Wild Hearts Blog

Koundinyasana is one of those postures that aims to inspire. It’s name ‘Koundinya’ is derived from a wise sage that lived in ancient times. The word ‘asana’ denotes posture. Sometimes this posture is revolved, using the term ‘parivritta’. It’s an arm balance, where the upper body is in ‘chaturanga’ a half push up, and the weight transfers forward, primarily onto one arm while the legs scissor in the air. Depending on the variation, one must either focus on hip openers or deep twists as a way to safely enter and exit this posture. Both versions require arm strength, hamstring opening, shoulder and side-body stretching. Although this pose looks tough, it is quite delicate in nature - it is the ultimate balance between effort and g...

“Stop calling! I have laryngitis!” The lady across the street exclaimed loudly in an irritated and strained raspy voice. On the other side of the street was me, super nervous to be out in public afraid someone would force me to speak or be offended that I couldn’t answer back in words, well except for soft whispers. At best I sounded like a muffled cartoon squirrel. I too had laryngitis - day 3, hopeful that if I took all the right remedies, abstained from even whispering (as that tends to aggravate the vocal chords even more) then all would be well in time.

And boy did I have a lot of time - as a yoga instructor, it is not just the functionality of my body that must be in tact. No, I have clearly learned that the voice is the nu...

One of the most pertinent decisions I made over the winter and into spring, is to cut away the clutter - not just the physical clutter of objects, but particularly how I spend my time. If I am feeling low energy, I will put a nap or an early sleep above a social gathering, or high energy activity. Time is such a commodity and how we use it has a ripple effect over our week. Last month, I officially renounced Netflix as it was keeping me awake longer than was healthy for me to get the rest that I needed. I miss the accessibility of having every movie or show at my fingertips, but I certainly don’t miss the compulsion to stare at a bright screen or the wasted hours. Instead, I’ve replaced those precious moments before sleep with r...

Nature provides us with the ultimate medicine. Clean air. Without it, our lungs wouldn’t last long. The soil, rocks and the roots of the trees we stand support on our hands and feet. We can reach high for sustenance from plants baring fruit, and other times we drop to our knees in reverence for the moist mud that sows our vegetables.

Many of us have grown up in cities, where the ground is covered by cement, where the trees are replaced by tall buildings; the budding flowers that would normally grow wild are pulled up and replaced with patches of barren grass, uniform and sterile. All of these shifts tend to make us forget where we come from.

Until a clue of what we are made of reminds us again: A glint of colour pops up through th...

Our all time favourite pose as we melt into the autumn months is Ardha Kaptosana. In sanskrit, ‘ardha’ means half, ’kapota’ means pigeon and ‘asana’ translates as pose. In ancient Hindu mythology Kapota was a master yogi whose vitality, agility and strength could not be surpassed. He was the graceful son of Garuda, the triumphant bird-god and vehicle of Lord Vishnu. It is said that by practicing this posture, the qualities of Kapota can be harnessed from within. Half-Pigeon Pose is quite a marvellous hip opener. The front bent leg increases the external hip rotation, stretches the outer hip, glute and piriformis while the extended back leg stretches the psoas and quad muscle. The upper body then melts over that front bent leg, l...

As we ease out of the indulgent holiday season and enter a new chapter of balance and sustainability, a cleansing twist makes for a perfect segue towards mind and body health. Symbolically, twists are considered a balance between yin and yang, between light and dark, between the conscious and the subconscious as the front body and the back body reverse order.

Ardha Matsyendrasa fits that mold for us. In Sanskrit, ardha denotes as ‘half’, matsya ‘fish’, indra ‘king’ and asana ‘pose’. Together the pose translates as Half Lord of the Fish. This posture is titled after a true sage, Matsyendra, that lived during the 10th century c.e. He was not only a pioneer of Hatha Yoga - he was also referenced in mythological hindu texts as an enl...

The story behind the pose Hanumanasana is a story of courage and devotion. In Hindu mythology, Hanuman is the fearless monkey god. Hanuman was born half human and half god. Because of his naughty nature as a little boy, he was transformed into a monkey and made to forget his divine nature so that he wouldn’t cause trouble in any of the realms. As he grew up he became best friends with King Rama, who he loved whole-heartedly. One day, King Rama’s beautiful wife Sita was kidnapped by the evil demon Ravana who took her to a new continent across the water far away. Rama had to stay and fight a war so he sent Hanuman to save Sita.

Hanuman may not remember his divinity but his undying faith and love for Rama gave him the courage and st...

There are a 1,001 reasons, maybe more. As I spend a winter weekend away in nature on Bowen island this month, I remember why it is that I love to host retreats. It is an opportunity to take others into beautiful surroundings, to encourage and help build new healthy habits; eating well, self-care methods, to restore balance, yoga elementals, encounter peace, and absorb nature as medicine.

In this wild and woodsy cabin, I am over-come with a sense of peace. My purpose is restored because I have time to nourish myself, to enjoy the stillness and time for reflection, to eat good food that I’ve prepared lovingly for my family and I. With the help of many hands, we create a feast each night. We get to take walks to ponds, lakes, stream...

Salamba Shirshasana stands for supported headstand in Sanskrit. ‘Salamba’ denotes supported, ‘shirsha’ for head, and ‘asana’ for posture. Headstand is revered as the king of all postures. In yoga mythology it is said that by inverting into this perfectly vertical shape, the yogi will live longer. It is also believed that the nectar of immortality already exists within us and by reversing the blood flow we are cycling the energy back into our bodies rather than leaking this precious elixir. Aside from this metaphor, this posture does in fact have a myriad of benefits which might be why the ancient yogis praised it so much. By standing on the crown of the head with the hands cupped around the back of the head and the feet extended...

As I sit in meditation, I remember a conversation with a friend I had earlier in the summer. She shared a quote with me by Ralph Waldo Emerson that has been ringing true in my ears for months. It is this, that "the love you withhold, is the pain that you carry."

Recently I've been putting this mantra to work and applying it in my daily life. How does this idea coincide with my relationships; towards friends, family, strangers - and of course, the self.

I find that, the more closed I become, the less integral I feel. I recognize more so now that love acts as a source of energy, and that the more beauty and love we choose to see in this world, the more of it there is.

It's easy to live in a scarcity mentality because feeling love m...

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