• Embodiment,  Emotional Intelligence,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice,  Uncategorized

    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…

  • 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,  Inner Work,  Practice,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    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…

  • 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
  • Embodiment,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    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…

  • Consciousness,  Inner Work,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    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…

    Comments Off on Supermoon, symbolism and our collective shadow.
  • Ego,  Embodiment,  Nature,  Practice,  spirituality,  Yoga in the Everyday

    Skinny dipping in the ocean

    Yesterday I stripped bare on a secluded beach on the West Coast of Canada and threw myself in the ice cold ocean.  I had to shed it.  My clothes, my better judgement, the ought to’s and shoulds of culture that weigh on me daily like an ascetics hairshirt.  I had to strip it down.  The cloak of expectations and duty to a social order that wants to break me of my wildness.  I had to become naked and swallowed by sea so I could emerge a starfish, an anemone, a grain of sand and know myself as the natural thing I really am. As I flopped and swam like a clumsy fish amidst the gentle…

  • Embodiment,  Inner Work,  Practice,  Uncategorized,  Yoga in the Everyday

    Getting Grounded

      https://youtu.be/_dI9vdd-3jY 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…

  • 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.