Lean In

I am taking time today to contemplate the New Year. I get excited about this, in fact, those who know me might say I get a little over excited. My goals list usually looks something like: I will meditate daily, I will write daily, I will workout daily and on top of that, I'll create this new program for the studio, teach in this location... and the list goes on and on. It's always impossibly long and ridiculously ambitious. It somehow inspires me to be in the moment, yet just weeks into the process I generally find myself feeling weary and daunted so that eventually I give up.

Ready to be Pleased by Michel Spruance

This week, I did something delicious. I read a short fiction novel, 'Glaciers' by Alexis M. Smith, about nothing in particular – well, perhaps it was about longing, love and loss and the tenderness of life, but it was fun and not too heavy even in all that. Tucked into this book was a gem of a line - “the woman seems ready to be pleased with the world.” Like a cartoon pan to the head, I at once found myself smiling from ear to ear while a sad chuckle registered. “What would it be like to be ready to be pleased with the world?”

Inviting You To Be Your Biggest Self: Notes from Wanderlust

Like many great experiences, this recent adventure started and ended, with me posting on Facebook (FB). It’s how it is these days, we share many poignant and mundane moments with our larger Facebook circle, like little road markers along our larger life journey.

This road sign read, “Full tank of gas. Whistler or Bust, Wanderlust….”

Prior to leaving for Whistler, some internal dialogue, “am I going to be lonely,” “I don’t want to feel alone,” “What is this going to be like?”

Practice Everywhere by Carley Ewert

Practice Everywhere
by Carley Ewert
What would the cow across the pasture think if I were to drop to all fours and bellow my belly to the earth just as it does on a warm sunny day?
What would the mountain think as I stand solid along its surface with my feet firmly planted into its soil and my spine lifted like its tallest peak?
What would the eagle ponder if it were to gaze down from its perch within the trees and see my arms and legs flapping like wings from the right side bind to the left mimicking the birds exquisite movement?

This is Your Moment

Wow… what a difference a day can make. As many of you know, our little girl Bell O’Neal Spruance came into the world 10 days early on April Fools. One night I was relaxing at Crystal Mountain, enjoying a peaceful snowstorm, and not 24 hours later I was a mom. My whole life turned upside down in the most wonderful, and yes exhausted, of ways.

Committed to Practice

Over the last few months, I had the realization that rather than leading my life, my life was leading me. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that my life was dragging me kicking and screaming.

I felt overwhelmed by the most mundane of daily life and daunted by a never-ending stream of “crisis” that seems to lurk around every corner. My attitude frankly sucked and I wasn’t much fun to be married to or work with. Yes, I admit, this yoga teacher was a bit of a mess.

The Richness of Everyday

It is January 2, 2012. I’ve awoken to a clean house, courtesy of the January 1st purging my husband and I took on. I feel fresh and full of possibilities. I feel rich in this moment - full and grateful.

Over the last few days I have heard so many people say how glad they will be to have 2011 behind them. I understand the sentiment, but I can’t lump myself in that crowd. As I reflect on this New Year and what lies ahead, I am moved by the bounty of 2011 and I bring that fullness forward.

An In-Depth Study of the First Limb of Yoga by Maria Gehl

The First of the Eight Limbs of Yoga In October I began a six-month intensive study and practice of the yoga precepts. I’m doing this practice with a group of people from all over the world (literally) through an online course at the Centre of Gravity in Toronto. The study is led by Michael Stone, teacher and author who we are thrilled will be coming to Be Luminous for a weekend workshop in June 2012. The definition of a precept from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary is: A command or principle intended as a general rule of action. This course defines precepts within the yoga tradition as the first of the eight limbs of practice, the yamas, and they are: Ahimsa: Non-violence, recognizing that I am not separate from all living beings Satya: Honesty, speaking the truth as I perceive it and not deceiving anyone Asteya: Not Stealing, being satisfied with what I have, not taking what is not freely given Bramacharya: Wise use of energy, encountering all with respect and dignity Aparigraha: Non-greed, Using all the ingredients of my life, being generous and non-acquisitive And why take on this practice of ethics? I have been a practicing yogi and Buddhism for ten years and have experienced the many benefits of asana and meditation practice: physical and psychological. What I have come to appreciate most is how my practice has affected my way of being with myself and others. These changes seem to have happened so organically –like my time on the mat and cushion have magically had effects on the rest of my life. While I know my practice has cultivated the qualities like patience, acceptance and my ability to stay present in challenging situations, their more frequent appearance in my life has increased with out too much conscious effort. As my practice has deepened however, I have also become aware of the places in my life where I remain stuck in my reactivity and fear, how my practice can also be an escape or a way to “feel good,” even a way out of having to face the places I am not free.

Aligning My True North by Jessica Willis

The idea of showing up as a 10 is hard to conceptualize until you are put in a situation that draws the 10 right out of you. Level 2 Baptiste training in Austin last month, did just that.

Like a reference point on a map, Level 2 has helped to me to center, helped me to know what it feels like to get outside of my box, live powerfully from full expression of who I am, and be happy to let go of who I think I am, to give way to opening and experiencing a life I could have never imagined. I know, it is a pretty tall order to live up to. The end result has been freedom.

Ice Cream Intruder

I am walking the dog at about 7 pm on a late-summer evening. The light is just right, the sun warms me, although it is no longer as high in the sky as the stellar showing of Seattle’s solstice. Hank, my dog, and I have just stopped to buy an ice cream cone – my childhood favorite of a Baskin Robin’s chocolate fudge scoop. We are heading up the hill toward home, meandering slowly. Uncharacteristically, I move leisurely, savoring each taste of ice cream, each steep step, the perfection of the weather. I think to myself, “This is a perfect moment.”

The Gift Of Injury

“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa

I tend to be a big vision kind of person. I love the idea of being larger than life, really because I believe all of us are capable of extraordinary things. I am especially inspired by doing big things with and for others.

Yoga and Cycling: Finding Your Flow

Yoga and Cycling: Finding Your Flow

I’ve been teaching mountain bike skills and racing Downhill Mountain bikes professionally for over 15 years. During that time I trained hard both on the bike and in the weight room, but until trying Yoga, I hadn’t really discovered the perfect cross training for two of the greatest challenges facing every mountain biker: Symmetrical conditioning and recovery from injury.


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