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

Friday, May 28, 2010


WHERE to start!?!

Well...I’ve graduated! I’ve successfully completed 200+ hours of Yoga Teacher Training and I am officially a Certified Yoga Practitioner!! I feel ALIVE with energy, success, courage and spirit! What a journey this has become...and I’ve said it MANY times before... It doesn’t end here.

I remember when we first started the teacher training, looking around the room at these woman and men and being overwhelmed with beauty, grace, knowledge, FLEXIBILITY, and strength! I would have NEVER thought that I was going to end up loving these people the way I do today. I would have never imagined the friendships, support, laughter and excitement I was granted because of this course. For this and so much more, I am truly grateful!

When I began the course I remember saying “I just wanna learn Dancer’s” SEE...I’ve changed! “Just” What was I thinking? I guess I wasn’t thinking. I wasn’t aware of HOW much I would learn, what doors would open for me and how far down the rabbit hole my mind was able to go. No doubt this WAS challenging for me at times. I think at times EVERY one of us felt like we might not be cut out for this, or actually strong enough to proceed. Along with the support of my loved ones, family and friends, my Kula...I survived and NEVER gave up! About my “goal” I CAN do Dancer’s, it’s MY Dancer’s and it’s beautiful! I can also do Adho Mukha Svanasana, Adho Mukha Vrksasana, Ardha Chandrasana and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, which is one of my favorites! I’ve learned that it’s not about “looking” a certain way, it’s about feeling it. Not only have I learned to move my body in ways I only imagined. I’ve learned about WHO I am, WHO I want to be and HOW I will get there. I’ve accomplished a lot over the last yr and especially the last 6 months. I’ve reached a lot of goals, which has led me to only add more to the list. Over the next year I would like to continue to teach in a yoga studio, teach privates/one on ones. Start a Yoga class during lunch and/or before work at the company I work for. Raise money and take part in more fundraisers. Travel to Bali, take as many yoga workshops/trainings as I can…and continue along the path of enlightenment. Sounds good right!?
I look forward to reaching ALL my goals, adding new ones to the list and really pushing my boundaries. I know I have a million people rooting for me on the sidelines and I am SO appreciative that you’ll be able to watch me grow and witness my dreams become my reality.

I want to begin thanking my parents for ALL the support they gave me during this course. From the day I brought it to their attention they weren’t hesitant, they told me to GO FOR IT and have believed in my from the beginning. I owe them more than they realize and I love them MORE and more each day. I remember coming home after LATE Thursday night practices and being filled with excitement and couldn’t wait to tell my Dad what I had just learned or did. I remember my Mom always being SO amazed with how much work I was doing...and always made me feel SO great and accomplished! I love you both SO much! XoXo

Thank you to my brother Chris for being the one to introduce me to yoga! WOW...can you believe this!?! Your support and guidance have been more than wonderful. I am truly grateful to have such a close, loving, caring brother who isn’t afraid to be honest with me. I look forward to doing yoga together, sharing what I’ve learned and finally paying you back for ALL you’ve taught me. I look up to you and you really do inspire me! Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me...I love you! XoXo

Thank you to my Aunt Irene who I have found a beautiful relationship with. I have enjoyed ALL our emails and conversations. I truly believe you were brought into my life NOW to mentor me through all of this and BOY was it enlightening. I know we’re only going to deepen our relationship and that’s SO exciting for me! I look forward to learning more about you, and myself, together. I love you! XoXo

Thank you to ALL my amazing friends (especially the ones who actually “followed” me!) and family for reading my blog and being so interested in my journey! I loved hearing your thoughts about my entries and loved having to explain them to you after. Thank you for coming to support my yoga fundraiser and trying yoga for the first time...even though it wasn’t YOUR thing. You have NO idea what this meant to me, and how grateful I am that EACH of you is in my life. You’ve been MORE than supportive and I really look forward to sharing more with all of you in the future. True friendships like these don’t come very often and I know each of you will be in my life forever! I love you!! XoXo


Steph J- I know we’re connected deeper than both of us probably even realize. I’m glad YOU understand my spirit, help me flourish and expand and I NEED you to know I love you and am truly appreciative that we have an everlasting bond. Tiny Devotions just got THAT much better!!! I love you.

Amanda- I LOVE your sweaty hands. Your early morning emails. Your love for your family, Ryan, and Tyson (Murphy needs to meet him!). You make me laugh, you GET me and I love how HONEST and genuine you are! Thank you for helping me move into my new home...get use to it cause you’ll practically be living there too. P.S THANK YOU FOR FINALLY stepping into the world of technology and getting a NEW phone that WORKS! I love you!

Shannon- SHANNONAGINS! I LOVE that I’m going to be able to laugh so hard with you EVERYDAY...and I’ll I have to do is walk 10 feet to the bedroom beside me! This is so exciting and I can’t wait for all of this to begin. Thank you for having the idea and asking me to move’ve changed my life! I can’t wait for more fun nights by the fire with marshmallows and wine! It’s been a blast watching you “stay integrated and shit!” I love you!

Lindsey-Your brain amazes me to no end! I adore the way you think and how incredibly intelligent you are. I can’t WAIT to live with you and hear a different side to things. Thank you for having the idea and asking me to move it...this is JUST the start Tinkerbell! You inspire me and make me want to LEARN! I WAIT for the day when you run across the hall into my room and say “LOOK WHAT I JUST LEARNED” Teach me how to tumble. I love you!!

Michelle-You love my READ my blog and are truly genuinely interested! THANKS! I love how fragile you are but how HOLY SHIT strong you are! I really loved talking with you and the advice you always gave to me was not only RIGHT...but REAL! SCREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!! I look forward to you coming over and always being the first to try a new drink we made up like marshmallows and baileys. Be careful with those plastic tongs! Your hugs lift my spirit! I love you!

Emily- My dearest sweetheart. HOW cute are you!?! We have a bond (FISH!) I wrote about you in my first blog and TODAY, I’m SO glad to have been given the chance to work with you, get to know you, cry with you, and most of all love you! You always think of other first and ALWAYS make sure that everyone’s included. Thanks for that AMAZING lunch time phone call...and for future reference...I’m ALWAYS feeling spontaneous! Lookin forward to LOTS of cuddles! I love you.

Grant: Not only do you AMAZE me, but you inspire me and make me BELIEVE! You have this courage and strength that radiate right to my heart, but you do everything with such grace and beauty. I remember when I asked if you could bring me back a shell when you went on your retreat and not only did you bring me back a brought two of the most beautiful fragile shells I’ve ever seen, in a deodorant bottle wrapped in Kleenex that I STILL have! Thank you for always going above and beyond. I really look forward to working and learning SO much for with you.

Colin- Last...but not least. I can’t begin to tell you what this journey has done for me. The friends and family who read this blog KNOW how much you mean to me. You always gave it to me straight up and knew things before I did. You’re remarkable with your talents and truly have a wonderful gift. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to shine, believe and SHOW me I actually DO have the force within! I look forward to EVERYTHING the future holds...this is SO exciting.

To the 26+ other amazing yogi superstars in my Teacher Training 2010. THANK YOU! It has been a pleasure getting to know EACH and every one of you. Working with you, and moving closer and closer toward each of our goals. These friendships are true and everlasting. I know I don’t have to say “keep in touch” we are each other’s KULA!
Kim, Tree, Lisa, Patricia, Jenny, Sarah, Aspasia, Geralyn, Kaja, Derek, Sandra, Mary Lynn, Steph C, Izabela, Jaunita, Janet, Daphne, Daniel, Sheri, Simone, Paola. XoXo!!!

Please remember to stay true to yourself; live in the moment...and KNOW when you’re at the front of that yoga room leading a practice you have the STRENGTH and SUPPORT of ALL of us behind you! We’re all amazing and should be VERY proud of ourselves...


Namaste Xo

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The last 4 days...for now...

This is our last 4 day yoga retreat. Bitter sweet I guess. I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. Over these past months I have learned more than I could ever imagine; not only about yoga, but myself as well. I have met the most amazing people, and have been a part of some of the most exciting opportunities imaginable. I am honestly sad, although I know there is no reason I should be. I’m moving into my new place with two incredible women next weekend that I met through this course. I am positive that the yoga will just become an even bigger part of my life, considering we call our place the “yoga palace” and everyone is ALWAYS welcome. I’m pretty sure the other girls will practically live there as well. It’s like summer camp. You’re so sad to see it end ...but you see everyone at school the next day.

I lived for these weekends. The long, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting practices, the lectures from some of the most interesting people in the world. The friendships, the lunches, the “Napaste”. The laughing, Wildseed lunches, Metro lunches. Tim’s bagels, being hung-over and doing yoga, sorority weekends, the teachers...and the list can go on.

The journey doesn’t end here...this is only the beginning....


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

...and I’m feeling good!

I signed up for my first Community class in Burlington on June 20th, and my first Community class in Oakville on July 4th. I am actually excited about these classes now. What do I have to be scared of right? I’ve learned a lot, I’m strong...and I’m just like everyone else that will be in the room that day. I just want to feel good and do that’s why I’m there.

I worked another one on one session with Simps last Monday. I organized a flow for us to do based on what she wanted to work in her body. I realized how similar we were, and I had to kind of laugh because this is Colin must have felt working with me in the beginning.
Simps has the drive...but doesn’t believe in herself 100%. She WANTS this...but is that enough? She’s been VERY vocal and honest about our journey together which I really admire and respect. This not only helps her...but teaches me a great deal. I told her she’s REALLY testing everything I’ve learned which is truly valued. We worked really hard on Monday and I beyond doubt tested her limits. I realize now that maybe that wasn’t the best use of my knowledge. I have to go back and remember where and when I got the MOST out of my time with Colin and Grant. I remember specifically the therapeutics part of the yoga. Learning about the body, the muscles and HOW they move together. I have to remember that Simps doesn’t know what I know and I do need to start at the beginning with simple things like shoulder flossing to be able to first experience the movement and recognise the FEEL and placement of those muscles and body parts. I mentioned to Simps that I can only be there to support and guide her, but ultimately this is up to her and “HOW BAD DOES SHE WANT IT?!” I like that we’re similar with the “wanting” aspect. Wanting the “goal” the “end result” the “correct pose” so bad...I’ve had to learn how to just be present in the moment, and when I’m ready, things will start to shift and happen. I’ve also learned that there’s a LOT more to it than “the pose”
I look forward to meeting with Simps again next week and just getting back to the basics with her.

I had my first Reiki treatment with Kaja (another friend from teacher training) yesterday. I didn’t know what to expect as I’ve never had a treatment before. I liked that I had no expectations as it made it easier to relax.
Kaja brought me into her room and had me lay down on the table. She told me to close my eyes, relax and if I fell asleep...even better! She mentioned I should start out with meditation, and concentrating on my breath. Well, I tried. Again my brain wouldn’t shut off. I tried not to get caught up in the thoughts. She walked around me placing her hand on different parts of my body. Head, shoulders, stomach and working her way down, then again on the other side of my body. A few times I caught myself sleeping/dreaming and forced myself out of it. I’m not sure why I felt like I needed to “come back” but I did. I don’t remember enough of what I dreamt about, but I do remember thinking “WEIRD!”
Other than the heat from Kaja’s hands, I didn’t feel much during the apt, except at one point my entire body tingled. It was like I had pins and needles EVERYWHERE, but the good kind, not the painful kind. If there is such a difference. It was about an hr later Kaja softly woke me up and we talked about our experience. She told me I had a lot of great energy flowing through me and I definitely had “the touch” this means a lot to me as there have been quite a few people tell me they love my hands. They’ve told me they feel something when I touch them. No one can really explain WHAT they feel they just always say “wow you have great hands” Just in yoga, this has happened on 4 different occasions with different people. I keep coming back to the fact that maybe I should have continued my dream of being a massage therapist? But then again...if I should have been...wouldn’t I be? Who knows, maybe my assisting/adjusting in yoga is where I can really thrive with this energy. She felt I was a very grounded individual when she touched my feet. When she touched my shoulders...”Sparkles!” is the word she used to describe the energy. She said she’s only experienced that with one other person. She thought maybe it was just the one shoulder but felt the same thing when she touched the other. She said it was electrifying. I’m not really sure what to do with this I’ll just sit with it for now. She mentioned needing extra love and energy around my stomach (if you know me...this is true!) and my heart (again...VERY true!) However she also told me this “Stop searching for the answers, and stop looking for others for the already know have all the answers you need” I couldn’t say anything, and just laughed because I KNOW! Kaja ended with telling me that the one thing that came out the most is what a happy individual I am. Not just always smiling on the outside, but I truly am happy and positive on the inside too. Overall I couldn’t of asked for a more real, exciting, joyful experience. I got to know Kaja more and I guess I finally got the closure and recognition I needed for myself to heal the things I wanted. Kaja mentioned to just take it easy for the rest of the night, drink lots of water as most people tend to crash due to the amount of energy flowing through their body.

I went to yoga! LOL

I definitely agree with being exhausted afterward. I felt bad during yoga because I kept yawning every 3 minutes. Christine worked us HARD! This was certainly not an easy class last night and I was interested to see how my practice went. I noticed I was a lot more present than usual and although being very tired, I had a lot more energy, not to mention the smirk I had on my face the entire time. I just felt wonderful, inside and out. I went home and had the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.

Things ARE changing and shifting...I can feel it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Proper intentions

I was assisting another class last night with Colin and Amanda. Before class I was pumped, and ready to go. Last week’s class was good, but I wanted to make this week’s class better. A part of me wanted to prove “something” ( I think this is where my issues begin?)

I told myself I was going to start with general form. Where were peoples feet, shoulders, heads, legs, and arms and how could I help them feel the pose a little more but with a simple adjustment? We started off; it was a smaller class this time. I didn’t jump in right away, I tend to take my time and observe what the tendencies of the class are....or this is what I WANT to do.
What’s the problem? Is it too overwhelming? Too many people? (Compared to one on one training) Do I look at Colin as more of my boss than a teacher? Am I jealous that certain things come more natural to Amanda than me? Do people not get my assist? Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Why am I not SEEING what you see?
I would say EACH of these things challenges me.

There was a girl at the back who actually asked for my assistance in Dancers. I actually laughed inside and said “REALLY?” however I smiled and jumped right in. She mentioned having issues with her hips popping out on her supportive standing leg while in the pose. I asked her to come into the pose so I could see what she meant. She came into the pose entirely. I asked her to come out a little so she was standing just on the one leg with her arm back. The first step basically. I noticed her left hip (supportive leg) was higher than the right hip. I believe this was due to her hyper extending in her knee as well as collapsing into left hip (hanging out) I asked her to put more muscular energy into her standing leg and her right hip raised level with her left. I had her micro bend her left knee so she was able to really root her femur back and hug into her shins for balance. If she was able to keep this alignment, I asked her to come into the pose a little more but as soon as she felt disintegrated (hip popping out again) she would need to come out and get re-established again. This took all of about 2 minutes. She thanked me and I felt great.

SO...WHY do I doubt myself? Why don’t I believe I can do this? Why am I scared...and what the hell am I scared of?

After class Amanda and I walked out and stood in the front waiting for Colin. I asked Amanda how she felt. She mentioned she felt good...but noticed right away I wasn’t. I told her how I doubted myself. Colin met up with us and asked us how it went. Other than wanting to start balling right there I told him how I felt and he said he knew. “It might have to get real messy before it gets better”....I thought it already did get messy?!? I (along with Colin) KNOW I’m dealing with something...something deep.

HOW do I know what it is? WHY it’s there? HOW to deal with it? WHEN will I know it’s over?

I do know there have been times in my life where I “wanted” things and have been told I wasn’t good enough for it and I would never achieve it. Over the years I’ve proven to MYSELF and many people around me that if I want something BAD enough...I’ll get it AND I’ll rock it! What was the difference? WANT!
Sometimes “Want” just isn’t enough. I believe I already wrote a blog about it so I won’t go into much detail again. I can focus ALL my attention and time into this, but if for one second I have doubt and don’t believe I can attain this...nothing will change.

It brings me to my job back in Vancouver. I wanted that manager position SO badly and truly wanted to change the manner in which that office ran. I worked my ASS off to make a shift and poured my entire soul into it...and in less than 5 months had beyond doubt made a significant difference and pretty much had everything I wanted including the office overlooking the mountains. Although it WAS beyond tiring at times and definitely emotionally stressful...but I never gave up and never doubted myself, my intention or my abilities.
Was it the situation? Was it because I didn’t have a choice in Vancouver and it was the only thing keeping me from falling apart completely?

Ugh now I feel like I’m rambling and this is more of a diary entry than a blog. This is why I get frustrated. My brain hurts from trying to figure this shit out.

Another thing Colin mentioned (in a very stern voice) last night was “Don’t you DARE compare yourself to anyone else” This is something I REALLY need to work on. I’m pretty sure this stems from back in the day issues that maybe haven’t completely healed yet?

BUT...I’ve already said that I’ve proven that I CAN succeed...

Maybe it’s the I being truthful with myself? DO I want this? Or am I trying to prove something to someone? Myself? LOTS of people?

Although I truly enjoy teaching what I’ve learned and I felt very secure teaching the family and friend’s karma night, and even in teaching the other teacher trainees. I was a little nervous, but mostly I had fun with it.

Am I ready? Am I scared? What am I scared of?

Not being good enough...Not having the answer...Not being successful. Failure...


So...How do you know when you’re ready? I don’t understand how I have demonstrated that I can and do have the ability to DO IT! Why is this any different?
Good things come to those who wait! I’lll keep practicing; I will continue to learn. I’ll work my hardest with proper intention. I’ll go on with working through the feelings, scars and emotions as they arise. Things will shift and it will happen when I AM ready!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This IS my passion!

I sent an email out to my closest friends and family asking if anyone was interested is basically being my guinea pig and helping me practice my yoga teachings on them. I was basically doing what a lot of yoga teachers do....for free. You get to do yoga and have one on one training while I get to practice what I’ve learned.
I had a few very intrigued people write back and say “sign me up!” My friend Simps being one of them. We decided that we would get together every Monday and I would do one on one training with her. We don’t get to see each other that often so this was another bonus.

Yesterday was our first night together. This was basically an easy session for the both of us. A week before we got together I asked her to think about what bothers her. Was it crunchy shoulders? Lower back pain? Not flexible enough? I also ask her WHY she wanted to do this.

We got together and we started. Simps complained about not having enough upper body strength. She carries her littlest one Aliyah, around and after a while she beings to feel the pain and gets tired. She also mentioned getting back in shape for our mutual friends wedding this summer .
With all this in mind, we started. I didn’t know Simps tendencies yet, so that’s where I started. I had her work through a simple sun salutation. Down Dog, plank, Chaturunga, down dog, forward fold, Tadasana. This simple flow works the entire body and I’m able to tell where she needs more alignment, where she’s more muscular and where she’s more organic. I noticed right away her shoulders were very crunchy and had to show her how to bring them onto her back. To my surprise her general form was quite good for her first down dog. This was what I wanted to work on first, getting familiar with the feeling of her blades onto her back. I had her come into postures like child’s pose, table top, down dog, cobra, side plank prep, and Parsvakonasana. She was able to grasp the feeling of shoulders up, back and down and also making sure her shoulder was plugged back into the socket. It was nice seeing her reaction to what I was saying and watching her body make it happen. She was VERY receptive which made it easy for me. During these postures we also worked on strengthening her back. We worked cobra, up dog, sphinx and bow. She was definitely feeling it and understands when I say yoga isn’t easy. However...why was I sweating more than her?!?
Although Simps said she wanted to work on her upper body we came to realize that her lower body also needed to build up some strength, stability and support to really work the alignment in these postures. Like a lot of people starting yoga, it’s really concentrating on getting those femurs back, inner rotation of the thighs so we’re able to blossom those sit bones and stretch out the hamstrings. I enjoyed teaching this part the most as it is where my tendencies fall. My hamstrings are really tight so I was able to really relate to how Simps was feeling and help sustain the practice.
We worked through a few more postures and I could tell she was really feeling it. At some points the look on her face was “what did I sign up for!?!” I made sure she knew that yoga IS hard work, but it is also amazingly relaxing. This was ALL about her. I would be there for her guiding the way, supporting her, and assisting whenever necessary, but ultimately it comes down to HOW BADLY DO YOU WANT IT!?! Me being there has nothing to do with it. If Simps wants this...she’s gonna have to REALLY work hard at it.

Next Monday I am going to have a 45 minute flow ready for us to practice with focusing on her tendencies, her strengths and weaknesses. I’m going to really concentrate on helping her strengthen her upper body, and assist her with getting more movement in her lower body. This is VERY exciting, for the both of us. Simps will notice a change in her body, her mind and her spirit as long as she’s open to it. I get the chance to challenge myself, really practice my skills and knowledge and work with one of my best friends.

Stay tuned...

"Good Yoga"

This weekend I was lucky enough to get the chance to work with Naiem Jezzeny.
Here is a little bit of a background on this remarkable person.

“Naime is a nationally-renowned, certified Anusara® teacher who is celebrated for a teaching style that is precise, accessible, and light-hearted. He is unique among yoga teachers for his in-depth knowledge of biomechanics and its application to yoga and other movement disciplines. His extensive background includes formal studies in exercise physiology and kinesiology at the University of Southern California.
His years of study allow him to take the therapeutic qualities of yoga to another level. Naime has worked rehabilitatively with a wide variety of professionals including Olympic gold medalists, actors, dancers, and business leaders. Naime has assisted and studied extensively with John Friend since 1999 and incorporates the Universal Principles of Alignment into all of his teaching. Regarded as a teacher’s teacher and a master of therapeutics, he teaches workshops and trainings throughout the U.S and at his teaching home Yogaphoria in New Hope PA.”

I’ve never met someone with so much life inside them. So much power, energy and determination. The room was filled with our teacher trainees’ along with a bunch of people who just signed up for the weekend. One thing was for sure, the room was filled with unbelievable radiance.
Over the course of the weekend we concentrated on Yoga therapeutics. We learned how to help someone reach enlightenment during their practice. How to assist and adjust. We focused on alignment within the student and ourselves.
Naime described yoga as “baking” NOT like making a soup. The difference between the two is when you’re making a soup, you tend to just throw things into the pot, play around, and you tend to not measure anything. When you’re baking though, you need to be precise…if you’re not and you add too much flour, or too little of something you can be left with a big mess or complete disaster. What he meant by this all comes back to alignment and precision. If you’re in a pose and you’re not integrated, aligned you could end up BEING the disaster and end up with your body in a mess. This doesn’t mean making sure your body is in the “correct posture” as there isn’t such a thing. It’s more making sure you’re body is in proper alignments so you’re able to reap the benefits of the posture.
We worked on upper body all day Saturday. Backbends hips and lower body on Sunday. He would have someone who had pain in their shoulders or anywhere in a posture come to the front. We would get them into a pose that was difficult for them and see where they needed more alignment and precision. We then worked with partners and got to do the assist/adjustment on them.
There are assets and perils to this. We are all yogi’s and have all worked so much with each other for a long time. I feel we have a very good understanding of where the alignment needs to be. We were able to bring each other deeper into the pose, and really feel it, but I look forward to working with the unknown and evidently learning more.
Although everything Naiem said was SO basic at times and really a repetition of everything we’ve pretty much gone through in class with Colin and Grant; we ALL learned something! Whether it was something about a different body type, different therapeutics, and I guarantee we all learned something about ourselves.
My favorite line of the weekend was “inner body bright” What does that mean to you? What would you do if someone said that to you? I’m going to test this all week while I’m assisting in class and working on friends and family. It’s really amazing what a simple sentence can do for you.

Towards the end of the weekend I got to work with a lot of girls I haven’t worked with yet. I worked with Tree and Paola on Saturday afternoon and felt we had a really strong connection. Tree has this love that truly shines from everywhere and Paula can pretty much make me laugh on command. Sunday afternoon I got to work along with Simone who I found out has some funny old school connections to me. Kaja who is a beautiful mother and Reiki master and Lisa who pretty much took over and opened my eyes up to things I have never noticed in my own body…all of them helped me in a tremendous way. This teacher training has been a life blessing…although I VERY sad that it is coming to an end; I know these friendships will last forever!