Breadcrumbs in Dark Times

Breadcrumbs in dark times

A great article I came across thanks to the lovely Julia McCabe…..

Breadcrumbs in Dark Times: any minute now, everything will change.

By Shavawn M. Berry

“Allow dark times to season you.” ~ Hafiz

When the Going Gets Tough…

These days, the rough patch we’re navigating has turned into a very long haul. I believe we’ll weather the changes. I believe we’re strong enough to do so. Still, it’s easy to fall into despair and wish that our journey wasn’t so rife with trouble.

Right now, we’re in a thick soup of changes that rival any changes we’ve weathered in human history. The shit’s hitting the fan — environmentally, economically, emotionally — and everywhere we look, people are losing it. Shooting up the joint. Setting themselves on fire. Totaling their cars. Blowing up their personal lives.

Now Entering Transformation Station.

Transformation is not optional right now. It is required. We cannot continue to fumble blindly in the darkness, unaware of the light we possess. We must solve the problems we’ve created.

And although this awakening is painful — like road rash, or a broken bone that hasn’t been set yet — we can’t wait for rescue. Not this time. We are the people we are waiting for. We must step up and take the reins. There is no one else. Just us.

What has always worked, no longer works.

It’s been heartening to hear that Marianne Williamson is running for congress. She told Larry King that we cannot make decisions for humanity based upon economics alone.

I agree. Capitalists are pragmatic by nature. They will never look at the long term consequences of their policies. They look at the bottom line, the current returns, the profit margins — without ever considering whether their approach is actually sustainable. In a world of limited resources, it is not.

As a result, we’re now tasked with learning to live more softly, reverently, and carefully.

Be here now, even if the thought absolutely terrifies you.

Continue reading here:

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2014/01/24/breadcrumbs-in-dark-times/

{Can you feel it?}

 

 

Modern Yogis

Clara Roberts Oss yoga teacher

This is an article By Krys Hansen

Modern Yogis – Clara Roberts-Oss

 

I may be a yoga teacher but there are days when I just want to follow someone’s else’s lead for my yoga practice… Which is why I love online yoga studios such as Clara’s practice yoga online site.

It was using My Yoga Online that I discovered Clara’s classes and I just fell in love with the strong and playful sequencing. Her classes are challenging, and the transitions are often creative. It wasn’t too long before her classes were the only ones I had saved to my watch list. I am so excited to be featuring her as a Modern Yogi as I believe her playful and yet spiritual approach to the practice is the perfect approach in our society.

How long have you practiced yoga, and how did you start?

I studied dance in school but didn’t appreciate the competitive nature of the dance community. I’ve always felt that dance was my way of communing with the Divine. A good friend found the Jivamukti Yoga studio in NYC and thought I would love it, which I did. It was all the aspects of dance that I loved minus the competition. That was 13 years ago.

Share three lessons yoga has taught you.

Just three? The practice has taught me so much!

Be kind to yourself. Let go of judgements because it doesn’t serve or make it any easier.

Less is more. This has been a big one for me. On a physical level, learning to move from my energetic body versus my physical body has been transformational. Exert less energy and all of a sudden you’re more grounded, feel less fatigued and the practice is much more meditative. Off the mat, when you exert less you are able to observe more. You’re able to step back and see the bigger picture easier–so that means being less reactive and more responsive. It’s been a game changer! Mind you, it’s always a work in progress.

Stay inspired. Do things on/off the mat that truly uplift you because guess what? It’s all yoga. All things can give you a deeper connection to the yourself and Self, if your intention is clear. I used to think it was just what happened when I was on my mat but not anymore.

How often do you practise?

Asana? Four times a week depending upon how much I’m teaching. If I have a full schedule (16-20 classes a week) then I practice asana less, to conserve energy. I do more pranayama and meditation to even it out. I try to do something daily to connect to myself and Self.

Do you meditate?

Yup! One of my favorite things to do. Gets me grounded and clear.
What do you find most challenging about yoga or meditation?

Making the time when I’m traveling. It’s harder to maintain the routine when you’re in transit.
Your favourite yoga pose and why.

Ooooh, this changes every 3-6 months. Right now, it would be halasana/ plough. It’s been great for taking my awareness inside. My back body has also been asking for a lot more opening lately.

Name one book that changed your perspective.

Hmmm… again a tough one. There have been so many. What I’m rereading right now and LOVING is Paths to God by Ram Das. It’s his lectures on the Gita at the Naropa Centre. A ton of gems in there.
The other book that comes to mind is, Tantric Quest by Daniel Odier. I found this to be the most comprehensive book on Tantra. After reading it, I was able to go back to the other books on Tantra and have a better grasp of them.

Best piece of advice?

Stay open, let go of preconceived notions of yourself, what the practice is suppose to be about and life, in general. The surprises and the ‘ah has’ come when you let go of expectations. The hard part, it’s easier said then done.

 

 

A few things, as a new teacher, to chew on…

Yoga Teacher Training

Advice for New Yoga Teachers

During my vinyasa trainings, people have asked me for advice. I thought I would share it with you too 🙂

A few things to chew on as a new vinyasa yoga teacher….

1) Keep it simple.
Keep everything you do while you teach as simple as possible, your sequence, your language, your music. You are learning a new language, learn the nouns, verbs and such before you jump into conversational yoga. You will appear more confident with your students and they are more likely to trust you.

1a) Speak Slowly.
Speak even slower than you think you should. New teachers are excited about sharing what they’ve learned and that excitement tends to make them nervous and that nervousness tends to speed up the cuing, the breathing and soon enough people are moving so quickly there’s no way they can be breathing with integration. Breathe with your students, speak painfully slow—usually that makes you speak normally, versus very quickly. Schylar Grant offered using a metronome at home to practice speaking slowly. Carolyn Budgell recommends recording your voice and listening to it. I recommend taping your foot quietly or using the beats in the song to give you a sense of timing. The important thing is, be conscious of your speaking speed, it is a large part of what creates the Bhavana (mood) of the class.

2) Have patience and compassion towards yourself.
The first few years are hard. You are going to make mistakes and people are going to give you attitude. Try not to be hard on yourself or your students. Learn from your mistakes and trust in the process and know that it gets easier.

3) Get off your mat as soon as possible.
As a new teacher, it’s fine to practice the sequence with your students but ween yourself off the mat as soon as possible. You are more useful to your students if you’re watching them. This is why I encourage new teachers to have simple sequences, so that they don’t need to be doing it with the class in order to remember it. Elaborate sequences may seem cool but does it ultimately serve the students if their teachers are paying more attention to remembering the sequence than watching them?

4) Own the space.
Be loving yet hold your ground. This is your classroom, be confident in the choices you make with lighting, temperature, music. This one was especially hard for me to learn. I started teaching very young. Older women liked to give me hard time by complaining about the music, the temperature and talking in class. They were some of my greatest teachers. They taught me how to stand my ground, believe in my choices as a teacher or change them if need be. Which leads me to…

5) Your students can be your greatest teachers.
Observe who triggers you in class. They are usually either echoing something about yourself that you don’t like or are not proud of. For me, those women where echoing my own feelings of self worth. Who was I to teach people? What did I have to offer? Observe what arises with those students and silently thank them for the lesson. Try and stay compassionate towards them and yourself while in the room. Then work with the triggers by meditating or talking to a therapist/friend about it.

6) Develop a consistent home practice.
This is going to feed you, especially during times of stagnation in your teaching. Your home practice is not a time when you’re developing your class sequences, I like to think of it as my upkeep. I do the poses and pranayama that my body really needs for the day. It doesn’t look like a vinyasa practice, it’s more therapeutic. It changes daily depending upon what I need and how I’m doing.

7) If you do nothing else in your own time, MEDITATE.
This was a game changer for me. I was initiated into a few years back into Neelakantha Meditation practice and had to  pledge to sit 20 min every day for a year and it hooked me. This will feed you as a human and a teacher on many levels. You will be able to access compassion, strength and remain grounded in most situations. Please start today! Start by sitting for just 10 min daily and begin to increase it when you feel ready.

8) Practice the sequence in your own body prior to teaching it.
You should know how the sequence feels before you share it. If you make it up on the spot, you are more likely to forget it. I tell new teachers to teach the same sequence for a week or two so that they can focus on watching their students instead of remembering the sequence.

9) Practice different styles of Yoga
There is so much to be learned from different lineages of Yoga. It’s important to experience other ways of moving and to remember what it’s like being new at something. I find it helps me understand my students more. Two of my most influential teachers, Shiva Rea and Constantine Darling, incorporate different lineages into their teaching, giving me as the practitioner, a richer experience.

10) Create a Teacher’s Practice.
This was another game changer for me. When I moved to Vancouver eight years ago, I was invited to a teacher’s practice. I had never seen that before. We sat around in a circle and co-taught (round robin style). We picked a peak pose and created the flow together. It was an informal space where we asked each other questions, gave each other feedback on our asanas and execution. I grew as a teacher like I never had prior. It also builds a stronger kula/community amongst teachers which fed our student kula exponentially. Invite any and all teachers, no matter what style or what studio they’re from, there is always something to learn.

11) Don’t stop being a student.
Take other people’s classes. Attend teacher trainings. Continue to learn. We are students first and foremost. I look at teaching as a way of sharing things that excite me. Continue to feed yourself so you can continue to share.

and my last one for today….

12) Don’t take yourself too seriously.
As my father says so beautifully, We are all bozos on this bus. I try to think of myself as a facilitator. I am here to facilitate my students journey into themselves. I try and create a space that is safe for them to explore their inner landscapes. Teaching is not about me, it’s about them. It’s an important one to remember. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how cool your sequence is, whether a ton of people told you how great you are or if your playlist worked. Instead ask yourself, did people leave feeling more connected to themselves, more quiet, more introspective? To me that’s the sign of a good class. And if it didn’t happen, so be it. I’ll try again next time.

 

Learn more about my  Yoga teacher training, My 200 hour yoga teacher training or my 300 hour yoga teacher training and contact me if you have any questions

PS.

To see my latest yoga playlists follow me on spotify

 

 

Autumn Equinox

fall equinox

The autumn equinox,

this year September 22nd, is my favorite time. We begin to move out of high energy output (summer) into a more introspective period. We begin our descent into our spiritual cave/basement and reflect on what we’ve seen, heard, and shared with the world. This is when we can internalize our experiences and make them our own. In the coming months, as nature goes back underground, we do the same. We spend more time indoors and under the blankets. 

I love setting intentions to help harness and focus my energy in a given direction. So I put it out to you, What do you want to explore and delve deeper into in the coming months? What part of your internal landscape do you want to discover? Uncover?

Write them down and put them on your altar. On the winter solstice, read them again and see where your intentions have taken you.

The image that comes to mind during this time of year is someone in a cloak with a lantern descending into a cave.  I imagine myself sitting in a cramped basement surrounded by shelves and shelves of mason jars with mysterious contents within them. I’m choosing which jars to open and which to mix together. This is the time to tinker with what we believe, what we feel and how we want to contribute. This is the time to ask the big questions. It also the time to be patient. We plant the questions in our hearts and wait for them to germinate.

One of my favorite quotes of all time:

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

The point is, ask the questions, continue to explore the internal landscape and see what sprouts in spring.

 

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

 

 

A beautiful take on Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness


I love coming across beautiful and simple ways to describe…well…just about anything. I found this in Donna Farhi’s awesome book “The Breathing Book” and wanted to share.

I think it’s really important NOT to repress or ignore those emotions and thoughts we aren’t proud of. It is vital to get to know them intimately as only then will our relationship to them truly change. We are whole…a whole lotta things and if we don’t get intimate with ALL aspects of ourselves, how do we expect to change/find peace/be better people? 

 

Cultivating Mindfulness.

“To mind the breath is to make a decision. It may be the most radical decision you have ever made in your life. The second you choose to mind your breath you have decided that this present moment, this very moment, is worthy of your full attention. The instant you do this you have begun to extricate yourself from the hold of the past and the pull of the future. You are living your life as today rather than yesterday or tomorrow.
This awareness we are attempting to cultivate, by necessity, must be choiceless. It means that we stop deflecting, correcting, and manipulating, our perception to suit out conceptual ideas about how we think we should be ad how we think other people should be. It also means we open ourselves to the way our life is rather than how we imagine it should be. Of course this is not the predilection of human beings. We;re sure life should be a certain way and when it inevitable doesn’t turn out as we had carefully planned we feel righteous anger or justifiable disappointment. Choicelessness is an extremely important principle to understand because mindfulness is not about reaching an idealized state of mind. The ultimate goal of mindfulness practice is not to attain a fairy-tale composure of sweetness where negative thoughts cease to exist. If you were to sit for just five minutes and watch the parade of jumbled and negative thoughts that dance on the screen of your mind (judgement, anger, and jealously being likely contenders), you would realize…that such a goal is rather unrealistic. Neither should choicelessness be confused with blind or passive acquiescence to unacceptable or unhealthy situations or behaviors. It does mean that we see things as they are instead of embracing or dismissing our perceptions, holding onto things we like, or rejecting the things we dislike.
The other reason I emphasize the importance of entering mindfulness practcie which choiceless awareness is that the very moement you stive for an ideal ego state which you call “good” you have simultaneously rejected another part of yourself which you call “bad”. This rejected part of you doesn’t just disappear; if unattended it may exist autonomously, unconsciously driving your behavior so that you make the same mistakes over and over gain. It is thus best to place the shadow squarely before you where you can attend to it while doing your mindfulness practice rather than attempting to outrun it as it lurks behind you. You need not attempt to stop your thoughts; you need only to change your relationship to your thoughts, feelings and sensations. In the very act of looking clearly and unflinchingly at your feelings, however unsavory they may seem to you, you can begin to understand their root. If you relinquish embracing or dismissing, you allow life to do what it has always done–to change.”

Just breathe

Just Breathe by young girl

breathe_by_sibayakSome simple and oh-so true words….

I hope they inspire you to breathe

Clara

 

“Breathing affects your respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, muscular, and psychic systems and also has a general effect on your sleep, memory, energy level and concentration. Everything you do, the pace you keep, the feelings you have, and the choices you make are influenced by the rhythmic metronome of your breath.

As you are challenged with the increasing levels of psychological, physical, and biological stress, the internal metronome that determines the quality and state of your breathing and health may be set at faster and faster speeds. You may have the feeling that your life has become like that of a hamster–endlessy running on a little wheel, with no way to stop an get off. You say you feel “stressed out” or “burned out”, and the tension and anxiety that accompanies that all-too-familiar state of over-load seems to be undermining your genuine desire to take care of yourself. You may remember a time when you were full of energy, and wonder where that time whent and how you can recover it. In looking for a solution it is wasy to get caught up in details, in theories, and in complicated strategies, for we very seldom explore the easiest and most fundamental concepts. The process of breathing lies at the center every action and reaction we make or have and so by returning to it we go to the core of the stress response. By refining and improving the quality of our breathing we can feel its positive impact on all aspects of our being.” 

–Donna Farhi, The Breathing Book

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

 

 

2013 New Year’s Intention

new years

Om Tat Sat are three mantras that are found in Bhagavad Gita of Sanskrit origin. Om is Brahm’s mantra, Tat is Parbrahm’s mantra and Sat is the mantra of Prambrahm. If translated in English, this would read ‘Three Mantras of Complete Salvation’. One does not merely have to recite them but also understand their meaning and try to manifest it in their lives. Om is the priest or God and every mantra starts with his name.

Understanding Tat Sat

Tat refers to the ideology that God owns everything. When a person does anything, they have to do it selflessly without wishing for any fruit in return. Since everything is God’s, man must keep this in mind when looking for liberation. Sat means that all actions must be done truthfully. Sat also refers to the satisfaction of the One Supreme Being. When every duty is performed with complete honesty, it leads to satisfaction of that one deity that is above all.

What can I let go of?

In these verses, a question is posed about letting go of things and freeing yourself. A man wonders what he can possibly let go of to feel lighter. In life, one has to stop clinging to things that make one feel caged or imprisoned. By letting some things go, one can feel lighter. Life becomes brighter and more spacious once those things are gone. And who knows, this change might even make the heart sign out of liberation and joy.

What can I let go of?

What will make my load lighter?

What am I clinging to?
May I set it free.

What do I want to welcome into my life?

What will create more space and lightness?

What will make my heart sing?
May I recognize it as it flows towards me.
Hari Om Tat Sat

Spring Equinox

spring equinox

There are different natural events throughout the year that mark some important times in the earth’s journey around the Sun. the Spring Equinox occurs twice a year, once in March and then in September. The Spring Equinox marks the time of the year when the center of the Sun is above the Equator directly. The word ‘Equinox’ comes from Latin. On this day, the day and night duration is the same all over the world.

Mantra for the Spring Equinox

The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of Spring. We can associate this with goddess Lakhsmi. She is the Hindu goddess of beauty and fortune. This is the season when we welcome prosperity and goodness. The air becomes more beautiful in Spring as flowers bloom and colors spread joy all around. It is also the season of goodness as it marks the time for new beginnings. Spring is associated with starting over. Plants and trees start all over again during this time. They lose their leaves and flowers during autumn and get them back in spring. This is hope for you that if you have lost a part of yourself, you will soon get it back or something much better.

Just like trees get back their new leaves, this is the time when we should also start new things. I hope we all can analyze what we have learned since the previous Equinox. This is the time for us to see how we have come through the past six months. Just like trees, we can also start over and grow new leaves.

Take inspiration from the trees and get new foliage. This means that you can adopt new habits and let go of the old ones. If there are any people that you might want to let go of, this is the time to make new relationships, start a new friendship and work on those people who might need you.

A Chant for You

Goddess Lakhsmi holds a high place in Hindu scriptures as she is one of the Tridevi. Every woman is her emanation, which means that she exists in every woman. Sri Kamala Stotram says that Lakhsmi is present in every woman during her childhood and her old age. A prayer to the goddess asks for spiritual and material wellness. You can use the Spring Equinox as a chance for starting over and asking for things for this new beginning. Chant the praise to Goddess Lakhsmi so that she can bring with her goodness, prosperity, spiritual wealth and material wealth to your abode.

May you step out of your cave/spiritual basement and enjoy the coming light.

 

May we remember all the internal work we’ve done in the last 6 months as we shift from our internal worlds to the external world.

Happy Spring Equinox!

 

Here’s the chant we did today:

Om sreem hreem kleem kamale kamalalaye prasida prasida sreem hreem kleem sri maha lakshmyi namaha.

 

Underlying Vibration of all creation, abundance please, cherishing your lotus feet, be pleased Great Lakshmi Goddess, I bow to You.

Source: http://www.saibabaofindia.com/gayatris_and_other_mantras_for_help_in_daily_life_welfare.htm

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

To see my latest playlists follow me on spotify

 

 

Mantra to Ganesha

Mantra to Ganesha

Mantra to Ganesh

Lord Ganesh is the master of wisdom and knowledge. He is the remover of obstacles, and guardian of beauty, prosperity, grace and compassion. Lord Ganesh is the first deity to be reverenced in Hindu rites. He is a guardian of doors of houses and temples. He is the God that removes the internal and external obstacles of our success, and he is the one that grants the opening of your spiritual gifts. He is also the protector of all beings.

Stories about Lord Ganesh

There are many stories about this God as he is one of the most important Gods in Hinduism. There is a lot of speculation about his head and there is a story behind it too. It is said that Goddess Parvati, who is the mother of Lord Ganesh, carved a boy out of turmeric powder. Then, he breathed life into this idol. Lord Shiva, who is her husband, knew nothing about this. The goddess was bathing when her husband came home and Lord Ganesh did not let Shiva enter the abode. Shiva got angry and decapitated the boy’s head. Upon knowing the whole story, he went outside to get an animal’s head to replace Ganesh’s head. The first animal he saw was an elephant. This is why Lord Ganesh has an elephant’s head, which has become a mark of identification for him.

Hindu scriptures also narrate that Lord Ganesh wrote the Mahabharata. He was writing it as Vyasa was reciting it to him. They had a condition. Veda Vyasa would not stop reciting and Lord Ganesh would not stop writing. Another condition was that Ganesh would not only write it but also understand every word of this epic. According to traditions, it took both of them three years to complete this writing and recitation. When you look at Lord Ganesh’s idol, you would notice that it is broken. It is said that Ganesh broke his tusk during the time when he was writing the Mahabharata. During writing, his feather, which he was using to write, broke but he could not stop writing as it would break the condition between the two. So, he broke a part of his tusk and started writing with it.

Lord Ganesh in today’s World

Lord Ganesh is known as the Guardian of Knowledge, representing the sage, or a state of consciousness where a man reaches self-realization and plenitude of gifts. Today, he is very important for people who are out on a mission to look for themselves. It is very easy to lose ourselves in today’s world where everyone is trying to be someone that they are not. In this time and age, if you want to find your inner self and get in touch with the side of you that connects to your soul, you need to read up more about Lord Ganesh. From his stories, you can see that he is someone who would not give up. Having written the Mahabharata, he is also the protector of knowledge and traditions.

Source: http://humanityhealing.net/2012/01/om-gam-ganapataye-namaha/
 
 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event

To see my latest playlists follow me on spotify

 

 

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Oriah Mountain Dreamer the message

The Invitation

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

 

Learn more about her here: http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com/

 

PS.

Practice yoga online with me or catch me at my next yoga event