A Journey Through My Bodies

12 May 2010

In yoga we are seen as being made up of various sheaths through which passing phenomena arise and dissolve.  These sheaths or bodies are called koshas in Sanskrit.  In the non-dual tradition there are 6 koshas and one changless Ground of Being which is both distinct but not separate from the 6 koshas.  In the next few blogs I will be exploring these sheaths through my own experience and sharing what I find with all of you.  Richard Miller, a modern teacher of non-dualism, has delineated the koshas in the following way in his book Yoga Nidra:1.  Physical body (Annamaya kosha) – Awareness of sensation 2.  Energy body (Pranamaya kosha).

My Daughter Is A Downward Dog

07 May 2010

  My daughter, Rowan, is a crucible through which the depth of my yoga practice has been tested. She was only home a month when I was besieged by post partum depression, colic and sleeplessness. One desperate day I settled, with feeble energy, into downward dog. I breathed there, listlessly, and felt my exhaustion. I breathed and felt the sensations of pain, fatigue and self doubt live their way through my body. I breathed until I became completely and honestly present to the deep ache of motherhood – the ache of immense fear, anger, fatigue, confusion – and love.As I descended deeper into experience my awareness held this ache like.

Be More Than The Stretch

03 May 2010

    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.

A Reflection on Perfection.

26 Apr 2010

The following post is an article that I wrote for the Spring issue of the Yoga Bridge, the Yoga Association of Alberta’sNewsletter.   Perfection and Yoga: a ReflectionBy Pam Moskie Georg Feuerstein comments that yoga is a “vast body of doctrines and practices geared toward self-realization by means of perfecting the body.” As a recovering perfectionist, his use of the word perfecting got me thinking. Is self-realization a product of perfection? And if so, what does it mean to perfect the body? Whose standard of perfection is to be used? My Random House dictionary defines perfect as “having all the desired qualities or having no flaws or defects.” Yet, what is.

Your Value Isn’t Earned – It Just Is.

22 Apr 2010

We have an assumption in our society that tortures us. It is that we are broken and must be fixed, that we are fallen and must be saved – then we’ll be ok, valuable and happy. A self help empire has been built on the belief that we are not ok as we are. Religious institutions have gotten rich because of this belief. It pervades the microcosms within our society and the yoga subculture is no exception. Subtle though it may be I have often felt threads of this way of thinking in many of the classes I’ve attended. And, I’ve heard myself speak variations of it in my own.

What Falling Open Means…

18 Apr 2010
What Falling Open Means…

I have had a number of people ask me why I chose Falling Open as the name of my blog and website. Here is what it means to me:Falling Open : A descent out of the chatter of our minds into the experience of the present moment. A willingness to be aware of and experience all of life that is moving through us, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. As we begin to feel the moment through the perspective of our body the crowded mind begins to quiet. And spontaneously, in an act of Grace that is out of our control, the feeling of Openness arises.  It is the experience of.

Through My Humanity I Am Graced.

13 Apr 2010

 I just spent the weekend in an advanced Enneagram workshop with two of the most spiritually influential people in my life.  The Enneagram, in brief, is a system of personality typing which helps us to become aware of our habits of thinking and acting.  The premise in this system is that if we become consciously aware of our patterns then we do not unconsciously act them out over and over again.  Instead, through awareness, we are able to choose our actions.  In doing The Work, as it is called, we start to live more authentically and freer from our compulsivity.  As a One on the Enneagram I am prone to perfectionism and judgement of self.

To Question is to Love.

09 Apr 2010

At 9 years old I was shocked when I realized the degree to which we could do harm to one another. Prior to that time I had been exposed to all sorts of violence on tv, in movies and in rumors and hearsay. But it was the bullies at elementary school that saddened my heart enough to spur a life of questioning. At this young age I began to question the nature of suffering, how any so called benevolent creator could allow for such suffering and whether it was possible to be free of it. At the age of twelve, I was graced with the first glimpse of life without suffering. It.