"I wonder now, why I wanted to taste his beer. The answer comes to me and it is the same answer to many of the questions of why we try new things: curiosity. Our motivation to explore the unknown is innocent and powerful. It has led us to self-discovery. Yet, what it unearths isn’t always of light. Sometimes, our curiosity can reveal a shadow inside that we didn’t know was there."
"I thought great, my project would be geared toward writing and creating PADI's very first, "Dive-Yoga distinctive specialty". With this specialty, people could get certified to practice this perfect collaboration and I could extend it all over the world. But wait, it's 2018... how could no-one have come up with this idea already?"
"What have you learned from your past? How has your past shaped you into the person (or bird metaphorically) that you are today? What has stopped you from spreading your wings? What obstacles have you faced that has taught you to slow down ... to heal your body, still your mind, and let your spirit soar?"
"Whether someone is asking for your time, assistance, a place to stay, a ride, or a dollar, if you are not in a position to give graciously and with good intentions, it is better to deny the request, than give with resentment."
"Living at the Yoga Forest for the last 25 days has been one of the most incredible and memorable journeys I have ever been on. I didn’t know what to expect coming in to it but since arriving here it has been a truly emotional and magical experience."
"Stories are used to connect, to co-create, to bind us to each other through wild seas. Stories take us back to our roots. They are the beacon of light in darkness. They are the path to our higher self."
"She began explaining her interest in the universal energy of Kundalini that pervades everything. As she spoke I held her gaze with focus and listened to her words. I enjoyed giving her all of my attention, seeing my attention enliven her."
"Perceive the energy around you as white light. Breathe in the white light. Exhale any darkness, negativity or sickness inside you. Once you are full of white light, breathe in the dark you might sense around you and exhale and share your inner light."
"Water element allows for adaptation to all of life’s changes, challenges and stresses. Like the flow of water, a balanced practice empowers us to govern emotions, rather than letting emotions govern us."
"As we enter our fourth year working together as Kula Collective, we are more inspired than ever by our vision of “an awakening of spiritual consciousness, supported by a thriving community founded in integrity, with abundance and freedom for all.”
"There is so much healing, release, surrender, and connection to all of creation and to our Self that can be cultivated and celebrated and cherished and nourished through this form of prayer that Kirtan is. And the more we connect to the Divine inside us, the more of the Divine light we have to share and give out to others as well."
"I want us to show up real, right here, right now, as is. I want us to gather to feel all the feelings and to write all the things. I want to walk up to shame and fear and look them in the eyes. I want us to look into the eyes of other women, and hear them say words that we too have thought."
"Essential to creative flow is vulnerability - the courage to be seen. We often block ourselves through fear of failure, or through striving and struggling towards something that doesn’t fit. To stay in a place of flow asks for an underlying trust, and a surrender to the surge that drives us into our personal harmony. We keep it all going with momentum driven by passion and fulfillment."
"As I already had a longer Unconditional Love project running in Finland, I decided to deepen it with Kula 300h YTT project request and give a bit more of my time for it for the last two months. As I sat down to meditate upon it I did receive an impression to organize something around gratitude as well as free expression and dance. I suggested my ideas for the Multicultural Center that we are collaborating with and they welcomed it with open heart."
"I want to connect to the essence of our sacred feminine, in all of its untamed beauty and rawness. I want to reconnect to the missing parts of us, the scattered pieces, the forgotten gifts. I want to crack open the eternal."
"Something that really struck me over the course of our 200h YTT in San Marcos was the interchangeable character of the term spirituality. For me, it does not only reveal a great amount of vagueness but also strong contrasts and conflict."
"Do you ever find it difficult to get dressed, apply for a job, ask that hottie out on a date, or speak your truth? How often have you come up with a perfect idea, followed it through to a certain extent and then abandoned it in favor of something more within your comfort zone? And what about those moments when you feel yourself overwhelmed with a “vulnerability hangover” - the closing down sometimes experienced after revealing too much of ourselves?"
"In diving into the study of the Niyamas within the Yoga Sutras, I have come to many realizations about why these ancient texts continue to be so relevant in modern times. They contain deep wisdom that as yogis, we seek to live and embody. The devotion to purity, self-study, discipline, personal growth and development, contentment, and spiritual devotion, all help us to become the truest version of ourselves."
"When we allow ourselves to focus on nothing but the breath, this creates space for the voice of divinity to flow through. When we go inward, we can connect with source - this allows us to move through life with subtle guidance and purpose."
"I had to stop for a while when I realized the situation… I have previous experience of working with small children and girls and somehow I had been expecting to work with them with the project as well but suddenly I got a completely new kind of a challenge to take in: a group of 16-17 years old boys!"
"How can we ensure that our Yoga Teacher Trainings are constantly improving to ensure that anyone who has a certification has the potential to create these transformative experiences our world is so desperately in need of? How can we avoid people turning away from Yoga because of a negative experience with a teacher who doesn’t meet our standards of excellence?"
“The importance of the consciousness of your path is two-fold: you want to represent your country and foreigners in general in a respectful light AND you want to show respect to the culture and corner of the world you find yourself in.”
“I awaken to my fullest potential. I step aside so the universal energy can animate me. I am a puppet of the divine. I honor my own unique creativity and Self-expression with an open and humble heart. We transcend all that has been, all that is, and all that will be by making amends with our higher Self.”
“Asana, Pranayama and meditation allowed me to consciously begin to release the issues and non-beneficial patterns stored in the muscles, deep tissues and nerve cells. Plant medicine ceremonies helped me recognize the triggers that set off patterns of emotional pain.”
“Devoted spiritual practice consistently kindles gratitude and allows us to see clearly with our heart. When we see with the heart rather than the conditionings of the mind, we create the space to appreciate all expressions with equanimity and in that graceful act of acceptance and love for all beings and happenings, we experience ultimate liberation.”
“Whether the spectrum is material, social, or temporal, we are often driven by one extreme or the other if we’re not conscious of it. In either case, these desires and fears can drive us to extreme circumstances and feelings, which can derail our flow and shatter our contentment.”
“We can let go of specific expectations but still work towards our goals and dreams. When our life force is fully released and we find connection with the divine everywhere, the possibilities truly become endless.”
“Samvega. That's the name yogis gave to the complex state of a kind of disillusionment with mundane life that leads to a wholehearted longing for a deeper investigation into the inner workings of the mind and the self.”
“The Five Rituals for transitioning spaces came to me based on a deep desire to honor the spaces I have spent time in without feeling like I’m rushing until the very last second of my departure so that I am not anticipating the predictable chaos that comes along with leaving a space I once called home. It means slowing down, setting intention and tapping into a feeling of grace, ease and fluidity.”
“I believe it is at this confluence of cultures, wisdom, and history, that the western mind, if focused collectively in this way, can bring the ancient to the present, the higher truths to the ground level, integrating this wisdom into our societies and way of life.”
“We can infuse our manifestations into our thoughts, our dreams, our conversations and our experiences, and at the same time, create space with awareness and accept what shows up as an opportunity and a gift.”
“When something “bad” happens to you like the end of a relationship or the end of a job, notice what perspective the mind takes you to initially. It takes awareness and work to cultivate a different way of looking at things.”
“I challenge myself to dedicate 2 weeks to speaking each love language to myself to find out which I resonate most with. At the end of these 10 weeks, I will write another blog to discern my thoughts and feelings of this experience. Will you join me in this challenge?”
““But”. That fateful word, master of creative collapse. A “but” is a huge wall, imposing darkness over the first part of the sentence, leaving the second half raging and ringing in the listeners’ ears.”
“Early in my yoga path, I connected with an ashtanga yoga teacher who stopped me in my tracks when she asked me after class one day, “Emily are you even trying?” My response was, “Actually no I am not…..” Hence began my commitment to myself.”
“Buddha rejected the philosophy and felt that the gluttonous lifestyle of its disciples was extreme. Instead, Buddha held that consciousness is real and exists independent of the 5 elements. Consciousness exists before we are born and will exist after we die and is, in fact, infinite in all directions.”
“In the training I developed a deeper level of awareness around my thought patterns, belief systems, energy levels and habits. We were in the middle of the jungle with no cell service or wi-fi, and most buildings only had candles for light. I was completely disconnected from social media for most of my experience there, and it allowed me to be much more present and focused on what was happening around and within me. “
“By combining these practices I’ve enhanced my skills as a healer with greater awareness on the power of the energetic body and the stories our bodies hold physically. If we continue to do the work internally to unify with mind, body and spirit — Yoga — we will be able to maintain balance and health in the physical body — the ultimate goal of Thai Massage.”
“We are all full of good ideas... every one of us! Every person you’ve ever met has had at least one great idea that, if enacted wisely, could impact this planet in beautiful ways. The piece of the puzzle that few accomplish is not the having of the idea but in its implementation.”
“Lucky for us, these plant aromas protect us too, as many are anti-microbial, anti-bacterial anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing for humans. In addition to their physical benefits, many holistic healers also use essential oils for emotional, energetic and spiritual healing.”
“We are always connected to the spirit world and have access to the wisdom that exists among the multidimensional beings that are all around us. The question is “how do we make a direct connection with our helping spirits and access the information we need in order to guide us toward the life changes we desire?”
“As three weeks at The Yoga Forest passed, I learned yogic philosophy from class and yogic life from the forest. Permaculture living came to be one expression of everything we were learning about yoga.”
“It seems that blogging and teaching yoga have joined hands and skipped off into the sunset together. It’s actually no surprise… yoga teachers feel called to share, and what better way to do that than with your personal online bulletin board?”
“I felt completely overwhelmed by the work that I saw ahead on top of my already completely full work schedule, but I had faith that we were beginning a new process that would empower us. So I chanted to Kali for extended periods whenever I could.”
“In my ever-changing life practicing yoga has been the one thing I’ve never stopped doing. Little by little I began to understand the rhythm of it, the different sequences. Little by little it was printed in my body, breath and soul. I became more steady. In my yoga, I had an anchor to come back to any time I needed it.”
“To my surprise, my mind changed during that eight week teacher training. I felt that I needed, even wanted, to teach formally to hold onto the inspiration and fulfillment I’d developed. Unaware, I’d started to climb a hill you can’t turn off. “
“When I approached a couple of gyms, I was told there was an oversupply of yoga teachers and there is a waiting list of teachers waiting for a teaching slot. Rather discouraged, I realized I had to develop my own studio.”
“Wow! I was not really a morning person. The thought of this was not appealing. Yet, as I started the program, I felt so energized by the meditation with ocean sound and breeze in the background, as well as the long savasanas after our long yoga practice, I had no issues waking up, or practicing on an empty stomach, which was also scary at first.”
“In Bali, riding freely on the back of a scooter, wind in my hair, breeze on my face and the beauty of the open road, I found myself present, connected, and one within me and everything around me. No thoughts, nothing; emptiness, or complete fullness if you will. That is until, I remembered I was supposed to be the one directing the driver, staying alert and letting him know when to turn right. So, we missed the turn. I looked down at my phone and it took me out of this precious present moment.”
“For those who have been a part of our vibrant Kirtan circles, discomfort will have dissipated long ago, sifted out in the shivering rhythms of our breath. As with any practice, the proof is in the doing, and here, doing means enveloping yourself in a myriad of healing harmony. But why, you might ask, do we spend so much time singing when we are "supposed to be" yoga teachers?”
“A big head spinner this season for me is commonly hearing the phrase “I am not the body” or “I am focusing my upper chakras”. Now, as a yoga practitioner and teacher, I understand the philosophy behind this phrase, but in my experience and here at the lake in San Marcos, they are not realizing also that….We are the body. “
“I would instead dedicate my energy to establishing an eco-spiritual community. So I spent all of my savings on a piece of land a 15-minute hike from the nearest road in town with no idea about what was to unfold. All I knew was the whisper in my heart was so strong that I could no longer ignore it.“
“For much of my time abroad I have been living in spiritual communities of one sort or another. During this time, something has become apparent that brings me concern… within these communities there is a sore lacking of men.”
“By spending time in nature, we can learn more about ourselves, and how to engage more fully in the cycles of life. Nature has informed our ancestors for ages, and those same teachings are informing us today…but are we listening?”
“I was lucky enough to travel all over, and cooked for some of the world’s richest people, yet I found myself constantly yearning instead for inner riches; the peace and tranquility of the spiritual journey and a fulfilling life. This is when I met Durga.”
“I came to Yoga thinking what most people in the West think: a convenient and trendy way to get a great workout and increased flexibility. I had no idea the practice would change me from the inside out.”
“The skin on our body is constantly shedding, but are we consciously releasing as we shed? What are those parts of us that are shadowing our brilliant light inside? We can consciously shed our shadows every moment, bringing more and more light from within and out.”
“But this school, the school of life, was amazing! I was a freshman in a university so much more real than anything I had experienced before, and the lessons of life were pouring into my beginner's mind.”
“Saraswati has been whispering to me for well over a year now. So sweet were her whispers that I could no longer ignore it, and I realized it was time to honor the essence of ‘The Flowing One’ in ceremony one beautiful Caribbean coastal night.”
“For many of us, ‘doing yoga’ means getting on our mats, stretching out, strengthening our core, and relaxing in savasana. But where did this idea come from? What journeys does it present for us within? And what does it really mean to be steady and comfortable in your seat?”
“When I first read these ancient Vedic texts I was awestruck by the incredible overlap between what I was reading and what I had learned from my Shamanic teachers in Peru. The texts were describing the exact path that my teachers had laid out before me.”
“The darkness called. I felt a desire deep within me to find solace and space, withdrawing myself from all responsibility and contact with the outside world. A little extreme perhaps, but yogis and spiritual practitioners of various cultures since antiquity have sought dark havens of stillness such as caves for long periods of meditation and sannyas (renunciation). It was my turn for solitude.”
“Lying in savasana, finding the beautiful balance between stillness of the body and movement of the breath, you close your two eyes to the external world. In that moment, inner awareness increases and connectivity to your inner being opens. Maybe without realizing it, you've just begun to activate your Third Eye.”
“She led me through many different ceremonies, sometimes two or three a day. We worked with various jungle plants, each with a different intention. Some were to strengthen the body, some were to cleanse certain organs, some were for vitality, some worked in the astral and dream realms.”
“I feel the river that I am, the conjunction of so many paths, so many incoming currents and outgoing flows. I think of the flow I am in right now, this bubbling pool of so many different and coinciding situations, the result of all the rivers that run in myself and the people around me.”