All posts in Life in the Positive Possibilities

Starting Your Yoga Practice

Namaste, Happy International Yoga Day, this Wednesday, June 21! Last week, we looked at what yoga can do for you, what it is and what it is not. If you have not read it, you will find it useful as you discover yoga and find the right teacher for you. This week, I would like to answer questions that I often hear from people who are interested in yoga but feel unsure where or how to start. HOW CAN I FIND THE RIGHT YOGA CLASS FOR ME? There are many different types of Hatha yoga practices, because there are many types of people. It is not appropriate, for example, for someone who tends to run hot to do a heating yoga practice. Nor is it appropriate for one who tends to be heavy in body and mind to do a practice that is particularly slow. Hatha Yoga is part of the greater whole of Yoga, which includes the herbal medicine Ayurveda. Under Ayurveda, everyone is considered to have one or a combination of three predominant tendencies: vata, pitta and kapha. Vata people tend to be slim, sweat little, with a highly alert nervous system. They may be restless, sensitive to sound, and have an irregular appetitive and delicate digestion. Pitta people tend to be athletic, competitive,…

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What Yoga Can Do For You

Namaste, Yoga is at the heart of all spiritual practices. Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, or part of any other tradition, the desire and practice to become one with the divine is yoga. Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word meaning union, or to yoke or join. Yoga is a systematic body of knowledge and practice that teaches integrated living, while living our highest good, following our deepest joy. While yogic knowledge spans the breadth of spiritual study, herbal medicine, astrology and more, what we mostly know of yoga in the Western world is one small branch of it, called Hatha yoga, which concentrates on the health and purity of the body. Whether you are doing Kripalu, Ashtanga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Kundalini, or any other kind of yoga in a local yoga studio, you are likely doing some form of hatha yoga. The goal of hatha yoga is the purification of subtle channels that run through the body, so that you can experience unending bliss while remaining physically present. You are a part of nature. Living in alignment with this reality, which is within the teachings of yoga, lets you tap into an infinite well of power and creativity, the very life force that continually creates this amazing universe in which you live.…

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The Grace of a Spiritual Teacher

Namaste, It has been a pleasure to share here some of the spiritual gifts and yogic insights I have received from whales. I have also been blessed in my life to experience the grace of a realized master, Amma, who has guided me into a fuller understanding of yoga than I ever knew possible. But even before I had the fortune of meeting her in a tiny village in India in 1993, I began to see that yoga was being taught to me through the light in the leaves, through the wind in the air, through the way the waves would lap along the shore. Prior to meeting Amma, I would say that my guru was my body. Within it I found an intelligence that moved through me, to which I could surrender, in which I could fully trust. I experienced this quickening in nature all around me. Then I came to realize this force as the essence of my beloved Amma, who I feel flows through my every cell, my entire existence. THE FIRST TEACHER Our many previous births cultivate the foundation of our personal spiritual awakening. The various experiences we meet in our day-to-day lives activate and put to the test the teachings we carry at a soul level. It is said that when…

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Spiritual Lessons from Whales 4: The Awakened Flow

Namaste, In this post, I conclude my series on spiritual lessons from the whales (for now…!) with some more amazing information about the lives of whales and the masterful, spiritual teachings they embody and can offer us. HEALING OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH NATURE This past week, I was interviewed by CBC Radio about MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. As I prepared for the call, I contemplated how I could quickly express what I feel is going on now with our environment. We are in constant relationship with Nature, and it with us. We know that healthy relationships are based on mutual trust, listening and respect. They become dysfunctional without these essential qualities. Our collective relationship with the natural world suffers from this modern dysfunction. One of the driving forces for my volunteer work to realize MAPS, the world’s largest marine park to date, is that it creates an undisturbed space where wild animals can be wild and Nature can regain its equilibrium, without us interfering. It gives us pause so that we can learn to listen once again to Nature and regain respect for its wisdom. The force of Nature is vast, powerful and wise beyond our human comprehension. When we forget the immensity of this force and try to contain it within our limits, both…

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Spiritual Lessons from the Whales 3: Harmony and Dharma

Namaste, This is the time of spring when all things burst into vibrancy. I feel like that in my music studio, as new tracks are being born. I show up with a deep intention to listen to nature’s guidance and serve it with heartfelt devotion, and sound arises. Creation is a humbling and awe-inspiring process, something we all experience in our own way. I can’t wait to share with you the new tracks that are coming into being this month! We have been exploring here how whales are master karma yogis. Selfless and surrendered, their simple, natural rhythm effortlessly benefits the whole. Equally inspiring is how whales behave with each other and towards others. If you go online to look for whale pictures, most of the images you will find are of the humpback whale. This massive creature, the size of five elephants, is a close relative of the blue whale and is known for its wide-ranging melodious song. It is also the most extravagant aerialist among the great whales, rising its entire body length out of the water in awe-inspiring breaches that land in thunderous splashes. My jaw dropped recently when I found out that the rippling song of the humpback whale is a collective expression. All humpback whales, in a given region, sing the…

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Spiritual Lessons from the Whales 2: Supreme Karma Yoga

Namaste, Happy Mother’s Day! As you acknowledge the mothers in your life (your own mother, your friends and relatives who are mothers, the mother of your children, the motherly figures who have given you love and compassion over the years, the ways in which you yourself are a mother), remember this beautiful planet. The Earth feeds, nourishes, supports and sustains us. The matter that is our body is given from her, so that as spiritual beings we may have human experiences. Our relationship with Mother Earth is 24/7 for life. We have a sacred contract with her to love and support her the way she loves and supports us. This is why establishing MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary is such a natural and urgently needed step. The planet, our mother, is suffering. We need to protect her so that she can protect us. If you have not already, please sign and share the MAPS petition at Parvati.org. I would like to continue my series on spiritual lessons from the whales with an exploration of whales as supreme karma yogis. Karma yoga, a complete spiritual path in its own right, is the yoga of action. For a karma yogi, work is executed without ego, as a form of prayer. Actions are done as a means to…

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Spiritual Lessons from the Whales 1: Let Your Darkness Feed Your Light

Namaste, I write to you this week feeling a mixture of gratitude, deep joy and fatigue. Rishi spent last week in Los Angeles at MusExpo and the Worldwide Radio Summit, sharing the products and vision for MAPS (the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary). Ensuring he was able to share the full range of the creative offering dedicated to MAPS has been an intensive labour these past couple of months in music production, graphic design, book editing, set building, web development and more. There has been such profound grace! You likely know that I feel a deep connection with whales, one that was inexplicably sealed through my miraculous spinal healing. Parvati.org began when I first learned of the threat of seismic testing in the Arctic. I knew that the destructive sound blasting directed at the bottom of the ocean would harm and kill these magnificent creatures that depend on sonar for survival. With every cell in my being, I knew I could not let this happen. I am happy to share that since Parvati.org was founded in 2014, the seismic testing planned off Clyde River, Nunavut (Canada), has never taken place. However, we remain vigilant, as the seismic testing companies have not abandoned their plans, only delayed them. The more I learn of whales, the more I am…

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Cultivate the Buddha’s Laughter

Namaste, I feel tremendous joy seeing all the green shoots and blossoms as they spring from the ground. They are so rooted, vital and expansive! Truly, I aspire to that in my whole being. May we all experience such embodied bliss! In flow with the changing energy of the new season, I am now in my studio creating some inspired music for you. I am enjoying the process and happy about how the sounds that are taking shape. I look forward to sharing these new songs with you soon. Stay tuned! If you have not yet seen this month’s issue of Parvati Magazine, please check it out! It is a stellar issue that features exclusive interviews with Deepak Chopra, Jane Iredale, Cassey Ho, Marshall Goldsmith, Amy Ippoliti and more. To give you a taste, here is my Positive Possibilities article for this month: Love, the force of the universe, is ever flowing, eternally present, continually effervescent, whether or not we choose to perceive it. Many of us can be like the child who plays hide and seek with his caretakers. When covering his eyes, he believes that because he cannot see his environment, no one can see him. We laugh in delight at such innocence when we see a child doing it. We forgive his ignorance…

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Shame: From Shadow to Healing

Namaste, As the snow melts and mud dries, spring cleaning can reveal areas of our lives or aspects of ourselves we might not have wanted to see, much like we may pick up a board that has been on the ground all winter, and discover slugs underneath it. It is natural and healthy in this time to bring to the light that which has been hidden in the dark. That is why this week I would like to explore an emotion with you that is often left in the shadows: shame. John Bradshaw, author of the important book Healing the Shame That Binds You, outlines two kinds of shame. Healthy shame provides balanced remorse for things you do, think and say that do not support your highest good or the good of all. It is part of your human nature as it helps you flourish, learn and grow. However, toxic shame holds on to “mine” and binds you to harmful behaviours. It thwarts and undermines your brilliance, joy and fulfilment. The roots for toxic shame can be traced to your youngest years, when your true self may have been judged as not good enough by your primary caregivers. I deeply believe that people do the best they can at any given moment. There is no need…

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The Power of Your Soul Voice

Namaste, Happy Easter and happy spring! Spring is here and with it comes greater warmth, longer days and more light. It’s a joy to see nature awaken! With every change in season comes a change in the sounds around us. Birdsong is a definite feature in spring! As a musician, I am acutely aware that every season has a particular sound palette. Not only do I witness this change externally in my environment, but as a singer, I also experience this change internally. This spring, I find my voice more open and bursting with new life as I am in the studio again finishing new compositions for you to hear. As such, I was happy when I learned that April 16 is World Voice Day, a day very close to my heart. It is my great love to give voice to insights that arise from meditation and life-changing events such as singing at the North Pole, and a miraculous spinal healing. All of my work, whether it is music, yoga, words or activism, is about being a surrendered instrument. For that reason, I would like to share this week about what it means to give voice and how it is key to your health, happiness and wholeness. Much of our developmental information happens in our early…

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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Let me know how yoga and YEM have touched your life. You can send a link to a video by you if you would like. Comments may be shared on my website if you check the "permission to share" box.
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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

© 2015 Parvati Devi