The science of yoga clearly explains that we have the option of keeping our fears and wishes (1) at the forefront of our mind by continuously thinking and talking about them which fuels the feeling of powerlessness. We also have the option of being connected with our wants and needs (2), so that they rule our day. This approach is highly celebrated in our culture. It is the go-getter attitude that is not limited by the fearful mind. Although it’s more beneficial to have our wants and needs at the forefront of the mind than it is to have our fears, wishes, and worries we soon realize that we will never have enough of what we don’t need and find ourselves feeling full, maybe even stuffed but not satisfied (kind of like a Chinese buffet), and so we keep seeking more and we eventually deplete. And, we have the option of being so interconnected with our values(3) that they become the underlying energy that supports our choices which brings the feelings of stability and easefuln...
When I was in my early 20's I went through a phase where I took my practice very seriously. Not only would I would get up around 4:00AM and practice asana, breathing techniques and meditation until about 6:00 or 6:30 but I would do so with intensity and attachment to how the process should unravel.
Flipped the Cat
One morning I was completing a one-hour meditation with a focus on compassion when my cat decided to jump on my hair. Calmly, I reached back, *flipped the cat and for a bout a second, before I realized what had just happened, I tried to casually go back to my point of focus :).
This experience was a turning point for me. It made me realize that I needed to soften my edge. It’s clearly explained in the traditional teachings of yoga that in order to succeed on our path we need effort which means we need to move beyond the heaviness and the excuses but we equally need to let go of attachments and therefore, expectations.
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...
Radiance, defined as being in harmony with our unique expression, is our true nature according to the science of yoga and Ayurveda. To lack in radiance, whether it is manifested as fatigue, irritability, lack of creativity, being stuck in habitual patterns that deplete our energy or constant inflammation, is a sign that we are out of harmony with our nature.
One of the main causes of disharmony is stress. Bruce Lipton explains in Biology of Belief that when the stress response occurs the following three natural reactions manifest:
Blood Flows to Extremities: During dangerous situations it is more important to our survival to have enough energy to either run away or defend ourselves than it is to digest our meal. Blood flow favours our extremities providing the energy needed to survive.
Immune System Weakens:During the stress response the immune system, which protects us from internal invaders, shuts down to support the adrenal system. The adrenal system protects us from external invade...
"In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." Mark Twain
According to the science of yoga and Ayurveda respecting seasonal changes is an essential component to our overall health. For example, each season has its own dosha (constitution) which combines with our individual dosha and impacts our well-being. If we are in harmony with our dosha and with nature itself, all is good. But, if we are out of balance, and if we don't acknowledge seasonal changes we feel the effect of the changing seasons in various ways.
Cool and Windy
Winter and Spring are impacted, in different ways, by Kapha dosha, which brings accumulation and moisture. For some, this energy creates the positive feeling of stability, but for others, it fuels inertia. In addition, Spring is uncertain and constantly fluctuating (vata dosha); It's not uncommon to be wearing shorts one day and a scarf and gloves the next. Again, for some this erratic behavior is not a problem, but f...
In my early twenties I worked for an individual who took advantage of my insecurities. Sharing my experiences with my teacher I said, “It’s his karma,” to which she replied, “No Sylvie, it’s your karma. If you allow him to keep taking advantage of you, you are in essence building karma that says it’s ok to do so.” These words shook me and changed my outlook on how I relate to my relationships and life as a whole.
Karma as Cause and Effect
The more we understand karma as cause and effect, the more we know it’s a complex phenomenon that goes beyond the idea of superficial good or bad karma. Yet, in the same manner reflecting on cause and effect brings introspection that leads to better choices. In simple terms, if I feed my body junk food and junk information I can’t be disappointed when I lack in energy or if I fuel complaints and worries, I can’t feel bad that all I see is what’s wrong with my life.
Another Side of Karma
In the context of yoga and Ayurveda choosing to see ALL of our actio...
I see her/him on a regular basis. The seat on her bike is too low, his knees and elbows are sticking out, her shoulders are glued to her ears, his oversized windbreaker is creating a parachute effect (resistance), there is not enough air in the tires and she is peddling as fast as she can, going nowhere fast while creating tension in his knees, back, shoulders and neck.
When I see this cyclist I ask myself "Where I am creating resistance?" "Where would a few simple tweaks allow me to move forward with more ease?"
These important questions help us reflect on the habits we have created and that are now creating our reality (yes we create our habits and then our habits create us). And, they provide opportunities to let go of unnecessary limitations so that we can approach everyday interactions with more flow.
We all encounter periods in our life when the wind is at our back and periods when we are going against the wind; we can't change that. But, we can change how we...