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How can we love fully, without the fear of loss, without the feeling that we must tip-toe around life in order to hold so delicately, the experiences and relationships that make us feel so good? How do we wake up each morning, with trust and hope rising with the light of the sun, knowing that our efforts will reach fulfillment and peace touch our hearts? How do we not wake up in fear or doubt? We know that all of this does not last, that all of this is temporary, including ourselves!! Nothing is assured and nothing is eternally stable. Living in the world today either brings a strong awareness to how messed up things have gotten, or its opposite-an extreme dulling of awareness (disconnect) just to survive. This dullness and disconnect has us wearing masks that make us seem to be living, when in truth we are just living shadows of what our life could really be.

One of the biggest remedies for this is to move energy. To wake up and Live. To embody the passion that stirs us to be out in nature and gaze at the stars, to dance wildly amongst strangers, to sing even when the voice is out of breath and off tune, to love with all of our hearts and to feel love & compassion when those around us are not doing so well. To move through our fears & doubts whenever we feel not so shiny.

We can exercise to move energy, which pumps us into feeling lively as our heart beats stronger, our blood gets flowing, and more oxygen moves through the body. This works great to stimulate the mind and get momentum into the air, but can be a temporary fix for some, an addiction for others.

The other is using the elements of yoga, specifically asana, pranayama and meditation. Prana shakti (the force of energy), when moving in the right way enables us to spark awake our internal lively-ness, not just working at the physical level, but the energetic, mental and soul-level too. When I feel scared or depressed, I pay attention. I watch myself craving chocolate or a tasty IPA, to stay busy with tasks, or to pull away from the world to be alone. Do to my practices, I can now watch how these patterns want to come to the forefront and with awareness, watch my response.  Not allowing my patterns to always rule me, the emotions from deep in my subconscious driving my life, takes strength, courage and action. I have to do something. This doing activates the prana that moves strong emotions. Moving, stretching, breathwork, all get me into the right head space to meditate. Meditating (and mantra practice) is really the biggest and juiciest action for transforming fear and unwanted emotions, but thats a topic for another time.

My world sparkles more now because I have a dedicated practice and this has awakened MORE LIVING! I am now bringing my yoga to life, such as just in the past few weeks, white water rafting, skydiving, creating amazing programs and leading a workshop at a beloved annual women’s retreat. These opportunities to really live give me the freedom to take off my mask and move through my fears, knowing that even when I die…I have LIVED.  Living in this way awakens a fire within me that brings my yoga practice to life. This fire also burns away the heavy, leaving me feeling connected, passionate, radiant and free. So when I wake up in fear or I wake up in doubt, I choose to live. I choose to step away from the old habits of pulling ‘comfortable patterns’ towards me. Instead, I move energy…practice, breathe, and step outside, connecting with the stars, the songs, the river, the yoga, the good company and the forces of nature/love that guide me in life. Ashay.

sage apprenticeship                        rapid transformations: a tantric white water journey