Monday, December 29, 2008

Radha gets her Groove back...

Most often a period of suffering and pain provides time for deep contemplation and if we're open to it...a period of healing. Suffering is a vehicle for us to step outside of ourselves and see that we are not the only ones who suffer. And that our suffering is not nearly as severe as many. This suffering has taken me to a place of unwavering gratitude. I find a blessing in almost everything around me...still working on that almost part. I'm finding that I am surrounded by amazing people, teachers in every face I come across. Eyes, words and hands helping to heal my open wounds with love and empathy. Gratitude.

One teacher of mine, Tricia, said to me, "God teaches us to hold on loosely to things in our life because you never know when you have to let go." This is sometimes hard to hear, but I realize how attached I've become to certain things and it's time to "not take it too seriously"...thank you, Kyle, another wonderful teacher.

So, this period of great healing has brought me back to the mat with more discipline, more calmness and more of a feeling of necessity for the practice. "To become a great teacher, one must practice more than teach..." thank you, Victoria.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Speak yourself into existence

Much of what I am learning about life is that we create our lives moment by moment by a series of conscious and unconscious choices. If we can simultaneously be conscious throughout those choices then we will be consciously living, awake and alive. Part of that truth resides on the confidence one has with I trust my own voice? Voice being an extension of the breath, breath being life and the I trust my own spirit? Good question...I realize that this is a question that I have been working on without realizing that I need to make this choice. It is an age old question of faith. Faith in yourself and ultimately faith in the in God. God has given me this voice to use as a tool for healing myself, others and the universe. All I have to do is trust this voice, trust God's voice that comes out of my lips. Why do I doubt? I know and can feel the fear that makes my throat feel tight, my heart beat fast...And when I release my voice and speak life into fruition, I feel free and light.

There is no coincidence that I went to a Song Healing workshop after only last weekend realizing that my throat chakra is where I'm locked right now. Why is it I can teach yoga to a group of 40 people, but when I speak in front of my peers I doubt myself? Krishnamurti says to always face it. Face that fear that wells up. Unlock the tightness by becoming one with it. Once we start to realize that we are fear instead of separate from it...we'll stop running away from it...we'll become part of it and then it can melt like the sand under a tide.

In yoga we talk about intention...setting your intention for your practice and we also talk about speaking with intention. This is my lesson. Speak with intention. Every word uttered is an expression of the spirit so make it a conscious intention as it vibrates throughout the entire universe...Speak with love. Speak with kindness. Speak with no judgment. Speak from the heart which is the spirit which is the breath. And last but not least, Just speak...Find the expression that is dying to come out and speak it, sing it, SCREAM IT....Just let it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Landmark letters

I recently went to the Landmark Forum and there are a series of exercises that you are asked to do in order to complete your past so that you can truly start to reside in the present moment. From your present moment, you can really create any possibility. Part of the exercise is to write a few letters to people you have been inauthentic with in your life and then you share your letter with your partner. It is important for me to share both of my letters here on this blog. The first letter is to my brother, and the second letter is to myself.

Dear Jimmy,

What I came to Landmark to accomplish is to improve my communication skills. What I am actually accomplishing is finding out what I'm holding back in my own self-expression in all of my relationships, especially the one with you. the possibility I have invented for myself and my life is the the possibility of being a fully self-expressive and inspiring leader/yoga teacher and leave my fear behind. I feel that being fully expressive means that I have to confront the issues that we have in our family. I want to apologize for not reaching out to you sooner. i feel that I am missing out on being a great Aunt to your kids. I just want you to know that I love you, Nikki, and the kids and I am ready to leave everything behind and start fresh with our family. i would like to extend an invitation to you to get together the next time you're in town to talk.
I love you, Jessica

Hello Me,

i came to the Landmark Forum with lululemon athletica and I came here to find out why I react to things the way that I do. What I am actually accomplishing is finding out that we are all scared of being alone and the truth is that there are people all around us...How could anyone ever possibly be alone. It is because we choose to isolate ourselves. The possibility I have invented for myself and my life is to inspire others and make a difference in the world. Through my yoga teachings, i have the power to impact humanity in a positive way by showing people the tools that we all own to be in touch with their true selves. It would be awesome to teach yoga to abused women to so they can find the strength within themselves to lead a pain-free let them know they are not alone.

I have been selfish to you by not sticking to commitments in many areas of life, with friends and family. Through commitment to myself, I can be more committed in other areas of life. I make a commitment to not say "Yes" to everything and everyone and voice my opinion when I am enrolling others in staying true to themselves. I allow other people in my life and give them unconditional love without expecting anything in return. I acknowledge that I can't do everything myself and I invite others in my life to help me when I'm feeling overwhelmed.

i've been resenting that others can do it "better" and I accept that I do it the way I do it and am open to learn new ways to do things. I regret I haven't communicated with an open heart to other people in my life and that is the way to be truly authentic. i realize that at work i have been getting pulled into other people's drams instead of coaching them out. I offer my voice from my heart, from my true self, to stand and be authentic with myself by being t rue in my word to other people. I commit to not worrying about what people think of me and act in a way to positively impact the future of humanity. i invite you to stay committed to this possibility and to your integrity.

Love, me

i continue to look at this and I know that I have followed through with some of these things, but revisiting this place is important in my personal development. To whoever reads this, thank you for allowing me to share this very tender part of my heart.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Blessings Galore

It has taken me over a month to write about the momentous event of being in the presence of the living Guru of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Here he is with his daughter, Saraswathi, at the grand opening of the Ashtanga Research Institute located in Islamorada, FL.

When I bowed before his feet and honored the puja blessing, I can say that I felt like I was a part of a historical event taking place. After I bowed, I gazed into Guruji's eyes, and they were both ethereal and sharp. It was as if I was gazing into an egoless pool of love that had infinite depth, and I immediately was zapped into a state of divine humbleness.

One thing that I learned is that even though I bowed in honor of the lineage that I practice and teach so diligently is that he is but a man. We are all made of the same essence and it is important to see just that. Peeling past the layers of what we deem "is" by what we "think" in our own ego-centered opinions and merely seeing something for its true nature...a mirror of our own state of being.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Form vs Formlessness

Through yoga philosophy we know that we are all part of ONE universal energy or consciousness and that this energy is Formless. Regardless of age, race, sex, creed, status or even thought....we are all connected through this vibration. The body and everything in our lives is but a physical manifestation or FORM of that underlying formlessness. Everything we have become and everything we are becoming is just a result of that which we have created for ourselves through thought and experience. In this constant state of Evolution....birth, preservation, death, rebirth, etc...We are solely responsible for the creation of new thoughts and those moving you toward your goals...Whatever they may be....This can be actualized through meditaion on the goal until the Formless idea materializes into Form! Anything is possible!

If we can think of our true Self as a diamond with our human form as being the unpolished surface, we can continuosly be polishing the suface of our diamond so that it shines clearly and brightly in all directions. Connecting to this place as often as possible, practicing mindfulness in our yoga asana or meditation, allows us to come in contact with our true Selves, Pure Consciousness. When we get a glimpse of that state, it is easier for us to having loving kindness and compassion for others because we are reminded again of that universal energy that connects us into One.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bittersweet Memories........

The new Teacher training program is rolling out at Yoga Life and I have to admit...there are some sparks of jeolousy that I cannot hide. I will take it as a growth spurt and move on....because as I entered the shala Jyotees' welcomed me with open arms and hearts. I see the place they are today and I know the place they are traveling through,,,,I hope to be light through the path.

My practice today felt so light and lovely...I am dedicating every practice from here on out to the Supreme,,,,the One, the Almighty~

Guruji in a WEEK! Oh my goodness, am I really a piece of this history? I think I AM!!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Who me?

Ever since the finale of the teacher has gotten busier, it has slowed has continued. There has been an undeniable shift in my place in the universe. Blessings are popping up everyday. Little reminders that I have chosen the correct life path. I have to admit that sometimes I have to check myself and my ego at the door, but that is definitely what takes me back to the mat. Everytime I practice I settle in to that familiar place within myself that is getting easier and easier to be friends be one with. I'm finding that as a teacher you have to stay inspired to be an inspiration. This rang true for me today when I received a phone call from a student that moved to Seattle. He asked me for a recommendation letter for a Yoga Teacher Training program. He told me I inspired him to become a yoga teacher.


Let me just sit down! I had to take a seat. I was at work and I had to relish that moment. As a new teacher, I had no idea that in the short time I had been teaching, I had affected someone's life so profoundly. This inspires me to keep practicing. It inspires me to always check my ego at the door and to be humble in this journey. I don't ever want the "new car smell" to go away in my yoga practice and my teaching. What a lesson I've learned. Thank you William.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Graduation memories....

I met some beautiful friends along this journey and it is a part of my life that I will always cherish. These moments, all of them, are only experience each moment one present. We all had doors opened, closets cleaned out and windows smashed into a thousand pieces. It seems now that all the raw interior is's time to minimize the external, organize what is needed and move forward to the next spiritual hurdle. Our circle was so tight that to let go of the ring feels like I'm abandoning something....but, I feel it tightening. I feel the threads of friendship weaving together, the colors bleeding like that of the red towel in the white wash, forming an inseparable pink bond of trust. Goddess Energy is powerful. I feel it here in this group of yoginis. I send my love to each of you on your spiritual quest and know that I am your faithful devotee...

om shanti shanti shantihi

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.......

it's Radha. The divine, transcendental love of Krishna. Yesterday I graduated from the teacher training program at Yoga Life and my teacher and friend, Sati, blessed us all with Sanskrit names. This is the story of Radha...

"Radha is recognized as the loveliest of all the cowgirls. Theirs was a love hidden from society, given Radha's status of a married woman. The word Radha means the greatest worshiper of Krishna. 'Krishna enchants the whole world, but Srimati Radha enchants even Him. Therefore, Radha is the Supreme Goddess.' Radha's love for Krishna is all consuming and compels her to ignore her family honor and disregard her husband. Their relationship develops on Krishna's captivating charm and aura of passion as Radha falls into a state of desire for this God. Radha is the soul; Krishna is the God. Krishna is the shaktiman - possessor of energy - and Radha is His shakti - energy. She is the female counterpart of the Godhead. She is the personification of the highest love of God, and by her mercy the soul is connected with the service and love of Krishna.

Radha is married or involved with someone else, and still cannot resist Krishna's musical call. In being with Him she risks social censure, alienation and humiliation. Riddled with shame and inappropriateness, this is hardly a relationship that purportedly embodies the highest union of pure love. Music becomes the voice of their illicit love which is too passionate, and secretive. Krishna is the cosmic musician who woos the gopi's (cowherd girls) with his tunes. Krishna's flute sounds so powerful that they embodied the energy of the cosmos. His beauty, charm and musical skill impassion women everywhere. In the embrace of Krishna, the gopis, maddened with desire, found refuge; in their love dalliance with him who was the master in all the sixty-four arts of love, the gopis felt a thrill indescribable; and in making love with him in that climatic moment of release, in that one binding moment, they felt that joy and fulfillment which could not but be an aspect of the divine.

Krishna represents the private life of the Absolute. His relationship with Radha, His Divine consort, actually constitutes the private life of Krishna. In this relationship, Love reigns supreme as Krishna surrenders to Radha. Krishna is lovestruck while Radha has taken over control. He has surrendered to the Power of Love. Very few people really understand this relationship and the message it contains. The supreme object of devotion, Krishna, worships the highest devotion, Radha. The zenith of Radha and Krishna's love affair is the Raas-Leela, the circular dance of love. The Raas-Leela points to the highest potential of the soul. It is within this context of the circular dance that the highest is couched in apparent selfishness.

Real love exists between Radha and Krishna. Real love is transcendental and spiritual. We have to become attracted to spiritual love and give up false love and beauty, which are only skin-deep. Krishna consciousness means to be serious and determined to transcend the material attraction between man and woman in order to become attracted to the lotus feet of Radha and Krishna. Srila Prabhupada said, "The sum and substance of material life is attraction for woman. And the sum and substance of spiritual life is attraction for Radha-Krishna".

Wow. That is pretty hot! I have to admit that when I first heard my name at the graduation ceremony, it didn't immediately click with me. Maybe I felt that the namesake was so powerful that I wouldn't be able to fulfill it. But, the more I read this story...the more I am dissolving myself into it...intertwining myself and irreveocably surrendering to the Radha-Krishna story. I love that Radha was a cowgirl...I'm a western, cowgirl....rough-and-tumble, not-gonna-give-up, gonna wear my cowgirl boots and belt buckle kinda that definitely appeals to me. I have to say that Radha's devotion to Krishna is breathtaking. I have much to learn of their love and hope with my biggest heart-filled joy that I can love like her and be a lover like her!

This time of my life is a time of death, birth, and rebirth...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dedication to the teachers....


Preparation for the Final Exam is underway for the Teacher Training, and I will be graduating in just under two weeks. Wow. I've grown. I feel I've been uprooted, a little bit raw and exposed, but where the sun can shine on my face. Every aspect of my life has changed. I have a new outlook and that makes me hopeful. I have inspirations to meet and dreams to ponder. I feel that my knowledge of Yogic science and philosophy is just surfacing and I need to delve more deeply now. The journey has begun and its definitely not ending with graduation.

It is amazing how many emotions bubbled up from deep down inside me. Confrontation to these things that have been with me through this life, that I have carried along as baggage when all they are "things." They are not who I am. Letting go of the blame for why something makes me the way I react to life is transformational. I am not this, I am not that. I am a part of the present moment....extended in all directions simultaneously. I am a part of you as you are a part of me.

I don't doubt that it will often be difficult to be disciplined with myself. Such is the journey of life....a collection of unending choices to govern all our future karma. Dealing with what has already been dealt to us is the surprise. I feel graced to have a support system of beautiful teachers all around me....even You as you're reading this. You inspire me to stay on the path of yoga. I learn from you that life is for loving and giving and sharing and growing. Thank you, Oh teacher!

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu
Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sak Shat
Param Brahma
Tash Mayi Shri
Guruvey Namah

(Our creation is the teacher
Our present life is the teacher
Our trials, hardships, difficulties and death is the teacher
The Guru nearby is the teacher
The Guru indescribable beyond all form
I offer all my efforts to the teacher...)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hello 2008....(shake hands)...

Sati and I having fun at the Casbah...

This year is turning into an adventure already. I have taken on this role as Yoga Teacher/Manager of a Yoga Studio Lady and I tell is amazing. This is what my life was made for. I feel as if I'm walking in someone else's shoes and then I realize their mine! I can only give love and gratitude to my teachers, Sara and Sati, and that they have prepared me for this moment.

My mind seems to be turning inside out right now. I feel like I'm shaking out my brain like a you shake out a rug trying to get out all the dirt, dust, and "stuff" that sticks to it. The stuff that not even a vacuum will pick up. For the first time, in a long time, I feel that things are starting to click and tick. Things are starting to make sense. I have to say that reading the Yoga Sutras has opened my eyes to the entirety of the Ashtanga System: an Eight-Limbed Practice. Asana only representing one of the limbs...I now know that I want to encourage my future students to study the Sutras and yogic philosophy and to practice the other seven limbs.

The Eight-Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga:
1) Yamas (Restraints)
2) Niyamas (Observances)
3) Asana (Posture)
4) Pranayama (Breath Control)
5) Pratyhara (Sense Control)
6) Dharana (Concentration)
7) Dhyana (Meditation)
8) Samadhi (Enlightenment)

Understanding how the limbs work together needs to be studied and contemplated at length. I am merely a humble student to be blessed with this tradition and lineage of greatness.

And now I must return to my studies.....