Beyond Asana Blog
My weekly blog is a forum for contemplative inquiry into the intersection of yoga practice, traditional teachings, and real life.
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...
I often hear from students that they appreciate that I’m a ‘real’ person with a ‘real’ body. I’m not exactly sure who or what I’m being compared to when they say this, yet I do endeavor to be someone who teaches from my own experience of yoga and of life.
And I’ve always been very comfortable with the ‘real’ things we do in yoga, the abhyasa, the steady, dedicated effort we make, the concrete “actions” of yoga.
But a few months ago, I got a different message. I was journaling about one of the contemplations I’d offered to my Skillful Yogi members to clarify their focus for their practices...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...
"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.
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...
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.
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!
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.