cialis

Inspiration is a State of Good Health

When you are healthy and living in balance with yourself, others, and life, you automatically release brain cells of inspiration that uplift the soul.

All too often our inspiration wanes because our heart closes down. We encounter some difficulty, challenge, insult, embarrassment, or failure, and our heart plummets into the depths of despair and self-judgment.

Scientists have discovered the happy part of our brains that “spray other areas of the brain” with dopamine – the feel good chemical. (To learn more, be sure to check out the TED Radio Hour Podcast from June 28, 2019 with relationship scientists entitled, “How We Love.”) When we’re sad, like after a breakup or loss of a loved one, another part of the brain becomes active and your inspiration goes down the drain.

Inspiration, from the Latin “inspiritus,” means filled with spirit or the life force. It’s composed of two words, breath and spirit, which, when combined, mean to be alive, filled with the muses, filled with god. From Middle English, it means to inspire or to receive divine guidance.
When inspired, you are engaged in life – there’s no anxiety, no worries, no doubt, no fear because you are too busy being happy. When you’re happy you are far away from doubt, sadness, and fear.
Fear steals your joy. It’s a robber and feeds on the heart like a parasite. Fear is the corrosive agent of the heart and breaks it down, tears it apart, separates it from its healthy connection to all things, people, and life. Fear isolates and diminishes, whereas, love unites and expands.

Inspiration is also related to its “cousin,” enthusiasm, which comes from the Latin en theos, filled with god.

Yoga teaches that, when you do what you love, enthusiasm follows. […]

Follow Your Path: Become an Ashaya Yoga Teacher

I once met a man working at a yoga retreat center. He was folding a huge pile of blankets, one after another, and humming to himself. I paused to chat with him for a moment and expressed my sympathy about the tedious task he was engaged in. Folding blankets is boring and time-consuming. No one would volunteer for that job. He paused, looked me in the eye, and said, “But that’s the yoga.”

I walked away from the encounter humbled. This man had found his dharma, his purpose in life, at the yoga center and folding blankets so that others could learn was part of it. He didn’t think he was wasting his time, and he didn’t mind doing it because he knew it was all in service of his dharma.
Dharma is what gives our lives meaning.
I found my purpose many years ago, when I stepped on my first yoga mat. As I went through the series of positions that the instructor was offering, I knew that I would become a yoga teacher and share the keys to a blissful, purpose-filled life with others. Since that day, I have cultivated a deep personal yoga practice, doing poses, taking time for meditation, and seeing the beauty in the world around me.  In time, I created Ashaya Yoga, a heart-centered, alignment-focused way of offering all that I’d learned to others. Now I want to share it with you.
Have you found your purpose in life?
The Bhagavad Gita says, “It is better to do your own duty badly than to perfectly do another’s.” I invite you to discover your dharma at my upcoming 200-Hour Teacher Training, beginning in September at Boston University’s Tanglewood institute in Lenox, Massachusetts.

In this training, you […]

Kula – Community of the Heart

You become the company you keep. So keep good company.” – Dr. Douglas Brooks

I was a good kid growing up but I got involved with the wrong crowd.
In high school I was a serious student, played the piano for school choir and musicals, and got decent grades. That is… until I began hanging around with friends who valued partying, resisting authority, and breaking the rules. This got me into a lot of trouble.
My health declined and I started to feel burned out and exhausted. I had a bad attitude, my grades began to slip, and I was unhappy.
I knew I needed to change something.
I rededicated myself to my music. I started studying with a university professor and practiced 6 hours a day. I entered a regional competition and won for the first time. I was ecstatic. This led to a career in music, which eventually led me to yoga.
I was heavily influenced by those friends; I don’t blame them or myself. I take full responsibility for my actions and decisions. But I’m aware now that I wasn’t living in a vacuum.

We are all influenced by the people who surround us.
When I transitioned from jazz to yoga, I had to let go of my jazz friends. I remember my jazz buddies calling me every night to go club hopping in Miami to hear all of the hot new bands. Once I starting practicing yoga, I just couldn’t tolerate the nightclub lifestyle – the late nights, smoky clubs, alcohol, and sometimes drugs.
After a while my jazz friends stopped calling me.

I had to change friends in order to change my life.
The great thing was this: although I lost […]

Achieving Your Dreams, Yogi-Style

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 […]

Are you Thriving in your Life?

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 […]