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Yoga with Roxoliana

Victoria BC

Creating Space

We exhale the breath inside of us so that we can inhale deeply.

We let go of activities from our daily lives to pursue new interests.

We release discontent from our minds to create space for peace inside.

We pull up weeds crowding gardens so that vegetables, fruits, and flowers will thrive.

We soften the grip of anger and resentment to allow love to fill our hearts instead.

We exhale the breath inside of us so that we can inhale deeply.

Letting Go

I used to think that I was a little obsessed with making lists of things I needed to do. I still make lists, but now I am beginning to think that they are actually a way of letting things go. When I write something down it no longer spins around in my head. It no longer occupies precious space in my mind nor does it eat up valuable mental energy. When I remember today something that I will need to do five days from now, I write it down, and we leave each other alone until those five days have passed. Everything still gets done in a timely manner. In addition to this benefit, my mind feels less cluttered, less anxious, and more prepared to meet this particular day and everything it offers. When we let go of things that are unnecessary to hold onto right now, there is space to receive the new experiences, the new thoughts, the new moments of each day.

Ending is Beginning

I walked by this patch of earth the other day, a living, thriving, corner encased by roads and stones. I love the simplicity of this image; these are just flowers coming up to meet the relative warmth of early spring.

On the other hand, the teaching of these flowers is profound. They show us the cycle of life; decomposition and dissolution nourishing life and new growth. Death and birth, birth and death, they need each other to survive.

These flowers remind us that letting certain things go, allowing them to dissolve into the background of our lives, creates the space and the nourishment for new paths to unfold. What does spring hold for you this year?


Yoga can be a rather solitary practice, both as a student and as a teacher. We all practice for different reasons and in different ways, and for more or less time throughout our lives. Even when we practice in a group environment, it is a very personal experience. I was reminded today that even when it feels like we are moving alone along the paths of our practice and the unfolding paths of our lives, there are always others moving with us. They might be right there beside us so that we can chat and explore together the road that we share. They might be walking beside us, but us both in silence, so that we feel very much connected yet very much on our own. They might have walked this stretch of path some time ago, and left us tools to help us on our way today. It is comforting to remember that we will always have travelling companions, even if they don’t know that we know they are there. Thank-you to all my travelling companions on this winding road of yoga! I hope to follow many more curves on this road with you.


The View from My Window

Every morning that I step onto my yoga mat I have the opportunity to look out this window. The window itself is always the same, and I am standing in nearly the exact same place as yesterday. What I see though, is constantly changing. Perhaps at first glance it appears the same as yesterday, but even one extra moment’s observation confirms that something is different. This is a reminder to continue observing the world, to continue looking at things with fresh eyes, to continue learning about them. It is a reminder that I never truly know what is out there. It is a reminder of this quote from Krishnamurti in The First and Last Freedom:

It needs an extraordinarily astute mind, and extraordinarily pliable heart, to be aware of and to follow what is; because what is is constantly moving, constantly undergoing a transformation, and if the mind is tethered to belief, to knowledge, it ceases to pursue, it ceases to follow the swift movement of what is.

When we think we know what it is that we see it becomes easy to assume, to jump to conclusions, and to destroy the truth of what is actually there in front of us. Everyone and everything deserves his or her or its truth to be seen, and that truth is constantly changing.

Be Here Now

When we practice yoga on our mats we talk about being with this particular breath, with this posture, with this sensation in our bodies. The opposite of this would be anticipating the next breath, worrying about the upcoming posture, or hoping for a release from the sensations our body feels right now. How does this translate into a larger frame, off our mats and throughout our days? How do we fill our particular place and time on this incredible planet with our aliveness and our enjoyment? How do we stay with this day in this season in this town or city or wilderness? For me, right now, this means enjoying a day off from work, riding a snowboard down a soft mountainside, breathing in crisp cold air, sipping a hot coffee, and sitting by a warm fire. This is being here and now for me today, and I am very grateful for this.

Opposites Meet

Yoga is the space where opposites meet…inhale and exhale, holding and letting go, offering and receiving. It is the time when we practice harmonizing opposites…integration and expansion, steadiness and ease, focus and release.

Seasonal Cycles

I’ve always found it difficult to pinpoint my favourite season, and I think it is because I appreciate the seasonal cycle itself more than any particular one. I feel lucky to live in a place where spring is moist and full of blossoms, summer is hot and sunny, and fall is crisp and clear. Winter here blankets the earth in snow, keeping it cozy and letting it rest until spring. We have so much to learn from these seasonal cycles when we pause for a moment to observe them. Winter teaches us the importance of rest, of not doing and not growing, of restoring our life energy for the coming spring. This is savasan at the end of your active practice on the mat. It appears to the eyes as though nothing is happening, but in truth there is so much invisible magic occurring beneath the surface of your resting body. It is an advanced practice indeed to learn the importance of rest and quiet and not doing.

Taking Care

Why is taking care of ourselves often so much more difficult than taking care of our children, our house plants, our pets, or our clients? Why do we so often put ourselves at the bottom of the list of people, things, and tasks that require our care and attention? How can we practice offering and receiving this internal kind of care both on and off our mats? Why is this important?

Safe Places

We all need places where we can hide away and restore ourselves to our natural equilibrium when events become overwhelming. The cat loves this little hut as a quiet and dark place to hide away from us humans and the commotion of our lives. Simple shapes like standing, sitting, lying down, or kneeling with the belly resting on the legs allow us to reintegrate body, breath, mind, and heart before returning to the flow of a challenging practice on our mats. Off our mats the options are rather extensive depending on where we live and what suits us! We can leave town on camping trips, sit in quiet sunny corners of the house, allow moments on park benches, walk on wide swaths of empty beach…where do you go and how do you restore your natural state of steadiness and ease?

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