Thursday, 29 March 2012


Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is! – Anne Frank.

I recently came downstairs to find my two kids (just in time I should add) standing tall on their toes on the back of the couch holding hands. My daughter was explaining to my son that he just needed to really believe it and they could fly together. 

Just believe. It sounds simple but sometimes that’s all it takes. I often wonder what makes some people reach the most remarkable goals they have set and I have decided that they just believed. And of course worked hard knowing they would reach them. They wake up daily and believe. We all have dreams and thankfully they are all different. We get this one chance in this body with these moments to make the best of our life and follow our dreams. To find our true passion. Some dreams may be close and some further away but they are all real and they are all valuable. They change, they grow, they dissolve as we change and grow and new dreams are born. We are all capable of reaching goals and finding happiness far beyond what we could imagine. There are times we may try to jump off the back of the couch and just fall, but there will also be times that we get a little air. The main thing is we get back up there. We find dreams that fulfill and inspire us to the depths of our bodies. We acknowledge each other’s dreams and see value in them, even if, or especially when, they are different from ours. Like my daughter I believe that we need to stand tall on our toes, hold hands, truly believe and together we can fly.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

YOU Are the GURU

I teach yoga full time and have been for over 7 years now. People come to me to learn how to stretch their bodies, sometimes to heal an injury or to simply learn the elements of teaching and articulating "Yoga".

Recently, after the John Friend scandal (I have been practicing & studying under the Anusara method for years), I find myself questioning the student/teacher relationship. What is my role and how can I effectively serve?

Now, I've been teaching yoga for 7 years but I've been practicing (a student of) yoga since 2001. I used to idolize my teachers. I still even find myself in awe of certain teachers and their ability to articulate this incredible practice.  Yet, it's this longing to find the answers outside of myself that upsets me now.

A colleague recently said this via a group email, and it struck me not only as poetic, but TRUE,

" I am continuing on the path of studying as I realize the more I learn, the less I know."

Since my daughter was born (May of 2009) I haven't been able to go to as many workshops or trainings as I'm used to (at least one a month, sometimes weeks at a time). At first this was very upsetting and I worried my teaching would lack or pay the prize. In reality it's been a blessing. Like Carli said so elegantly (in last weeks Blog post) my Yoga is all day long and not always on the mat. My life as a mom has taught me more than some weekend yoga workshops, and my yoga students have reminded me that the answers I long for live within me. 

"Om namah shivaya gurave"  - one translation to this sanskrit statement is; "I bow to the goodness, the TRUE teacher within"

This is it, exactly. Simple, elegant and full of internal honesty. YOU know the answers, you KNOW what you need to do in the moment, in that experience, with that person. Just stop, take a breath (or a few) and the true, authentic person within you. There the answers await you. 

Please don't get me wrong. I will continue to study all aspects of "Yoga" from a variety of different teachers and styles. This will never end. What I will do though, is question the information and listen to my heart for the answers.

May you embrace this too. 

With you on this path of Love,

Thursday, 15 March 2012

My Practice

I have noticed that I quite often get one of two responses from people when asked what I do.  When I reply I am a yoga teacher, the first and quite common response is for the person asking to explain the many ways they try to eat less or no meat. I always enjoy hearing this one. The other response is a question. How often do you practice? This is always a hard one for me to answer because the truth is all day. I do my best to practice yoga from the moment I wake up until I go to bed. To me a yoga practice means living each moment with compassion, non-violence, truthfully and thoughtfully. It means practicing not stealing time and energy. It is practicing being in the moment and seeing beauty in all beings. It is practicing seeing the good first. There is also the part of yoga that is asana (posture) practice which makes the body and mind stronger and able to practice the rest of yoga. Asana practice can be fun and challenging and relaxing.  Yoga practice is also fun and challenging and relaxing. They both can bring me to where I want to be and that is present. Able to enjoy all the things that life has to offer, my family, my friends, and also cope with things that may not feel joyful. My practice requires constant practice. Some days it is easy and others it is strenuous and emotional and full of moments where I lose my balance. Both on and off my mat. This is my practice and it takes all day.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Heart of a Woman

Today (March 8th 2012) is International Woman's Day. A celebration of woman everywhere. 

This excites me. I have so many incredible woman in my life, who have helped shape who I am 

My mother (for instance) is a very strong woman. Not just physically strong, even though she does have a rock hard body. :) But a passionate, motivating, Live life to the fullest woman. I've watched her speak to 100's of people with ease and Grace. I've seen her give not only thousands of dollars to charity, but volunteer hours in Haiti, Africa and right here in her community. I've seen her fight for woman's rights and win. 

However, the moments that stand out as the most powerful moments with my mom, are the times she softens and allows compassion, vulnerability and love to rule. It's not an easy task for my "A - type", successful, funny, sometimes stubborn mom. 

Don't we learn the most from the things that don't come as "natural" to us, or the things (feelings) we avoid?

I see this struggle in my yoga practise a lot. My strong "A-Type" personality tells me to "kick it up a notch" and "go harder, or faster". I even find myself (sometimes, when I'm not conscious of it) in yoga classes trying to "one up" the person next to me. I know, not very "Yoga" right? Just speaking my truth here. 

The thing is, it's only when I question why I'm doing that, that I realize it's my insecurities and my feelings of unworthiness that are acting up. Then from that recognition, within that moment, I can make the choice to soften, and let go of the need to be more and simply be..... ME. A woman who is naturally soft, and loving, caring and sensitive. A woman who wants to laugh, cry, share, connect and love. A woman who knows that balancing on her hands is so much fun, but not a way to measure her worth. 

Yoga is not another opportunity to beat yourself up, it's an opportunity to see yourself in your illustrious light. To let go of expectation and borders and simple BE who you are. Bringing this back to harmony is making peace with both my masculine and feminine qualities.  

Today is about celebrating woman. Woman who are strong and capable, who are vulnerable and compassionate. Woman who can do anything and everything, yet choose what speaks most to her heart. Woman who let go of guilt and take care of them self. Woman who loves no matter what.

Thank you to all the woman past & present in my life. You inspire me everyday! Here's a beautiful quote from one of my favourite authors and teachers, Marianne Williamson. If you haven't read "A Woman's worth" or "A return to love" please do so, they are amazing books! 

"I feel that as women we've allowed ourselves to be deluded by certain ideas that hold us back, such as the over-glorification of masculine consciousness. To me, liberation doesn't mean that I can think just like a man. Real liberation means that I can think, act, and be like a woman and receive equal respect, honor, and compensation. Liberation also means that even though I'm a woman I have masculine parts of my temperament which I can safely explore and integrate into my experience. In the same way, real liberation for men means that they 
can explore and integrate their feminine aspects of consciousness." Marianne Williamson

Love, Lauren