Resistance 

Welcome Spring!!  It has been such a beautiful month and a great time to explore, peel back the layers of winter and witness the growth all around us.

Resistance what does this word mean to you.  For me it has been present recently and I have been pondering its meaning and intention in my life.   The dictionary defines resistance:  as the process of resisting and resist is defined as: to try to prevent by action,  withstand the action or effect of

Resistance is a reality.   We resist things that come up for us in our lives and in our bodies when we are not ready to deal with the experience or sensation.   By resisting we are closing it off and not providing presence for what is troubling us whether it is an emotion; a physical ailment or a relationship.   If we can learn to soften and embrace with kindness there is an opportunity to find resolution and healing.

As I continue to grow, shift and learn I am beginning to embody the idea of resisting things in my life creates a barrier, an opposition and I begin to harden.   My work is to recognize my pattern and begin to soften to the experience or sensation so I can embrace what I need and begin to find resolution to what does not serve me and move forward.

My past has shown me that by resisting something I give it more power.   When I soften and begin to understand or approach with kindness I have the ability  to integrate and move through the emotion, sensation or experience.

For some time I have been experiencing physical sensations that have been persistent and currently are significant.   Being fully aware of my own health history of rheumatoid arthritis I have been resistant to the idea these sensations may be connected to this previous diagnosis.    I have not resisted the sensations in my body and yet have explored the sensations with a need to “fix” them.    Upon recent reflection I noticed I had not softened to the sensations but rather resisted and was trying to “fix” it as if something was wrong with me.  There is nothing wrong with me.

The sensations remained and so did my resistance.  As I resisted the sensations grew louder and louder.  Over the last three weeks I have begun to soften; embrace the sensations and began to listen.   My body is speaking to me and it is now time to give it presence in an effort to begin to heal.

This is not a new lesson for me and yet one I may not have fully integrated into my life and now have the opportunity to do so.  My resistance has softened.   My yoga training has assisted me to explore a deeper understanding of who I am and I continue to explore and grow everyday.  This is yet another opportunity for me to grow.

Yes my resistance is an old pattern I have now repeated this pattern again.    I am going to love myself through this exploration and be kind to myself.   I have peeled back another layer and found my resistance is connected to my fear of being unhealthy; fear of not being good enough.  I am ready to face this fear and move forward.

Our lives are such beautiful journeys filled with light and dark and both provide the opportunity for lessons.  We may repeat those lessons.   Allowing ourselves to experience what we need to without judgment and with love, kindness  and acceptance is a way for us to begin to approach resolution and healing of old wounds.

What in life are you resisting? Are you able to soften and give it presence?

Starting is hard…

Wow I cannot believe it’s already March 5th.   Two months have passed very quickly and new starts have been in abundance for me since the beginning of the year.  A beautiful friend of mine helped me navigate  the new starts and I learned through the process that for me; starting is hard.

Starting a new job, starting a new friendship, starting a new relationship, starting a new family, starting a new day…no matter what it is starting may hard for some; it certainly is for me.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to launch two yoga teacher programs in January 2019.   Not only did I launch two programs but I also finished one program.   For both adventures starting was hard.

When starting the programs, I had moments of doubt, struggled with self-worth and negative self-talk about stepping into my own power.

Preparation was easy.   I was familiar with preparation.  I have prepared for many hearings in my career before yoga.   When participating in preparation I feel at home; it is creative, exciting and inspiring.  For me a way to describe it is preparation is like the dream, I am on my path and my dreams are coming true. The moment the program launched and I had students in front of me the dream turned into the reality and reality scared me.  Fear almost stopped me in my tracks.

Having started the programs, I knew there was no turning back and at no time did I want to turn back and yet fear was seated right beside me as I launched the programs.

I had to create a relationship with the fear that was sitting with me. I had to create space for it and look inside to see why it was present. Peeling back the layers helped me discover through the process fear was a part of the self-doubt and worthiness issues I have worked with for a very long time. My ego played a role in all of this and on the positive side my ego brought me to where I was and on the other spectrum brought forward the negative self-talk.

With all this present l continued to move through these emotions and focus on the beautiful students in front of me and a strong support system behind me.  This support system helped me identify that starting is hard.

I took time to create space around all that I was experiencing during the launch of the programs.  This space brought forward lessons such as knowing it is okay to have fear and sit in discomfort.   A lesson to stay true to who I am and be authentic no matter the challenges I face.   I am offering these programs from my heart and my soul and with this I know I am worthy.    I reminded myself I had a choice I could live in the fear or choose to trust and know I am on the right path.   I choose trust each and every time.

Starting was hard and provided me the opportunity to dig a little deeper within me to heal old wounds.

My invitation to you this month is to remember starting is hard.  Take one step at a time; give space to what you are feeling and know it is showing up for a reason; and find your tribe those people who love you and support you.  Starting may be hard and the discovery of what is next will be worth it.

If you have any experiences of starting something new I would love to hear it.

Triggers

Have you ever walked into a room and felt an energetic reaction or even physical? Have you ever taught a class and experienced received feedback and had felt a strong response?  Have you ever been in a work environment where connecting with several people has created anxiety and emotional upset?

You may have just experienced a trigger;  your nervous system is automatically responding to a situation that you encounter and is sensing ‘danger’. Our bodies want to protect us and embark on an automatic response initiating our sympathetic nervous system creating a fight or flight or freeze.  The trigger may be put us on automatic pilot and dim our rational response to the situation and things may be said or done in a way we would not normally manage a situation.

It can be easy blame the other person for our response: “you made me so angry”. I believe we are responsible for our responses and the triggers are information for us to explore about ourselves.   It is an opportunity to look and perhaps heal a trauma or unresolved emotion that we have not yet released.

The moment we are triggered it may be difficult to bring this idea to mind and that is okay.   It is the time after we can create space for self-reflection or connect within to see if we can identify the root of the trigger.

We live in a society where it is easier to blame others for things that occur around us as opposed to connecting within and releasing emotions that are no longer serving our greatest and highest good.

It is not easy work. It is hard work and takes time and it is a practice like yoga is a practice.

My work is with my triggers and identifying what I am carrying.   When I am not strong in my mountain and feel self-doubt I can be triggered by those around me.  It is for me to dive in to find out where my self-doubt comes from and work with this emotion as it is not serving me as I grow on my path as a teacher.    My restorative yoga is a sanctuary and a safe space for me to rest and digest things that transpire in my life.  To identify my triggers and begin to explore self healing.

I do not view triggers as bad or good it is a part of being human.   I embrace all parts of me and take the opportunity to learn more about myself without judgment.

xoxo

Happy Holidays

 

With the year end near

My heart and soul burst with love

Brings light to the shadow

 

Chaos

Chaos: the dictionary defines chaos as complete disorder and confusion and also defines it as the formless matter suppose to have existed before the creation of the Universe….WOW!!!!

Chaos means something different to everyone. It may be a momentary experience or it may be an extended period to time where things are just not right.

As I was preparing this newsletter I decided to treat myself and ground with a beautiful bath. I was sitting peacefully, relaxing when all of a sudden the jets in the tub turned on and chaos was all around me. I found this event to be ironic as I was formulated a newsletter on chaos.

Chaos may move in and out as move through this life. Chaos may be viewed as a shadow sensation and can also be viewed as a beautiful and a source of creation and change.

Chaos may feel like life is turning upside down; too many things coming at you; too many responsibilities pulling you in too many directions; or finding yourself outside of your comfort zone. Chaos can be created by an event, a person or circumstance that was not necessarily expected. The chaos that enters provides an opportunity for the creation process to begin.

As I have been walking this yogic path I reflect on chaotic times in my life and see them as part of my creation process. I recall one chaotic time in life I felt my world spinning out of control and one day a dear friend of mine gave me the book Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss to read. This book resonated with me on many levels and in particular one line has always stayed close to my heart “everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen to me”. My aha moment came when reading this book and expanded my mind to embrace the chaos and hold space for it. The message I took from it was as I continue on the journey I can look back and this time in life and see what great things came from it. Reflecting back on that moment in my life gave me an opportunity to see the choices I made, new roads I traveled and new people I met because of the chaos. I hold this belief close and remind myself when chaos is around me there is a reason and to trust that reason will become clear at some point in my life.

When in the midst of chaos I try to breathe, cry, release, engage in compassion and self love and to trust it will all become clear when I am ready to see it.

I invite everyone when chaos enters life to consider embracing it, giving it space and to trust it is there for a reason.

Shakti xoxo

New Beginnings

It may not be the start of a new year but September always feels like a time for new beginnings to me.   School resumes, routines begin again and new routines take root.  The sun starts to rise a little later and set a little earlier and we begin to say good bye to the summer vibes.

September is one of my favourite months.  Not just because I celebrate my father’s birthday, granny’s birthday and my wedding anniversary; it is because it represents a time for me breathe into new beginnings.

I am excited to welcome in this September as the summer has provided me the space to find time for connection with myself, my family and my kulas.   Whether I was just wandering in the woods, in the midst of a training or assisting a training, traveling as I did this summer to Salt Spring Island, these past few months have given me an opportunity to expand my tribe, my knowledge and become inspired to dive deep into the journey of life.  The inspiration from my summer has created space to look forward to new adventures, new trainings, new classes and be open to all new possibilities.

The long weekend was a time of reflection for me;  a time to sit in gratitude and appreciation for all the awesomeness that occurred over the summer…oh and a time for cleansing.   I seem to lean into cleaning out closets and the office for a reset and to start fresh in the fall.  A new beginning does not have to be something huge like moving; or new job it can be as simple as a dedication to self of 5 mins of mediation in the mornings or even just a thought that you begin to nurture of something you desire in life and will honour your highest and greatest good.

My passion has been ignited with the fire in my belly and the new knowledge and connection I brought in over the summer I am excited to start to share new workshops, trainings and classes with my students.

A new year does not have to be only time to embrace a new beginning it can be any time.   I would love to hear when you celebrate new beginnings.

Shakti xoxo

Worthiness

Have you ever felt unworthy?   Unworthy because of your job, your weight, your age…the list can go on and on.   You are not alone.   When we move through life carrying the beliefs of others and carrying the shoulds put upon on us we move away from our own hearts and authenticity.  We this occurs we may begin to feel  unworthy and it can be overwhelming.

Life is a dance between the light and the shadows.  I believe it is important to be accepting and embrace both parts to live an authentic life.   Our fear and/or ego can become so loud it tunes us out of our own power and our own innate wisdom of who we truly are in this world.    When the shadow presents itself may be an opportunity to peel away the veil, give the shadow presence, to feel it and dive into why we are feeling unworthy and come back to our own authentic self.

Life is a journey it is one where we have the opportunity to embark upon self-discovery and self study.  An opportunity to tune into our own innate wisdom.   In those times of inquiry many emotions may come forward and the shoulds we put on ourselves become clear such as I should earn this much money; I should have children, I should be married.   Examining these messages and tuning back into our own heart can provide an opportunity to release and let go of what is no longer serving us.

When facing something challenging in life such s starting something new the sense of worthiness may arise.   Giving the feeling presence allows us to stand in our own power.

Worthiness has been a struggle for me through the last few years especially in my career change.   At first it presented as fear and I pushed past it without presence or understanding.      The fear grew, the self doubt  grew and I began to feel heavy and my vibration seemed to lower, my mood  darkened and felt like I was carrying the weight of the world with me.   The self doubt and criticism was so a daily conversation that I could not seem to quiet.   I was fortunate to have a discussion with a friend one day and a light bulb went off and the root of these feelings appeared…I was not feeling worthy.     I began to these messages and emotions presence.     I am still working through the emotion of worthiness and have taken the advice of a beautiful yogini in my life as she recommended to acknowledge the voice and talk to it and let it know  “don’t worry I got this”.      My own sense of worthiness is an exploration of why it is there and finding ways to release and to trust in my own inner wisdom.

Finding ways for you to connect to your truth and to let go of the feeling of being unworthy is unique to each of us.    I have been exploring the following ways perhaps they will work for you.

  1. Meditation/Rest
  2. Connecting with my tribe
  3. Chanting
  4. Gratitude
  5. Dancing

Each of us will find our own method of centring and tapping into our hearts and authenticity as we journey through life.   When connecting to our authentic selves we will no longer doubt we are worthy and  we will know we are enough.

I would love to hear your thoughts feel free to send me an email or post on my FB page.

Much love and light,
Shakti

Goddess Energy

I am sitting here and still riding the high of a beautiful weekend with beautiful women embracing their Goddess energy and turning it inward to honour themselves and fill their cup.  The weekend was filled with laughter, tears, self reflection and power beyond words.   That is the Goddess energy for you….powerful.

Reflecting on the Goddess energy that resides in all of us; male and female was a reminder of the power that lies within.   During the retreat while teaching I felt such a strong connection to this energy when we all came into our Goddess pose.   My feet were grounded, connected and I felt the strength within my legs.  As I held this pose and connected to my breath I began to feel the energy from Mother Gaia beneath me and within me.  As my awareness traveled up through my physical body and into my arms I began to flow and move with my breath connecting to the flowing, nurturing and loving aspects of the energy and felt such strength, power and love all within that moment.   Not only connected to myself but with the beautiful women that joined me on this weekend retreat the Goddess energy was present and breathtaking.  It was a very powerful moment for me and one that I will not forget.

To me all humans have the male/female energy and the Goddess/Warrior energy within.   Our society tends to have us connect Goddess with females and Warriors with males and may not encourage the idea both are within all of us.

My experience this weekend reminded me of the power, strength of the Goddess energy and also the loving and nurturing side of the energy.   This energy allows us to support, encourage and hold space for those in our life that need it.   It is also important to bring the Goddess energy inward to offer ourselves the strength, love and nurturing we need and to replenish our own cup first to truly be able share with others. This weekend was about turning inward and connecting to the energy to fill our own cups, connect to our own strength and trust the journey.

When or where do you feel connected to your Goddess energy?   I would love to hear from you.

Anger 

The Sun and the Moon, the light and the dark, happy and anger– in life there is a paradox to everything including our emotions.   As we move through this human experience we experience these paradoxes in our emotions.

Anger is a part of the dark emotions and is a heavier, denser emotion.   Anger is described by lAmerican psychological Association’s as follows:

Anger is an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong. Anger can be a good thing. It can give you a way to express negative feelings for example or motivate you to find solutions to problems.

When we experience anger on our journey it may be indicative of something within us when it arises is an opportunity to give it space and bear witness.    If the anger erupts and is expressed quickly offer yourself compassion for your response and the invitation is not to layer guilt or shame because of your anger.  Forgive yourself and take the opportunity to explore the root cause to the anger and find a way to release and ourselves free from it.

Anger and long term anger does not only impact the emotional body but also impacts our physical bodies. Studies have shown that anger can put your heart at risk, can increase risk of stroke, we can impact your immune system, create anxiety, anger is linked to depression and studies have shown anger shortens your lifespan.

As a yogini accessing the beautiful practices gifted to me through this ancient practice I have experienced connecting my emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual bodies.   Embracing the yogic principles to me means embracing both the light and the dark emotions that reside in me and to bear witness to all emotions and honour these emotions as they ebb and flow through me on this journey.

Life is does not only have the days of sunshine,  roses and smiles and there is also the shadow side and all of it is a beautiful exploration and connection within ourselves and provides the opportunity wholly embrace the journey.

 

Shoulds

 

Happy new year!!

With the start of a new year and the ending of an old with the best of intentions we set “new year resolutions” to being anew in a new year. Sometimes these resolutions can bring a heaviness to our days; sense of obligation and adding to the shoulds we already carry with us. New year resolutions that seem to be common are, I should lose weight; I should go to the gym more; I should earn more etc. Even with the best of intentions these shoulds may bring discord to the start of the new year.

Beginning a new year is a time for new beginnings and not a time to be “shoulding” all over ourselves. Ushering in 2018 and the beauty of the full Wolf moon and embracing all that life has to offer provides a time perhaps to connect within; to listen to our own needs, desires, goals and wants for the year ahead. The invitation is to take the time to create space to hear the messages from within to ignite your passion and desires of how you want to live each and every day. Try not to allow the weight of the shoulds and expectations of others or society to weigh you down. Tune in and let your inner guru guide you and your beautiful light shine.

For many years I was bound by the conventional norms and each year I set my resolutions which normally included; I should lose weight; I should work out every day I should work harder; I should earn more money. Every year I placed these shoulds on my shoulders and carried the weight of all of the expectations of what I thought to be important and also beliefs that were aligned with the downloads I had received from a young age. By February I normally fell into a funk and blamed it on the winter blues but with self reflection and insight into who I am I realized it was not the winter blues but rather the weight of the expectations I laid on my shoulders to start a new year. They were getting heavy and dragging me down. I now believe the start of a new is a time for reflection and a time to create new beginnings but not a time to burden myself with the shoulds and conventional norms. It is a time to just be and to embrace what lights me up and fuels my passion.

This year I have opted to land in the new year with new vim and vigour and to focus on my goals and to focus on tuning in and listening to my inner guru. No more conventional resolutions for this woman 2018 is a time to embrace who I am; to release the should and stand in my truth. Bring 2018 on….I am ready. Are you?

Sending love and light to all of you as we embark on this beautiful new year and hope to see you in classes.

Shakti

Practices for Low Back Pain

Many people suffer from low back pain. It can be prevalent with office workers who spend a significant amount of time seated. This interesting articles talks about ways to relieve the pain. Interesting read.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cravings/201608/mindfulness-practices-relieve-lower-back-pain

 

 

Creating wellness in the workplace.

One of my intentions with Vikara Yoga was to offer local businesses assistance with creating a wellness plan for their employees.   I am also able to offer a beautiful space in Napier, Ontario surrounded by nature and only 40 mins from London for team building events.  Interesting article relating to how other companies are acknowledging the importance of wellness in the workplace.

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/As15J7fuiYqIdi9M3w4CpO/The-importance-of-health-at-the-workplace.html

Mindfulness in the Workplace

Yoga and mindfulness in the workplace has been growing over the years.  It offers a peaceful break for the employees and stretching to open tight hips and release low backs due to longer periods of sitting.   Check out this article from 2012!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-nordin/face-of-corporate-yoga_b_1914795.html

 

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