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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice marks the half way point of the year, and the beginning of summer.

This movement from darkness to light is symbolic of your spiritual journey

What is a “spiritual journey?”

A spiritual journey, or the journey to enlightenment, simply put is getting to “know thyself.” You rediscover your true self to live authentically in alginment with your soul self/your higher conscious. You move from confusion to clarity.

Your true self, is not the persona you’ve created to be pleasing or accepted by others.

You true self, is the wisest part of you that never has any confusion over what decisions to make. It knows what is right for you and what is wrong and it makes decisions that are aligned with your higher good and the greater good of all. It’s the trusting, fearless part of you that you catch glimpses of when you’re feeling at your best, and in states of flow.

Your journey back to your self happens through increased self-awareness. This is one of the many gifts of a dedicated yoga and meditation practice. It shines the light of awareness on what you’ve kept hidden, even from yourself. You acknowledge your shadow side, take responsibility for it, and begin to create real and lasting change in your life.

In Kundalini Yoga, they say if you don’t want anything in your life to change, then don’t practice yoga. It’s impossible to have a dedicated practice and not experience dramatic life change.

The sun/the light of awareness, casts light on our shadow side. The high energy days of summer give us the energy we need to take action. The winter months were your time of introspection and now the high energy days of summer make it easier to create the changes you’ve envisioned for yourself.

My question to you is, how are you going to make this your best summer yet?

Namaste

Gloria Latham

PS: Interested in learning more? Register for updates on my upcoming online course, Heal Your Heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start Today

I remember a conversation with my mother years ago where she said, ‘it’s hard to die.”

I didn’t understand exactly what she was getting at. Obviously dying is painful and emotional but I now have a greater grasp of what she was trying to convey by understanding that death is a process.

Death is a process and our entire lifetime should be a preparation for a good death.

A “good death” means being at peace.

I hope this conversation doesn’t strike you as negative, but I think contemplating death is what helps us live a good life. What if something were to happen to someone you love right now.

What are the words you left unsaid?

What are the apologies you have yet to make?

And, those dreams of yours… did you let them die?

I not only contemplate death, a lot, I also spend time watching elderly people in the final stages of their life. I watch how they move, and see their youthful spirit trapped in bodies that fail to move with the ease they once did. I think about what it will be like to be trapped inside a slow moving body, wanting to move, to dance, to run or even just walk across the room, and not being able to. This happens in old age but it also happens when we become ill.

We don’t know what lays ahead of us, and so in contemplating aging, illness and death, we can better honour each day of health we’re given.

Connecting to your own mortality can be powerful if you let it be the fuel to face your fears and do the things you’ve already put off for far too long.

Let go of your fears, have real conversations, and break your heart wide open.

This is just some of the work you’ll explore in my new Heal Your Heart, online Kundalini yoga immersion. To find out more click here

What have I been singing all this time?

What have I been singing all this time?

Each Kundalini Yoga class begins with what is known as the Adi mantra, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo.

This chant is quite a mouthful but it does serve a purpose. The mantra loosely translates to, “I bow to divine wisdom, I bow to the divine teacher within.” It connects you to self-knowledge and they say it even connects you to the wisdom of all teachers through the ages…ie to universal truths.

Here are a few things that happen when you chant this mantra:

1.   The mantra is a signal to your body that your practice is about to begin.

The chant brings you to the here and now….you get present.

A good question to ask yourself is: How present are you for your life?

If you find yourself in conversation with one person while texting someone else at the same time, you’re not as present as you’re claiming to be.

Or

Maybe you find when you’re with someone you’re replaying some past drama in your mind. This causes you to repeat the past instead of creating a future together based on your actions in the here and now.

Or

Maybe you’ve driven yourself all the way home and have no recollection of your drive. This is just an example of how often you tune out, and go into auto pilot. There are opportunities around you at all times, have you tuned them out?

Focus and Presence

For your life to be meaningful and have impact, you need to be present. If you’re not, you aren’t bringing your full power to each situation. When it comes time to make critical decisions, that wise part of you might be absent because you’re stuck in the past or completely unfocused by trying to achieve too many things at once.

Multi tasking is a lie. You can do one thing well at a time, or many things poorly. You have to decide what is worth your focus and attention.

The simple tools of a yoga practice, like mantra, cultivate focus and presence. This has far reaching effects that go way beyond the walls of a yoga studio.

Each and everything you do or don’t do, leads you closer or farther from your life goals. If you’re not fully present, you’re not going to make the best life choices.

You’ll say yes to things you never intended to do or miss out on opportunities that are right in front of you because you’re distracted.

2.   Beginning class with mantra, instantly connects you to everyone around you through linking your breathing pattern. When you come together to practice as a group, the effects are synergistic. You feed off each other creating stronger energy than you could have created alone. You draw from each other’s strength.

Remember those crazy arm exercises you do in class where you hold your arms up for what feels like years. When the people around you keep their arms up, you’re more likely to as well. You’re carried by your group. Conversely, when you’re not in an uplifting community, you can be dragged down by your group.

You have a profound effect on others in all circumstances. Your every thought, word and action has an effect. Stop pretending that  your worries and doubts are benign. They’re not! They affect your ability to live into your potential, and it also negatively impacts people you come in contact with.

If you think the worst of people, they will live up to the expectation you set for them.

If you think the world is a dangerous, terrifying place, then you won’t experience the good that is all around you.

If you’re carrying bitterness and unresolved anger, you poison your present relationships by not having let go of the past.

If you don’t believe you’ll succeed, you won’t

What energy are you bringing to your friends, family and community?

3.    The mantra itself is like a kriya (a complete exercise set).  It opens the energy channels in your body so your Kundalini energy can rise. Your kundalini energy is your dormant creative potential that you awaken through these practices. And we all know, we’re not yet living to our true potential.

4.     Finally, chanting affects the meridian points on your upper palate through movement of the tongue. This stimulates brain function by activating your hypothalamus. The end result is greater awareness. And the very first step to change is awareness.

Kundalini Yoga is known as the yoga of awareness. It’s a practice that awakens you so that you can live into your potential. Over the past twenty years, I’ve been developing a series of four Kundalini Yoga Immersions/Teacher Trainings that do exactly that, awaken your potential.

My next online immersion is focused on the heart chakra. It’s a six day intensive experience to Heal Your Heart. If you’re interested in how Kundalini Yoga can change your life, you can find out more here.

Sat Nam

 

Self Sabotage

Who do you blame when things don’t work out? Do you blame your partner, the economy, the government, the universe?

What would happen if you started living your life with the attitude that everything is going to work out… everything is going to be ok?

The truth is that everything does work out, just not always exactly how and when you want it to.

Imagine how much energy you’d save by not trying to force people or things to be a certain way. Or how many more risks you’d take if you had more faith in life.

Your trust and faith has been eroded slowly over time by a lack of commitment to yourself.

To trust others, and to trust life, you have to stop letting yourself down.

When you say you’re going to do something, you have to follow through, or at the very least renegotiate your commitment.

Continuing to lie to yourself in all those small seemingly insignificant ways is taking its toll on you in more ways than you realize.

When you let yourself down, you teach others that it’s ok to let you down.

If you tell yourself you’re going to go to yoga or work-out, and you don’t, that’s a broken promise.

If you tell yourself you’ll eat healthier and you don’t, that’s another lie.

It’s seemingly small stuff, but it’s having a deeper impact than you know.

There are countless ways in which you self-sabotage and you’re probably not even aware you’re doing it.

You don’t need to cling to what the outcome of every situation will be, you just need to commit to doing the work. And when it comes to your relationships, relationships of all kinds, trust that they will turn out exactly as they are meant to.

Each relationship will serve its purpose; it will teach you something about yourself. But if you approach every relationship guarded and apprehensive, you’ve already solidified the outcome…it doesn’t stand a chance.

To have a chance, it needs your trust and your faith. You can find out more about honouring your commitments to yourself and building trust and faith in life and love in my new online immersion, Heal Your Heart.

Stop. Don’t Google It!

You may have been doing Kundalini Yoga for some time now, or maybe you’ve only tried a class or two. Regardless, you know by now that this style of yoga is quite different. It’s not what you expect of yoga. Where are all the Warrior poses and where are those long deep stretches?

The practice is different for a reason. It’s meant to take your focus off your physical body and do the internal work of freeing your Kundalini energy? My what??? Your Kundalini energy.

Did you know that’s the point of all yoga, to release your Kundalini energy, it’s just that each style takes a different route. We call Kundalini Yoga the fast track because you don’t have to worry about physical alignment or perfecting postures on this journey.

So what is Kundalini energy anyway?

Don’t google it! The minute you look up Kundalini energy or Kundalini yoga, you’re bound to become confused.

One of the things that will come up almost right away is the idea that Kundalini is dangerous. It can’t be, it’s an energy that already exists in you. So what is it?

It’s your untapped potential that lays dormant at the base of your spine, and your work is to awaken this energy so you can wake up to all that life has to offer you.

So how do you awaken this energy? It happens almost imperceptibly through your practice. That’s the beauty of the practice. Day after day, week after week, you start to feel different somehow. You’re clearer, less reactive and so much stronger than you were before.

Your muscles are going to get strong, and you’re definitely going to get into shape doing yoga, but the best part of this is that you’re shaping your life.

You wake up to your potential and you start living into it.

Sat Nam,
Gloria Latham

To get updates on the launch of my upcoming online program, Heal Your Heart, click here

It’s Not An Emergency

If it’s not an emergency, don’t raise the alarm.

Crises and emergencies are going to happen… it’s the stuff of life. So, stop sweating the small stuff and save your strength for when a real crisis hits.

How many unnecessary arguments have you had in your lifetime? How many sleepless nights over things that in retrospect really weren’t worth losing sleep over?

Is your level of worry or anger appropriate for the situation at hand?

How often do you blow things way out of proportion?

When you don’t free yourself of the past, resentments build and anxieties turn into crippling fears, making everything in your life feel like a crisis or an emergency. You can’t live in this constant state of stress.

Grace and ease

There won’t be just one crisis in life, there will be many, and sometimes they may come so quickly there is no recovery time between incidents.

Grab hold of those moments of calm and lengthen each one by deepening your breath. Slowing your breath down, eases the pressure. It creates a sense of spaciousness; it brings clarity and peace. Don’t bring your anxiety or your volatility to an already stressful situation.

Your worry and your over-reactions serve nothing!

Worse than that, your worry feeds everyone’s fears.

Every crisis and each emergency, holds some potential for transformation.

There is always a gift, a lesson, a teaching that comes with pain. Breathe deep, stay open, and become aware of what needs to transform.

Simply keep calm and carry on.

To get updates on the launch of my upcoming online program, Heal Your Heart, click here

Sat Nam

Gloria Latham

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga In The Dark

Ever wonder why I teach my classes with the lights off?

A key role of your yoga teacher is to lead you back to your authentic self.

Your authentic self is the part of you that doesn’t comprise your core values for the sake of acceptance, approval, recognition or a promotion.

Turning out the lights, and encouraging you to close your eyes is meant to reconnect you to your true self and your soul’s guidance. The more I can facilitate you looking inward, the more powerful your transformation can be.

One of my favourite teachers, Max Strom, would always say, “close your eyes so you can see more.”

Everything you want to change in your life begins with an inner transformation. Your inward journey is your most powerful one.

Your days can feel so fast paced at times that it isn’t until you’re “forced” to be still on your yoga mat that you finally catch up with yourself.

I often have this image in my mind of there being two parts to us (this isn’t too dissimilar to the witness/observer view of a meditator).

One part of us is wise and has great insights and answers for us, but the other part of us is scared, stressed and running so fast to check things off their ever growing to do list, that they never get to benefit from this wisdom.

Can you slow down and let the wise part of you catch up?

A lot of what you do day to day might just be “busy for the sake of busy.”

It’s an easy trap to fall into for two main reasons:

  1. Busy keeps you from feeling uncomfortable emotion you’re going to have to process if you want your life to change. You can’t run from it forever….sooner or later it will catch up with you. You can start processing it by sweating it out and breathing it out in your practice. Your yoga is a far more powerful detox than you realize. You cleanse your body but at the same time you’re cleansing toxic emotion.
  2. Busy feeds your sense of self-importance. Society rewards us for being busy and it feeds our egos…this is a dangerous game to play. You sacrifice a lot, including your most precious relationships, when you let yourself be ruled by your ego.

There are not many times in your day where you’re given permission to just sit still and be. There are many points throughout your yoga class where this happens. When you finally slow down and get quiet that wise part of you can share its wisdom with the stressed part of you….that stressed part could be the death of you (or the death of your true self) if it doesn’t slow down.

Close Your Eyes to See More

Slow Down to Accomplish More

To get updates on the launch of my upcoming online program, Heal Your Heart, click here

Sat Nam

Gloria Latham

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Who You are

It’s interesting that we say to each other, “be yourself”, or “be who you are.”

Who else could you be?

Do you change your behaviour seeking acceptance or approval from others? It’s a dangerous game to play because you end up building relationships that are inauthentic, and lose your sense of self.

Relationships are a dance of give and take, making concessions and being sensitive to the needs of others. But, if you don’t feel like yourself with your co-workers, your partner, or with your family, you have to wonder what became of the real you.

The Key to Being Happy

There is only one way to find true fulfillment whether it’s in your relationship, your career or any of your life goals. You have to live your life as YOU.

What leaves you feeling most disconnected from yourself is when you compromise your core values.

What do you value most? Is it honesty, truth, friendship, kindness, loyalty, patience, family life, health, open mindedness?

What are your top five?

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Living your life in alignment with your core values is when you feel most like yourself and enables you to experience peace.

Are there areas of your life, or relationships you’ve built that feel in-authentic?

Honouring your true self is one of the explorations in my new online Kundalini Immersion, Heal your Heart. Sign up here to learn more.
Sat Nam
Gloria Latham

Make Room For Today

In a recent yoga class, my teacher suggested we end class with Lion’s breath to “make room for your day.” Lion’s breath is a breath technique where you exhale powerfully through your mouth with your tongue hanging out… not very attractive, but very effective!
Make room for today

The teacher’s simple suggestion triggered something in me. In that moment I felt so full of yesterday (all my yesterdays) that I couldn’t imagine having space for anything more.

How do you create a vibrant life for yourself when you’re still holding onto the past? You can’t. Instead of building your future, you recreate your past. You end up having the same arguments again and again, end up working the same jobs with the same bosses, or dating the same person again! I don’t mean exactly the same person or job, but the recreation of the same dynamics in a new job or with a similar new partner.

How much room is there in your heart or your mind for anything new? I end all my classes these days by asking students to make more space in their hearts. I don’t know how they interpret “make more space in your heart”, but for me space in my heart means creating room for forgiveness, love and a sense of freedom.

Breath techniques create a feeling of spaciousness. When you breathe deeply you feel the space in your heart and mind expand. You feel full of strength and life. When you exhale fully, you experience a sense of emptying out, a sense of freedom and release. The breath techniques you practice in yoga create room for your day. You inhale the strength to carry on with love and you exhale to feel free. Free of the past and its repeating patterns that keep you stuck.

On those days you can’t make it to class, think about the power of your breath and how profoundly it can affect your emotional state and your life. Do you need to stop and do three rounds of lion’s breath before heading out your door?

If you’re interested in going deeper into your practise sign up to be the first to know about my online program.

Sat Nam
Gloria Latham

That Time I Caught Myself

That time I caught myself

One time I caught myself listening to a meditation CD in fast forwad. WOAH! Talk about a sign that you’re out of balance. The irony is that if you actually sit and meditate consistently, you will find your sense of time expand. You will never find yourself in a crazed state of trying to do a meditation in fast forward!

Finding time is not possible. You’ll never ”find time”, you have to take it. What are your non-negotiables in your life? What are the things you must have in your life to be at your best everyday? Is it exercise, time alone, time for contemplation and time with the people you love? You need all of that to have a balanced life. Take out your to do list and start scratching things off it now and make space for the non-negotiables. Start a non-negotiables list for yourself. List the things that you need in your day, your week, the month, the year to start loving your life again.

Who are the people you want in those days, and what do you need to do just for you? Even if no one understands your passions, they will understand that you’re a happier person when you take the time to do them.

Write out your non –neogtiables

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Sat Nam

Gloria Latham