Eka Pada Sirsasana


Love & Fear

"There are only two seeming realities in this world and one of them is an illusion. There is either fear or love. Where there is fear there can be no love. Where there is love there can be no fear. Love cannot co-exist with fear. Fear cannot co-exist with love. They are mutually exclusive. There is at any given moment all fear or all love. There cannot be a fearful love or a loving fear."

(Take Me To Truth: Undoing the Ego, by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira)

I absolutely love the above the excerpt from the book I'm currently reading/studying. One thing I can appreciate is when a book of this nature cuts through the frilly bullshit and gets straight to the point in a fairly gentle way. Why sugar coat it?

There really isn't much to say beyond what has already been said above ...
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Authenticity is a daily practice ...

Choosing authenticity means:
Cultivating the COURAGE to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable; exercising the COMPASSION that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle and connected to each other through a loving and resilient human spirit; nurturing the CONNECTION and sense of belonging that can happen when we let go of what we are supposed to be and embrace who we are.

Authenticity demands WHOLEHEARTED living and loving - even when it's hard, even when we're wrestling with the shame and fear of not being good enough, and especially when the joy is so intense that we're afraid to let ourselves feel it.

Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite GRACE, JOY, and GRATITUDE into our lives.

- Brené Brown



"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed."

(Mahatma Gandhi)

A recurring theme, not knowing. Not knowing, is an absolutely retched place for the ego, but in turn, keeps us open and receptive. It brings back our curious nature, and inherent innocence. As we abandon our thinking mind, we sit in a space of feeling and intuition.

Inhabiting a place of not knowing used to be such a frightening place, and still can be, however, now, I've learned how to embrace it with practice.

During our weekly Hanuman Chalisa chanting, one of the lovely ladies in our group pointed out the translation of one of the early verses that truly drove it home.

The passionate verse states ...

I don't know anything, so I remember you, Son of the Wind;
Grant me strength, intelligence, and wisdom,
and remove my impurities and sorrows.

Osho also has his own commentary on this state, that is more descriptive regarding emptiness, or as he coins ... no-nothingness.

Being "in the gap" can be disorienting and even scary. Nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction, not even a hint of what choices and possibilities might lie ahead. But it was just this state of pure potential that existed before the universe was created. All you can do now is to relax into this no-thingness...fall into this silence between the words...watch this gap between the outgoing and incoming breath. And treasure each empty moment of the experience. Something sacred is about to be born.

Often emptiness has a negative connotation when it comes from a place of lack or feeling less than who we truly are. However, emptiness can be a good feeling when it comes from a place of connectedness, not desiring anything, but feeling the fulfillment of pure being. I like to call it spaciousness. The word, or experience, is rooted in feeling expansive, open and fully ALIVE.

When contemplating this, I take pause at how much of my life, and self-esteem, came from identifying with or to something, like it gave me a sense of self, when in reality it only strengthened my falseness and stifled me. Life is about living and learning, and it brought me here, so I'm appreciative of all that I've walked through. It's funny and interesting how it always goes back to letting go.

Let it go, let flow.

Let go, let God.

When I stand in awareness, all I need, is given ... all I desire, is here ...

The Shack


"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in your own sunshine"

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

As I birthday present, I was given the book, The Shack, by WM. Paul Young. A modern day phenomenon, with over 7 million copies in print, and making the New York Times Besterseller list at #1 for some time, I was left wondering how I hadn't come across the title yet. At any rate, unbeknown to be, it's hugely popular, inspiring to many, and delves into the questions of religion and spirituality. Though, I haven't started to read it yet I was blown away at all the rave reviews I came across, often hearing that it awakens the soul, and quickens the spirit.

Has anybody out there read this book? Any thoughts? I already have a stack of books to get through so it maybe several weeks till I get to it, but I'm curious.
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Intermediate Series Back Bends



"Everybody comes from the same source. if you hate another human being, you’re hating a part of yourself." (Elvis)

Today marks my 33rd trip around the sun. Lol, I like to look at it that way. I did a bit of research on the number 33 and it seems to be a number of completion. Also, 33 = Truth...hmmmm, interesting. I like. Also, 33 is the age Jesus was crucified and 3 days later resurrected.

With that being said, I feel as if, yes, a part of me is ready to die, while in the same breath I'm ready to be reborn. What a lovely profound feeling. The more I let go, the less I suffer, and have the space and capacity to know and feel Love.

I've felt an abundance of love on this day and I thank all who made it possible. Love you all!

Viparita Chakrasana


At a later date I'll post a video of full Viparita Charkrasana, tic-toc-ing back and forth, however I wanted to show the first phase progression.

Not Knowing

What your heart thinks is great, is great. The soul’s emphasis is always right.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Sharing an excerpt from the book, Take Me To Truth, regarding not knowing, being in a place of openness, and often uncertainty, that really struck a cord with me. I've had to learn time and time again how to sit in a place on not knowing, which is never easy, but getting easier. It makes me wonder how I ever had the energy to want to control so much in my life before.

Humility and open-mindedness are precious to us. The journey of ego-release takes us headlong into a dimension on not-knowing, the absolute opposite of the ego's compulsive need to know and to control. The ego has no core of truth on which to rely. Its compulsion for separation and specialness is to feed its pseudo-worthiness and false sense of security. Our Unified Self trust implicitly that all changes are necessarily beneficial, no matter how uncomfortable they may be initially. It knows it is infinitely safe, secure, and worthy; hence it has no need for our familiar obsession with control and the need to know. It realized that not knowing is really the only place that provides the space to deliver Truth. Universal Intelligence in the form of knowledge is realized in proportion to our release from ego. It is paradox that can only be truly accepted when we plunge into not knowing and now moment awareness; suddenly Truth reveals Itself and Knowledge in the most Infinite context is remembered.

Not knowing is a pre-requisite for True Knowledge because 99.9% of the reality we have believed to be true is not true at all. The following analogy seems to fit this well: quantum physicists have proven that 99.9% of solid matter, e.g. our bodies, furniture, cars, and buildings, is empty space. It is actually oscillating energy and not solid at all! yet we are conditioned to believe the opposite, that we and everything in this universe are solid.

That just about sums up how much we need to unlearn or dis-identify with through the ego-release process. This is not said to cause despondency; it is a Truth that we begin this Undoing journey as largely ignorant and the path is made easier if we openly admit to not knowing. This attitude will reduce much of our resistance, which in turn will diminish our fear and doubt.

(Take Me To Truth, by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira)
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Drop Backs

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Irreverent in the Reverent

The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.

(Depak Chopra)

Lately, I've gotten into interesting conversations with fellow yoga practitioners, teachers and students regarding the unfolding that naturally happens within a yoga practice. Often, in the beginning, we can get caught into the trap of what we think a yogi is supposed look like. Bombarded with ideas of vegetarianism, brahmacharya and whatever else, there may be a sense of trying to fit into an ideal that resides outside ourself.

"Spiritual evolvement has little to do with being good and everything to do with being authentic."

(Take Me To Truth, by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira)

The more I delve into the varying degrees of philosphy and learning, I've come to the conclusion that it all begins and ends with practice. Through our own unique experience we meet our True self that shines through in a myriad of ways depending on the individual. As long as we do that, it's all good. From the practice, things have a way of shifting and changing. We may decide to eat differently, or approach relationships with others with more openness and understanding, all of which are born from connecting on the inside. Things come in, things fall away. When seeing more clearly we make better choices.

After years of practice, yes we may still get road rage, we may cuss, we may indulge in our vices, but the important part is that we continually be truthful with ourself, honoring what it is we are feeling and move forward with compassion, and vigilance, to that which keeps us clear and of service.

Even in our most irreverent moments we can find the reverent with whatever is, no judgment. It's in the judgment itself that holds us back and doesn't give us the opportunity to see clearly. No needing to get caught up in societal standards of where we are supposed to be in life, and how it is supposed to look, we then can live on our terms, while still staying connected to what is real. And that's freedom, my friends. Because really, yoga, the practice of yoga, is about union, connection, and from there liberation is born, revealed or even recognized.

When we tap into our inner freedom friends may not be comfortable with it, but we still must press on. Our family might think we're crazy, but so what, we can still be an example of love. When free of the conditions, life has new meaning, we're finally living.

The yoga path isn't about fulfilling some image, it's about fulfilling our own unique destiny. Being authentic. Simply being. It's doesn't take more than that, it doesn't need to, because nothing needs to be grasped for, it's already there, ready and waiting.

I can stand, strong and steady, aligning to the force that surrounds us, emanating through us, and then, everything start to flow.
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Pincha Mayurasana


Notice how the camera shook when coming down into chaturanga dandasana, lol.

Bakasana B


I finally got around to doing a few videos for fun. Might as well since this is a yoga blog. Enjoy.

Low Maintenance


The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

(Bertrand Russell)

Besides drinking roobios tea like it's going out of style, this girl needs a haircut. Haha...sorry to report, but scissors haven't touched these tresses since last December. Whoa. Talk about taking low-maintenance to a new low, low, lol. When I got my last cut I was hanging out in Bangkok before heading to India. Yeah, I took a crap shoot, because as many know, I'm a curly head, and well, there aren't too many curly heads in Thailand, or all of Asia for that matter, and wow, I actually got a decent cut from a local hairdresser there. He just smiled, like most Thais do, and was like no problem, while inside he was probably like, wtf. Things like this really tickle me.

Anyway, even though I've let some things go to the way side, it's all good. I'll get myself pulled together soon enough. Haha. But really, I've learned how to scale back, I mean really scale back and simplify. Born out of necessity, I've thought to myself, why haven't I done it sooner anyway? The less I have, the more there is for the really good stuff. The less stimulus, the more I feel alive.

There's really something to this simplicity thing.


Cover of "Take Me To Truth: Undoing the E...Cover of Take Me To Truth: Undoing the Ego

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies.

(Carter Heyward)

In the previous post I mentioned that my theme for the week was humility and balance (I know I'm totally geeking out, but love me anyway, lol). So, the book I'm currently reading has an awesome excerpt on humility that I thought I would share. I always have two books on tap, a non-fiction and a fiction, my non-fiction pick, Take Me To Truth, Undoing the Ego, by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Vieira, is an amazing, in-depth read. Seriously, it drives so many nails on the head, it's unbelievable.

The Power of Humility

The Unified Self is an endless store of Higher Wisdom to which most of us have not yet yielded. It is a power house of Truth and knowledge beyond the finite intellectual realm because it is the direct receptor of the Source's miraculous intention. The more we undo the layers of ego-self perception, the stronger our capacity to extend and receive Love, Joy, Peace, insight, and understanding. Attack in any form is not part of the Unified Self's reality and neither is defense. Defense in itself is the belief that attack is real and therefore needs the counterattack of defense. The real and true self can never be attacked and therefore requires no defense.

The ego-self has so much invested in its image. These include ideas, beliefs, opinions, people, and things. It guards these intensely and is on the watch for any perceived threat of loss or change to any one of them, and so it uses defense as its resistance to change.

Humility contains the power of defenselessness. Only the ego-self needs to defend in order to uphold its insane thought system. Its total defense emerges when its identity is threatened by our possible discovery of the preposterous illusion that it is. Only illusion needs defending becuse if illusion of any kind were to completely withdraw defense, what would be left? If fear itself in all its guises withdrew all defenses, what would remain? Very simply, the only essence that could possibly remain once illusion is no longer protected is Love. The ego-release experienced is purely the setting down of defenses that have, until now, protected our illusions, all of them, including our ego-self image. Surrendering defenses means revealing and embracing Truth which is Love in action.

Ego-release would not be necessary if we could fully embrace true humility now. The ego-self is like an armed fortress, ready to battle against anyone of anything that threatens to de-stabilize its seat of power. We need to ask the questions, "What is our ego-self protecting?", and "What value lies in upholding such a gigantic illusion that blocks us from experiencing the ecstatic bliss of Love's presence?". If we surrendered wholeheartedly to the recognition that our most valuable asset is humility, we would become enlightened in this very instant. Both the intensity and duration of the ego-release experience would be diminished if we would only embrace humility.

We need to encourage conscious presence and extreme self-honesty to gain humility. It means eradicating the ego-self's desire to edit or justify our thought, feelings, and response in its favor, through consistent awareness. The key here is to maintain awareness while exercising discernment and not using judgment and condemnation, which foster guilt.

Our vulnerability is our strength when recognized from the Source's perspective. Not only can we afford to become more vulnerable, but we must become more vulnerable if we are to learn that ego-self defenses are meaningless and grow to trust the wisdom of Unified Will working through and around us. All the areas within us and in our life that we consciously or unconsciously defend are illusion! Our bodies, values, beliefs, and status are all illusion.

If we could only refrain from defending and hold present moment awareness with the intent of allowing Truth to unfold, we would gain insight and Peace. One more layer of illusion would be removed and we would gain yet another gigantic step forward to reclaiming our Unified Self and the blissful life for which we yearn.

(Take Me To Truth, Undoing the Ego, by Nouk Sanchez & Tomas Viera)

I love how the above excerpt explains that, vulnerability is our strength - this is something I'm chewing on at the moment, and goes directly opposite with much of what we hear today in media and political outlets (what a surprise, lol).

Vulnerability a strength, yes, I like this.
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Want For Nothing


Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere.

(Emma Goldman)

I told my close friend and roommate today that somehow it felt strange to want for nothing at this moment. I mean, yes I would love to be in the same area code as my boyfriend, but we already know the wheels are in motion for that to happen...but, to be in a place feeling fully satisfied with the everyday, feeling as if nothing is missing, nor is there any urge I need to chase after is something new. Easily all this could change tomorrow, but damn it, it isn't often that I've felt this type of fullness.

These feelings have a tendency to change, but it's nice to get a taste of completeness. A realness is emerging. I'm feeling good in my own skin. It's priceless. I hope I can continue this practice by experiencing my essence instead of looking outward to feel whole.

We live in a culture where enough is never enough even though we have an abundance of everything. It seems to only perpetuate more consuming, we get more, we want more, and so on. I've definitely had this disease, and could never claim to be cured from it, more or less, now, when things such as this pop up, I'm more apt to take a look at what in me feels is lacking.

"Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one." (Benjamin Franklin)

My days have been filled with early morning practice, studying Swedish, and teaching a yoga class a day. I've been reading like nobody's business, and have had an insatiable appetite for books dealing with various topics, the usual, life, love and perspectives on it all. What could be better? But really, my thirst has shifted toward learning, and deepening, and it's felt freeing to crave reading books versus craving more shoes, lol. Not that there is anything wrong with either.

Thanks to my roommate I'm eating some of the best food ever. She's taught me quite a bit regarding cooking, and Ayurveda, and I don't think I've ever felt this balanced before. It's been wonderful, and I'm soaking it all in. Yoga, pulse an optimal diet, mixed with feeding my mind and soul with good stuff, has culminated something in me that feels steady, and self-sustaining, so I'm rolling with it. (No T.V., that's a biggie) I know it sounds boring, but these routines I've implemented have done wonders. Once I start traveling again, I'm really gonna need to work on how to keep myself balanced, which shouldn't be a problem, things can always be worked out with a bit of planning.

My words for the coming week are balance and humility.



Love must be as much a light as it is a flame.

(Henry David Thoreau)

I know I must bore readers about my path through the practice from time to time, by writing about working inward and such, but to be honest, it's a phase I'm going through and I just gonna honor it. It's how I work. There have been times in my life where I've been more outward with everything I do and say, and then there are times when I become more reflective, inward and contemplative. The best way to put it is there's a season for everything, ebbs and flows, and when I work with the current I simply feel better.

I've just come to a point where I feel the need to come from a place of cause versus coming from a place of effect, where I am constantly reacting to everything in life. When coming from a place of cause I choose to take responsibility for everything, and it's a practice that has been most challenging to date.

With keeping this practice in mind, I feel I've made steady changes in my perspective, thanks to the heightened awareness a yoga practice can bring. So, in turn, I question things, I contemplate, and I've become newly inspired by what I see, touch and feel. It's an interesting time, one of no huge outward changes that fascinate others, but a shift that lies deeply submerged within the recesses of my own heart and spirit.

I mean it isn't always easy, but of course it's quite simple, but the more I let go...let go of all of it...feeling defensive, offended, reactionary, less-than, lacking, hurt, etc...I feel more free.

New Moon


I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever

(Amy Tan)

Esoterically speaking, the new moon is a time to take on new challenges, goals, changes, etc. Honestly, I've never been overly concerned with the effects of the moon, the waxing and waning, and all that stuff. My own menstrual cycle never seemed to jive with the moon all that much, either. However, when practicing Ashtanga yoga, this was the first time I ever took pause to honor the cycle of the moon, or at the very least, educate myself a bit more on what the cycles represented.

I guess it could be another thing not to concern yourself about, I mean I've always felt I did okay not really knowing, but on another note, when slowing myself down, and becoming more in tune with my own body, and it's rhythms, I've found it's a good thing to be aware of and it seems to happen naturally with time and practice.

With all that being said, I'm interested in playing around with the energy and taking a look at new challenges I'm ready to tackle.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

(Jimi Hendrix)

Are you taking your flaxseed oil? Okay, for all you yoga practitioners and health enthusiasts it's time to get hooked on flaxseed oil.

Here's a list of why I recommended taking 1-2 tbsp a day. Of course, added to an already healthy balanced diet makes sense. I personally use Barlean's, highest lignan flaxseed oil, 2 tbsp a day. And, no need to worry about the fat content, this type of oil is good for you, and your metabolism, unlike other fats.

  • Helps protect the body against high-blood pressure, inflammation, water retention, and lowered immune function.
  • Shortens recovery time for fatigued muscles after extertion.
  • Increases stamina and energy.
  • Accelerates healing of sprains and bruises.
  • Eases weight loss in people afflicted with obesity.
  • Stimulates brown fat cells and increases the metabolic rate making it easier to burn off fat.
  • Improves liver function
  • Helps relieve symptoms of PMS in woman.
  • Strengthens finger and toenails. Promotes healthy skin and hair.
  • Has been scientifically proven to treat some cases of depression.
  • Protects against heart disease and reduces risk of cancer.

The list can go on and on, but don't take my word for it, do the research yourself, or Google it, lol - it's good stuff all the way.
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Krishnamacharya Video


This is really an oldie. Amazing.

Part of Intermediate Series

An oldie, but goodie. :-)

Strength and Surrender


Love is more than just a feeling: it’s a process requiring continual attention. Loving well takes laughter, loyalty, and wanting more to be able to say, “I understand” than to hear, “You’re right."

(Molleen Matsumura)

Like life, in practice, there are openings and closing, there are peeks and valleys. The key is balancing the ever day with equanimity.

I discussed with a student/practitioner, the other day, how in yoga, we learn to come from a different place of strength. Especially, if we've been active with other sports and activities in our past.

He went on to say, "it's like you have to be strong and surrender at the same time."

And, I told him, "Wow. You said it perfectly."

It's true. In this practice we can't use brute force and will, it won't work for long. We have to move and breathe from the inside out, bringing a sense of soul into the movement. When we work from the outside in, we become fragmented. The union of ease and effort, strength and surrender are bridged by the breath that bring life blood into everything we do, the prana, the flow.

I've been hooked on flow the past few weeks, and feeling it in my own daily practice. Lately, a current seems to be carrying me along, can't explain it, but it's almost as if I'm being cradled or held in a way, like I'm getting a deeper sense of what it means to move within the stillness. Profound and lovely, it's all in the experience, and grants us when we show up regularly, through devotion, and acceptance with what stands before us, then we become a washed and cleansed by our true reality.

Working with the subtle currents that pervade the entirety of life bring completeness to what we do, and to how we are. Every micro movement has meaning. Every vinyasa brings us into a luxurious rhythm where we enter back into the pulse of the practice. The more we surrender to the heartbeat of our practice we find a strength beyond the physical. However, we must go through the physicality of our bodies to enter into this place, using it as an instrument of learning.

What amazes me most about teaching is that I only need to guide gently with firmness, and compassion, the best I can. What blows my mind, is I never have to really say a word, because once the student delves inward and touches the eternal wisdom there, and share what they find, I'm always rendered speechless, and honored to be part of their process of awakening to the presence within. It's a beautiful thing. It's a wondrous, beautiful thing.



There are also sorts of experiences that we can’t really put a name to. The birth of a child, for one. Or the death of a parent. Falling in love. Words are like nets - we hope they’ll cover what we mean, but we know they can’t possibly hold that much joy, or grief, or wonder. Finding God is like that too. If it’s happened to you, you know what it feels like. But try to describe it to someone else - and language only takes you so far.

(Jodie Picoult)

In the last several days it's been hot in C-bus. Although, after surviving summers in Taiwan and Thailand, hot is a relative term. In other words, hot in Columbus is nothing like enduring the heat in the Asian tropics. Nothing. I quickly learned how to cope with being in a perpetual state of perspiration in those places.

Obviously, I love being near sand and surf. There's something about salt water, and the stoke, that makes me come alive. I enjoy it. But also, I crave the diversity of the cool, hence I'll be moving to Sweden. Interesting that some of the happiest places on earth coincide with cooler climates. Not sure what that's all about. However, I must reiterate that Sweden does have all four seasons, Winter (of course, it's up north), Spring, Summer (yes, it does get warm) and Fall, and no, there are no polar bears hanging around just for kicks.

With the last several days being increasingly hot, and humid, morning practices have been juicy. Yes, juicy. A twinge of humidity, mixed with heat, and a dash of juicy, admittedly, are more conducive for the practice, especially with back bending. It's interesting how we not only have the changes of our bodies to contend with, but also how our bodies react to the changes in climate - another great exercise in shifting the focus to our awareness within the variances.

With all that being said, I've enjoyed the bit of teaching I've been doing while waiting to hear from the Swedish Migration Board, and I've learned that one of the key elements when teaching Ashtanga yoga is in assisting the student/practitioner with finding their flow. Connecting every movement with conscious breath, touching the spark of pratyahara (sense withdrawl), in turn, help to access Grace - breath, bandhas, driste. As we connect inward and through, we join to something greater. Goes in line with the following excerpt from The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner, which struck me.

These are classic signes of flow, as defined by Miháy Csíkszentmihalyi. The line between the actor and the act blurs and, in some cases, disappears entirely. There is no dancer. There is only dancing. Flow is not the same as happiness. In fact, when we interrupt flow to take stock of our happiness, we lose both.

Again, these states of Grace, or Flow, are hard to define, nor should they be. Only felt, it's a mysterious place, it's an intimate experience. Once we feel we need to grasp, or filter what yoga is through the mind, something becomes lost. That is why some of our greatest teachers don't have much to say, we must do the practice to understand, and even within the understanding we still don't know, not in our minds, but our hearts do, and that's where our spirits begin to soar, and what a beautiful thing it is. For IT just IS. We all have it, we're all connected to it.

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Live for the Stoke


images via liveforthestoke

"Eliminate something superfluous from your life. Break a habit. Do something that makes you feel insecure."

(Piero Ferrucci)

I love this quote.

Check out my online scrapbook if you get a chance. Here. Will be adding personal writings, quotes, pics, and other fun, crazy-beautiful things I enjoy via internet.

Hope everyone has had a wonderful weekend, and a even better start to the week!! Namaste.


"You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself."


Waking up to the truth can shake the very foundation you stand on. I remember when I stopped with the busy-ness of life, and had a moment of clarity, finally having the opportunity to acknowledge, look, and come to terms with what was right in front of me. All it took was a glimpse, in the silence, and with that, my world shifted miraculously, and continues to.

To be able to admit I was living in insanity, even though on the outside it coincided with what the norm considered normal, gave me a burst of inner freedom. Being guided by my inner compass, even though it thrust me further into the inner reaches of uncertainty, has carved a path that has gone far beyond what I could have imagined. It's not about living a supposed glamorous life, I'm not even close, but coming from a place of simplicity, and chartering the depth of the soul, when not too frightened by it, has left me profoundly silent with a taste of what this eternal place feels like.

It's simply time to listen, and know without a doubt, this is where it ends, and this is where it begins.
“True Meditation is letting go of manipulating our experience.”


Growing into a space of deeper understanding has been an adventure, but at the same time, I'm faced with the concept of not taking myself, my life, or my circumstances too seriously. Life flows, things change, it all comes down to being at peace with impermanence. The more I do this, more freedom is felt, and union with a power larger than myself comes with ease.

I sense it begins with slowing down, accepting what is, and feeling the flow of life. This simple awareness has nothing to do with attaining something, but more about appreciating everything, whatever that may be.

Everyday I've been taking long walks to further the feeling of groundedness, since I have a tendency to be in my head, contemplating many things. I value this time, not only to get my body moving, but to feel the rhythm of life in nature. There's something to being in nature that's pacifying, and dilutes any sense of angst or restlessness. It just feels good. Simply put.

Slowly I've been rounding up students since I've been back, slowly being the operative word. I'm staying true with what I've been taught, but I've learned that isn't always what people want, so I rather take on students who appreciate the tradition and have a sense of reverent commitment. It may not give me the instant gratification of garnering many students, but that's not what it's about, and whether its one or 50, I feel thankful to be able to transmute a little of what I've learned along the way. For lack of a better word it, rocks! What a joy it is.



"The Buddha's insight into the middle way is not simply about a balance between extremes. This conventional understanding misses the deeper revelation of the middle way as being the very nature of unexcelled enlightenment. The middle way is an invitation to leap beyond nirvana and samsara and to realize the unborn Buddha mind right in the middle of everywhere."


Been a bit sidetracked the last number of days. Haha. Not really, let's be honest, sometimes I like to say this when I don't post for whatever reason.

However, yesterday I did fly out to Raleigh for my scheduled interview with the Swedish Consulate. Yes, Raleigh. Good ol' Raleigh, North Carolina, of all places. I flew to the N.C. to teleconference with the Swedish Consulate in Chicago. Makes total sense, right? Wrong! Anyhoo, I just did what I was told, when I was told, how I was told. No questions asked.

Of course, I made it to the office hours early, and in good Swedish fashion the office wasn't open until 1 pm. Beautiful. A kind lady who worked the front desk of the law firm shared by of the Consulate recommended that I go around the corner to a neighboring coffee shop. So, I was like ok, cool, I got some time to kill. Then I had one of my I hate America moments. I know. Silly me. But, one of my gripes is the urban planning in this nation. Everything is centered around gas guzzling motor vehicles. Pedestrians are so uncool. Since, I took a cab to my destination the best thing I had to work with were my own two feet, and I wasn't about to order a cab to go around the corner.

"Sure honey, just go 'round the corner to the coffee shop", I was told. Riiight, if only it were that easy. Once I made it out of the heavily air conditioned office to the corner, I noticed...hmmmmm...no sidewalks to be seen, and no cross walks. If I was in the mood to play human frogger I would have zipped across the busy quadra-laned street, but I wasn't in the mood to fight for my life for a damn cup of coffee - which I quit drinking by the way - (applause please). So, I turned on my heel and headed back to the building to wait. Pedestrians are so uncool.

For some odd reason anything with the name interview attached to it makes me nervous, even if it isn't for a job. Official business just does. Even when I go to get my driver's license renewed I get a twinge of nervousness that seems to override the annoyance of being in a DMV. Strange I know. But, I guess it comes from me wanting to see things through, but inherently fearing someone will deny me even though in reality I have nothing to worry about. Or is that just neurotic?

Another strange thing is having someone asking me every detail of me and my relationship, but my interviewer was friendly enough, and highly professional, so I can't complain. But still, I had all this worry afterwords wondering if I did okay, when really, I simply answered everything opening and honestly. Maybe it's a control thing - knowing I'm at the mercy of someone else's judgment and discretion. What can you do? I gotta be who I am at any given moment, and I did just that.

I was simply happy this part of the process was over, then it was time for me to head back to the airport and back to C-bus.

Also, I have to say, on my quick day trip to Raleigh, I had several I love America moments, once I looked past all the dudes wearing cellphones on their belts, lol. During my trip I encountered that open, friendly American spirit that is quite unique to this country after all of my travels the past year. People out of the blue would ask me, where you going? Why? How ya doing? I would tell them, and they would wish me the best of luck. That's pretty darn cool. I know in other countries there are language barriers to contend with, but even in other countries I could spot Americans because they would be talking - yes loudly, but who cares - to whomever. Yeah. We got spunk - an enthusiasm that may annoy some, but it's uniquely our own, and that's pretty cool. Pedestrians are still uncool.

- never mind the urban planning comment, I was simply tired and annoyed at the time. However, I must say, Raleigh is a beautiful place with plenty of green space and lovely scenery.

Saturday Chanting


"As soon as the mind pulls out an agenda and decides what needs to change, that's unreality. Life doesn't need to decide who's right and who's wrong. Life doesn't need to know the "right" way to go because it's going there anyway."


Taught class this morning. Then chanting. Yes chanting. Every Saturday since I've been back, a good friend of mine has dedicated Saturday mornings to chanting the Hanuman Chalisa to all who feel inspired to participate. This particular chant, over 40 verses long, is extremely powerful, opens the heart, and cleanses the soul. We chant the prayer 5 times, and it takes a little over an hour to complete. Make no doubt about it, it's good stuff all the way. People come in the door half dead, and leave alive, and full of energy - it's pretty cool to observe. Who would of thought chanting has such a powerful effect, but well, it is one of the oldest forms of yoga practice there is.

Before chanting, my friend and I also manage to run up to the local farmer's market to pick up fresh produce. I never would a thought I could get so excited over a bunch of fresh greens, tomatoes, and ripe zucchini as I have the past month. But, alas, I'm hooked regarding anything sustainable, local, and organic - look, it's the wave of the future versus what else you may have heard. :-) Believe me.

Getting back to the chanting, today it struck me to contemplate the nature of true happiness, which I like to call joy. Happiness, to me, seems fleeting and temporary, but joy, now that is something that seems to emanate from a deeper place, a place of pure being. What I mean is, it isn't determined by an external factor - it comes from a place of being connected. To what, you ask? Well I'm not really sure, but it seems to come from a place centered around the heart. It's a mystery, but somehow in the unknown the known reveals Itself in the most unlikely of places. Through chanting, or yoga, through the process of devotion to something bigger than yourself, nothing else seems to matter, and why should it? Everything stems from this place of abundance. When we honor IT we heal, we feel, everything we need appears right before our eyes.
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Coconut Bliss


Coconut Bliss. Or, what me and a girlfriend of mine like to call, crack on a stick. This shit is gooood!! Soy, diary, and Gluten FREE...full of taste...low glycemic...yummy...agave sweetened, vegan, and all organic! Did I mention they taste fabulous? And, let's be honest, they're practically guiltless, since the predominate ingredient is organic coconut milk. I had to plug'em because they've made my summer pretty sweet since DF isn't around...give'em a whirl.
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Mind Fluctuatuions

"You must not loose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

(Mohandas K. Gandi)

Waiting. I've gotten so used to waiting. Maybe, I'm beyond the point of tolerance and have found peace with it. Hmmmm. We'll see. At any rate, being at the mercy of external factors teaches a lot about patience, surrender and whatever else pops up.

I'm still doing my Swedish studies everyday. Learning a language is a two steps forward, three steps back type of thing. Frustrating, when you think you're making head way and then it's not there. Sigh. As with anything, it takes practice. Big sigh. I wish I could download Swedish into my brain and be done with it. Lol. Wouldn't that be nice?

If I had interesting and exciting news to report, I would. But, my life hasn't been all that exciting. On the outside. Can't complain, however, I've had massive opportunities to reflect and deepen. It feels good to be able to ease into a slow space without feeling the need to fill it with unnecessary stimuli. So much of our culture does everything it can to pull us outward...wanting, wanting...needing this and that for fulfillment. Bor-ring!

Daily practice has been back to me on my own every morning. It's been good. Like I've said before, there's something to going at it alone from time to time. It builds mental strength, and also gives the opportunity to observe mind fluctuations. This last week especially, my mind has gone on crazy tangents while on the mat. It's amazing just how unrelenting it can be at times. Not sure if it had anything to do with this week being centered around the full moon/eclipse energy. Anyhoo...I like to blame it on something. Lol.

To deal with the mind fluctuations I've taken up journaling, again. I'll write a bit in the morning and a bit a night. I write what comes to mind, and use it as a process to clear. When working with my Reiki teacher, it really drove home to me the importance of clearing one's self. My teacher said she never starts her day without clearing first, getting her energy aligned with a set intention for each day. For such a soft, caring person who exudes such light I can see how it must work, she's a shinging example of what the practices bring.

A Fearless Heart


"Brazilians flirt on the buses. Africans share rides in vans. Europeans comingle on subways and trains. Cars, though, separate us from the masses. Instead of interacting, we listen to talk show hosts lecture about interacting. Around the world, we're becoming that man who knows ways to make love to a woman, yet doesn't know any women."

(Franz Wisner, How the World Makes Love)

Today, a good friend of mine shared a story with me regarding her last days in India. Even though we've seen each other practically everyday since I've been back in the U.S., she opened up regarding something that deeply moved her those remaining days. What she said pierced my heart like an arrow, going right for the center, shattering everything with it. A shattering that broke my heart open, and has haunted me ever since I heard the tale.

Even though it isn't my story to tell, what strikes me to the core is how life and love is all there is. We are only given a number of days, every day is precious, and no day is ever certain. We get caught up in our little wants and desires - a continuous feeding of our little self - and, forget the one thing we take to the other side, and that is Love. That is real. That is all there is. The love we have held and nurtured in this life is all we have.

I think to myself, what could be more important than the love that is given? What could be more important than that? We fear not getting what we 'want' in return. When in reality, isn't it better to love even if we loose?

I'm seeing that it doesn't matter if I give every single piece of my heart away to be left with nothing, for when coming from a place of Truth what I am can never be diminished by what I am made of, and that is Love.

Is standing in a place of righteousness better than simply loving? I highly doubt it.

Every piece given away beats in the heart of another and lives on. Forever. In the act of blessing another we are ultimately blessed. Love. An act we do, not only say. We love because it is who we are, not because we want or expect anything, and freedom and expansion explode from this place, shattering us into nothingness, and in the nothingness, we are everything.

We never know who will touch our lives. We never know what impact it could make, but to deny we are all connected is a denial of our self. We turn to every possible external to search for meaning and completeness, and yet we forget what is undeniable and gives meaning to everything. It is just that simple.

When reflecting, I think of all the times I've given my heart away on a whim, never thinking twice about what I could loose, and I have no regrets. The only regret I have is when I didn't love out of fear. Instead, I chose to be small instead of trusting the bigness that is Love.

Love doesn't always look how we think. There is union in love, there is letting go in love. However, what is held in the heart is True.

I'm forever thankful to have friends that bring it all back to me in perfect light. What is felt in another, I feel too, and share the heartache, because those who soar to the highest reaches of love, also feel the depths of pain when faith is shaken and then revived.

As I learn, I find it's in the softening...it's in the melting of ourselves that we find strength, and connectedness. That is where the potency of life is.

Yielding, giving, loving...

"All that is necessary to awaken to yourself as the radiant emptiness of spirit is to stop seeking something more or better or different, and turn your attention inward to the awake silence that you are."


Ashtanga Yoga Medley

Fun stuff!

Lightening Up

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."

(Helen Keller)

Things aren't always easy, but they don't have to be hard either. After a weekend of lightening up, what usually happens is a period of integration and a bubbling of blocks that have been hiding in the darkness. They come to the surface.

Often, I have a bring it on attitude, but I'm finding it may be better to take small steps toward, lightening up, versus getting totally side-swiped and then wanting to crawl into a hole, never to come out again. Little bites are always best.

Practicing self-awareness can be startling. I mean, there's a shit load of stuff there - little things, some big things, that serve no purpose - much of it being thoughts I hold inside that ultimately hold me back.

Releasing isn't always easy because we become accustom to lower vibrations of thought and being. Stepping out of these patterns are necessary, but I find myself being a bit timid, and for some odd reason still holding on to old stuff. It's like I want to, but I can't at the same time. Trusting that letting go will ultimately lead to experiencing more freedom is what keeps me motivated in the end.

Growing, developing, changing and discovering are practices that keep things fresh. As I get older, I find that I'm better equipped at letting go and stepping into the new and uncharted - and isn't that a relief - I don't want to live my life looking back and thinking - 'I want things the way they used to be' - what a way to get stuck. Hopefully, life will continue to get better and better because I've chosen to continue to work inward, seeing things from a vantage point of Truth and clarity.

Reiki II


Within Us

"Within us is the soul of the whole; the wise silence,
The universal beauty, to which every part and particle
Is equally related; the eternal One.
When it breaks through our intellect, it is Genius;
When it breathes through our will, it is Virtue;
When it flows through our affections, it is Love."

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

What a weekend. Subtle, yet profound in many ways. Learning, experiencing about energy is a whole new and expansive world to discover.

As I said briefly before, this past weekend was my Reiki II attunement. Not only was I attuned to practice on people but on animals as well. Animals? You may ask. Yes, I was a bit of a skeptic beforehand, but still, open minded about what it was about. Basically, I had never heard of it, and was willing to learn something new.

Let me just say, working with animals is amazing. Because of their limited cognitive function they are simply open to receive. However, animals, especially our own, have a tendency to take on our stuff, so to speak, so reiki can be essential in assisting healing not only in them, but for the household they reside in. Very interesting.

Beyond that, during our two day session, I was able to release stuck energy. A shifting of sorts, but also an emerging, a stepping into who I really am more fully. It's interesting how the unseen parts of ourselves have the greatest impact on our lives. We don't see it, but it's felt, and that's what's real.

I have to hand much of it to my yoga practice. The practice is often a catalyst to opening to deeper realities, whatever that may be for someone. As we peel back the layers, we find that all we ever desired was right there, we just didn't see it. Kinda like an unpolished diamond.

During the weekend, I was immersed into practices that help to strengthen intuition, and this is something I'm focused on continuing throughout my daily life. Only the True voice inside can lead me in the proper direction. Where the practices come in, is gaining the ability to listen and become present to the guidance. Open. Open to receive. That's how I'm understanding the importance of clearing myself. Releasing patterns and ways that are blocking me. Entering a state of clarity is about receptiveness to everything. Through innocent perception, I am able to see things as they truly are vs. through the filters of my own tainted past experiences that I've held onto into the present. Subtraction, subtraction...it's all about subtraction.

Being done with the weekend, I was pleasantly surprised at how my friend's two cats reacted toward me. It was such a trip. However, being able to extend what I've opened up to, was really the blessing.
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Divine Alchemy

I'd like to share with you some of Lisbeth Johnson's work out of Yellow Springs, Ohio. She's a lovely human being, who truly has the gift of insight, along with a gentle, humble presence. If you are in the Columbus area, Yellow Springs is only an hour away, and is well worth the trip if you've never been. The village is part of an energy vortex, which is well known in and around the area. So, if you would like to get some work done, and enjoy the area as well, I would recommend it. There are places to hike and many eclectic shops to check out too.

Here is some of what Lisbeth does:

  • Soul Healing/Awakening
  • Reiki Master Teacher/Animals and People
  • Certified Rolfer
  • Certified Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist
  • Masters in Spiritual Psychology
  • Intuitive Coaching

Beyond what is listed above, Lisbeth also holds a meditation group once a month. You can contact her via email at lisbethheals@yahoo.com, and/or visit her website at www.lisbethheals.com.
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Less Effort


"Everything flows." (Heraclitus c.500 BCE)

The last 6 months it's been interesting, and strange, because I've been receiving intuitive flashes while practicing. Insights. No lightening strikes or harps playing in the background. More like a whisper in the ear. Very simple and straight forward. Clear and to the point. Like in Mysore, when I clearly heard "squeeze your ass," when doing karandavasna. Which, by golly, really worked for me! These whispers aren't necessarily reverent in nature either, lol.

This week, however, the theme has been all about less effort. Effortlessness. When feeling out of flow, I've realized, is when I need to pull back, continue with the breath and focus. No need to work at it. Showing up is enough, and everything seems to flow from this place. Practice. Practice.

Tuning in. Grace is constantly flowing to us everyday, all day, all the time. We only need to be receptive to it. Stepping out of the way - breath, bandhas, dristhi, vinyasa. Easy enough...no? We can take our difficult postures into life. What to do? Breathe, be present. Oh no, this person rubs me the wrong way. What to do? Breathe, be present, observe truthfully.

Fascinating how it all works, as I continue to discover and feel what it's like to tune in. I've been experimenting with my strength a bit, accessing jump-throughs and jump-backs differently. Approaching postures with curiosity has a way of keeping things light. There will always be times of challenge, but doing so puts everything in proper perspective.

Balancing ease and effort is a delicate practice that requires presence most of all. The juice is in the subtitles. The mind stuff has a way of weighing us down. Once free of aimless thought, a sense of limitless abundance is all around to experience.

Now, if only those intuitive impulses could give me some winning lottery numbers....hahahaha. I'm shameless.

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