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            [post_title] => The Yogic Way
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                    [post_content] => Throughout my life's journey I have read several books on Yogic Philosophy that talk about uncovering the True Self. Truthfully, this has always seemed a somewhat nebulous concept to me. I have been a student of Yogic Philosophy and a practicing Yogi for seven years now and was beginning to get bewildered by what I considered to be unconscious barriers blocking me from connecting with my ‘True Self.’

No matter how hard I tried to get in touch with my ‘True Self’ through meditation, the more elusive it would seem. I would often find myself feeling frustrated, thinking that I was failing in my practice. Through a recent flash of insight, I came to see that ‘True Self’ is closely related to what psychologists refer to as ‘authenticity,’ which is defined as 'the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit or character despite external pressures'. Personally, I feel that it means living with respect for our intuition, rather than for our intellect alone. It means listening to the 'inner voice' which speaks the truth.

Staying connected to my True Self, no matter how that is conceived, has always been a challenge for me, as I have always prized intellectual pursuits and prided myself on being a well-read student of various disciplines. But I've come to realize that spending too much time in the intellectual domain can create imbalance and become a breeding ground for the ego's controlling tendencies.

Imbalance and ego-dominance can manifest in a variety of ways often leading to suffering, as we move further away from the vulnerable state required to connect with our true selves and our authentic voices. This intuitive insight came to me after a meditation session and I had uncovered my answer.

The root cause of the struggle, which was blocking me from moving deeper into my practice, was related to control. Understanding this, I began using meditation and extended Savasanas as a means of addressing the issue. Consequently, Savasana holds a much deeper meaning for me now. Instead of simply being a relaxation pose, it has come to represent 'conscious surrender', which previously was not even a phrase that I had in my vocabulary.

The quote by Bronnie Ware from her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying became somewhat of a mantra to me. It goes like this: "Surrender is not giving up and it takes an enormous amount of courage. Often we are only capable of doing so when the pain of trying to control the outcome becomes too much to bear".  Our egos want so much to be in control of situations, people and especially outcomes. But this hyper-focus on control blocks us from staying present, vulnerable and connected to ourselves, which is essential for creating the life we all want - a balanced life with purpose, healthy relationships and joyful self-expression.

A wise person in my life once told me that 'You can direct your life, but you can't completely control it." I have just recently come to appreciate the meaning of those words.

So how do we let go of this strong desire to control and micromanage our lives? How do we remain vulnerable and connected to our True Selves? Perhaps the first step is to cultivate the awareness that there is a ‘True Self’ behind the veil of control or other impediment. Once we realize this, we can begin to work with loving compassion and gently tame that tiger, creating space and safety for a more authentic life aligned with our True Self.

Namaste.
                    [post_title] => Living Authentically: Taming the Tiger of Control
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The causes of suffering are not seeing things as they are, the sense of "I", attachment, aversion and clinging to life.” – the Yoga Sutras
Understanding the causes of suffering offers us a pathway to peace. Awareness, acceptance and letting go of attachments and aversions are the important stepping stones on this pathway. In my own understanding of yoga philosophy, life gives you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. It is perhaps the very reason that we are here. With this as the basis for our existence, consider then for a moment, that any given situation or experience is not the cause of our personal suffering.  Rather, every experience is in itself neutral and it is only our attachment or aversion to the experience that causes suffering. Staying attached to a belief or perspective is what keeps a person from a state of "peace" or non-suffering - not the particular experience or situation that we have convinced ourselves is at fault. We then perpetuate our suffering by keeping the story alive and reinforcing that perspective creating more and more form to that story until we come to believe it as the truth. We then defend that truth, stand up for that truth, fight for that truth, hate another for that truth and sometimes die for that truth. We have neglected to consider that perhaps that truth may be impermanent in its nature and therefore untrue or illusion. How does suffering lead to non-suffering? In the beginning we suffer while not actually realizing that we are suffering. This suffering begins to wake us up.  Awareness occurs. This awareness leads us deeper into our suffering until the desire to relieve ourselves from this state motivates us to become teachable. The teacher is our life. In fact, our greatest teacher may indeed be the life we have chosen for ourselves. We decide to accept our life, the experiences we are having, and change our perspective in order to find a place of peace. We find connection, we begin to see glimpses of what is really happening. Our suffering lessens. In Stephen Cope's "The Wisdom of Yoga" he states that according to The Law of Karma, all effects have a cause and all causes have an effect. All actions are interrelated and interdependent (Pantanjali). We create our world through our actions. Every act has the power to change the entire field of mind and matter. If indeed every act has the power to change the entire field of mind and matter and we are in fact all interrelated and interdependent then whatever I do to minimize my own suffering I do to lessen the suffering of the world. _______________________________________________________________________________ Roberta Carr, Owner, Nanaimo Elements Holistic Centre, Yoga Instructor, Perpetual Student She has operated her own business since she was 20 years old, and has spent her life in the search for peace and understanding. Studying yoga is the latest mile in her journey – spirituality and its interplay with one's physical self has been her theme song. mommadel@shaw.ca (250) 585-0894 [post_title] => Some Thoughts on Suffering [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => some-thoughts-on-suffering [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-09 19:59:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-10 03:59:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=2852 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2549 [post_author] => 396 [post_date] => 2017-02-05 21:05:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-06 05:05:27 [post_content] =>
This quick chutney can easily be stirred into rice or yogurt for instant flavour.
V = Reduces Vata     P = Reduces Pitta     K = Reduces Kapha     Tri = Tri-Doshic
WHAT’S IN IT?
3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut (P, V)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds (Tri)
2 tsp fennel seeds (Tri)
1 tsp dried chile flakes (K)
1 Tbsp coriander seeds (Tri)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds  (V)
¼ cup black sesame seeds (V)
½ tsp salt
  HOW IS IT MADE? In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the coconut, stirring continually. Add the cumin, fennel, chile flakes, fenugreek.  Toast until just fragrant. Add sesame seeds and toast until they just begin to pop. Cool slightly and then add the salt. Store in airtight container up to one month. [post_title] => Dry Sesame Chutney [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dry-sesame-chutney [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-09 20:02:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-10 04:02:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=2549 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2413 [post_author] => 154 [post_date] => 2017-01-10 20:52:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-11 04:52:36 [post_content] => 7 (human) years ago, in the 2009 Oct-Dec issue of YWM I wrote an article about the lessons my ‘SPCA special’ Great-Dane-Shepherd-Lab-everything-else crossbreed and faithful sidekick Daisy, had taught me about life. As you can imagine, a few things have changed since penning (typing?) that article. For example, both of Daisy’s ears now stand perfectly erect with only the slightest hint of the puppy-flop that used to affect the left side. Her sleek black coat isn’t as rich as it once was (neither is mine), and her once break-neck greyhound-like speed is now more Basset Hound (stops to smell more than she runs) than anything. Yet many of the yogic lessons she taught me then are true today. However, with age comes wisdom and change, and as such, some of the things she has taught me have taken on new meaning. To read the original article click here.
  1. Do Down Dog and do it often! Daisy’s Down-dog, albeit not as deep as it once was, is still pretty darned perfect and I’d argue, is still better than most humans, but the point is she still does it. EVERY DAY. It’s still her response to her favourite words like “park” and “dinner” (this has replaced “run”), and it is still how she greets the start of each day. I truly believe that Daisy’s ability to stay as agile even at her advanced age is partially the result of her daily practice of Down-Dog. Sun Salutations for longevity anyone? You better believe it.
  2. Follow Down Dog with Up Dog. Daisy’s Up Dog isn’t as great as it used to be, but then again, neither is mine. We both have low back and hip issues that prevent full extension for a ‘perfect’ up-dog, but the intention isn’t perfection is it? That’s what Daisy has taught me. Even though you can’t do the full move, modify it to suit your body. Honour where you are, but make the attempt to balance each posture with it’s opposite.
  3. Meditate. Daisy still has this incredible ability to focus on anything that captures her interest. As was the case 7 years ago, even today virtually nothing can break her ‘meditative state’. Such focus is still something I yearn for when trying to meditate, or even when just sitting quietly. The lesson is one I’m working on. Be engaged, and empty your mind of all things except for that which you seek.
  4. Play: Do it! Just maybe don’t do it for as long, or as hard as you once did. Daisy still loves to chase a Frisbee, ball, stick, squirrel, whatever, but just for not as long as she once did. Don’t let age stop you from having fun! Play is mentally and physically stimulating and an essential part to aging “gracefully”.  Do something every day that brings you joy, and moves your body. Smile, laugh and pant, err, um, breathe.
  5. Drink Water: lots, and lots of it and don’t worry if you’re a slobbering mess afterwards. Water tastes SO GOOD! Sometimes it’s hard to not get it everywhere. Water is essential to good health and an aging body. It not only helps to lubricate joints and keep skin and other body tissue hydrated, it’s also important for healthy digestion. Daisy drinks A LOT of water, always has and despite the more frequent trips to the lawn (bathroom), it really does a body good.
  6. Have regular bowel movements and observe them: I know, it still sounds gross, right? But it’s true. Observation around shape, consistency and frequency can alert you to more serious health problems. As the body ages, bowel problems such as constipation can become bigger issues for some people (dogs too). To help keep your bowels healthy, it’s important to have regular daily bowel movements. Daisy recommends doing things like “Down-dog”, “play” and “drinking water” as part of an overall plan to keep your bowels happy (of course eating fresh greens helps too).
  7. Listen. When your ears start to fail you, listen with your eyes. When your eyes start to fail you, listen with your hands (paws). When they all start to fail you, listen with your heart. This seems complicated, but it’s something I see Daisy do every day. Although I’ll swear she can still see squirrel running up a tree down the block, or hear her favourite person’s car coming down the road, she’s not as alert as she once was, and on uneven ground, trusts her body less. Yet her ability to communicate love with the world around her hasn’t diminished. It is inevitable that our senses become less acute as we age, but how we choose to let that affect us comes from a deeper place. The lesson: if we return to our centre (heart) and allow a deeper place of connection to help guide us, we will never be out of touch with our surroundings.
  8. Know your limits… and ask for direction. Daisy still tries to run, jump, and play like she did when she was a puppy, but it’s up to me now to place limits upon her so she doesn’t injure herself.  She looks to me more frequently than she used to for direction too. When she’s unsure of which fork to take on trails, or which way to go at a street corner, instead of just barrelling in any direction, she looks to me for guidance. Oh, how times have changed. I used to trust her to tell me when too much exercise was enough, or which fork in the trail was the ‘right’ way. But my guru taught me well. Her lesson? TRUST in others and be open to the notion that they may have a better solution than you do, especially when you’re not sure of yourself.
  9. Eat fresh green food. The lesson here is the same as it was 7 years ago with a slight variation. According to TCM theory, as the body ages, it’s original ‘fire’ or yang diminishes. To help conserve the body’s yang, trade the raw cold foods for more easily digestible options like roasted root vegetables or steamed greens. Your qi and digestive system will thank you.
  10. Rest. Daisy has really perfected this one. She sleeps much more than she used to as a young pup, but really, she’s pushing 90 in human years (large breeds go by a 8 year to 1 human year rule), and the fact that she still is up and ready to play each and every day means she needs rest to replenish her qi. Perhaps she has lived as long as she has because she followed the all-important rest to play ratio. I too get more rest than I used to, although those who know me would shake their heads in disbelief. It’s true. We all need to learn from this one.
  11. Be thankful and appreciate everything in your life. The average life expectancy of most dogs is about 10 years and in human lives, that’s not a whole lot of time. As Daisy’s 12th birthday approaches in March, I am more acutely aware of the time that has passed, and wonder how much we may have left. This ‘knowing’ makes me more thankful and appreciative of every moment I get to spend with her, and this is perhaps Daisy’s greatest lesson of all. For 4197.5 days (give or take a few), she has consistently met each one of them and every person in her world with the same enthusiasm and joy as she did when she was a pup, and it strikes me more often than not as to why we as humans have such a hard time doing the same. Perhaps if we had a firmer grasp on the concept that our time together is limited, as it is with our pets, we would make better efforts. Thank you Daisy. I couldn’t have asked more a more patient and gentle Guru to help guide me through these years.
Namaste. [post_title] => Lessons from Daisy: The Senior Edition (Part 2) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lessons-daisy-senior-edition-part-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-10 20:53:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-11 04:53:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=2413 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2163 [post_author] => 154 [post_date] => 2016-12-14 23:48:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-12-15 07:48:10 [post_content] =>
Daisy came into my life as a pup four years ago from the SPCA, three weeks after losing my mixed-breed chow-chow to cancer. I had not planned on getting a puppy, but as we all know, things rarely work out how we first envision them to. Over the past four years we have been on many crazy adventures together. And Daisy, like any good teacher, never ceases to amaze, motivate, and challenge me. Even though I am sometimes a bit of a slow learner, Daisy is more patient with me than I tend to be with her, and this perhaps is her greatest lesson of all to me. Many of the things I try to teach my students about Yoga beyond the poses, I see so easily taught by my Guru Daisy. If you’ve read the article “The Irreverent Yogi” in the January to March, 2009 issue of The Yogic Way® Magazine, you will already know that Daisy performs Down-Dog better than any ‘human’ student I have. And that even though my students turn to me for direction and answers, I freely admit that I too am a student, learning as they are. I encourage my students to look for answers in all that surrounds them and remind them that teachers are everywhere (the idea behind “Namaste”). And yes, these teachers may even be in animal form. I often share Daisy’s wisdom with my students, and for anything they have learnt through Daisy’s sharing with me, and my with them, I am grateful. Now I will share with you some of the lessons I have learnt from my dog Daisy.
  Lesson Number 1:  Do Down-Dog and do it often! I have observed and learned that Down-Dog is as much a great stretch, as it is a friendly greeting or salutation, or as it is a way of physically reveling in joy. It is how Daisy greets the day, it is her response to her favorite words such as “park” or “run”, and it is how she finds her length again after a long curled up nap. The central inclusion of Down-Dog in the Salutation sequence makes so much sense to me now.   Lesson Number 2:  Follow Down-Dog with Up-Dog! Yes, Daisy's perfect Down-Dog is usually followed by a wonderful Up-Dog as well. The lesson here? Balance.  
Lesson Number 3:  Meditate Daisy has the amazing ability to tune out anything and everything when completely focused on say, a squirrel, bird, mosquito, or whatever else it may be. Virtually nothing can break her ‘meditative state’. Such focus is something I yearn for when trying to meditate, or even when just sitting quietly. The lesson? Be engaged, and empty your mind of all things except for that which you seek.  
Lesson Number 4:  Play Daisy has chased a ball, stick, mosquito, or whatever it is that moves and catches her fancy, thousands of times, but never seems to take it for granted. Every time is as exciting as the first to her. I believe she truly appreciates the opportunity to play, exercise, breathe deeply, and have fun. Take time every day to enjoy yourself. Greet the people you meet with genuine love and appreciation. Play with the kind of enthusiasm you felt the first time you ever participated in the activity. You will be surprised at how much more enjoyable it is.  
Lesson Number 5:  Drink water First thing in the morning and throughout the day. Especially after ‘play’, ‘meditation’, and ‘Down-Dog-Up-Dog’ vinyasas. Don’t worry if it spills all down your face or dribbles across the floor in long spindles from your lips when you walk away from your bowl...I mean sink. Didn’t it taste amazing?  
Lesson Number 6:  Have regular bowel movements and observe them Sounds gross right? But being on a regular schedule (also called “being regular”) and having some awareness around shape, consistency and smell are important indicators of your overall health. Dog owners KNOW when their companions are ill because they are ‘up close and personal’ with their faeces on a daily basis. The same should apply to you!  
Lesson Number 7:  Listen To the world and people around you. Hang on their every word like they are going to tell you something incredible (like ‘do you want to go to the park?’). You’ll be amazed at how much more engaged and alive you are in the world. Try however to keep your head from tilting to one side or the other when the person talking says a word you are unfamiliar with. Actually, on second thought, DO IT!  
Lesson Number 8:  Know your limits Work on releasing the ego and clearly know what you are able or unable to do. Daisy never goes beyond her abilities in exercise or within pack dynamics. Most call that instinct, but I see it as Yogic grace. I try to be vigilant in my own actions when we are out exercising together to be sure that my ego is not pushing us both beyond what we should be doing. There have been times when Daisy has looked at me like “c’mon, you’ve got to be kidding”, and I’ve looked back at her with “do I look like I’m kidding?”....then got injured. Silly student.  
Lesson Number 9:  Eat fresh green foods I don’t know what grass tastes like, but I’m seriously thinking about trying it. Every spring, all dogs, including Daisy, graze on the fresh new young grass. In Chinese medicine, spring time in particular is associated with the liver energy and green foods. And as animals are more connected to the natural world than we tend to be, I say, ‘salad anyone?'  
Lesson Number 10:  Rest Possibly the hardest of all of Daisy’s lessons for me to learn. Rest is essential to repair and rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. How will you have the energy to truly appreciate and enjoy everything all over again tomorrow without it? The errand list can wait. Have a nap and re-evaluate in a few hours.
NAMASTE.  
This article was originally published in the October - December 2009 issue of The Yogic Way® Magazine and is a prequel to Dr. Kim Graham's upcoming article "Lessons from Daisy (Part 2)".
[post_title] => Lessons from Daisy (Part 1) [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lessons-daisy-part-1 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-16 10:49:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-16 18:49:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=2163 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 3 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2020 [post_author] => 6 [post_date] => 2016-11-21 09:23:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-11-21 17:23:19 [post_content] => It seems that when one is presented with an opportunity, it is often met with resistance. A dozen reasons may immediately volunteer themselves as to why one couldn’t or shouldn’t undertake the task. Okay, let me rephrase and ‘own’ that observation. Why is it that when I am presented with an opportunity, I often balk at it before I even try? The specific situation I am referring to is having been presented with the opportunity to write an article for The Yogic Way Magazine. I had felt that there must be some mistake, even though the heading of the email was “this email is specifically meant for you, so please read”. Then when I accepted that it wasn’t a mistake, that the email really was sent to me and on purpose, came “OMG, no, there is no way, no possible way I can do that.” It was as if the email speed dialled my ego, which was set on protecting myself from being ‘found out’ regarding the following: And, furthermore, risking that:   I am sure I could go on, but you get the point. So I did what self-doubt often does, I invited procrastination to join the party. So that is what I did for the past two months. I procrastinated. Seen in a more positive light, I was simply taking the time needed to process the invitation and to allow what felt right to emerge. If I have learned anything both during my years of yoga practice and in teacher training, it is stop and breathe.  So that is what I did, simply stopped and breathed until I was ready to begin. (Maybe others can relate to the practice of just avoiding things and putting them off ‘until there is no tomorrow!’) While I have had a steady physical practice of yoga for quite a while now, when it comes to a steady consistent spiritual practice, I fall a bit short.  It’s not that I don’t want to establish a more regular spiritual practice, it’s just that it is a daunting task. I fear that by doing so I will undoubtedly come face to face with my ego which will cause me to have to deal with all those above questions and more. Nonetheless, dismissing ego with all the appropriate expletives, I have sat down today to trust myself, and have found courage in this opportunity. I have ripped off the band aid, put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard (because I really don’t know what I am doing and need to try both ways). Hitting the send button as I submit the article, I find the water I have jumped into is deep. Perhaps this experience will allow me to move forward, and I will uncover some truths about myself and be able to develop a more consistent spiritual practice….. or maybe it will just ‘suck.’ It’s worth giving it a try.  Whatever the outcome, I will stop and breathe. [post_title] => Trusting Oneself and Finding Courage in Opportunity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => trusting-oneself-finding-courage-opportunity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-23 09:28:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-23 17:28:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=2020 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 2 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 1820 [post_author] => 69 [post_date] => 2016-10-24 17:42:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-25 00:42:48 [post_content] => Here on the west coast of Canada, most people would probably agree that much of this summer felt like fall.  Constantly changing weather led many to feel ungrounded, anxious and just “a little off.”  We generally accept that our lives are constantly changing and yet many of us still get uncomfortable with the uncertainty that brings.  Check in with your body. Do you feel relaxed or tense when you read the word “change”? When I was a child, my grandmother would say to me, “Everything you need to know, you will learn by watching the garden.” Of course, at the time, I just thought she was a wonderful, crazy lady with an obsession for plants. I didn't know what she meant.  It is only in recent years having discovered my passions for both yoga and gardening that it did start to make sense. The garden is essentially a yoga mat.  Every single time we step into a garden or onto our mats, it is a new and different experience.  Observing a garden at each of the four seasons will offer a dramatic example of change.  However, looking deeper at the garden on a daily basis, perhaps several times a day, truly paying attention to even the minutia of the garden and how it transitions, will provide tremendous insight.  To those of us who feel uncomfortable with change it offers valuable grounding. It is not only a garden that may provide the benefit of insight gained through observation. Your yoga mat, a local park, woods, a tree outside on the street or even houseplants allow for the absorption of grounding energy.  Just as we connect with the earth when we come onto our yoga mat, we can find that connection by placing our hands in or on the earth, kneeling, squatting or standing (preferably barefoot) on the grass or bare earth.   Such actions allow the element of earth to be transferred into our energetic systems to counterbalance the air element which is prevalent during fall-like conditions.  Placing your hands on a tree, and even hugging it if you so desire, will give you access to the depths of its root system, bringing you “back down to earth” once more. As we move deeper into fall, the Vata Dosha (air or ether element) becomes increasingly apparent. The imparting of this grounding energy becomes more important in order to keep ourselves healthy and more readily equipped to handle changes, big or small.  Observing Vata at play in the garden or in nature bestows copious opportunity for self-study and reflection, as it is responsible for movement and the breaking down of many of the plants and the shedding of the leaves.  First watching the vibrant fall colours, indicating the recent peak of their summer (or above ground) growth, then the shedding of all that will no longer serve them as they turn their attention to their roots and growing beneath the surface for fall/winter.  Watching the plants as they return to the ground, saving resources to come up anew in the Spring and often with greater growth is a reflection of our own yoga practice. As we are intricately connected with the cycles of nature, observing and respecting what is taking place around us means that we are better able to honour our natural state of balance by flowing with nature rather than against it. “Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness.” (Fritjov Capra) [post_title] => A Garden of Knowledge [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => a-garden-of-knowledge [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-29 09:38:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-29 16:38:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.reddooryoga.ca/?p=1820 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 335 [post_author] => 28 [post_date] => 2016-07-13 21:44:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-14 04:44:31 [post_content] =>
Headaches are the most common health complaint. Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point during his or her life. A headache is a pain sensed by the nerves and muscles along the head and neck area, as well as the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This pain is usually characterized as continuous pain in various parts of the head. The brain itself cannot sense pain, so headaches actually have nothing to do with the brain hurting. There are three major types of headaches: tension, inflammation and vascular headaches.
 
TYPES AND CAUSES OF HEADACHES
Tension headaches are usually caused by the tensing and tightening of facial or neck muscles. This type of headache accounts for 90 percent of all headaches and affects people at any age, from children to adults. Pain from a tension headache usually feels like a tight band or vice squeezing the head. The pain is usually dull and covers most of the head. There are many causes of tension headaches, but the most common are physical stress, emotional stress, bad posture, eyestrain, head injury and caffeine.
Inflammation headaches are caused by sinus infections, allergies, meningitis, stroke or other medical conditions. It is also characterized by a dull pain all over head. This type of headache is also a common side effect of many prescribed medications.
Vascular headaches are caused by disturbances in blood flow to the brain. Blood vessels in the head can dilate or contract, causing increased or decreased blood flow to the brain. The two most common types of vascular headaches are migraines and cluster headaches.
Migraine sufferers typically have severe pain in one side of head and are accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances such as flashing lights, auras, blurriness and sometimes a fever. Many migraine sufferers are also sensitive to light. The most common triggers of migraines are perfume, alcohol, eye strain, food allergies, seasonal allergies, menstruation, weather, stress, depression, sugar and sugar alternatives, cigarette smoke and improper sleep.
Cluster headaches occur repeatedly over a period of days, weeks or even months. They usually occur on one side of the head and centered near the eyes. The cause of this type of headache is unknown but experts suspect it’s related to blood flow.  
COMMON TREATMENTS FOR HEADACHES The most common treatment for headaches is over-the-counter pain medications. People who suffer from migraine, cluster or chronic headaches will most likely be prescribed medication for better pain control.
  NATURAL TREATMENTS AND PREVENTATIVES
Some natural headache treatments include changing your diet, acupuncture and massage therapy. Food allergies are a common trigger for headaches. There are many foods known to trigger headaches, such as gluten, refined sugar, artificial sugar, soy and dairy. Just changing your everyday diet can decrease the frequency and intensity of headaches.  
YOGA Yoga postures and breathing techniques are also very useful tools that can be used to prevent and treat headaches. The posture sequence below encourages body alignment while releasing tension in the spine, shoulders, neck and upper back. This sequence should take roughly 30 to 45 minutes. Take the time to allow your body to relax in each posture before moving to the next.
  YOGA SEQUENCE TO RELIEVE AND PREVENT HEADACHES Easy Pose Neck Rolls Cat and Cow Downward Dog Standing Forward Bend Standing Wide Leg Forward Bend Seated Head to Knee (Left and Right) Seated Forward Bend Shoulder Stand (Legs Up Wall) Fish Head Stand Child's Pose Seated Eagle Bound Angle Spinal Twist Upward Dog Bridge Spinal Twist – Laying Down Corpse
Your breath should be calm and slow during the entire sequence. If you find your breath speeding up in certain postures, stay in that posture until your breath slows again. Try to keep the three-part yogic breath in mind. Inhale to fill your belly, chest and throat then exhale throat, chest and belly.
[post_title] => Healing Headaches with Yoga & Food [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => healing-headaches-with-yoga-and-food [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-29 10:07:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-29 17:07:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://reddooryoga.wpengine.com/?p=335 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 223 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-07-08 15:46:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-08 22:46:12 [post_content] => In yogic philosophy the ego is referred to as the Ahamkara. Ahamkara translates directly as “I”-ness. It is the sense of separateness or individuality that we tend towards once we begin the process of taking physical form. As pervasive as this “I”-ness is, however, it is not real, and it blocks us from experiencing our true nature as consciousness (Purusha). According to yogic philosophy, Purusha is the universal energy that is also called God, or “Brahman”. This energy flows within me, and is the same as the energy within you, within the tree, the dog, the earth. It is the energy called “Chi”, “Prana”, “The Force”. It is everywhere and in everything. The entirety of the yogic path is focused upon transcending the illusion of this Ahamkara, and moving into the experience of Purusha; that which we truly are. This journey is called moving towards enlightenment – a journey towards the discovery of our own God nature. But because of the pervasiveness of this Ahamkara in our journey towards oneness, the illusion of separateness and therefore hierarchy easily occurs. There is a somewhat humorous story that my yogic father once related to me in order to illustrate the blinding and destructive nature of ego, and I now relate it to you. The Story: There was once a yogi who knew well the philosophies of yoga. But still he had a great ego. And as such, he walked around beating his chest exclaiming, “I am Brahman! I am Brahman!” for all to hear. One day, as the yogi walked out of a temple, there was a great commotion in the street. As it happened, an elephant, with its mahout (driver) atop, was stampeding along the street. The mahout had lost control of the elephant, and unable to stop it, was crying for everyone to get out of the way. People were fleeing in every direction, but the yogi stood his ground. “I am Brahman!” the yogi exclaimed. “Why should I get out of the way? Let the elephant go around me! I am Brahman!” The mahout continued to shout for the yogi to get out off the way, but he would not. And so the elephant trampled the yogi and continued stampeding on. A vagrant who had been nearby when this all happened walked over to the yogi, who now lay trampled in the middle of the street. Looking upon the yogi, the vagrant in his wisdom and deeper understanding of the yogic way said, “Yes, you are Brahman. But wasn’t the elephant also Brahman? And wasn’t the mahout also Brahman? Then why didn’t you listen to Brahman when He told you to get out of the way?” The story illustrates what yogic philosophy teaches: We must strive to see the divinity in all beings. There is no hierarchy; no one is of greater or lesser importance. What blinds us from this shared divinity and commonality is our pervasive sense of ego. To serve the ego, we separate ourselves from all others, and in the end, we suffer for it. [post_title] => I am Brahman ... and so are You [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => i-am-brahman-and-so-are-you [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-30 23:04:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-31 06:04:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://reddooryoga.wpengine.com/?p=223 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 270 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-07-07 22:34:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-08 05:34:09 [post_content] => In November 2015, the topic of Yoga and cultural appropriation in the West come into high consciousness in Yoga classes across Canada as news spread that free Yoga classes at the University of Ottawa were cancelled due to 'cultural issues'.  At the Red Door Yoga studio alone earnest discussions arose in Teacher-Training courses. Clipped articles were also left with notes from students asking for my thoughts, at times with their opinions  attached.  This question of Yoga and cultural appropriation in the West has been very disconcerting for some, particularly those who deeply value Yoga as a practice and a path, but are now unsure that they are welcomed to it. As a result of this rise in the collective 'media-conscious', I was asked recently by a teacher-in-training about my thoughts on "western culture appropriating yoga, which has deep religious and cultural roots in India." At this point, I thought it might be helpful for me to share my answer: When Yoga is taught with a thorough understanding and focus upon its philosophical purpose (enlightenment, or the experience of one's state of Union with all reality), there is no appropriation, no matter the culture from which you come. Appropriation takes place when one takes the name of yoga while teaching without this understanding and focus. An excellent example of appropriation can be seen in the recent “Rage Yoga” classes. This is a great example of appropriation because the cultivation in this practice is that of the practitioners’ egos ("Ahamkara" or sense of individuality/separated self). This practice moves directly against the yamas and the niyamas outlined in yoga philosophy (non-violence, moderation, self-surrender, contentment, etc.), thereby leading to a stirred-up mind, not to union. There appears to be little to no understanding of yoga philosophy in this practice.
It should be understood therefore that appropriation of Yoga can occur not only in the West, but in the East as well. This is part of the reason that I teach as much Yoga philosophy as I do in the Red Door Yoga Teacher Training program and in my classes.  It matters not that I am of East Indian descent or that I come from a lineage of traditionally practicing yogis, it matters only that when I practice and teach this path, I do it from a place that is deeply and consistently rooted in Yoga philosophy.
[post_title] => The Cultural Appropriation of Yoga [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-cultural-appropriation-of-yoga [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-10-29 10:14:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-10-29 17:14:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://reddooryoga.wpengine.com/?p=270 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3368 [post_author] => 85 [post_date] => 2017-05-16 07:30:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-16 14:30:29 [post_content] => Throughout my life's journey I have read several books on Yogic Philosophy that talk about uncovering the True Self. Truthfully, this has always seemed a somewhat nebulous concept to me. I have been a student of Yogic Philosophy and a practicing Yogi for seven years now and was beginning to get bewildered by what I considered to be unconscious barriers blocking me from connecting with my ‘True Self.’ No matter how hard I tried to get in touch with my ‘True Self’ through meditation, the more elusive it would seem. I would often find myself feeling frustrated, thinking that I was failing in my practice. Through a recent flash of insight, I came to see that ‘True Self’ is closely related to what psychologists refer to as ‘authenticity,’ which is defined as 'the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit or character despite external pressures'. Personally, I feel that it means living with respect for our intuition, rather than for our intellect alone. It means listening to the 'inner voice' which speaks the truth. Staying connected to my True Self, no matter how that is conceived, has always been a challenge for me, as I have always prized intellectual pursuits and prided myself on being a well-read student of various disciplines. But I've come to realize that spending too much time in the intellectual domain can create imbalance and become a breeding ground for the ego's controlling tendencies. Imbalance and ego-dominance can manifest in a variety of ways often leading to suffering, as we move further away from the vulnerable state required to connect with our true selves and our authentic voices. This intuitive insight came to me after a meditation session and I had uncovered my answer. The root cause of the struggle, which was blocking me from moving deeper into my practice, was related to control. Understanding this, I began using meditation and extended Savasanas as a means of addressing the issue. Consequently, Savasana holds a much deeper meaning for me now. Instead of simply being a relaxation pose, it has come to represent 'conscious surrender', which previously was not even a phrase that I had in my vocabulary. The quote by Bronnie Ware from her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying became somewhat of a mantra to me. It goes like this: "Surrender is not giving up and it takes an enormous amount of courage. Often we are only capable of doing so when the pain of trying to control the outcome becomes too much to bear".  Our egos want so much to be in control of situations, people and especially outcomes. But this hyper-focus on control blocks us from staying present, vulnerable and connected to ourselves, which is essential for creating the life we all want - a balanced life with purpose, healthy relationships and joyful self-expression. A wise person in my life once told me that 'You can direct your life, but you can't completely control it." I have just recently come to appreciate the meaning of those words. So how do we let go of this strong desire to control and micromanage our lives? How do we remain vulnerable and connected to our True Selves? Perhaps the first step is to cultivate the awareness that there is a ‘True Self’ behind the veil of control or other impediment. Once we realize this, we can begin to work with loving compassion and gently tame that tiger, creating space and safety for a more authentic life aligned with our True Self. Namaste. 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DIGITAL PRACTICE - The Yogic Way® Magazine

The Yogic Way

Living Authentically: Taming the Tiger of Control

By Janine Daniluck Posted May 16, 2017

Throughout my life's journey I have read several books on Yogic Philosophy that talk about uncovering the True Self. Truthfully, this has always seemed a somewhat nebulous concept to me. I have been a student of Yogic Philosophy and a practicing Yogi for seven years now and was beginning to get bewildered by what I considered to be unconscious barriers blocking me from connecting with my ‘True Self.’ No matter how hard I tried to get in touch with my ‘True Self’ through meditation, the more elusive it would seem. I would often find myself feeling frustrated, thinking that I was failing in my practice. Through a recent flash of insight, I came to see that ‘True Self’ is closely related to what psychologists refer to as ‘authenticity,’ which is defined as 'the degree to which one is true to one's own personality, spirit or character despite external pressures'. Personally, I feel that it means living with respect for our intuition, rather than for our intellect alone. It means listening to …

Some Thoughts on Suffering

By Roberta Carr Posted March 9, 2017

“The causes of suffering are not seeing things as they are, the sense of "I", attachment, aversion and clinging to life.” – the Yoga Sutras Understanding the causes of suffering offers us a pathway to peace. Awareness, acceptance and letting go of attachments and aversions are the important stepping stones on this pathway. In my own understanding of yoga philosophy, life gives you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. It is perhaps the very reason that we are here. With this as the basis for our existence, consider then for a moment, that any given situation or experience is not the cause of our personal suffering.  Rather, every experience is in itself neutral and it is only our attachment or aversion to the experience that causes suffering. Staying attached to a belief or perspective is what keeps a person from a state of "peace" or non-suffering - not the particular experience or situation that we have convinced ourselves is at fault. We then …

Dry Sesame Chutney

By Kelli Etheridge Posted February 5, 2017

This quick chutney can easily be stirred into rice or yogurt for instant flavour. (more…)

Lessons from Daisy: The Senior Edition (Part 2)

By Kim Graham Posted January 10, 2017

7 (human) years ago, in the 2009 Oct-Dec issue of YWM I wrote an article about the lessons my ‘SPCA special’ Great-Dane-Shepherd-Lab-everything-else crossbreed and faithful sidekick Daisy, had taught me about life. As you can imagine, a few things have changed since penning (typing?) that article. For example, both of Daisy’s ears now stand perfectly erect with only the slightest hint of the puppy-flop that used to affect the left side. Her sleek black coat isn’t as rich as it once was (neither is mine), and her once break-neck greyhound-like speed is now more Basset Hound (stops to smell more than she runs) than anything. Yet many of the yogic lessons she taught me then are true today. However, with age comes wisdom and change, and as such, some of the things she has taught me have taken on new meaning. To read the original article click here. Do Down Dog and do it often! Daisy’s Down-dog, albeit not as deep as it once was, is still pretty darned perfect and I’d argue, is still …

Lessons from Daisy (Part 1)

By Kim Graham Posted December 14, 2016

Daisy came into my life as a pup four years ago from the SPCA, three weeks after losing my mixed-breed chow-chow to cancer. I had not planned on getting a puppy, but as we all know, things rarely work out how we first envision them to. Over the past four years we have been on many crazy adventures together. And Daisy, like any good teacher, never ceases to amaze, motivate, and challenge me. Even though I am sometimes a bit of a slow learner, Daisy is more patient with me than I tend to be with her, and this perhaps is her greatest lesson of all to me. Many of the things I try to teach my students about Yoga beyond the poses, I see so easily taught by my Guru Daisy. If you’ve read the article “The Irreverent Yogi” in the January to March, 2009 issue of The Yogic Way® Magazine, you will already know that Daisy performs Down-Dog better than any ‘human’ student I have. And that even though my students turn to me for direction and answers, I freely admit that I too am a student, learning …

Trusting Oneself and Finding Courage in Opportunity

By Cindy Reheis Posted November 21, 2016

It seems that when one is presented with an opportunity, it is often met with resistance. A dozen reasons may immediately volunteer themselves as to why one couldn’t or shouldn’t undertake the task. Okay, let me rephrase and ‘own’ that observation. Why is it that when I am presented with an opportunity, I often balk at it before I even try? The specific situation I am referring to is having been presented with the opportunity to write an article for The Yogic Way Magazine. I had felt that there must be some mistake, even though the heading of the email was “this email is specifically meant for you, so please read”. Then when I accepted that it wasn’t a mistake, that the email really was sent to me and on purpose, came “OMG, no, there is no way, no possible way I can do that.” It was as if the email speed dialled my ego, which was set on protecting myself from being ‘found out’ regarding the following: I am not a writer. I don’t know how to write an article. It will …

A Garden of Knowledge

By Naomi Chester Posted October 24, 2016

Here on the west coast of Canada, most people would probably agree that much of this summer felt like fall.  Constantly changing weather led many to feel ungrounded, anxious and just “a little off.”  We generally accept that our lives are constantly changing and yet many of us still get uncomfortable with the uncertainty that brings.  Check in with your body. Do you feel relaxed or tense when you read the word “change”? When I was a child, my grandmother would say to me, “Everything you need to know, you will learn by watching the garden.” Of course, at the time, I just thought she was a wonderful, crazy lady with an obsession for plants. I didn't know what she meant.  It is only in recent years having discovered my passions for both yoga and gardening that it did start to make sense. The garden is essentially a yoga mat.  Every single time we step into a garden or onto our mats, it is a new and different experience.  Observing a garden at each of the four seasons will offer a …

Healing Headaches with Yoga & Food

By Teresa Splinter Posted July 13, 2016

Headaches are the most common health complaint. Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point during his or her life. A headache is a pain sensed by the nerves and muscles along the head and neck area, as well as the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This pain is usually characterized as continuous pain in various parts of the head. The brain itself cannot sense pain, so headaches actually have nothing to do with the brain hurting. There are three major types of headaches: tension, inflammation and vascular headaches.   TYPES AND CAUSES OF HEADACHES Tension headaches are usually caused by the tensing and tightening of facial or neck muscles. This type of headache accounts for 90 percent of all headaches and affects people at any age, from children to adults. Pain from a tension headache usually feels like a tight band or vice squeezing the head. The pain is usually dull and covers most of the head. There are many causes of …

I am Brahman … and so are You

By Kavita Maharaj Posted July 8, 2016

In yogic philosophy the ego is referred to as the Ahamkara. Ahamkara translates directly as “I”-ness. It is the sense of separateness or individuality that we tend towards once we begin the process of taking physical form. As pervasive as this “I”-ness is, however, it is not real, and it blocks us from experiencing our true nature as consciousness (Purusha). According to yogic philosophy, Purusha is the universal energy that is also called God, or “Brahman”. This energy flows within me, and is the same as the energy within you, within the tree, the dog, the earth. It is the energy called “Chi”, “Prana”, “The Force”. It is everywhere and in everything. The entirety of the yogic path is focused upon transcending the illusion of this Ahamkara, and moving into the experience of Purusha; that which we truly are. This journey is called moving towards enlightenment – a journey towards the discovery of our own God nature. But because of the pervasiveness of this Ahamkara in our …

The Cultural Appropriation of Yoga

By Kavita Maharaj Posted July 7, 2016

In November 2015, the topic of Yoga and cultural appropriation in the West come into high consciousness in Yoga classes across Canada as news spread that free Yoga classes at the University of Ottawa were cancelled due to 'cultural issues'.  At the Red Door Yoga studio alone earnest discussions arose in Teacher-Training courses. Clipped articles were also left with notes from students asking for my thoughts, at times with their opinions  attached.  This question of Yoga and cultural appropriation in the West has been very disconcerting for some, particularly those who deeply value Yoga as a practice and a path, but are now unsure that they are welcomed to it. As a result of this rise in the collective 'media-conscious', I was asked recently by a teacher-in-training about my thoughts on "western culture appropriating yoga, which has deep religious and cultural roots in India." At this point, I thought it might be helpful for me to share my answer: When Yoga is taught with a thorough …