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

Friday, April 30, 2010

My brain hurts...IN AN AMAZING WAY!

After meditation yesterday, which I must mention is becoming easier for me, Grant spoke about the 5 pain bearing obstructions in life also known as the 5 Klesha’s. This is something so interesting to me. I have done a lot of reading on it from just last night. I want to study more about this...but so far I think this is what I understand...there is still so much to learn.

When we are meditating, eventually thoughts will arise. It could be a weak thought or an intense thought, it could be an honorable thought or a negative thought. In any case the situation is the same. It seems necessary to do something about this right then and there and there are usually 3 things we can do about these thoughts.
The first thing is that we need to recognize that the thought has arisen, and once we recognize that the thought is in attendance we need to somehow restrain the thought, in other words get hold of it. Finally we need to apply a remedy, a wisdom that serves as an antidote to that thought.

When you first start with meditation there can be some thoughts that seem quite uncomfortable to sit with. You don't examine or investigate the thought. All you “do” is in a calm way look directly at it. When you look directly at the thought, the material of the thought will disappear, and all that you’ll see is its nature. As a beginner I have experienced this whether I wanted to or not. It came with the territory of mediating. Practice does make perfect and I do believe that down the road I will be able to apply what I’ve learned and have the ability to see the nature of the thought first, rather than its substance.

So the first step is recognizing that a klesha has arisen. Usually we aren’t even aware of it when it happens as we’re so use to these feelings. Once you’re at a point where you’re more mindful of these feelings we’re able to acknowledge them right away and deal with it properly.

The 5 Klesha’s

They are our thoughts. They are the origin of all the desolation and afflictions of life. We live and suffer from beginning to end with these flaws, and they must be understood before any real practice can begin.
They are obstacles we must overcome so we’re able to enjoy Yoga, a happy life and true cosmic harmony, and unless we can learn to sit with it, and control them, we might find that we are more or less discouraged.

1.Avidya: Ignorance
Not the same as Stupidity, but “not seeing” or “ignore”. The work of avidya is to suppress the real nature of things and present something else in its place. Looking at something, but seeing something else. For example an alcoholic sees another drink as the answer to his problems.

2.Asmita: Ego “I-am-ness”
The work of asmita is when we create a self-image of ourselves that we believe is us, but it is not us. An imagined personality. “Ego is a mask we wear to try and hide and veil what we are.”

3.Raga: Attachment
Attachment to things, people, or ideas. In its negative to things we cannot own or keep. Having the mindset that “this is mine” Raga has been known to cause war, conflicts with race, money, and countries. People begin to pursue human relationships, prosperity, information and power, but considering change is the nature of all creation…all within are temporary and therefore could be lost at anytime.

4.Dvesha: Repulsion “the hate which follows pain”
A very strong dislike for something; the very opposite of Raga. When we experience something we like, we want more. When the experience leaves us feeling pain, eventually the pain and anger turns into depression, helplessness, and hatred. This can be towards you, others, or the world, and in most cases all 3.

5.Abhinivesha: The fear of death…the fear of life…
Why do we fear death? Is it because we know it’s the ending of the ability to fulfill our desires and destiny? Or that’s our existence will be terminated? Abhinivesha is the main cause of all our fears. We might not like to admit it sometimes…but we ARE afraid. We all have our reasons. When anything obstructs our gain on these objects of love and/or desire, WE are annoyed, we are afraid of that, and we lose our mental balance. We become selfish and jealous of those things that we are not able to enjoy, yet other do.
We should instead sit (tapas) with the thoughts or feelings that arise (samskara’s) and deal with them. Find out the root of the problem. By doing this the thing that is deeply buried in your subconscious mind should be released or dispelled. When something like this comes up again in life we’ll feel stronger, we’ll deal with it differently (or maybe we won’t) therefore reducing the samskara’s.

The kleshas are embossed on chitta, the “individual consciousness”(memory bank)
Even after death the chitta retains the kleshas in seed form and they sprout to full fruition in the next incarnation. This leads us to karma.

Karma: “for every event that occurs, there will follow another event whose existence was caused by the first and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant according as its cause was skillful or unskillful”

So you’ve recognized the arising of the klesha, and although normally we consider kleshas poisonous and challenging, you don't try to stop or get rid of the klesha when it comes up, nor do you try to chase it out, stop it, or indulge it. You don't need to stop it because the nature of the klesha is empty (made up from fear/ignorance)
So consequently once you have recognized the arising of whatever klesha it is, then you simply look directly at its nature without altering anything, without attempting to alter your mind or the klesha. You sit with it, stir up some heat. This is called Tapas, literally meaning “heat”. As you look at its nature you will experience and recognize its nature. In order to do this your mind needs to be somewhat relaxed, but also you need to have a lucid consciousness (meditation).
While the klesha does not particularly disappear, its nature is recognized(understood from all angles) and it is no longer poisonous or problematic creating more or deepening old samskara’s “scars”

I had no idea what to call this blog...because my mind was so tired, FULL and overflowing with's SUCH an amazing feeling!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

In Motion for a Cure

Sunday April 25th, 2010 was our Yoga in Motion double fitness marathon in Toronto at the Liberty Grand. The 8 of us girls have been waiting, preparing and fundraising for this for quite a while now. I’m sad that it’s finished.
It was an amazing day! The 8 of us got to Liberty Grand all ready to go in our matching Tie-dye pants and t-shirts. Thanks to Lindsey for making those for us...they were PERFECT...and a BIG hit! We set up our mats FRONT ROW! We couldn’t believe how many vendors were there and how much FREE stuff we were given. Amanda was in heaven! Everything from lip balm, mat sanitizer, food, juice smoothies, protein powders, gift certificates...we got spoiled! Not to mention ALL the food that was set up for us.

Opening ceremonies started. Dr Shapiro was there and talked about her fight with breast cancer. I had no idea, and her story was VERY moving and inspirational.
Not only was there yoga, there were also Zumba classes going on at the same time. Just picture fast paced, Latin style dancing. I chose to do mostly yoga as I wanted to experience the different teachers and styles. We started and it was a blast! Each teacher brought something very different to the room. Each teacher valued something different. Jp, this one teacher from Octopus Garden had us get a partner and while in Warrior 2 we had to be directly in front, eye to eye. I had someone I had never met before...and WOW this was challenging. It’s strange how uncomfortable we get. Allowing someone to look into the deepest part of ourselves. It makes me realize HOW much the eyes have to say. This is something I’m going to personally work on when speaking to someone. You can really learn a lot.

There were a few people walking around adjusting, and some photographers. We’re almost sure we’ll be on the cover of the poster for next year’s event. So many people talked about how they loved our outfits and energy within our group. I couldn’t agree more. These 8 girls have made my life SO amazing.
During lunch we all brought something to share. We had our own “smorgasbord” of food and it was Yummy! We became friends with the main photographer of the event, Chuck. We’re looking forward to seeing ALL the pictures he took of us.
After the event they had the closing ceremonies. The announced the big group winners, single winner. Thanked us for a job well done and gave us ALL a bag full of goodies. I think i left with 6 bags of something...considering I drove; the trunk of my car was overflowing with everything yoga. It was great!

After, we all decided to go to eat dinner at a place called Fresh. Amazing food, fun atmosphere!
There was also a meditation class that night that a few of the girls were going to. I personally was EXHAUSTED so I didn’t go. 4 of us stayed and the other 4 drove home.
It was all together an amazing event with amazing woman! Team Kula ended with about $4700.

Thank you to ALL who supported us during the last few months. You have been MORE than gracious with your donations and more than supportive with you words of wisdom, time and effort coming to our fundraising events. We couldn’t have done this with the help of our amazing friends and family. We ALL thank you from the bottom of our yoga hearts! We love you! XoXo

Check out over the next couple days to see posted pictures as well as the grand total raised by all of us...SO excited to see the final amount!

This isn’t the end of Team Kula. We’re moving on to bigger fundraisers and events. Keep an eye out for that tie-dye ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 I come!

I WILL BE GOING!!! Universe...listen LOUD and CLEAR! I WANT THIS! It's going to happen!

Last night Amanda and I went to the 7pm class. We’ve been a little discouraged as one of our favourite teachers isn’t teaching the 7pm class anymore. We both felt we were JUST getting close with her.

Megan’s class was amazing. She had a way of relaxing me more than any teacher before. I always enjoyed her class for one of the simplest reasons, the lights were off. This totally changes the practice, the flow, and the energy. It isn’t for all people. It’s a more relaxing inner self concentration rather than a powerful yoga flow. Amanda and I have assisted with Megan’s class and we really got to know her as a person, not just a teacher. We really started to like her. She was completely open with us, gave us a lot of pointers and was always 100% behind our practice, teaching and learning experiences.

Amanda and I went to the 7pm class not knowing what to expect. This changes our whole flow of the week. However, we had to remember that one day soon we’ll be the new teachers and we’ll need the support of the community to make it through. We came into the VERY hot room. I glanced at the thermostat already at 35. At the front of the room there was a charka poster on the wall. A beautiful RAINBOW of colours and Sanskrit symbols. The class was quite full. Diana came in and mentioned that tonight’s class was a little different and we were all in for a big surprise. She was going to lead us through a chakra flow, opening and balancing every charka. She described the poster behind her. Amanda looked over at me and asked “did you know about the rainbow??” I smiled. Amanda knows how much rainbows mean to me and have affected my life. Now...this just makes it more special!
Diana explained that we would be opening each chakra by getting our bodies into a specific posture and chanting to release and balance the energy. The first chakra, the root chakra, connects to the structural force of our bodies, our connection to the earth, and the energy of manifestation within us. Physiologically, our bones, muscles, legs, feet, and gonads are connected to this energy.

In hatha yoga, strengthening exercises, standing postures, and poses which open the pelvic area stimulate the first chakra. Warrior 1, Triangle and Tree. In this posture, we chanted “lum” to attract and increase. We moved up the body opening all 7chakras, with postures and chanting each Bija Mantra corresponding with that chakra. After we got to the crown, we worked our way back down.

This was one of the most interesting classes I have ever been to. I have never experienced something like this and it was nice to change it up…and learn more! Diana mentioned she has never done this before and her classes aren’t like this, but she really wanted to share this with us. I look forward to going to her class again.

There is deep wisdom within our very flesh, if we can only come to our senses and feel it. ~Elizabeth A. Behnke

2nd chance @ Meditation...

I was away @ my 4 day yoga retreat again over the past weekend. I, along with everyone else was really looking forward to our Saturday/Sunday practices as they are quite long and quite challenging. When I say challenging, I mean it takes a lot to do yoga for that long, and we usually are pushing ourselves to the extremes. I love this because it really shows what I am cable of if I just TRY. Not to mention how amazing you feel for the rest of the day. Open, flexible, toned, enlightened...what more could you ask for?
Before we started, Grant wanted to meditate again for 15 minutes. I thought we only did it for 5 minutes before?! Was I going to make it through 15 now? Colin and Grant both suggested I try with my eyes open this time. It’s definitely a challenge to keep your eyes open as it’s easier for things to pop into the mind, and get carried away. I would need to focus more on my breathing and relax.
We started again in a comfortable seated position. Grant talked us through, and soon enough, the room was silent. I kept my eyes open, but in a weird way also fought the urge to close them. Maybe it was just the exhaustion of being up that early, and the Tims hadn’t kicked in yet. As I focused on my pink pen on my mat, I realized I was counting in my head. I was counting my breath as I inhaled and exhaled. 1, 2, 3, 4...1,2,3,4....until it happened on its own. My eyes became blurry, almost a dreamy state. A little trippy if you ask me. A few times I caught myself thinking about how trippy it felt...rather than focusing. Come back to the breath 1,2,3,4...1,2,3,4. I felt the breath in my stomach and felt my entire body become lighter. Is this was my aunt was talking about? I couldn’t even feel my hands on my thighs anymore. I turned my gaze inward. Grant chimed the bells and we were done. That was the quickest 15 minutes ever. I looked up and saw Grant smiling at me and giving me a thumbs up or thumbs down symbol. I smiled very big at him, and he knew!
From then on, my day and practice was great! I knew it had made a difference when Colin asked us to come into hand the middle of the room and not use the wall. Amanda looked at me and asked “are you ready?” She stood in front of me to make sure I was safe. On my second kick...I was UP! Amanda was even taken aback not to mention very proud...I was very excited and did it a second time without hesitation.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Your mind is your instrument...

Last night we started talking more about meditation. Grant led us through the experience. He had us come to a comfortable seated position, preferable seated up on something so our knees could be lower than our hips. Hand on thighs, and eyes closed. I was really looking forward to learning and practicing meditation as I have always been drawn to it, and my brother had practiced with a lot of positive results.
I was most worried about how I was going to quiet my mind and tame my thoughts. The one thing I really do love about myself is that I’m able to have such a vivid imagination, and I think a lot. As we grow older the mind can slip away so I am very thankful for the fact that I am able to enjoy it now. However, it does have its perils. Sometimes I think too much, and sometimes I can’t concentrate. It’s taken me a good 7 months to finally get a hold on my mind while practicing yoga. I use to be completely in my head. Thinking about my day, good or bad, problems, what I was going to do after yoga. I’ve learned to simply BE THERE in the moment and believe that the most important thing RIGHT THEN was me, and my body. I thought meditation would be the same. I knew it would be something I needed to work on...but this was VERY traumatic and had me saying “I NEVER want to do this again!”

We closed out eyes as Grant walked us through. His voice is very easy to listen to. At some points it was SO quite it made me want to start laughing...I quickly pulled it together because I didn’t want to be THAT girl. After about a minute of Grant talking us through, he stopped talking and it was silent. Probably the most silence I’ve ever witnessed. He mentioned to us that if thoughts come up, let them, but don’t chase after them. Acknowledge they’re there and focus on your breathing. Nothing was coming up for me, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than breathing. This was great! I was doing it....until panic erupted inside me. My body got tense, I was clawing my thighs and had to keep reminding myself to relax. My eyes HURT, I wanted to scream! I was so tense I got the worst head ache. I couldn’t focus on my breath and I think I was even holding it at some points. I felt completely trapped. Trapped in my own body?? Wanting to scream? Was this right? This is meditation??
Every time I relaxed I felt as if I was being pulled away. I had to keep twitching my toes and clawing at myself to make sure I was still there. I was so scared. Scared of what though? I knew I was safe, I wasn’t going anywhere, I chose to be there...but I couldn’t seize that notion.
I think we stayed in for about 5 minutes , maybe? To me it felt like forever. I couldn’t wait to open my eyes. Right after this I had to do a presentation in front of the class about the God I was assigned “Ganesha” and then lead the class in a warm up flow. I KNEW I wasn’t myself, but tried to ignore it and move on. Afterwards...I broke down. I talked to my friends about it, and being as amazing and supportive as they are, they were ALL there for me. What I didn’t know is that Lindsey suffers from the same thing too. We’re looking forward to being able to support each other down the road.

I remembered something my Aunt told me about triggers. Maybe this was one of mine? However I can’t (at the moment) think of any triggers closing my eyes would bring up. Or even anything to do with meditation.

After speaking with Grant after class I felt better. He told me that he was proud of me for staying with it, even though I was uncomfortable and in distress. He told me that I WAS in fact meditating...but to remember not to try SO hard. Just let it be. These things take time to develop. Maybe keeping my eyes open would be beneficial for me to start, and working from there. I know I’m a strong woman, and I know eventually I will overcome this. I need to remember it’s not about “getting it” that’s important, it’s that over time with self-belief, tradition and just the motivation to be in the present moment I will get there, where ever and whatever works for me.

...Learn to be its master and not its slave.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Amazing article about Ashtanga Yoga.

If you ever get a chance to witness an Ashtanga's one of the most beautiful things I've ever observed.

"The beauty is that people often come here for the stretch, and leave with a lot more."

Monday, April 12, 2010


This weekend was our Family and Friends Karma Night. We are raising money for our fundraiser for Mt Sinai hospital on April 25th. It’s a yoga marathon! Our goal was to reach $1500...since we started about two months ago we have been able to triple that.

Our plan for last Saturday was to split up into two groups of 4/5 one group being “Rock and Roll Yoga” and the group I was a part of “Balahasaurya Yoga” which simply means strength and courage and what we based our classes intention on.
We all got together around 5pm to practice practice practice! I was up first as I was leading the warm up. I felt myself stumbling over my words. I didn’t know what to say, and I wasn’t comfortable. The weird thing was that these were my girls! I was ALWAYS comfortable around them. No judgment, nothing. I was wondering what I was going to be like in front of people I didn’t know, and my family and friends.
We quickly had a team meeting before people started to come to the studio. Lindsey made us amazing uniforms for the 25th, and some of us even wore them that night. Everyone was pumped and ready to go.
The studio started to fill up, and laughter, smiles, excitement and happiness filled the air. I have never seen so many friendly, supportive people. To my surprise there were people there I hadn’t seen since high school and they had come because they knew a friend of a friend. Talk about 6 degrees of separation!

We started with the 7pm regular class. I am VERY thankful we didn’t start with the HOT class first. We had about 12 people in the class. Not bad. I took a deep breath…and went for it! WOW…how easy was that I though right after I finished my 15 minutes. The flow worked well, the music was perfect, and everyone was looking pretty comfortable. I took my spot on the mat while Amanda was leading and couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. I TOTALLY WANNA TEACH YOGA is all I could say over and over in my head. After my turn of doing the practice for Amanda, I went about adjusting students. I really enjoy this because you really get to see when the student finally “gets it” where they connect suddenly to the pose, which then brings them strength, courage and a lot of confidence.
We ran through our flow from what I thought, perfectly! Afterwards I was able to talk to the students that took our class and got a lot of great feedback. I was told it was a basic, but challenging class. We all did very well. They said that they liked how much detail was given, that we had someone at the front always doing the practice so if they were lost they could look upfront, they enjoyed the music, and felt there was something for everyone. My favorite comment was from Amanda’s Mom who told me I had a very soothing voice.

One class down…one to go.

After our first class all 8 of us met up and congratulated each other on a wonderful first experience. We told each other great stories from the class, what we felt worked and what didn’t. Things we might change, or add for the next class…as we did get a second chance to improve.
Balahasaurya’s hot class was a little small, but fun and exciting nonetheless. I was lucky because it was 5 of my friends who came to support. One who had never even done yoga before, but he had the courage to try it, and I think he even might have even enjoyed it. “I came in a negative nelly, but came out happy, that was awesome”
Overall I think it’s safe to say this definitely re-established any feelings of doubt we had with ourselves, or teaching yoga. We ALL did amazing as individuals, and when we came together as a group, we were outstanding.

Thank you to ALL who came out and support our Yoga in Motion fundraiser. With your help we were able to raise over $700 and bring our goal closer to $5000!!! Way to go!
Thank you to my amazing team of beautiful Yogies. Amanda, Marylynn, Kim, Steph, Lindsey, Michelle, Emily, Shannon and Fran. I couldn’t have asked for better group of woman. Your power, love and enthusiasm is what keeps me smiling EVERYDAY!
Thanks TO YOU ALL! xOxO WATCH OUT…TEAM KULA is gonna ROCK IT on APRIL 25TH @ Yoga in Motion, FIGHT FOR A CURE!

This weekend was amazing for me. I was able to have the confidence to teach TWO classes, and restore any feelings of doubt I had in terms of teaching, or who and what I want to be. I am really looking forward to doing many more fundraisers, teaching and one day becoming an amazing yoga teacher and having the ability to unfasten people’s lives to this amazing experience.

"Some people feel the rain...other just get wet"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Family and Friends Karma Night was a SUCCESS!

I can't even begin to describe how amazing tonight was!...but I will in my next blog ;)

Thank you TO EVERYONE who came out to support. With all YOUR help, we were able to raise over $700 JUST from tonight! Way to go & NAMASTE!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ishvara Pranidhana

I wanted to speak with Colin yesterday about my journey so far, and the feelings I’m having. When I started this course I definitely wanted to end up teaching yoga, but had a very different attitude. I didn’t think it would be THIS hard. People think teaching yoga would be easy. Not at all. There’s a lot to consider. What type of yoga, regular or hot temperature, what your focus is, what do you align to? Do you want to adjust or not, and most importantly, how can you make sure that you reach out, have a conversation with everyone of your students so you may enlighten their lives. That’s a lot of pressure! However, I believe when one is ready, these things will come naturally, and if they’re supposed to...they will!

I’m meeting my Aunt Irene this Sunday and excitement would be an understatement! We have so much to talk about, and all I want to do is open my mind and heart and listen, on the other hand I have SO many questions. Nothing in this world is a coincidence...and I truly believe she has become a strong mentor in my life RIGHT NOW for a reason.

Colin mentioned yesterday that getting a Spiritual Guide would be beneficial for me and my journey. This is definitely something I will be looking into.

My aunt sent me an email the other day that really hit close to my heart. It basically reiterates everything I’ve always believed and have tried to set in place for myself. It spoke about “Getting what you want” from life, the universe, and yourself. If you’re familiar with “The Secret” then you’ll be familiar with this law, aka “The Law of Attraction”
After reading a few books on this subject over the, MY life started to make sense. I started practicing it, and without even realizing it, things started to happen. I’m not trying to sound narcissistic, but a lot of things have happened in my life because I MADE them happen. Something’s I didn’t want to happen...however I put the effort into thinking about them and giving my thoughts that type of they did. It’s humorous how I still act shocked when certain things happen...It’s not hard to go back into my mind and find the EXACT feelings that made it materialize. This can also be frustrating because I feel my mind is always racing, which leads to over thinking and self doubting thoughts. I want to learn how to control these thoughts; deactivate the negative and set in motion the positive. I’ve been told that meditation can aid in this if exercised. I’ve been thinking about meditation for a while but every time I tried it was like my mind wasn’t willing to surrender...or was it me? Is it a coincidence that Colin mentioned we’ll be studying meditation with Grant over the next few weeks....again I giggle 
I have learned that there is a big difference between saying “I want this” and practicing the law. You can ask the universe for anything, but when it doesn’t happen, you get upset, you start to think you didn’t deserve it or weren’t good enough. This isn’t the case. Want is NOT enough. When there is something that you want or desire, you also have to remember to surrender. Please note that when I use the term “surrender” I do NOT mean “give up”. Surrendering is allowing yourself to deal with what is being asked of you, and continually be conscious of what arises within. With sincere desire, there is a willingness that needs to be addressed. Are YOU ready for this; are YOU ready to work hard to achieve it? Are YOU ready to deal with the consequences (good or bad) that may occur from getting what you want as well? Sometimes to put something new into place, other things around and in you need to be adjusted. Emotions, conflict and even pain can come of this and this is where some might choose to give up.

“If there is something that you keep fighting in your life, it may hurt a little when you decide to let go."

“When you understand that you control the events of your personal experience by the power of your thought, then your focused attention to that which you want will always bring forth excited emotion -- and the excited emotion is the indicator that your creation is being propelled forward."
"...for as you make those statements -- through your thoughts, or as you voice them aloud, or as you write them on paper/blog -- you will set into motion the creation of those desires."

Colin mentioned to me to continually be conscious of what the universe is asking of me RIGHT NOW. Live my life, embrace what’s coming to me...nothing is a coincidence. Again I ask myself...WHAT DO I WANT...and ADD the question...Am I READY TO SURRENDER to what arises?

I DO want to be a yoga teacher NOW more than ever. After going through the observations, adjustments, and designing my flow for this Saturdays Karma Class It has aligned my attention now more than ever. I want to be like the teachers in my life right now. I want to be able to touch my students lives with strength, compassion and devotion so that their practice in and out of the studio may be as exhilarating as mine has been. I know it’s going to be hard work, inside and out. I am prepared, willing and energized about all that is about to happen in my life...bring it on!

"From now on, I give you my body, my mind and my heart, to do with as you please."

Monday, April 5, 2010


Saturday April 10th @ Kula Burlington Studio

7pm Regular Class
830pm HOT class

Each class 60 minutes long.

**PLEASE BE THERE at LEAST 15 mintues BEFORE class starts**

$10 minimum per class

All proceeds will go towards our YOGA IN MOTION ~*~FIGHT FOR A CURE~*~ marathon on April 25th!

I would REALLY appreciate as many of my family and friends to come out, support me and this amazing cause...and see this blog come to life! See EXACTLY what I've learned and LOVE to do!

Please contact me through facebook, email, text or call...

BE the change you wish to see in the world!