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Connection: What does it mean to you?

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The impact of connection with yourself and others can be the difference between a happy, joyous life filled with love, and people who support and nurture you, or a sad, angry and resentful existence full of loneliness and wondering why.

For many years I lived a life without connection. I thought I was happy and joyful because things were going well for me. I had a great relationship, we travelled, we were great friends, we lived very comfortably, we laughed, we played, we had a great time together. I had a job I enjoyed, close to home, doing things I liked doing (I still have this job today and am working on ways to show up differently to make it even better). I was active in sports, running, doing triathlon, hitting the gym (again, still do these things daily, they make me feel alive). Through all of this, I felt alone. I never felt like I truly had friends of my own or connected to the people in my life. I had my sisters and family and a few close friends, but there was always something in the way. In fact, all of my relationships had something in the way. I didn’t understand. I could make friends easily and have a great time, but I never felt like I was connecting with them, or that I could hang onto these relationships  forever.

Through a separation, transformational work, 40 Days, and Your Life Design, I discovered what was missing in my life, what I felt was important to me, what I needed to have a happy, joyous and loving life. That was connection with myself and others. Turns out, I was afraid to let people in, to see me for who I really am. To ask for help when I needed it. I would give people a glimpse from time to time, but I would never truly let them in. This included my ex-boyfriend, my family, my friends and colleagues.

SunflowerWhen I learned how to let go of my resentments, and to love and accept myself for who I am, I started noticing a huge change in my life. I started feeling lighter, happier, peaceful and positive, more accepting of myself and the things in my life (especially burdens I created). I started asking my friends, family and colleagues for help, and the most amazing thing happened, they were all there for me. They all listened to me, made time for me, helped me through what I was going through. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed with this experience. It truly touched my heart and my life. I started coming out of my dark state. I started seeing a fuller social calendar. I started seeing easier times at work and with my family.

The conversation that had the most impact on my life was when my half-sister told me that she felt my connection with her for the first time in her life. That every time we’ve been together, we have both wanted to have a relationship/connection, so very badly, but something was always in the way. She told me that it was gone. I was so touched and happy by this statement and her vulnerability to share her true feelings with me. I will forever be grateful for her honesty. I soon started hearing very similar comments from other friends, and acquaintances. The love and connection I now feel for myself, my life, and my family, friends, PYC and colleagues, is incredible. Each day I learn something new, drop an old fear, let something go, live a rewarding life. I don’t know what my full purpose is on this journey yet, but I feel the picture will be revealed to me soon. I know my story is not true and I trust the universe to take me where I need to go. I am following my heart, not my brain. I am so excited to embrace my journey with love and open arms, because the changes I have chosen to create in my life, have exposed a vulnerability, and a side of me I saw, but didn’t know how to express. Never ever be afraid to be you, show your vulnerability or connect with the people in your life. The impact is life changing.

– Kyla Werrett

What are you so scared of?

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I’ve found that I ask myself this question more times than I’d like to admit. Everyone has their own past, their own experiences and their own things that we try to avoid because we are scared. Have you ever taken the time to ask yourself what it is that you are scared of? And taking it one level further, is it actually worth your time and energy to be scared? Is <insert your fear here> (mine being getting hurt, maintaining control to avoid any bad things happening to me) actually real?

Is it possible or plausible?

Is there any evidence to support my feelings?

If you’ve ever suffered from anxiety or depression, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The downward spiral can begin so quickly, and can escalate out of control even quicker.

When I was in my early 20’s, I went through a horrible ordeal with an ex boyfriend. There was a ton of abuse involved, and it’s definitely a fear that I now carry with me in some form or another. (My mom told me last night, after going through a rough patch with my current partner, that it almost seems like I’m self sabotaging.) It’ll vary for everyone who has been through this kind of situation, but mine manifested in a crazy elaborate imagination. In 30 seconds or less, I can think of a terrible situation that could happen, whether it be to my family, my friends, or to myself. Within those 30 seconds, I change from the bubbly, happy person that I am, into a withdrawn, emotional wreck. I could break up with my boyfriend, quit my job, and move to another province or country if the resources were available to me. And what I fail to do every time I feel this way is ask myself “Is this real? Is this possible that any of these things could happen?”

What are your tools to fight off these feelings? Mine include yoga, both the physical practice and the mental practice; a close support network, where no one will look at me like I’m crazy; your family, friends, community… etc.

Sadly, we don’t have an on and off switch for our feelings,  but we do have the tools to de-code and decipher and help us work through the anxieties. Know that you are never alone, know that the person or group you chose to confide in can help see the reality, and help bring you back to it.

– Liz Bauer

All That I Can, I Will

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A couple of weeks ago a great friend of mine left the company that I work for. Her and I had formed a bond beyond the normal superficial relationships you develop in the corporate world. We did have a ton in common (come from small town backgrounds, we are both divorced, we like to travel) what drove our bond was that we each realized that despite our work achievements, neither of us was really happy or satisfied in life. This lead both of us to pursuing other means of seeking what we were looking for.

When she left, she gave me a card with a French Proverb on it. It said “All that I can, I will.” She really felt that this was a saying that resonated with her, and specifically felt that it was something that suited me, as if it was a gentle nudge saying “Kevin, listen to this”. At the time, I kind of got it, but to be honest, it did not resonate for me. After what happened to me today, I get it now.

As always, whenever I get going on these posts, I have to give a lot of context, so here goes …

Earlier this year I had the most profound experience of my life: taking a Seva Safari with the Africa Yoga Project. A dedicated group of yogis, 10 of us from Toronto, came together and accomplished a major feat. We built a playground on the rooftop of the Kibera School for Girls in the middle of the largest slum in Kenya.

I came back from this experience with a new outlook on life. It was unlike anything I have ever felt in my life. And after 17 years at my company, I was finally convinced that I was going to quit my job and pursue a career as a corporate trainer. This was something in my heart that I knew was good at doing; but it was also, something that I liked doing very much.
Instead of quitting outright and pursuing this career, I decided to take a series of courses at Centennial College to obtain a certificate in teaching first. Towards the end of this course, I was asked to write a Learning Journal, reflecting on what I learned and how I was going to apply it to my teaching. After seriously reflecting on this, I realized that I did not want to teach full time. I realized that I really wanted to do it part-time. The reason for this was that I really liked blending teaching theory with real life practice and vice versa. I wanted to do both.

This was a shock to me, because that was not the answer I expected to get when I started these courses. I fully expected to start teaching full time at some point in the future. In reality though, I got what I really wanted out of this experience: clarity.

Back at work, last week, I went to Bolivar, Missouri to visit a team of people working for me. If this place sounds like it is hick and rural to you, in reality it is even more so. There are more churches in the town than fast food places, the town is basically dry, at the Peach Tree diner there was a man over 60 wearing a long sleeve shirt and overalls, and on the drive in one day an old school red pickup truck was being driven by a man with a cowboy hat.

While I was there, it is safe to say that I veered way off my yoga practice. Also while I was there, and to a larger extent slowly but surely since I came back from Africa, I also veered way off many good habits I have worked hard to form: major lack of sleep, I effectively was free-basing diet coke, water disappeared from my diet, fast food and steak was the norm, and having a beer or two at dinner was standard practice.
I came back to Canada and my mind was spinning. I was reverting to all of the same poor thought patterns that had bothered me for so long. It occurred to me that these were tied, what you do to your body ends up in your head.

Because of this, last Friday I decided to recommit myself to those habits:
– I slept 12 hours that night, and I went to bed before 11 each day this week
– I hit my mat, doing two solid yoga practices that weekend
– My water bottle never left my side and I refilled it often
– I reduced my diet cola intake to one a day (as a treat)
– Protein shakes and vitamins came back in
– Solid meals with healthy snacks throughout the day became the norm
– I re-introduced short meditations sessions in the morning and the evening
– Each night before I went to bed I listed out the five things that brought me the most gratitude that day
– And I went all out dry, no booze
All of this really started to lift me back up. I started doing all that I can.

This past Tuesday night, I visited my therapist. This is a program I utilized that is offered to all employees at my company. I enlisted this program because I realized that there was no one single person who had the time, the training, and the level of detachment to listen to everything I was dealing with. Over the last couple of months I have had many sessions, Tuesday’s was the first one in the “weaning myself off” stage.

I started describing to her many of the things I stated above. Gaining clarity in my career direction, devolving down into a spiral due to bad habits, and then recommitting to the good habits.

I left the session in good spirits because the act of sharing opened me up to many insights.

During the session I described that earlier this week I had received an e-mail asking for people to teach a class in San Jose towards the end of August. With my new found clarity of career direction, I realized this fit perfectly, so I decided during that session that on Wednesday morning I would act on it. The key thing I did say then though was that if the spot was already taken because I had waited a couple of days, I would be fine with it. I was just going to do what I could do, and I was happy with that … all that I can, I will.

Come Wednesday morning, I send a note off saying that I would be interested in teaching this class, with no expectations.

Within 5 minutes, I received a reply. Unfortunately they had filled that class with an instructor already. They asked if I was available to teach in Chicago starting on holiday Monday. I politely declined the Chicago class, my work schedule would not allow me to do that, but I made it clear that if they needed me for any other classes to please keep me in mind.
At that point in time, I was completely content. I followed through on something I wanted to do. Nothing came of it, and I was ok with that. I did all I can.

I would not be writing this blog post if the story ended there.

An hour later, I am siting in a meeting, with my laptop (something I normally do not do). I get an e-mail. The assigned instructor cancelled on the class in San Jose. I was now assigned as the instructor. I sat in the meeting in shock. This is something that I wanted to do, something that I followed through on, and in reality I was not attached to the result; why, because I had done all that I can. Then it came to me: I was doing all of these great habits, I had attained career clarity, I was grateful for so many things in my life, then I did all I can. Of course, it was obvious that something great happened.

After this I started to reflect. I realized that for so long in my life, I have been doing as much as possible to get what I wanted, obsessing over it in some cases to the point of depression. And if you really wanted to see it, set your mat up next to me and you will see someone trying SO hard to get something, over-extending to the point of all out drama on the mat.

The majority of my life leading up to this, I was not doing all that I can, I was trying so hard to do so much more. I was pushing through pain to get what I needed. I was stretching myself too thin, on and off the mat, to achieve so much. I was not pursuing those things in life that I wanted, or if I was pursuing it I was doing it so hard that it was obviously over extension. I was doing everything possible to make it happen. And if I did not make it happen, I was beating myself up over the smallest missed thing (you know that person who gets 98% on a test and is pissed because they blew that 2%, ya, that’s me).

Little did I know, the words that I was meant to hear, were sitting on a card on my desk at work “All that I can, I will.”

It is so simple, yet it fits so well. My friend Karen, she knew something about me that I did not know. She knew the perfect thing to say to me, the perfect advice that I needed to hear, something that would fit my life. Then in one simple small situation I applied it. Turns out sometimes “all that I can” is just sending off a note and being happy with doing that, and now I will get a free trip to visit San Jose, with a small little summer vacation to see San Francisco.

At PYC, we often ask people “What are you up to?” It took me a bit to formulate my own answer to this. I now have an answer, even though it really is not a logical direct answer, you know what I do not care. What am I up to? I am up to “All that I can, I will.” (plus I am going to throw on a little extra something for good measure “… no more, no less.”)

-Kevin McDonald

From one of the worst days of my life…

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About one year ago I was entering into the summer of my dreams. I was registered to play in two hockey leagues, a soccer league and a basketball league. With some very light dry land training, I was sort of ready. My first event in this amazing summer was basketball. I found a league with a great group of guys and was ready for action. To prepare, I did my usual shoot around for a warm-up and waited for the whistle to start the game. About 30 mins into the game, I was running down the court and felt a sledge hammer hit my leg. At that exact moment, I also heard what sounded like a champagne bottle exploding. After about 10 seconds of trying to figure out what happened, I realize I had a complete rupture of my Achilles tendon. I considered this to be the worst new guy performance of all time.

So there I am at the hospital, wondering about surgery, recovery time, money lost, what my summer would look like, my leg strength and what I am going to do about work (I have an amazing job teaching Phys. Ed). Not once did I think that this moment would change my life, make me better, stronger and more physically fit.

One of my friends came to stay with me and my wife. He had some time off and wanted to come down to help. He lived with us for a month driving me to physiotherapy, to the gym and keeping my spirits high. When I got the soft cast removed, my wife had just joined Power Yoga Canada. She went to a class and came back radiating, excited and joyful. She kept telling me, “You should come. You should come! Everyone there is so amazing…”. 

Always wanting a new experience, I decided to give it a try. And this is where my transformation occurred, from the worst day of my life to one of the best decisions I have made.

I went in to yoga wanting to rehabilitate my leg, but what I did not expect was a rehabilitation of mind, body and soul. I have now been practicing for 6 months, once or twice a week. I have made a full recovery and am having more success at hockey than ever before (I don’t think basketball is in my near future). But more importantly is the gratitude I owe everyone at Power Yoga. It is so rare to be surrounded by so many wonderful and inspirational, instructors and people practicing.  The energy is so contagious. With the full support from everyone, we have taken a leap of faith and are now going to Kenya to build a school through the Africa Yoga Project.

One year ago it was all about my summer, and what was taken from me; remember, the worst day of my life. Today thanks to Power Yoga it is now the best time of my life. I am truly living. I have not left for Africa yet and still need to raise a lot of money, but I am already excited about how we can help by building the school and help the next group going. My wife and I are fundraising for AYP, meeting amazing people who are so helpful and loving the challenge. This experience so far has taught me several lessons. One is that there are amazing people in this world.  The other, is that changing the world is a next to an impossible task. But if you change your own world, then the world around you changes. 

– Jonathan Gardner

Block Party: July 8 from 1-5pm
AYP Website:
Jessica and Jonathan’s Fundraising Page:

Things that Make You Go Hmmm…

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We were stuck in a rut, living everyday like the movie Groundhog Day. If you haven’t seen the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray wakes up, eats, goes to work, works all day, comes home, eats, goes to bed and that repeats. That was what we were in a habit of doing. We have a great life but it had become very comfortable, maybe even a bit boring. We wanted more. We hungered to be inspired. Deepak Chopra defines the word inspired, as “in spirit”. We didn’t realize how removed we were becoming from our true nature. However, there were signs along the way. Oprah calls these whisper and C+C Music Factory refers to them as…”things that make you go hmmm”.

All year I taught my grade 7 students lessons about social justice, making a difference in the world, and how to be active in the community…hmm. We heard about the March 2012, Seva Safari service trip that a bunch of the PYC community were going on to build a playground…hmmm. We went to their slide show when they returned…hmmm. I went to Oprah’s Life Class tour and listened all day to the world’s best inspirational speakers tell me to find my purpose…hmmm. One day those whispers turned into a strong voice-Pauline’s! It was at the end of class and Pauline said, “We need three more people to go to Kenya to build a school. See me if you are interested.” Immediately I felt my breathe catch- I heard, “just go”, “DO IT!” It wasn’t my conscience; it was the row behind me which consisted of 5 of the people who had been in March. I don’t believe in coincidence. I went home and told my husband. He thought it was an amazing aspiration but an impossible reality to raise $10 000 in a month. I told him how Pauline’s words hit me squarely on the heart. He said that that happens so rarely in life, that once it does you have to listen. So here we are listening to our spirit and amazing things are happening in our life.

We have just started our journey to Africa and it began in our home. It started by stopping our common, comfortable, repetitive routine. Instead of watching TV, we spent our time working together to commit to raising money to support the wonderful work that AYP is doing. It is spreading to our community. My students were the first to hear of this idea and they immediately put into practise the lessons they learned throughout the year, wanting to be involved with helping to raise the money for kids like them half a world away. Now I see them using their skills and talents to encourage their peers to make a difference by doing what they can.

The tremendous support from PYC began our first yoga class after making the decision to be a part of the July Seva Safari. Jenn, Monica and Heather were cheering us on the very next day. Pino, Isabel and everyone in the 40 Days to Personal Revolution team echoed their support. Pauline, Kelly, and Denise are making the Africa Yoga Project Fundraiser Block Party not just a plan but a reality. People we haven’t seen in ages or don’t even know are offering their support. We are so much more connected to ourselves and because of that we are more connected to others. We feel such positive energy from everyone, we are lit up! We are inspired to shine this light brightly so that other people see the power they possess. This is the light that we will take with us on our journey to Africa.

– Jessica Gardner

Block Party: July 8 from 1-5pm
AYP Website:
Jessica and Jonathan’s Fundraising Page:

Grounding and Gratitude

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I have been driving from St. Catharines to PYC since the first day the studio opened in Clarkson Village.  There was something about the energy of PYC that kept bringing me in, driving an hour each way to a class that I knew would inspire me, and ground me and connect me into something powerful.  Let’s be clear, I made the time to do it, I worked part time as an office assistant, yoga instructor – teaching 10 yoga classes a week, mother of 2 kids, and a wife. It was a priority for me.  I didn’t quite understand it all at the time; I simply knew I loved to be there.

I started becoming a part of the community even more, I attended Baron Baptiste Teacher Training Level 1, Level 2, became a certified Baptiste Power Vinyasa Instructor and started participating in all practice teaching sessions, all trainings offered by PYC because I wanted to inspire my students, as Kinndli and Pauline had inspired me.  At times, I wondered, “What am I doing?” “What purpose was there to keep coming back to PYC and being a part of their community when I lived so far away?”  It wasn’t sustainable over the long run.  A conversation with Kinndli, telling me about why she opened her first studio – her needing to build the space that she craved from the Baptiste community right here in Canada, set off the light bulb moment (amazing how one conversation can do that).  It was time to step up out of my comfort zone!  I needed to bring this incredible studio and community home to St. Catharines. Create a place that inspires me to practice and create the community I loved so much, at home. Instead of waiting for someone else to bring it to me, I had to do it myself along with my partner Andrea. It was time to step up into something BIG, it was time to bring PYC to St. Catharines.

Pauline became my mentor.  I admire Pauline; she never once told me what to do.  She encouraged me to find my feet, get grounded, really get clear on what I wanted to build and create in my life, find my drishti gaze, my focus to where I was headed.  I can’t even begin to say how important that is. Throughout this whole experience, with all the ups and downs, that is the one thing that I needed the most.  To have my feet planted firmly on the ground, to know what I wanted to create and to keep stepping towards it.  Opening a studio is not easy, but when you know exactly what you want, where you are headed, it is simply a part of the path to where you are headed.  All of this is living yoga, not simply doing the physical practice, the asanas, but starting to live your life through yoga, grounding down-finding your feet in who you are, what you are up to in your life, using your drishti, your focus, to bring the practice to your life, not just the one hour on your mat.

Pauline and Kinndli – I am forever thankful to all that you do and the communities you have built, my life has changed so much because of you both.  I am honoured to be a new affiliate studio owner and to be your friend as you spread your love all across Canada!

I am moving forward with complete excitement about bringing PYC to St. Catharines with my amazing partner Andrea.  She has been right by my side for the entire journey!  I absolutely love the energy, the community, the practice, the space (lets face it, I could go on forever here), and so excited to be bringing it HOME!

Let’s Light it Up St. Catharines!  Are you with me???

-Darlene Berg

Celebrate Your Triumphs!

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Have you ever criticized yourself for not doing something perfectly? Perhaps you’ve become frustrated with those things you might not be or might not have (yet)? Or compared yourself, and your assumed ‘short fallings’, to the successes of others?

Now (and really think here), do you regularly take the time to sit down and acknowledge all of your triumphs? Really taken the time to celebrate what you do and who you are? From the smallest everyday moments, to the big breakthroughs, that YOU create for yourself?

Which shows up for you in your life? If ‘column A’ shows up for you more often than ‘column B’ things can change and you can do it by celebrating the triumphs as they come your way, one at a time!

Take the time to enjoy what you are up to everyday; some might call it ‘the ride’, ‘the journey’ and some might just call it ‘life’. This isn’t a race to the finish line so slow down, take the time to soak it all in and celebrate every single triumph in your life.

There are days when simply getting out of bed can be a triumph. Sometimes the triumphs can be found in smiling when you are feeling down, taking a breath when you want to scream , in the moments where you choose activity over being still, or even when you choose stillness over activity. You can truly find triumph in anything you do and it is a conscious choice.

For me, this 40 Day journey has been about celebrating my small meditation triumphs. So I never made it beyond the 15 minute mark and found it difficult to stay consistent day to day. SO WHAT! I congratulate myself now for the commitment I had to always give it another shot, to always go back to stillness. A series of triumphs!

Take the time to celebrate the triumphs in your life; the big and the small. You will tap in to joy that is unparalleled and powerful! Enjoy the ride!

Heather Coates

Listen Up! It May Be Your Body Speaking

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Last week was week #4 of the 40 Days to Personal Revolution and its focus was Restoration. I have to add that this is also the week where we are invited to take on a 3 day fruit cleanse. In the past I have always been game, and even excited, to take this on but was a little resistant this time around; I may have even muttered the words, ‘I’m not doing this’, once or twice;) But after a great fruit shop, and allowing myself the space to feel prepared, I felt more ready than ever!

And then it happened. Day 2. The day when I barely made it out of bed, to only return, when I realized that I was sick with what felt like the flu. After another five, count ‘em five, hours of morning sleep and I relocated to couch where I spent the duration of the day. I was still committed to the process of the fruit cleanse but I thanked the 40 Days Gods for including miso soup as part of the process. It got me through.

On this day I had no choice but to surrender. My body was sending me a message (loud and clear!) that it was time to give it a rest, slow down, switch off and RESTORE. And that I did…I even have the Homer Simpson dent in the couch to prove it!

I share this with you because I was inspired by the power of my body last week. Its power literally took me to my knees because it had been trying to send me a message and I wasn’t listening; I didn’t trust what it had to say. Someone once told me that the word power is defined as ‘the absence of force’. Recently, I’ll admit that I’ve been forcing my body and my mind to stay busy and last week was a clear reminder that I can step into MY true power, my health and my authenticity, by simply being still and breathing. I am ready to listen to what my body has to say, my life depends on it.

I ask YOU, are you always busy? Are you so busy that you are already on to the next moment? Do you live in the future, in the list of ‘to do’s’, and not in the present moment? When you do stop are you able to really stop, switch off and find restoration?

Believe me, it’s possible. Try it for five minutes in the morning and five in the evening. Simply sit in silence and listen to the sound of your own breath. Do this to honour your own body and to avoid being ‘taken out’ for an entire day like I was.

Trust and listen to your body because it will lead YOU to your most authentic, powerful, happy and healthy life!!

– Heather Coates

A Practice in Equanimity

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Reflecting, and blogging, on the week past has been an interesting project to take on. It has really enabled me to get real with what is working and where there may be room for growth and opportunity, not only within the 40 Day journey but also on my mat, in my meditation and my life! Thank you for reading:)
I have been stuck on what to write on for Week 3 its focus, equanimity, and its connection to my meditation experience. And then it hit me.
Like I mentioned in my last post, I have noticed significant shifts in my life when I take the time to ‘Hurry Up and Sit Still’. During our third week of this journey I noticed a shift in my reactivity and my ability to take a breath before taking action.
Equanimity was presenting itself off the mat and in my life…
Last week when I was stuck in yet another long queue at the grocery store I waited patiently, the clock kept ticking and I began to notice that I was going nowhere fast. I was beginning to get hungry; starting to run late and as a result was getting a little agitated. I kept breathing. As my breath became more shallow and as my heart rate started to increase (note the drama here;)) a woman cut in front of me (I went silently crazy in my head!) and simply asked, ‘Can I skip in front of you with my bag of apples, they are the one thing I forgot in this shop?’ One big breath and I simply responded, with a smile (a natural one to boot!) I might add, “Yes, no problem.” And there it was, my breath neutralized, my heart rate subsided and it was time to move on.
My point is that meditation comes in many forms and can help us out in the most seemingly frustrating situations. I could have taken this incident home with me and made this woman the reason why my day went this way or that, or done the opposite, which I did, and simply took a few breaths and decided to move on.
Have you ever been stuck in traffic in the morning and it ruined your day? What about waking up to dishes in the sink when you did them the night before? How about someone cutting in front of you at the store? Someone driving super slow in front of you….someone doing something……..someone else doing something else….and so it goes.
And now you get to choose how you react, if you do at all. You get to choose. And in this past week I have noticed that I have chosen differently. If something has affected me I acknowledge it as something that I am creating and not making it about ‘someone’ else. It has been powerful.
So I ask you to do the time or at least make a practice of it. When that ‘someone’ has done ‘something’ can you choose to not react and simply let the next moment be about something different. You have a choice and the choice is ALWAYS yours.
Practice some equanimity in your everyday life. It truly is a gift. To meet life as life meets you.

-Heather Coates

Hurry Up and Sit Still

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If you read last week’s blog then you already know that I find meditation challenging. The simple idea of sitting with myself was often times scary, difficult and ultimately a boring activity for me to anticipate. I realized that I had created a massive block between me and the world of stillness.
As we moved through Week 2 with a focus on Vitality I got to thinking about my meditation practice (or lack thereof…yes, I continued to resist into the beginning of Week 2…) and reminded myself gently that my asana practice is a form of meditation; a moving meditation. Now I am not saying that this replaces the benefits of a seated, silent and still meditation but it was something that I had to realize was an accomplishment. I CAN meditate (the proof is in the asana pudding) but I had chosen not to, chosen to make it difficult and chosen to create a HUGE story around it. There was no ‘I don’t know how’, ‘I’m not good at it’ or any more excuses – I just needed to do it. And so I did.
So I am back on the meditation pillow (note: this is just a pillow from the couch;)) and as I type I remember…
I credit the positive changes in my life to the moments where I have taken the time to meditate. Taken the time to sit still and get clear about what I am doing with myself, where I want to go and what I want to accomplish. It’s no coincidence that I had huge shifts in my life once I graduated my PYC teacher training – I was meditating regularly. I should add that I am not sitting and pondering these things with a conscious mind but I find that when I take the time to sit and really empty, I get really clear in most everything I do.
By resisting my meditation practice what I was really telling myself was that I was undeserving of it and that is just not true. I acknowledge this lie and move forward with the power to hurry up and sit still

Heather Coates