasana.
 
Sure, it’s important to remember our peak experiences in yoga, to strive to bring inner peace, calm, and strength, to all we do.
 
But life has a way of derailing those sublime states, doesn’t it?
...

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Nature's Exhale Oct 22, 2020

 

Autumn is nature’s exhale. Can you feel it? The energy of dissolving and releasing is all around us. If you’re feeling called to let go of certain things, whether by choice or by circumstance, it might help to know that not only aren’t you alone, but you’re right on time and in tune.

I’ve always found it apt that the Hindu festival of Navaratri – the nine nights dedicated to honoring the Goddess - coincides with Autumn in the Western hemisphere. The trees themselves reflect the colours of the Goddess in their red, orange, and yellow leaves, don’t they?

After all, like the Fall, so much about honoring the Goddess is also about letting...

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