One yogini sharing her path of discovery

Posts tagged ‘understanding’

February Food Foundations

Eating in

Eating in

Good news : February is almost past

Bad news: I am afraid of loosing all that I have gained from this last months resolution.

We chose “No Eating Out” for the second month of the year primarily because we wanted to be healthier and it only had 28 days in it so we wouldn’t to deprive ourselves of restaurant food for very long. It also seemed like such a daunting task since I probably average 1 meal out a day. Our lives are busy ones … along with everyone else … and grabbing a sandwich here and a burrito there just seemed easier then carrying around a bunch of food with me all day long. The benefits of this all, however, have expressed beyond those initial intentions as all of our resolutions do.

First, I noticed a drastic change of energy. I felt more awake and stronger after my first week of preparing all of my meals by my own hands and with fresh ingredients. Many “Well Duh!” ‘s may follow that last comment but it really took doing it myself for an extended period of time to realize the importance of making our own food.

Second, I am saving hundreds of dollars! For some, another “Duh!” moment. For me, I expected to save some money but I truly had no idea it would be this much. I am terrible with money. I never really know how much I have, how much I owe, or where and how it gets spent. I have always been completely hopeless and happily delusional and this has been a surprising wake-up call as well as new-found motivation into being better with where my money goes.

Third, our relationship has improved. Along with the “eating in” resolution we also decided to eat every meal at the kitchen table instead of the usual Netflix 1-2 hour dinner watch-a-thon. Now, I will be honest. On those nights when I got home late from work and wanted desperately to never sit in a chair again, we did end up cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, zoned out and unconsciously shoveling food into our mouths. But the majority of the time we ate at the table and would stay there talking well beyond our plates had been emptied and cleared. My partner even started helping out with meals (Despite our “I cook, you clean” arrangement) which I really appreciated on those nights when I would usually vote for take out sushi.

Now as we munch our way into March this coming week I want to stay connected with the foundations that we have cultivated. New habits of making lunches, brining snacks, and creative cooking are always available and in a city where it is incredibly easy to forget these things I think its important that we keep ourselves reminded on all that we have gained from this months experience. And as always, even though I have always known this was the better way, it took actually doing it to make the difference. Practice makes for more practice. Horay!

Happy Eating In !


xo Carly

5 Things to Start a Home Practice

For me, one of the most rewarding types of practice is a solitary one. No teacher, no other students, just me, my mat, and the opportunity to explore. For some, this may be the only option during a busy schedule. For others, the idea of going it alone seems too challenging. When I began my teacher training on of our first “assignments” was to start a home practice. It was a foreign and slightly scary notion to me to do an hour or so of yoga completely unguided, but I gradually found my rhythm.

home practice

Now as an instructor I am able to share my own experiences with a home practice with my students. Part of my responsiblilty as a private instructor for people over-coming injury or trauma is to safetly guide them into postures in the clinic during our sessions, as well as give them tools to do it themselves at home until they feel comfortable enough to go to a “regular” class. (Which in Vancouver sometimes means 20-50 people and a teacher that is doing their best to be mindful of all those souls) Some of the most common questions that I get from my students are the same ones that I asked myself.

How will I remember what poses to do? What music should I put on? Where will I do it?

These are all good questions and an important part of finding your own home yoga rhythm so hopefully the following tips can help.

 Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame. ”

B.K.S. Iyengar


1. Have a space – It doesn’t have to be a big space. Maybe in the living room, on the balcony, beside your bed, in the park, or if you have the option create a yoga room. Regardless of where it is all you need space for is a mat. Also, try to let it be free from external distractions like a computer, cellphone, mirrors, and other people.

2. Have a point of focus – If you have ever seen someone else’s yoga space or meditation area you may have also noticed an atlar. Your altar can be simple or elaborate. Feel free to place meaningful pictures, a Buddha, your favorite Hindi God, candles, and stones. Whatever resonates positive energy and peace of mind within you. It not only helps solidify your space to practice but also helps culitvate your drishti or point of focus.

3. Have a set time – Making time for a home practice can sometimes be the most challenging especially if you are running a household. We can’t exactly lock children out of our room or ignore a partner that wants to spend time together. And if your a bit of a social butterfly, saying no to an event to practice yoga alone doesn’t always make the cut. That is why having a scheduled time to do your practice is essential. In the beginning, allow making it to your mat at home just as important as making it to your favorite studio class. 

4. Have a plan – Your plan can be a sequence you learned in class, following a video, or just winging it. If you are new to yoga remembering what you did in a class can be hard and knowing if you’re doing it right or wrong may be non-exsistant. Thats okay because not only do we live in a world with information at our fingertips but also its when we explore the unknown that the best discoveries are made. Great websites like


Offer a wide range of classes for any length of time or intention. If you are on a budget there are also thousands of videos on YouTube and weekly podcasts available on iTunes. If you want to build your own sequence or learn more about a specific pose then check out where they have an endless supply of information for everybody no matter what the level.

Music: If you are not following a video also feel free to choose some music that makes you feel good. If you’re not sure what to play Youtube, iTunes, and Songza (for those that can download apps) have playlists for just this purpose.

* If it is in your budget and you are new to yoga or looking to expand your practice, investing in a private session with an instructor can make all the difference. For my own students we set an intention and sequence that they can follow with the freedom to explore beyond.

5. Have fun – A home practice isn’t a chore and should be viewed as a privilege. Allow space for creativity, understanding, and most importantly, non-judgement. You are complete, you are perfect.


April Resolution

Moving forward another month. Leaving behind Winter and welcoming Spring is always an exciting time. There is a special feeling in the air and I become more energized with the extra daylight hours and hints of sunshine. I am also looking forward to starting a new resolution. Towards the end of March my resolution to give more compliments slightly weened. It wasn’t on purpose, but I also didn’t forget. Instead I noticed a sense of apathy about giving away compliments. I almost became selfish about it, wanting to save the 5 a day for the people I thought deserved it and was always left wanting. Even a sense of disappointment in the behavior of people overwhelmed me. This was quite a surprise after feeling such success with this resolution mid-month.  I am disappointed in myself and I am not sure how an exercise to build my connection to others ended up this way. All part of the journey I suppose and I feel grateful to continue to still learn lessons on how to be a better person and appreciate those around me more.

Now, we leave March and join April’s resolution to write everyday.


My motivation for this resolution is simply because I haven’t been writing as much as I would like. I have been writing in a journal for as long as I can remember and started writing poetry, songs, and short stories more seriously about 7 years ago. It feels amazing to have a creative outlet as well as the opportunity to share with others through words. But lately I have been distracted and my free time ends up being spent on netflix and patient yoga programs. Its time to get back to my blank pages and fill them with thoughts of the love that surrounds me and the life I so desperately crave to enjoy. So April, I shall go forth and write!

xo carly

Compliments Continue

you are amazing

Already half-way through March and I am most definitely feel the benefits of this months resolution to give at least 5 genuine compliments a day. It may be the weather getting warmer, longer daylight hours, or the excitement of up-coming events that has got me beaming but I would also like to salute the compliments of this month.

The first few days required a bit of thought. Looking towards others across my desk or in line beside me at the coffee shop and finding something to admire. That came surprisingly easy and made me realize that I am thinking nice things about people all the time. The hard part was actually saying it out loud. How silly it is that I have a tough time telling a stranger that I think they are beautiful or a co-worker that I admire their work ethic. I like to think of myself as an open and honest individual that can cut through the barriers that society has chosen to put up – but I am still very much a product of my environment.

But after those first few compliments to friends and strangers the words began to flow with ease free of strings. I was also happy to observe that most people excepted the compliments gracefully and I think it even helped bring me closer to someone I work with that in the past had not kept her dislike of me much of a secret.

The area in which I have a ways to go, however, is complimenting myself. Either I forget to do all together or if I remember I then don’t even compliment anything and instead end up getting hung up on something I feel like I need to work on. I don’t consider myself as someone with an abundance of self-hate but I am most certainly not allowing myself to truly self-love.

I am so grateful for the awareness that this last resolution has brought me and I look forward to working on my self-LOVE and forming new relationships with the amazing people that are all around.



Do I practice what I teach?

The easy and self loathing answer to this question is no. No I don’t practice what I teach… all the time, or in all aspects of my life. Every single day I give into various forms of temptation, pass judgement onto others, identify with the ego, and don’t give love as I could. I make mistakes at my job, I lack balance and confidence in my voice, and I’m not honest with others in how I feel. I’m not perfect and I certainly don’t claim to be in my own mind but sometimes when you are in the business of sharing yoga and health there is a sort of pressure you put on yourself to be a certain way because hey… I don’t want to be a hypocrit.

When I have financial stress or feel insecure in my work environment I get particularily hard on myself in this regard. Thinking… “you charge people for you to guide their healing bodies in a yoga class but you can’t remember to pay your visa bill? Get it together… you should know better.”

And I do. I do know better . But with balance is key and with judgement must come understanding until I am free of judgement completely. I am only human. A human just like you and just like the person 20 feet from you. I believe part of the experience and especially cultivating awareness come from making mistakes. Every day I give gratitude for my ears to listen, my eyes to truly see, and my heart to really love.




ps… I just ate a cookie for dinner 😉

The Appointment

The Appointment

By Carly


Only ten more minutes and I can just go home. Thank goodness. That movie wasn’t even good. Why did I even bother to stay awake to watch it? So much to do still. What should I make for dinner? I should text Charlie and ask him? He doesn’t seem to …


“Excuse me?”


“Yes, hi. Did you need to make another appointment?” I can feel my stomach growling. She’s not even looking at me. Hello? “Did you need another appointment?”


“I”ll pay first.”


Yes, obviously I know you need to pay. I’m just trying to help you. “Yup, we can do that.” Smile smile smile. “It will be $60 for today.” Okay, take a break from your phone hand me your card already…


“It was only $55 last time. Why is that?”


“Oh, sorry about that. It was showing wrong in my system.” Nine minutes to go. I haven’t seen this card before. It looks fancy. I wonder if she has a lot of money. She sure acts like she does. Doesn’t matter. “So when would you like to book for next?”


“I’ll need to come Thursday.”


“Okay, I have a couple openings, one at 7:30 am or another at 2:00 pm.” I don’t think she has made eye contact with me once. Connected to her phone and yet disconnected from real life.


“No, thats not going to work for me. You don’t have something around 10:00?”


Urg, patience. “No, sorry the only morning time slot is 7:30.” Like I already said.


“7:30 hmm, thats way too early for me. What was the other time again?”


“Two o’clock.” What do I have to snack on at home?


“Well, 10:00 would really be best. What do you have Friday?”


Click click click, sweet. “Yes, I have a 10:00 am on Friday if that works better for you.” Horay, click, champion of th…


“Ya, no. 10:00 doesn’t work for me on Friday. Do you have anything around 4:00?”


Ahhhhhhh. “Sorry, your therapist is only here till 3:00.”


“3:00 is fine.”


“No, she is only here till 3:00, her last appointment is at 2:30 and its already spoken for.” God, this women. Why is she so difficult? Maybe it would be helpful to look up from your phone. Oh, and now its ringing. Why doesn’t anyone call me? Smile.


“Hi, I can’t talk. I am just at an appointment. I’ll see you when you get home. Bye. Geez, kids right?!”


“Haha, yup.” Does she really think I look old enough to have kids old enough to be calling and bothering me on the phone? Old enough for a two year old. Maybe.


“Sorry, so you said you have 3:00 on Friday?”


Wow, really?! “No the only times I have Friday are 10:00 and 1:30.” Maybe old enough for a 5 year old if I had gotten pregnant after high school. But thats still a stretch. I wonder if I’ll  ever have kids. I’d be a better mother than her.


“Okay, well, this is ridiculous. I am trying to work YOU guys into MY schedule and it just isn’t working. I’ll have to call you when I know my schedule.”


Bitch! Well, at least she’s gone and I can go home.



Why is it always so hard to get up after these appointments. Pain is radiating everywhere in my body. Am I over reacting? Maybe I have that pain disease that Montel has. How do I get out of here. All I see is red flashing when I feel like this. Red red red. Oh buzz… there goes my phone. I should book first but I don’t want to miss a call from the hospital. 


“Excuse me?” This girl is just staring at the clock like a zombie. Oh shoot I missed a call. When did it ring? It was probably the hosp…


“Yes, hi. Did you need to make another appointment?” 


…ital. Red. Mom. My mom. I love her. It hurts. 



 “Did you need another appointment?”


Oh, I need to remember what I am doing. “I”ll pay first.” I have to go. What is going on with my call display. Its all wacky.


“Yup, we can do that. It will be $60 for today.”


Focus. Credit card. Wait that price is wrong. “It was only $55 last time. Why is that?” How much money have I spent here and I still hurt everywhere. Red.


“Oh, sorry about that. It was showing wrong in my system.”


How many times have I been here and she still can’t remember how much I pay. I wonder if she knows my name. I wonder when the last time a man said my name in passion was? 


“So when would you like to book for next?”


Mom’s thing is on Wednesday and the kids have that other singing thing in the afternoon on Thursday. “I’ll need to come Thursday.” 


“Okay, I have a couple openings, one at 7:30 am or another at 2:00 pm.” 


“No, thats not going to work for me. You don’t have something around 10:00?” Ahhh this phone. Calender. Okay Thursday. 


“No, sorry the only morning time slot is 7:30.”


Yikes. “7:30 hmm, thats way too early for me. What was the other time again?” My brain is not working. Red. Hospital. Mom.


“Two o’clock.” 


Forget Thursday. What’s Friday? “Well, 10:00 would really be best. What do you have Friday?”


“Yes, I have a 10:00 am on Friday if that works better for you.” 


“Ya, no. 10:00 doesn’t work for me on Friday. Do you have anything around 4:00?” Why is this girl so abrupt? I can’t think fast enough for her. Friday morning I have to go yoga. The kids…


“Sorry, your therapist is only here till 3:00.”


Oh “3:00 is fine.”


“No, she is only here till 3:00, her last appointment is at 2:30 and its already spoken for.” 



Red red. Oh phone finally. Mom. “Hi, I can’t talk.” Whats he gotten himself into now? He never calls. Red. Breathe. “I am just at an appointment. I’ll see you when you get home.” I love him, “Bye.” Her smile seems so forced. Maybe she has kids. Young ones. “Geez, kids right?!” I miss having a baby.


“Haha, yup.” 


I guess she does. What did she say? “Sorry, so you said you have 3:00 on Friday?” 


“No the only times I have Friday are 10:00 and 1:30.” 


Phone. Red. 1:30 what am I doing? Ahhh I can’t think right now. Mom. I have to check on mom. “Okay, well, this is ridiculous.” I am being ridiculous. Red red red. “I am trying to work you guys into my schedule and it just isn’t working. I’ll have to call you when I know my schedule.” I need to lay down. Wow, look of death from reception zombie. Glad I am not her kid. 

Your Time, My Time, Our Time


In a physiotherapy clinic a watchful eye is kept on the clock at all times. Making sure someone gets here in time for an appointment. Making sure the physio’s are running on time with their schedule. Keeping everying running smoothly good timing is of the essence.


The thing I have noticed about the in’s and out’s of a clinic is that everyone seems to think their time is the most important. Physio’s get upset if someone is late or doesn’t show up for an appointment because its a waste of their time. Patients don’t like it when their physio is running behind because there appointment was scheduled for a specific time for a specific reason.

After a long day of no-shows one of the physio’s I work with asked me … “Carly, why do people do this? Not show up, and then not even call to apologize?”

“Well, sometimes I think people just plain forget and other times its because some people believe that their time is more valuable than others and don’t consider the other persons time at all.”

“Ya, you’re right, ” he replies.

“Mmmhmm. Like a half an hour to me is the same as a half an hour to you. Our time is the same. Worth the same,” I add. My co-worker looks at me questionably and says “Well, my time is a little more important than yours is.”

As he walks away I am half satisfied he just proved my point and half insulted that he wasn’t the least bit joking when he said that.


It got me thinking… do I think my time is more valuable than perhaps someone with a lower income or created social status? It was clear my co-worker thought himself higher than me on the ladder and therefore had more valuable time. I imagined one of the many homeless that I pass by on my way from place to place. Do I think my time is more important than theirs? I have a job, I have appointments, and events to attend. But that certainly doesn’t change the length of our minutes and days. That doesn’t change the fact that we all beings having human experiences within the illusion of time.

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

C. S. Lewis



It is obvious this discussion is less about time and more about how we interact and compare ourselves to others. Here are a few things I am going  to work towards

Step one: Remove the assumed social status and entitlement that I carry.

Set an intention: Seeing myself as a being of the world. Bringing compassion into my heart in order to share it more with others.

“Like a sculptor, if necessary,

carve a friend out of stone.

Realize that your inner sight is blind

and try to see a treasure in everyone.” ― Rumi


As always I would love to hear someone else’s experiences on the topic. Lets explore and learn as one.


Namaste xoxo

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