Archives for posts with tag: yoga





hey lovies ~

As i mentioned in an earlier post i am currently enrolled in and taking an online training course Beyond Duality: Yoga and Social Justice taught by yoga teachers Hala Khouri and Nikki Myers, as well as many other Amazing guest speakers.  In this course, yoga practitioners and teachers interact through lecture and break out into groups to discuss race, equality and oppression with honesty and compassion.  We are about half way through the course and we are covering extremely sensitive and difficult topics such as Compassionate Communication, Social Justice Basics, the School to Prison Pipeline and Mindfulness, Gender Justice and so much more.  It is a course which challenges each of us in our yoga communities to confront our privilege or underprivileged position, whatever spectrum, and communicate through these topics with compassion.  To discuss and gain knowledge on the systemic problems we have in this country and where we fit in it all as we share our own struggles.

a few quotes from my notes:

~  humble if arrogant,  soften if hard,  always return to love.  ~ Nikki Myers

~  one of the most sacred things we can do is to bear witness to another beings suffering.  we don’t know how to stay with discomfort, stay present.  if we can shift into discomfort,  someone else can shift out of pain.  this is huge in terms of radically transforming space.  ~  Compassionate Communication – Teo Drake

~ 3 ways to Transformation:  Conscious thought – Conscious Speech – Conscious Action.  there is no coming into consciousness without pain.  people will do anything , no matter how how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness concsious. – C.G.Jung

~ committed to examining our socially conditioned life – to learn a whole new acceptance ~ Nikki Myers

~ social justice – different things to different people depending on where you are – Tessa Hicks

~ we act differently under chronic stress.  – BJ

~ model of Transformation:  Stress management – Self awareness – Self regulation – Healthy relationships = Self Mastery. – B.J  Niroga Institute

~ we hold stress in our bodies, we hold our issues in our tissues, we need to move our bodies.  – B.J Niroga Institute

~ spiritual arrogance in yoga.  – a discussion

A place i’ve grown to love and appreciate  – Niroga Institute in Berkeley California.  The work of Niroga directly uplifts thousands of people every week in schools, juvenile halls, homeless shelters, cancer hospitals and rehab centers.  Here is a link – <;


I recently came across this online course being offered through the Off the mat into the World organization.  So excited to see yoga teachers not only interested but highlighting these topics in conversation, as they are vital topics that affect each of us in our communities systemically whether we chose to recognize them or not.

This course is being offered as a sliding scale, so anyone can join and no one is turned away!  Such a blessing and of course I joined.  It has already begun to transform my thinking and open doors, and the class hasn’t even started yet.  I highly recommend joining this online discussion.  The teachers cannot be beat and these conversations within the yoga community are imperative for our holistic connection to deepening our knowledge about what’s really going on.

Hope to see you online!

Aloha ~ nik


so stoked to get this book in the mail!  amazing how the little things bring so much joy.  written by Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa

Unroll your yoga mat, open your sketchbook, and allow your innate creativity to flourish, guided by this irresistible, inspiring book. Internationally renowned artist and yoga teacher Hari Kirin Kaur Khalsa draws on a lifetime’s worth of hands-on experience in the art studio, and her many years as a student of Yogi Bhajan, to create a fully integrated practice of art and yoga that is accessible to newcomers and seasoned practitioners alike. Through the integration of movement and meditative awareness, heart-opening yoga practices and joyfully creative art exercises, we are reminded of the beauty of self-expression and the interdependence of all things. As Hari Kirin so generously demonstrates, Art & Yoga has the power to heal the mind, the spirit, and the body; it may even begin to heal the world.  –Katrina Kenison, author of The Gift of an Ordinary Day


less than a week ago i left the islands for a strikingly much colder climate.  least to say i’m still settling in and have had several venomous responses to the weather here telling me to just bolt this place and head back to the warmth where i belong.  however i am here for now and have decided to shift into this place with a lot of yoga.  the other day i had an amazing vinyasa flow class that was super challenging and left me sweaty and satisfied, hungry for more.  that class was heated around 80 degrees.  the day after, i decided to take a hot body (86 +) power vinyasa flow class.  here is what i noticed.

a few reasons why the hot (86 +) body yoga classes don’t work for me.
~ dry’s my natural skin oils out. notice a flakiness afterwards
~ because the room is so heated, my skin begins to perspire before i’ve even begun working. thus, i am not actually sweating due to my own work, but am sort of tricked into thinking i’m getting a good work out, when its just the hot room.
~ i tend to pull back in certain poses that i would otherwise give my all in, because my body is so sweaty i’ll just slip right out / am unable to stay in for ex: any arm balance positions
~ am aware that over extending myself is a possibility so i am more mindful of this than actually paying closer attention to correcting my alignment.
~ felt light headed but not in a good way, after class.

that’s about it. i gave it a try again yesterday and at least i know now. anything under 85 degrees is a go! but anything over, not for me.

enjoy your yoga everyone!  and don’t be afraid to know something doesn’t work for you just because its all a buzz.  your body knows what is best.  stay true.  aloha ~ n

4:32 am friday morning.

i can hear the roosters calling out already in this early dawn morning.  i’ve been up for hours tossing and turning in my bed.  it’s one of those nights.  where my mind is full of chatter and my room is uncomfortably warm, almost stale with no breeze or air flow passing through it.  where i am either too hot under my bed covers or too cold when i toss the covers to the side of me.  my pillows don’t feel right, nothing feels… comforting.

i finally sat up about a half hour ago and tried to meditate by sitting upright and tall.  breathing as deeply as i was able and forcing a smile on my face to help relax my body into a calm comforted place.  the smile was forced and lasted only seconds. so did my posture as i quickly slumped back down into myself.  and my deep breathing, quickly became short open-mouthed breaths all in my choked up chest.  i started to feel a bit of panic.  similar feeling to the few panic attacks i’d had before during certain momentous occasions in my life.  so i decided to just get up and walk around.

i got myself a glass of water and turned my bedroom light on, which helped.  reached for my laptop thinking i could watch an episode of will and grace, or the cosby show to distract me from this feeling.  what is this feeling?   both are healers, comedy and writing, but i think the answer to that question is why i am here writing, instead of watching something funny.

so what is this feeling?

well, i’m sure you can relate.  it is a feeling of being overwhelmed with the decisions i am facing in my personal and professional life, and the possible directions my life can take at this moment, regarding these decisions and who these decisions will affect, knowing i will in the end decide to do what is best for me, yet not knowing exactly what is best for me at this moment, or which way to go.  i am no a fan of the ‘not knowing which way to go’ period of any planning.  i like to just cut to the chase and get on with things.  but life, sometimes, forces us to pause and sit in our discomfort, our unsettling. for me, this feeling shows up as a warning in my body through shortness of breath.  this is how i know something is troubling me beyond the beyond.  i suppose that is what this 4:32am anxiousness is all about: acknowledging the anxiety and offering it comfort.

this is how it usually goes.  i hit a point in my life about once every two years or so, where some major decision making is knocking urgently at my door.  usually it has to do with these things: moving, my art, my education, my career and my relationship. each one deeply affects and affected by the other.  these decisions i face, and am facing, with too much time on my hands, begin swirling around inside my head, confusing themselves in relation to one another. this is where the anxiety begins to take hold and i begin to feel ultimately that i am failing.  that i am missing out on the things i am desiring deep down if i don’t have a plan soon.  and what is scary about feeling anxious for me is that, it makes me feel as though my life depends on the very next choice i make.  and that i must hurry up and decide.  that time is the enemy.  that i am useless unless i know exactly what i am doing and where i am going.  that this in between time of figuring it out, is something i should have outgrown by now, in my 30’s.

what makes making a decision difficult?  well for me, it is difficult to make a decision when..

~ when my sense of purpose feels fragmented or scattered in the different areas of my life that are part of the whole yet don’t seem to be fitting together in the moment

~ when i feel i am waiting on someone or something to complete a section or chapter, so that i can move forward

~ when i am financially unable to make the move that my spirit desires

~ when i have too much free time on my hands and time seems infinite

~ when my own voice doesn’t seem to know which side is up

so knowing this, i am aware that these things are mental blocks that will eventually unfold through time and effort.  i am aware that this too shall pass.  that there is something deeper happening here and i am facing great opportunities, growth and change.  but in the meantime, this place i visit every few years, this place of not knowing, not having the answers to my own questions for myself and my future, is no fun.  it also doesn’t help that living on the north shore is often an inconvenience for artists / urban gypsies.  inconvenience breeds anxiety.  yoga helps.

yoga helps with it all.

and so do Tracee Ellis Ross and Erykah Badu!  two women who standing in their power and brilliance, are able to identify and make prayer, make art of this valley, this place of uncertainty and decision making.  honoring where we are, exactly where we are, without feeling the need to rush into anything, these women bring comfort to those of us who are in this place.  through their acknowledgement and regard for this time when life can feel overwhelming, and our internal response leaves us anxious, i feel reconnected to something larger than myself.

May the space between where I am and where I want to be, inspire me ~  Tracee Ellis Ross

So when I stumble off the path, I know my heart will guide me back ~ Badu

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen