Magical Moments of Gratitude and Abundance


Yoga is the flow of energy – within our selves and everywhere. For we are comprised of prana, the life force, and as yoga connects us to our selves we connect to prana. We are made up of our parents’ genes, our unique talents, skills and personalities, to the elements, to one another, and to so much more. With continuous yoga practice, one begins to experience the flow as it is as well as where it may be stuck in our bodies or minds.

Each morning during vacation I practice for several hours with the ocean as the backdrop. The sound of the tide connects me to the rhythm of my own breath and to my movements. For all yoga is attention training. As we focus on the ever changing flow of energy – of our respiration, in and out, of the elements of the pose and all of our subtle adjustments – we then stop, remain still, and experience the essence of the pose and the fullness of the moment. All dualities slip away and we are here. And here in the moment, I experience a deep sense of connection to everything. I feel such gratitude and abundance, and contentment flows, like my energy or prana.

My discovery of yoga in my early twenties was simply a surprise and a blessing. I have never wavered in my practice or studies since my first class 36 years ago. My awareness of consciousness and my appreciation of the vastness and beauty of the minutiae of the present moment continues to deepen as does the connection that I feel to the breath, the pause, the flow. One late afternoon I watched a lone swimmer quite far out in the ocean until my eye could no longer see him. As he vigorously swam for miles I knew that I was witnessing a most incredible expression of the mind-body-breath connection. As I watched his prowess, fluidity, rhythm, speed, and focus, I was amazed. I felt immense gratitude to observe such a incredibly beautiful moving meditation, and another example of the flow of energy.

Recently, I had a very meaningful dream. A white baby goat was the dream symbol that spoke to me as clearly as a bell ringing across a meadow. In my dream, I am sleeping and the goat is curled against my side next to Sarah, my black cat. As I am leaving my dream state and gradually awakening, I am confused and upset for I realize that it is only Sarah who remains next to me, in real time. In despair and still half asleep, I ask out loud, “but where is the goat?” All day the imagery of the goat stayed in my consciousness. I was struck by the contrast between the white and black and thought it suggested dualities. My husband suggested that I research its meaning. As I read I was excited to learn that dreaming of a white goat is a symbol for good luck and happiness and that it further symbolizes balance, respect and grace. But what I found really interesting is that the most common meaning is that of abundance and mirth.

Receiving my morsels along the path of yoga are like the crumbs discovered by Hansel and Gretel guiding them on their journey home. As I meander down my long and winding path tasting the rewards of yoga, I recognize that yoga has taught me devotion and has granted me many gifts: serenity, health, balance and joy. It has also provided me with a space to be – to find stillness and softness, strength and balance. From adolescence to middle age, from being single to married and through three pregnancies and deliveries, with the pillars of love and loss, wherever I am at in any given moment in time, yoga has been my Light and has ignited my own inner Light. I have learned to be present, to find space around my heart, and to connect with others, heart-to-heart. Daily I sit in gratitude and abundance. Perhaps my goat will come again soon to visit.


Your Journey to Wellness in the New Year

As the holidays approach, we begin to wind down and gear up for extended time spent with family and friends. The holidays can be a time of many temptations and potential indulgence; therefore, it is imperative that we continue to embrace the idea of balance and moderation. Make sure to incorporate techniques for self-care and an awareness of mindful eating and drinking! It is easy to “let everything go” in ways that aren’t always health-promoting! Remaining active, and staying consistent in your yoga practise over the holidays will help to maintain your health and keep you well.

During a recent peer supervision meeting of therapists, I realized that “Mindfulness” has become a popular concept, even in the psychotherapy field. This is a very positive thing. Yoga trains us to attend mindfully to our habits, to awaken to our selves “moment by moment, breath to breath”, and to remain present-focussed in mind, body and spirit. The holidays provide us with ample opportunity to practise remaining present and mindful in many situations.

As we approach the New Year, many are drawn towards the idea of making New Year’s Resolutions in order to try to change or improve aspects of their life. For some, this can be self-defeating as often there is the tendency to make too many promises and set the bar too high. So as 2010 approaches, if you are keen on making a commitment to something that is a positive change in your life, use the idea of a New Year’s Resolution only as a starting point to try to initiate the change, and think long term. Perhaps the change that you commit to will be something that starts from the inside. Yoga can be the change in your life, and it can actually change your life! However, it is important to recognize that yoga is not goal-oriented so enter the practise (or continue to remain true to it) but do so with commitment but without ambition. Change is not instant but if you stay true to your intention; consistent to your practise; patient in your approach; and firm in your resolve, your yoga journey will create profound change over time. Honour your efforts and recognize that change happens in small increments and successes along the way. Try to implement small endeavors or “yoga bits and bites” each and every day, and the positive results in turn will inspire ongoing attention and become habit. Make 2010 the year to commit to your Self and to come to YogaBuds, an oasis in the middle of the city.

In 2010 I look forward to continuously being a part of your transformation and personal renewal through the yoga process. Thank you again for trusting me to be such an intrinsic part of your healing journey. Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!