Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Finding Fullness...

I always write the best blogs after my classes with Colin. I look up to him. He inspires me, and he’s hilarious! Being a student of his, I always work harder and concentrate more. I know he would probably, actually I know he would definitely disagree with this as it’s not about trying to impress should be about making sure I’m getting all there is out of my practice.

Amanda and I went together last night. She’s an amazing girl I met through my yoga training. We have become close, along with my other friend Steph. The three of us have a lot in common...not just the same English golden retriever.

Colin always begins his classes with a quote, story or intention. This is my favourite part as it always includes a funny story, which usually I’ve heard before from our yoga training. They never get old. He has a way of making things make sense; relating yoga to our everyday life, actions, and thoughts. Last night he spoke about fullness. How can we find fullness in everyday experiences?

I’m not the type of person to walk around thinking the world and my life is awesome! I’ve been through a lot and sometimes think....”seriously?!?...why me?!?” I think everyone does at some point or another. However, I do consider myself a strong woman as I have gone through things that forced me to be this way. It’s not something you’re born with; I believe it’s something that’s created over time, with all life experiences.

Since I’ve started this journey I have looked at life, my decisions and experiences a little differently. At times it’s hard. I am stubborn, aggressive and’s the aries! Sometimes I do overreact. Hareesh has taught me that there’s no such thing as an overreaction. It’s MY reaction because something in the past has caused me to be upset, and a “samskara” (scar) has been initiated....that’s a whole other blog though...
So, when I’m fully aware and present in the moment of being upset, angry, confused or sad, any emotion really, I’ll try to find fullness within that circumstance. Take Colin’s story for example. It’s -30 one night, and you’re driving on the highway. You get a flat tire. Instead of swearing and kicking your car because we all know we’ve been there done that...but really, did we ever stop to think what good that will do us? Sure you might release “something” but will it really facilitate something? Instead, try to find fullness in the moment. How can you make something negative into something positive? Maybe this was supposed to happen? Maybe you’ll miss that accident that might have involved you down the road? Maybe that person who comes to help you might be the man or woman of your dreams, and now you’re having dinner next week. Again...this is Colin’s example, but I do see, and agree with where he’s coming from.

My past experiences have proven to me that everything happens for a reason. If I didn’t go through the tough times I went though, I wouldn’t be the strong, successful, MORE FLEXIBLE woman I am today! I’m thankful for those experiences, as they taught me a lot. Not just about life, but myself.
It’s NYE and one of my resolutions for 2010 is to TRY and examine every circumstance I’m in. Step back for a moment (it’s ok to take a minute and think...) and look at the situation as a whole. Will this decision bring fullness? Am I benefiting from this decision I make? How can I make the outcome more optimistic and encouraging?

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! May the mind, body and spirit within you bless you all with lots of love, prosperity and good health.

Cheers to 2010 and another chance for us to get it right!!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This isn't really a "yoga" inspired quote, but more so to remind me of who I am, who I want to be, and how strong I REALLY am!

It's been one year, today. I can’t believe how fast a year has passed. Maybe it was all the weddings? Maybe it was my new job? Maybe it was my new found passion for yoga? It’s probably all of these things, but one thing I know for certain, it was the incredible amount of love and support I got from ALL my family and friends!

The old ones were considerate and gave support; the new ones listened and were accepting. ALL of them gave me more love than I’ve ever received. I am so thankful for all of you in my life. You’ve made it a lot easier…and I LOVE each and every one of you.

As I continue through my journey and my life, your support will keep me grounded, your love will encourage me, and your friendship is what keeps me striving to be the best I can be!

Thank you!

In kindergarten your idea of a good friend was the person who let you have the red crayon when all that was left was the ugly black one.

In first grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went to the bathroom with you and held your hand as you walked through the scary halls.

In second grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you stand up to the class bully.

In third grade your idea of a good friend was the person who shared their lunch with you when you forgot yours on the bus.

In fourth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who was willing to switch square dancing partners in gym so you wouldn't have to be stuck do-si-do-ing with the dork of the class.

In fifth grade your idea of a friend was the person who saved a seat on the back of the bus for you.

In sixth grade your idea of a friend was the person who went up to your new crush, and asked them to dance with you, so that if they said “no” you wouldn't have to be embarrassed.

In seventh grade your idea of a friend was the person who let you copy the social studies homework from the night before that you had forgotten about.

In eighth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who helped you pack up your stuffed animals and old baseball cards so that your room would be a "high schooler's" room, but didn't laugh at you when you finished and broke out into tears.

In ninth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who went with you to that "cool" party thrown by a senior so you wouldn't wind up being the only freshman there.

In tenth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who changed their schedule so you would have someone to sit with at lunch.

In eleventh grade your idea of a good friend was the person who
gave you rides in their new car,
convinced your parents that you shouldn't be grounded,
consoled you when you broke up with your significant other
and found you a date to the prom.

In twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who
helped you pick out a college,
assured you that you would get into that college,
helped you deal with your parents who were having a hard time adjusting to the idea of letting you go.

At graduation your idea of a good friend was the person who was crying on the inside but managed the biggest smile one could give as they congratulated you.

The summer after twelfth grade your idea of a good friend was the person who
Helped you clean up from that party.
Helped you sneak out of the house when you just couldn't deal with your parents.
Assured you that now that your significant other were back together, you could make it through anything.
Helped you pack up for college and just silently hugged you as you looked through blurry eyes at 18 years of memories you were leaving behind.
And finally on those last days of childhood, went out of their way to come over and send you off with a hug, a lot of memories and reassurance that you would make it in college as well as you had these past 18 year.
But most importantly sent you off to college knowing you were loved.

Now, your idea of a good friend is still the person who gives you the better of the two choices.
Holds your hand when you're scared.
Helps you fight off those who try to take advantage of you.
Thinks of you at times when you are not there.
Reminds you of what you have forgotten.
Helps you put the past behind you but understands when you need to hold on to it a little longer.
Stays with you so that you have confidence.
Goes out of their way to make time for you.
Helps you clear up your mistakes.
Helps you deal with pressure from others.
Smiles for you when they are sad.
Helps you become a better person.
However most importantly loves you!

These are two amazing emails I received today from my best friends...Thanks again <3

"Quotes that remind me of how strong you have been!

"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
—Eleanor Roosevelt

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."
—Louisa May Alcott

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

"A strong woman walks sure footedly, but a woman of strength knows when to ask for help."

"A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey, but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong."

These all remind me of you. One year already, and not only have you handled it with strength and courage, but also with a LOT of grace. Love you xoxo"

"Hey Devon

Just read your status and I cannot believe its been a year. I know this may not be my place to say this, but I am really proud of you. You have shown incredible strength, grace and dignity in the face of such heartbreak and that to me shows what an incredible (and strong) person you are. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and sending you lots of good positive thoughts and love."


Thursday, December 24, 2009

“What you focus on, grows”

I went to my 90min class last night. I was very excited because my teacher, Colin was the instructor. I’ve never done a hot yoga practice with him (Just a 2 ½ hour regular temperature practice, during our class)

There was only about 15 people there, I’m sure everyone else was busy with family/Christmas/holiday/shopping stuff. I still can’t believe I won’t have any classes for two weeks...going through major withdrawal!

I set my mat up at the front of the class. I’m proud of myself that now I’m able to survive at the front now, as it is the hottest part of the room. Colin came in and started off with a quote, “What you focus on, grows” I smiled! This quote has been lingering with me for a few months; ever since I read the book “The game of life, and how to play it.” One of the most fascinating, incredible books I’ve ever read. It really makes sense, whatever and where ever you put all your concentration, heart and soul into, grows. Gets better, or can get worse. The phrase “I can’t” should be banned from the English dictionary in my mind. If you “can’t” you won’t! You’ll never get any further in life with those thoughts, you’ve basically set the bar and committed to the fact that you CAN’T do what you would like to accomplish. When you focus on the good, what already is and set your goals to what could be, you’ll be astonished with what can and will happen. I’m not a religious person what so ever, but I do believe “what you ask for, you shall receive”'s been proven to me time and time again.

During the class I realized that I wasn’t sweating as much as I usually do. I’m getting better, stronger. However, does that mean I’m not pushing myself beyond my boundaries anymore, therefore not working hard enough? Maybe I’m just getting use to the heat? Colin asked us how we were feeling, was it too hot, too cool? I’m the only one who mentioned I wasn’t as hot as I usually was. Colin walked over to the thermostat. “Devon, you’re right, it’s only a cool 46.4 degrees” I guess I am getting use to it.

Over the holidays my discipline will be to push myself to where I’m uncomfortable, but still at the advantage of the pose. Your discipline should always be rewarding, never punishment. I’m going to focus on going deeper in my stretch, focus on my balance, focus on quieting my mind and opening my heart. Whatever I focus on, will grow!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday to all!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Namaste to the butterflies

I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny

It is my nature that makes me love you often,
For I am love itself.

It is my longing that makes me love you intensely,
For I yearn to be loved from the heart.

It is my eternity that makes me love you long,
For I have no end.


Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha,

Tat Savitur Varenyam,

Bhargo devasya Dhimahi,

D'Yo Yona Prachodhyat.

Earth, Mid-heaven, Heaven!

Let us meditate on that most

Excellent light of Divine sun,

That it may illuminate our minds.


If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Sound of creation. Power of transformation. Reference to the divine. Honour yourself, and your radiant teacher. You’re bountifully blessed.

This was a Mantra we chanted along with Christopher Wallis aka Hareesh. Here is a little background information on this amazing person.

Chris been exposed to Indian spirituality from the age of six and was initiated into the practice of meditation and yoga at the age of 16. Six years later, while traveling through Europe and India, he felt called to study, teach, and practice Indian philosophy and meditation full-time. He now has 18 years of practice, 10 years of academic study, and 11 years of teaching experience. His degrees include a B.A. in Religion from the University of Rochester, an M.A. in Sanskrit from U.C. Berkeley, and an M.Phil. in Classical Indian Religions from the University of Oxford. He is currently earning a third masters from U.C. Santa Barbara, as well as doing doctoral research at Berkeley on the traditions of Tantric Shaivism. He received traditional education at yoga ashrams in upstate New York and India - in kirtan, mantra-science, asana, karma-yoga, and more. He currently teaches meditation, yoga philosophy, Sanskrit, chanting, and offers spiritual life-coaching. His goal in teaching is to balance accuracy with accessibility, profundity with clarity, and intellectual integrity with heart-expanding inspiration. His students have commented that his combination of rigorous and thorough knowledge with profound love for the tradition is rare and delightful.

I was lucky enough to spend 3 days with Hareesh, and I learned SO much. Our Kula Teacher Training group attended a public lecture Friday night. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who was blown away. We also got to spend Saturday and Sunday morning with Hareesh in our private Burlington studio...JUST the students!
We learned all about Tantric Yoga philosophy, from beginning around and including 600BCE- to now. We discussed what Tantric Yoga is...all of us had a different understanding of what it was.

Tantric Yoga is focused more on all the sciences of yoga and “weaves” it together (Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र; "weave" denoting continuity). Alchemy, chemistry, anatomy, mediation, anatomy and physiology.... In other words, Tantra yoga studies the tree of life instead of limiting itself to any single branch of the tree.

If I wrote everything I learned, thought about and now knew...this blog would be never ending. I’m going to touch on some of my favourite quotes, and memories of this weekend.

“The witness then abides in its true nature”

Self awareness/Reflection:

Everyone we encounter in life is a reflection of you. People come in our lives for a reason. Maybe it’s to challenge you? Consider it an opportunity for self awareness. Have you been to egotistical lately? Offensive? Sometimes the things that annoy us the most in others, is what we hate most about ourselves. Maybe they’ve come into your life to offer some sort of inner healing. Have you ever met someone, and they “get you” right away, after a simple chitchat? Think about everyone who comes in and out of your life, it’s a gift, a chance for recognition and expansion for your soul.

Bhāvanā: Engaging in the power of self awareness. “Calling into Existence”
Meditation is something that came up a lot during our weekend retreat. Learning to hold the situation in your awareness, breath into it, into the cradle of conscientiousness ...doors will open where there were merely walls. I REALLY look forward to this. This was something VERY hard for me to concentrate on as I was very sick. Closing my eyes kinda made me dizzy and nauseous. Not to mention all the sniffling, sneezing and coughing I was doing. I look forward to doing more of this once I’m fully recovered and able to be fully present and aware in the moment. I also look forward to healing a lot of my samskara’s that I know are still present within me.

Samskara’s: fundamental impressions left on the heart of an individual.

As simple as I can make it, a Samskara is a “scar”. Left behind from every experience you’ve had past and present lives. When repeated, these samskara’s can get deeper and deeper. Take a foot print in the sand for example. Water flows over sand so naturally, easy. Then a foot print is made in the sand. The water (life) still flows over the foot print, but now just a little differently. These are like scars on the heart. Experiences you’ve had in life effect the outcome of every situation after a samskara has been made. These are different for everyone. The good news is that it can be healed. Simply by adding yoga, a samskara can be released naturally. Not only with yoga, but being conscious of these “scars” When someone pushes your buttons, and you feel yourself getting all worked up, not only have they found a samskara, you’re actually deepening that scar. If you don’t react, you weaken it, and eventually it will fade.

“The cause of all our suffering, is that we don’t know who we are”

The Four Noble Truths:

1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its complete is imperfect and incomplete. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we long for, and just be content with the moments that pass by. We are given the ability to see things as they are, and except them. We are given the ability to be free from the thoughts that harness our soul. Learn to love, cherish and embody those moment, those feelings, use it to your advantage, life it too short!

What is Yoga? What does Yoga mean? The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings, and is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj," meaning "to control," "to yoke" or "to unite." There became many jokes and quotes around our practice that evening.
“WOW totally YOKED that trikonasana!!”

I made a lot of progress this weekend, mentally, physically and very much spiritually. I see a lot of what I’ve learned I already knew...but didn’t know the proper name, action, and how to follow through with it. I’m happier; a little less stressed, and I definitely know how to deal with the things that challenge me on a deeper more rewarding level.

Thank you to Kula, Hareesh, Adam, Colin, Grant and my amazing new friends!

“Divine is more than meets the eye, but everything the eye meets”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Indra's Net

Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kula's 830 class with friends

I went to class tonight, although I probably shouldn’t have as I wasn’t feeling my best. I knew the hot, and relaxation would do me good though. Not to mention the fact I was meeting 4 friends from class…and I couldn’t let them down.

Dan, Amanda, Lindsey and I went to the front, set up our mats and instead of laying down preparing ourselves mentally and spiritually for the practice…we practiced! You can always tell the Yoga students apart from the regulars. I helped Lindsey align her down dog, and we all took notes on each others poses, and postures.

Our instructor Megan began our class in savasana, as usual. It’s her thing, and I like it. Coming full circle in a practice to me makes sense. We started strong with a lot of core work. It’s funny, when she calls for down dog, a little part of me cringes now. I NEED A NEW MAT!!! Mine slips, and the stupid over priced towel I bought that’s suppose to be NON slip…makes it more slippery! I guess Christmas is coming….Santa??

Overall, even though it was only an hr class (WAY too short for me, and Lindsey!) It was a great class. I really enjoyed going with my yoga friends. Personally it makes me work harder, feel stronger, and the energy that’s fed off each other is divine. I also learned more about my 3 friends. Dan is a fireman, Lindsey loves highlighters and is super structured, Amanda needs me to face book her every Tuesday night, and we also have the same dog! These people just keep getting better and better. I look forward to having more of our friends join our Tuesday night get together @ Kula!

This weekend is our 4 day yoga retreat. Thursday to Sunday, overall it’s 24hrs of yoga! I am SO excited. Wish me LUCK!

Friday, December 4, 2009

“Making the familiar it can be familiar again”

This was something that really intregued me...but at first I had NO idea what it meant, or how to explain it. I remember trying to rack my brain thinking of how I could explain this so it would make sense to everyone. I was planning to ask Colin about in class, but he ended up going above and beyond explaining it to all of us. I also got a little help from my friend Steph who explained it like this:

Take a relationship for example. This can be any kind of relationship, with anyone. You’re close; you’re comfortable, secure, and FAMILIAR. Then something happens that throws you out of the loop, disconnects you, and sometimes turns your entire life upside down. This is where everything becomes UNFAMILIAR. It’s a VERY scary place sometimes as you’re not use to it, it’s different, and you might feel all alone. The best thing to do is embrace that feeling, think positive thoughts. How can this situation benefit you? Slowly and surly things will fall into place whether you believe they’re suppose to or not. You’ll find yourself back to being FAMILIAR again. This time around you might find that you’re more stable, stronger, and aware!

I couldn’t agree more Steph...THANKS :-)

We took this quote about making the familiar unfamiliar so it could be familiar again, and used it in during our practice today. Our entire class was devoted to the classic Down Dog (The poses of ALL poses!)

I use to always think this was the ONE posture I could do without problems. I mean my feet weren’t flat on the floor, but that was a flexibility issue, and I knew I would eventually get there. WOW...I was wrong! After yesterday this is now one of the hardest poses I’ve ever done! There are SO many aspects of down dog I never knew, or use to think about before. I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing it wrong this entire time.

Integrated, expanded, rotated, engaged, bended, straightened, rounded, melted, inwards, outwards, together, apart, drawn in/out, general form, action and isometric...are just a FEW things I have to remember when in down dog...oh, and don’t forget to breath...and be at peace??!!??

This explains being familiar and unfamiliar perfectly. When I use to go into down dog, I was confident, focused, a little tight...but aware, from what I thought. Colin and Grant then helped show us what would make this pose more beneficial to us. Stronger and more engaged. Thus being able to hold down dog for longer; with less focus on our bodies, and more focus on our mind, and spirit. Eventually this would come naturally for us. Right now I’m trying hard not to think “ya right!!!” I think it’s because the pain and ache in my shoulders and back is very intense right now.
Colin, Grant and the rest of the class helped each other move the muscles and bones in our bodies while in Down Dog. We could feel the difference between being integrated, expanded...and ALL those words listed above. Those words are different for everyone as everyone’s body is different. We learned what people with signs of scoliosis in the spine should do, and what others with hyper extended muscles would do. Half way through the class we were ALL unfamiliar with Down Dog. Not to mention frustrated and a little discouraged. We worked through all the possible moves and even going to the extremes of the positions to make sure we felt the differences. Some of us knew right away what we liked and disliked. What felt good and what didn’t.

During the next week, as we all practice in class and at home. I’m sure we’re all going to be much more aware of what our bodies are doing and hopefully move back into the familiarity of Down Dog.

When everything starts falling apart that’s when it starts to come together!