• Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice

    Yoga and Emotion

    Sometimes I love to revel in how immensely practical yoga and spirituality can be.  As a very sentimental person I find myself in the throes of wild emotional forces within me daily.  For many years I had minimal ability to make space for this inner wilderness.  Instead, I would find myself angry, depressed or anxious, yet I knew intuitively there was another way to allow the forces to move in me without being towed under by them.  This way has slowed shown itself to me over time through my practices and most especially yoga. Yoga calls us to be completely present amidst awkward and difficult sensations.  We are asked to stay with the inner…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice

    To Be Fully Alive

    To be fully alive, expanding in all directions. This is my deepest wish, and my greatest fear. What does it mean to be fully alive?    This question has been haunting me in various forms for most of my life.  I can’t say that I’ve come to any conclusions about it.  Instead, I suspend the question in my heart and what rises in brief lucid moments is a vision of a radiant sun, expanding in all directions from the center of my chest.  I see it and feel it now and it brings soft tears to my eyes.  I sense that this symbol represents two things.   The first is that I can become…

  • Inspiration

    A Retreat Within a Retreat

    Yesterday I returned from a 4 day retreat with Sandra Sammartino, which was held at the Sylvan Lake Bahai Centre.  I’ve been to Sandra’s retreat twice prior to this one, but this one was a totally different experience for me than I’ve had in the past.  The retreat content was very much the same as others I’ve been to.  Sandra focusses heavily on the energy body, the unconscious and past wounds that become stored in the body as armour.  This is rich, deep, extremely intense work that, in the past, has been a life saver for me.  This time was different.  Not that the teachings are less important, but they felt…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Intelligence

    The Gift of Faith

    In my last post I talked about being voluntarily passive in the face of the forces of life.  Rather than the ego intervening to create (or at least trying) a more palatable inner experience we ask it to let go and be still in the midst of thoughts, feelings and sensations.  As I said, this is a “leap of faith” trusting that life will move in an intelligent direction with out the ego micromanaging it.  Below is another excerpt on Faith – truly one of our greatest gifts.  When I was living at the Salt Spring Centre of yoga for a summer I was surrounded by a devotional community dedicated to the…

  • 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…

  • Consciousness,  Ego,  Inspiration,  spirituality

    The Call of Something More

    There is something that calls us to Wholeness (or Spirit, God, Peace, Allah, Jehovah, Krishna etc etc) isn’t there?  I remember as a child feeling less like Spirit called to me and more like it bellowed holy renderings at the very top of it’s lungs.  At the time I recall feeling what Jeanne de Salzmann calls a “nostaliga for being” that I could neither articulate nor understand.  I felt a deep love and appreciation for the wonder of life that would sometimes overwhelm me.  Those were softer times when I could lay in the grass of my back yard and let those feelings flood through my relaxed body, tender heart and open…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice

    The Dead Season

    There is a moat around my house.  It is white and fluffy and it feels like it is imprisoning me.    A few months ago I wrote “The Dying Season”  about the transition of the lively summer season into winter.  We have now hit the true “dead of winter” and I have to say that I accept it with about as much grace as a aardvark with a broken leg stuck in a mud hole.  Inside, I feel smothered by the snow and paralyzed by the cold. Over the last few blizzardy days I’ve deeply felt the conundrum of the winter in me.  Nothing I do will melt the snow, bring back…

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality

    The Call of Something Holy

    I used to love Christmas.  I still remember the incredible excitment that used to reverberate in me as a child.  I loved the Christmas shows, the food, the gatherings, the music and the toys.  It was a unique time of year when I saw words such as “Joy to the World” and “Peace on Earth” splashed across walls and greeting cards.  But, as I grew older I began to notice a profound contradiction in what Christmas was said to be about and what really took place over the holiday season.  People really didn’t seem any more joyous, in fact, they seemed rushed and preoccupied.  I didn’t feel a greater sense of peace, but rather a…

  • Inspiration,  Practice,  spirituality,  Yoga in the Everyday

    Staying Connected in the Holiday Season

    The following is an article I wrote for the Yoga Association of Alberta’s newsletter – published December 2010. ———————————————————————————————————————————————— There’s nothing like the holiday season to remind us that our practice is essential.  This year, let all you’ve learned from yoga help you remain connected to yourself amidst the beauty and occasional madness of the season. Connect To the Aliveness Within – When the demands of the season begin to scatter your energy and wear you down let the life in your body call you home.  Tune into the direct perception of sensation and let the texture of the season help you – no matter where you are.  If you find yourself…

  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice,  spirituality

    We Must Become The Sun

    Can you enter your inner landscape the way that sunlight enters a garden? A garden is a dynamic, living system.  Within it resides plants and grasses of endless varieties, rocks and soil, insects and weeds.   None of these elements are more valuable to mother nature than the other.  So often, in our own inner garden, we wish to eradicate, fix, change, redecorate, renovate and throw out more things that we are willing to appreciate just as they are.  We label anger as a noxious weed, happiness as a rare and coveted flower, that niggling ache in our back an invasive cockroach.  We spend more energy trying to make the garden conform to some idea of how…