Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Humour, the salve for our thoughts.

All things happen in their own time.
Bringing fierceness to your practice only brings you out of the practice.
Bringing patience and a sense of humour on the wings of curiosity and self appreciation, bring you deeper into the experience, whether it is a pose, a conversation or the weather.

Happy Spring... apparently the lion isn't quite ready to go ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's a Yogi's life

We all go through an array of experiences - some of us are parents, some are not; some have jobs, some are in school; some have large families; some are on our own. At the end of the day we all go through life. And life brings with it the things we love and the things we hate. It brings us happiness and sadness. It brings us lovers and enemies.

Yoga may seem a great mystery, but really it is quite simple. It is a science. YOU are not your body or your mind, these are tools you use to experience the world. You are the energy. You need the body and the mind to work well in order to animate your energy well. If life is full of struggle and you do not eat well, sleep well or move through a large range of motion, your body looses it's ability to animate. If the mind becomes attached to the distractions outside of it, then the hearts whispers are not heard.

Yoga is the movement of the body through broad ranges to keep it healthy and to bring our attention into the body. The breath work teaches us how to calm ourselves or energize ourselves. The mind follows the breath. When we still the mind, we can hear the whispers, the desires of the heart.

The community of Yogis give us the support to follow those whispers, those desires. And that is what makes a great life.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Last night I sat knitting and watching Justice League. There is a Justice League character named Fate. In the context of stopping the Android from killing Lex Luthor. Fate offers to help the Android saying, his purpose is to help others understand their purpose. Pretty deep stuff for a cartoon. Has me wondering about the struggles all these writers must endure.

I have been in this process of discerning my own purpose for many years and what I have come to learn is that it is like peeling away the layers of an onion. There are hints, clues that when peeled away lead to a little deeper understanding. The desire to be successful often clouds the very understanding I seek. as I review materials I have, I came across this comment, 'You can come to understand yourself better by looking at your darkness than by sitting in your light.' Looking into my darkness. The times when fear won over love. Those are definitely the times when the purpose driven life is not ruling the day.

Easter is a time to renew. This Easter, I will renew my commitment to courage and I will just try my best to let the light of my heart rule the day.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

If the shoe fits...

What do you think... any of these apply to me?

extroverted, theoretical, logical, spontaneous, rational, innovative, intellectual, open, independent, curious, enterprising, analytical, clever, enthusiastic, venturesome, inventive, energetic sociable, optimistic, non-conformist, creative, freedom-loving, charming, able to get enthusiastic, self-confident, communicative, capricious, inconsistent, outgoing

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


The other night I was speaking with my Guru over the phone. He noted that one of the most important elements of practice is patience. I have been working with a particular practice for five years and in response to just wanting to finally put my thoughts on paper I had written, "All I really want is...." my own impatience for this process.

I notice this same impatience with group classes. As I guide people through chaturanga (lowering plank), they cannot wait to move into up dog and then down dog. I don't know if they even realize they are rushing the movement. Or are they just so certain of where we are going, they get there. Because of my own nature, I will then try to change the end, to keep them curious, less certain.

Funny...I can understand so very poignantly the desire to be certain. And yet I know inherently that the real practice of Yoga is a practice of continual curiosity. And that is what I love about it. Letting the mind rest while one just experiences the movement is the mind body connection we hear so much about. It is freedom.

Try it... let me know if you agree.

Photo: Yogarupa Rod Stryker in Upward facing Dog.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Striking the right Balance

When I was growing up, I was often told to remember the Golden Rule. It seems like such a simple directive, but it can be so very complicated in delivery. In my homeland, there is currently dissension between the nurses who want guaranteed nurse to patient ratios, and our Government who are trying to balance a budget and in fact have shown a deficit budget without any change to funding for health care.

So who is right? And better question - who is happy?

The nurses argue that they are overworked and that patient safety is at risk. I think we would all agree that we would like the best possible care should we be in need of health care services from our nurses. I know we would all agree that we would not want to be overworked and overstressed in our jobs. If we were to do unto the nurses as we would like have done for us, we would agree to implementing these ratios.

On the other hand, the government is trying to balance a budget. More money in health care means we will all be eventually paying more in taxes. I am quite certain that with the highest tax rates in Canada, none of us want more tax burden. If they juggle the funds, then we need to do without another service - what service? What are we willing to give up for nurses to be less stressed and patient safety to be improved?

No matter who wins, there will be no winner. Should the nurses get their ratios, they will also get hit with the same tax increases or loss of programs or bigger deficit. Should the government win this fight, the patients will suffer with disgruntled and disengaged nurses who feel stressed and overworked.

The only way to truly find the win for everyone is to stop fighting and start trying to find a solution TOGETHER. That means being willing to admit ones own idea may not be the only or best one.

What I do know for sure is we will never be happy when we are at war with someone else, even if we are right.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Good, Bad, Ugly

This was not a good day... or was it?!?

The weather has been wintery, not the weather of spring. The sun has been elusive for awhile and I am anxious to get outside. I repeatedly think the thought, "when it warms up I will stop watching TV and snacking." And then I feel guilty and self critical for watching TV and snacking as the wind howls and the rain pounds on the glass. This period of darkness, of resistance and negativity though reminds me that the sun will come. It has to. That is the cycle and all things continue to change. The sun will arrive, we will have some form of summer... eventually. Yet during this time of focus on what I don't want, there is no room to feel what I do.

Having an opinion, a decided idea, prevents me from further questioning. It keeps me attached to MY idea. Right now I am unhappy because I have a very strong idea that it should not be snowing and freezing rain on the first day of April. But if I let me mind consider the idea that maybe there is some benefit to this weather this late in the season. Maybe we will have a very short black fly season. Or perhaps there will be less fog this summer. Maybe the cold weather is creating the opportunity for me to empty my wood shed so I can expand it and fix it this summer. Maybe it is just weakening the roots so the next hurricane will take out that larger firs that are growing up into my view. Maybe, or maybe not.

The point is, I don't really know if this weather is a good or a bad thing. And as long as I hold onto my idea that this weather should not be happening, I am unhappy. Questioning it... questioning whether there is good to come from yet another snowstorm softens my grip and lets a little light of possibility to shine, my heart opens and then the love that hides in shadow of resistance can come out.