• Emotional Intelligence,  Inner Work,  Practice,  spirituality,  Yoga Culture

    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…

  • Consciousness,  Ego,  Embodiment,  Inner Work,  Practice,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Culture

    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…

    Comments Off on Expanding Possibilities, Liberating Life Force
  • Consciousness,  Ego,  Yoga Culture

    Body Positive Yoga – Another perspective in an ongoing dialogue.

    This post is my contribution to the attempted dialogue about body positive yoga involving Melanie Klein of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and Kathryn Budig. For background, Melanie’s “Open Letter to Kathryn Budig” can be found here (An Open Letter to Kathryn Budig) Melanie, I feel impelled to reply to your Open Letter to Kathryn Budig as I believe there are few essential points that have not been touched on. You’ve presented one part of a very large issue on celebrity culture in yoga, body image and privilege. The first point I want to make is this: you state that Elen Bahr’s tweet “Say NO to Kathryn Budig as…

    Comments Off on Body Positive Yoga – Another perspective in an ongoing dialogue.
  • Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality,  Yoga Culture

    Silence, Vigil and the Connecticut Shootings.

    I wanted to write a post on the Connecticut shootings that reflected some critical thought about the tragedy.  I wanted to respond to some of the reactions and opinions that are spilling out all over social media.  I had wondered what it might look like to offer a spiritual perspective on the shootings, and the abhorrent treatment of virtual reality headset children all over the planet.  I sensed a tirade attempting to make its way in to print that for a few moments felt like my most important offering  to this world of heartbreak.  That tirade has swelled in me a few times over the last few days, and yet…

  • Book Review,  Ego,  Inspiration,  Practice,  spirituality,  Yoga Culture

    Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

    The following is by Guest Contributor Brian Leaf, M.A. on the Keys to Happiness –  the author of Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi draws upon twenty-one years of intensive study, practice, and teaching of yoga, meditation, and holistic health. Visit him online at http://www.Misadventures-of-a-Yogi.com. During my first two years studying at Georgetown University, I realized how deeply stressed I was, and that though I knew how to get As, I knew little about how to be comfortable, relaxed, and happy. I wanted desperately to feel more at ease. I wanted to feel more loving and more free-spirited. So I started doing experiments to learn how to live. pandora earrings,pandora…

  • Consciousness,  Ego,  Non-duality,  Yoga Culture

    Wanderlust – A Meditation in Darkness and Light.

    What can I say about Wanderlust?  I write this with some hesitation because not all I have to say is full of the love and bliss that was the incessant mantra of this festival.  Carl Jung said “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious”.   It became clear to me over the last week what it really means to seek enlightenment by imagining, conceptualizing and talking about unity, love and bliss – sadly, I think, at its own expense. Don’t get me wrong.  The festival had some lovely components – wonderful music, lectures and earnest practitioners gathering in community as an expression…

    Comments Off on Wanderlust – A Meditation in Darkness and Light.
  • Consciousness,  Practice,  Yoga Culture

    Dubstep yoga: An experiment in grounding in the primal.

    This past weekend I experienced  the blending two movement genres that made for a tantalizing experience outside of the mundane.  Dubstep yoga was conscious movement class in the basement studio of Edmonton’s premiere superfood eatery – Noorish Cafe.  The class began with an introduction to the dubstep electronic dance genre before we warmed up our bodies with a vinyasa yoga sequence lead by Edmonton teacher Graham Parsons.    The class was filled with the typical ocean of female 20-something lulu-warriors with a few young men nestled amonst us like red smarties in a box of monochromatic eye-candy.   Trendy, urbanite yoga culture fascinates me.   Hoards of beautiful people line studio’s like artwork…

    Comments Off on Dubstep yoga: An experiment in grounding in the primal.
  • Consciousness,  Yoga Culture

    Vinyasa, sweat and consciousness.

    Last weekend I went to a yoga class in Edmonton with a lovely yoga friend.  I knew going in that this studio was known for its physically challenging, vinyasa flow style.  Eternally – and obviously morbidly – curious I decided to explore the class despite it being significantly different than my usual style of yoga.  I spread my mat out near a window overlooking a construction site that was surrounded by various tributaries of traffic and pedestrians.  The room was already hot from the sweaty class before ours and I thought opening the window may offer some much needed respite in the coming hour – I was right.  The studio was a spa-like masterpiece draped in all the most…

  • Consciousness,  Yoga Culture

    A Violation of Satya (Truthfulness)

    Ok, so I’m a liar. And my ceiling told me so while I was staring at it at 3am last night. In a response to the now notorious article in the NY Times about how yoga can wreck your body I retorted that a yoga practice devoid of awareness – like the ones proliferated in studio capitalism around the globe – is bound to create injury. And then I did it. I lied. Not intentionally mind you, but lied nonethess. I said that through awareness we can avoid yoga injury. And it’s not true – because injury happens. And no matter how aware we are, there is always something that…