ALTERED SPACE // GREAT AND FULL by Henry Yampolsky

Yesterday in between picking up bristle blocks a hundred times, sweeping up the dirt Raine took out of a plant and sprinkled around the kitchen, cleaning up after our old dog, painting the bathroom, realizing it was 5 o’clock and I was still in my sweats, switching the laundry, wrapping a few presents, and preparing my special mashed potatoes, I was thinking about what I would say I’m thankful for this year when it was my turn around the table.

Of course my family. John and Raine are everything, my breath and my heartbeat. My dad and the hilarious things he always says like, “Lunch is ridiculous” and “Travel is the best education.” And each time I thought of my Thanksgiving dinner speech, that’s about as far as I would get, and then Raine would yell, “Maaaaaaaaaama! Mama!” and I’d be off running to find out what was in her mouth and why her lips were green (crayon).

Then we got this awesome email from a Dhyana Yoga student, Henry Yampolsky. I had to share it. It resonates with me I’m sure because he mentions Yogi Bhajan, one of the most influential teachers of my lifetime, but also because I get what he’s saying. My life is Great and Full thanks to my family, but also because of my yoga practice and all it puts in my path. All the people at DY I treasure so much, all the teachings of yoga and the accessibility to them through classes, books, and trainings we have such amazing access to in this day and age, all the physical and non physical transformations it has supported me through, and most of all, how it continues to require more of me. Because of all of that, today I’m thankful to feel Great and Full!

 

Great and Full

By Henry Yampolsky

 

Since reading Louise Hay’s world-renown book, You Can Heal Your Life, affirmations have been an integral part of my spiritual practice.  Louise Hay teaches that affirming the life experience we want today with great feeling, as if we already are fully living in that experience, is the key to creating the reality we desire.  Hay and many other teachers instruct that affirmations of gratitude are among the most powerful vessels to bring us on the wavelength of abundance, fulfillment and joy.  So, especially around the Holidays, I would often affirm all the wonderful things I was grateful for. 

            However, as I my practice evolved, I began to feel certain unease about saying “I am grateful for…” as the phrase seemed to depend on circumstance, on having something or someone to be “grateful for” or worse yet being “grateful for” for something negative I did not have.  Neither seemed as wholesome as I would have liked.  The answer to my dilemma came from the profound words of Yogi Bhajan, the man who in the 1960s introduced Kundalini Yoga to the West: 

The purpose of life is to watch and experience living. To enjoy living every moment of it. And to live in environments, which are calm, quiet, slow, sophisticated, elegant. Just to be. Whether you are naked or you have a golden robe on you, that doesn’t make any difference. The ideal purpose of your life is that you are grateful – great and full – that you are alive, and you enjoy it

Yogi Bhajan in a sweet moment with a little one!

Yogi Bhajan in a sweet moment with a little one!

 

 

ALTERED SPACE // WE DON’T CARE WHAT YOU WEAR

My husband, John Vitarelli, is about the most drama-free person you could ever meet. Nothing sticks to this guy, he just has a good vibe inside and out and because of that, drama doesn’t get too close to him. So last week when John said, “Send the letter,” I knew it was time to finally send the letter.

John V Bakasana

John pictured here in a pretty fantastic parsva bakasana wearing a Patagonia shirt he still has and a pair of pants he wore so much I did eventually make him get rid of them. Oh wait, he just told me he still has them. They’re Patagonia, too. Photo taken at Yogawood in Collingswood, NJ

Our letter asking Lululemon to consider us “Ambassadors No More” (coined via Jennifer Kries) was a simple one, opening with “This letter comes after a long time of consideration regarding our personal affiliation with your company, Lululemon, for which we served as “Ambassadors” in 2011.  We do not feel aligned with Lululemon, and are sending this letter as a request for Lululemon to cease using our images in any way and to remove us from all contact lists.”

Now I should back up and mention that when Lululemon first came to the Philadelphia market many years ago, the manager of the showroom at that time asked to me to lunch. She brought a bag of clothes and was talking about this “Ambassador” thing, which I didn’t quite understand. The whole Brand Ambassador title wasn’t part of the Yoga culture lexicon as of yet, or at least, it hadn’t hit Philly. I took the clothes home and tried them on. They didn’t fit and were too athletic looking for me (I’m more Bohemian swirls than sporty stripes) and a few days later I returned the bag to an absolutely stunned looking Lululemon representative and just said, “thanks, but I’ll never wear these. Maybe try giving them to some other girls at the studio.” That store manager was never nice to me again. I was just being truthful and not taking a bunch of clothes that I wouldn’t wear just because they were “free.”

I should have stuck to my gut. But when Lululemon approached my husband and I to be “Co-Ambassadors” many years later, we agreed. I have to say, John probably could have cared less. He practices in what is reasonably clean and won’t get in his way in Marichasana D. But I thought it would be fun to do together, and that having him by my side would make me feel more comfortable doing whatever we had to do. I don’t know what they do everywhere, but here, the Lululemon staff comes to your class and brings you a big bouquet of flowers or a giant plant and makes a big fuss over you in front of people when they ask you to be an Ambassador. It’s kind of like being asked to the prom in the middle of the High School pep rally. They don’t tell you what the “job” entails or educate you about their company and product, they just ask you out and then everyone hugs and takes pictures. Then you get invited to the store for a New Ambassador meeting where you meet the other Ambassadors, and they give you a bunch of self help books to read, and a folder of papers explaining what a “goal” is and how to crush one! Yay! Usually the person coaching you on how to “goal crush” is half your age. One of our teachers tells a hilarious story about this happening to them and it ends with the Yoga teacher saying, “Look, there are no goals in Yoga.”

As the months went by, we were required as Ambassadors to offer free classes to Lululemon shoppers. This is pretty standard fare, and basically your payment is the gift card they give you to pick out “free” clothes in the store. John and I did what we agreed to do, but as I got increasingly pregnant and dealt with an extreme case of morning sickness that lasted 3 months, John taught more of the classes alone. One thing you will notice in these free classes is that there are A LOT of people. Sounds great, right? Lots of people doing Yoga. The next thing you will notice, though, is that there is one teacher sprinting from one end of the room to the other trying to adjust people. A large majority of the people are just trying Yoga out and many even show up in shoes and jeans, so a lot of adjusting is needed to keep things safe. Also, you are either in a Lululemon store with all the clothing rounders pushed somewhat out of the way or you may be outside which presents all kinds of other complications, like people cranking their necks to see what’s going on because they can’t hear the teacher. Put simply, it might be a fun time, but in our opinion, these classes are generally unsafe. After our year tenure was up, Lululemon continued to ask us to teach these classes, and still does to this day. We politely decline.

You might ask, if it’s so bad, why are there so many Ambassadors? I might answer by asking, why are there so many Ambassadors? It’s not really even a special thing to be asked, eventually they get around to almost everyone in a market. But there’s another side to this that no one is really talking about, and that’s what we, as Yoga teachers, are getting out of the whole deal. Yoga teachers get what they see as “free promotion” by having a huge photograph of themselves in their local Lululemon store and by the store employees supposedly referring shoppers to their Ambassdor’s classes. This is going to take some radical honesty from Yoga teachers, like us. I have personally heard something along the lines of, “just take the free clothes and the free promo” from Ambassadors I know. Which is why an important part of our letter to Lululemon reads, “In our experience, teachers bash Lululemon in general conversation but can’t seem to sacrifice what they perceive to be free promotion from the local store by being open and honest about it. This is akin to being in an unhealthy relationship. Both sides, yoga teachers seeking promotion and Lululemon stores seeking advertising by outfitting those teachers, are being opportunistic and parasitic. It is our aim as not only yoga teachers, but as parents, and as people seeking to better ourselves, to not engage in what we find to be inauthentic relationships.”

If you are one of those “Ambassadors,” one of those teachers taking the free gear but making snarky remarks about the Lululemon brand in general conversation or even in your head, then you should not be an Ambassador. If you look at your colorful pile of Luon pants differently now that you know more about the company, then you should not be an Ambassador. If you have thought about how to cover up the little reflective logo so you can keep wearing the one piece you really like, then you should not be an Ambassador. I’m not trying to rally an “Ambassador No More” movement, but I am saying if you don’t love it and live it, if you don’t defend it when other people are trashing it, if you aren’t proud to walk down the street in your head to toe Lululemon outfit, if you can’t stand behind their marketing campaigns and public statements, then you have no business using them for promotion.

In fact, I don’t think Yoga teachers should sell out and be “Ambassadors” of or be “Sponsored By” anyone at all. If you like something, wear it, use it, share it, promote it, go actually work for the company! If it’s really what you use and suggest, let people know in your blog or on Facebook. But I think it’s kind of gross for teachers to get all free-geared up by any one brand, and that it’s a distracting goal for so many young teachers to nab these “Ambassador” titles be it for shoes, jewelry, or clothing. We regretted it from the beginning, but we really liked some of the Lululemon staff people and managers, so we never made  a big deal out of how we felt. I did personally meet with one of those staffers and pass on our feedback along with complaints I had heard from other local teachers as well (at the Lulu staff’s request for such “feedback”). We quietly gave away all our free clothing, much of it with the tags still on. Like I said, John is drama free. Until recently, and I think the Steven Colbert piece was the tipping point, he has encouraged me to just chill on it and enjoy my sabbatical.

I want Yoga teachers and studios to know that it’s ok to say no. Our local Lululemon store recently asked to make the Dhyana Yoga Seva Center, a studio set up as a charitable foundation with the goal of donating all profits back into our community, the “Studio of the Quarter.” This is another one of these free class scenarios Lululemon promotes, wherein you open your studio up to a weekly, complimentary class for Lululemon shoppers and they write your studio name on the big chalkboard in their store and presumably promote your studio above others during the months that you have this honor. John and I had already talked at length about disassociating from Lululemon, and so we did the only thing that felt right. Regardless of the fact that we would be sacrificing their promotion of the Seva Center, we said no to Lululemon. It really is ok.

Lululemon, by the way, is an athletic company with a clothing store. It’s not even necessarily a “yoga clothing store.” A “Yoga Brand” would very likely appeal more to the sensibilities of a person actually dedicated to Yoga by offering organic cotton tops and bottoms and items that you can wash and dry for years and still look great like Prana and Patagonia do. Lululemon is just an athletic clothing company that focused on the yoga population because there was a need in the market for brightly colored leggings and matching tops with thumb holes in them. My overall feeling is plainly that they should keep to their business in their stores and stay out of Yoga studios and stop trying to subtly advertise in those studios by giving the teachers who stand in front of the rooms free clothing. A lot of those teachers are poor and struggling. They are going to take the free clothes because they are broke and probably need them. They cannot afford to actually shop in Lululemon though, and given a choice even if they could afford to they might choose another brand, like Athleta, Zobha, Hyde, Teeki, Liquido, Be Present, or Hard Tail.

And it’s not just the teachers in the studios that are being influenced. I was surprised at how Lululemon seemed to be running the Philadelphia Wanderlust Festival earlier this year and you guessed it, they offered every teacher on the bill that day a free Lululemon outfit to wear the day of the festival in front of all the attendees. A friend even texted me, “(Lululemon store employee name) from Lulu asked me to teach at Wanderlust,” to which I responded, “Really? The Wanderlust people aren’t making those calls? Is it a Wanderlust event or a Lululemon event?” John and I were not on the advertised roster of teachers, but instead our friend Simon Park, who showed up to headline the event in Be Present pants and a “No Corporate Yoga” tee shirt from what I remember, secretly invited us to “surprise” guest teach the last class of the day with him. I’ve always loved Simon’s renegade spirit.

Did you know that Lululemon also pays for Ambassadors to go on special trips where they all meet up to “Create Awesome”? One “Ambassador No More” gives a well written peek into her experience in a brainstorming session on one of those trips in her recent Huffington Post article. I remember another Ambassador telling me, “Lululemon is flying me to Hawaii!” and me saying, “for what?” and getting the response, “Some festival or something, who cares, it’s Hawaii!” Do people have to pay $98 for a pair of pants in order to cover the expenses from these trips? It almost feels like the “Pay for Play” technique record companies used to employ to get radio stations to play certain bands…before that became illegal.

We closed our letter with the following statement : “Quite simply, what we learned from our time spent as “Ambassadors” is that we don’t wear Lululemon clothing and we don’t represent the Lululemon brand… A clothing store, it’s owner’s antics and politics, and it’s advertising and marketing campaigns have no place in the yoga room. Yoga teachers do. Yoga students do. All that matters when you practice is THAT you practice, not what you wear when you do it.”

John and I know first hand what being criticized publicly feels like and because of that I can tell you with certainty that if you can shoulder it, if you can accept that you made mistakes and not try to blame everyone else, and if you can put your ego aside for a bit, it is really there for your own benefit. If you are willing to let it be a catalyst for change, you will transform into an even higher version of yourself and you will make better choices moving forward. It’s not easy to take, I know, but everyone who puts themselves out there garners a few critics along the way. Criticism is feedback from the universe about what you have done, how that worked out, and how you can do better in the future. I think a lot of brands, and a lot of teachers, can do better. “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World” is not just a slick slogan to print on a bag, Gandhi knew what he was talking about!

Overall, we don’t care what you wear, we are just Yoga teachers striving to make better choices for ourselves, our daughter, and for all the people of all shapes and sizes that get on the mat to heal, not to be made to feel like it’s another place where they just don’t “fit” in.

Me smiling my way into a little tittibasana with my little sweetheart guiding me! She's wearing a romper her Nonna gave her and I'm in my favorite Hyde bottoms and my most comfy old tank, it's threadbare and I love it! Photo by YuJean Park

Me smiling my way into a little tittibasana with my sweetheart guiding me! She’s wearing a romper her Nonna gave her and I’m in my favorite Hyde bottoms and my most comfy old tank, it’s threadbare and I love it! Photo by YuJean Park

 

ALTERED SPACE // What We Eat

Most of the time I prefer to eat at home. I like the experience of going out to restaurants, and communing over a meal with a big group of friends or catching up with someone I haven’t seen for awhile over lunch, but I’m always left wondering about the quality of the ingredients and the way what I ate was cooked. When you cook, you’re putting your Shakti (primordial energy) into the food you make and whoever eats it, is also integrating that energy. So it’s really important to get yourself into a good mood before you start cooking! You can also say mantras while you prepare meals, think loving and peaceful thoughts, and stay relaxed by being aware of your breath. According to Ayurveda, the highest level of nourishment is achieved when you also take such environmental factors into consideration when you eat. Here are some helpful tips to bring more awareness into your regular eating routine:

1. Eat in a quiet, calm environment, 2. Eat only when you are hungry, 3. Do not eat when you are upset, 4. Eat at a comfortable pace, 5. Don’t overeat; leave 1/4 to 1/3 of your stomach empty to aid digestion, 6. Eat freshly prepared foods, 7. Eat what is in season and local.

This week I had a really profound conversation with a friend about how the most important thing is that we have a good, healthy relationship with food. So many people are chasing the “ideal weight” or trying another weight loss fad, and end up sacrificing not only nutrition, but the sheer joy of delicious food! During the following week, I encourage you to take a few extra moments when you eat to really taste and appreciate the food you are blessed with, and if you feel old Samskaras (patterns) of emotions like guilt or shame arising, allow them to subside by taking a breath and becoming more present in the moment. After all, as Hafiz said, it’s a gift!

Impressive Beet Risotto

Ingredients: 1/2 stick unsalted butter OR 4 tablespoons of EVOO, 1 jalepeno, 1 small yellow onion, 3-5 small to medium beets, 1/4 cup Parmesean cheese, 4 cups warm water, 2 cups Arborio rice

Preparation:

1. Dice onion and jalepeno and sautee on medium/high heat on the stove until coated and soft (in your oil or butter) in a big pan or wok. Stir gently as it cooks, 3-5 minutes.

2. Dice beets and stir them in. Mix completely and slowly add in the rice as you continue mixing. Get the rice all coated in the mixture.

3. Slowly add in water about a 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until absorbed and only then add more. It’s going to increase in volume a lot! Take your time and enjoy this part.

4. After you have mixed all the water in, turn down the heat to medium/low and cover it up. Cook covered until rice is tender, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Lift lid and stir in the grated Parmesean cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

*If you use red beets, this dish looks BEAUTIFUL on a plate! Bright, vibrant red offsets pretty much anything else you plate up next to it, or if served solo, this risotto is plenty filling and looks nice with a little sprig of greens in the middle of the bowl.

*If you use golden beets, no one will guess it’s BEET risotto! Astound your friends and surprise your kids…and husband…by letting them know afterward!

If you get a beet the size of your baby's head, you'll only need one!

If you get a beet the size of your baby’s head, you’ll only need one!

This yields 6-8 moderate portions or 4-6 big portions.

OM,

Diana

ALTERED SPACE // The Buck Stops Here

There are certain jobs, vocations, and paths in life that require those who pursue them to be in the front of the room looking out at a sea of other people who are actually there to listen. Being a teacher of any kind is one of those paths, and Yoga teachers are on it, whether they meant to be or not!

Some Yoga teachers are naturally comfortable in front of a room. Maybe they have a background in performance, or public speaking, or just a good amount of self confidence already. Other Yoga teachers are a little awkward, although it might be a charming awkwardness, or shy and quiet, or even aloof. One thing is for sure, in either case, part of a Yoga teacher’s daily Sadhana (practice) is to make themselves vulnerable in front of people, be it one person or a roomful, and to get out of the way so that the Yoga can happen.

When you put yourself out there like that, there can be great rewards! You break through a lot of your own issues, learn how to put others first, get an indescribable feeling of being helpful, and may even get slathered in compliments after class. Students will inevitably come up to you and say things like, “That was the BEST class I have ever taken! When else do you teach?” and “I felt like you were in my head today! You always know just what to say!”

And when you put yourself out there like that, there are bound to be a few arrows shot in your direction as well! Even the world’s greatest Yoga teacher has had a student roll up their mat and walk out in the middle of class, or gotten a note from someone who didn’t like their workshop and has advice on how it should have gone. With the advent of online reviews, there is no end to the complaints it seems, and that stuff never goes away. I know a bunch of Yoga teachers from all over the place and every, single one of them has had their bout with online bashing, ranging from stalkers, to trash talkers, to people who go out of their way to spread rumors about them, to competitive (yes, right here in the Land of Yoga) peers who throw jabs whenever they get the chance.

Recently I received this email regarding an upcoming workshop at Dhyana Yoga (I have changed the name to keep this confidential) : “How disappointing that you are holding a workshop with Beverly Crusher. She had about five workshops at various venues and each one was cancelled for lack of attendance. She is a very poor example of a role model for yogis.” 

Now, if I were a new studio owner, I might really call into question whether or not we should let Beverly Crusher lead a workshop at my studio. But I’ve been around, and I’ve been attacked in much the same way, and I don’t think it takes superpowers to pick up on the personal nature of this message. I brought the email to the teacher’s attention and sure enough, before I could even say the name of who sent it, she said it first. It is an alias this person uses to send such emails around about this teacher. It’s funny how the people who have the bells to write emails or reviews like this don’t have the nerve to sign their own names. I can tell you this particular teacher did not respond by attacking the attacker. Her response was informative, and compassionate, albeit sad in tone, which I can understand.

That really impressed me. Not striking back. It’s so instinctual to want to tell your side and rally the troops when something like this happens. But then we have engaged a war, and for what? An identity? An ego? A need to be right? I mean, if you’re going to war, it better be for something important, not just because your self image has had a tomato thrown at it.

When I had my turn at being bashed a few years back, I was newly pregnant and although it was devastating to me in many ways, I did not strike back either. I remembered that old saying, “The buck stops here.” and I just took it. Also I was smack in the middle of 2 solid months of the WORST morning sickness that lasted all day every day that I have ever heard of from anyone. Being weak and incapacitated was actually a great gift in this case. I laid on the couch and cried and cried and felt so raw, but I shouldered it. I did not want to wage war and have that become part of my forming child’s DNA. I let it come, let my identity, my ego, my notions of what was right, my husband, my work, my body, everything about me be maligned, and then I let it go. Because after all, who was attacking me? Who among us has the right to say who else is good Yogi, or a good role model for Yogis, or doing Yoga the “right” way, or doing the “right” Yoga??

No one that I want to listen to, that’s for sure.

Right here. This is where the buck stops.

Now let’s do some Yoga!

ALTERED SPACE // QUICK QUESTION!

My friend Cindi is one of the coolest people ever. If you know her and agree, shout a little “Jai Ma!” right now — she’ll get the message. She’s just that tuned in! Cindi is the guardian of the most amazing temple. It’s called RUKA (www.ruka.com) and there’s a door to it on 19th between Chestnut and Sansom Streets in Philly, but RUKA really exists in all the homes, businesses, offices, yoga studios, and on all the altars that have been blessed by one of the treasures gotten by stepping through that door.

Cindi

Cindi finds a treasure!

Cindi travels the world to hand select the beautiful murtis, textiles, decor, and jewelry offered at RUKA. She even leads tours of India and Thailand for those who want a personal peek behind the veil of these exotic lands! When I had the chance to ask her a “Quick Question” to share here, I wanted to dig a little bit into her travel secrets.

QUICK QUESTION FOR YOU… When you travel, what things from home do you bring along that you just can’t be without?

“My amulets! On my travel journal I have a holographic OM sticker, on my backpack, my bag, my phone, my passport, my wallet – well, practically everything else – I have 3D stickerts of the Turkish God’s Eye Amulet (all infused with mantra, thoughts, and intentions of protection)!

My gold and silver Nepali Ganesha box pendant on a gold chain grace my neck, and on a longer sacred thread I have my Tibetan coral charms with 100 year old silver temple amulets – A circular one with the warrior goddess and a house shaped one with the feet of Shiva. Around my left wrist I have a sai sin – the white, un-spun thread blessed by the Buddhist Monks in Thailand, which I received on my last journey to Thailand earlier this year. I look forward to being blessed with a new one when I arrive in Thailand in early 2014!

As I move around throughout my day, on the other side of the world, I look at my amulets and I breathe deeper with inspiration that I am always safe and always home.”

Cindi also does beautiful Mendhi, henna designs that are beyond compare. She has covered practically my whole body over the years between doing the designs for my wedding and a pregnancy design and even a beautiful one for an anniversary. You can see some of the wedding Mendhi she did in the photo below! If you are interested in traveling with an experienced, fun, and thoughtful guide, Click Here — adventure awaits!

A Mendhi Heart with the groom's name hidden in the design!

A Mendhi Heart with the groom’s name hidden in the design!

ALTERED SPACE // Origin Magazine features 10 Philadelphia Yoga Teachers!

This photo is so special because Joe, who has a way of catching special moments on film, took our baby's first picture here! That's Joe himself in the photo under the pink line.

This photo is so special because Joe, who has a way of catching special moments on film, took our baby’s first picture here! That’s Joe himself in the photo under the pink line.

Kudos to the editors of Origin Magazine for recognizing some of the teachers in the Philadelphia yoga community in their latest issue, which you can pick up now at Whole Foods! John and I are so happy to be snuggled in this feature with so many good friends and respected peers, and we are especially grateful to Joe Longo (www.joelongophotography.com) who I suspect orchestrated the entire situation! A lot of the other teachers in the photos you’ll see did their Teacher Certification at Dhyana Yoga and nothing could make us happier than their success in pursuing a career teaching yoga, which is not a path for the faint of heart. My Kundalini teacher, Yogi Bhajan said the students should become 10 times stronger than the teacher, and while I keep up in my own right, I always remember that, and revel in the victories of others.

All 10 of the Philly teachers in the article are unique in their lineages and styles, but I’ll tell you something we all have in common — At a certain point, every person you see there took a risk. There’s a point when, no matter what vocational path you follow, you come to a fork in the road and have to decide, do I go forward or go back? Do I take a risk or take the easy way out? There is a lot of processing, perhaps some uncomfortable but honest conversations, and ultimately a moment when you step forward into your destiny in such a powerful way that it inspires everyone around you to do the same.

The photo Joe chose to submit of John and I is especially dear to me because it is the very first picture of our whole family, including baby Raine, together. It was just hours later that I took a pregnancy test and it was positive, and we were positively overjoyed! That was such an amazingly happy time in our marriage, and boy, what a fork in the road! I feel like yoga was our training for all of the adventures parenting has presented to us.

An interesting sidebar for anyone who has read this far…

In my former life as a young woman working in the music industry in Southern California, I dated a musician for a few years who broke my heart. It turned out he had a “karmic connection” with someone else, of course, and this someone else (NOT a yoga teacher by the way!) is also in the very same issue of Origin Magazine. It just struck me as funny somehow that all these years later she and I end up in the same magazine just for doing what we love to do and are enjoying wonderful lives because of it…. Both of us WITHOUT that musician I might add!

The real victory for me is that I can look at this woman’s picture and truly harbor no lingering resentment for that whole messy situation. I can appreciate her beauty and talent  and not feel like it takes away from my own. I’m so grateful this article came out this month but without this karmic layer it would just be some passing press. Instead it’s been a great reminder to me that we are all, at our origin, intimately connected and infinitely entangled, and even if it’s messy, it’s up to us to wrap those connections in peace and love.

Connected and Entangled

Connected and Entangled

 

 

 

 

Sat Namaste,

Diana

ALTERED SPACE // A POEM FOR ALL WE DON’T KNOW

I’m not a poet or trying to be. I just scribble things down sometimes that have a certain feel to them. Having cleared that up, this is a “poem” I found in an old journal with the date March 1999 next to it. That year I was having a hard time making ends meet while I was trying to transition out of my full time job/old life and into Yoga. I was teaching Yoga anywhere and anytime to anyone I could, managing a retail shop inside a gym part time, living off of mung beans and rice, and couch surfing because I couldn’t afford rent in San Diego at the time, and I had a lot of friends with available couches. Looking back, it was a pretty great year…

MYSTERIES

There are some things we are not to know,

and though we’ll ask, we’ll not be told.

Your sworn soul mate might not be the one,

the man you raised might not be your son.

And though you’ll wonder, you’ll never know

how these mysteries will unfold.

Your worst enemy might become your friend.

Your final breath might not be the end.

And though you’ll ask, you’ll not be told,

because there are some things we are not to know.

 

 

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