Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Thursday, September 4, 2008
so, i can't tell you how happy and excited i have been with the results of last weekend's photoshoot... Melissa Naninni, a friend and student of mine, took these pictures and they are stunning...
I haven't had much time to post lately, but I've been busy with starting my B.Ed., Ethan started grade 1, Maya started Kindergarden, my bro Sean got married, i did this amazing photoshoot and that's just been the last 5 days...
We absolutely love these pics (Melissa and I) but we don't quite know what kind of product(s) to wrap them in... suggestions are welcome :-)
We have another 4 shoots planned for the Fall, so keep checking in... (i'll also post more from this shoot when i have more time :-)
This next one is mine and my Mom's favorite :-)
at 7:56 AM
Thursday, August 7, 2008
A Yogic Tangent
We find perennial philosophy in the funniest places... watching Star Wars Episode II (this series is all about yoga, by the way, and may end up as a series of entries in this blog)... at one point ObiOne tells Anakin that he is focusing on the negative and the needs to mind his thoughts...
This took me off in a few directions. You see, Jedi's are essentially monks, they follow their martial art and all martial arts are all fundamentally based on yogic principles of non-attachment and dedication to practice (yogis call this Tapas)...
Yoda calls it, "Train(ing) yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
"non-attachment" - is not equivalent to "indifference".
Strictly speaking, Non-attachment is self-mastery and freedom from desire for what is seen or heard. The practice of yoga is ultimately the control over the mind, which results from repeated and earnest practice of all of the facets (8 limbs) of yoga.
But the important piece for the purposes of this discussion is of the self-mastery piece.
So, Anikin was focusing on the negative... and if you watch the movie (as difficult as it can be at times, since Episode II is so full of bad acting, even for a Star Wars movie) you notice that his negativity is caught in a downward spiral. It is in a negative self-reinforcing loop...
How does yoga propose to solve this kind of negative looping cycle? Meditation is often the answer with yoga, but not this time. Meditation in a negative looping cycle can reinforce the cycle. At it's worse, with a whole lot of factors playing into it, sitting silently in a negative loop can result in paranoia or any number of states of emotional dis-ease.
A posture practice can be helpful, but can also reinforce some of the negativity, if it is constantly at the forefront of the mind, instead of focusing on the breath...
Vishva, my teacher, explains that this is a time for mantra practice or chanting... let the mind let go of the cycle... come back to these issues at a later time. don't focus on them, since in a position of negativity they likely appear bigger than they are... find a mantra like "So Hum" or "Hari OM", or simply hum... find a teacher to give you a mantra and focus on how your are not alone, but part of a greater whole, that there is perfection in and around you... focus in an outward fashion, through sound, on something and come out of your shell, yourself... and vibrate... these things will help clear your mind space...
and keep in mind that there are impacts of staying in a negative state or cycle.
Physicist David Bohm explains:
Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends on what we think.
What we think depends on what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.
It's certainly nothing new to say that we construct our own reality... but we must also keep in mind that the reality we construct for ourselves affects the realities that others construct for themselves... moods and ideas are contagious... we learn from and often react to others as they learn from and react to us... and for this very reason, we must do as Gandhi suggests:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Infect the world in a positive way...
at 10:10 AM
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
excerpt and translation from Sit Down and Shut Up!
This is what should be accomplished by the one who is wise, who seeks the good and has obtained peace:
Let one be strenuous, upright and sincere, without pride easily contented and joyous;
Let one not be submerged by the things of the world;
Let one not take upon oneself the burden of riches;
Let one's senses be controlled;
Let one be wise but not puffed up;
Let one not desire great possessions even for one's family;
Let one do nothing that is mean or that the wise would reprove.
May all beings by happy.
May they be joyous and live in safety.
All living beings, whether weak or strong, in high or middle or low realms of existence, small or great, visible or invisible, near or far, born or to be born, may all beings be happy.
Let no one deceive another, nor despise any being in any state; let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another.
Even as a mother at the risk of her life watches over and protects her only child, so with boundless mind should one cherish all living things, suffusing love over the entire world, above, below and all around without limit; so let one cultivate an infinite goodwill toward the whole world.
Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, during all one's waking hours let one cherish the thought that this way of living is the best in the world.
Abandoning vain discussion, having a clear vision, freed from sense appetites, one who is made perfect will never again know rebirth in the cycle of creation of suffering for ourselves or for others.
--according to Brad Warner, in Sit Down and Shut Up, this is the sutra " where all the stuff you hear in Buddhist books and magazines about 'loving-kindness' comes from. (pages 95-96)
I think it's a beautiful sutra worth spending lots of meditation time on, one line at a time...
Hope you have a chance to really appreciate its beauty. :-)
Have a great day.
at 6:40 AM
Friday, August 1, 2008
Today was the first full day of being a full time yoga teacher :-)
A morning class, followed by a cancellation... :-(
Oh well, Hari OM. Things may come and things may go, but in the end, it all works out. Right?
Anyhoo, I spent the day with the kids and found myself with a few social and yoga observations... now we all hear those stories and those researchers with statistics about "Kids these days", you know, "they have no respect"... and it always seems to be getting worse... but funny, alot of behaviors seem to be getting worse.
I find myself listening to people or hearing about people who are just plain angry. Road Rage, different kinds of violence, dependencies on behavioural drugs, self medications of one sort or another... the list goes on...
but where does that leave our kids? sometimes raised by good people with very little time or energy? perhaps they feel that with the little energy that they have, their kids ought to listen to them? perhaps sometimes even, the anger that we hear about so often through different mediums is reflected in / onto our children?
i don't want to oversimplify. of course children these days have a vast number of new forces acting on them. whether it's new electronic media wired to get them to have fits of seratonin when they use them and when they are not using them they go into withdrawal... some kids have nutritional issues... alot of kids, actually, from what i've observed... alot of these pressures and many others, not mentioned, have the kids acting a little beligerently... but here's where i get to part of my point...
kids are mirrors. they reflect what they see and how we interact with them. if we constantly order them around or act in anger towards others around them, how do we think they are going to interact with others? they often ape what they see... and if they are not well exercised or well fed (for whatever their constitution requires) then how could they ever exhibit patience with us?
but yet they do! that's part of the miracle of kids... you see, western culture is very different from eastern culture on this... in the west, we expect our kids to respect us... some types of eastern cultures believe that kids can be lifetimes older and wiser then their parents.
see, today, i found myself whatching Maya:
kids bodies can be amazing can't they? Maya practices her headstands and backbends all day... she practices them both consciously and unconciously...
i'll try and get a picture of her doing her headstands for a later post... but all kids do this and all they need is a little encouragement.
Ethan, for example, has amazing hip flexibility... when i do a post on hips, you can be sure i'll post a picture of that...
anyway, i suppose the whole point of the post today was that we have so much to learn from our children. and i know that that's kind of cliche to say, but it's not just in their innocence, although, that can be part of it... it's also about experience; experiencing the body and the moment, being open to laughter and change. be happy in the simple...
and how can we better serve our children? by slowing down. by giving them better apes to follow. BY NEVER BEING REACTIONARY... reaction does not serve us... it perpetuates drama and energy drains. we complain about being low on energy and we look to others to feed us. this is a trap. especially with our children. we use reason to justify. children are emotive and feeling... and reason is a social fabrication... children are acting closely to their intuition and biology...
we cannot continue to blame our children for the way they act and grow... yoga helps us work through our tensions, our stresses, our imbalences towards strength and balance...
i'll get into all of that stuff later. promise.
at 4:36 PM
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
lululemon asked me, as part of my upcoming ambassadorship, to provide them with some pictures... it was a humbling experience as this is not as easy as i thought and it was a bit more of a time investment than i had anticipated... but it worked out and i think a couple of them turned out ok... have a peek.
let me know what you think...
i have a photoshoot coming up with a photographer from lulu next week... here's hoping that a pro can help me out :-)
btw, if anyone has ideas for other pix, i'd love some help...
at 5:26 PM
i have been very busy with both the life that i have coming to a close and the life i am preparing to ramp up.
last week i was on the road with my job and i was able to take some time for a favorite class of mine in toronto. it is called prana flow and it is a flow class accompanied by a live drum beat. it is quite nice and the teacher is very good. it was a nice retreat while in town preparing for my last institute advisory board meeting... yes, the last of my big responsibilities. now i am tying up loose ends and pitching in for the next little while.... :-)
speaking of which i handed in my letter of resignation today, making it official. i am really looking forward to becoming a full time teacher. although part of me is having a hard time believing that i'm actually doing this. eeks. my last day at my office gig will be the last day of july.
in preparation for all of this change, the month of july i will be starting to teach every night at updog from monday to thursday. the schedule will be:
monday 5.45: hips, abs and legs power
monday 7.30 hatha inversions
tuesday 7.30 vinyasa for strength
wednesday 7.30 hatha inversions
thursday 7.30 vinyasa for strength
i will also continue teaching saturday mornings there at 7 am and 9 am. in addition to this my monday, wednesday and friday mornings at the sportsplex in orleans continue.
july will be a busy month but i look forward to the challenge.
i start teachers' college at the U of O in September...
at 5:14 PM