The YogaBuds Path towards Health, Wellness and Contentment

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Life can be challenging but we may also discover opportunity for personal growth as we learn to better manage hardships that we are confronted with. In my work as a yoga teacher and psychotherapist, over the past few years I have worked with a marked increase of individuals coping with various mental health issues including depression, anxiety and stress, and various physical conditions. This sadly includes an upsurge in the numbers of children and teens also suffering from anxiety and depression.

Seeking the healing powers of yoga and mindfulness, individuals of all ages come to YogaBuds for group classes or private yoga therapy sessions. By providing support and guidance and building trust with my students and clients, they are motivated to take risks to try new things; to open up to self-discovery and acquire greater self-awareness; to learn new skills, and to ultimately experience sustained change. I have actually been more excited than ever to observe both professionally and personally how yoga and mindfulness meditation has made such an incredible difference in people’s lives.

Long captivated by the precision of yoga in the Iyengar yoga system, I value how it is a perfect companion to mindfulness. These two practices merge with my creativity to inform my instruction, helping me to create an authentic teaching style and unique approach to the change process. When a child or teenager, a young father, middle-aged woman or an elderly person harnesses their desire for change with consistency and commitment, the work that we do together results in learning effective coping skills and tools necessary for solace and change. When my student or client experiences something new such as a wonderful, serene inner calmness and quietude, I liken it to tasting something delicious first-hand. Eventually this experience of accessing, tasting and savoring these tranquil moments becomes like a craving that needs to be satisfied with more of the same.

It is important to know how to access one’s center, remaining anchored and grounded with a strong feeling of core strength and stability. We need this not only for physical health but also to best navigate the small and difficult everyday experiences and interactions, face the bigger trials and demands that life presents, or cope with stress, anxiety, physical pain or a myriad of many other ailments or issues. Core stability is a key element in a healthy asana practice. Breathing is also the center part of the yoga practice. The invaluable learning that occurs on the mat and is felt in a deeply interconnected or holistic way is what repeatedly draws us back to the practice. We hone our ability to be mindful, centered and calm by embracing the eight limbs of yoga, including the practice of focusing to stay fully present moment-to-moment and breath-by-breath. We also cultivate a sense of softness and a capacity to remain in stillness. A wonderful sensation of inner spaciousness opens up and we are there for it. The craving for this endures and we know that with regular practice we are able to satisfy it. Healing and health triumphs!

For almost 35 years, yoga and mindfulness has formed the fabric of my life and has been my footpath. In fact, I often encourage my children to trust that their pathways will become apparent and I urge them to remain open-minded and flexible to notice and follow the markers along the way. I feel especially fortunate to have discovered not only my path but to also be able to connect with and guide others towards awakening their wellness. It is my belief that my personal journey of helping to facilitate change through the timeless traditions of yoga, creativity and mindfulness is my dharma and a gift. It has been a privilege to both participate in and to witness the potency and success of this work. Following my path has truly humbled, stirred and inspired me.

Temmi Ungerman Sears

“Yoga is meditation in action.” –B.K.S. Iyengar

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Awakening to the Divine Light – Thanksgiving weekend, October 2009

Some of my best yoga moments are not when I am on the mat.  Years of devotion to yoga have helped me to learn how to see that which is worth seeing and how to recognize value in what is really important. I am thankful to have learned how to be fully present in the moment and how to capture the experience with awareness, awe, and appreciation. The colours of the fall palette right now are at their warmest. They are stunningly rich and deep, and I simply love them. The crimsons and reds, ochre and mustard, rust, cornelian, apple greens, lime and dark greens – these colours are at once calming and inviting, and I am intrigued and excited as I stare unabashedly. Contentment and gratitude are my companions. Yesterday, amidst a sky of thick clouds, there was a fleeting moment during which the clouds separated and a small ray of light permeated through. The sun’s late day light cast it’s reflection on the water as it danced and shimmered across the lake’s surface. And today, when the sun emerged in the late afternoon, the light was again spectacular. As my kayak slowly skimmed the edge of the bay, I was enthralled by visions of the trees around the bay’s edge. In one section at the front of the forest three exquisite birch trees created balance and contrast. The environment beckoned me as I took in the glistening drops on the leaves from an earlier freak snowfall; the sun setting across the lake; the vivid torquoise sky; and the blending of a multitude of colours amongst the trees. Grateful to have the opportunity to be here as I brace myself against the bitter wind, I am a solitary figure on the water.  I steer the kayak around the lake on this cold Thanksgiving weekend, and it is breathtaking. The cold wind and fresh air are invigorating. The intimacy that I experience with nature and with God uplifts and inspires me. In viewing this masterpiece that is God’s creation, I understand what is meant by “the oneness of all things.”  The words of the yoga philosophies speak clearly to me. During my participation in a very challenging yoga Intensive this summer in France, many questions about yoga arose for me. Some of the clarity that I have been seeking as I explore what yoga means to me, and what I want from my yoga practise, came to me during my kayak rides this weekend. Some of the insights pertain to my asana practise and what it should be comprised of.  For many years, I have believed and have stated repeatedly, that what yoga truly means is living it each and every day both on – and off – the yoga mat.  This understanding continually deepens for me. Today I did my asana practise before my foray into the cold air.  My yoga practise, no longer about performing the asanas, later continued on the lake without any separation or break having occurred. Among the lessons learned from studying yoga are the understanding that what is really important is to open the heart to each moment; to share the fullness of that moment with those you love; and to be an honest, kind and good person. It is recognizing and appreciating the divine light in all. And, it is being fully awake for the ride. 2009