Courage

• August 7th, 2013

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Samyama Samskara

• May 15th, 2013

Special Mother's Day class. PYS 3.18 According to the great sage Patanjali, absolute perception of one's deepest habits and tendencies reveals all the moments--the previous lives, experiences, and circumstances--that led up to this. And what makes a yogi a yogi is that that understanding leads to greater compassion and understanding, not judgment.


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AUM–and the space between

• August 11th, 2012

The sacred sound OM is comprised of three sounds, which embody and evoke (and invoke) the energies of creation, sustenance, and dissolution. We tend to hanker for the A--the honeymoon, the beginning, the new thing, the new feeling. But all things must be sustained and nurtured, and thus be free to evolve and transform (this is true of all living things)...and eventually, in their completion/perfection, they fall away. Here is the fourth state, the space between that makes us so uncomfortable--the undone, the unraveled, the grey area. The unknown. But in yogic terms, it the silent, ever-present OM that is vibrating in all things at all times. It's the place where all things come together by letting go. In this sea of the unmanifest that all things are possible. In the fodder of what has fallen away, we find the infinite possibilities for what shall rise anew in the next cycle. Observe your asana practice for the rushing toward the next shape/form, the gripping for things to stay the same or perfect, and the resistance to letting go fully. Note how all asana embodies this sacred music--arising, evolving, and falling away into the subtle between-ness that eventually takes shape again in a new form. Dedicate your practice to the letting go of something that is moving toward completion and resting in the fourth state as the fertile soil from which something new is about to sprout.






Whatever It Is

• April 21st, 2012

We were talking about Savasana, the corpse pose, is the ultimate posture of the yogi. Most of us find our way to our mat, our practice, our Self inquiry in a committed, dedicated way when we have undergone some serious transformation that entails a letting go or falling away. Sometimes that falling away is an actual relationship or thing, whilst other times the loss is of a chapter or phase in our lives. The sacred Sanskrit alphabet begins with the creative sound Ah and ends with the complete surrender of Ha: Ah Ha! I get it! Ah ha! And our whole lives take place somewhere between the creation and the completion. So whatever it is--whatever IT is for you that you are ready to get, receive, let go, move past, get through...work with letting it go. By letting go, we are let in. Ah ha.


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Missing Nothing (live class!)

• November 24th, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! It strikes me that this holiday is as much about giving--offering our gratitude--as it is about being happy for what we have. And though it can be hard to feel thankful for some experiences and events in our lives, we  begin to cultivate grace when we acknowledge that the experiences of our lives are not in the way of our happiness...they are the way.  Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati defined yoga as the state in which we are missing nothing. As both the practice and the goal, this invites us to yoke ourselves to the present moment in all its richness, so we can stop wasting our energy (and our time, and our lives) by wishing our way back into the past ("I used to....") or the future ("Someday..."). If the muscle we exercise is "anywhere but here," then we get better and better at checking out and disappearing. Excessive hankering for something or someone else (including who it is we think we "should" be) creates a greater sense of lack...we feel we are missing something and so we seek it outside of our present embodied lives. This is indeed a practice, and in part it requires that we bow, reverently and humbly to the experiences of our lives as our true teachers and the keys to our happiness. But we can also interpret Guruji's words as a reminder that when we show up--fully--we don't miss what is actually happening in our lives. Don't miss a thing--don't tune out or run or hide or dismiss or ignore the rich tapestry of your life. Yoga is the practice and the goal of missing nothing--neither coveting what is not now/here, nor wishing one's way some time or place other than now. Direct intimacy with our lives fosters humility--a receptivity to all that IS...and in that receptive state, we honor the bounty and abundance of our lives. We honor the many teachers who help remind us of our strength, courage, compassion, patience, and light. Enjoy this lively class from the ladies of Yoga on Yampa, and may you find gratitude for your life exactly as it is...."

Here are the words for the chant we practice together in thanks to "the world itself...Honor this gift, your life."

Om sarva mangala-mangalye shive-sarvatha-sadhike sharanye tryambake gauri Narayani namo'sthu te


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Through The Veil Again

• November 2nd, 2011

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to men as it is, infinite

William Blake

The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (which in Old Irish means "summer's end")  was a celebration of the final harvest and the most significant holiday of the pre-Christian Celtic calendar. What we now know as All Hallow's Eve or Halloween was the eve of the Celtic New Year, a time of endings and beginnings in the eternal cycle of life. And so it was the movement inward, into the cold and the dark, that marked a new year. A new cycle. A time of harvest, purification through symbolic fire, and communion with all that is, was, and will be.

As the end of the lighter half of the year and the beginning of the darker times, Samhain was a sacred time when the veil that separates the living from the dead grows thinner and more more porous. It was believed that on this day, all those who had passed during the year would now, like a great harvest, make their way  to the otherworld, beyond the veil. Contrary to historical, religious revisions that emphasize evil and fear, the rituals and ceremonies of Samhain honored and paid homage to their ancestors and all that is supernatural--that is, beyond what is considered normal or explainable. Food was offered, windows left ajar, doors opened, and candles lit for those beings who were making their journey between the veils. They hoped to aid, support, and nourish those they had loved and lost.

Through the Veil is inspired by my own practice during this beautiful season of change, letting go, and drawing inward. Learning to see through the veil means learning there are no endings, no borders, no boundaries. There is no separation. Only the One. Yoga. And at this holy time of year, the boundaries we experience between what is gross and what is subtle are more transparent. Like my ancient ancestors who celebrated at the fires of Samhain, I honor this shift as the marking of the true new year--spiritually, psyschologically, emotionally, and physically. What has been unconscious is now available, what has rusted on the vine can now drop away to be fodder for what is coming. The "veils" are veils of consciousness, of awareness and recognition. What has been in the dark, and where can we enlighten ourselves? And so we are invited to light a candle, open a window, and see what has been unseen so we can honor and bid farewell to all ancestors--every being, every thought, every word, and every action that we embody in our living legacy as ripe fruit in this moment.

Enjoy this extra long practice--with special intensive emphasis on standing balances, which teach us to draw energy from our roots--often the back leg, which is unseen--but can be felt. When we are firmly rooted and communing with our roots, our past, instead of being stuck in it or running from it, our life energy moves seamlessly, nourishing our expansion, growth, and creation. Let the asanas give you the opportunity to make peace, cultivate gratitude, and refine your senses so you might see beyond the mundane and into the sacred that is always around you. Happy Samhain, and may the year ahead be blessed with courage, faith, and vision


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Through The Veil

• November 1st, 2011

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to men as it is, infinite

William Blake

The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (which in Old Irish means "summer's end")  was a celebration of the final harvest and the most significant holiday of the pre-Christian Celtic calendar. What we now know as All Hallow's Eve or Halloween was the eve of the Celtic New Year, a time of endings and beginnings in the eternal cycle of life. And so it was the movement inward, into the cold and the dark, that marked a new year. A new cycle. A time of harvest, purification through symbolic fire, and communion with all that is, was, and will be.

As the end of the lighter half of the year and the beginning of the darker times, Samhain was a sacred time when the veil that separates the living from the dead grows thinner and more more porous. It was believed that on this day, all those who had passed during the year would now, like a great harvest, make their way  to the otherworld, beyond the veil. Contrary to historical, religious revisions that emphasize evil and fear, the rituals and ceremonies of Samhain honored and paid homage to their ancestors and all that is supernatural--that is, beyond what is considered normal or explainable. Food was offered, windows left ajar, doors opened, and candles lit for those beings who were making their journey between the veils. They hoped to aid, support, and nourish those they had loved and lost.

Through the Veil is inspired by my own practice during this beautiful season of change, letting go, and drawing inward. Learning to see through the veil means learning there are no endings, no borders, no boundaries. There is no separation. Only the One. Yoga. And at this holy time of year, the boundaries we experience between what is gross and what is subtle are more transparent. Like my ancient ancestors who celebrated at the fires of Samhain, I honor this shift as the marking of the true new year--spiritually, psyschologically, emotionally, and physically. What has been unconscious is now available, what has rusted on the vine can now drop away to be fodder for what is coming. The "veils" are veils of consciousness, of awareness and recognition. What has been in the dark, and where can we enlighten ourselves? And so we are invited to light a candle, open a window, and see what has been unseen so we can honor and bid farewell to all ancestors--every being, every thought, every word, and every action that we embody in our living legacy as ripe fruit in this moment.

Enjoy this extra long practice--with special intensive emphasis on standing balances, which teach us to draw energy from our roots--often the back leg, which is unseen--but can be felt. When we are firmly rooted and communing with our roots, our past, instead of being stuck in it or running from it, our life energy moves seamlessly, nourishing our expansion, growth, and creation. Let the asanas give you the opportunity to make peace, cultivate gratitude, and refine your senses so you might see beyond the mundane and into the sacred that is always around you. Happy Samhain, and may the year ahead be blessed with courage, faith, and vision.


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Equinox

• September 22nd, 2011

Explore the balance between light and dark in this LIVE class, recorded at the weekly divine Yoga on Yampa. In honor of the autumnal equinox, we pay homage to the aspects of the feminine that are infrequently honored or supported in a culture that is primarily focused on the Sun qualities: action, extroversion, etc. Kali and Durge give us pause, as the great mother forces of death and war. We call forth these inner qualities as a way of tapping our innate abilities to meet the challenges we face and let pass what is no longer serving us (and thus inhibiting life). As we move through sequences that engage more lunar qualities, we call forth the ferocity and tenacity of Durge, who teaches us to remain aware and present as we battle the self-defeating or corrosive thoughts that hold us back. And as our "moon salutations" unfold and evolve in phases, punctuated by solar sequences, we get the the chance to feel and experience the balance between doing and being, efforting and surrendering, feeling and thinking, the seen and the unseen. Let this practice help you call forth your whole Self, harness your inner strength and courage so you may find freedom from habitual thought, word, and action. Fierce and benevolent. Courageous and vulnerable. Be it all!


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YoGo

• September 6th, 2011

No more excuses about why you can't have your own daily practice. You don't need to practice 1.5-2 hours...7 minutes is all you need, says my teacher Mark Whitewell. But here is one way to accommodate your schedule. YoGo is yoga for those of you on the go...comprised of distinct sequences, you can skip around and tailor your practice. Whether you just have time for Sun Salutes and some Backbending, or you want to move through a full 2-hour class, the YoGo episodes are one more way for you to develop an empowered personal practice. I recorded the segments in a variety of places--by the turquoise blue Pacific of southern Taiwan to the foggy San Fran Bay. Each sequence invites you to more deeply consider the lessons and qualities of the asanas. Following the Intro, the track times are: Opening/Warm Up: 4:04 Sun Salutations: 18:10 Standing/Balance: 40:16 Backbending (heart OPENing!): 1:12:00 Hips and Forward Folds: 1:40:00 Savasana cues: 2:06:00. Future YoGo episodes will offer different versions of sequences as well as inversions and arm balances...enjoy!


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Haddock House Fun

• August 16th, 2011

A little extra thank you to you patient subscribers who have stood by as we ironed out the technical difficulties! From our Haddock House session in July...there is a lot of shuffling early on, and some occasional barking, courtesy of some furry friends. Enjoy!


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