Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Matrices, Diversification & Awakening (Part 2)

Boston, MA - A lot can happen in one month as I pick up the threads of my last post. I'm fatigued from only four hours of sleep after returning home late from last night's Radiohead show with a frenetic LED stage show matching the dynamism of their music.

Growing up in the western culture which rewards intellectual prowess, I wonder why are we only catching up now to valuing those with huge hearts and cultivating a deep connection to the inner river of love. I am writing after having read a recent blog post by Robbyne LaPlant dated May 30, 2012 where she offers a Venus Transit ritual for all of us to let go and plant new seeds, so that we can live more from our hearts.

More and more, I am drawn into ritual and the practices and experiences that bring one in alignment with the great Spirit, flow or underlying Shakti that is breathing us, is us and animates everything in a continuing pulsation. Just yesterday, I ended up on Shakti Sunfire's blog. She is an accomplished hoop dancer, yoga teacher, and excellent writer. Her most recent blog about her experiences in Bali affirmed this interest.

So, upon further contemplation, the awakening is being able to shift between the logic-filled world of matrices and heart-filled world of love. It is not necessarily an either or but a constant ebb and flow with which we navigate our day-to-day existence.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Matrices, Diversification & Awakening (Part 1)

BOSTON, MA - Walking to work this morning after reading Sianna Sherman's "Letter from the Heart" and reflecting on Elena Brower's "Art of Attention" workshop on Sunday, April 29, the idea of "matrices, diversification, and awakening" came to me. Although the mind can turn this embodied life into a complex puzzle, what is clear to me at this moment is the simplicity of the heart and love on the path of awakening.

I've always found it hard to separate "things" into boxes and disagreed with our "culture's" bias toward "experts" and "silver bullet" cures. I've even noticed my beliefs colored by this (i.e., 'yoga teachers and "life coaches" shouldn't mix'). But I am experiencing coherence in my mind and heart.

What hit me most at Elena's workshop was her bluntness and authenticity on the preciousness of this embodied life. Through a 'short-form' of the Handel Group's "Design Your Life" Life Coaching work, Elena engaged us all in a powerful dialogue and personal inquiry into identifying our dream (ideal state) for three of 18 life areas from the life coaching work. She chose "romance" "career" and "family." I came away impressed and convinced that the "Design Your Life" work as a potent medicine to incorporate as part of one's sadhana to go along with asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, contemplation, and whatever one has in their yoga toolbox.

My immediate insight while talking with a friend as we were gathering our bags from the storage area was this type of life coaching work was a powerful synthesis of two-to-three separate practices that I had been blessed to be guided to outside of the yoga asana space except it was an accelerated form. Attending Elena's workshop was synchronistic because I had accepted that I have a need for "life coaching" at this time in my life earlier this month before leaving for Denmark on a teaching trip.

(to be continued...)

Friday, March 2, 2012


Somerville, MA - As my friend and teacher once said during a men's circle, 'perfect wrecks good.' I am writing today from a cafe in Davis Square, a neighborhood business district near Tufts University and taking a moment to feel simple satisfaction in accomplishing simple tasks today such as updating the links on this blog.

The underlying lesson is that far too often I've created lofty expectations and experienced more self-disappointment than success which has led to a chronic sense of "being behind" or low-level stress.

Today, I slept-in after enjoying great conversation with Dazza and Jane, two yogis among my Boston-area community. Then, I took a phone call from my dear friend Lucy who is driving through Boston on her way back to Montreal, Canada after visiting Rhode Island School of Design with her daughter.

So, today I am reveling in simple satisfaction and acknowledging that I go through periods of productivity balanced with phases of recouperation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


"Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come."
Inscribed at the tomb of Jelaluddin Rumi

In preparation for a workshop which I'll be teaching this winter, I've been spending time contemplating the theme of viewing the body as a temple.

Seeing the body as a temple is a perspective shared by many faiths, most notably Hindu Tantra a perspective in which Prana Flow yoga is rooted and that is reinforced many times by my teacher Shiva Rea.

What I'm specifically unravelling like you do when you untangle a 100-foot extension cord that is filled with many knots is the process in which I as a yoga practioner have come to embody this teaching below the superficial level. taking the statement and developing a palpable connection to it, so that whenever I invoke it as I teach, the words carry truth and experienced as authentic.

While I don't know the exact answer, I do think that the only practice is to maintain a constant, self-loving, just-right vigilance including all the waking hours off my mat of holding my body in the highest regard and offer self-forgiveness whenever the sight is lost. There are many times in the past where I've beaten myself up over missing a practice (or not practicing hard enough) or eaten food that wasn't the best for me, but as the inscription on Rumi's tomb reminds us, that we must begin again and again.

Just like breathing, this re-minding and re-focusing on the highest will always be with me because to forget would be to assume and to not practice at all.

Note: Credit for blog entry goes to Christina Sell who has a recently published book called My Body Is A Temple

Monday, August 8, 2011


Boston, MA - What a journey life has been in the past twelve months! So many people, places, experiences. But my reality is that it's a Monday morning, I have a fog much like the fog that shrouded the city's skyline this morning, and I'm paralyzed into inaction.

It doesn't help that in switching over my website account this past weekend, I discovered my website was out of commision this morning. No problem, right. I hastily created a temporary one-page site but what's another thing to add to the growing list of to-dos.

Perhaps I should wash my hands clean of "all this" and blame it on Mercury Retrograde but that would be claiming no responsibility and falling prey to inaction.

So, I am reminded to initiate movement in my life, begin again with my breath, and re-connect with the rest of the world. As I was talking with my friend, Dazza, last night, life is so precious and to be living at this time in the span of history is so so special.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I had the blessing of floating in a tube down a river with my beloved teacher, Shiva Rea, on Friday, August 20 before making our way to the Omega Being Yoga Conference.

We rented from Town Tinker Tube, a well established outfit in Phoenicia, NY. We rode in a bus with 20 or so teenagers and their chaperones up the Esopus River to the put-in point.

The bus ride began with an update on the water levels (low) and some instructions from the driver who was wearing a bandana much like a famous male yoga teacher, aviator sunglasses, and a fu-manchu mustache. The only thing missing was a 70s classic rock soundtrack blaring from speakers.

With water levels being on the low side, our ride began slowly but we experienced about half a dozen dynamic sections on the river. At one point, the rapids nearly tossed me off my tube. Shiva described me later to Coral and Debbie with my legs pointing directly upwards. I thought for sure that I would flip but I was able to right myself.

During the slow and flat portions of the ride, I stared up at the blue sky with puffs of cloud recognizing the tranquility of the moment especially after having just picked up Shiva the JFK Airport in New York City. Shiva and I had a rambling conversation whenever we drifted close to each other. At one point, she shared with me that teaching of the river - how we can't control our direction or speed and our task is only to relax especially during the dynamic journey through rapids.

I highly recommend taking an afternoon off and floating down a river. So many lessons and opportunities to unplug from the river of life back in the city.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Every now and then when you slow down from moving between jobs, teaching gigs, sleeping, waking, eating, etc. you experience an upwelling of happiness, love for life, gratitude, and empowerment from a well lived life. This is also matched by other experiences of confusion or stagnation, and emotions of anger or sadness.

Almost three seasons have past since my last Thanksgiving post on Gratitude. I've had many adventures and experiences. Life has been full and I've been blessed with many lovely, beautiful people.

My apologies to anyone I've left out but I enjoyed a sweet ringing in of the New Year with my Uhuru Afrika family at their party at the All Asia Bar. Then, I celebrated my 40th Birthday on January 16th with some very wonder-full people, Lucy, Sarah, Erin, Shiva Kumar, Erin, Dani, Bonnie, Bonnie A, Nicoline, Amber, Jay, Gretchen, Sarah, Alice, Charles, et al.

In March, I visited magical India for the first time by assisting my teacher Shiva Rea on her India retreat at Manaltheram Resort in Kerala. By the end of this retreat, the one word that resonated so loudly for my was integration. The teachings that I've been hearing seemed to have finally sunk in.

The other blessing of the trip was meeting some amazing yogis from all over the world and getting invited to teach the practice that I love - Prana Flow - in Copenhagen, Denmark, Florence, Italy and Beirut, Lebanon. Thank you so much to Charlotte Bruun of ZenSensation, Debora Cutolo of Florence, and Mira Siblini for hosting me this November 12-21.

In May, I found myself following adventure to New York City and spending time with Taoin and getting to know the Soulitious Crew. What a great cast of characters, Skye, Nikki, Liz, Todd, Fryske, Eric Tucker, Ella, Perry, Annelies, Heather, et al. The party continued over the July 4th weekend at the Philadelphia Experiment, a grand Burning Man-like experiment organized by a crew of dreamers and lovers of life from Philadelphia. So many late nights and some parties with dancing and laughing lasting well past day break. I was experiencing life to one of its many extremes.

As we know in vinyasa yoga, there are cycles and in between these peaks were regular days of getting up, meditating, going to work, going to yoga, returning home, meditating, sleeping, and starting over.

Starting over is a another great yogic teaching that I intend to channel into "A Great Flame Follows a Spark" blog.

Jaya Jaya Karunabdhe Shri Mahadeva Shambo