The Call of Yoga in Troubling Times

The Call of Yoga in Troubling Times

Astro-yogis, I have a confession: sometimes I see the news updates flashing across my phone, and I feel numb.

As a member of the yoga community, I’m acutely aware that this numbness is precisely why yogis are often criticized in troubling times.

To some, it seems like we live in a delusional space, talking about peace and bliss when our nation is torn apart by gun violence. And perhaps you yourself are wondering: how can I be thinking about creating calm—perhaps just sitting there in a meditation or just standing there in a tadasana (mountain pose) while it’s clear that SOMEONE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING.

And of course, you’re not wrong to wonder that.

In the sort of yoga I practice (and likely you do too, if you’re in the United States and a yogi), the yoga practitioner is called to acknowledge reality as it is.

This means acknowldging the flaws and gifts within us, as well as the flaws and gifts outside ourselves. And this can seem fine (if still challenging) when the flaws we face are palatable: overcoming issues with perfectionism, finding balance, giving ourselves permission to fail. And of course, these palatable flaws are important for us to address.

But, in my experience, the task of acknowledging things as they are grows more challenging when we have to acknowledge the completely unpalatable, choking-hazard flaws in our reality.

What's your Ascendent? (AND--what IS an Ascendent???)

What's your Ascendent? (AND--what IS an Ascendent???)

It was Imbolic this past week, which is the traditional holiday that marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

Today, we celebrate this holiday by checking whether a groundhog sees a shadow, but in many traditional cultures, Imbolic marked a time to look at what was on the horizon for the year. Imbolic marks the very early stages of spring and the very late stages of winter, a time when the seeds we want to sprout this year must be planted.

As a holiday about looking toward the horizon, Imbolic is the perfect holiday to reflect on your ascendent--the sign in your chart that was on your horizon at birth.

Some of the most-often asked questions of me as an astrologer are: what is an ascendent? What does it mean when someone says “Scorpio rising”? WHY do you want to know what time and place I was born in order to do my chart?

All of these questions point to your ascendent or rising sign.

The Astro-Practice: 4 Things to Know

The Astro-Practice: 4 Things to Know

The new year marks the time when we examine our goals, set new ones, and let go of the ones that no longer fit our values.

I LOVE New Year's intention setting (perhaps due to my Capricorn sun). One of my goals this year as a yogi-astrologer is to share one of my favorite yoga-astrology skills in a way that is simple and effective.

What if I told you that one of the most effective yoga-astrology tools can be learned in moments and applied to your everyday yoga practice?

This tool can help you access your sun energy and shine out in the world with more confidence, authenticity, and delight. This tool can help you connect to your body to bring your energy back to yourself during those times when you're depleted. 

An Astro-Practice is AMAZING, but it can get COMPLICATED. That's why in this post, I'm going to share the only 4 things you need to know to start your very own Astro-Practice.

The Winter Solstice: Yoga, Tarot, Astrology

The Winter Solstice: Yoga, Tarot, Astrology

Thanksgiving has passed, and winter is in full swing in Eugene, Oregon. The rains have returned to the Pacific Northwest, and we’re experiencing less and less daylight with each passing day. You've probably noticed shorter and shorter evenings (and for those of you who work traditional hours--darker and darker commutes).

Of course, this means the winter solstice is upon us.

Many of us know what the winter solstice is technically (shortest day of the year for the northern hemisphere), but what is its connection to yoga, tarot, and astrology?

Yoga for Grief: 7 Practical Techniques

Yoga for Grief: 7 Practical Techniques

Fall is in full swing, and the trees are shedding their leaves in blustery Eugene, Oregon. This changing weather reminds me that November marks the middle of the season to both let go and give thanks.

Letting go in the fall can be difficult. We let go of the sunny, warm weather; the trees let go of their leaves; and sometimes we're called to let go of something or someone we weren't ready to lose. 

It seems like so many people tend to pass on in the fall. I lost my dear, wonderful grandma recently, and a number of my friends are also in the midst of grieving friends and family who have gone too soon.

The pain that is left when we lose a loved one can be confusing and sad, but grief can also offer us a roadmap toward healing. 

In times of grief, I turn to those things that bring me comfort, those things that bring people together, those things that inspire me to see beyond the pain.

For me, that thing is yoga. But yoga for grief can go beyond your regular studio class and enter into the more intimate spaces in your life. Here are my suggestions for grief-soothing, heart-healing yoga...

The Dawning Aquarian Age: Why is the World So Crazy Right Now?

The Dawning Aquarian Age: Why is the World So Crazy Right Now?

It seems like everywhere I walk in town I hear echoes of conversations (the world sure is crazy right now… can you believe the news? What did Trump do now?) 

Perhaps in every age people make comments like this, but there’s no denying that lately things have seemed…just a little crazier than usual.

When big things happen, astrology usually has something to say about it, and this is no exception. However, this cluster of time is different from any one specific event (Trump’s election, Brexit, the general atmosphere of social change/resistance to change). So, what is it that’s going on?

Well, for the last few decades, we’ve been experiencing the beginning of the Aquarian Age.

The "Be Kind" Sign

The "Be Kind" Sign

Labor day is over and the first hints of fall are already starting to show in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. The maples are beginning to drop leaves, and the temps are just a bit cooler at night--finally blowing the smoke from the forest fires outside the town.

I was walking home this morning from my usual Sunday class at Mudra Yoga in Eugene, when I saw a man tear down an art sign that someone in the city had hung that said "be kind." This man tore it up, threw it on the ground, looked right at me, grinned, and rode away on his bike. 

I suddenly became very aware of myself and of others--what each of us puts out in the world. I realized that though I think of myself as "normal," I was, in fact, wearing yoga clothes, holding a potted plant, and wearing a hiking lumbar pack instead of a purse--in short, I looked 'crunchy.'

I realized that just as I was gaping at the man who in anger pulled down the sign, perhaps he was grinning at me because he thought I would be upset.

The Great American Eclipse, Part 2: What does this have to do with me?

The Great American Eclipse, Part 2: What does this have to do with me?

For all of you wondering what this eclipse is all about and how it relates to you (and for my own urges to go into detail), I’ve decided to write a two part blog to address The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017.

(If you haven’t seen it already, please take a moment to read Part 1: What is happening, exactly?)

Part 2: What might this have to do with me?

The Great American Eclipse is in Leo trine Uranus with the south node in Aquarius. BUT, if that sentence seemed like a jumble of words, here’s what you need to know: 

The Great American Eclipse, Part 1: What is happening, exactly?

The Great American Eclipse, Part 1: What is happening, exactly?

For all of you wondering what this eclipse is all about and how it relates to you (and for my own urges to go into detail), I’ve decided to write a two part blog to address The Great American Solar Eclipse 2017.

Part 1: What is happening, exactly?

You probably already know that a solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon, and earth line up such that the moon blocks sunlight from the earth. You may also know that this total solar eclipse is called the Great American Eclipse and it will begin in Oregon and end in South Carolina on Monday, August 21, 2017.

In astrology, solar eclipses are times when we are being urged toward something—either to let go of something (when the eclipses occur at the lunar south node) or to move toward something (when the eclipses occur at the lunar north node).