• Ego,  Intelligence,  Practice,  spirituality

    Lessons From A Leaf

    It is our last camp-out of the year.  Warm, sunny days mark the end of September and the sun refracts in the vibrant colors of Fall making the day even more beautiful, surreal even.  Every once in a while a breeze moves through and we are showered by falling leaves from the giant birch trees that surround us.  They make a peaceful descent toward their eventual disintegration and I feel both amused and inspired by that.   As I watch them fall I am reminded of the times in my life been asked to let go.  Those times when some aspect of myself or my life has lived its season and…

  • Practice,  spirituality

    Spirituality of the Cross

    This past weekend I attended the second of four workshops in the Soul of Christianity series with Atum O’Kane.  Like the first workshop, this one was took me yet again deeper into the Christian story, this time through the symbolism of the cross.  Although there were many highlights, I want to share one piece in particular that relates to this weeks topic. Atum talked about the cross as a symbol for four directions (paths) of spiritual development: The upper portion of the cross:  The path of transcendence.  This is associated with the virginal aspects of Mary, not in the piety sense of the word, but related to the unpolluted source of…

  • Inner Work,  Practice,  spirituality

    My Top 12 Favorite Spiritual Practices

    These are the practices that I employ regularly right now in my life.  There have been and will be many others, depending on my needs and the season of life I find myself in.  And for you they may be similar or very different, the question is how do you tend to mind, heart and body?  What helps you align all the elements of your being?  How do you make the darkness conscious?  Asana:  To get out of my head and into my body, to make greater contact with what is stirring in me, to challenge fixations expressed in body and increase energy flow.  Asana is my primary gateway to…

  • Ego,  Inner Work,  Inspiration,  Practice,  spirituality

    Living a Spiritual Life

      Today my daughter and I were home sick with the flu.  As I sit down to write this post on the nature of spiritual living I can see – in living color – the collision between human and divine.  How do I muster the fortitude to talk about the sublime amidst the drudgery of snotty noses and piles of dirty laundry?   It’s not easy, sometimes, for me to see daily life through a spiritual lens.  It’s work.  Despite the contrary claims of  so many new age gurus, knowing Spirit amidst the mundane requires pause, practice and an ongoing desire to tend to my suffering in a way that is…

  • Consciousness,  Ego,  Embodiment,  Practice

    What is embodiment?

    Everytime I hear the term embodiment it rings in me like something I long to realize.  I have an intuitive notion of what embodiment means and the string of this knowing is plucked each time I read or hear about it – leaving a vibratory ache for greater understanding that is ineffable.  I believe that my understanding of embodiment will continue to evolve for the rest of my life.  For now, all I know is that there are times when I feel more filled out, like more of me is permitted to live.   There are times when my attention is not captivated by my ego and it holds the tender elements…

  • Embodiment,  Intelligence,  Practice

    Inspirational Anatomy

    A few weeks ago, after my dubstep yoga experience described in my last post, I attended an  in-depth anatomy workshop led by Matthew Van Der Giessen of Edmonton.  Matthew teaches beginner and advanced level anatomy workshops through the Yoga Association of Alberta and this was the third workshop of his that I have attended.  I was excited to attend this workshop because the first two I did with Matthew a number of years ago was the only times I’ve ever felt genuinely excited about anatomy.  Matthew has spent a number of years studying a somatic approach to the body which emphasizes “sensory based learning and the organization of movement through…

  • 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…

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  • Practice

    Everyday Yoga

    Can you take your practice of your mat and into the everyday?  Has the inspiration you find in your practice bled into the struggle of your everyday life?  This is the ultimate test of your yoga practice: for it to train you into Presence.  Sometimes yoga can be a much needed refuge from the droning rhythms of daily life, it can be an essential escape from the hardships and challenges we face.  But, I believe, it is ultimately training ground for learning how to really live – in the midst.I’ve noticed throughout my yoga journey that I have often been desperate to get on my mat and escape the demands of my life.  I have…

  • Practice,  Yoga in the Everyday

    Live From All Angles

      Today my daughter woke up at 5:50am, underslept and overgrumpy.  Schlepping our way through our usual morning routine my first glimpse outside revealed a gray, drizzling day.  I know. It’s good for the farmers. But I still felt a little oppressed by the weight of the clouds and had a hard time lifting my spirits to meet the day.  That is, until the duck costume came out. My daughter has a duck costume –  which she regularly calls a chicken –  that has a hat, webbed feet and a large puff for a butt that wiggles when she walks.  In all seriousness she struts around the house going on with…

  • Practice

    Suspending Strength and Weakness

    Warrior III. I watch my mind resist, and my body tense.  I have struggled with this posture for a long time because my hips are very flexible but lack stability and it makes this pose very hard.  But it also makes it very necessary to bring a balance of tone and openness to this region.  I enter the pose and automatically feel compensations arise:  tense jaw, thwarted breath, locked standing knee and unsquare pelvis.  Emotions arise:  irritation, resistance, confusion.  My mind begins to judge:  How long have you been working on this?  Why isn’t this getting easier?  What’s wrong here?I see my physical, mental and emotional patterns play themselves out in the container of…