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Guest Posts, Yoga

Things Don’t Happen To You- They Happen For You.

July 29, 2014

By Karen Salmansohn.

If you want to be happy, you have to embrace your Karma and Dharma! If you don’t know how, here’s a helpful Legos analogy  - inspired from my Yoga Teacher Training at Ishta Yoga! Read on…

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My 3 ½ year old son Ari has a passion for Legos – even bigger than his passion for pizza. I know this -  because when Ari’s busy with his Legos, not even pizza can pry him away.

Although Ari loves building Lego structures from boxed sets, he gets an even bigger kick out of taking huge scoopfuls of old Legos (which we keep in plastic buckets) then building the pieces into “One-of-A-Kind Creations.” I call Ari a Master Builder – a term swiped from the most recent Lego movie to describe someone who’s innovative – who thinks outside of the (Lego) box.

So – what’s this have to do with Karma and Dharma? An interesting synchronicity united these concepts for me this week.

On Monday, I started yoga teacher training at the amazing Ishta Yoga. It’s a 5 week intensive program  - which starts daily at 8am. As a result, my normal morning ritual with my son Ari is now disrupted.  No more waking up and leisurely dancing to fun music. I now have to be at Ishta on the mat by 8am.

Every day this week as I made my early departure, my son Ari made it clear that he was not a happy camper about my new yoga camp schedule.  Come Thursday morning, Ari was in total tears. In my efforts to calm him, I came up with a quirky Lego analogy – a playful metaphor I thought would help Ari to embrace going with the flow of this surprise change in our morning routine.

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“Life is like a scoopful of Legos,” I told Ari. “You never know what pieces you’re going to get handed to you – but whatever pieces life gives you in a day – it’s up to you to make something really awesome with these pieces.”

“For example,” I continued, “in today’s scoopful of a morning, I’m not taking you to school – but your favorite babysitter Belinda is.  You didn’t get the “mommy morning piece” today – but you did get the “Belinda morning piece” – and you can make something cool out of that piece. Each day you get all kinds of assorted pieces. You might not get all the pieces you want. You might even get some pieces you totally do not want.  But you are the Master Builder of your day! It’s up to you to take the pieces you are given  – and make a happy, beautiful day out of these pieces!”

My son Ari contemplated this. “So, I’m the Master Builder of my day?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, encouraged by his question. “Yes, you are the Master Builder of your day!”

Ari’s tears at that moment vanished. I’m not sure if it’s because he understood my Lego analogy. I admit it’s quite possible that I had simply distracted him with the mention of Legos, Legos, Legos! No matter.  When I was done with this Lego analogy, Ari was done with his crying.

Sigh. Relief.

Later that day in yoga teacher training,  the inspiring Alan Finger spoke to our class about Karma and Dharma –their differences -  and how they relate.

“Karma is the situation you are born into.  Dharma is how you choose to act on what you are given   – your free will in how you choose to deal with your Karma.” Alan explained. “In Tantric philosophy, Karma is why you’re here. You’re here in order to work out the seeds of action you carry within you for this lifetime.”

What Alan said reminded me of the Lego analogy I’d given Ari that morning. Karma represents the random scoopful of Legos you are born with at the start of your life. There will be some pieces you’re born with which are totally terrific. And there will be some pieces you might not know what the heck to do with. And there will be some pieces you truly wish you were born with – but are completely missing from your particular scoopful of Life Legos.  It’s up to you to build something awesome out of the “Life Lego Pieces” you were given. And Dharma represents your “Free Will Choice “ in how and what you choose to build out of your particular “Lego Inheritance.”

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Alan went on to explain how “Vidya” is the clarity you are meant to achieve so you can see your Karma for what it is – without ego or judgment.  Both yoga and meditation are wonderful at giving you the clarity you need to help you view your “Karmic Fingerprint” without judgment -  as something which makes you unique. Both yoga and meditation help you to go from a “restless mind” to a “still mind” – to help you to clear away your limiting beliefs, your illusions, and your negative habits – all of which limit your day to day awareness.

Basically, both yoga and meditation are great blockage cleansers which allow you take a happier, calmer gaze at that Big Pile of Life Legos which you were given at birth (plus also all those random Lego pieces which keep coming at you each day – which are also part of your Karma).  With the clarity of “Vidya”  you can better see how to build something truly magnificent with your “Life Lego Loot.”

Alan then went on to explain how according to Tantra, whatever life throws your way is worthy of worship and appreciation. Every circumstance has within it the opportunity to work out your Karma.

Meaning?

WRONG Thinking: Life DOES stuff to you.

RIGHT Thinking: Life GIVES stuff to you.

Basically, things don’t happen TO you – they happen FOR you. Every little piece of your life is there for a reason – to be there as something you can use in some way-  to help you to build your beautiful One-Of-A-Kind Life!

Although you might not see it right away,  every “Life Lego Piece” given to you will come in handy at some point – even if you don’t know what the heck to do with this “Life Piece” right away. Eventually you will find something useful for this seemingly random “Life Piece.” Even those “Seemingly Wonky Life Pieces” will come in handy at some point – perhaps even to serve as a powerful foundation for something else to be built upon it!

The more clear you can get (with the help of yoga and meditation) the faster you’ll be at figuring out how to build something truly beautiful with your “Life Lego Loot.”

Your Life Mission According to Karma, Dharma and Legos:

Look at each piece of your life lovingly! Stop whining about the pieces you don’t get.  Get curious about the pieces you’ve been given.  And be patient in your search to find just-the-right pieces to complete the beautiful life you alone are meant to build – your One-of-A-Kind Creation Of A Life. Each day when you awake,  it helps if you do yoga or meditate, so you can get clear on knowing what to do with any random, surprise Lego pieces flung your way – because you will know for certainty in your heart, that you are the Master Builder Of Your Life.

Oh – and I’ll leave you with this awesome quote about Karma to contemplate:

When in the middle of a difficult situation and I can feel myself provoked and the heat of anger rising, I actually say to myself this would not be happening if I didn’t have a karmic debt. And the way I relate to this right now can erase the karmic debt or make the debt deeper. And this type of situation is going to keep manifesting itself in my life until I erase this debt and now is my opportunity. And that is my motivation for being patient in the moment and not responding with my own irritation. -Pema Chödrön

I’d love to hear your insights on the comment section below! What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read about karma and dharma?  Share your personal story! I LOVE it when you share – because I love to find out about my community! his inspirational blog- so, what you share could be a helpful inspiration for someone else! xo Karen

Jen and Karen in NYC October 2013.

Karen Salmansohn is an ex-Senior VP award winning ad writer/creative director (at age 27) who left her successful advertising career (having worked as a writer/creative director/image consultant for J. Walter Thompson, McCann Erickson, Young + Rubicam, Averett, Free + Ginsberg, MTV, VH-1, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Lifetime, E!, CNBC, NBC, Oxygen, Lee Hunt Associates, L’Oreal, Revlon, Avon, Blue Q, etc) to pursue her passion of writing.

She is now a best selling author and book packager with over 1 million books sold – known for creating a new breed of books – “self help for people who would never be caught dead reading self help.” Or: “self help books you can give as a gift — and not get slapped, because they look kinda cool.” Some titles: How to Be Happy Dammit; Prince Harming SyndromeThe Bounce Back Book; – and many more. Journalists call Salmansohn “Deepak Chopra Meets Carrie Bradshaw” because of how she merges empowering psychology/philosophy tips with edgy humor and stylish graphics.

Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. She has been featured on Good Morning America, NY Magazine, Oprah.com. Her writing has been featured on The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Jezebel, Salon, and more. Jen leads her signature Manifestation Retreats & Workshops all over the world. The next retreat is to Ojai, Calif over Labor Day/New Years. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: Seattle, Atlanta, South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Miami, Tucson & The Berkshires (guest speaker Canyon Ranch.) She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

Send submissions for The Manifest-Station to melissa at jenniferpastiloff dot com.

Guest Posts, writing, Yoga

Strong & Fragile Parts. By Arielle Bernstein.

August 18, 2013

Strong and Fragile Parts by Arielle Bernstein.

 

I first started doing yoga two years ago, when my ex was offered a temporary position in Mongolia. I had the apartment we had shared at the time to myself and for the first time in a pretty long time I was living alone. I was looking for anything to distract myself from the pain of separation and found a 50-dollar all you can do month long yoga deal. I thought even if I hated it, 50 dollars was worth a few classes. Before then I had been one of those people who gently chided yoga aficionados, always running about with their yoga mats in tow, wearing their Lululemon and eating salad.

I have spent my twenties forcing myself to try new things, but I still tend to give up on things I’m not naturally good at quickly.

I’ll travel the world, but I’m afraid of diving in and learning a language, knowing I won’t be as proficient in it, at least immediately, as I am in my mother tongue.

All this is a long way of saying I love yoga, but I still kind of suck at it. My body resists a lot of poses I try to get into and whenever I take a class there are a bunch of people surrounding me who are doing things better than I am. I don’t know if I will ever be one of those people who effortlessly and elegantly goes into headstand. I do find complete comfort in a quiet room, the scent of nag champa and patchouli everywhere, the peacefulness of bare wood floors and my body not trying to do anything but be in one place.

Yoga is the one place I give myself permission to smile when I fuck something up, to not be competitive with the people sitting across or next to me.  

In a goal-oriented culture this type of space is actually relatively rare. We are taught to feel guilty about unstructured time. Yoga like most things popularized in American culture, is often sold as a status item for consumers. We have magazines that feature young, healthy blonde women looking seamlessly sexy and peacefully poised. What separates appropriation of a tradition and appreciation for it? Probably, for the outside onlooker, very little. When I walk around with my cutely designed yoga mat and yoga pants, I probably look a lot like the middle class white people who popularize yoga magazines. Lucky for me, in yoga class I don’t look graceful- I’m a little ball of sweat, trying at things I often can’t quite reach, until falling, relieved, into child’s pose.

When I was 16, I had a close friend with a degenerative illness who had just gone through surgery. The town where I went to high school was small and we were all very sad for our friend, but at the time I was going through a lot of other things too- typical 16 year old angsty things, as well as an, at the time, undiagnosed eating disorder that made a lot of my anxiety and depression a heck of a lot worse.

During this time period I remember my father driving me to school and mentioning to me that I really was lucky to have the body that I had and that I should be good to it- that in life no one is guaranteed anything and we need to be grateful for the things we have all the time because we are so incredibly lucky every single day we are here alive, breathing and experiencing the world around us.

I didn’t understand what he was telling me at all at the time and, in fact, I thought his comments initially were insensitive to just how different our culture views female bodies from male ones. Today, I think about the advice my father gave me often, probably daily, especially when I finish up a yoga class and I have time to reflect on the things I did right and also the positions or poses I didn’t quite reach.

Since I was a little girl I craved equal parts privacy and connection.

I still love the blood rush of intimacy about as often as I push it away. Two years ago yoga equipped me with the strength to be alone and a year after, when my ex and I broke up, yoga helped me grieve that loss, to manage my sadness and anger and to make choices that were the best ones for me to make.

I love writing because it helps me to distill my feelings and impressions of the world around me- it helps me value my experiences more; it keeps me conscious of my heart. Yoga is a physical manifestation of this same attitude: It not only keeps me conscious of my body, it also nurtures it. It not only makes me better aware of my breath, it makes me grateful, truly grateful for both my strong and fragile parts.

 

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ARIELLE BERNSTEIN is a writer living in Washington, D.C. She teaches at American University and also freelances. Her work has been published in The Millions, The Rumpus, St. Petersburg Review, South Loop Review, The Ilanot Review and Press Play (Indie Wire). She has been listed three times as a finalist in Glimmer Train short story contests. She is currently writing her first book.
Free Stuff, Inspiration, Yoga, Yoga Classes

The Time to Be Holy is Now.

December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve morning. I taught my last yoga class this morning before I head off to London.

Class this morning was holy. It was sacred and I don’t care if you are religious or not, it was a moment in time where connection was possible, and not only possible, but rampant.

Where love was there in the room and no one questioned its presence, no one doubted it’s intention or wondered Will you stay?

The class moved like we’d rehearsed (we hadn’t.)

That’s what happens when you allow things to flow, you find yourself all of a sudden in synch with your own life. You find that everything is easy and it may not always be easy but right now in this moment, it is easy. And that feels holy and right.

The class this morning was quiet and powerful and full of laughter and I thought what a gift, what a gift, over and over as I led them through the postures. What a gift I get to meet these people on this day. On any day! What are the odds that with all the billions of people we get to meet? To move together? What are the odds? Now, that’s holy.

I asked the room: “How many of you have had moments of insurmountable joy this past year?”

Many raised their hands.

And then, “How many of you have had unspeakable heartbreak and/or loss in 2012?”

Many raised their hands.

“You see” I said “They always go hand in hand.”

There was a 50/50 spilt right down the center. Perhaps it veered more towards the joy. Perhaps it veered more towards the pain. Either way.

How holy that we meet on this day. That we meet at all. That we connect. That we can say I stood here. I prayed here.

That we can say I was here at all.

What a gift that I was able to be part of that class this morning.

 The time is now.

Move forward from where you are. Take with you the little bits of happiness and the shards of hurt too, if you want, if you want to remember all of it, but move forward, because the time is now.

The time is now to turn inward and see what I see. (You won’t see it exactly the way I see it. That’s okay. It’s not really meant for you that way. Your beauty is for you to give away) but what I am saying is that you must know it’s there.

You must trust its there. You must put on your coat and walk into the light or into the snow or into the house with the fireplace and a glass of wine waiting there and you must know that the time is now to leave the darkness behind.

It ebbs and flows. You can count on that. There might be moments or years where you feel the darkness descending and, when that happens, remember what it felt like to be connected. To be light. To be holy. Or call me. I will remind you. (I hope you extend the same for me because Lord knows, I ebb and flow the hell out of life.)

Remember being in synch. What that felt like. Remember what it felt like to move in time with someone next to you, someone who maybe you’ve never met and will never meet again and if only for that brief moment who you moved with, like you were attached. Like you were connected.

It’s always there even when we forget that it is.

That is why I love yoga. That is why I will never ever stop teaching yoga even as I pair down my schedule and teach less.

The time is now to be holy.

Can you feel it? Can you hear it cracking, that shell around your heart? White as moon and made of the bones of your past? The bones may lay in a heap, and, if you let them, they will slowly rise and trail off for some dinner. They will leave you alone.

They won’t forget you nor you them, but they will soften the grip they have on you. Their fists opening, your heart fluttering away.

Now is the time.

Happy Holidays. I love you guys. Thank you. Stay connected. Stay open. Loosen your grip.

(Enjoy 10 free days of online yoga classes with me by using code jenp10 at YogisAnonymous.com)

Thanks Jenni Young as usual.

Thanks Jenni Young as usual.

Manifestation Workshops, Yoga

Origin Magazine & The Huffington Post.

September 5, 2012

A big day as I get ready to leave for the East Coast for my 3 workshops!

Excited to say that DJ Gina Mooring and my Karaoke Yoga® was featured in the Huffington Post today! Click here to read article. 

I also picked up Origin Magazine for September where I have a whole layout on manifesting on page 50. It is a beautiful magazine. Please check it out. You can get it at Whole Foods, among other places!

 

***Philly Fri. Sep 7th workshop at Dhyana Yoga Old City has 2 spots left

Saturday Sep 8th Karaoke Yoga NYC Pure Yoga East has room. Click here

Sunday Manifestation Workshop at Pure Yoga East has only 2 spots left so act fast! Click here.

Saturday Sep 15th in Los Angeles has 10 spots left.

Here is link with all workshops where you can sign up

To book me for a workshop or Karaoke Yoga please email Barbara@jenniferpastiloff.com

 

Q & A Series, Yoga

Brock & Krista Cahill. iFly Lands at The Manifestation Q&A Series.

May 23, 2012

Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

Today’s guests are my friends Brock and Krista Cahill, which many of you know because you have taken their classes, seen some of their amazing photos, or the best yet, caught some of the work they have been doing for our planet. 

The following interview is a mixture of both husband and wife, as are most of their classes and retreats. I hope you will get a feel for the power behind this couple. The power of flight, the power of love and the power of seva. I am honored to have them with me here today. I also urge you to check out www.kurmalliance.org or to check them out at Yogis Anonymous, in the studio or online. The Cahills and I both teach in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga a few times a year, as well. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Brock Cahill: i am most proud to have manifested a community of incredibly strong and dedicated yogis, that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to show up and put in the hard work in their daily practice, and use our practice as a training platform to activate body, mind, and spirit, …resulting in an elevation of consciousness in decision and lifestyle. awesome work amigos!!

Krista Cahill: It always comes down to the LOVE. I really can’t believe the love I have in my life…it’s incredible… I love a lot everyday, and I feel love everyday from the people who are closest to me. in the most overwhelming way, i really believe that love is the most valuable comodity on earth, we all can use more love.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you find yoga, or perhaps a better question would be, how did yoga find you?

Brock Cahill: great question, i like how you put that… yoga found me through a series of horrendous shoulder injuries that the docs wanted to cut and sew back together with no real hope of a true recovery. sounded like horseshit to me… i thought there must be another way. a friend suggested yoga. from day one i was hooked, just as you all were. i felt as if i had finally come home to my Self. as my mat unfolded beneath me day after day, i saw that my true injuries were not living in my shoulders, but in my soul… the shoulders were a symptom of my toxic lifestyle, the heavy partying, the dishonesty and denial, and my own inability to wake up in my own skin and connect to my soul. perhaps you know what i mean? shoulder soldiers unite!

Krista Cahill: 13 years ago I really fell in love with Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. I loved stepping to the side for Standing poses and flowing throughout seated sequences, the many predictable drishti’s and sequencing… now I practice the opposite and Yoga is still the love of my life, so I am excited to see what my evolution will be for the next 13 years. Maybe I will study Iyengar more…

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite yoga pose?

Krista Cahill: Handstand, of course.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I am moved by your commitment to seva. Kurmalliance. Tell us a little about that and how it was born?

Brock Cahill: kurmalliance is our nonprofit org aimed at oceaniconservation and yogactivism. i am very much in love with the ocean. i believe that she is the soul of our planet. not to mention the lifesource! without the ocean, we wouldn’t be here. …& without the ocean we won’t be here. the ocean is alive, and we must fight to save her.

i believe the yogis have the strength and focus to do so …or at least to ignite the revolution. but it is going to take solidarity: it is going to take union: it is going to take yoga. i hope we can band together and make this our fight. in my years as an avid oceanic romantic, i have seen the state of the ocean take a massive nosedive toward unsustainability, with the amount of plastic trash discarded into her guts, massive oil spills leaking all over her pretty face, the rape of hugemongous commercial fishing practices, and the destruction of her coral reefs that is akin to breaking her back with a sledgehammer. i couldn’t sit by and watch… but i didn’t know what to do? the problem is huge, & it is with society at large; how we have chosen convenience over consciousness. when you look at it in macro it is tremendously overwhelming. what difference can i make? how can i change the world? a better question is, how can i not?? she needs us. she needs you. …and all your yogasuperhero friends. she needs me too. on my birthday a few years ago, the sledge that broke my camels back was unleashed. enter the bp oil spill, the worst ecological disaster of all time. i was up in arms about the millions upon millions of gallons of oil that were being spewed into the gulf of mexico, and nobody really doing a damn thing about it. you remember, it was crazy!! and then on june 22, the news broke that bp was sanctioning the corralling of crude oil on the surface of the gulf, and lighting it on fire to try to quell the accumulation of so much of an eyesore. in doing so, they also happened to be trapping extremely endangered juvenile kemps ridley sea turtles that were mired in the surface slicks… and burning them alive. oh fuck… i have always had a very special and fond affinity for sea turtles. from my first days in the ocean, they have accompanied me on nearly every journey, and awakened me to the divinity of the sea. every time i have a chance to look into the eyes of a sea turtle, i see myself a little more clearly. i found a very spiritual bond there… and one that cannot be explained, but can be felt very deeply. these are the kind of bonds that ignite us; that motivate us; that activate us. on that day, i felt like i got kicked square in the balls, and i knew god was saying directly to me, “you just gonna stand around and watch this shit go down?” absolutely not. the kurmalliance was born. kurma is the sanskrit name for the second avatar of god, vishnu. in an ancient hindu parable, vishnu came down to earth in the form of a turtle and was able to churn the elixir of life out of the ocean, in order to save the world. it was our turn to pay the turtles back! the yoga community rallied, and in just a few short weeks we had raised about $35,000, to spearhead a mission to the gulf in conjunction with our buddies at the sea shepherd conservation society, and get to work saving turtles, collecting data, and being an honest witness to the shitspray that bp was attempting to sweep under the rug. I’m happy to say that the evidence that we were able to bring to court in the case against bp did help the people, the turtles, the sharks, and the coastline of the gulf gain some retribution from the crimes committed against them. I’m bummed to say that it wasn’t nearly enough. many were lost. and the way of life in the gulf will never be the same. but the alliance is strong. and we will never give up. not until mother ocean is safe from harm. join us. www.kurmalliance.org

Photo by Jasper Johal.
I take Brock’s class often at Equinox Santa Monica, where we teach together. He is kind, compassionate and kick ass!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a yoga teacher?

Brock Cahill: using integration, tapping into strength to cultivate balance.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being a yoga teacher who travels so much?

to stay grounded and focused, no matter what the world throws at you, and no matter what continent you are on, you are home in your body, and with your soul.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being married?

Brock Cahill: that you can’t do it all alone. it is real nice to have a teammate. especially one that rocks as hard as krista!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From saving turtles?

Brock Cahill: that even if you are not ready, the time is now, and it is not going to wait for you. activate!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From your beloved handstand?

Brock Cahill: to stand up for what you believe in. if you pour your entire self, your focus, your dedication, your devocean into something, there is no stopping you. there will be obstacles. there will be hurdles. get over them! and this is from someone that could not lift his arms over his head when he began practicing! let alone even think about a handstand…

 

Brock and The Yogitoes Prism. Click to connect with Yogitoes.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Krista, what about you?

Krista Cahill: Brock is a very good teacher, the harder he is on you the more he believes you can do better. He is teaching me about my greatest potential. he is extracting the best from within me. it has been a powerful journey. As a yoga teacher the greatest lesson to learn is how to be yourself. People love a teacher because they offer something different, something unique and original…it’s not always easy to be creative, but a daily practice is the only inspiration you need!!! if your getting your inspiration from youtube videos, then there’s is a problem…

My personal practice is my best friend, I have enjoyed every breath, new pose, ideals and friendships. Most of all, it is where I met Brock, so i know it brings you what you need.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has being married changed your life?

Krista Cahill: Being married to Brock has been a massive life change. I am now yoked to this man for the rest of my life… everything I do I have to consider his feelings and preferences too. For someone as impulsive as me that has been my biggest shift thus far:)

photo of Brock by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?

Brock Cahill: yoga.

Krista Cahill: I would thank Brock, he has shown me that i am a tough cookie.

Photo of the couple by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has Kurmalliance changed your life?

Brock Cahill: It has given me purpose. it has allowed me to recognize my dharma.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Brock Cahill: i’ve been doing that a lot lately… thankfully! i was taking everything too seriously, with the state of the oceans and much of the globes apathy to her condition…

So i grew this frickin hilarious mustache. it was comedy. just about every time i would look at myself in the mirror i would launch almond milk out of my nose, cracking up so hard!

Krista Cahill: I laugh everyday, mostly when i am teaching I laugh at myself because I am ridiculous… I try to be tough because it’s what I like as a student, but sometimes I just can’t keep a straight face.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you most?

Brock Cahill: the ocean.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Brock Cahill: my wife, krista.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite part about teaching with your wife?

Brock Cahill: that we approach the middle ground from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, and as we meet at the meridian line, our teaching is so much more effective, informed, intelligent, and precise than it ever could have been on its own.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you could impart one message to the readers of this, what would it be? Your message to the world………

Krista Cahill: Practice Yoga Everyday!!! Find a way to quiet the mind, for some of us that gets easier in an upside-down position…

Jennifer Pastiloff: Some words you live by?

Brock Cahill: elevate! activate! uplift! get conscious, and never give up. ever.

Krista Cahill: Don’t give up, if you want something you have to try and try again.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you weren’t teaching yoga what would you be doing?

Brock Cahill: i’d be dead.

Krista Cahill: I would be a professional yoga student, i would get the most B.S. job ever and I would practice 2 or 3 classes everyday!! I would wake up for Ashtanga, then take a mid-day Iyengar class and then end the day with a hot’n sweaty flow.

 Jennifer Pastiloff: How can we get involved in Kurmalliance and Pluckfastic?

Click photo to learn more about Kurmalliance.org

Brock Cahill: we are in process of launching five very important projects into the water, including the adoption of a leatherback sea turtle in costa rica, a turtle tagging mission to the cocos islands, development of a turtle hatchery and nursery in french polynesia, and in our very own backyard of the santa monica bay, we are trying to pluckfastic on a grand scale, by organizing beach cleanups, standup paddle excursions to collect plastic refuse along our coast, and bioboat missions out to the rim of the channel islands to document and collect the unfathomable amount of plastic refuse choking our own local ecosystem. folks can help us with fundraising, if that is an avenue that they feel moved to explore. perhaps they would like to make a donation, which is always very much appreciated… or have an idea of how to become an instigator in the yogactivism revolution and create a project that will help generate awareness, as well as funding. …because all these projects require a steady influx of cash to help keep mother ocean afloat. once we have launched our bioboat this summer we will have active opportunities for members of the kurmalliance to spearhead a pluckfastic mission and become a member of the crew, by donating toward fuel costs and then joining us on a cruise to commune with ma ocean!

for more info, please check www.kurmalliance.org

Check out the video of Brock and Yogitoes

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is on your joy list?

Krista Cahill: I’m pretty boring actually, I like a super hard yoga class, a warm snuggly bed, a hot man to snuggle with and 9 hours of sleep.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for The Gravity Cowboys?

Brock Cahill: a big big summer chock full of festivals and travel. we will be teaching at wanderlust in tahoe, and vermont. midwest yoga conference in chicago, and our amazing annual retreat… this year we hit aruba! scuba in aruba, anyone?? uh yeah, count me in!

Krista Cahill: I am manifesting Fun and Flight this year:)

Aruba anyone? Click on pic for more info!

They lead retreats all around the world!

Krista poses for Jasper Johal. Every picture he takes of her is stunning!

Krista by Jasper Johal

brock was wearing a pair cowboy boots and a bit of a hangover when he accidentally stumbled across the path of yoga. he was out there fumbling around in the dark, trying to find himself, when the light of yoga clicked on and pointed him in the right direction. through the physical nature of the practice, and his intense dedication to it, brock has been able to enliven the body and clarify the mind, preparing him for a momentous trek on the winding road leading to the self and the soul. it is a road he loves to share..wanna go for a walk?

Krista fell in love with the practice of yoga in 1999 when she took her first Ashtanga class with Tim Miller. Since that day she has devoted her time and energy into exploring the numerous dimensions, both as a teacher and student. “I look forward each day to the possibility that my practice both on and off the mat can promote a greater awareness in our immediate need for global peace and unification. ALL is ONE.”

Krista teaches retreats around the world and regular classes at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, CA. She teaches a vigorous Vinyasa flow class filled with challenging armbalances and inversions; she believes that our obstacles are our greatest blessings.

Click the magazine cover to learn more about Krista

Inspiration, Yoga

What Can You Re-Commit To?

April 30, 2012

Sometimes love is a choice.

I have some friends who have been married for over 15 years. They have been going through a hard time lately. Talk of divorce in the air. I am friends with both of them and have been offering an ear to each. One question which came up for me in light of their issues is this:

Can love be a choice?

I get it. After years of being married, after the kids, after having sex with the same person over and over (and over), you may get a little bored. Or, you shift in ways that are incomprehensible to your partner. Whatever it may be, the air becomes stale and at times, resentful and heavy. Like a slow suffocation.

Like a savasana that goes on and on and on and on.

And on.

What do I know? I have only been married two years. (Above photo was from my wedding celebration held at a yoga studio.)

But I do know that I have had this come up for me with other things in my own life.

I am committed these days to being my most honest self so here it goes.

I had fallen out of love with my own yoga practice.

There. I said it.

And yes, I make my living as a yoga teacher.

I have been working so much that the last thing I want to do is hear someone else tell me to lift my right leg or to shift into plank position. (Add the fact that, because of my hearing loss I cannot hear what the teacher says anyway, so when they say lift your right leg I am always the one lifting my left leg.)

I had grown resentful of it as if it had been my lover and had cheated on me. I rolled my eyes at it and gave it dirty looks and gossiped about it. I hated that I couldn’t hear what the teacher was saying and that I would end up feeling lost in a sea of Pincha Mayurasanas. (That is forearm balance for the laymen.) As in any relationship, miscommunication is where many problems arise.

Ah, my sweet beloved yoga practice that I once loved. I once was so obsessed with you that I dreamt of you often and changed my whole life to be closer to you.

What happened?

I will tell you what happened.

Life happened. 

Human being-ness happened.

I am using my yoga practice as an example, but you can insert your loved one or your job or your wife or whatever relationship it may be, and you will find the equation to be very similar.

Lack of Gratitude + Overworking + Not Showing Up To The Party+ Miscommunication =  the opposite of feeling in love.

1) I started taking my yoga practice for granted. I stopped being grateful for it.

2) I overworked myself so I had nothing left for me. When it came time for me-time, the last thing I wanted to do was my own yoga practice because I had taught so many times during the day that even the look of a yoga mat made me want to scream. (Sometimes I did scream.)

3) I got too comfortable not doing yoga. The hardest part is getting onto the mat. This. Is. True.

Just show up.

I am committed to falling BACK in love with… my own yoga practice.

Like all relationships, sometimes a little re-invention is needed.

A little coaxing, willingness, a gentle nudge, a sh*tload of commitment. Sometimes we get burnt out and we need to fall in love all over again. I believe this is possible.

The first step = We need to make a choice to commit. 

We need to dress up a little and have a hot date night. Or, in my case, a “yoga night” to re-ignite that fire.

We need to talk about it. Today, I am admitting my burnt-outedness and my  falling-out-of-lovedness. Once I got it out in the open and stopped being ashamed about it, I felt better. It was like a badge of Dis-Honor I was wearing on my heart. Once I talked about it to my teacher (thank you Annie Carpenter) and wrote about it here, I felt more human. I felt more connected to other people who have in fact fallen out of love with things they once were married to. (Or, at least were sleeping with.)

I am ready to get back into bed with my yoga practice.

I can choose to re-wire my thoughts so I once again feel passionate about my yoga practice. (You can do these same things with any relationship.)

I can make my schedule less jam packed so that I no longer feel nauseous at the idea of Downward dog. 

I can find new things that I love about my yoga practice. They may not be the things I fell in love with years ago. That’s ok. We have both grown older or wiser. ( I have grown older and Yoga has grown wiser.)
Where can you recommit in your own life? Answer below in the comment section.


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