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13 12, 2017

The Brahmas Viharas: Four Celestial Abodes

By |December 13th, 2017|Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

Given this time of holiday cheer, we usually find ourselves visiting our families or hanging out with friends more than normal. If you are anything like me, being with family can bring up old issues and minor irritations. I’m pretty good at letting things go and using my yogic practices to ward off judgment. But there are times when, for instance, your Uncle Lester just won’t stop talking. Or in my family, I often get triggered by well-meaning, bothersome patterns.

My mom is very loving and I adore her. But I still get activated sometimes when she tries to suggest things or take care of me without my asking for help. I go back into my pattern of isolation because I feel smothered. Clearly that’s my issue and no matter how much I work on myself, I tend to fall into that old habit. Or it could be something my dad says. He tends to be prickly on the outside but a sweet, mush ball on the inside. He is a very loving and generous man. But I still get activated sometimes when he uses judgmental language and a harsh tone. Even though I practice yoga, I still get activated. It happens. What’s different now after many years of practice, is that I can more fully witness my patterns without getting caught in them for too long.

In terms of the Holidays and the practice of gratitude, it can be really difficult to feel authentic gratitude when you’re with the people you love most. How do you manage your relationships and your reactions to family and/or friends? This is a great contemplation worthy of your attention.
Ancient Meditation Practice (with a few personal twists)
I want to share an ancient meditation practice […]

1 10, 2017

Follow the Dragonflies: Reconnect with the Wisdom of Nature

By |October 1st, 2017|Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

Happy Fall! In general, as human beings, we have become extremely disconnected from the earth and the natural cycles of life. This brings up several questions for me: What are the natural cycles of the earth? What is the power behind the earth’s cycles? What is the intelligent life force of nature? In Tantra, nature is inextricably linked to the Absolute, the great light of universal consciousness, that governs all things. You could say then that being disconnected from nature is the same as being disconnected from the universe. In yoga, we know that we are the microcosm of the macrocosmic universe. Therefore, the wisdom of the entire universe is hidden within our own hearts. Hence, practices like yoga are incredibly supportive in helping us penetrate deep levels of consciousness to find, know, and experience the truth of our existence. Take the dragonfly insect, for instance. Every fall season, dragonflies follow the southerly wind currents to assist their migration to warmer climates. Raptors also migrate south in the fall and they too, use the southerly wind currents to assist their migration. However, they time it just right such that they fly into the swarms of dragonflies which become their dinner. Now dragonflies are fast flying insects and very difficult to catch when flying solo. But when dragonflies fly in large numbers, the raptors have no problem catching them and feeding on them throughout their migration south. In the early summer, the same pattern happens in reverse by catching the northerly winds to fly north to more temperate climates.

1 07, 2017

Nourish the Yoga Teacher

By |July 1st, 2017|Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

As teachers and caregivers, we need to nourish ourselves. Because we give to others all day, our well can easily dry up. Although the Tantra tells us that we are always connected to an infinite stream of ever-flowing, abundant life force, our capacity to access this is limited.

Our access is determined by our openness to grace and our alignment with nature. In the philosophy of Ashaya, these limitations are natural. In fact, it is true we are limited beings – we get tired and at times feel depleted. Out of its own delight, the great universal energy chooses to limit itself, to self-conceal (sva prachodana), in order to have the joy of revelation again, to self-reveal (sva prakasa). This is the pendulum swing of life.

Nevertheless, as a teacher, I still get depleted.

I know I’m getting close to burnout when I start doing asanas with the students during class. This happened recently in Collingwood, Ontario during a weekend workshop. I didn’t sleep well the night before and I had been running on fumes the week before working intense hours in the office. I just needed to feel alive again (which is always okay). When I recognize this pattern, I ask myself, “What do I need right now?” The answer is almost always, “I need to become a student again. I need to do my practice.”

Teaching yoga on a daily basis can be so overwhelming and draining that we forget to nourish ourselves. But this nourishment is vital to our longevity and our capacity to be inspiring day after day. One of the ways I regain my energy is by studying with the Tantric scholars. I have a whole library of inspirational recordings of my teachers. One of my earliest teachers once said, “Teaching […]

9 03, 2016

You Are Here to Intervene

By |March 9th, 2016|Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

Greetings!

I recently taught Touch of Grace: Mastering Hands-On Adjustments in Lenox, MA and it was a wonderful experience. The students were so attentive and receptive. I experienced such a sense of connection, a flow of concentration, a vibratory resonance within the group that opened my heart and a vortex of love and wisdom began to flow through me.

I didn’t expect to offer any in-depth philosophical teachings since the focus was about the physical practice of adjusting asanas. But I was just back from being on retreat with Paul Muller-Ortega, my meditation teacher, and some of the most potent teachings spontaneously exploded forth.

The gift of our embodiment, our life here on earth, is that we have the opportunity to intervene. We can intervene with life and change our destiny. Fate is what’s given to you. Destiny is what you do with it. You have the capacity to intervene with your patterns, your habitual thinking, your relationships, your environment in ways that can shift your destiny. You can heal yourself and your relationships. It’s all possible in the here and now earth plane.

Tantra teaches that we are co-participators with life. There’s no pre-determined script or plan that God has and all we need to do is fulfill it. No. We are co-creating life with grace in each moment. Life is determined by all of the forces that interact with it, including past, present, future, nature, grace, and you. Your thoughts, words, desires, and actions cut a groove in the fabric of time/space reality. Quantum physics confirms this. Same is true in the Kashmir Shaiva Tantra philosophy. Grace requires your effort to be experienced. The winds of grace are always blowing but you have to set the […]

7 11, 2014

Healing for Your Back

By |November 7th, 2014|Ashaya Yoga, Todd Norian, Yoga Practices|0 Comments|

Greetings!

I’ve been teaching yoga therapy workshops recently and am super inspired by the amazing healing power of the Ashaya Yoga™ method. I’ve seen many people get out of pain using yoga therapeutics, and I thought it would be wonderful to share some tips over the next few months that can help heal the lower back. Today I will focus on the psoas (so-as) muscle.

Pain-free living is our birthright. Our factory setting is joy. Whenever you move towards better alignment, your body will shift from pain towards greater freedom. Good alignment is good therapy. Pain is a teacher and we need to listen to it. Physical pain can point to something out of alignment in the body. It can also carry the message that we need to change something in life or in our mental or emotional landscape. Your body is not separate from your life. The body is the microcosm of how you are living. Carolyn Myss says, “Your biography becomes your biology.”

It’s easier than you think to heal your body. I’ve had many injuries over the years and I’ve healed through refined alignment in yoga. I’m not opposed to using the medical model to heal. But I am a firm believer in the efficacy of yoga to bring integration, wholeness and healing. I recorded a short video for stretching the psoas muscle that focuses on the physical actions in the body. This video shows you how to do Lunge Pose, (2.5 minutes). By learning a few simple techniques and actions in the body, you will be able to align and stretch the psoas muscle to relieve and perhaps eliminate back problems.
Fun Facts About the Psoas Muscle

It’s the muscle in the middle. It […]