Friday, December 2, 2016


Satya is truth. Satya is the all that is. It is pure being-ness. Pure presence. The word sat means to be. All is supported or rather suspended by satya. It is the silk thread that connects beginning, middle,
end; and beyond.

Truth exists underneath all untruths, and truth will always find a way to expose itself, because truth is an enduring presence. It is patient potential willing and able to be realized at just the right moment.

To be realized. To be real. The real deal.

How do I know what is true or untrue? 

For me, it's a knowing. Pleasant or unpleasant, easy or difficult, beautiful or grotesque, when aligned with truth, it resonates. It's a definite "yes!". I can feel or sense a strong vibration, a resonance. Sometimes I get a strong sensation or tingling in my arms.  When I scan for truth, my vibration meets another vibration (or vice versa), I feel for something, a connection to the other and I either get dissonance or resonance. If its dissonance, it goes like this: my first response is "this doesn't quite feel right. Something is off. This is not resonating with me." The situation or person feels sticky and complicated to the point where my mind starts to rationalize and try to make sense of it, to no avail. I grow weary and tired, the truth in my heart says, move on. However, there are situations that ask us to be rational, think it through, and draw a conclusion based on facts and analysis.
There's real solid truth in that too.

If I get dissonance or resonance, it does not mean that the person, thing or situation in not true or unreal, its just not true for me.

Satya is understood through relationship.

Within the context of the yamas (yoga ethics in relation to other) satya being one of the five; satya is specifically presented as a guideline or one way in which to deal with our human nature. To know and live satya, is to clearly understand ones relationship with the world, people, things, and experiences.

In the yoga sutras (2.36), Patanjali says if we are dedicated to a life of truth and integrity in action, speech and thought, our dreams and willfulness become manifest reality.

Aligning with truth, is to connect up with potentiality, infinite possibility. All that exists now, once existed as latent potential. All that has yet to manifest is perhaps suspended in space, as a hovering presence, waiting to resonate with someone or something, to be realized. To be constructed into reality.

Truth is an enduring presence.
Truth will always find a way.

To be continued....

Monday, October 17, 2016


As the saying goes, "Starting a new business is like having a baby."  Well, come to find out, it is so very true. In the beginning, there is a spark. Ideas explode into the ether, sperm and egg meet to begin new life. A gestation period. Where the energy of impatience can be re-routed to preparations. Waiting. Preparing. Waiting, as it grows into fullness.  The stars align just so and the pulse of contractions begins, and you have to dig deep into the reserves of personal will to match Divine will and push hard. Then one day, its done. The baby is born. You get the permit and are ready for business. 

Nurturing the new "baby" requires a lot of attention, endurance, and resiliency.

Attention to stay focused on the task at hand, details, decision making. Endurance to keep on keeping on when the going gets rough and bumpy. Resiliency, because things don't always (actually rarely) go as planned and the ability to be flexible and bounce back to center is necessary to stay focused. This is where yoga helps a ton! Well...about that.

My practice was next to nothing over the summer. And I suffered because of it. The broken buddha in my weed infested garden was certainly a metaphor and a message from the universe.

At one point, I was laying in a heaping mess on the couch. All curled up into myself. Thinking about how much I suck. Completely and freakishly depressed. I've been here before. Many times. Sometimes I enough awareness to remember I've got my tool belt on and can pull out any number of tools (yoga, run, hike, write) and pull myself from the depths of despair. Sometimes I forget that I have my tool belt on and down I go. And every so often, I outgrow the tools and desperately need to add new ones to the ol' tool belt. 

Laying there in a heaping mess of self-doubt and utter despair, I really wanted to give up. On everything. It would be heck of a lot easier to numb out, eat crappy food, watch TV all day, stay in my cave, swallowed whole by own shadow.

But here's the thing with being a yogi, or/and spiritual practitioner, once you have been shown the light, there is no going back. There is no giving up. The universe will not let you. You've been tagged as a light house and being a light house means the light is always on (in varying degrees of brightness, but its never out). 

It was my ever so loving, compassionate rock solid husband that got me off the couch. He's a lighthouse after all. It was the look in his eyes. He reflected back to me how pathetic I must have looked. That did it! I got up, put on my tool belt, because it was apparently not on at all. I took my notebook and went to the rose garden, basked in the sun, journaled and called a therapist. I set some intentions, said some prayers. Including a full embodied prayer of letting go to my attachment of how I think I should be, look, do. All of it. I cut the cord of attachment to outcomes to the one thing I love the most, yoga. 

As I got up and left the park, I caught eye of this big beautiful tree. I couldn't help but notice the huge gnarly knot in its trunk, where a significant limb was once attached. It was shaped like a heart. I took a moment to admire its beauty. Seeing how it is a wound, totally open and vulnerable to the elements, yet the tree stands healthy and strong, unaffected. Resilient. 

The same day, I got calls. The universe, Divine will, does not forget about Dharma. I got calls pulling my attention back to yoga. Back to where I am needed and where I am able to serve in the world. I was pulled back to my center. 


Thursday, July 7, 2016


The concept of freedom can strangely be controversial.

As I explore freedom and what it means to me, I have tried to let go of any predetermined definitions or ideals that have been imparted into American culture. Which perhaps is something like this: freedom is only possible as a result of fighting for it through acts of violence against a real or made-up oppressor. Freedom is what we get from the high cost of our military. And we better damn well be proud of it. 

Maybe there is some truth to the above. And if so, it is severely outdated. Are we not highly intelligent, evolved human beings, that we can come up with better solutions to resolve conflict?
The concept that we must fight violently hard for freedom, has led us to become a culture of over-consumptive, apathetic, perpetrators of violence against each other. Americans have abused freedom.

We are not as free as we think we are. Fear has got a strong hold on us. With fear we build walls, gated communities, judgement of race, age, gender, and thus creating a strong separation between us and them. In some cases fear is a necessary response to real danger. However, the challenge lies in our perception of what is real and not real. 

The mind is powerful. One individual mind has the capacity to develop a strong conviction about something, that may or may not be dangerous and threatening to life itself. Those same stories told to each other, to a group of people, to a culture of people, the stories take on a whole new level of power. The stories become a condition, a belief system, passed on from generation to generation. We are not born violent and racist, that is learned programmed behavior. Nowadays, the media giant can feed a system of people more and more stories (whether real and/or dramatized) based on fear so that the people stay convicted and continue to buy into whatever it is they want to sell. 

This imprisonment is mind-control. We are being fed what corporate-media wants us to eat, believe, and do with our lives. It is us, the people, who have fallen prey to the system and gave up our freedom to make our own intelligent choices when it comes to what we eat, how we raise our children, healthcare, how we vote, what we buy, ect. Believing otherwise is abandoning our own intelligence and wisdom to choose. With that said, there is still a great deal of healing (personally and collectively) that must happen. 

We are more free than we think. When comparing our country to others on the globe, we are not bound by religion, we are not bound by class, we are not bound by gender, we are not bound by political party, we are not bound by lack of resources...that is, unless you choose to be. And than there is real freedom that our country was founded on and continues to thrive on. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom of assembly to name a few.  

We have the freedom to create the life we want, to dream it into being. We have the resources, and the opportunity be true leaders of the world. It starts at the individual level. 

What can you do to embody freedom?

I feel free when I have overcome the harmful thoughts in my mind. I feel free when I am running in the foothills. I feel free when I am traveling a different country. I feel free when I choose non-gmo organic food. I feel free choosing my daughters education. I feel free when I fully love and embrace differences. I feel free when I speak truth. I feel free when I'm deep in nature, in silence, and peace.

I will not take these freedoms for granted. 
May I have the courage to face fear, and live up to these freedoms in service of humanity. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Yoga As Prayer

When I feel helpless and hopeless with the state of world, things that are outside of my control, at least I have yoga to come to. As a place of refuge, of solace, a place where I can connect with source. Not as a selfish act. But as a way to re-align with my highest and best self, so that I can go out into the world and spread that best part of myself around. I know it might seem lofty, idealistic or insignificant, but its what I know, and its what I know I can do. It keeps me awake and vital. It keeps me keeping on when the going gets tough and when its fully blissful. 

My yoga practice, personally and collectively, is far from insignificant. It is a powerful force of healing. Yoga has the capacity to cross political, religious, gender, and cultural boundaries. Yoga asks us to unite in body, breath and soul. As one human race.

Yoga is a universal practice. Millions and millions of people all over the world are doing it. It is no mistake that this is happening on the planet at this time. Because we all so desperately need a way to connect that is not bound by confines of religion or other dogma. We all desperately need a way to heal. We all desperately need a tribe that embraces one another as a human being, because we have all been abandoned in some way. 

I see yoga as a form of prayer (call it intention, sankalpa, dedication
if you will). But please know that, yoga is not a religion, but it can be spiritual. We all pray in some form or another. Prayer is a way we interact with the Divine. It comes from the heart as a longing for what is truly needed, or a longing to connect with something greater. It is a declaration to the universe. Or a spontaneous blissful moment that is truly acknowledged. Prayer has the power to heal. Our thoughts travel the speed of light and perhaps even ride on a wave of light. This is real.

Lets pray together. For each other. For humanity. Right now.

P.S. These photos are Robert Sturman's work. I love his photography. He really captures the beauty of yoga as a universal, cross-cultural practice.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Finding Presence in The Pulse of Life

Presence is not stillness. But presence can be found in the the vibration of stillness. Nothing is ever truly still.  When the body becomes still, there is a pulse that continues. Heartbeat. Breath. Vibration.

On a boat somewhere in Indonesia.
I've always found the strongest sense of presence with movement or rhythm. Yoga, running, in the ocean, on a boat in Indonesia, on an airplane, watching children play, the river. Often at unexpected circumstances. And in that moment when I feel totally present, its expansive. The perception of time slows down. My field of awareness grows encompassing all that I see around me, not just what is right in front of me. It is in these moments that I have felt the closest to one-ness, unity consciousness, bliss. 

A recent moment of true presence. 

Last week the kids at my daughters school had their end of the year music performances. The performance goes from youngest to oldest, kindergarten to 6th grade, in an auditorium full of peers, teachers and families. Its amazing to view it in this way. We see the progression, the maturation in a flash. Kindergarten class sings a song about butterflies, in sweet sweet voices, a little off key and disjointed, full of joy. The beauty is in the imperfection. Than 1st/2nd grade, you can see its a little more in-synch. Singing their best, loud and proud. Next, the 3rd/4th grade together. More refined and clear. Still at this age, uninhibited. Finally the 5th/6th grade classes organize themselves on the risers. 

The audience quiet. Belinda, the music teacher, always starts each song by saying, "music begins and ends in...?" and the kids chant together, "silence!"  So there is slight pause of utter silence, which holds the space, unifies all who are present in the room. Presence is powerful. And than this...

These young innocent voices began to sing, Blackbird by The Beatles:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly Blackbird fly

Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

My eyes welled up. It was just so beautiful. In that moment everything was perfectly aligned. The students singing with heart and soul, yet quite ordinary, as if its just another moment in time. The audience present and receptive. Proud teachers standing by, perhaps feeling full and content with all that is, as the year comes to a close. I could feel the entire room, all the way to the walls. I could feel what was held in this space, in this moment. 
It was a precious life moment. It was art. It was true presence. 

In a flash, that moment was gone. 
But the beat continues.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tapas: The Purifying Flame

I have a burning desire to hold still in the asana, to get rid of the sugar habit, to tend my garden and grow nourishing food. I have a burning desire to transform the weight of drama into an expression of light, to chant Om Mani Padme Hum, to rise before dawn, taste stillness and the space of nothingness. There is a flame, a spark that ignites this passion that launches me into action. Action without reaction. It is an unseen uniting force of personal will and divine will that pushes me out of the seat of complacency and pulls me into a meandering river of devotion. 

This is tapas. It is the friction, the spark and the fire. The spark that motivates us to take the first step on the meandering path of transformation; the spark that keeps us walking the path, one foot in front of the other. It is the fire that maintains focus and determination to clear the way of obstacles. It is the heat and pressure that refines and polishes the light of consciousness, light of the heart, satchitananda. 

Tapas on its own is too hot, resistant, and burning. The heat of tapas is necessary to create change, to transform, to breakthrough habitual motion. But coupled with the energy of compassion, love and reverence (ishvara pranidhana) we can learn acceptance of the challenges we are presented with and move through them with greater strength. 

Acceptance eases tension and gives way to the purifying flame. With the acceptance of challenge we learn to trust that its been presented to us, whether intentional or not, because we have everything it takes, in this moment, to transform it.

For the spring sadhana, we with tapas, a burning desire to change something or the desire to move through a present challenge that is causing friction in life. We begin with the physical body, the outermost layer or sheath. As this is the most accessible, and is the gateway into the innermost part of the Self, that part that is unchanging. 

To remain steady and focused, we need to strengthen the body, more specifically the spine and core. We connect with the danda. The central core of our being, the spinal column, the pranic core, our own internal support, which is also connected to a greater source of energy and power. This unwavering strength supports the ability to stand strong in our center while coming face to face with life's challenges.