An Homage to Luna Yoga on its 14th Anniversary!
I first came to Luna Yoga in the late summer of 2008. Until that point, I had practiced a much gentler style of yoga with the first teacher I was blessed to find along my journey, Joan Ruvinsky. I was initially introduced to the deeply-rooted philosophical teachings that Joan incorporates, but I soon found myself craving a more physical practice. I had quickly formed a home practice after first starting in yoga, and as I found myself attempting more advanced postures at home, I always kept an element of caution to my movement, knowing I needed to find a space where I could be supervised as I went deeper into it. My sister from another mister, Sonia Papasimakis-Collins, was at that time the Store Manager of the Ste-Catherine St Lululemon store and had been telling me for months that I had to come try this teacher whose studio was in Old Montreal, and whose classes were beyond what she ever could have expected from a yoga session.
Yoga & Activism
A few years ago I had to miss a workshop being given by local Yoga teacher Allison Ulan that focused on Yoga and activism, and I was gutted to miss it. From my point of view, there seems to be a growing divergence between the physical-only focus of the practice, emphasizing solely how the body is being placed in any given pose from the non-physical byproducts of asana. While I absolutely do not want to minimize the importance of proper alignment and body awareness in the practice to avoid injury and to promote longevity in the practice, I also take issue with yoga being taught with little or no illumination of where the physical practice brings us emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.
Like Sands Through The Hourglass
It’s been a week since my first encounter with Sharon Gannon and David Life, the creators of Jivamukti Yoga. Spending last weekend in Woodstock, New York at the Jivamukti Immersion Weekend was a fantastic opportunity to spend time with some friends who work in yoga as well, so time together is usually scarce at best…and our exposure to the teachings of Sharon & David was enlightening, to say the least. We were taught countless things, while being reminded and re-directed to countless others, but among everything we heard and discussed, I found myself honing in on something that became my focus of the week for my classes over the past 5 days, and I wanted to get it down here as well.
Immersed in Niyasa
As many of you already know, the past few years have been formative ones for me, almost Richter-scale-esque on many levels. My time at Centre Luna Yoga continues to be a real gift, and because it’s the closest thing to a Jivamukti studio that can be found in Montreal, I have been majorly influenced by the teachings of Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life.
I’m in Woodstock, New York on a brilliantly sunny Friday morning, staring at the diffused sunlight pierce through the natural cotton drapes covering the windows in my room. The sounds of life in the house where I’m staying are starting to become more frequent as one by one, the others staying here with me wake […]
The Present of your Presence
One of my favourite memories of being in a yoga class was when I took Cat’s class at Jivamukti London a year ago. Cat was leading a strong, amazingly instructed vinyasa, and in one of the sequences, the guy practicing next to me went fully rogue, taking whatever postures he felt like moving into, completely veering off of the class we were there to take. Cat didn’t let it go unnoticed, as I quickly understood by her “STAY PRESENT” interjection. He quickly came back to the moment and fell into the flow the rest of us were moving through.
I’m alone. Approaching the end of my latest 2-week voyage over to see my England-based extended family, I find myself in the rarest of situations: Helene has taken the kids out, Kerry is off at a football game…and I’m alone in the house…the always kinetic center of it all, the flurry of activity that starts around 7am and doesn’t stop until the children go to sleep slightly more than 12 hours later. Reuniting with complete stillness after 11 days (obviously excluding those sweet hours of repose I take full advantage of), tapping back into that serenity and groundedness, literally feels like coming home…in a place I consider my home away from home. All of which reinforces my belief that home is wherever you want it to be, at any given moment. Right now, I’m home.
From Behind Our Own Shadows
We are surrounded by doubt and fear, from all directions, all around us. We are bombarded by images of who we should be, what we should wear, eat, and drive, and how our bodies should look. All these “standards” that we inevitably hold ourselves up to (in spite of ourselves and our better, innate judgement) succeed in driving, and sometimes even creating, that fear. Fear of not fitting in, of not belonging, of being outcast…and all the while, the only thing we are accomplishing is the complete and utter suppression of our true selves…of our innate light, of our inspiring individuality that stems from the source of all energy which we all come from and to which we all return.