I had yoga up on this pedestal for many years because it felt so important to who I was becoming and so essential to why I was even exploring myself beyond what I had been modelled growing up. It was like a famous person walked in the room everytime I would complete another session basking in savasana with the sense of excitement for all I my numb spots thawing out and equal nervousness for all the fears and doubts I had yet to face. I had some how got lost along the way in the flashing lights of other peoples cameras that captured me in their viewpoint and I wanted so badly for them to see what they wanted to see in me. I realized slowly in the dedication of another practice finished that I was lying to myself and everyone else around me wanting the world to only see what i thought would validate me as enough. Yoga let me see this for myself. And that beginner Moksha
Sequence was so relevant to my needs of needing something extremely stable to begin the process of truly feeling the parts of my self that were so volatile in the jungle of venomous beliefs inside me and yet beyond the fear of those creepy critters was this vivacious landscape of possibility in which I possessed. I was sincerely lost but yet the practice gave me hope that revealed compass coordinates that then directed me to unknowingly push my false comfort zones in my life to
realize a more honest heart expression. Looking back I see a baby showing up to the mat who eventually learned to roll over and see the world from a new vantage point. And this lead to a movement, although inefficient and slow, towards a more heart curious aspect of my own experience. The creeping found crawling in the form of becoming a yoga teacher also in its infancy and I began to need more territory to explore and more challenges to overcome. For me this looked like creating sequences outside of the confines of the crib I had started in. I now realize that my experience of transitioning from student to teacher is rare, like a child who grew up living on an acreage along the woods with very little limitations where it could explore. Because I was living in the North isolated from the yoga culture that was building steam at such a tsunami pace, I some how wasn’t caught up in any of the opinions, judgements, comparisons or limitations that comes with anything mainstream. I was able to create in collaboration with other timid yoga toddlers a space where we practiced and taught uninhibited by any rules. Our metaphorical yoga backyard was vast in space to run and luscious in tress to climb and stimulating with other kids in which to play. It was a sanctuary of creative expression that allowed our first steps into being more honest versions of our unique selves uninhibited by too many rules or restrictions. And combined with all the wonderful trainings and workshops I travelled to attend in different perspectives and deliveries of how yoga has been embodied, I was blessed to always return back to my safe cocoon to filter and forage what fundamental aspects of each perspective awoke the passionate parts inside of me that would nurture fresh and hydrating fruits for my continued growth in my imagination and in my real life. My fellow yogi friends “that lived on my street” were so much fun to adventure dynamic dream worlds that became our realities in the form of life changing yoga teacher trainings, retreats to exotic places, events that brought together spiritual and artistic underworld of our industrial town, and established bonds with each other and our community that leveraged a shift expansive in possibility. We encouraged and celebrated each other without needing to compare one and other for our unique way of relating to yoga. And this truly was the so much like the long summer days as a kid when school was on break and each day was full of innovative exploration, boundary pushing thrill and unstoppable laughter.
But as you know like when you were a kid, school would go back in to session with the seasons changing and it would be time to sink or swim in the sea of hormones that was the initiation into teenage hood. A messy, dramatic and intensely insightful time into who, how, why and when you would spend your time, chose your friends and develop your character. This in my yoga evolution was moving to a big city with a yoga studio on every second block and a level of underlying and unspoken competition. And this is where I also inevitably felt my yoga pedastal crumble in front of me just as when I was a teenage girl finding out my coach wasn’t the amazing man I convinced myself he was or that my dad didn’t have all the answers. My perceptions shattered that these people weren’t heroes, they were just people doing their best with what they knew how.
At first I wanted to hold a grudge and quit yoga just like I wante
d to resent my coach and quit the sport all together. But I built too many wonderful relationships to walk away so immaturely. And I decided to create a new way of being with my yoga career and practice all together that allowed me to hold full accountability in my hardwork or lack their of at times, for the results of my life around me. And my love of yoga began to mature into something more symbiotic and founded in balance.
Business and yoga need some more life experience just like I did as a teenager when I thought I knew better than my parents. The thing is alot of the time I did know better but only for what was better for me, and I just wanted to have permission to express me honestly but that was not always met with love or praise or support. All of the adults around me were placing expectations and perspectives on me in a way that felt like I was drowning sometimes in the need to be enough. My experience of being a yoga teacher in franchised studios with owners like parents that all had their own unique set of conditions triggered the part of me that I had abandoned back in my teens. And this time, in meeting this same tight spot, I wanted to make a different choice. I wanted to honour my own unique voice, expression and perspective on life as I stepped into the adult I wanted to be and knew underneath I always was. I deeply respect and appreciate all of what those daring yoga leaders and teachers were doing too, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. So out of deep gratitude and genuine admiration, I decided to bravely seek out places and spaces and community’s that were open minded to what I was excited to share.
This brings me to now the moment of full commitment to myself and my heart over what others will think or how they will receive me. Not from this fuck you, I am angry place, but from this deeply loving and inspired to live “my life” to the fullest kind of way. Where I cherish and hold sincerely the teachings that inform a yogi’s life, Ahimsa – beyond the judgments and harm that come with being human I am dedicated to loving myself and others unconditionally, Satya – I am willing to be vulnerable in the truth even when I have to admit I am wrong or change direction because someone’s else opinion doesn’t resonate, Asteya – I am more than enough and there is more than enough so I don’t need to steal a single second from my life’s greatest calling, Bramacharya – focusing more efficiently to direct my energy more positively into my thoughts, words and actions, Aprarigraha – not attached to the outcome or destination rather enjoying the journey and moving through life from the heart of myself rather than from needing certain result. This is what yoga means to me more than the poses made up by someone in a stamp of time in a set of circumstances very different from my own or the specifics of alignment designed for another persons body, or the particular sequence of poses that were developed as brilliant duplicable and accessible business models. And in me saying this, I do not think those things are bad… my introduction to yoga and the amazing teachers I have learned from are all holding or sharing those viewpoints and that has influenced the bright hearted person I continue to become. But this practice has lead me to outgrow it in its need to be a certain form of movements or breath cues and inspired me to feel free in my soul to love it all for where it has gotten me so far.
As I continue to practice meeting myself silently at the edge of the ocean or the sit cushion beside my bed, I upload the bullshit to send to trash and download the gratitude of my experience of opportunities unlimited. My niyama force is strong as I take full responsibility for my own life. I saucha the shit out of my mind so my heart can shine in the purification that comes in commitment to a clean house and picking up the plastic I come across as I stroll the beaches. Santosha contentedly has found me living in my motorhome so I can work less for less things so I can create more. My tapas is on fire with the discipline that comes more naturally when I am ignited by the fuel my own inner purposefulness that mostly looks different than what I was taught. I svadhyaya step by stage everyday I turn the page in my self study to be humbled again by how much I don’t know and will continue for all of eternity to learn and grow. My biggest struggle is in the surrender to Ishvara Pranidhana, the faith and divine unfolding, yet somehow when I am fully enveloped in its sweet embrace its all I know to be true and so I continue the journey of my practice that has brought me here in my adulthood of yoga that appears long and arduous, yet enlightening and absolutely fulfilling. And it is here that I have birthed my child Body Intelligence yoga. My first baby.
Let me introduce you.
As time means change and the days and years passing mean both experience gained and skin elasticity lost, this is born from the only experiences I have to date. And also timeless in the soul’s true nature to be free to run and frolic through life distinguished not by how well it falls in line or follows rules but instead by how bravely it stares the unknown in the heart of what uniquely matters for the possibility of brighter and lighter. It is both infused with the masculine and feminine qualities of order and chaos, sun and moon, power and ease. The order comes in the form of the fundamental pillars that cross and intersect all spiritual practices and teachings of the buddhist, sages, monks and yogis before us that allowed it to stay soft in the qualities of lady chaos to be interpreted and received as needed without becoming rigid and regimented in the excess structure that produced religions segregated ideals. At first glance, it appears to be another perspective, in which it is but it is mostly an opportunity to meet yourself and strip away the lies you tell yourself. As you spend some quality time with it you will realize its more about breaking down the walls casted high around the yoga mat and empowering a creative exploration of self outside the misplaced rules of being a mover, feeler and lover of play so that eventually one day your practice is your own and constantly evolving with your aging nature until the satisfaction is embodied in each moment of your life to meet death with such ease from a life lived true to you.
So you might be wondering still what the heck is Body Intelligence Yoga? What makes it different then other forms of yoga?
It is embodying yoga beyond what culture has decided it is supposed to look like. It is living the teachings everyday as all the different yoga platforms are encouraging but not inhibiting what expression that takes in how you move your body, or when you breath or how you decide to share your yoga in your life.
Of course learning in itself needs some structure, so I will share my perspective by guiding you in how to maneuver your body parts that will address the sitting epidemic and technological wonder of today but I will continually encourage you develop a deeper listening to your own body and more honest expression of the shapes and movements to meet your needs as you learn to design you practice from your own heart.
This will take time and dedication. And will change and evolve. And some things will trigger you in the form of irritation or anger towards me or yourself, or bitterness and resentment towards the people you see around you or loneliness in the way it feels to first sit inside the segregated and broken aspects of self. So instead of pointing the finger in blame or internally resorting to berating yourself in shame, you will move your body, breathe in deep and connect back to the only thing that is real in the moment right here right now. And this practice that yoga has so generously offered us will be there for us always. And the translation I am offering is one that is birthed of its profound capacity to hold space for me to move wild and free. And so the physical practice will be wacky and weird but I promise you it comes from the intention to expose the soggy old belief systems that were enforced down upon you and release the hard spots that you reinforced to protect you from the pain of that time when things were really fucked up. And in this willingness to confront the parts of your self hidden and battered and bruised, you will be free to reclaim the shiny lovey bright wholeness that you are and take on any handstand catastrophe that ensues.
So my baby, Body Intelligence Yoga is just learning to really talk from the heart of what matters. And it isn’t what pose you can do or how open your hamstrings are, it is how bravely you are committed to continuously exploring outside the places you feel comfortable to adventure into the unknown spaces so that you are building a friendship with your insecurities, your doubts and fears. And one day they wont seem so intimidating and then one day you will be doing that thing you thought before was never possible. And that thing only is achieved because everyday you showed up to the mat, paid attention to your own narratives, and congested places, and were willing to meet it fully.
My intention in this variation of the asana practice is that you find joy in your body again, playfully exploring and moving and falling and flailing because their is no end to the progress in its frustrating failures and insightful growths and meaningful transformations. Your capacity to move through time without identifying with aging and rusting into stale viewpoints will determine the adaptability you hold to meet the always wonderful ride of uncertainty that is the truth about life. And if one day that means you are uninhibited enough to run over to the playground with the kids and climb the monkey bars or read your poetry out loud in a crowd of strangers or design your own website for your new business you are launching or live in a foreign country to learn a different language… then you will know that the practice is working. Curiosity is muscle we want to strengthen, and when you learn to engage it more often, life becomes the vision of your dreams. So lets get moving awkardly and awesomely then shall we!!!