The traditional definition of asana is a good seat for the mind and the body and a good seat is one that is both stable and easeful. We stabilize the mind in part through drishti (a steady and easeful focus for the eyes) and in part through breath. Not by trying to control the breath, but by giving it space. And, when it comes to the body, the asanas bring moments of physical stability and we learn to maintain this stability with ease (not to be confused with easy) rather than resistance. That moment when we feel the difference between holding space with stability and ease rather than rigidity and resistance is both grounding and joyous; a perfect blend of stability and ease.
Stability and Ease in Daily Life
This unity of stability and ease is not only present in the context of yoga asanas but it is relevant in our life as a whole. If we feel grounded/stable with who we are we don’t fear falling, in part because we are solid and in part because we know how...
The Mother: A little yoga philosophy to put things in context
The concept and integration of what the Mother energy represents is an important and yet vast aspect found in the teachings of yoga and Ayurveda. In short, we can say that the Mother represents the power of creation. She is the sustaining energy of life and manifestations as a whole. Thankfully we don’t need to fully grasp this or even be a mother to experience its beauty. In fact, regardless of whether we have children or not and regardless of our gender, the mother energy lives within and connecting with her begins by valuing compassion, understanding and courage. The more we connect with the mother energy as the power of manifestation and love the more we see it unfolding within and around us which gives it even more energy.
The Perfect Gift If we step out of the pressure of the holiday and what we’re suppose to do and instead focus on what we want to do to support the mother energy our natural and creative...
Reunited...I had forgotten about chili. It's easy to make, filling, nourishing and energizing!
This is my recent recipe.
As always I encourage you to make it your own.
1 can black beans drained and rinced
3 medium sized tomatoes chopped
4 carrots chopped
1/4 cup cauliflower chopped
2 sticks of celery sliced
1 or 2 jalepenos chopped
1/2 yellow pepper chopped
1/4 red onion diced
1 can tomato paste
1 can yellow corn
1/2 can coconut milk
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs olive oil
chopped fresh cilantro
Bring olive oil to low heat, add carrots, onions, cauliflower, peppers and celery. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes then add all ingredients except for cilantro. Bring to a boil while stirring, then reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes. Add salt to taste and sprinkle cilantro before serving.
As you may know, in the world of yoga we believe in the power of food to either sustain or deplete mental, emotional and physical health.
There's an ancient yoga saying that goes "As is the food you eat, so is your mind." Or as David Frawley says in his book Vedantic Meditation Lighting the Flame of Awareness: "The consumer is the consumed."
These statements consider everything we consume through all of our senses as a form of food that either creates vitality or takes it away. This includes what we eat, look at, talk about, listen to, smell and feel. And, just as we can choose to eat nourishing and energizing foods that enhance vitality we can do the same with the conversations, reading materials, televised or online media and so forth we choose to take in. This doesn't mean we ignore challenges, but like planting a garden, if we ignore the garden or if we feed the weeds instead of the vegetables the weeds are what we grow.
Part of the benefits of balancing yoga postures is that we learn to get back up not if but when we fall. As a symbolism for the uncertainty of life balancing postures teach us to identify the fall without identifying as the fall which builds resilience, a quality we're encouraged to cultivate.
From this perspective, there are many ways to nourish our resilience. Examples include practicing yoga asanas, self discovery, making decisions, following through, taking care of our self and one of the most beneficial and recommended life practices to build resilience is satsang (good company) i.e cultivating authentic connections with inspiring and uplifting people.
A couple of weeks ago I was in a minor biking accident. Minor in the sense that nothing is broken and no concussion, but an accident nonetheless. A reminder that cement and cars are stronger than I am. To bounce back, I took time off from teaching and most importantly I accepted support from my satsang. Both...
I am teaching the Inspired Living Journaling workshop Saturday November 18th at Empower Yoga. Journaling is one of the most valuable yogic practices to increase clarity, direction and inspire a movement towards our aspirations.
Don't hesitate. Just join us!
I have been debating for a while whether I should blog about these three essential practices to increase energy. I read, reflect and integrate this subject and occasionaly teach this process in private settings and/or during workshops and wonder if I can inspire personal study, reflection and integration of the subject in just a few words. I’ve decided that I won’t know until I try. So, here goes…
In our culture we tend to value what is tangible and what can be measured over the subtle and the hard to measure. Examples include, fullness, stability and effort over emptiness, ease and non-attachment. From the perspective of yoga and ayurveda, if we only focus on fullness, stability and effort in the form of full schedules, hard work and determination we run the risk of becoming rigid which leads to the depletion of energy.
From this perspective the process of identifying and balancing opposites brings lasting energy. The following is an INTRODUCTION to this subject and designed to create c...