Tag Archives: Yoga

Days go by at Hollyhock…

via lovebyriv.com

Rivkah RachelRivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime with a mission to attend all of the Wanderlust Festivals and practice yoga every day, in a new place. Rivkah has had Wanderlust her entire life, having had the good fortune to travel, live and practice all over the world. She recently took a break from her work in marketing and communications to study yoga full time and pursue her dreams. Rivkah is a nature-lover and DIY- enthusiast, she splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa with her faithful sidekick, Zorro. She dreams to open a nature retreat in the Laurentian Mountains.

Read her first impressions of Hollyhock here.

Aug 16, 2013

Days drift by so pleasantly here at Hollyhock. I’m surprised at how busy I manage to be. I’ve really been enjoying my time here. I started in housekeeping on Sunday. On Monday the other volunteers for this session arrived, and yesterday we had our official training day. There was an Oyster BBQ down at the beach for everyone. All I was missing was a crisp pinot grigio and I stared longingly at some of the guests’ glasses. I always forget my wine.

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There was a presenter evening, a lecture by a man named Eric Maisel, entitled the 12 secrets of living a creative life. It was excellent, the speaker engaging and the subject true.

I’ve done a couple of yoga classes, here, too. The teachers are of the Kripalu tradition, and it is interesting to be exposed to yet another style of yoga teaching.

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I am impressed at seemingly never-ending patience exhibited by the staff at Hollyhock. It must be terribly trying to explain the same thing, 10 times a year to 10 different people, some for over 10 years! You can tell these people like their jobs, they do them well, and have perfected the simplest tasks down to an art. Everyone is kind. Today I had my first early kitchen shift, and tackled the dish pit with great zeal. This afternoon, I worked with the production team to arrange the different spaces for arrival.

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It has taken me, regretfully almost three days to write this meager blog post. The internet connection is not too snappy here at the edge of the world.

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I have to leave today, and I do feel like I am dragging myself away. I have along haul to make to get home, involving planes, boats, and automobiles. It’s a rainy day. I don’t like to fly. I’m tired. It will be ok.

 

Rivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime…

via lovebyriv.com

Rivkah RachelRivkah is embarking on a yoga roadtrip of a lifetime with a mission to attend all of the Wanderlust Festivals and practice yoga every day, in a new place. Rivkah has had Wanderlust her entire life, having had the good fortune to travel, live and practice all over the world. She recently took a break from her work in marketing and communications to study yoga full time and pursue her dreams. Rivkah is a nature-lover and DIY- enthusiast, she splits her time between Montreal and Ottawa with her faithful sidekick, Zorro. She dreams to open a nature retreat in the Laurentian Mountains.

She has just arrived at Hollyhock for our month-long volunteer service program and will be narrating her island stories in her blog, lovebyriv.com. We’ll be posting some of her adventures here at HollyhockLife as well. Here’s her first impressions of Cortes Island and Hollyhock:

Aug 11, 2013

First, I think I need to share with you the view from which I write this:

My Hollyhock 'office'
My Hollyhock ‘office’

A lot of people have heard of Hollyhock and want to visit. You should probably get on that because you never know what the future will bring, and it is an experience not to be missed.

I am very, very pleased to be here. It is gorgeous, the food is delicious and healthy, and the ocean a constant backdrop. The people I’ve met are quite friendly.

Breakfast on the deck
Breakfast on the deck

Yesterday I went to an early morning yoga class in Raven, a round structure, that like all the buildings at Hollyhock is unique and charming. This morning, I enjoyed a tour of the gardens.

Early morning ocean through the trees
Early morning ocean through the trees
Hollyhock gardens after the rain
Hollyhock gardens after the rain

I cannot express the joy I felt at unpacking all of my belongings into a room. I spread out quit impressively, my clothes, jewelry, the books and artwork I’ve picked up on my journey on display. A spacious clean room, with a private toilet at that. Someone was trimming the lavender today and there were clippings left over. I tied them in a few bunches and hung them around the room. I set candles into old bottles and on a sea-smoothed stone I found on the beach. The effect is a cosy, lavender scented haven. As a finishing touch, I picked a few fresh blooms and settled them into a vase on the dresser. I am so, so content.

My little room at Hollyhock by night.
My little room at Hollyhock by night.

 

Yoga while you garden!

Hilary and K Lea Do Yoga In the Garden

Yoga is a great way to counteract bending over in the garden all afternoon!

Learn Iyengar Intensive Yoga July 3-7 with K-lea Gifford on Cortes Island

 

Discover ways to incorporate yoga teachings on non-harm and social engagement into your life

Redefining the present moment – Michael Stone

What does it mean to be in the moment? What does it mean to be mindful? Yogi and Buddhist teacher Michael Stone breaks down the oft used term and shows how it relates to being mindful about what’s really going on.

The gift of our wounds – Michael Stone

 

The heart of non-attachment – Michael Stone

True non-attachment is an intimacy with life. Buddhist teacher and yogi Michael Stone shares his perspective on how to live an engaged life.

Shot & edited by Ian MacKenzie http://ianmack.com

Michael Stone leader of Centre of Gravity, is a psychotherapist, Yoga teacher, author and activist, committed to the integration of traditional teachings with contemporary psychological and philosophical understanding. The components of his practice include Yoga postures, breathing technique, meditation and textual study. Over the years, his goal has been to cultivate long-term relationships with people who want to deepen their understanding of Yoga and Buddhist teachings and practice. He also maintains a dedicated workshop and retreat schedule in communities in Canada and abroad. Michael is a father and lives in Toronto with his partner Carina Lof and his 9 year old son Arlyn. These days you can find him working on a documentary film called “Reactor,” a new book of the same title, teaching, and also giving talks at conferences and in community.

Join Michael Stone  June 28 – July 3 for a workshop on The Inner Tradition of Yoga and discover ways to incorporate yoga teachings on non-harm and social engagement into your life

 

The Road Map to Salvation through Mantra

BY SNATAM KAUR KHALSA

How can we really enjoy this life?  How can we really enjoy being in our bodies, in this rib cage?  We must have the capacity to have a still and quiet mind.  Because the joy is there.  This innocence is there. The love is there.  We become too ravaged in our own insecurity, our own misery, our own blindness, to even see the truth.  Yes, thrash around if you must, gnarl and gnash your teeth like a wild animal.  After enough tearing about, you will be left alone, simply alone, to rebuild the pieces of your life.

Use the sacred medicine of Mantra at this time, and you will find the happiness and the joy that you are seeking.  What is despair?  What is anguish?  It is a simple frequency of the mind.  Just as Mantra is a frequency of the mind.  Mantra is a word that is thousands of years old.  It means projection (tra) of the mind (man).  Mantra is the way we project our mind to Divinity.

Snatam_Kaur_playingAs human beings we are constantly in a state of being in touch with our darkness and our light, our insecurity and our security, our courage and our fear.  We come to this earth with our karma, our past actions from previous lifetimes.  Our souls have come here to learn and grow.  The yogis say that it takes 8.4 million lifetimes (rock, blade of grass, ant, tortoise, etc. etc. not necessarily in that order!) to reach the human incarnation.  We have passed through that animal phase.  Yet many of us are still in this kind of animal phase, and even worse then animals.  At least with animals there is an innocence about their actions.  We have even lost our innocence!  So, how do we experience the goodness, the joy, and the love?  How do we reach our Divinity? Mantra.  Mantra, takes you there.  It is a fast track, direct line.  Many people do not want to even practice it, because it works too well!  They enjoy the neurosis, the anger, the pain, and the anguish!  There is a certain kind of satisfaction in it, a knowing, the familiar, and the oh so delicious drama of it all.  Mantra, well, sorry folks, mantra is kind of boring.  It is that kind of boring, boring, boring, boring a hole into your heart so that your light can finally shine through you.  It takes time, it takes patience, it takes consistency, it takes prioritization.

Here is a thousand foot view of the human experience of Mantra from the beginning to the ultimate goal. Someone experiences a Mantra, they get healed, they feel light, they feel love, and they feel joy.  Perhaps they heard someone singing it, their yoga teacher, a musician, something. If they are lucky, they will realize that it was  not in fact the human carrier of the mantra that brought them joy, but the living presence of the Mantra.  You see, because every mantra is alive, a living breathing energy.  The mantras find you!  So yes, if you know the truth, you will know that the healing, the joy has come from the Mantra itself.  With this realization one incorporates the Mantra into their life.  The ultimate goal is that the Mantra becomes you, you live it and breath it, it guides your breath, your thoughts, and your actions.  These Mantras are simple positive affirmations of the love and light of God that is within and around us, the affirmation of truth and reality that all is Divine, all is God.

Most of us exist with the Mantras on a very peripheral level.  We hear the Mantra every once in a while, we cycle in and out, we go to a chant concert or experience one night, to a disco the next night, we chant together, and then we turn around and yell and scream at each other all in the same day!  Such is the human life!  How do we get to  grace, to true experience, and joy?

My teacher taught a very simple practice that in essence gives the opportunity for all of us having a very human experience to transform, and transform completely.  It is essentially a road map to salvation through Mantra for the house holder.

It is called the Aquarian Sadhana.  I have been practicing this Sadhana since I was a teenager. And yes, with all of my faults and life in its ebb and flow, if there is anything that has worked for me, it is this practice.  This is the way it is done; we get up before the sun rises, in what is called the “Amrit Vela” or nectar time; somewhere around 3:30 am.  To make this early rising sustainable one must go to bed early as well. So we rise up, and then take a cold shower.  And yes, I did just say that.  I’ll say it again in caps, Cold Shower.  If you want to change your life, wake up before the sun and take a cold shower!  It is the most awesome experience in the world.  It totally wakes you up, for obvious reasons, but also gives you an amazing rush and experience of circulation which is fabulous for your skin and all of your organs.  Any emotional freak outs, any craziness, can be completely healed by a cold shower.  Alright so, moving on, then we do a recitation called Jap ji.  Followed by about a half hour of yoga, and then by seven mantras which we chant.  Of course in this article I cannot tell you what all of the chants are, and how to do the practice.  You can come and attend one of our courses to have an experience of that.  Or check out one of the links below for more information.

What I can tell you is that this practice has changed by life.  It has given me the opportunity as a human being, in the best and worst use of the word, in all of my experience, to reach the Divine.  Why?

Here is why, and the number one thing I wish to convey.

I do it every day.  Let me repeat that.  I do it every day.  Like the heart beat, I am consistent.  With consistency we convince the mind that yes, in fact we are putting our Divinity first, we are prioritizing it at the top, that this is in fact the core experience that we are choosing to have.  Daily practice.  That is how we are going to change the world.  That is how we are going to bring peace to this planet.  One practitioner at a time.  And so we set aside 2.5 hours each day, we give a little over 10% of our day to God, and as my teacher Yogi Bhajan says, then God gives Himself/Herself to you.

What is my goal with all of this? To have sacred mantras in my mind all day, all night, all the time.  Am I there yet?  No.  Do I have a method to get there?  Yes.

Join me my friends.  Find a way to have a daily practice.  Put Divinity in the front seat, and watch as your life, even if ever so slowly, changes and transforms.  We have to start somewhere.  And if you are like me, the chaos, the noise, the confusion, the drama, is well, let’s just say, not really working any longer.  Let us find the stillness, and even for a moment allow for the boredom to set in.  Ah yes, the boredom!  Where we can finally be still long enough to hear the laughter of a child.  Where we can finally be still enough to see how much God truly loves us.  Where we can finally just be.

Sat Nam. God Bless You.

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Snatam Kaur is a beloved teacher of chant and yoga whose dedication to peace, love and wellbeing have inspired students and audiences around the planet. She is one of the most popular New Age artists of all time, selling over 70,000 albums a year with enthusiastic press about her music everywhere from the Houston Chronicle to the Hindustan Times. She’s been featured in publications such as Oprah Magazine, Yoga Journal, and LA Yoga. Dressed in distinctive Sikh garb, Snatam Kaur embodies the Sikh message of strength through inner serenity. snatamkaur.com

Join Snatam Kaur at Hollyhock on Cortes Island Sept 13-16, 2013, for Awaken the Kundalini.