Sunday, January 15, 2012

Extreme MakeOver: awesomeAsana Edition

That's right - we're moving!  Upgrading to better, brighter and a more awesome location.  But no need to fret - we're just one click away.  And at our new digs you'll be able to sign up to the blog via email, comment without the hassle of signing up for an account, plus you can share and tweet the inspiration to your tribe.

Catch you on the bright side..

bigLOVE -


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post-Festivus Restlessness Syndrome

After all the hype it's time to wind back down. We are officially entering the period I'd like to technically refer to as "Post-Festivus Restlessness Syndrome".  We're smack in the middle of that funny week between Christmas and New Years.  That nothing week.  If you're on holiday, perhaps you're doing just that.  Nothing.  It reminds me of that delightful Spanish proverb:  

"Oh how beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterwards."  
(Admittedly, I had a two hour siesta on Christmas Day and it was a beautiful, beautiful thing.) 

But alas, amidst all this supposed 'nothingness' blossoms something.  The awareness of a deep seated restlessness begins to bubble up - an urging to find something more.  To create more.  To be more.  And with the stars aligning for a New Year, a sense of fresh possibility starts to clear the air of all the old habit patterns clogging up the plumbing of Life.  But what exactly birthed this 'something' from 'nothing'?  Was it was that extra ladle of gravy? Or perhaps the last gingerbread cookie you ate for breakfast? (Or the fact that for 2 weeks straight now you've grown accustomed to supplementing your regular Americano with a healthy dash of Eggnog?)  Alternatively it could be your online credit card statement shouting profanities at you through the monitor or the endless number of holiday social gatherings leaking off the edges of your December calender.

Whatever it is that got you here, the restlessness is born with purpose, and a knowing that a better way is unfolding.   The pendulum has swung far into EXCESS and begins to gather inertia ready to pull itself back towards SIMPLICITY - ultimately finding BALANCE nestled perfectly in between.  

Now is the time to harness our restlessness.  It's time for a resolution revolution!  It's common knowledge that it takes 21days to cultivate a new habit.  Why not lay the foundation of your new habit patterns by connecting with your ultimate self through a little 2012 visualization?  (I can hear the squeals of excitement now!)  

Step by step let's create the lives we LOVE:

1.  Find someplace comfortable and quiet to sit still and undisturbed for 5 minutes.  
2.  Close your eyes and take 10 deep slow breaths - each getting deeper and slower than the previous.
3.  Create a picture in your mind of the habit pattern that you'd like to create (eg - eating clean, meditating daily,  doing more yoga, reading regularily.)
4.  Visualize yourself successfully implementing this new habit.  Watch yourself going through the motions ease-fully and successfully. How does this new habit make you feel?  Really tap into how it makes you feel when you're doing it. Imagine having this feeling now.
5.  Release your visualization out into the universe absolutely knowing that if this new habit serves your highest good, there is no reason for you not to succeed.  

You've heard it before but since you're so energetically ready to start the next chapter, here are some awesome ways to support your new ultimate goddess self (who you were actually already but just maybe temporarily forgot):

Set Goals!  Create a vision board (Using pinterest as a vision board has changed my life!)  Enroll supportive friends who believe in you to keep you accountable to your goals - if they're not supportive, perhaps ask yourself why you're hanging around them anyways?  (Suzanne Conrad rocks my world - if you haven't yet, do yourself a favor and click on the last link.. holy girl crush mama! So inspiring!)

Though anytime is time for a do-over, set your small mind aside, step into the now and get PUMPED for 2012!  Create your life.  Be happy.  Be possibility.  Your world is up to you - everything is possible.

Like this post?  Share your thoughts in the comments below - or better yet share it with a friend!  Stay inspired and in-touch with like-minded folk here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting over ourselves

"Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had non upon thars.
Those stars weren't so big.  They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all.
"  - Dr. Seuss 

So we had a little festive gathering this weekend at our place.  And, as with every party, when yoga 'geek's are in da house - ultimately a mat gets rolled out and exaggerated feats of strength, arm balances and yoga tricks result on the dance floor. 

Now this party was a combination of friends from all walks of life.  Namely the yoga crowd.  And, the non yoga crowd.  Mingling as One.  (As if we were anything but. Though how quickly we forget it sometimes.)  An interesting and arguably 'passionate' discussion erupted between two friends, each from a different side of the divide, about yoga.

My dear, super-smart friend, who I had always (wrongfully) assumed didn't really 'get' yoga questioned my other, (in my mind) well informed yoga-teacher friend about the culture of yoga.  The culture of it just didn't sit right with her.  In her words, she'd been doing yoga in the park since she was 8 years old.  She didn't understand why there was all this hoopla about how to do it.  Can't anybody just do some stretching to relax?

I instantly felt myself getting my back up as I listened with one outstretched ear from across the room.  Didn't she 'get' it?!  We were all on a spiritual quest!  There was so much un-quantifiable about our experiences on the mat - why couldn't she just accept that without requiring her conscious mind to understand the science of it.  Heart over head.  Feel over-think.

But over the course of the next day I continued to ponder her declarations.  Why were there so many rules about yoga?  How we do it.  Where we do it.  What the cool studio to go to is.  Why internally rotating your thighs in supta virasana is better than neutral alignment.  Should you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth or just do nostril breathing?  Does chanting at the start of class soothe the nervous system for a smoother vinyasa or is it better if you chant at the end?  What if you don't chant at all?  (Oh gawd - heaven forbid!)

We're such a bunch of yoga nerds.  There is so much to obsess about.  It can be exhausting trying to work out the "rights" and "wrongs".  Ultimately the toxicity of judgement permeates even the most (self)righteous of communities. By trying to be inclusive, we can simultaneously exclude.  But ultimately we all have to work out what works for us in the end.  What is the best fit for each of us.  So you love Bikram.  Awesome!  I had my love affair with the dude at one stage too.  So you hate Camel pose?  Damn girl, have I felt where you're coming from.  Sure we can come up with some Freudian analysis about how your heart chakra is probably closed but really people - grow up.  If that's your view, great!  If you believe something else - sweet.  We're all on a zillion different meandering paths heading to the same place.  Side note - it took all my effort to call it 'Camel' over Ustrasana.  The yogeek in me likes teaching sanskrit.  There's something oh-so romantic and mysterious about the vedic language.. but let's be honest.  If I say Ustrasana and only half of you know what talking about - it's like teaching preaching in Japanese when your audience speaks only Swedish.   Isn't the point to share yoga because we get glory from the benefits we see from it in our own lives?  To share and make it accessible to as many people as possible?  Yoga for every body.  Yoga is about chillaxing.  Sure it's got a lot of layers (8 limbs some might argue).  But perhaps for a moment, we can simply take our own advice, chill out, and just peel it back to the 'I do yoga because I do yoga.' 

Non-reactivity is my practice off the mat.  Equinimity is my yoga.   So as it turns out, my non-yogic friend is actually quite yogic after all.  For there is a guru within each of us.  There is a lesson in each experience.  You just have to get past your small self to find it.

"The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.
That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars and whether
They had one, or not, upon thars."  - Dr. Seuss 

Ustrasana / Camel (with an internal spiral rotation of the femur and an anterior pelvic tilt) at sunset.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Procrasti-Nation. That which you resist, Persists.

Lately I've been in a bit of a rut.  Not a life rut, a creative rut.  Life is swell.  In fact, it blows my brain how Mademoiselle Universe continues to out-do herself daily.  Though I have the usual daily struggles with my small mind, the turmoil with that little voice in my head (don't sweat the small stuff) - on the whole it's clear I must be doing something right.  Things are manifesting more frequently and more easily everyday.  The static is slowly subsiding.  I must be honing in on the right frequency.

There is one area of my life though, one slice of the sweet cherry pie that warrants a little gushy smothering of love.  It's the creative pudding.  My blog.  My writing.  My creative soul.  My Voice.

It doesn't seem to make a difference how much I want it to be this big, juicy, empowering, golden daily nugget of sunshine that inspires people around the globe to talk about and open up about over coffee with a friend.  Simply put - wishing and not writing will not make this happen on it's own.  Talk is cheap - especially when it's the words of the small mind creating excuses to keep me from writing. "Your message isn't clear.. you don't know exactly what the point is before you start writing a piece/peace... what are people going think?"  The latter sucks the most wind out of my creative sails.

But - That which we resist, persists.

Pretty sure I remember the line "resistance is futile" from a circa 1995 episode of Star Trek (no shame - I'm cool with it!)  Or, as renowned Canadian author Robin Sharma more recently, eloquently and yogic-ally put it:   

"What you resist will persist; what you befriend, you will transcend."

The flywheel ain't gonna start spinning on her own.  But she also doesn't want to stay still.  Restlessness will always prevail thanks to the wisdom of our deeper seeded higher self.  The flywheel is begging for just a little nudge, and then another, and then another to get her going.  

While wishing, hoping and dreaming are all perfect places to start.  Ultimately these sew the seeds of intention.  Intention, with the right conditions sprouts into thoughts.  Thoughts when given just the right about of loving kindness rise up into words.  And words, when in line with our highest purpose grow into deeds which sew the wishes, hopes and dreams that we seek.  

You are what your deep, driving desire is.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny 
   -- Brihadaranyaka Upanishad IV.4.5

So whether it be writing that blog.  Getting up early to meditate.  Or lacing up those sneaks for a jog before sunset.  The persistence of your higher self will ultimately beat the resistance of your small mind.  It's just up to you how long you'd like to keep resisting the flow, instead of surrender to it.  There's no better place.  There's no better time.  Then right now.  

If this post spoke to you, chances are it could also inspire a friend!  Why not share it?!  'Like' us on Facebook and connect with like-minded folk in the awesomasana tribe.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

wishing tree

A dear friend hosted an 11/11/11 party over the weekend to celebrate the interconnectedness and the oneness of our community.  The date lends itself to auspiciousness in numerology, binary, (computer nerds eat your heart out!),  links with the Mayan Calendar, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day and as if that weren't enough it also synched up with the full moon!  If there ever was a powerful time to set forth some fierce intentions into the universe this was it!

The aim of the gathering was to inject some divine and loving energy out into the ether and allow it to multiply and return to us to manifest with loving abundance.  Upon arrival at the par-tay, (after downing the celebratory shooter), guests were instructed to inscribe their wish for the coming year onto a small card and hang it on the tree in the front yard - a Wishing Tree!

Now the shooter and the wish were awesome.  However, what was particularly cool about the whole thing was what was written on those cards and cast out into the crisp autumn night.  Cards were thoughtfully handwritten by each guest as they arrived. And unbeknown to all the guests, a common thread became quickly apparent among the wishes.

They were all the same.

Different words yes.  Some short and concise.  Some with drawings.  Some swirly calligraphied essays requiring multiple cards.  Same wish.

My small mind perked up and asked "But how could all these strong, beautiful, powerful women be wishing for the same thing as little old me?"  The deeper seated wisdom of my big mind replied: "Because you are one and the same."  Whoa?  Is it possible that all these fabulous, successful women who in my eyes 'had it all figured out', were in fact meandering on the same journey from fear and doubt towards all encompassing self love, much as I was?  (Big Mind: "Duh.")

Miraculous things have started to shift in the universe since that auspicious night.  Women stepped into their power.  Others had the courage to change their job.  Some released the pain of losing a loved one.  One special women had a pivotal shift in how she perceived her relationship.  Game changing stuff.


The cool thing is that miracles are available to us all the time.  They're happening all the time.  Simply put - a miracle is a shift in perception.  It's the moment you start choosing to perceive your life with love instead of fear. (Gabrielle Bernstein)

So - what kind of miracles will be called to action today?  Chocolate or vanilla?  You choose.

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Monday, October 31, 2011

revolution (aka miracles) are in the air

Is it just me or is anyone else sensing an imminent and exciting shift bubbling below the surface.  An energetic vibration beginning to buzz on an increasingly perceptible level.  Like we're approaching the edge of a cliff of our own making.

"Come to the edge we said.  And they said no - it's too high.
Come to the edge we said.  And they said no - we're gonna fall.
Come to the edge we said.  And they very reluctantly came.
And we pushed.  And they flew."  (From the film 'One Giant Leap')

Now I'm not talking just a personal breakthrough - not to demean the value of this towards the global good, but I'm talking here about something much, much greater.  Like the accumulation of personal shifts of masses of people all around the world. A global restlessness is brewing and the impending shifts this inspires is fast approaching.

Think about it.  In the past 6 months we've seen:
  • 2 major riots in Vancouver and London.  This widespread energetic release of stress or discontent is much like a bird flapping it's wings after a fright to relieve stored stressful energy.  (Oh and just to point out another meaningful coincidence, the Vancouver riot fell on the eve of a full moon!) 
  • We've seen Libia AND Syria come out of major civial political unrest and are at the crest of creating a whole new possibility for their people.  
  • We've seen the Occupy movement spread not just across America but to build tent cities in major centers around the world with protesters peacefully standing for global transformation.  
Thanks to public icons like Oprah and Guru to the Stars Deepak Chopra, pop culture has seen an increasing focus on spirituality.  And I don't mean your old school Ma 'n Pa churchies.  I mean hip, young Spiritual Gangsters.  The current yoga participation rate is increasing by the minute. The number of minutes spent in peaceful meditation is growing daily thanks to groups like the Art of Living and an abundance of online challenges making guided meditations accessible and easy.  With the auspiciousness of 11.11.11 (meaningfully, also another full moon) just around the corner and the unknown projections of the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012 it certainly does feel like we are 'coming to the edge' of a major shift in how the world as we know it works.

So raise your vibration.  Spread your wings.  It's time to fly.

It's time to wake up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life is Meant to be Joyful

"Life is meant to be joyful."  She spoke these words to both open and close the most epic kundalini yoga class at lululemon athletica last night.  Seriously - we were rocking out to "Party Rock Anthem" like you've never seen.  Yoga traditionalist wouldn't have cringed at our awesome asanas us we seriously got our groove on looking more like a dance hall than a yoga studio.  Smiling.  Sweating.  Freeing energy.  Laughing. Playing.  "Life is meant to be joyful."

Contrast this to the capoeira class that I just returned from this afternoon.  What is it?  Well let's just say Papa Martial Arts met Mama Brazilian Music and.. boom boom POW!  Capoeira was their darling lovechild.  This dynamic artform weaves together music, drumming, acrobats and self defense.  What's not to love right?!

Well in all fairness to Baby Cap, it was only my 3rd class.  I like the idea of Capoeira.  I like the playful acrobatics of one handed cartwheels and walking on my hands.  I like the strength and power of the combative dance-like martial artsiness.  I like the idea of having the core strength (and rockin' bod) of a Capoeira chick. 

So in spite of my efforts to embrace a 'beginner's mind' and enjoy the unknown of my new found activity, I found my mind (and gut) racing back to grade 3 gym class.  Good ol' Canada Fitness Testing and I was the slowest girl around the track for the endurance test.  (OK not dead last but let's just say I got a 'Participation' badge in the event.)  There was nothing joyful about this instructors' barking words.  There was nothing joyful about having to do pushups because someone else in class couldn't name the correct Portuguese word for the drumming beat we were listening to.  There was no smiling or laughing or playing. 

And so I weighed my options.  (1) Stay and sit outside my comfort zone (aka - grow).  Or (2) pursue something more joyful.  With a mounting sense of 'igottagetouttahere' filling up my belly,  and the class paused for a water break, I seized my opportunity, my backpack and kindly thanked the instructor as I opted for option two (or dues as they say in Portuguese). 

I know what you're thinking and part of me is thinking it too.  Growth is achieved outside our comfort zones.  If we don't grow we die.  Think about it.  Nothing in nature is stagnant.  We're either growing, blossoming, shining, expanding or we're receding, retracting sinking, sulking, not to mention boring. Just because something motivates growth doesn't mean it's necessarily joyful.  (I can't say I enjoyed memorizing all 206 bones in the human body but I was damn well chuffed with myself when I ultimately rocked a Masters degree.)  Conversely, joyful activities don't necessarily inspire growth. (I feel joy when Presidents Choice Candy Cane icecream hits my freezer every Christmas but it doesn't often spawn personal growth.. other than that of my waistline.) 

But the two aren't mutually exclusive either.  " 'William Butler Yeats wrote that happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth.  We are happy when we are growing.'  Contemporary researchers make the same argument: that it isn't goal attainment but the process of striving after goals - that is, growth - that brings happiness."  -  Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project

The key is finding the optimal combination of joy and growth in an activity that keeps us coming back for more.  A balance that is as unique and personal as each and every one of us.  To complicate it further, because we're so adaptable, we become accustomed to activities, in turn causing them to lose their luster (like the excitement of driving your Toyota Matrix that wears off over time).  And so, we seek out new more exciting ones - in essence to maintain an environment of growth. 

So just trying capoeira was enough to satisfy my need for growth.  (I can now confidently do one handed cartwheels in both directions thank you very much!) But the lack of joy it brought me wasn't the right recipe to keep me coming back for more.  Instead, walking home with the warm sun on my back,  relishing in finding a new recipe, cooking it for dinner and then sitting down to write this blog inspired the optimal happiness : growth ration for this gal. 

After all, Life is meant to be joyful.

*Check out the Party Rock Anthem video for some crazy yoga-inspired break-dancing at the end.  And a dancing Jesus.  Enough said.

** For a rockin' yoga class to inspire joy and challenge growth visit