Tuesday, May 17, 2011


"Your good times in the world are good only in comparison to the bad times. You will eventually learn that it's all a trick, that your perception is simply lying to you." Arten

How are you perceiving the world?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Everything starts with a seed. A seed is a microcosm of infinite possibilities... Plant that seed, take good care of it, and watch a universe come to life. Shanti OM

Friday, October 1, 2010

Intentional Solitude

I am an avid reader, and usually read a book quite fast. Nevertheless, I confess I've been "studying" the latest book on my nightstand for quite a while, absorbing every concept I can, as if it were written directly for me. It was during last week's "study" that I learned about an idea that is more than necessary to all of us at the present moment - intentional solitude.

It all starts with a tale about a woman, who is really a seal, forced to live as a human being on land for 7 years by a fisherman who stole her seal skin as she was distracted having fun with others of her kind. She believed he loved her, and considered 7 years to not be such a long time. During the time she spent with him a child was born. The seal-woman was not unhappy at all, and she spent a lot of time teaching the ways of her kind to her little son... but she started feeling the effects of being away from her real essence and environment for too long. It was taking it's toll on her. After 7 years, she was ready to have her seal skin back. However, the fisherman did not keep his promise, and kept hiding her seal skin. Her son, seeing his mother's suffering, decided to go fetch the seal skin for her. Even though she goes back to her kind in the ocean, she visits her son often at the shore, to teach him all he needs to know about his "seal heritage."
The name of this tale is "Seal Skin, Soul Skin," and you can find one of it's versions, as well as a complete analysis of its meaning in the book Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Well, as the author expounds on the significance of this tale, she introduces the concept of intentional solitude, which has been part of my life more and more, although unconsciously.
Simply saying, it means to take time alone... intentionally. How many of us really take time off from the world around us? How many people think they deserve a time off, and don't feel guilty about it? How many understand the importance of that time off for the health of their soul - or, in a more mundane vocabulary, for the sake of their sanity?

Daily activities, for most of people, involve things which bring them more to the outside world, neglecting that soul/spirit inside of them, full of information, advice and love for who they truly are. We neglect ourselves constantly! There are cell phones, and home phones, and internet, and tv, and movies... and, yeah, our friends, and families, and neighbors, and those we don't know but meet somehow... and, school, studies, work, gym, and of course, there must be some entertainment. Wow! No time for solitude here! Now, do you wonder why you feel constantly tired, lost, angry, mad, overwhelmed, stressed...? Being away from your essence is taking a toll on you.

The idea of taking some time to just be with oneself is not a new fad. Meditation is a well known way of taking intentional solitude, and it's been around for thousands of years. It helps one slow down the mind, finding moments of silence between thoughts. It is during these moments that the soul/spirit/higher self - or whatever name you have for it - speaks to you. We could call them moments of clarity. As the mind slows down, breathing improves, and heart rate diminishes, which contributes for lowering stress levels in the body. One can relax more.
As you relax and let go of all external distractions, there is a greater opportunity to truly know yourself, and that is the greatest work of all.

Now, intentional solitude doesn't need to be complicated. Five minutes would be a great start... five minutes that you could sit down and breath, feel your body, feel your emotions. No judgement here, no wordy explanations, no deep therapy. Breath, feel, be... and that is it!

I would suggest the mat as one of the places where to practice this intentional solitude. The mat is your world, your yoga practice the moment to be in touch with yourself. No distractions, no phones, no one calling for you. Make it all about your inner self, give it space to be, a chance to express itself.

As your practice of intentional solitude progresses, you will start feeling the effects of being in touch with your essence again: bliss, consciousness, relaxation, love for all, a sense of knowing... things you cannot find anywhere in this world but inside of yourself.

May you be blessed.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


Friends... I've always had so many friends. This is such a nice gift from the Universe, people who share moments of our lives, or moments of their lives with us. I love it!

Arjuna and Krsna are very good friends. We can see that in the Bhagavad Gita, the essential book of Yoga philosophy (sorry Patanjali, you came after it). As they are in the battlefield, Arjuna is asking Krsna for advice on the matter at hand, since he doesn't feel like going into battle. Well, don't think Arjuna is a coward... on the contrary, he's a great warrior. He just doesn't want to fight against his family. Isn't it what we want too, not to fight with our families? Anyhow, they spent a great deal of time, just before the battle, talking. Arjuna has loads of questions, and Krsna patiently answers them.

I find it interesting to see how Arjuna feels so comfortable with their friendship, he can ask anything he wants, or needs to know. Krsna, wanting to help his dear friend, tells Arjuna what he needs to know to go ahead and perform his duty. It's a beautiful friendship, enveloped in trust and truth.

Friends can be of all types - the ones who last a couple of hours; others who we meet with once every so often; there are friends who only show up when we most need them, like angels; some friends stay around for a couple of months... others stay for a lifetime. It does not matter how long a friend stays close to you, just enjoy that friendship.

This is a very happy week for me. I'll have the chance to see a friend who went to college with me 22 years ago. We are always in touch you know, technology makes it easier to say hi everyday. However, it's always good to have the chance to hug that person, have dinner together, laugh about life right there, as we sit side by side. These little moments with friends... such a gift from the Universe. I love my friends!


Sunday, August 22, 2010


As I let go of the load I've been hoarding for so long

I realize each piece defined me somehow, at some point in time

I was once a pianist

Then a basketball player, and then a dancer

But that wasn't enough

I felt I needed more definitions, more masks to wear, so

I became a teacher

And have been holding onto this mask for along time

For a while I was a student

I truly enjoyed this one, identified with the role

At one point I was an artist

Clay took over my heart, hands and mind

After wearing the life of a linguist for a season

I changed paths and became a yogini

With the blessings of Shiva

and the teachings of Patanjali

So many definitions... who am I, really?

One day, the one who blessed me said,

"Before you build a new world, you must destroy the existing one."

He crushed it with his Nataraja

And the destruction began

The first mask to go - the teacher

Followed by the artist and the linguist

I'm not a dancer, or a pianist any longer

Left basketball long ago

Cleaning up, letting go

I see all these definitions leaving my being.

Now I feel like a white canvas

Empty, clean, ready

I don't know what the Universal Artist will draw on it

But I'm open to the new

Not to be defined as such

Not to be attached for very long

So I can let it go when the time comes

Graciously... to become a white canvas again

And experience more of this journey.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Solstice!

This is a wonderful time! Finally we arrived at the Summer Solstice, a time when energies are such to promote more personal progress, healing, peace and harmony. It may not seem that peaceful, but I can tell you... if you look inside yourself, you will find the peace you're looking for. It is time for us to change our consciousness, move it from the place of fear, anger, despair that we have been to a place of love, light, confidence... the place where we truly belong. The energies provided by the present solstice are appropriate for it. Let's embark upon this change of heart and mind so we can dream a better world and watch it transform before our eyes. It's all in our hands...

Dedicate your yoga practice the next three days to the changes you want to see in yourself first, and then in the world around you. I know you can make your practice very special this way...

Today I had a most wonderful yoga... a silent fire vigil celebrating the solstice. It's a great experience to feel One with the people around, with nature and, above all, the Creator. It was truly yoga!

I wish you all a happy solstice... and a super fun summer, full of yoga, always.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Be the Divine

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gitf and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." Albert Einstein