All posts by Ivana Djordjevic

Flowing Through Life as We Would our Asanas

I found this a short and sweet reminder to check-in with ourselves on our connection between our  practices and our daily lives.

By Shari Eberts via Elephant Journal

Have you ever gotten an adjustment on a posture in yoga class that opened your eyes to an important life lesson?

This happened to me just the other day. The teacher told me, “Keep moving your muscles throughout the entire posture, otherwise you are just putting your body into a shape.”

My attention immediately snapped back to class. I have to admit that my mind was wandering at that particular moment, but her correction got me thinking. Had she simply caught me in a lazy moment or was my practice becoming routine?

Was I just putting my body into shapes or was I practicing yoga? Continue reading Flowing Through Life as We Would our Asanas

Invite Calm with a Morning Ritual

Whether you’re looking for some ideas to incorporate some teaching you learned at Hollyhock back into the city or just some ideas in general to calm your mind, this article helps remind us how important it is to find time at the beginning of the day for oneself. Start on the right foot and read on!

By Giselle Shardlow via Elephant Journal

Since my daughter’s birth, I have been shamelessly focused on creating a bedtime ritual that helps maximize her sleep.

Continue reading Invite Calm with a Morning Ritual

Presenter Profile | Linda Star Wolf

By Jessica Mahler
Reprinted from Yoga City NYC via Shamanic Breathwork

YogaCity NYC’s Jessica Mahler sat down to chat with her for a better under­stand­ing of shaman­ism and what kind of power can be found in our breath.

Anyone can be consid­ered a shaman, explained Star, a 60-year old woman with long blond locks and a kind face. “It’s a call­ing, really.” But it was a long, painful jour­ney for Star to fully under­stand hers in this life.

Star always felt differ­ent grow­ing up in west­ern Kentucky in the ’60s. “I was one of those people who was gluten and lactose intol­er­ant, and no one had ever heard of such a thing,” she says. On top of that, she had psychic, intu­itive abilities—abilities that she shared with her grand­mother, creat­ing a special bond between them. Continue reading Presenter Profile | Linda Star Wolf

Presenter Profile | Sharon Salzberg

Many of us are aware of what mindfulness meditation means or at least have a rough understanding of it…To quiet one mind and to create awareness directed towards  the experience of the truth in our lives, right? Well then what is lovingkindness meditation?

Sharon Salzberg explains what lovingkindness really means:

Lovingkindness is a quality of friendship. Lovingkindness meditation is the cultivation of  a steady, unconditional sense of connection that touches all beings without exception, including ourselves. The quality of lovingkindness is associated with three other qualities: Compassion, Sympathetic Joy & Equanimity.

Compassion is our caring human response to suffering.  A compassionate heart is non-judgmental and recognizes all suffering—our own and that of others—as deserving of tenderness.

Sympathetic Joy is the realization that others’ happiness is inseparable from our own. We rejoice in the joy of others and are not threatened by another’s success.

Equanimity is the spacious stillness of mind that provides the ground for the boundless nature of the other three qualities. This radiant calm enables us to ride the waves of our experience without getting lost in our reactions.

To get more of an understanding of Sharon’s teachings listen to her podcast:

We welcome you to join Sharon Salzberg at Hollyhock in Vancouver for the weekend of July 3-4th 2014 to practice Lovingkindness.

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Sharon Salzberg is cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts. She has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. Sharon’s latest book is Real Happiness At Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, published by Workman Publishing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is also the author of several other books including the New York Times best seller, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, Love Your Enemies, Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, andLovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. SharonSalzberg.com

Featured Image from Sharon Salzberg website.

Presenter Profile | Ivan E. Coyote

Immerse yourself in the craft of conjuring, creating, crafting, capturing, performing and preserving your own stories, drawn from real life.

By Ivan E. Coyote, Invested excerpt from Gender Failure

Twenty-four days ago, I had top surgery. Technically speaking, this means I had a full bilateral mastectomy with areolar or nipple grafts.
I am a storyteller. Have been for over twenty years now, and this story, the story of me and my chest, is for me the scariest story I have ever written down, by far. But I have been taking deep breaths and writing it. I have and continue to write about this whole crazy journey, all of that jumping through all of those hoops held up by the mostly cisgendered people who make most of the decisions and diagnoses that someone decided needed to be made before I could go ahead and do what I needed to do to live in the body I wanted to live in.

A couple of months before my surgery, I decided that it, and my recovery, were going to be private matters. I decided that I simply did not have it in me to heal and deal at the same time. I did not tell most of my family about it, and I made no mention of my surgery date, the operation itself, or any news of my recovery and adjustment to my new body on Facebook or any other form of social media. As a writer and performer, I live a very public life, but I had no interest at all in my body or my choices becoming a site for public debate. It was important for me to focus on healing. I couldn’t even fathom responding to sympathy from strangers, or the inevitable and inexplicably infuriating, though surely well-meant, hugz from people who purposely misspell “hugs,” not to mention some kinds of second-wave feminist backlash or criticism from readers who have more of an investment in my being female than I currently do. I told only my friends, intimates, collaborators, and my band and choir mates. I planned to write my family a long and carefully crafted letter after the fact, when I was well enough to juggle their and my emotions, and gracefully navigate any questions or fallout.

Exactly one week before I was scheduled for surgery, CBC radio aired a national primetime segment called “The Disappearing Butch?” which debated whether or not butches were being swallowed up by greater access to funded medical transitioning and hormone treatment. One of the interviewees included a shout-out to me as an old-school butch who was not transitioning, and the CBC linked to one of my columns on their web page. My elementary school boyfriend from the Yukon, who I shared a first kiss with halfway up a pine tree in grade four, immediately emailed me to congratulate me on my strength and perseverance. I bit my tongue and counted down the remaining days I had left before I disappeared part of myself.

Three days post-op, I was flat on my back in bed, surfing Percocet and Facebook simultaneously, when I saw a picture that made my heart jump into my throat like a smooth, hot stone. It was a picture of a young trans guy I had met in passing a couple of times. He was sitting up in a hospital bed, wearing the same post-operative compression vest I currently had on. He had obviously just come out of the OR, having just had his very own bilateral radical mastectomy and areolar grafts. But that is not what moved me. What choked me up was that his father was there with him, pictured bending over his son and kissing the soft top of his recently shorn head.
I hadn’t even breathed a word of what I was going through to my own father.

For more excerpts, stories, bio, events please visit:  http://www.ivanecoyote.com/

Ivan Coyote is the award-winning author of ten books, the creator of four short films and has released three CDs that combine storytelling with music. Over the last 18 years, Ivan, a seasoned stage performer and long-time road dog, has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writer’s, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

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Ivan E. Coyote is the award-winning author of ten books, the creator of four short films and has released three CDs that combine storytelling with music. Over the last 18 years, Ivan, a seasoned stage performer and long-time road dog, has become an audience favourite at storytelling, writer’s, film, poetry, and folk music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

Feature Image from Ivan Coyote Facebook.