15.9.16

Kundalini Yoga | I'm Teaching!

As you know I'm very passionate about mental health and yoga has become a large part of my self care routine. I began to delve much deeper into the topic this year in particular. In January, I embarked on a six month Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training course. I intended on blogging my entire experience but life got in the way towards the end. So, I'm sure you were all on the edge of your seat wondering how it all went! 
In this post I want to summarize my experience and also talk a little bit about the basic reasons why I practice this type of yoga. 

My teacher training experience was the most intense, challenging, and wonderful thing I've ever had the opportunity of taking part in. They say that if you don't want to change, don't do this yoga. And you know me, I'm constantly wanting to improve myself, inside and out. The trainings consisted of a four day weekend each month of learning about Kundalini yoga, practising, meditating, sharing, and connecting with the group. I was with 13 ladies and we now feel more like sisters. I got to know them on such a deep level. I couldn't tell you exactly where they work or how many siblings or kids they have, or what school they went to or where they're from. But I could tell you about their soul, their true essence. I could accurately describe their personality and tell you the most beautiful thing about their spirit. 

And we all just thought that was SO COOL. It would normally take years for me to know these ladies as well as I do. It makes me wonder though, how much of the time are we really talking about anything that matters

My last two training weekends were back to back (May and June). We had to practice teaching a class, do our exams, and learned about death according to the yogic tradition. Which actually made me less scared of death and view it differently. 

The June weekend was our graduation weekend. It was so bittersweet but I knew that I would be connected to the group and the practice for long after my training. What was most incredible in our last sharing circle was to hear everyone's thoughts come full circle. We reflected on if anything had changed, how we had changed, and everyone was glowing. 

I felt so proud of the ladies and myself for completing such a feat. To be so daring as to want to fix ourselves and become better people not just for ourselves but for everyone around us, was not easy. To face our fears and go inside ourselves to actually work on becoming who we were put on this earth to be – it's incredible. 

At the start of the course, I didn't think I would actually want to teach Kundalini Yoga, mostly for fear of failure on my part. But by the end, I felt so compelled to teach. Simply because I want more people to feel what I feel. To feel connected to themselves and their truth. They say teachers aren't here to tell you the truth but to remind you of yours. We all have so much capability to do amazing things but we forget and we lose confidence and hope. This practice helps me remember my strength and the power within me. 

Being a Virgo (despite sometimes denying it), I have to also share the straight up practical reasons why I practice. Three years ago when I was having panic attacks and suicidal thoughts, I felt like I had tried everything to feel better (or to get some any relief). I was blessed to have a Kundalini Yoga teacher in my life (hi Christine!) who encouraged me to come to class long before the anxiety began. I didn't really listen until I was desperate to try anything. I started going to her class once a week and slowly started to feel better. I felt worse before things got better, though. Class was really hard for me and I would often feel tired and have headaches after class, but I felt my mind start to heal. And over time, the physical side effects wore off and my anxiety subsided. I haven't had a suicidal thought in almost two years and haven't had a panic attack in a long long time. I actually I feel better than I've ever felt. 

It takes work though. I practice a little bit every morning and still go to Christine's class every week (SUNDAY RITUAL). This yoga isn't easy and it isn't for pansies. It's for impatient people like me who like practical solutions to navigating this world. Stress exists and it always will. Shit will happen that will make you question humanity. People can be awful. But this yoga helps me see the good, feel alive, and feel connected to what truly matters. I am less yelly, as quoted by my sister. I feel like I have more patience and tolerance. I am in control of my anxiety because I am in control of my breath. I cherish moments more and I feel connected to my body. All of my relationships have improved (with my mom, sister, friends). And friends and family have told me that I'm waaaay better and I look radiant. Which is all too kind and pretty awesome, amiright??? 

It has been said: Kundalini Yoga produces results 16 times faster than ordinary yoga and is the original and most powerful of the twenty two schools of yoga, all of which are beneficial. The Yoga Sutras say that what you can achieve in 12 years of Hatha Yoga, plus 6 years of Raj Yoga, plus 3 years of Mantra Yoga, plus 1 year of Laya Yoga can be accomplished in a single year of perfectly practiced Kundalini Yoga. It is therefore known as the fastest form of Yoga practice and personal development. (source) If you want to learn more about Kundalini Yoga, read this


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And now for some exciting news. 

Starting tomorrow, I will be teaching a Kundalini Yoga class every Friday from 7:30-8:30 pm at Shunnya Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. If you live in the area, I hope to see you there! And for those who have enjoyed my Wellness Warriors collaboration, I am hoping to whip up a new video soon. 


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7.9.16

It's all in the waves




I'm back from my mini road trip to see my fam jam and their munchkins! We spent last week and labour day weekend at the park, beach, and roasting marshmallows on the fire. So you can pretty much assume it was perfect. 

Summer is not over!!! I refuse to believe it. Why does Summer come and go so fast? I feel like it's over faster than you can say Margarita. Margarita. See, it's Fall!

This is a perfect example of yet another topic that graces my brain quite often. Impermanence. More specifically, why are we so afraid of change? Why does the thought of something ending scare us me so much? Why don't we I take more risks? 

Why are we judgemental when people change? Why are we scared of ourselves changing? Why do we grasp so tightly to the person that we think we are? Why do we repeat the same story and fall victim to our circumstances? 

Well, my friends, I've been doing some reading. In my Inter-web travels, I came across this site which discusses impermanence from various religious perspectives. While I'm not religious, but rather spiritual (and apparently philosophical, who knew?), I connected deeply with these two lines: 

According to Hinduism, impermanence can be overcome by locating and uniting with the center of permanence that exists within oneself. This center is the Soul or the self that is immortal, permanent and ever stable.

Ah. The Soul. I wasn't aware I had one until about a year ago when I began practicing yoga and meditation more seriously. Hey guess what, guys? I have one. And you do too. We sometimes just forget it's there. 

So, wait... "I have a soul!" How does this help me live more fearlessly? 

Your soul is your essence. Your true self. When we disconnect from our soul, we feel confused, overwhelmed, fearful, anxious, and these emotions may cause us to live in fear. Living in fear is not for free spirits, dreamers, or happy people. 

The key is to connect to your soul. I think that may look different for everyone. I personally do this through meditation. By silencing my mind, I can hear my intuition that I often forget I have. I feel at ease, peaceful, fearless, and my dreams not only seem in reach but in fact aren't quite BIG enough

And that's pretty cool, amirite??? 

Being in water also helps me. I look at the water glistening in the sun and watch how fast the waves move up and down – so wildly in every direction. Water is in a constant state of change. It has no choice but to literally go with the flow, as they say. I try to be more like the water. Just like life, you have no control of where situations, people, and things take you. But, if you let your soul guide you, you'll be ok no matter what happens. 

Befriend your soul tonight and see where the waves take you. 


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