On Crying

09 Sep 2016
On Crying

“Crying is one of the highest devotional songs.  One who knows crying knows spiritual practice.  If you can cry with a pure heart nothing else compares to such a prayer.  Crying includes all the principles of yoga. ” – Kripalvananda   Swami Kripalvananda is the namesake inspiration for the well known Pennsylvania Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.   This Center was established by Amrit Desai, a disciple of Swami Kripalvananda and one of America’s first major yoga influences.  I don’t know what Swami Kripalvananda intended by this statement and my searches for commentary on the passage has produced nothing of note.  Nonetheless the passage has always hit me in.

Yoga and Emotional Intelligence

28 Jul 2016
Yoga and Emotional Intelligence

It was Howard Gardner’s 1983 book Frames of Mind that began to blow open notions of intelligence within psychology.  Gardner made the case that intelligence was much broader and applied to many more categories beyond just our reasoning or intellectual capacity.  In 1990 Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer created a model of emotional intelligence that extended over 5 categories: 1. knowing emotion, 2. managing emotion 3. motivating oneself 4. recognizing emotions in others and 5. handling relationships.   Daniel Goleman furthered this work in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence. Goleman states ““self- awareness – recognizing a feeling as it happens (emphasis his) – is the keystone of emotional intelligence”.  The.

Levels of Identity

21 Jul 2016
Levels of Identity

It was in a first year philosophy class that I first heard the famous Socrates quote “Know Thyself”.  I kinda thought I did.  I was a rural Albertan girl with all the hard work  values of a redneck, the social morals of an activist and the naive dreams of a hippie.  That sums it up right?  Almost twenty years now I’ve sought to embody Socrates words – words that have become an incantation of sorts living just beneath the surface of perceivable thought.  Like any good incantation the pursuit of self-knowledge bubbles up from the cauldron of my unconscious inciting questioning, feeling and understanding.  I am truly spellbound by it.

Expanding Possibilities, Liberating Life Force

14 Mar 2016
Expanding Possibilities, Liberating Life Force

One of the major contributions yoga can make to greater mental and emotional well being is its capacity to develop new ranges of feeling and expression. Like a tree that wants to grow into full expression, in the directions inspired by its natural ability, we also have a myriad of potential for feeling into and expressing our aliveness. But, like a tree forced to grow inside a box, we are hampered in our expression by cultural norms and expectations as well as our socialization. From a young age we are taught what kind of emotional expression is acceptable and will secure us the affection of our caregivers and peers. We.

Committing to Depth

10 Dec 2015
Committing to Depth

I like to indulge philosophy like ice cream – up to my elbows and for as long as possible.   There was a time in my undergraduate years that my day would be a continuous cycle of read, contemplate, repeat – alternating coffee shops and couches until I hit satiation point.  Which, like with ice cream, wasn’t until I reached  the bottom of a number of barrels of delicious flavours of contemplation.  There’s a part of me that relates to the archetypal scene of an ancient philosopher pouring over texts and scrolls which, except for the glow of the firelight, is enshrouded by darkness, silence and solitude. My undergraduate years are long.

Supermoon, symbolism and our collective shadow.

27 Sep 2015
Supermoon, symbolism and our collective shadow.

Tonight I drove just out of town to a familiar field to watch the lunar eclipse with my 6 year old.  I told her we were going to see the BLOOD MOON,  hoping to instil some excitement – she wondered if there would be rides there.  I told her “no it’s just a field”, which she thought was good enough because apparently she’d never been to a “field” before.  I talked to her a bit along the way about how the moon is always there to listen to her if she’s ever lonely, to which she replied “oh yeah?  So is the moon alive or something?”.  It’s so hard to.

Getting Grounded

04 Jun 2015
Getting Grounded

  There are so many things on deck in my heart that I want to write about – but this NEEDS to be written.  I saw this video today and it hit me so hard.  I spend a lot of time in my yoga practice and teaching on getting grounded – it’s a typical practice in yoga in general that is often paid lip service and has no real connection to an experience.  Yoga teachers encourage us all the time to “connect through our feet and get grounded” and this becomes a taken for granted instruction we all perform.  But what does it really mean?  Why is grounding important?  What is the experience of.

Grateful – The Natural State of an Open Heart.

08 Apr 2015
Grateful – The Natural State of an Open Heart.

One of my Enneagram teachers once said that the natural state of the heart is that of gratitude.   An open heart receives the impacts of life, moment by moment, like the ocean receives raindrops.  No rejection and no coveting of any single drop – just the absorption of the part into the whole. Like this, our heart has the capacity to open to suffering and joy with equal tenderness.  In fact, this is what it calls us to.  The secret of the heart is that it wants to feel everything.  It wants to be fully alive and learn all that it can from the trials and celebrations of life.  Our.

The Story My Body Tells

02 Mar 2015
The Story My Body Tells

  My daughter’s in bed, earlier than normal and without the usual tantrum episode that accompanies bed time.  The tightness in my chest has not yet release anxiety’s grip and my breath is thwarted by the anticipated stress of this time of night.  I can feel a slight tension pervading my whole body as some level of me braces for a standoff with my mini-tyrant roommate.  But she is sleeping, and as I start to believe that, I can feel certain liveliness tingling inside me from the rest of the day’s events.  My legs ache a little from work in the yard, and my eyes are beginning to feel heavy. .

Many People, One Mat

15 Jan 2015
Many People, One Mat

My mat sees many people.  Children, adults, saints, lunatics and tricksters – to name but a few.  Indeed, every time I step on my I am suprised by who shows up and brings their unique flavor to my practice.  I am talking, of course, about the vast assortment of “selves” within me that bring both brilliant variety and exasperating frustration to my life.  This “mosaic mind”, as authors Goulding & Schwartzcall it, is an accepted reality in many psychotherapeutic models and serves to make sense of the seeming internal contradictions most of us experience.This notion essentially points out that we have an internal “family” of various, sometimes conflicting voices within that all must honoured and heard.