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About Todd Norian

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So far Todd Norian has created 9 entries.
6 06, 2019

Achieving Your Dreams, Yogi-Style

By |June 6th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

It was a glorious sunny afternoon, and I had a free hour to myself. I decided to take a bike ride, but I got distracted and headed out an hour later than planned.

It started getting cloudy so I decided to check weather.com for the hourly report. It said there was only a 15% chance of rain, with an increasing 20% chance later on. With the odds in my favor, I changed into my bike gear and took off down my driveway.

Within moments, I could feel the rain on my face.

Ugh!
“I won’t have any fun on a wet, soggy ride. It’s not worth it.”
I went back inside, took off my bike gear and commented to my assistant about what had just happened. Truth be told, I complained about the weather (anyone living in the Northeast this year would totally understand what I’m talking about since we’ve had so much rain).

Frustrated, I went back upstairs and proceeded to my desk to get back to work.

I noticed… that it stopped raining.
“The heck with it. I’m going biking!”
Determined and confident, I got my bike gear back on and started going down the stairs when I paused. “Maybe I shouldn’t go biking now because Stephanie will see me again and think I’m crazy. I’ll be embarrassed.” I ignored my inner commentary and proceeded.

Once on my bike, I settled into a comfortable cadence. With the wind at my back, the sun peeked out and illumined the dark gray/blue rain clouds in front of me. It was a brilliant sight. This is a perfect ride. I’m so happy I didn’t stay inside.

About halfway through the ride, the sun came out fully and I felt confirmed that I made […]

15 05, 2019

Are you Thriving in your Life?

By |May 15th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

What does Thriving mean for you?
What does it look like in your life?
During my recent Tantra Immersion at Kripalu where I taught with three amazing Tantric scholars, I opened the weekend with a talk about our longing to be happy.

I expressed that I believe strongly that happiness is what follows when you align with your true purpose.

But the next day one of the scholars politely acknowledged my comment on happiness and raised me one. He said,
“The true purpose of Tantra and of life is not just to be happy, but to thrive.”
I’ve been reflecting every day on the idea of thriving and I realize that it’s a more evolved and complex state of being—worthy of exploration. Happiness seems to come and go. I’ve taught before about finding a way to discover “unreasonable happiness,” which is happiness for no reason at all. I believe thriving in life is like that.
Thriving is when you are living full out, not holding anything back, and living on purpose.
To thrive, you have to pay attention to all aspects of your being – body, mind, and heart. There’s a way to be in life such that everything in it nourishes your soul.

It all depends on your attitude; attitude is power. Our attitudes arise from our belief systems. If you believe that life has your back and that everything in life happens for your awakening, then most likely you are thriving.

But so often we get caught by life. When we’re faced with a challenge or fear, we resist or give up.

Getting caught in life is very much like swimming in a lake (which I enjoy doing in the late Spring and Summer here in the Berkshires!).

Anyone who’s ever swum in […]

24 04, 2019

Earth and Becoming a Yoga Teacher

By |April 24th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Yoga teaches that we come from the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and sky.
I have found it very helpful to use these elements as a lens through which to see myself and my reality. Each element offers insights into how well you are integrated into your life. Anyone can use them to become more balanced and to leverage your gifts such that your life becomes more fulfilling and joyous.
Earth is about getting grounded in who you are.
It’s about knowing yourself, knowing what you want, and then aligning with what you truly desire. What’s your life purpose? What’s your life agenda? Knowing this simplifies and organizes your life such that decisions are easier to make and you gain more control over your life direction.
Sky is transcendental, unbounded, and free.
But you need earth to know sky. Tantra teaches that it takes the mortal to experience the immortal. You already have everything you need inside of you. This leads me to understand how earth is really sky condensed. Earth contains everything in sky but in limited form. The practice of yoga is about removing the obstacles to this unbounded energy within so that it’s free to arise within us. This is why when you open to a bigger energy (sky consciousness), your life gets lighter, solutions to problems suddenly appear, and your intuition opens up.

Earth has the wonderful quality of steadiness. Earth moves slowly and barely changes. Earth represents your capacity to be steady, consistent, patient, and grounded in who you are and what you need. A lack of earth energy leaves you feeling empty, ungrounded, unfocused, and insecure. Once you go there, you can easily spiral downward into self-doubt, anxiety, and depression.

Earth keeps you […]

2 04, 2019

The Value of Resistance

By |April 2nd, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

I just returned from teaching at the Toronto Yoga Conference. What an amazing event! So many open-hearted and receptive yogis. There were over 3000 attendees this year and a few of my classes had over 100 students. The energy was magnificent and uplifting.

Among the many teachings I offered, I spoke about the role of resistance in our spiritual growth. Everyone experiences resistance. But only the yogis (those seeking freedom) know the value of it. It’s all too typical to resist our resistance when it arises. That’s normal and biologically an instinctive reaction against pain. But we all know that when you resist your resistance, everything gets worse. You harden down inside yourself and your original resistance becomes a burden that can be overwhelming. You have to step back, take a breath, and at least try to release your resistance to your resistance. When you can let go of your resistance to your resistance, resistance stands alone and offers its message.

I’ve been going to Masters Swim practice for over seven years and almost every time about an hour before practice, I experience resistance. Maybe it’s because most of our practices are in the evening and by the end of the day I’m tired. But it never fails. I say to myself, “I don’t really feel like working out. I’m tired. The water is so cold.” There can be a slew of other poor excuses. But then it never fails. After the workout I feel refreshed, alive, and full of energy. This is the reason why I continue to swim. But I always forget the benefit before the practice. For resistance of this type, it’s good to push through it and do it anyway. 

It’s a subtle […]

14 03, 2019

Mantra as the Access Key to Freedom

By |March 14th, 2019|Ashaya Yoga|0 Comments|

Twenty minutes before boarding my plane for Denver, on my way to Joshua Tree, CA for a two-week meditation retreat, I had the urge to stretch. I had to wake up before 4 a.m. to make it to the airport on time and didn’t have a chance to do my own yoga practice. My body really needed to stretch, so I found an open space just to the side of the gate area (always a portable yoga studio nearby) and began stretching and breathing.

As I looked around at the people watching me (some staring at me with the longing to join in) and at the very bland environment of the Bradley International Airport, I felt free. At the oddest time and in the most “unyogic” space, I felt free for no reason at all.

Svatantrya is the Sanskrit term for freedom, sva is one’s own, tantrya is freedom. One’s own freedom suggests that this freedom is intrinsic, it’s imprinted in our DNA, and it’s available to everyone. Then why can’t we access it more often? My guess is because we don’t create the right circumstances for it. We don’t have the right mindset. But occasionally, randomly, when you least expect it, you experience freedom.

Just by simply flowing with what is rather than resisting life, freedom arises naturally.

After glowing for a while in my own freedom while in Warrior One Pose, my mind continued to seek an explanation for what caused me to experience freedom. Then it dawned on me – I chanted mantras in the car for an hour on the way to the airport. Could it be that I was experiencing the benefit of mantra practice? I have known for a long time that mantras possess […]