Our Future lies in Ahimsa

AHIMSA – Non-Harming, non-violence

The world has always been and will forever be a violent place to live, even if we go to live on Mars I trust that violence will ensue there too!  Why?  Why can’t human lives in peace?  Of all the steps on the path of yoga, the first one in a classical sense is Ahimsa.  In fact, you don’t get to skip this one and just carry on with yoga.  I have found that in our culture we like to disregard the parts that make us super uncomfortable or are asking us to change part of ourselves or our behavior.

Mother Nature has never screamed louder at humankind then she is right now!

Truth is she is enraged at our lack of respect for her oceans, forests, air, lands.  This time things are more critical.  The rainforest has always been considered the lungs of this planet, a belt of green that helps control the planets changing climate, providing us with oxygen and now it’s burning away as I type.  I’m worlds away up here in Canada but that is the mistake, to believe that what we do in another place doesn’t impact the entire planet.

You likely heard and if you haven’t then I’ve no problem being the person to explain why this is happening!  GREED mostly, money, corruption, power and specifically in the amazon …… Animal Agriculture!  The food on your plate is  fueling the flames.  This isn’t my opinion this is a fact and it’s one that if we don’t face right now, we will see more devastating consequences in the not so distant future.

This isn’t our first crisis, the bees have been dying by the millions for and without them we are in trouble, the water is full of plastic, without the oceans we are in trouble.  It’s so hard because everytime we turn around we see the devastation that is happening to earth all around us and it’s hard not to feel hopeless and give up, Swaha!  But you can’t, please, you must not turn away from this, you must act in a way that aligns with healing the earth.

Did you know that there’s a law in Brazil that if  you buy property there you must have livestock on your land, you must raise cattle?  The demand for meat, (although thankfully the Beyond Meat products have helped people choose plants over animals more)  has risen not decreased.  The fact is we can not sustain animal agriculture, we can’t!

Here’s a look at the current situation in Brazil – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-49433767. Glad to see many countries including Canada releasing funds at the G7 Summit to help with fighting the fires.

What’s causing the fires? 

The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (Ipam) has stated the recent increase in the number of fires in the Amazon is directly related to deliberate deforestation.

While the exact scale of deforestation in the rainforest will only be certain when 2019 figures are published at the end of the year, preliminary data suggests a significant rise.

The National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) tracks suspected deforestation in real-time using satellite data, sending out alerts to flag areas that may have been cleared.

Over 10,000 alerts were sent out in July alone.

Deforestation was 278% higher in July 2019 than in July 2018

The resources it takes to make one burger is outstanding and deeply concerning.  It takes 18,000 Gallons of water to raise 1 pound of beef, that 100 days of showers, this is about the same for pork and poultry by the way, so choosing white meat over read isn’t really going to help here.

I also understand that in certain situations ingesting animal products are believed to be a positive addition to one’s health.  This is more rare than most people believe and many doctors are not recommending the removal of animal products due to their counter-productive impacts on health.  High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and many more concerns can have a direct correlation on what you are feeding your body and the formation of disease, that is undeniable!

What is undeniable is that most people want to continue to eat for flavour, texture, experience, likes and disregard any direct connection to disease until something goes really wrong then maybe they start to consider their diet.  But for many reasons, cultural, socio-economical, personal believes many people seem to feel that having meat everyday at every meal is not a problem.  Maybe you get away with that when it comes to your health based on genetics or whatever but you need to understand that those choices are what started these fires to begin with.

Like many activists, i’m tired of wondering why people are not changing, posting things to at least get you curious about what you can do to help, the answer is….. stop buying meat and dairy.  That is the single most impactful thing you can do today, this is more important than your thoughts and prayers and maybe even monetary donations.  Don’t shoot the messenger, or direct your anger about someone questioning your eating habits!  This is not just my personal opinion, this is based on knowledge and  devastating outcomes to our planet because of the demand for meat.

I don’t think I am better or higher than any other person.  I became a vegetarian at 15 years old and I believe I was born that way.  Cutting out meat wasn’t a punishment for me at all.  When I got into yoga and learned about ahimsa I connected strongly to the concept of not harming others/animals.  I didn’t go vegan until many years later because “I loved cheese” (if I had a dollar for everytime I heard someone say that…. well you get the point.”  I get that too cheeze is almost as addictive as cocaine and you can dive into why you might feel that way and I’m certain you may be shocked to find out the real reason you feel that way about cheeze.

Ok here, check this out –


If we put a cut scarf on her she looks more like a dog. Most people won’t eat dog!

“I just LOVE cheese so so so much!”

One book changed that for me and I read it a long time ago,  Kris Carr’s book called My Crazy Sexy Diet that came after her TV show My Crazy Sexy Cancer.  Her book did it for me and I’ve never looked back.  Here’s a link if you want to pick one up. – https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/crazy-sexy-diet-eat-your/9780762777938-item.html?ikwid=Kris+Carr&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

From my own health experience I feel great living on a gluten free (mostly) plant based diet.  Dairy caused me so many health issues that I denied for a long time.  One of the biggest ones was asthma.  My lungs always felt tight and it was always hard to breath.  A wine and cheese party had the power to send me to the ER with a serious asthma attack.  Once I cut out dairy, all my breathing issues cleared up.  I know I would not want to hear or act on that back in my “I love cheese days,” but it was undeniable given I haven’t needed and asthma puffer both ventolin and the steroid one since I went plant-based.

The personal story is to offer the other side here.  I feel better, I am healthier than I’ve ever been in my life and I feel that they way I live matters to this planet of ours.  I want to make this a better place for us and please please please for our kids!  Can you imagine what it will be like in 10, 20 or 30 years from now?

We must take action in the direction to stop the demand for animal products, today!

Adorning the Goddess

Although, I don’t think it’s great to be addicted to our stuff, buying things we don’t need, hoarding or deepening the roots of addiction by the constant desire to shop on-line, I do believe that we are meant to express ourselves in our own unique way.

I’ve had many “styles” in my life.  In high school I had an emo-thing that morphed into a grunge thing, that turned into a skater thing, I won’t mention my almost non-existent bar attire back in my early days.   I even had a “Yoga” style!  For many years I was rocking fancy bindi’s, all the om’s, tie dyed yoga pants and that was my look.

Mostly, I still am in the yoga clothes and my style is pretty, casual and comfy.  I don’t know if it will or when it will transform into something else but for now, I can say I am comfortable in my own skin, which is far more meaningful and important to me than keeping up with any style trends.

The body-suit with snaps in the crotch are back….. and I am not rocking that, no way.  It wasn’t comfortable in high school and I am pretty confident it wouldn’t be today either.  

There are many underlying yoga philosophies that refer to the physical body in different ways.  In one of the school’s the body is seen as inferior to the spirit, it’s a lazy, dying, sac of pus and bones….. really?

In another view, because the body is forever changing it means, it isn’t real at all, a total illusion, a misperception in your thinking, all part of Maya, the grand illusion.

There are renunciate paths where you renounce all your worldly goods and in no way differentiate yourself from others, like you wear all the same clothes, in the same colour as everyone around you.  You wear nothing to make you unique.

I think when I was first introduced to tantra, so many of the teachings finally felt authentique to me and … well right.  Our body isn’t a problem, or less than, or inferior, or a dying sac of yuk, but rather the God or Goddess embodied.  We are all unique and the we are also same.  Think of humanity as one giant mirror smashed into 7 billion sparkly pieces, you are one of the those unique sparkly pieces.

In this way, we are encouraged to adorn ourselves with nice things, wearing jewellery and unique clothing styles, make us even more beautiful.  We can stand proud and tall to be in the embodied life as a divine being.  We can embrace our changing and aging bodies not as a punishment but as a badge of living life fully, scars, and all.

That totally resonated with me.

I still keep things simple, I am attracted to certain colours, like pink and blue, unicorn colours, and I love jewellery that has sacred symbols and crystals.  I am in love with my recent purchases of my Rocking Vibe –  Inferno Gold necklace, you can see it here – https://rockingvibe.com/collections/short-minimal-necklaces/products/inferno-gold

and my Super Sparkly, Soul Sparkle Choker in Rose – check it – https://rockingvibe.com/products/soul-sparkle-choker-rose

I wanted to get these two piece to honour my womanhood, my journey and my month!  May is both Mother’s Day and my birthday so it was perfect.

Never let someone take away your sparkle and force you to fit in.  There has never been a person exactly like you on this earth and their will never be again a “you.”  So adorn, dress up, get your hair and nails done (non-toxic is best of course), take care of your skin, by clothes that make you feel happy, sexy, powerful, buy the jewellery that you love because all of it is how we adorn the Goddess, that we are.

Much Love,

Happy Mothers Day to the Mom’s of the world, including the fur baby ones.


The Power of a Home Practice

Over the years many people have told me that they were interested in a home practice and wondered how to begin doing that.  My answer is “yes its where the real, deep, potent stuff is.”  and in the next breathe I caution that you need to have some yoga experience first of course.

A fun variation of camel to try

I LOVE my home practice.  I’m so lucky that we have a room in our home dedicated as a yoga space, ok some toys in there too, but it’s an open space, with my alter and murties, mats, props, blankets, straps, bolsters, windows and view of sky and trees.  It’s magical really.  I practice almost daily, lately I’ve had an interesting twist to my home practice my Husband and I have been doing yoga together, most nights and its great.  The practice, however, is more gentle which I enjoy too but my body needs a strong practice, I love inversions, arm balances, and experimenting with new modifications of poses.

I have a YogaGlo account and use it frequently.  If you are not sure what it is there is a free 15-day trial you can sign up for here…   https://www.yogaglo.com/register    

The cost is about what a studio drop-in class costs and the teachers are truly awesome.

I also love Bruce Bowditch’s books as a visual guide.  You can pick what level or type of practice. I often put on some yoga tunes and follow along.


Other days I ask my body what I need and after years of training, teaching, and practicing I can create a sequence on the fly that fits my needs.  I often think backward here, what poses have a not done in a while?  What poses have I been avoiding?  What poses are not my fav?  Then I know there’s something there for me to do some work on.

With a home practice, you can run or get distracted…. umm no you can and some days its far to easy,  I need to do laundry, check emails, blah blah blah, so with time and devotion you learn that nothing is worth disturbing your practice time and those moments when you are about to give in to the distraction are often when you feel the deep squeeze of truth about to be revealed or accepted.  It’s best to stay put, soften breath, and be present.

Other times, the call of kula is what I need, community, heart connection, yogi friends, an inviting and safe studio, with great teachers.  I always learn something when I go to a class, even if the teacher is brand spanking new, they will always say something that gets my heart and gets me ruminating, which I love.  I am always a yoga student first so that means I am in a space of receiving and openness, it doesn’t work for me any other way, even when I am actually the teacher.

The bottom line… just practice yoga.

Namaste & peace,


You are more

Diving into yoga on all levels has been a major part of my life for 14 years. I have explored various yoga philosophies, schools of thought, and styles of yoga, how yoga helps with stress and dis-ease, various meditation techniques, pranayama techniques, cleanses, Ayurveda, anatomy, therapeutics, and more.

I enjoy going deep into the information even if it is just a repeat as it helps my brain make sense of some of it. Some of it I read and I have no idea what it’s about but I am still interested. I didn’t understand when I started yoga how much other stuff came with the practice, so much more than a downward dog pose.


After all these years I am only more intrigued. I intent to go to India to study but not yet and not with just anyone it will be an opportunity to immerse into yoga at it’s roots. I have no interest in doing a tourist trip or attending an ashram that caters to Westerners’ s flocking over for yoga teacher training immersions, just not my thing. I do want to understand more about the Hindu culture and how various ritual practices are tied to yoga.


I have little experience with this side of yoga but of the few traditional rituals I have attended I am more than a little intrigued to know more. Each one of us practice daily rituals but one of the major differences is that most of us are doing them with no mindful fullness at all, with no gratitude or connection to something more, it’s just daily, necessary body maintenance.


Recently, I wrapped up my 7th Yoga Teacher Training and sometimes there are just these moments that stick out from the other moments that really change how you see things or how you understand things. This one moment where a slight change of words, changes the meaning.

My understanding of Advaita Vedanta is that there is only one reality that we work with and everything else falls into the realm of illusion or maya.


This means that the only thing that is truly real is spirit and that everything else is “unreal,” a misunderstanding, and illusion and that our goal in life is to figure that out and to come back to this understanding. When we don’t get it we will suffer and the way out of the suffering is through remembering this, only Spirit is real and anything that changes and is matter, is a figment of the mind.


I have never been able to understand this, at the moment I am sitting on an airplane, bumping along through the air at high speeds, typing these words on my computer with a plane full of other people.   The idea that the plane is an illusion doesn’t jive with me. The idea that I am not my body, while I sit here and can feel every toe, finger, joint, muscle and I’m using my brain and senses , don’t resonate with truth to me. The idea that I am not my emotions, seems far fetched since I can feel a whole bunch of them right now in this very moment and since waking up I’ve likely touched on at least 100 or more different emotions. To tell me they are not real makes no sense and I question the validity of teaching people they are not their bodies, their thoughts, their emotions.


During the training this slight shift of wording hit me like a bomb and opened me up to a new and beautiful understanding of all of this. In yoga class, I have heard teachers say these very phrases “You are not your body, you are not your emotions, you are not your thoughts” but if we change this a little bit all of the sudden my heart lights up as if it was plugged into a powerful source of truth. What if we are MORE than our bodies, MORE than our thoughts, MORE than our emotions? What if we are MORE than we ever thought we were?


Perhaps some people that study in the Vedanta lineages of yoga have already come to that understanding and even mean that when they repeat or teach “I am not my body,” especially when it is sore , tight, falling apart, broken, failing but I haven’t heard a teacher imply that I am more than that but that it’s a flaw in my awareness, that I am only spirit and nothing more.


How liberating to know that you are more than just this aging body, the negative thoughts, the feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, anger, fear.   I am in love with this new understanding that I truly felt I was gifted to know, by a shakitpat like experience, as if the universe hit me in the head but what if it was this way, does that help? It brings me more peace and joy to see it in this light.


There is so much to be said about immersing yourself in yoga for 5 days at a time, to meditate with a group of people everyday, to breath together, to feel together, to laugh together, to grow together, to support each other as we expand our awareness of our own bodies or come to terms with injuries, chronic pain, people that have lost a child or a friend or a partner, people that are looking for community and connection in a time when it feels like any progress on the path of light was abolished with the recent election in the US.


Now I am filled with the idea that we are all MORE, we are more than we every thought we were and we get to use that information for our own awakening so that it helps each day for us to connect to MORE, even through the most simple, mundane rituals we all have. That we make each day rich with this understanding of being more and that we can use all of our experience to feel and experience the full spectrum that life has to offer us every day rather than sleep our way through life or feel that everything that is matter is an illusion of your mind (although at times that is also true, and valid, and important but not always).


You are MORE, much more,




I have to share this with you

I want to share this with you, no I have to share this with you!

In the last two years, my life, career, way that I live in the world radically changed. I am surprised that it did and I am thrilled about it too

Two years ago I made a leap, a commitment to myself after using doTERRA essential oils for 5 months and a phone call with my team leader I couldn’t believe I was saying yes to this business opportunity but I did.

Some history here, I have actually been in 3 different network marketing companies and they did not turn out well. I was part of Amway in university and had NO clue what was going on, then a friend introduced me to NuSkin, and at the time after a few wake-up calls, I saw that their products contained harmful parabens that wreak havoc on hormones, so that was it for me. Finally, I had a friend show me the awesomeness of ENJO products which we still use but as a business, I had no support, their customer service was terrible, not standing behind the products to help the distributor, and had a low retention rate so you always had to find new people. Needless to say, I was a bit hesitant having going down this road before about another MLM

The thing is the oils are so awesome; it is hard not to share them with other people when I know they work, they are safe, affordable and change lives! I had no clue what was going on and had a friend tell me she wanted to build under me so on that note I dove in.

What did that look like for me, at home with a baby under one? Well, I took time each day for personal development and committed to learning about the essential oils, doterra, the other products and to having my first class.


My friend Rebecca taught my first class and my closest friends came and almost all of they bought a kit. That week a cheque came in the mail, it wasn’t for much but it helped with my monthly order so I was happy about that, since I wasn’t getting that many cheques. The next day another doterra cheque came and again it wasn’t much but it was awesome and truthfully I didn’t even know what it was for.

I love getting weekly cheques, I love getting my monthly order covered so my family has access to all the oils and products that we now use for everything , every day, on our daughter, ourselves, our house, car, and even our dog.

As a Mom that teaches yoga, has a hula hoop company, and a health coaching practice I wondered how I was going to fit this in but the weekly cheque was drawing me to learn more. There seemed to be some financial opportunities that can be hard to come by in my current jobs.

In, two years of cultivating my doterra business I am seeing my future and it’s bright. I started with some small cheques and some months were better than others and as I continue on they are getting bigger and why does this matter to me?

I was recently challenged on my why I was told it was too fluffy and you know what it was. I had to get clear about why I am doing this business. Here’s the down low on my why.

In university I got a credit card (this should be illegal), I immediately bought a brand new snowboard and maxed it out and didn’t have a clue about how interest worked. My credit card use was out of control, I was going on shopping sprees, buying alcohol and paying rent with my credit card. This has caused me a heavy burden and tremendous shame, guilt, and other issues.

Somehow I have managed to pay minimum payments without missing much but I was really just moving my available credit around to make that happen and was only going deeper.

After I thought I found my calling I opened a yoga studio, completely ignoring the financials to follow my heart, well that has also been a burden for me to deal with daily. I have been in debt since I was 18 years old. I have paid thousands of dollars back and so much interest it makes me feel sick.IMG_4948

My why? I want to be free from credit card debt, I want to easily afford the healthiest food on the planet, I want to travel with my family and friends, to have amazing experiences, to not worry about paying bills. That’s why I love my doterra business. I am set up to succeed I just have to stay with the program and if that means using and loving my oils well that is easy.

Believe me, it is tough to get clear and super truthful but to shift the energy I am willing to feel uncomfortable if it will inspire you.

I am committed to working with my team of essential oil lovers that also want to share oils and build a doterra business.

Are you curious to know what it takes? What is involved? If you could do this business?

Well, you have to start with your oils! Use them, every day, get confident, watch the ripple effect they create and once you are comfortable with that then this is the next step.

Set up your monthly Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP), this is the smartest way for you to get more products, to get points back from your orders to use toward more products, a chance to get a free oil of the month.

In order to build your doterra business, you must maintain a 100PV (point value) order every month and keep your cart at a min. 100PV at all times. This is because you get a commission only when you have kept a 100PV order.

I have had several businesses and done lots of reading about MLM business models and I am going to tell you this is a great business model for mom’s, students or people that don’t have $10,000 to start a business or the millions it takes to purchase a franchise. This type of monthly investment into your business and your health pays off, big time!

You have to have classes. How many classes? It’s up to you, how fast do you want to grow your business, how much do you want to get out of debt, travel, put away for retirement? What are you why? For some people 2-3 classes a week makes sense for others it is more 2-3 a month. Either way, you can get started.

What is awesome about the classes? Well, the person that enrolled you teaches it for you, there are tons of resources, like already made powerpoints or doterra has a class in a box for $35, which is literally a full class with all the handouts, samples, and DVD, it’s so easy.

So that’s it! Not kidding! You keep a 100PV order each month and you share oils with other people. You can do on-line facebook classes, one on ones, classes, make and take classes, rollerball classes, themed classes, the list goes on but you get to make this business yours! You have to fill out a monthly biz check-in in order to get a monthly mentoring call.

There are times when it’s tough but the other part of this business that I never had having my own yoga studio or other jobs which are a support team, a whole team of high vibe, like-minded people cheerin you on. Do you have that at work right now? Can it be better for you?

This is a low-risk business to test out but give it time, think long-term financial security.

I had to share this with you, to give you my honest opinion about doterra so that you know what is involved.

Next steps… book a one on one 30 minute biz exploration call with me and we’ll get clear on your why what your heart truly wants for you in this life and well make a plan together to get you started.


Thanks for reading



Soul Warming Weekend

final soul warm

My Soul Warming weekend is coming up next weekend at Wholistic Hall.  I really wanted to create an event smack dab in the dreary, cold, Winter months for the yoga community to come together for an event that will cultivate growth, inspiration, light, love and community connection.

Each day will be a blend of asana combined with anatomy lessons, assists to help softly deepen the pose or guide the direction of energy in the pose, each day will also bring long, deep savasanas, pranayama (breath work to increase and balance one’s energy), meditations, inspiring messages or poems and on Sunday practicing yoga with essential oils (my absolute favourite).

Students can be of any level to come for the weekend.  My role as the guide on this journey is to provide the appropriate amount of challenge for each student will allowing people to expand but also to honour each persons boundaries and limitations as well.  Please touch base with me before the event if you have a particular injury that may limit your practice and also that I can be there to help you in certain postures to ensure no further damage occurs.

There is enough time each day to grab some lunch, take in a walk or grab a tea before the afternoon sessions begin.

The cost is $140 plus tax for the weekend.  You can also join for the day or individual sessions. The hours attended count toward continuing credits through Yoga Alliance, please indicate that you would like a certificate for the weekend so I can provide you with one.  If you wish to pay cash please bring the exact amount to the event.

If you haven’t been to the Hall the trek up to the third floor is so worth it.  Candice has created a lovely space for practice.  Parking is a bit tricky so give yourself a bit of extra time.  There is a lot right behind the studio off of Queens that is reasonable and you can cut through at Spaghetti Eddies walkway, then take a right.  It is upstairs from David’s bistro.   If it’s your first time at Wholistic Hall please sign at waiver at the desk when you get there.

I am so excited to have the time to be in yoga with such a dynamic group of people.  There are just a couple spots left if you wish to attend you can sign up  at the bottom of my website under events and you can also pay on line as well.  If you wish to do an etransfer please send it to mindy.menard@yahoo.com.

Till then peace, harmony and light,


Soul Warming Yoga Workshop FB Timeline

Reflectiosn from the Sky

Reflections from the Sky

Reflectiosn from the SkyAs the brilliant orange glow illumines the horizon, I am flying home again. Another Yoga Teacher Training complete, another bittersweet end and another opportunity to grow authentically as a person, a mother, a friend, a teacher. I’m not sure how but every graduating YTT class just shatters my heart, it is hard to breath as I call their name to come up for their certificate. Is it because it is the end of our time together or something else? I really don’t know but I do know that after completing my 7th 200 hour teacher training it happens every time.

As the plane gently bumps along the turbulence I feel unsettled this morning. This could also be guilt for leaving my 21 month old to go to work or that my work for now has ended and I have to put it out to the ethers that I want that work to continue and then who knows which people will decided spending 200 hours studying yoga is what they want to do, and with me nonetheless.

All I know for certain is that my heart feels full, yet empty, open but closed, I feel happy and sad all at once and know that in the next few days I will get very quiet, process all this stuff bubbling up from my soul to the surface and go straight back to my role as a nursing Mama, chef, janitor, snow-shoveller, yoga teacher, friend and wife and that also makes me very happy.

So much of what I do is actually art, yoga is art and at times I loose site of that, sticking to my agenda’s, marking homework, booking travel tickets. When I started teaching these trainings I had to create all of the curriculum which felt like both creative work and also not creative work but just work-work. Each time I have seen how my offerings land with yoga students and then I must respond creatively to what I see. There is great danger in thinking you have arrived and no longer need to do the work, creative or not.

My fiery, pitta dosha, collides with my airy creative, vata dosha and a burning desire to be better, to do better in every part of my life engulfs me like a forest fire in a windstorm. Old ways are burned to ash and create the grounds just right for new creative ideas to sprout. If I don’t go with it I get so burned out and stuck. I never would have thought of myself of an artist but in the work I am doing more and more I see that I truly am that first.

Now I shift to accounting and create receipts, pay bills, return emails of curious yogis, change diapers, book essential oil classes and it starts to feel less like art and instead like I’m just going through the motions of life and responsibility. I know it’s more than that because I am always creating even when I doing less artsy things. Self care, being a better person, mom, wife, friend are constantly swirling around in my mind all day, often with only a short break during meditation and then boom right back to it how do I balance all these things and keep being authentic and creative? Must be the yoga, I often chalk things up to the magic and awesomeness of yoga.

I’m an artist, yep, I like that, I like the way I feel when I acknowledge that part of who I am, one that I don’t think I have ever acknowledged before because of course my mind has convinced me that I am never good enough to be that or anything else. Well… I’ve finally figured out that consulting my mind first for so many things is a mistake I have trained myself to start to listen to my heart first, what a joy that is since my heart talks much sweeter and kinder to me than my mind every does.

So now my work is done, I have set dates, put up posters, let people know that I will be coming back in March to begin the teacher training journey all over again and wonder who will come, what will transpire, who will I get to know through that process that I will forever feel a deep heart bond with. Wow, my life is good, like really good. I think about the accountant in the seat in front of me and the retired man going to visit his sick 92 year old father and recognize how different my life is and how grateful I feel to have made my own career out of what feels like a deep calling or a deep knowing about my purpose and dharma in my lifetime.

I thought I was going to sleep on this flight since I had to get up at 4:30 and went to bed at midnight but I felt the idea to write some of this out and share some these intense feelings, I will thank Elizabeth Gilbert for that since her Big Magic book seemed to be resonating at a deep heart level for me. Having said that she says that creative ideas are moving through the universe just looking for the right host to be expressed. I am happy to be that vessel this morning.


Stories from your Psoas

The body/mind matrix is miraculous and fascinating.  After all, just what we can see on the outside surface is amazing but when I think about what is going on below the surface that is when my mind gets totally blown.  The psoas, is actually two muscles, the psoas major and the iliacus, together they form your iliopsoas.  This is the only muscle that attaches your spine to your legs.  It spans from t-12 to the lumber spine, comes across the inside of your pelvis and then attaches to the top of your inner thigh.

The biggest job for this muscle to to flex the hip, but it’s also part of walking, standing and running.  When this muscle gets overly tight it can throw a number of things off both physically and emotionally.  If you ever feel like you can’t “stand on your own 2 feet” look deep inside to your psoas as it likely has a message for you about that.  All you need to do is sit and people watch for a moment and you will easily see how many people in the world have lost their “uprightness.”

Overly tight psoas muscles can be connected to fear and can knock you adrenals out of whack.  When your breath is rapid and shallow it causes tightening of the psoas, this can become a cycle that tires out the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys.  When your lower ribs jut forward you stimulate the adrenals and  the sympathetic nervous system.  Many people are chronically holding in that state and over time it can really wear you down.

If you have ever had your psoas massaged (barf), you realize how deep and often how tight it is.  Some suggest that the front of your body is more connected to the ego/individualism and the back body more connected to source energy or cosmic consciousness, so the action of moving your lower ribs (t-12) back and your thigh bones as well can help to release the psoas can create a safe space to release deep seated fears.  Often this muscle holds past traumas so it’s important to be aware of your physical alignment in yoga and allow for healing rather than triggering.  Events are stored in the citta (consciousness) and in the body, and that is precisely why yoga is one of the best practices to allow you to access a deep level of healing.

Even a posture like Virabhadrasana (Warrior) II can bring about an unwanted fight or flight response if the ribs push out, pulling them back allows the psoas to gently lengthen.warrior1_backleg_stretch

As some of you know getting your lower ribs back is no easy task!  For the first 4 years that is all I did in yoga and I often felt totally overwhelmed, emotional and always felt like I was standing on shaky legs.  Once I connected to this action of creating more space in my kidneys and supporting my psoas it totally changed how I felt in and after yoga.

Try it, push your lower ribs and thigh bones foreword… now pull your lower ribs back and then your thigh bones.  It is subtle but very powerful.  When we are in alignment we will be better able to hear the quiet messages from the body.  We can let go of unnecessary fear and connect to untapped potential.  Our connection to each other deepens when each one of us is more in tune with our hearts, minds and bodies.



What is your psoas saying to you?



Lost your Yoga

I was inspired this morning to write a post about yoga and how it’s like it’s own living entity in my life.  There are so many thoughts running through my head, thankfully there’s meditation or I’d be so lost, but one of them that repeats often is “yoga, yoga, yoga…”  I’m not 100% sure what that thought is about.  I think it’s a calling to my mat or a just a call for to get the attention of my higher Self, either way, not a day goes by that I don’t think about “yoga.”

My life with my daughter Mayla, who is turning 10 months old very soon, has forever changed my formal practice for now that is.  I don’t get to do 90 minutes where I am just totally immersed in my practice or heck even go out to classes but deep down what I can feel building is this deep desire, deeper than I have ever felt before it step up my yoga, my lifeline.  Although I have limited time I do take full advantage of it.  Morning naps mean Sun Salutations and as many postures as I can fit in, often cut short of savasana at the end, boo.

Over the time I have been teaching yoga I have witnessed many people come and go, some never come back and I don’t really get that since I know there is nothing like a deeply profound, spiritual awaking, hard as hell, transformative beyond words yoga practice, there is just nothing like it… nothing!  So if you have found yourself lost from your yoga here are my top 5 ways of finding it again.

1.  Consistency rules over the Time –  Commit to 15 minutes every single day with no excuse.  If you can do more wonderful but get those 15 minutes in every single day!  WHY?  Because you are worth 15 minutes every single day that’s why. Your body, mind and heart all need this.

2. Leave your Mat out – If your mat is out you are more likely to hop on and do a few dogs.  Often a few dogs lead to other postures because it feels so damn good so keep it out like you keep your sofa out in your living room.

3. Enjoy every single Second –  Santosha, Sanksrit for contentment means that you find the happiness in what you are doing.  Sounds like a very good idea to hit your mat that way as opposed to whining about having to do yoga.  The fact that you found yoga in your life is truly a gift so shift your perspective so you see it in that light, perhaps a few handstands will help with that shift.

4. Pick a Pose for the Week – Okay so you don’t need to get into a deep well thought out sequence, mainly because you can find those in so many books or on-line if you want but why not just pick one pose to do all week, say crow pose for example.  So every day you do some Sun Sal’s, standing postures, hip openers then crow or something more advanced if you fancy. This makes it simple when you do get on your mat as to where you are going.

5. Go to Class-  The landscape of yoga classes has really changed in the last 10 years, like wow!  Some classes are hardly recognizable as yoga to me anymore, maybe because there are so many teachers out there having said that find a teacher you love and go to their class!  Supporting yoga studios and teachers is very important and it helps to keep your practice going as well as giving back to the larger energy of yoga.

Well, I hope that has tickled some deep desire in you to wake up and yoga.  Side note, I know more than most that yoga is clearly way more than postures but without that piece it’s very easy to get truly lost in your thoughts, in the negativity and in this crazy world.

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.” John Maxwell


Why you belong in a Yoga Teacher Training

“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.”
Mandy Hale

As I prepare for my next Yoga Teacher Training to begin, I’ve been looking through applications past and present.  I put a question on the application that asks, What is your main intention for taking this training?”  Honestly, I skip through everything else and head straight for that response.

Did you know that for over 6 years I was a cable cop, oh yes I was. My job was to do audits on cable lines to see who was hooked up  and stealing the cable, yahoo!  I really freakin hated that job, but I did it day after day, I was sick, I was depressed, I was addicted to unhealthy things and I got laid off, a lot.

During my lay off times I took courses.  I remember the first one I took was about True Colours, I happen to be a blue/orange.   Find out what you are here – http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/edQd8L1/True-Colors-Test-What-is-your-TRUE-personality

Our teacher suggested that I become a yoga teacher, I laughed out loud and said there was no way I could teach yoga, I was so inflexible and was just learning, I was no pro that’s for sure.  But I did LOVE yoga already….. hmmm……

Shorty after that I found myself signing up for a 2oo hour Yoga Teacher Training!  WHAT??  ME???  I am not enough, I could never…. I …. blah blah blah.  Sure I had no clue most of the time what was going on in YTT, it was a new language, Sanskrit, the Gita, Patanjali, Ayurveda, heck I couldn’t pronounce any of these words or even understand them but I loved yoga and that was really all that mattered.

This is me just after falling out of a pose.

Since then I have completed another full YTT and was working my way to certification in Anusara, that at the time was no easy task it took hundreds and hundreds of hours and a lot of time and money.  Once Mayla, my 7 month old, gets older I intend to take another YTT was a new teacher and I will likely do a few more after that.  I love learning about yoga, yes I am a full blown Yoga-Nerd!

So, if you are contemplating taking a Yoga Teacher Training but your getting in the way of yourself just move your asana aside and jump right on in.  You do not have to be an expert, be able to do a drop back, the slits, pronounce Sanskrit and so on to immerse yourself in your yoga you only need an open heart.

Love and light on your path,