Friday Quote


Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s okay. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different. Your life isn’t meant to look like anyone else’s because you aren’t like anyone else. You’re a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing, and start living. You may not have ended up where you intended to go. But trust, for once, that you have ended up where you needed to be. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time. Trust that your life is enough. Trust that you are enough.

Daniell Koepke



All beings tremble before violence. 
All fear death.
All love life. 

See yourself in others.

Then whom can you hurt? 
What harm can you do? 

He who seeks happiness 

By hurting those who seek happiness
Will never find happiness. 

For your brother is like you. 

He wants to be happy. 
Never harm him
And when you leave this life
You will find happiness. 

- from the DHRAMMAPADA
translated by Thomas Byrom

Immersion into the Tradition


This week, we at Yogayama are hosting David Robson while he facilitates an in depth study into the tradition of Ashtanga yoga. As you can guess, there is much to uncover when it comes to the simplicity of the practice, the most important part. With attending to the drishti  in each posture and the energetic components of bandhas and the asana, there's a reason why the wisdom of the practice only arises through doing it. However, taking the time to study each component with curiosity and contemplation builds greater awareness, hence the opportunity to immerse oneself into the practice of Ashtanga yoga. We are deeply grateful to David who has taken the time to extend his experience to the international students participating in the immersion.

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 internationally. For more info visit

Intermediate Series Workshop 11 - 12 May 2013


For Intermediate series students of all levels of experience. Take an indepth look both practical and philosophical into the internal evolution the Intermediate Series awakens. 

Intermediate Series, otherwise known as nadi śhodana, meaning nervous system cleansing, builds upon the culmination of energy and purification within the practitioner built upon the foundation of Primary Series. With deeper backbends and forward bends as well as arm balances, the Intermediate series integrates the use of opposing forces to garner greater unity and strength, both mental and physical, opening the internal light of awareness within each individual. 

In this workshop special attention will be focused on the in depth study of each posture, their relationship to each other as well as executing the proper vinyasas and transitions, with special attention to all points of Tristhānam (posture, breath, drishte) throughout the practice. In addition, there will be time taken to trouble shoot areas of difficulty gathering skills to move forward in the practice with greater intelligence and awareness.

Whether new to the practice of Intermediate Series, or an experienced practitioner, this workshop will invoke new insights and inspire your already existing practice. 

Date: 11 - 12 May 3013
Time: 14:00 - 16:30
Location: Yogayama, Jungfrugatan 8, Stockholm, Sweden
To Book:
Investment: 600 sek

Unpacking the Subconscious


Eating fire
is your ambition:
to swallow the flame down
take it into your mouth
and shoot it forth, a short or an incandescent
tongue, a word
exploding from you in gold, crimson
unrolling in a brilliant scroll

To be lit up from within

vein by vein

To the sun

- Margaret Atwood

Unpacking the subconscious. There is really no way around it and lately I've had no other choice but to unload. My dreams tell all, with a cast of characters I'm surprised have made an appearance. Sometimes when doing this work it feels like I've taken a million steps backward. An unending cycle. I guess it goes with the nature of what one of my past mentors told me. When we grow and exude more light, it has a tendency to show our dark spots even more clearly. Makes sense. It isn't always pretty but I've been left with no other choice really. With this, memories having been bubbling up to the surface in an aggressive fashion. Things I don't think I have fully processed and the emotional baggage that comes with it. I don't want to be numb to it and at the same time it can be confusing trying to decipher what lays behind it all. In a day and age where everyone has tips and tricks of the trade I state it clearly now, I don't know if I am equipped to handle it in a productive way but at least I'm feeling what I need to feel. I don't have all the answers. I don't know all the whys, but I do my best to show up to it as I lean into the uncomfortable areas, accepting responsibility for where I am now no matter the challenges I've experienced. And who would've thought there were still resentments buried deep beneath the surface.

When I arrived back home from India this year I felt myself yearning for what lacked in my childhood. Strange, I know. I had no idea it was there so deep within my subconscious, because when I was young I knew how to put on the face that all was fine, and essentially I thought is was, never minding the deep sadness that laid beneath the surface. A survival mechanism that held me together in times of need but in the end can weigh heavily if never fully accessing the gravity of what needed to be eventually felt. The defense mechanisms had their purpose and the challenge is to put them away when growth is necessary. This yoga stuff really works. It's not always about bliss and peace of mind, its also about keeping watch over what arises within because what we are really doing is undoing. 

Your More Beautiful Than You Think


Simply beautiful. Once we take our expectations, doubts, and insecurities out of the equation we then see who we are beyond the limitation of the mind's eye. 

Sweet Collaboration


As I posted several days ago, I'll be hosting our 2nd annual Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Salento, Italy and collaborating with someone who I feel is a pioneer when it comes to the matters of the heart. I introduce you to, Sati Chmelar, or who many know as, Shannon Sati Rose Chmelar. A beautiful and stunning yogini from the inside out. I am beyond excited to work in conjunction with another woman who exudes such passion and enthusiasm with an open heart in all that she does. An inspiring woman indeed. I have to say, there aren't many out there like her and is one of the main reasons I jumped at the chance to work with her.

Join us for an exciting week this coming September! For more info scroll down below, or visit my website at

 For booking info contact,

Shannon Rose Chmelar (Sati) is an American yoga teacher who teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga system and various philosophical traditions including Classical Yoga, Vedanta, and Mahayana Buddhism. She is also a writer, massage therapist, and multi-media performance artist. Sati teaches in the United States, Europe, and Asia and is based in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is the Founder and Director of Vasudhaiva, an educational institute and retreat company dedicated to the study of classical Indian thought, Buddhism, and Yoga. In all of her work, she strives to illuminate how ancient wisdom teachings may help us overcome our daily struggles and cultivate a more compassionate existence.

To learn more about Sati:

Sati also has a collection of insightful podcasts. Take a listen, click here.

Sati's blog:

Monday Inspiration


So true and what a relief! 

Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Salento, Italy 2013


Self Practice. Self Knowledge.
Ashtanga Yoga Retreat  with  Laruga Glaser & Sati Chmelar 
31 August - 7 September 2013

For the first time, collaborating together, Laruga and Sati will infuse the practice of Ashtanga yoga into the depths of it’s philosophical teachings, through practice, contemplative lectures and group dialogue. It will be a life affirming, heart opening, expansive week, that will challenge and inspire, within the beautiful setting of Salento, Italy.

Laruga will be facilitating all yoga and technique classes, while Sati will be conducting all philosophy and meditation courses. It will be a blend of practical application of Ashtanga yoga, through morning Mysore classes, and in depth technique sessions, with ample time focused on integration and immersion of what arises through practice in engaging philosophical study sessions. The material covered will be participatory in nature and never dull. Be prepared to step into new and exciting territory!

Mysore Sessions and Technique Classes 
Laruga Glaser 

Mysore classes will be held every morning from at 7:00 - 9:30. 

Technique Class Topics

1. Vinyasa Integration 

In this class special attention will be focused on moving with conscious awareness, in union with  conscious breath, otherwise known as vinyāsa. Trouble shooting areas of instability that may be present, we will delve more thoroughly into how to build strength, with care and attention, building upon internal alignment. Focused points of attention will include practical application of Tristhanam (posture, breath, gaze) into each movement, promoting a calm center, accessing sense withdrawal, known as pratyahara. Learn to activate and open the energy channels of the body without strain. Discover balance, support and integrity in strength-based postures such as techniques for jumping back and jumping through as well as structural breakdown of challenging poses and transitions. 

2. Backbending Awareness

The paradox when backbending is we must be strong and soft at the same time; uniting the
energy of strength and surrender. In this class, learn the basic components of backbending
with integrity to the natural flow of the body, as well as, experiencing the concept of active
release. When actively releasing, we will learn to use grounding mechanisms to deepen our
awareness, while fully utilizing the breath. These fundamental techniques allow the body to find
depth and strength, while at the same time, letting go.

3. Arm Balance Architecture 

Experience the exhilaration arm balances bring in a playful and explorative way, while learning the basic elements and foundational techniques to successfully build an arm balance practice. Proper alignment, strength building, as well as, energizing the subtle body will be addressed in this inspiring and informative workshop. 

Philosophy & Meditation Classes
Sati Chmelar 

Philosophy classes will be held every evening. Please bring a journal or notebook. 

Philosophy study sessions with Sati are a humorous, interactive, passionate, and a genuine exchange. Learning is a combination of lecture, discussion, question and answer, as well as contemplative writing. There is a strong focus placed on becoming intimate with the information and students are invited to deeply engage with the material presented. Students will be asked to explore how the information measures up against their lived experience with a sense of spacious possibility, balanced discrimination, and most importantly, an open heart. 

Tentative Philosophy Study Topics 

1. The Bhagavad-Gita and Understanding Love

After a general introduction to The Bhagavad-Gita and its primary teachings, we will explore the meaning and nature of attachment vs. non-attachment and how this energy can impede or enliven our practice and our lives.

2. Facing Our Afflictions

Through Patanjali’s treatise, The Yoga Sutras, we will study what gives rise to our suffering and in particular how ignorance manifests our mental afflictions (kleshas). We will also explore ways to identity and dissolve these afflictions in our lives. 

3. Becoming The Philosopher

We will learn to identify what Yoga genuinely is and examine what makes it unique among the six philosophical schools of Indian philosophy. We will put ourselves in the philosopher’s seat and examine what our beliefs are regarding some of the biggest questions that Indian philosophy attempts to address. An extra focus will be placed on Classical Yoga.

For More Information and Booking
Call:  +39 0836 600 284

Yoga Gives Back - Part 3


More great stuff from Yoga Gives Back
For more information visit

Friday Quote: Attention

Attention is the first teacher of truth and consequently absolutely necessary. Attention rouses the soul to study itself and its longings, to learn their true character and repulse those that are unholy. Attention is the guardian angel of the intellect, always counseling it thus: be attentive. Attention awakens the soul, rouses it from sleep… Attention examines every thought, every desire, every memory. Thoughts, desires, and memories are engendered by various causes, and often appear masked and with splendid garb, in order to deceive the inattentive intellect and enter into the soul and dominate it. Only attention can reveal their hidden form. Often their dissimulation is so perfect that the discernment of their true nature is very difficult and requires the greatest attention. One must remember the saving words of the Lord: ‘Be wakeful and pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ He who is wakeful does not enter into temptation, because he is vigilant and attentive. 
Saint Nectarios of Aegina 

Stretch Open Release


The scary stuff and the beautiful stuff both come in practice. Our work is to relate with awareness and compassion.”  - Sharon Salzberg

Dropping back isn't always the easiest bridge to cross, but definitely worth the effort. I've seen it time and time again, when students begin their journey dropping back, to then learn the posture on their own, it has the tendency to awaken a new sense of confidence and stability. Coordinating a number of elements all at once, it is a feat not only for the body, but for the mind.

When face to face with a difficult asana, I like to digest it into little parts or small bites. Easier to assimilate. When approached in this way, areas of challenge feel doable instead of impossible; never missing a step along the way. If you are about to embark on dropping back with little or no help from a teacher there is no shame in approaching it at the wall. Here you can drill the concept of grounding down through the legs as you, stretch, open and release, bringing your hands flat to the wall about shoulder height. Stay here and breathe for about five breaths, further establishing your connection to the floor, and actively pushing the hands into the wall, hips opening forward. Then after 5 full, complete breaths, while gazing in between the hands, lean the hips forward, drive the energy downward, head back and passive, stand up on the inhale. Arms will follow overhead. On the exhale bring the hands back down over the heart. A simple exercise to develop the body awareness to then learn to drop back fully with assistance from a teacher.

Okay. Let's continue to take it in small bites:

  • Spacing from you and the wall is important. You don't want to be too close or too far, for obvious reasons. Take time to roughly measure, by facing away from the wall, turning the torso, to then lightly brush the wall with your finger tips, standing slightly wider than hip width apart. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Find your center. Ground yourself, or better stated, send consciousness downward through the legs, feel firmly connected through the feet, standing just shy of wider than hips. Bandhas should be activated. The more connected to the legs the more open and free the upper body will feel. It works hand in hand. Stand in this way placing the hands together in front of the heart. Breathe.

S T R E T C H  

  • Next, we aren't even concerned with dropping back yet. First, while continuing the active establishment of the legs downward (I know I keep driving this point home, bear with me), we must stretch the top half of the body upward. Everything active, from the tips of our toes to the ends of our fingers. I know there are teachers out there who like to keep the hands held at the heart in a more passive stance. This is okay. There are definitely other approaches, but through experimentation I have found this method to be more energetic and requires more overall strength when stretching the arms overhead. I don't claim to have the better approach, just simply one that I have found to be more energetic in nature. Experiment and you decide.
  • When stretching upward, follow the hands with your gaze inhaling deeply, as you bring the palms overhead. Feel the ribcage lift, feel the sides fo the waist lengthen, pull the belly in gently to support the lower back, perineum lifting, another way to visualize and connect to the bandhas.

O P E N 

  • Exhale. Start your decent backward once the inhale is complete stretching upward, creating spaciousness in the body. Move the hips forward, follow the hands with your gaze, keep the hands pressed together. The only concern here is to open. The hips move forward as you stretch the upper body backward. 

R E L E A S E 

  • At some point you should see the wall. When the wall is visible open the hands and drop back to only shoulder height. Release. If you place the hands on the wall above shoulder height then simply walk the hands down, but no further. Breathe, 5 complete breaths maintaing your gaze between the hands. Keep the breath steady and full. Yes, it will be more challenging to breath here, but do your best to send consciousness to every breath, feeling a release as you actively push the hands into the wall (wide finger spread), and charge the legs, again, hips forward. Find spaciousness in the spine with each breath. 

S T A N D 

  • To stand, prepare by sending the energy forward into the hips and down the legs. Keep the head back. Inhale. Lean the hips further forward, energize the legs, and rise, upper body open and relaxed, as best you can, head passive. If available maintain the extension of the arms and continue the stretch upward. When upright, descend the arms downward over the heart. Exhale.

*   *   *

This is a simple prep to eventually work drop-backs with assistance. I have found when students breath correctly, with the accurate technique, while at the same time, becoming acquainted with the proper rhythm drop-backs require, it then doesn't feel so daunting to approach the drop-back, with assistance, descending all the way to the floor. 

Take in each step with full awareness and you'll be amazed at what arises. Best of luck. 

Monday Inspiration


The voice in the above video is the Dalai Lama speaking on happiness and then flows into Dinah Washington's "Bitter Earth". A beautiful short film.

Let's make it a great week and remember what's important! 

Friday Quote


Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches it’s arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way in the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening though and action; Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake!

- Rabindranath Tagore



"Awake my dear
be kind to your sleeping heart
take it out into the vast fields of Light
and let it breathe"
- Hafiz

In regards to my post "passive aggressive" I was surprised by the response I received. Not only the comments posted here, but the number of personal emails and messages on facebook where those personally disclosed their experiences similar to mine and/or to simply reach out and offer their support. When the time is ripe I don't hold back and in may ways this has been a huge lesson in me moving forward. I have dealt with all types of bullies in my past, through it all, I never allowed myself to be a victim of it. Unfortunately, my first bully experience was in my own household. A long story for another day. This is the first time I speak of it on my blog and is one I don't disclose to many people, if at all. Now, I stand at a point where I see the design of my life and how the ugly beautiful parts have woven into one. Because if I hadn't lived through the experiences it might not have pushed me to grow in the way that I have, even though there is still much healing and trust I have yet to expand into. Somedays, I ask myself, "why?" Now, I am understanding the why(s), more and more, on a daily basis.

People may not tell you how they feel about you, but they always show you. Pay attention.- Kerry Hilson

I think what blew me away once I landed in Sweden was just how subtle the hostility can be, and I honestly feel it is in the worst way, because it flys below the radar. I've had altercations with friends and acquaintances back home before, and when everything is out in the open, at least you know where you stand. Afterward the relationship deepens because true feelings finally bubbled to the surface to be openly looked at and discussed. A deeper authenticity of relationship is then acquired. However, here, you never really know where you stand with someone, but I've learned to read between the lines. Now, after years of travel and not being in my home country for a significant period of time since 2006, I have surprisingly learned how to read and feel people beyond what they say. Granted, with a decade of teaching yoga, this sense of feeling energy has cultivated over time.  More than 70% of communciation comes across through body language and nonverbals, if not more. I've learned that, yeah, someone can smile and ask how I am, but there is an energy of disdain behind it. Sure, I'll bite, but I know it is far from the sprit of goodwill, and one I have felt most painfully, but can embrace more fully with practice. This is the juice. As I burn away the impurities inside through transforming any pain or discomfort that arises. It is also a practice in developing discernment. At the same time, I never wish ill to those who have been subtly undercutting because I know karma will naturally unfold if need be. It isn't my place to look for control or power, while it truly shows the quality someone holds within themself. Things have a way of coming full circle. If I am to engage, then I am controlled by conditioning and the rhythm of unconsciousness. There are lessons to be learned. To learn the lesson there is growth. Seeing people for who they really are, beyond conditioned behavior, pure and innocent.

The above are only little glitches and simply part of the journey and my development. Through it all there have been really good stuff too, most definitely. I only needed to come clean with a few of my experiences. Obstacles are a part of life. Will they beat me down or give me the motivation to lift up? Thankfully, I have the motivation to continue and not be detracted from what is important. What does all this mean? Well, I am not entirely sure, life is mysterious, but I get a sense it has called me to cultivate the art of sincere attention more fully. A moment to moment awareness. Every part, moving me higher. I am also called to take a look at who do I want to be in all of this? Important indeed.

With all this being said, I have aligned to important allies in Sweden, and honestly, most people once you breakthrough, are genuine, grounded, and heartfelt. So, please understand, I am not trying to paint an ugly picture. I think the most surprising part was the animosity felt in the yoga community. This was most alarming, because naively, I thought it would be a community where I would be naturally accepted, hence the spirit of yoga. It's funny because people will judge you for your asana practice alone and think many things from a limited point of view. Just because I have acquired a few advanced poses doesn't mean shit, and even though people say it doesn't matter, through their treatment, they have communicated that it does. In my heart I have always known that yoga doesn't start, stop or end with asana. Whether a beginner, or advanced, why judge or hate? I've spent I don't know how many hours of practice in a room, by myself, with no one watching. To carry on in this way takes more than the simple allure of asana. However, people find it in themselves to question your quest because of your physical appearance. I find it odd. Judgement can swing in either direction.

The most important part in all of this is not being afraid to live in authenticity because there will always be those who will find fault with it. NEWS FLASH, being connected to yoga doesn't look any one way. Interesting that we can place labels within a topic that is ultimately so vast and infinitely bigger than the images we try to emulate, we forget what exactly wants to emerge from within. And well, this is where I will place my attention.

A sincere thank you to all who have been rays of sunshine during times of darkness. Blessings are everywhere.

Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly, let it cut more deep. Let it ferment and season you as few human or even divine ingredients can
- Rumi

Instagram Addict


In case you didn't know, I'm an Instagram addict. I love it. Recently, I have taken up photography on a legit DSLR, but I still can't help but snap photos on my iPhone. I love documenting the ordinary through photos. So, if you are at all interested, follow me on Instagram at @laruga or online here. Also, if I don't follow you already, give me your link in the comments thread, or through email.

Have a great day!


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