When We Pray Alone


We are brought thick desserts, and we rarely refuse them. We worship devoutly when we are with others. Hours we sit, though we get up quickly after a few minutes. When we pray alone. We hurry down the gullet of our wantings. 
But these qualities can change, as minerals in the ground rise inside trees and become a tree, as a plant faces an animal and enters the animal, so a human can put down the heavy body baggage ... 

Yoga in Schools


Yoga heals. 

Photography and Intuition


Pic taken by Christine Love Hewitt

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph."    – Matt Hardy

If you hadn't noticed I have a little hobby. Photography. It kinda snuck up on me. I've always enjoyed snapping photos, even at a young age. There's something about capturing a moment in time, or a beautiful scene, that has held joy for me over the years. I know what you are probably thinking . . . everyone is a photographer nowadays or touts themselves as one. So, yes, I have jumped on the bandwagon. It's an art I have huge respect for, and as an enthusiastic amateur, I welcome the opportunity to get my creative juices flowing as I learn something new. 

Criticism . . . why take pictures during travels and miss being in the moment? I don't agree. In my experience, when taking photos you must be conscious and connected to your surroundings, especially when capturing the spirit and energy of a place. Photographers I admire are adept at tuning in, as they tune into their surrounding environment. You can't help but feel the emotion and vitality of their photos. 

Can it really be an exercise in intuition? I think so. In many ways. Capturing a striking photo takes instinct, it takes practice, just like anything. I can't say I'm a natural, but I do know the more pictures I take, the more quality images I get. When I relax and change my point of view, another side of me takes over, especially when I let go and not over think it. 

And, beyond all that, it's so much fun. 

Credits: The top photo was taken by Christine Love Hewitt, a talented pro-photographer that hosts photography workshops in Mysore, India, as well as, organizes photo shoots with yoga practitioners. For more info: www.yogicphotos.com.

The photo below was taken by yours truly . . . 



Last night I had a prolific dream. Vivid, scary and in your face. I guess all this talk of 12.21.12 seeped into my subconscious because this dream was like no other. I'm talking massive earthquakes where the Earth itself was splitting apart, buildings were being shook off their foundation, and people were in a massive panic. I felt this primal instinct to run for higher ground versus being sucked down into these massive cracks in the Earth. I made it out. I didn't think. I just went with my gut. 



Mysore, India

“You need not get at it, for you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realization that you are the source and heart of all will dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.” 
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Finished my third week in the shala. Often, I find myself thinking after practice, wow, I made it through another one, and what a privilege it is. The depth available is never ending, and just knowing this allows me to relax into the fact there is no need to arrive anywhere. The quality and attention I bring to every aspect of practice has spoken more than the accumulation of more. In the end, it is all the same. How great is it to simply stand in samastitihiThere is so much there. On the outside it looks to be simple, but the energy and attention brought into this pose is endless. Steady awareness even in the mist of simplicity culminates into what is deemed as more advanced postures. After deeper study, I've found it is another illusion to look through as I taste the core and essence of steady awareness into the simplest of actions. It only grows from there.

More than practice, bringing quality and attention into everything I do, especially when interrelating with others has become a practice to take off the mat. When offering an open ear it is amazing what people will reveal. I'm touched when an offering and sharing of experience is given even when it isn't always pretty and perfect. In the listening, a breakdown of the barriers of I, me and my, takes shape.

I've had various teachers in my life and one from my past always spoke of the principle of softening. Back then, I didn't understand the full scope of what she was trying to relate to me. On a cerebral level I got it, but not on a heart level. Now, I've come to a point where I am not only understanding what she spoke of, but I am also experiencing it. Softening isn't about being a push over, but it is a yielding energy that holds timeless strength. It's a letting go of attachment and allowing the truth of who I am to simply be present. There are times when a resistance toward this creeps into my awareness, and I've learned to give it time to play out. The choice not to engage with it brings challenges, but when I hold steady in observation, it then starts to dissipate.

As the sweat pushes out of my pores during intense practices I think to myself, please God, wash away all that blocks my inner light and my connection to YOU. It is only through surrender and the willingness to be pushed off the cliff that my spirit can take flight. The scope of my mind is minuscule in comparison to my soul's knowing.

Why can't I always trust this?

Baby steps, I suppose. Something I'd like to sit with today or better yet, STAND FULLY IN

Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity


"Through meditation one realizes the unbounded. That which is unbounded is happy. There is no happiness in the small."

I've been coming across loads of great books lately. This book, Catching The Big Fish, by critically acclaimed filmmaker, David Lynch, came as a gift just at the appropriate time. An early Christmas present. The connection with consciousness and creativity is a topic which holds fascination for me. His tool to find the connection is through TM Meditation, otherwise known as, Transcendental Meditation. David Lynch, explains his process with letting go to then allow more compelling ideas to flow into his awareness. I have really appreciated his candor and openness in regards to his process. Worth checking out if tapping into your inherent creativity is something that speaks to you.



"He whose happiness is within, whose contentment is within, whose light is all within, that yogi, being one with Brahman, attains eternal freedom in divine consciousness."  

Shattered. That pretty much describes my practice today, and I wouldn't want to be any other way. I love practicing here. If I'm not willing to meet my edge then what's the point? 

Cultivating Peace


"Contemporary science tells us we are designed for peace and that our health and longevity depend on it. In fact, our survival as a species requires that we end our investments in war and direct our attention toward solving our many looming challenges. The worldviews that have promoted excessive competition, environmental degradation, increased social inequity, religious bigotry, and perhaps widespread systemic collapse are clearly not adequate to the optimal evolution of our species." 
 - James O'Dea, Cultivating Peace

Peace is the REAL game changer. 

I love this. In this day and age we are inundated with images of what is going wrong. However, we then miss all that is going right. The people who have made it their life's work to bring people together, building bridges instead of destroying them, creating networks, exemplifying their gentle powerful humanity, are the unsung heros of our day. I look to those for inspiration. No, unfortunately they don't make the news. Where media outlets thrive on exploitation, we must not forget this is only a small fragment of reality. The hour may feel dark, but let's not forget, all is not lost, and in the end, it is us we must look to for salvation. It is in our heartfelt connection with each other pacifying our prejudices within ourselves and finding the truth behind the veil, that will heal the wounds of our time. 

How then? 

There is so much that can be done, but first it has to begin within us. There is much work to be done within myself. I know this. Shedding the layers of discontentment, working through my own junk, is an important step to make. However, it can't always be about my own process and pain. Whenever, I live in service it puts a multitude into perspective. It heals. When and how can I add value to a situation instead of taking? Important questions. 

Delving into the above book has ignited and energized me on another level. This is not fluff. It asks hard questions and brings striking realizations to the table. It isn't necessarily about being against something but rather being for the values and attributes of peace. It's a practice. Simply naming yourself as an ambassador of peace isn't enough. It isn't about avoiding conflict but rather being comfortable in the mist of it, finding common ground, and ultimately the cord that connects us all.

Do I recommend this book? YES. O'Dea pushes us to be the change we seek. 

Cologne, Germany


Here are the pics from my trip to Cologne, Germany back in November. A big thanks to Ashtanga Yoga Mitte Köln! It was a sincere pleasure! I've been a bit late, as usual with posting the photos!

Practice, Practice, Practice . . .



"The practice of asanas and pranayama is learning to control the body and the senses so the Inner light may come forth. That light is the same for the whole world and it is possible for man to experience this light, his own Self through correct Yoga practice. This is the natural outcome of a good practice and one will gradually learn to control the mind because one eventually will come to experience the very support of it. But the mind is indeed very difficult to control, but everything is made possible with right practice. We must therefore first and foremost practice, practice, practice for any real understanding of Yoga to take place. Then eventually we will be able to break the fixed patterns of the mind and taste the greater underlying support of it all.” 
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

 The Shala

 Coconut Time

First week, practicing in the shala, I'm always on a high. With feelings of comfort, exhilaration, mixed in with the energy of everyone in the room, let's just say, after a year of practicing alone, there is no other place I'd rather be. And, let's not forget the heat of tapas being burned. Settling into this breath paced practice, I hop onto the wave, and simply enjoy the ride. Second week, which I'm in the mist of now, reality sets in. The kinks in the body arise. When the high of the first week wears off, the real work begins. It will be a steady climb before I start to coast again. It always works out this way. 

It also takes a while to decompress from the pace of living compared to home. In India, one quickly learns that everything works left of center. Never quite right. Never fully efficient, but somehow things come together anyway. A good lesson in giving up control or else live the alternative of beating your head up against a brick wall. It's never fun and you'll tire of it eventually. 

Six trips, I feel blessed and thankful to have had the opportunity to come and as often as I have. I know it isn't always easy for those out there who are balancing many things to put together the trip. I know this, and it reminds me to never take it for granted. I think for me my first trip to India really put what I deemed important into perspective. Growing up in the U.S., quite frankly, I was forced fed a bunch of bullshit. Force fed good stuff too, but when young it was confusing distinguishing between my own growing intuition and knowing, and the cultural mores that surrounded me. I know this might be controversial for some, and no matter, it has brought me to this point of discovery. Freedom isn't always what we think it to be. Think on that. What does it really mean to be free? 

In the same light, I honor the balance of deepening yoga practice and creating a life out in the world of material. Some can use trips to Mysore as an escape, and quite frankly, I find dipping my toes into both worlds deems useful in honoring what it means to bring yoga into life. How can we know that the practice has done it's work? 

Through the years, with more practice, something more wants to be born. I find this exciting. I feel through yoga practice we uncover gifts, and it's our responsibility to bring it forward or else grow stagnant. In many ways, it's an offering. Our service to the world. Opening up to this there's a sense of release, and at the same time, a comfort in not knowing it all. When I'm here I like to keep my eyes and ears open as I tune into my awareness. Can I learn something new through my encounters? Can I be open and release all notions of knowing something. Because yoga doesn't work through association alone and idle gossip. It never has. 

Pure Rock Angel


I'm a big supporter of creative talent when I see it. Especially, when the person behind it is a force of nature in their own right. Shana, or otherwise known as, Zahara Jade, takes the cake. She's pure magic. I don't often blow smoke, unless, and only if, I'm struck by someone who sincerely brings light into every encounter, as well as, love. When this passion and love is poured into work, it often brings a divine quality and energy that is unique unto itself.

 When taking leaps of faith, it may seem risky, but honestly, to stay small and not expand into the realm of possibility often ends up feeling more like a risk. Zahara has exemplified this by opening up to the unknown, starting by untying the knots of a destiny that was not her own and utilizing her unique, inspiring gifts.

Please, support the work of of this budding jewelry designer who brings sincerity and focus into all that she does by backing her Kickstarter project

Back Zahara's current project with Kickstarter here. 

The last day to pledge is 30 December 2012.

Connect with Zahara elsewhere:

World traveller fairy goddess creator, I have been journeying around the world in this lifetime for the past 4 years. Along the way I have created a line of jewelry that is in line with my authentic life path. While journeying to the Far East and shedding external layers of myself I envisioned P.R.A.Y. PRAY, or PURE ROCK ANGEL YOGI, represents all of you drawn to read this; any authentic being living in line with his or her divine essence, in tune with source, flowing with the beautiful synchronicity of life and rocking it out in this lifetime, living life to its fullest. My creative force was born from a desire to heal in early years and it now serves to help heal others. I also provides healing for people on a physical, emotional, and spiritual realm doing mind-body energy healing with an M.A. in Clinical Psychology and training from healers around the world. Much of the time I am also teaching my passion, yoga, playing (fire poi, dance, fire staff, slack line, guitar, surf) and flying (aerial silks, acro yoga).


"Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as bird wings."  -Rumi

I've been called out. Update your blog, please. Yeah, you know who you are. So, I'm getting my ass in gear. I can't call myself any semblance of a writer if I don't write. Now, I'm not saying I'm good at it. No. It's just a craft I'd like to hone in on in the coming year. With that being said, I have writers all around me, blatantly showing me where I lack. Through thick and thin you must WRITE. It takes discipline, it takes focus, perseverance. Hmmmmm. Something else comes to mind as I speak, or write, about these attributes. Oh yeah, that little thing I do every morning and share with others on a regular basis. 

So, what have I been up to, and why have I been lacking in the blogging department? Yes, I have already racked up a long list of lame excuses. For starters, there has been loads of travel in the past 6 months. Even more reason to write. Lame excuse there. Two, sometimes I feel like I've written all there is to be said about yoga through my experience, etc. Is that possible? Sometimes I feel that way, but in reality, my juices just ran a bit dry. I guess I simply needed time to re-evaluate a few things. Also, with starting our Mysore program in Stockholm it took much of my energy and focus. A labor of love in the larger scope of things. With the program reaching its two year milestone this March everything about it has exceeded my expectations. One, I've learned the most important thing in regards to building a program; at the end of the day, it's about community and connection through the beauty and spirit of the Ashtanga yoga practice. In this regard, I'm thankful to feel so full and moved by it, that it sometimes feels as if I'm busting out at the seams. Let's just say, it's a good feeling to be on purpose. 

My life in Stockholm has had its challenges which comes with simply living a life, and no matter, I am still stunned to live in a city so beautiful and graceful. I guess you can say, I feel thankful to be settled in such a place. 

Now, if I were being more realistic, Stockholm looks more like this at the moment. Although, the bottom pics were taken before the record snow fall came. 

Alas, I'm not in Stockholm at the moment, while I miss all this fabulous winter weather (I'm never sarcastic, never) Instead, I'm in INDIA!!! Mysore, India, of course. For my annual trip to deepen practice, and be in the presence of my teacher, R. Sharath Jois. Including, connecting with the worldwide Ashtanga yoga community. All good reasons to be here. More to come. 

When writing on such things, I always like keep it through the eyes of my own experience. Being the oracle from Mysore giving reports on Sharath's conferences and such is not my thing, honestly. I like to keep it personal and authentic as I see it and feel it. All the other stuff is good reason why YOU, yes you, should come to Mysore. Experience it for yourself. Feel the magic of practice from the source. I haven't yet been uninspired by it. 

Every trip, every practice, a new fire is lit, as I do my best to fan the flames, until my next return.  

A Broken Body Isn't A Broken Spirit


Take the time to watch this video. Absolutely moving. Absolutely inspiring. 

Ashtanga Yoga Immersion with David Robson

Ashtanga Yoga Immersion with David Robson
19 - 26 April 2013    Yogayama - Stockholm, Sweden

Join leading Authorized Level 2 teacher David Robson for a week long Immersion in the Primary Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. The week will be based around morning Mysore practice, with the rest of the day devoted toward workshops in the following:

  • Asana clinics
  • Hands-on adjustment techniques
  • Functional anatomy
  • Sanskrit in the practice
  • Learning the traditional vinyasa count for the Primary Series
  • Philosophy and theory of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and The Yoga Sutras

This Immersion is for both students and teachers. You do not have to be a teacher, or want to be a teacher, to attend. However, students should have an established practice to get the most out of this training.


Fri 19 April          18:00 - 20:00 - Led Primary, then a 30 minute introductory meeting

Sat 20 April         12:00 - 17:00 - Breath, Bandhas & Vinyasa

Sun 21 April         6:30 - 9:00 - Mysore practice 
                            13:00 - 17:00 - Learning the Vinyasa Count. Surya Namaskar & Standing

Mon 22 April       6:30 - 9:00 - Mysore practice 
                            13:00 - 17:00 - Sitting Poses and the first half of Primary

Tue 23 April         6:30 - 9:00 - Mysore practice 
                            13:00 - 17:00 - Sitting Poses, the second half of Primary

Wed 24 April       6:30 - 9:00 -  Mysore practice
                            13:00 - 17:00 Backbends

Thu 25 April        6:30 - 9:00 - Mysore practice 
                           13:00 - 17:00 - Inversions and Closing

Fri 26 April         6:30 - 9:00 - Mysore practice
                           13:00 - 15:00 - Sadhana

Total Price for the Immersion, including Mysore practice: 5400 sek 
Price for Mysore practice only, 21 April - 26 April: 1800 sek

David Robson is the co-owner and director of Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto. With 100+ students each morning, he leads one of the world’s largest Mysore programs. After completing a degree in Comparative Religion, David made his first trip to Mysore, India in 2002, where he initiated studies with his teacher R. Sharath Jois. Since then he has returned annually to deepen and enrich his practice and teaching. David also teaches workshops and retreats worldwide. For more info visit, www.learntofloat.com.

For more information and to book:
web - www.yogayama.se
email - info@yogayama.se

How Yoga Found Me


Such a lovely thoughtful sharing by my dear friend Kira from Jamaica. I am sure many of you out there can relate to how yoga found you. It has a way of subtly taking a hold of us. Thank you, Kira! 

Toronto, Canada

Traveling to Tronto to share the practice with the AYCT community was really inspiring. AYCT you say? Otherwise know as, Ashtanga Yoga Centre of Toronto, well, if you haven't heard this is where one of the largest Mysore practice communities resides outside of Mysore, India. Yeah, really amazing. With 100+ practitioners daily and somedays close to 150, let's just say there is a multitude of tapas being burned in one room, haha. Gotta love it. The owner and director of AYCT is David Robson, and the one heading the Mysore program. So if you find yourself traveling to Toronto this is the place to go.

In the Spring we'll have the pleasure of hosting David Robson at Yogayama, as he leads a 7-day immersion for teachers and established students of the practice of Ashtanga yoga. During this course learning the traditional Sanskrit count with be covered, anatomy, adjustments for the postures of Primary series, and everything else in between. I'll be posting details of the schedule very soon!

Building Community through Yoga


Russel Simmons always has interesting things to say. This is such important work, but we must start with ourselves. 

Athens, Greece

Ahhh. Well, this is embarrassing. I find myself recapping past events that have already happened. No matter, I get the chance to relive some great times, and let me tell you, it has been great. I've been counting my blessings. Sharing the practice of Ashtanga yoga has been, and continues to be, a labor of love. In no way do I consider myself an expert. It seems crazy in many ways because I am constantly learning. Where there is learning there is growth. Once that stops, and once I think 'I know it all' stagnation comes. I am simply someone who loves this practice and all that it entails. I want to jump into the ocean (with a running start) of unknowing. The mystery of it. It's so vast. All of it. It continues to fascinate on a daily basis. What more can I say?! As cliché as it sounds, when steeped in the journey, nothing is sweeter, than settling into our daily existence, evermore present, and at the same time, expanding into our unlimited potential. An adventure! Learning. Loving. Learning . . . loving . . . and so on, repeat.

Greece. Wow. What a place. I know it has made the news with some of the economic issues present, but it seems to be everywhere. The amazing thing about Greece is the warm-hearted spirit of it's people.  The Greeks take you in and hold you tight, talking with their hands, passionate, and so alive! It's a beautiful thing. I was even lucky to have great weather while there too.  Hopefully, the country will be able to hammer out some of it's economic issues in the future. It's a country of many riches and I am not necessarily talking in the material.


 The fabulous beaches of Greece




I've been on numerous planes this year. I always have to take an obligatory shot once ascended above the clouds. It's my routine. I have a deep love for travel. I actually enjoy hanging out in airports. There is something about being in a space where people are headed somewhere or returning home, including myself. Airports are great places to catch up on reading and people watching. I find so much enjoyment in it, ok, call me crazy, but it's true!

Warsaw! My first time in Poland. I taught an extended weekend workshop at Yoga Republic a beautiful space in the heart of the city. I highly recommend it. Going in, I had a vision in my mind on what Warsaw was like, and let me tell you, it was nothing I expected. Warsaw is a vibrant city with an abundance of culture a buzz with creative energy. I've been told its the new Berlin.

It really comes down to the resiliency of the people, as well, with Warsaw being leveled to the point of utter destruction, during the Second World War, you can imagine what the rebuild must have been like. Also, with the downfall of communism there has been a multitude of change and transition happening. Just a few years ago they lost their prime minister in a plane crash along with many of their top government officials. In light of that, Warsaw has been on an upswing and it's exciting to see. Truly, when a city carries on through tragedy and strife a new strength and energy emerges. I enjoyed the Polish people and found them to be warm and open, and at the same time, a sturdy steadiness seemed to be part of their innate nature. A good balance.

Pawiak Prison - Warsaw, Poland

When in a new place I always love seeing the sites, getting a feeling for what a city offers in terms of energy, culture, social structure and architecture. One thing I appreciated about Warsaw were all the trees and park areas available. I love a city with it's green space and Warsaw definitely had it's fair share. There are many new builds in the process, however at the same time, the maintenance of their green space in regards to city planning seems to be an important factor they take into consideration.

I'm looking forward to my next visit. Already a plan to comeback in October of 2013 is in the works! 

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