Beyond Asana Blog
My weekly blog is a forum for contemplative inquiry into the intersection of yoga practice, traditional teachings, and real life.
There’s always a moment on retreat where a palpable shift happens. I go from being like a butterfly flitting about from flower to flower to being more like an eagle perched on a branch, quiet and focused.
It feels at once like an extravagant and luxurious gift to myself, and at the same time like the most basic, necessary nourishment for my soul....
In a workshop this past weekend, longtime teacher and author Richard Rosen said something that echoed my thoughts on about longevity in yoga (I’m paraphrasing here):
Progress in yoga is not linear. This is especially important to remember as we continue over time. We might go from a to b to c, then back to a, and even find ourselves at minus a. The important thing to remember is that this is natural. Plateaus in yoga and even times when we seem to regress in our practice are to be expected. Furthermore, these are usually positive because it means we are shedding old patterns that no longer serve us, and with that have the opportunity to discover new...
I welcome and celebrate forward movement in yoga. Like melted snow rocking its descent down the mountainside, yoga is a dynamic journey with purpose, direction, and flow. It’s a continual unfolding of the truth inside.
Without the momentum of moving toward greater levels of authenticity, freedom and independent happiness, we’re likely to feel that we’re just spinning our wheels in yoga practice (and teaching).
We crave results, signposts that tell us our practice is actually working for us in the tried and true arena of REAL LIFE.
It’s the gifts of our practice that propel us forward.
Greater consciousness in relationships is rewarding.
Before you enroll in another yoga training or professional development program, make sure you’ve checked off all these boxes:
1. Confirm that your teacher is available and happy to offer you personal guidance and one-on-one support during the length of the training, whether in person or by distance.
2. Check out your teachers’ teachers, know whom they’ve studied with. Consider it a red flag if the faculty of your training does NOT willingly and openly share the history and background of their own learning.
3. Make sure that your teachers are also continuing students of yoga themselves, and that they are committed to their own ongoing and active development...
Was it just a coincidence that I (unknowingly) scheduled my teachers’ retreat at the same time that Wanderlust comes to Quebec? Maybe.
Or it might be the universe’s clever way of inviting me to share what I believe to be the differences between a yoga music festival and our small group intensive.
Unfortunately, you can’t attend both. That’s why I have included 7 reasons you may want to choose Wanderlust and forego our intimate intensive planned at the same time… and 7 reasons you may be better served by attending our intimate, sacred and nature-based retreat. The choice is always — of course — yours....
Okay, I finally can talk about Spring without feeling like a fraud. Here in Southern Quebec, it is now officially warm enough, the earth thawed out enough, to call it Spring. The birds are singing, the fiddleheads are ripe, my 3-week cleanse feels easier, and I'm even starting to consider changing over my closet.
It's time to talk about spinal twists.
Although twists are not necessarily “big” poses, don’t be fooled. Even though sometimes it might feel like not much is happening, they are deeply detoxifying, rejuvenating and stimulating. Twists are powerful and fortifying not only for the spine but for the organs as well. After a good twisting practice you...
I’ve loved this mug ever since the stationery-store wandering days of my youth.
Where I live now we have real turkeys. Wild ones. While they have their own charm, there’s no denying their clumsiness. They’re big, heavy, and slow, really awkward fliers.
We all know what its like to be held down by the turkeys that show up in our own lives everyday. They’re the little annoyances that nag us, snags that need untangling, and misunderstandings that need to be clarified. They’re the myriad frustrations that tighten our jaws, hunch our shoulders, restrict our breathing, and contract our energy.
And of course, there are also the inner turkeys that sabotage our...
Yesterday, I did one of the least favorite parts of my job. I practiced with my own yoga video from my new online program. The way I did it (and actually got to enjoy it) was this: I pretended I was listening to someone else. Complete detachment. Vairagya.
How are you living your yoga today? How does your practice play out in the REST of your life?
It’s worth revisiting that living one’s yoga is not a new idea. Even when it was a renunciants’ path, yoga was wholistic – it addressed and involved all parts of oneself. And, yoga has always been an integrated practice, designed to be lived.
WHOLISTIC: relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete...
Here's last week's part 1 on the topic of yoga-related injuries that addresses common causes of yoga-related injuries and tips to avoid them.
Thanks to research and investigation, not to mention the woefully infamous 2012 New York Times headline, Can Yoga Wreck Your Body?, the conversation around yoga-related injuries has greatly expanded over the past several years. Notably, through Matthew Remski’s WAWADIA project, many long time practitioners are now sharing stories that document and explore the multi-layered and often nuanced psychosocial and cultural dynamics at play in both acute and chronic yoga-related injuries.
What to do if you get injured during...
A recent New York Times article pointed out how convenience has become a major driving force in our consumer economy. Our choices in the marketplace consistently demonstrate this. We’d rather use something easy and simple (Netflix) over something cheap (network television).
Furthermore, because of economies of scale and the power of our buying habits, convenience begets greater convenience. The more we buy from Amazon, the more powerful it becomes, and therefore it can make itself even more efficient and easier to use, which leads us to value it even more.
I believe a similar dynamic is at work in yoga, though its about benefit and importance, rather than...