• Embodiment,  Intelligence,  Practice,  Yoga in the Everyday

    The Will of Summer

    One of my spiritual teachers recently spoke of how summer is a time when the Will of nature can be most readily felt.  I’m sure we all can attest to this. Stand on the edge of any field in the vast Alberta prairies right now and you bear witness to ripe, burgeoning harvest.  Spend three minutes in your back yard and be serenaded by a robust symphony of bird song emating from trees bursting with life.  Watch the movement of any city whir in it’s summertime play – parks and ball diamonds a buzz of activitiy while chidren and motorcycles bellow their freedom songs.But, leaves are turning now, one by one as if counting the moments to…

  • Embodiment,  Inspiration,  Practice

    Being Grounded – The Deeper Meaning of Warrior II

    Before Christmas I wrote a post about learning to live the deep philosophy’s of the East and West through our yoga practice.  I believe that this will be a topic that will thread its way through my blog for as long as I write it.  Recently, I’ve been inspired by Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) and in this post, I will unpack this living posture so that it’s layers of meaning and impact can be seen. Warrior II It is possible to be in an asana without really being in an asana.  We have become masters of mechanically applying instructions for just about everything without actually participating or being present.  We can…

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  • Embodiment,  Inner Work,  Practice,  spirituality

    Living Compassion – One forward bend at a time.

    In my last post I introduced the process of learning how to embody wisdom.  In this post I will offer you one way to approach compassion through yoga and enact it as a living virtue in your practice or life. I find myself in a standing forward bend.  Today, it feels like it’s the first one I’ve done in a long time and my whole body is talking.  My hamstrings feel like over-wound guitar strings and my upper body feels tense and suspended over my legs like a marionette just waking up.  My breath feels constricted, like I’m wearing a girdle and despite having two feet planted on the floor I feel a little wobbly.   But,…

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  • Embodiment,  Practice,  Yoga in the Everyday

    Embodying the Philosophy of Yoga

    This is truly my favorite topic of yoga.  With the extensive wisdom that is available to us from yoga and other traditions around the world how do we go about not just knowing this wisdom intellectually but living it?  What I love about yoga the very most is that it is not about thinking, or figuring something out but being in the world.  On the mat, wisdom that is known in the mind can be enacted in the body.  My challenge to the yoga world, practitioners and teachers alike, is to ask ourselves what it means not just to pay lip service to concepts like compassion, balance, flow or grounding but to find ways to…

  • Embodiment,  Inspiration,  Practice

    Building Energy Through Your Practice – A Prelude to the Vibrant Life Retreat on August 7th

    There is nothing like feeling radiantly alive.  Having enough energy to engage your life, relationships and work in a healthy and balanced way is essential to wellbeing.  What follows is a practice for helping  you cultivate and recognize your natural vibrancy.  The practice is two fold.  First, we tune in to the frequency of our energy body, or prana, and second we then invite awakening to this body through a variety of exercises.Awareness:  Here we are basically changing the “channel” of our attention.   We shift our attention from the channel of thoughts, preconceived notions about ourselves and our body, ideas and concepts to the channel of direct perception of sensation in the body.  As we descend our attention and…

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  • Ego,  Embodiment,  Practice

    Be More Than The Stretch

        Stretching can be the home of the ego. In any asana the sensation of stretch has the ability to usurp the legitimate expression of all other sensations. The stretch becomes the dominant force, the loudest experience. Stretching the muscles makes us feel like we’re doing something, achieving something. It can become the embodiment of the “no pain, no gain” attitude that permeates our culture. Without awareness it can become habit to know an asana in terms of stretch to the negation of all other sensation. It starts to feel like we are not doing yoga without the stretch. What would it be like to experience asana from other perspectives? Take…