Yoga's Not Just for Show: Why Feeling Beats Looking Good

Hey Friends,

Let's chat about something near and dear to my heart (and my yoga mat): the difference between making yoga look good and making it feel good. You've probably seen those picture-perfect yoga poses on Instagram, right? That's aesthetic yoga for you. But here in our cozy yoga corner, we're all about functional yoga. It's less about impressing others and more about connecting with yourself.

Aesthetic Yoga: Looks Good on Camera, But...

  1. Picture-Perfect Pressure:
    • Aesthetic yoga is like those glossy magazine photos – stunning, but not always real. It's about hitting poses that look great, sure, but they might not feel great. And that's a problem.
    • Ever felt like you're not 'doing yoga right' because you can't twist yourself into a pretzel? Yeah, that's the downside of chasing those picture-perfect poses.
  2. When Your Body Says 'Nope':
    • Pushing your body into a pose it's screaming 'no' to? Ouch. That's when yoga stops being yoga and starts being a competition – and not the fun kind.

Functional Yoga: Where Feeling Good is the New Looking Good

  1. Alignment Over Appearance:
    • Here’s the deal with functional yoga – it’s all about how you feel in a pose, not how you look. It's about listening to your body, finding your alignment, and saying, “Hey, body, you’re the boss.”
    • And guess what? It's for every body. Tall, short, big, small – if you've got a body, you're good to go.
  2. No Injuries, Just Bliss:
    • By focusing on how poses feel, we're taking care of our bodies, reducing injury risks, and actually enjoying our practice. It's like giving your body a high-five.

Real Talk from Your Yoga Buddy:

  1. Been There, Felt That:
    • Ever been in a class, trying a pose, and it just feels plain wrong? But everyone else is doing it, so you grit your teeth and bear it? Been there, done that. Not fun.
    • In our world, if a pose feels off, we change it. We adapt. Because yoga is about feeling good, not just looking good.
  2. Feeling It, Not Forcing It:
    • In our classes, it’s all about tuning in to what your body’s saying. We make poses work for us, not the other way around. It’s pretty liberating, actually.

Wrapping Up: So, there you have it. Yoga doesn’t have to be a fashion show. It's about feeling grounded, connected, and, honestly, just not giving a hoot about what others think. It's your practice, your rules.

Come Feel Good with Us: If you’re into feeling great and taking care of your body (while having a bit of fun), drop by for a class. Let’s focus on what feels right, together.

Stay Bendy (Or Not), Your Yoga Pal

8 hours of Yoga!

Mar. 3 - journal entry

Sitting with Harry and Denise, I was listening to them speak to being in a place of contentment. Not complacent, yet also not looking to devote their time at present to healing... As they feel in a good place at the moment AND both are single. The lesson? I am there, I just needed to realize it AND it is time to integrate all that I have learned.

Mar. 4 - journal entry

Struggling with this group mentality. Feeling like I don't fit in. Not a new story forme. It feels like no one cares about what I have to say. What I have recognized from this particular set of interactions though is that some people are just not my people. And some are. But the story I tell tends to be that I don't belong in most groups that I run in... This is why I call myself a Weirdo.... This is why I am short on close friends, I have but a few. And I could look at this differently as well, it doesn't have to be a bad thing.... And I don't think I am wrongabout how I feel. I want to be close with peeps and it just doesn't vibe. I guess I just keep looking for my tribe without judgement.

Later insight to this: what I realized is, I already have people. Why do I need to go across the world to find more? Love who and what I have with the ones in my life now! Appreciate them and stop trying to find more, I do already have so much.

Aya Camp Entry #7?

Ceremony #7
A perfect end. After the usual terrifying piece, all calmed. I built a world under blankets and felt all the sensations - Visual, auditory & physical. Overwhelming sensations. Why does it have to be so terrible? I talk myself through it. What comes to me now is this trouble I have with control. My need to know who, what, why, where & when & most of all - HOW?

She takes away my control & takes me to the 5th dimension. A place where you can feel the inside of your body, where you are not separate from anything. Being so significance driven & so control & outcome focused, this world would be terrifying.

Last night was the first time I asked for help. Assistance to the bathroom, where I was able to find this world. The present. Then back to my mat for love. My reflections on my sapo experience & this feeling of overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude, firstly for my family - the Frik-Shuhn family. The people that give a shit, that read my posts and support and loveme, just as I am. Then I moved to the people in the room. The group. Such immense love for everyone in their processes. So beautiful, so much love. Then to Sean & Ben & Doug. So in love with these men. Words I needed to hear post Sapo. That they give a shit. That they love me. Broken, collecting all the pieces off the floor, ready to put them all back together one day soon.

Enlightenment

Before enlightenment - chop the wood, carry the wood, stack the wood. After enlightenment - chop the wood, carry the wood, stack the wood.

It feels weird to say, but today I hit enlightenment. Years of being so hard on myself, I cried for. Years. Like all of my years. All the pressure I have put on myself. Dissolved. Trust. I haveto trust. The flow of everything. I had a taste of it.

We walk in, get santoed and then get comfy. Angel my guide. He says trust. I do. And he sends me to a place where nothing matters anymore, last of all my judgements of myself or anyone else. Years of baggage released. Years of harshness and making meaning and playing games. Am I here forever? Did I pass through and leave my body? I wish LOL.

I have never cried so hard. Not only this week, but in this ceremony. I felt it. Complete andunconditional love for myself, for the perfection I am. Completely broke through. Deserving. Worthy. Open. Loved. Loving. Nothing matters, least of all the constraints I have put on myself. So much hatred released.

One more aya ceremony.....

*** it felt amazing to hit enlightenment. It is a state I have only dreamed about. Itwas beautiful and I thought I hi   t samadhi and was never to return. And that was not the truth here's the thing: after hitting that reality, one must come back to this reality. So quickly the veil is returned. Slowly added back. Skinny. Beauty. Finances. That place is beautiful and perfect but the real work takes place here.

❤️????

Aya Camp - Big breakthrough!

Wow. Travelled all night to get here. Cusco and then the Sacred Valley. Had a massive breakdown today. Sat in the shower and cried. Had a nap, cried somemore. Total fucking breakdown. I didn't know what to do, under the effects of Medicine and then 8 hours of travelling with the biggest breakdown ever, I literally thought I wouldn't stop crying and would also maybe die (this emotion thing new to me). I started reaching out, trying to distract myself instead of just let it out. Istarted missing the boys from the jungle, started hating it here. Then I reached out to Sarah (a girl that came from the jungle with me). Best move ever. Went to her room and broke the fuck down while she held me. Shared some of my story with her and had the biggest breakthrough!

Just to add to the story, last night I went to see my friends and say goodbye. I ended up in conversation with one that went deep. I talked about wondering if I was addicted to sex, why did I always have this insatiable appetite for it and based all my relationship success in the quantity and quality of relations? B    en told me I was more of a love addict than anything. I disagreed. Lol. I don't want love. We talked about meaningless sex being meaningless and a waste of time. He said, trust me darlin, you like the connection.

Back to the breakdown..... I was sharing with Sarah all of the this while she rubbed me and lovedme and held me and I was telling her stories of my past and I could feel a release at my core. My body let go of years and years of holding back, 39 years of tears. At first it felt like death. I was trying to do whatever I could to get away from it and when I listened to my intuition and leaned into it, it was amazing. Deep release. Complete let go.

What came through was the need I don't want to see. The need for touch, love, connection. This is why I have sex. It has been the only time I have allowed others to touch me or me touch others and I crave it, but don't want to admit it. I spend so much time not cuddling, not hugging, not showing affection, not holding hands or even kissing. And I feel deep apologies to all for that - friends, family and partners.

The barriers have been broken. I am open. No need to ever hold back tears again. No need to tense up when someone touches me. No need to not touch. And ask for help! Deep work today.

Aya Camp Entry #4 -

Ceremony #4

Journal entry :
Judgement. Inner monologue. Hatred. Failure. The last 3 ceremonies have been exactly the same but completely different. Everything highlighting this crazy war I have going on 24/7 with myself. The blame for not loving me shifts from one worthy opponent to another. For so long the physical aspectof me. All parts. The mirror my favourite companion to pick out daily every single one of my million flaws. I was so focused externally that I have allowed myself, my inner dialogue to beat the fuck out of me, and not subtly.

My curse is guilt. The catalyst is failure. This voice in my head relentless. What a fuck up you are. Said in so many different ways. All these feelings brought to the surface, left to boil for the next few days of travel. How can I find balance in all of this? This entire journey has come to a place of exhaustion.

Acceptance. Love. Integration. Deep deep down, I know I am ok. I just feel weary. And this leg of the journey has just begun.

Aya Camp Entry #3 - Rock Bottom

What I wrote after ceremony #3.

Yesterday was the most beautiful Valentine's day I have ever had. I officiallyunboycott the day as it now has so much more meaning. How beautiful an annual reminder of the day I fell in love with myself. The day I saw my worth. The day I came to grips with the beauty I truly hold inside.

Last night I embarked on a journey with this amazing plant as my guide. I dive bombed a cannon ball into the deepest pit of despair and officially hit rock bottom. On the way down, the haunting visions of all that I have refused to feel or admit or touch on were pushing me down further until finally I was an egg, cracked open, yoke broken. RAW & VULNERABLE until my ego finally admitted defeat.

I did it. I asked for help. Lef  t at the bottom of the deepest crack this earth has, I wondered, "Now what?" How can this cracked egg navigate the world? Guided and surrounded by the 3 beautiful shamans and their ancient wisdom, I started to build and climb. The most solid foundation is built from rock bottom.

I made my way back to the top. My fears & worries were not victors or foes but rather allies & friends guiding me here. To this moment in time. With these people. At this place. On valentine's day. The fears needed to be seen and acknowledged and no longer pushed away. Self love is not what I thought it was. Not as I expected. I have found new respect for the word discipline and the importance of its presence in my life. I have also forgiven myself for everything. I have healed to the core of my being. I recognize there is a path and I am so glad to continue to walk it. To hit all the monuments and attractions along the way.

I have agonized that this was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my life. Leaving Paul,selling everything I own with no end goal other than faith, love and gratefulness. To leave my girls, to be so selfish, to keep doing it despite nagging and relentless voices telling me I'm crazy. Greedy. A piece of shit. Last night I saw the best decision I have every made.

My purpose is to be. I touch others at a soul level and now own that. I connect. I love. Again arriving to my path. Truly embodying that the end of the path is not what I am searching for, but rather the journey. I have been walking by the roses for so many years. And finally, their aroma is slowing me down, seducing me and having me look around. I have arrived, truly, in this moment.

Aya Camp Entry #2 - All the things

What I wrote after my second ceremony.

This night I journeyed into "All the things."

The medicine came on fast and came on strong. I realized I spend a significant amount of time labelling myself - I am this, I am not that and tonight the labels went away.

I can not really tell you what happened as I could not comprehend the unfolding of events, images and sensations I went through in such a short time (something I will refer to as the terribles, coined by Anton) and then the time loop.

The time loop was like an unfolding and deconstruction of my who and all of my mindless thinking. How hard I truly have to work to NOT know what's going on. How hard I truly have to work in everyday interactions to see a sign or make meaning out of the words and actions of others. How hard I have to work to discover all of the things I already know.

Tonight I discovered CHOICE. Literally everything comes down to choice.

How long will I self destruct? As long as I choose to.

How long will I continue to not have a morning routine or get serious about my business again? As long as I choose to.

How long until I stop beating myself up for my choices?

How long until I choose differently?

How long until I am ok?

How long until I am good enough?

How long until I love myself?

All choice my friend. Last night Ben's words rang so loud in my ears. "You are forgetting about 1 very important person - YOURSELF" and by doing that it's easy to forget that everything is a choice.

Arriving

So yesterday was a big day. The start of the retreat. We were to all meet up for the shuttle. There we all get to check each other out, size each other up and see who we are with for thenext at least 7 days. Well of course my group is the coolest. 2 ex-navy seals, an expert in artificial emotional intelligence, a married couple from California, 2 cute boys fromOntario, a sweetheart on his 40th+ journey and the coolest chick I could dare to hang out with, with 5 more people to meet at the centre.

2 hours of driving through the country side, with the best meal ever and then 1.5 hours by boat on the largest river I have ever seen. Good conversation and deep connection right off the bat and a fuck ton of laughs. I nicknamed3people immediately. Lol.

We arrived at this isolated village on stilts to music and dancers. It was surreal. Intros, orientation, our rooms and food! We heard about kambo and what that ceremony would look like at 6am and finished the day off with a nunu ceremony. Wow.

Spiders, mosquitoes and then crazy rain throughout the night meant barley any sleep. Upat sunrise for the kambo. Wow. Again. I think I know what death feels like, lol. A bit of purgingand everyone says I look like a different person.... Hmmm.

A one on one with the shamans where I share my deepest traumas and history and ayahauscaceremony #1 tonight. Anticipation without expectation. A difficult space to hold. Tonight is establishing a connection with the medicine. Wish me luck, let's hope she likes me. ❤️