not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Slowly heading South...

I'm slowly making my way south. Well...kinda. I left Jamie's and went to Sarah and Kenny's house. Sarah is the esthetician that does the yoga retreats with me and she is ammmmazing. I love, love, love her. So it was great to be able to hang out with her without any obligations to clients. She waxed me, rubbed me and scrubbed me and I left feeling physically and spiritually lighter and more radiant. In the morning I said goodbye and met up with my lifelong friend, Andy (aka AJW or Andrew Welker). He's added an 8th office now to his real estate empire, and this ones in Cali, so here he is. We had a perfect day. We started with a delicious breakfast, then had some time in the office (which I was so grateful for and got so much done!), then ventured out for a wheatgrass shot and a fresh juice before doing a bit more work. In the evening we ate at the BEST seafood spot that I've ever been to in Cali, and topped it off with a sunset walk along the pier, indulging in a chocolate covered banana. Yum. I said goodbye, hopped back into the car (that Sarah and Kenny have so generously lent me) and now I'm back at JamieD's. Tomorrow I meet up with an old friend, Thoralf, a German surfer whom I met years and years ago in Costa Rica and who I haven't seen since then! Let the social rendezvous continue....!

Monday, April 28, 2014


JamDizzle (aka Jammie, JamD, Jamie D'Arc) and I have been friends for a long ass time now. She's one of the tired and "ride or die bitch" bahaha. We have surfed waves all over Central America together, laughed so hard we have wet our pants, shared a few heavy life experiences and enjoyed many a meal together. She's a straight educated-ratchet-gangsta-hood-rat. She's the one responsible for turning me onto HipHop music and she continues educating me to this day. Yesterday we did an epic hike and nourished ourselves with the most delightful breakfast at Beachwood Cafe (almond milk latte, braised kale topped with poached eggs and Harissa, and BACON) before retiring ourselves to a friends roof where we soaked up some sun, sipped Hennessey and listened to HipHop. We always pick up exactly where we left off, and the laughter never stops. Whether we are sliding waves or sipping coffee,whether we are on the east coast or west coast- my time with Jammie is always cherished as a most heart-filling, nourishing laugh-fest. We keep it light, but that's because it runs so deep. Much love for my soul sista who keeps me in check. Holla.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cleansing...and not.

I went off of my cleanse and drank too much last night at sushi dinner with my Auntie D and her best friend Jim. Then this morning Jim made us a most decadent, un-candida-friendly and incredibly delicious breakfast! That was followed up by mani-pedis, lounging on the couch, watching game of thrones, a yoga class and a dinner out for MEAT. Oh yeah, then champagne. I'm going to candida hell, but I'm savoring it for today. Ah, back in the USA.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bye Bye Baja

I'm teaching class early tomorrow am and then we are having breakfast, packing the car, and we're off! I'll be arriving in Los Angeles, California just in time for dinner. Baja has been an absolute BLAST, and the laughter has been non-stop. I'm so grateful for another adventure and I'm excited for all that Cali has in store for this month ahead!

I got a big dick!

I love teaching yoga, and I love HipHop...I especially love combining the two. The other day we threw down a full-power vinyasa under the incredibly hot Mexican sun. We were shouting and laughing, twerking and "holla'ing" and just having a hell of a good time. At one point in the vinyasa I told everyone to channel their inner gangsta and as they moved into a backbend to shout some hip-hop-holla-bullshit-nonsense. For some reason, "I GOT A BIG DICK!!" came out of my mouth! Bahahaha. We all erupted in laughter. Earlier in the day I had been feeling a bit defeated, but the flow and the tunes pumped me up and I felt empowered once again-- and apparently, if I was some badass hip hopper, I felt that that was something that would come out of my mouth. I have never laughed so hard in a HipHop class before, and I was grateful for the ludicrous, totally ridiculous, incredibly sweaty and intense flow.

Cailin Callahan

Radiance Sutras

Drop the thought,
"I am this body,"
Abandon the limitation,
"I am only here in this specific place and time."

Embrace instead,
I am not my body.
I am not this place.
I am not this time.
There is no place.
There is no time.

I am everywhere,
Sustained by infinite bliss.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Soul Exploration

Just met with the owner of Baja Zen, where we will be hosting Golden Buddha Yogas first INTERNATIONAL TEACHER TRAINING and SOUL EXPLORATION! I am so grateful to have Sarra Kaufman and Pepper Monroe on board, with the three of us offering up a beautiful, dynamic soul immersion in a most breathtaking location! Check out my website for more details, or send me a message with any questions or inquiries.

Devis and Dharma

Sign up now to save your spot for my six week DEVIS AND DHARMA series at Dragonfly Yoga studio in Clermont (offshore, between sea isle and Avalon). It's filling up fast and there's only a few spots left!! Go to to sign up (under their "workshops" tab).

Ugly Duckling

Clarissa Pinkola Estes is amazing. Her book "Women Who Run With the Wolves" has been one that I open every single day, because every morning it has a powerful message for me. This collection of short stories is great because Estes then spends pages and pages and pages diving deeper into the meaning of the story and helping us to understand on a higher level. Yesterday I read the "Ugly Duckling" story, and so much of it hit home with me. Being bullied in high school was traumatizing at the time, but upon reflection I realize it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me -- because that's when my search began....when I stopped trying to "fit in" and instead started to look for my spiritual family. I'll share {Estes writes}...

"The core meanings we are concerned with are these: The duckling of the story is symbolic of the WILD NATURE, which, when pressed into circumstances of little nurture, instinctively strives to continue no matter what. The wild nature instinctively holds on and holds out, sometimes with style, other times with little grace, but holds on nevertheless. And thank goodness for that. For the wildish woman, duration is one of her greatest strengths.

The other important aspect of the story is that when an individual's particular kind of soulfulness, which is both an instinctual and a spiritual identity, is surrounded by psychic acknowledgment and acceptance, that person feels like and power as never before. Ascertaining one's own psychic family brings a person vitality and belongingness.

The ugly duckling goes from pillar to post trying to find a place to be at rest. While the instinct about exactly where to go may not be fully developed, the instinct to rove until one finds what one needs is well intact.

If you have attempted to fit whatever mold and failed to do so, you are probably lucky. You may be an exile of some sort, but you have sheltered your soul. There is an odd phenomenon that occurs when one keeps trying to fit and fails. Even though the outcast is driven away, she is at the same time driven right into the arms of her psychic and true kin, whether these be a course of study, an art form, or a group of people. It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kindship one requires. It is never a mistake to search for what one requires. Never.

One is being made strong by this exile. While this situation is not one we would wish on anyone for any reason, its effect is similar to pure natural carbon under pressure producing diamonds- it leads eventually to a profound magnitude and clarity of psyche. It takes out weakness by the pounding. It removes whininess, enables acute insight, heightens intuition, grants the power of keen observation and perspective that the "insider" can never achieve. The wild psyche can endure exile. It makes a woman go on looking, and if she cannot find the culture that encourages her, then she usually decides to construct one herself. And that is good, for if she builds it, others who have been looking for a long time will mysteriously arrive one day enthusiastically proclaiming that they have been looking for this all along. "

With that said, I am soooo looking forward to being reunited with the community that has been created in South Jersey!!! I will be posting my schedule for this summer later this week and I cannot wait to see you all!!!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

It all began on the 15th...I left the east coast of Sri Lanka at 7pm, packed into a taxi with Brian and Lindsay, headed to the south coast. Six hours later we dropped them off in midigama and then continued around and up the coast to the airport in Colombo. It took 3 hours and we stopped twice for tea. At 3am we arrived and I had 3 hours until my flight. At 6am we flew from Colombo to neighboring India, landing in Mumbai at breakfast time. I had a 16.5hr layover so I hopped a cab to the 5-star Hyatt Regency and treated myself to a day at their pool, doing yoga in the gym, getting a massage and enjoying some DELICIOUS FOOD. Back to airport, back through security lines and waiting by the gate. Then began my SIXTEEN HOUR flight to Newark, New Jersey. I couldn't sleep so I wrote up business plans, read, drafted emails, watched movies, and rocked out to tunes. Then there was a three hour layover in Newark. I was delirious and hungry, so I cheated and had a toasted bagel with cream cheese. God almighty it was delicious. Back on my flight, an hour on the runway, then a 6 hour flight to Cabo, Mexico. This flight was bullshit- no movies, no food-- just some overpriced "snack boxes", which I bought because I'm a sucker for almond butter. I arrived in Mexico, and then stood in more immigration lines and checkpoints. "Uncle Chuckles (Nina's uncle) picked me up and then it was about 2 hours drive to Todos Santos...the ultimate destination. We stopped off once to eat pastoras...a blog to follow later because they were the most goddamn delicious things in the whole world. When we got to chucks ammmmmmmazing home, he set me up in my private casita where I crashed for an hour before dinner time. I don't think that I was speaking English during dinner, and I'm pretty sure that I was crosseyed from delirium, but three days in transit and IVE ARRIVED.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reduce Reuse Recycle...!

Hooray! Tea, please! United Airways is finally starting to get things right! I have always hated ordering tea because they use styrofoam. And to make it even worse they waste a plastic cup to put your stirrer and packet of sugar in. So much waste. I hate it! I always hold onto my plastic cup and my styrofoam cup throughout the flight despite the stewardesses attempts to take it. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And now, United has recyclable Eco-friendly tea cups!! The general population is starting to care, (I hope)!!! Most of us are so disconnected from our waste and our impact on the environment, but I feel like I am face to face with it living in third world countries. Everyone talks about how dirty India is...there is trash EVERYWHERE. They look at it in disgust and I want to shake these people- because in the East we produce far more garbage- we are just rich enough to have someone remove it from our sight. But I assure you- your garbage doesn't just "vanish". Plastic is plastic, whether it's in the US or in Asia...and unfortunately, plastic doesn't do much good for our environment.

It was the Sinhalese/Tamil New Year the other day, so the beach was swarmed by local tourists playing in the sea and enjoying themselves. They left garbage everywhere, which of course ends up in the ocean, in addition to just being an eyesore along the beach. Part of me forgives this laziness, because it's a lack of education. But I notice the same thing happens in the States- and that is completely inexcusable. But moving past the obvious [picking up your shit and putting it in the rubbish bin], I am challenging you to HONESTLY look at your consumption. Are you doing your best to consume just what you need? Are you making your best effort to compost, recycle and reduce general garbage? Do you reach for a plastic water bottle everyday, use a roll of paper towels to clean the kitchen- and speaking of cleaning, are you still that outdated that you are using chemicals to clean?!? There are endless websites that are incredibly informative about homemade, all natural ways to clean your home with ingredients as simple (and as cheap) as vinegar and baking soda. It use to only happen every once and a while- but now, I regularly have to stop myself so I can attempt to wrap my head around the magnificence of this world around me, and of my existence within it. The fact that a flower blooms...that it just knows how to unfold into a flower from a seed. The INTELLIGENCE of the Universe that pulses through all of us. Stop being so jaded and take a moment to appreciate this miracle of being able to wake up every morning and breathe. Every day is as beautiful as you open your eyes and allow it to be. So picking up your fucking garbage, make a commitment to the "practice" of admiring the miraculous beauty around you and within you, and try your hardest to give a shit about where and how your consumption is affecting everything around you. I was made much more aware of how much garbage I create when I was face to face with it in Asia-- it's my job to burn the plastic bottles I used, the plastic bags that I used because I was too lazy to bring my reusable bags....Maybe make a commitment to just one week of tracking your garbage: every receipt, plastic fork, and napkin. And then watch "HOME" on YouTube, and acknowledge the most fascinating miracle that is here and now. Let's preserve it for a bit longer...

Wow. That was my (recyclable Eco-friendly cupped) Tea-fueled tree-hugging rant! In summary: we were gifted a most beautiful planet that provides us with abundance and nourishment, the least that we can do is respect that and keep her clean.


"He is
sweet that way,
trying to coax the world to dance.

Look how the wind holds the trees in its hands
helping them to

Look how the sky takes the fields and the
and our bodies in its arms, and moves
all beings toward
His lips.

God must get hungry for us; why is He not also
a lover who wants His lovers

is my teacher
helping me to know He
cares for

Cailin Callahan

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buffed and Beautiful.

Well, god dang. Sometimes you don't know how dirty you are until you've had a good scrub. I was sad to say "See you later" to Sri Lanka, but there are only exciting things ahead, and I'll be back 'home' in a few short months. So I wiped my tears, put on my big-girl-panties and got on the damn airplane. A short flight later I was in Mumbai for my *****16 HOUR LAYOVER*****. F*^% me. Thankfully I now have a ten year visa for India, so I was able to leave the airport and hop a cab around the corner to the luxury, five-star Hyatt Regency Hotel. For 6300 Indian rupees (about $100usd) you can purchase a package that includes
-60minute massage
-airport transfer
-use of the pool, spa, and gym
And a few other epic amenities. 

I haven't had a massage in forever, and after all of the surfing and long taxi rides, my body was READY! I slept for a few hours by the pool, and then spent a few hours (literally) moving from the sauna to the cold plunge, the steam room to the cold plunge, the whirlpool to the cold plunge...and then back again. I usually try to limit my towel usage whenever I'm at hotels, because I hate how all of their excessive washing wastes water and hurts the environment, but I was so filthy that I actually needed multiple towels and washcloths. As the heat of the sauna and steam room opened up my pores, they also helped to loosen the dirt and toxins have been all over my body. So I scrubbed, and scrubbed and scrubbed. I took a proper shower with SHAMPOO and CONDITIONER....and I even combed my hair!!!!! I just ate the most exotic, delicious fruit platter (and also one of the most expensive), and in between bites of stone fruit and kiwi I would run my hand over my skin and admire how smooth it was. Squeaky clean, fully satisfied, and ready for the adventures that are up ahead! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lanka Love.

This love is insatiable. It's never enough, and I always leave wanting more. Every day there is a new discovery, something magical being revealed, which adds depth to my growing devotion to this beautiful country. My love affair with Sri Lanka continues to evolve, as I fall under her spell, intoxicated by the bright green of the jungle, the intense heat of the suns rays, and the perfect, powerful, peeling waves. I feel in tune with the days here... the setting suns and rising moons. The simple days in this majestic Eastern oasis are more nourishing than the most exciting, luxury filled days in the West. I want for nothing when I'm here, only to be in Her presence. To feel a love like this is utterly terrifying. All guards are down, and I've given myself completely. Maybe it will end it heartbreak, but maybe it won' matter how it plays out I'm just grateful for each and every moment. And I tell you this, it doesn't come without it's challenges. Some days I fucking hate Sri Lanka! It's ass backwards and greedy and confusing and a real stubborn bitch at times-- but that's part of its magic I suppose, because I keep coming back for more, regardless of any of the struggles.

Every day has brought perfection in its simplicity, and I have had countless encounters that were fueled by incredible, raw love. But, there is a memory from my most recent rendezvous that I'm holding fondly in my heart. On Sunday evening, around half past seven, it rained. Just a light rain, only for a few minutes. The sun-saturated pavement ate up the shower, and the parched wild jungle soaked it up, with all of the bright greens shining a little brighter and standing a bit taller. There was a fresh smell to the heavy air, and though I was walking to meet a friend, I stopped- closed my eyes- and enjoyed a few deep breaths. It's moments like this that mean the most. And this moment I will continue to savor until I'm back, nestled in Her arms.

Monday, April 14, 2014

See you soon Sri set my soul on fire.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Originally this blog began with an apology for how much I have been talking about my Dad, and how emotional I've been. Then I realized that this is something that I shouldn't apologize for, and shouldn't feel bad for. There was a moment when I thought that I wouldn't share, and would keep it private-- but that's not the way I do things, and I hope that by sharing these stories that I'm able to comfort anyone who may be going through, or some day will experience, the same as me.

I miss my Dad. Duh. Nothing new there. But for the past few weeks I have been talking to him a lot, letting him know about how much I need him and how I would love to be more aware of his presence....

Well- my friend Allie Conover (owner and teacher at GRACE + GLORY YOGA in Northfield and Philly) wrote me a letter yesterday on Facebook. She said (and I hope that she doesn't mind me sharing)... "I had the wildest and most vibrant dream, which caused a physical response in my body. I had a dream that your dad came to me as a medium so I would reach out to you and make sure you know how much he is with you and he loves you. Cailin, it was probably the most real and bizarre dream I've ever had.... Like when I woke up, I swore that it actually happened. I could feel how much he loved you and how badly he wanted me to tell you. I'm sure this sounds crazy...but I wanted you to know, that even if it was just a dream, that that energy is out there."

I cried for a bit (Duh. Hahaha). But then I just felt really, incredibly full. I'm so happy to know that the connection after death can still be as strong so long as we are open to it.

It just keeps getting better....

It just keeps getting better....

I got over the "fat" comment. But it doesn't end there. Today at the beach, after surfing, I was talking to my friend VJ. He asked me what was wrong with my teeth. Huh? There's nothing wrong with my teeth. He asked, in his broken English, if I smoked because I had some discoloration on my teeth. " some black on the front of your teeth...if you use 1000 type sandpaper is possible to remove it." I welled up with tears, dismissed myself and went to sit with a few of my friends as they were playing the local board game Carrem. As with all Asians, they enquired about my marital status. It went something like this...

"Cailin, this year- you still not married?"

Me- "nope, still not."

"But having boyfriend?"

Me- "nope".


Me- "nope."

"Okay, okay- that's because your parents are choosing husband for you- yeah?"

Me- "Nope. They don't choose our husbands in the US."

"How OLD are you?"

Me- "27"

"Oh. Very old. And you no married? No boyfriend?"

Me- "No."

"Okay- so you are alone. Always alone."

Me- "yep, something like that."

"Well...maybe marry soon. You are old. Maybe no marry if you wait more. Too old. All alone."

Fat. Single. Old. And bunk teeth.

Spent my morning devastated. But trying to find the humor in the cultural differences. And also remembering to take it as a compliment, as the boys wouldn't talk to me about these kind of things if they didn't care. You can think of it as a much more warped, extreme, third-world version of your best bud telling you that you have something on your face, or broccoli in your's not an attack, just a simple heads up about the (unseen) obvious. Ayeyaya. What a day.

Cailin Callahan

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fat in Asia...

For the New Moon I wrote up some pretty serious intentions. The one intention that required more from me than from the universe was to stop talking so negatively to myself and about myself. I constantly make cracks about my 'fat ass' and other physical attacks along these lines. I often look in the mirror and am devastated by what I see, or get really "knit-picky" over little imperfections. Not to generalize, but I find that most women are their own worst enemy when it comes to this. I haven't prescribed to a fashion magazine in a decade, and I sure as shit don't watch then why do I still compare myself to the women that are featured here? The way that I talk to myself is a way that I would never, ever speak to anyone, especially not a good friend, so why in the hell do I continue to talk to myself this way? And so it was, that I made an intention to shift the way that I talk to my body, and am working on incorporating more self love for my body. My weight fluctuates, but I'm healthy. My curves get a little more round that usual sometimes, but it's not the end of the world. This has been my challenge these past two weeks, but I have been doing really well and I've noticed a positive shift in my overall body since I've changed my inner dialogue.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes writes in her book "Women Who Run With Wolves"....

"The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its color and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of non conviction. It speaks through its constant tiny dance, sometimes swaying, sometimes a-jitter, sometimes trembling. It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirit, the pit at the center, and rising hope.

The body remembers, the bones remember, the joints remember, even the little fingers remember. Memory is lodged in pictures and feelings in the cells themselves. Like a sponge filled with water, anywhere the flesh is pressed, wrung, even touched lightly, a memory may flow out in a stream.

To confine the beauty and value of the body to anything less than this magnificence is to force the body to live without its rightful spirit, it's rightful form, it's right to exultation. To be thought ugly or unacceptable because ones beauty is outside the current fashion is deeply wounding to the natural joy that belongs to the wild nature.

To support only one kind of beauty is to be somehow unobservant of nature. There cannot be only one kind of songbird, only one kind of pine tree, only one kind of wolf. There cannot be one kind of baby, one kind of man, or one kind of woman. There cannot be one kind of breast, one kind of waist, one kind of skin.


As soon as I began reclaiming my power, I came back to Sri Lanka. Asia is an interesting beast sometimes...especially Sri Lanka. The first thing that my family said to me when I arrived in January was that I was "looking fat", which they said with a smile as they slapped my toosh. Meanwhile I was thinking that I was looking like a hot mama, thanks to the little bit of weight I shed because of my cleanse. Fast forward to today, on the East Coast (arugam bay), one week after a very indulgent trip to India (the food there certainly isn't "light" fare, and I never missed a meal....). I surfed for hours and hours in the morning and then got out around noon to (finally) have some breakfast. I bid my little local friend Nisha farewell, and told him that I was heading for food. He responded by telling me not to eat too much because I was getting "bigger". I felt like my heart was run over by a truck....a thousand times over. I even had a tear or two escape on the walk back home. Nisha loves me, and is one of the sweetest little boys was in no way at all a mean comment, or one meaning disrespect. They just say it like it is here, and it's not taken offensively because being heavier isn't a good thing or bad thing. It just is. But because I'm from the West and our culture is obsessed with being skinny, well, he might as well have told me that I was grotesque. All the hard work on having a positive body image flew out the window. I would be lying to you if I told you that I still wasn't hurt by it, but I'm trying to shift my mindset. In an attempt to fill myself back up, I turned to one of the Radiance Sutras that is really beautiful...

Drop the thought,
"I am this body,"
Abandon the limitation,
"I am only this specific place and time."

Embrace instead,
I am not my body.
I am not this place.
I am not this time.
There is no place.
There is no time.

Sustained by infinite bliss.

Radiance Sutra #81

And now the kundalini mantra,
I am bountiful.
I am beautiful.
I am blissful.

Namaste to all of you beautiful people out there....all different shapes, sizes, colors, and spiritualities.

Sent from my iPad

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Goodbye and Hello Again.

I said farewell to my fellow friends and trainees in India, hopped on the hour flight to Sri Lanka, and was greeted by my favorite taxi driver. We stopped for tea, picked up my bag that id left with a friend, and then stopped for some rice and curry. I love Indian food, but goddamn, I LOVE RICE AND CURRY! I LOVE SRI LANKA!!! It's so good to be home! Eventually we arrived in midigama. I unloaded my bags, and dropped them in my room at Asankas. I order tea for me and my taxi driver so he could rest before heading off. As we were sipping tea I had a feeling in my gut that I didn't want to be in Midi anymore. So I turned to my guy, asked if he had anywhere that he needed to be, and with that we reloaded my bags back into the car, threw my surfboard on top and were off. It was about 6 hours to Arugam Bay, but we chatted for a bit, listened to some loud Hindi music, and stopped for a few cups of tea.

I woke up this morning and had a surf at main point. I was greeted by everyone in town, all had remembered me from last year. I ran into two good friends from last year when I was in the lineup, and then reconnected with Lindsay and Brian (friends from home) who arrived in A Bay today as well. All I gotta say is "I'm home".

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Graduation Time!

We celebrated our graduation last night!! Several weeks of diving deep has come to an end. I'm so grateful for the experience and for all of those that were on the journey with me! I am no longer teaching at the Zen Den but this summer I can be found teaching at Grace and Glory (Northfield), YogaDog (Linwood), Dragonfly (swainton), ItsWell (north wildwood) and Balance (cape may) as well as my beloved 41st street beach in OC. I'll be teaching only a few regular classes, but will be focusing on workshops and intensive-themed-6-week-series'. If you're interested in participating in my teacher training and SOUL EXPLORATION, I will be leading one (along with the amazing goddesses Pepper Monroe and Sarra Kaufman) JANUARY 25th - FEBRUARY 22nd in Todos Santos Baja, Mexico!!! I'll be posting my summer schedule up here soon, so stay posted!! I'll be teaching in Encinitas, California for a few weeks in May, a small yoga intensive in Fort Lauderdale the last weekend in May, and then several workshops at Shakti Yoga in Key West the first two weeks of June. Also, two spots came up in my ITALY RETREAT June 15th-21st and there's still room on my MEXICO retreat over Easter (April 20-25). If you have any questions, inquiries or would like to host a workshop at your studio shoot me a message! Namaste my beautiful friends!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

She of Song and Sea

We have been studying a fair bit of classical tantric devatas. We have read and studied the myths of the great Gods and Goddesses, understanding the lesson behind the myth. Douglas Brooks defines a "myth" as a lie in the goal of a higher purpose. Alas, all of the Hindu deities have crazy stories (there is always a demon and always a death) that ultimately leave us with a lesson. One of our assignments the other day was to write our OWN story. I didn't think much of it, but once I started, I couldn't stop. And this assignment opened the doors of creativity. I have been writing tales like this, short stories and poetry. Well, yesterday I asked my Dad to move through my Spirit Animal cards and to help guide me into what I should be doing. Go figure, I picked the spider.....

There was a community that resided on a most beautiful island, surrounded on all sides by the sea, nestled into the bossom of the middle of the Universe. The people who lived on this island took the paradise for granted. They didn't smile at the shade offered to them by the huge palm trees, nor were they gracious as they drank the nectar of the sweet young coconuts that were a gift of the tree. They took fish from the sea with greed and without gratitude. They abused the land, became lazy and complacent, and existed without joy or excitement. And so it was, they took more than was needed, left little for the others around them, and not once smiled to the sky with satisfaction....

Mother Earth was hurt by this lack of respect, so her husband, the Sea, decided to take form and pay them a visit, to tease them out of their ignorance and complacency. Though at first glance he looked like a normal fisherman, it was told that he had the strength of 10 thousand men, was more intelligent than all of the sages in the world, and that no task was too great or too difficult for him to remedy. He was armed with a spear gun, a pocket knife, and a spool of fishing line. He had a laugh that came from the depth of his being, the beard of a pirate, and a constant layer of sea salt on his face. It was his eyes though that gave his magic away, as they twinkled the most vibrant blue, reflecting his true identity....the almighty, auspicious ocean. He spent his days teaching the people how to live off of the land. He taught them to build boats, tie knots, catch fish and how to prepare them. He taught them prayer, which was used after every kill -- acknowledging the abundance that Mother Earth has blessed them with. He taught them the importance of preservation, conservation, and adoration. He taught them the power of coming together to provide for one another, but most of all he taught them how to laugh. For without laughter, what is life worth? As the sun would go down he would prepare meals for the whole village, and then tell stories into the evening about the magnificent Mother Earth and her far off snow-capped mountains, dry and desolate deserts, and never-ending green Plains. The villagers would go to bed at night with their bellies full, with smiles on their faces, and with gratitude in their hearts....thankful for all of the blessings they had received and for the beautiful island...and all that it so humbly shared with them.

Once everyone was asleep, the Son of Neptune would walk down to the beach. He spent his nights under the stars, nestled into the sand so he could be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves crashing, while dreaming of his wife.

Missing his beloved, one night he ordered an evening of music to serenade her sweet skies and abundant ground. And so, they sat along the on a sitar, another on a tabla, and the third playing the violin. Son of Neptune told the troupe to play the most beautiful song that existed in all of the Universe, one worthy of his beloved. As they began to play, the Son of Neptune found himself overwhelmed with emotion. The song was indeed the most beautiful song, one that matched the magnificence of his other half. He missed his wife, and was feeling lonely on the island. Moved by this sadness, his wife decided to send him a daughter to keep him company. Sitting next to the crashing waves of the Arabian Sea, overwhelmed by the beautiful song and love for his wife, he shed a tear, and from this devotion, from this fallen tear, came his daughter. They called her (She of Song and Sea).

The two spent their days in constant play, always diving into some exciting adventure. They swam with the dolphins, climbed the highest trees, and would see who could tie [fishing] knots the fastest. Her hair was wavy like the seaweed that sways at the bottom of the ocean, and her voice was as beautiful as the music that inspired her birth. Her father crafted her a little ukulele from the wood of a local tree, and to pass the heat of the afternoons they would sit in the shade and she'd sing for him. She was incredibly tiny, only about two feet tall, but when she'd sing you could hear her song across the sea. During the day her father taught her all he knew about living off of the Earth and at night he would tell her bedtime stories about her majestic Mother, and how much she loved her.

One day, the Son of Neptune knew that the timehad come for him to return. He explained to his daughter that he must go...he had known that his time on the island would be temporary. He came to share his message and now his job was finished. He told her that he had taught her everything that he knew, so she shouldn't worry...she had all that she needed to survive. And just before he returned to his beloved, he reminded his daughter that he was always with her, a part of her, and that they would see each other again some day. He told her to sit by the ocean and she would remember....remember the love that they had, the strength that pulses through her veins, and the place from which she came. He gave her his pocket knife as a gift and reminded her that when she sings a song, he would be there. (She of Song and Sea) couldn't understand why he was leaving, but she trusted her father and bid him a tearful farewell.

As the days passed, young (She of Song and Sea) pulled away from the village. She spent her time crying in the shade of the coconut trees and floating for hours on end in the Sea. But she didn't feel her father. Where was he? She was here...why wasn't he? Time continued to move along, but she stayed in one place. She sang at first when he had left, but the songs didn't bring him back, so she stopped singing. At the same time, the villagers once again lost their connection to Mother Earth, and began to revert back to their old ways. They became greedy, ungrateful, jealous and lazy. They pulled all the fish from the sea, leaving nothing to swim free. One night, they captured a beautiful whale in their net, which they victoriously drug up onto the shore. A huge fight erupted as the fishermen argued over who would get to keep this enormous catch. (She of Song and Sea) could hear the whales cry over her own tears, and then hearing the shouts of the fishermen, she made her way to the west end of the Island to investigate. When she saw the whale, she was overwhelmed with anger. The whale asked the little girl for help, but she replied that she was too small and too weak to do anything. At first she was angry at the villagers for this cruelty, but then as she looked into her heart, she became angry at herself. Her father had taught her so much, in hopes that she would continue to radiate his Light. She had been so consumed in her own grief that she had neglected the world in which she lived! Fueled by this fierce anger, by the fishermens greed and disregard for Mother Nature, she confronted the fishermen and demanded that they set the whale free. They laughed at the little girl and told her to "go away", that she was "too small to do anything about it". And at first, she believed these voices telling her that she wasn't enough. (She of Song and Sea) sat in defeat next to the imprisoned whale, tears streaming down her face. To comfort the dying whale she began to sing a song, the first song she sang since her father had left. As the song continued, (She of Song and Sea) was reminded of how powerful she was...that her father was IN her, a PART of her, and with that she sang louder. Though she was only two feet tall, she channeled the strength of her father as she swiftly used her pocket knife to cut the nets and then hoisted the whale onto her shoulders and began carrying her out to sea. The fishermen didn't know what to do, shocked by the mighty strength of the tiny girl. As she was returning the whale to the sea, she sang louder and stronger. The sadness in her voice roused her parents. Her Mother was furious that the villagers had fallen back into their lazy patterns, and was even more livid at the way they were treating her daughter. To punish the Islanders she asked her husband to teach them one final lesson. The Sea and the Mother joined forces...The waves grew to the size of the largest mountains and the heavens were as black as the bottom of the deepest abyss. The winds were violent and the trees crumpled down as if made of sand. With a tidal wave that reached high above the highest cloud, the Mother and Father washed over the island, killing all of the inhabitants, as (She of Song and Sea) took safety on the back of the whale.

All that died were reborn as fish in the sea, or trees on the beach. They smiled at the lesson learned, and the karma of their rebirth. Now they understood the importance of taking only what was needed and taking with respect for the sacred, gracious Mother. There are new inhabitants now, but they carry with them the stories of their ancestors. It is said that every night you can hear the voice of (She of Song and Sea) as she serenades her parents to sleep, and it serves as a reminder to the villagers to live with presence, laughter, and gratitude. Some fishermen even say that (She of Song and Sea) transformed into a mermaid on that remembered day, and that she is still spotted, seated atop a huge whale, with a pocket knife in one hand and her instrument in the other....

Fisherman always pray to (She of Song and Sea) before heading out to Sea so that they have a safe journey, and abundant catch. They know that (She of Song and Sea) is the joy of her parents hearts, so to keep Mother Earth and the Sea happy they chant praises in (She of Song and Seas) name. Once out to sea they throw a mala of sea daisies overboard and make a blessing to (She of asking and Sea).

Women pray to (She of Song and Sea) to embrace their femininity, as well as their fierce strength, which (She of Song and Sea) clearly displayed can go hand in hand.

She of Song and Sea is associated with....
Inner Strength (both physical and emotional)
Song / Singing
The Ocean
Sea life
Manipura and Vishudda chakra
Transformation child to woman

She is naked and wears long earrings made of sea shells, and turquoise bangles up the length of both arms.
Her incense is jasmine.
Her mala is turquoise (blue like her fathers eyes, and turquoise of her mothers earth).

Naked- embracing the feminine and vulnerability
Pocket Knife- you don't need a big knife to solve big problems. The pocket knife was sharp and swift in its efforts to release the great whale
Small (2 feet)- strength can come in all shapes and sizes, including small packages. Don't underestimate yourself if your tiny. Or others.
Ukulele- music, song, the power of voice
Whale- whales represent the cycle of death and rebirth and transformation. The represent power of song, intelligence, intuition, creativity and inner depth.
The sea- the sea can change in a minute, representing the fact that we have the choice to make a change....and it's not a process, it begins the moment we make the whole hearted decision.
Death/Rebirth of villagers- represents the fact that we are all connected, and we are in a constant cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The death of the villagers and their rebirth is a reminder that one day you are the taker, and the next you can be the taken. Be mindful of consumption, take what's needed with gratitude, and treat everything with respect as we are all part of the Universes natural cycle and rhythm.
She of Song and Seas birth from a tear: anything is possible when we are moving from a place of pure love
She of Song and Seas transformation- her transformation into a mermaid represents the transformation that we have the choice to make when tragedy strikes. After her father left she did nothing but cry and hold onto her grief....which kept her small and delicate. But once she realized that her father was with her in a different form, she transformed her grief into strength and therefore made the transformation from child to woman.

Big Butts.

I love these goofy girls I'm studying with. I asked Jo to snap a photo of me the other day in my power pose. She captured my dismount as well and said that she got a great photo of one of my greatest assets. Ha. I'm just looking through photos now. Had a good laugh. I hope that your day is as nice as your butt!


I forgot to mention that we played with elephants the other day...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwing Coconuts

Yesterday I stepped into my power.

I have been so hesitant to make changes that were necessary for me to grow, simply because I was afraid. And the other day I sat with my fear, decided that it was time to face it all, stand up for myself and to verbalize a decision that was already made in my heart. The moment the decision was made I knew that it was right, for everyone involved. And the response I received was reassuring that this indeed was the right path of action.

And so. New beginnings. Deep breath in....and release. Quite fittingly, this morning we had an excursion to two temples. The first was a Goddess Temple, adorned with fierce devatas of Durga, Kali, Laksmi and Saraswati. There were statues of warrior women wielding weapons, knowledge and beauty in their multiple hands. They were so gorgeous, with intricate detail, and you couldn't help but to stare in reverence. I was able to acknowledge their existence within me. I left standing a bit taller, with a fierce flame burning on the inside. The second (and last temple) that we went to was the GANAPATI (Ganesha) temple in Trivandrum. This temple is on the corner of a busy square, and the energy is exciting and enticing. Here, with an intention in your heart, you can buy coconuts and throw them against the wall....if they smash open then it means that Ganesha will help you remove that obstacle. I bought FIVE coconuts, meditated on what's blocking my path and my heart, and then boom, boom, boom, boom, boom....I smashed the shit outta those coconuts. Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying or liberating as smashing shit when you are angry, frustrated or sad. I think I blacked out with bliss after all of the mornings excitement, and came-to once we were back home at Somatheeram.

I started the day feeling slightly optimistic, and finished the day feeling totally confident, reassured and..."powerful and amazing".

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baby Isla, Busting Moves....

One of my besties sent me a picture of her beautiful baby Isla. Apparently this lil bubby was taking notes from the womb as her mom was practicing with me, because she's in a perfect janu sir with ardha virasana. Boom. Can't wait to squeeze this munchkin when I get back to jersey!!

Swimming Pools for Self-Inquiry

Yep...I may be smiling in the pool in this photo, but I sure as shit wasn't this afternoon....

I was really irritated this morning. If you put someone, who spends a lot of time alone, into a full-power, all-day-every-day group setting then a bit of frustration is bound to come up. I woke up and just wanted to be alone. And quiet. And did I mention "alone"? After class we were guided through a long pranayama session and meditation. I dropped into the meditation and was completely absorbed in the stillness and silence. I had no hands, no legs, no breath. Just the glorious sound of the waves crashing on the shore below me and an occasional bird singing a sweet song. I was irritated when we were brought out of the meditation because I didn't want to leave the sacred space and rejoin the group. Upon the completion of our class, Danny told us that we were to find a partner over our lunch break, hop in the pool with them, and allow our partner to hold us for five minutes, walking us around the pool.

I don't want to.
I'm not going to.

I listened to music, journaled, read, + nourished myself with a bit of food and herbal tea- but mostly I nourished myself with continued solitude. As I was sitting in silence with eyes closed, I pictured Lora asking us what we thought about the assignment..."what does it mean? Are you allowing yourself to be held? What did it bring up for you?". Damnit. I knew that I would have to explain why I skipped the exercise, and how that is a reflection of my life. Because, as they say, "How you do anything is how you do everything". (Yes, this includes how you float in the pool with a partner.) So, I left the safety of my solitude and went down to the damn pool. Zoe offered to take me for a dip (btw: THANK YOU Zoe!). I settled into her arms and fully surrendered. As soon as I saddled up she asked if I wanted to talk or be silent? Even though I was dying to stay with the quiet, I said, "Whatever you want!". And so, we talked the whole time....

I had a good laugh as I walked back to my room. Goddamn you Danny and amazing, sneaky teachers!!

The 'revealing' process is tough to take, but if you're open to self-inquiry then it's a necessary and beautiful tool to grow into your full potential and fullest expression. What was revealed to me today is something that I'm not going to be able to change overnight- but "awareness is the medicine". ILLUMINATE to ELIMINATE. I don't want to be held by anyone. I won't ask to be held, I won't hint that I want to be held, and I will not let down my 'powerful and amazing' guard that will let you think that you should offer to hold me. I will only be held if it's forced on me, or (thanks Danny and Lora) it's assigned to me. Once I'm forced into receiving support I will surrender into it...but I surrender COMPLETELY, unable to vocalize what *I* need as I'm being held- my only worry accommodating the person that has the -burden- of carrying me. Also, a big fear of having to be held is then feeling like I am in debt to whoever held me, feeling as if I "owe" them. And then, there's the fear that what if they let me down? Or can't support me? What if I'm too fucking heavy? I'll drown! Id rather just swim on my own! I know that I can survive and keep myself afloat, no matter how rough the water gets or how tired my body becomes. I am allowing my past to dictate my present, so I'm trying to move away from this history and write a new story. All of this sparked from a five minute 'swim' in the pool....what a day.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Let me take a few breaths and try to wrap my head around how I can share the mind-blowing, world-rocking experience that I had with me, my breath, my Dad and my Kula (community) this morning. I feel that words won't quite do it justice, but I'm gonna give it a go...

My spirits have been high despite a busted up knee. I can see the blessing in the injury and I am not resistant to the message that is being shared with me. With that said, I have been missing my asana practice. I teach so much that I don't often get to practice on a consistent basis with a great teacher. I love self-practice, but I find such joy in being guided, coaxed and assisted.

Yesterday in class we were asked to stand up. Feet hip distance apart. Arms over with elbows slightly bent and the tips of the middle fingers touching. As we brought our arms overhead we chanted "SAT", and as our arms pulled down, elbows into the sides of the body, we let out "NAM". Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat Nam, Sat the pace that you would do jumping jacks. I'm familiar with kundalini, so I knew that we would be doing this for some time....3minutes, 11, 22 or 31. Please God, let it be only 3minutes. When we started it wasn't so bad. You start to think, "Ah, this is easy." By 3minutes your arms start to ache, and by 7minutes you feel like you might die. Death by kundalini sat nam kriya. What a way to go! Lots of emotions come on, and a shit ton of thoughts....
"I want to give up. I'm exhausted. I cannot lift my arms up again. Maybe I'll just take a break. FUUUUUUCK!!!!! AHHHHH!!!! When is this over? It must have been an hour. I'm so irritated." So on and so forth. We would do two minutes with our eyes open, chanting Sat Nam out loud, feeling the support of the Kula (community) and connecting with the eyes of people in the group when we needed support. Then we would move into two minutes with the eyes closed, mentally chanting Sat nam, and moving with a strong bastrika breath in and out through the nose (forceful breath in, forceful breath out). I finally broke at around 8minutes. The floodgates opened and I sobbed as I moved through the kriya. I couldn't connect with the eyes of my Kula, and I didn't really want to. Because my Dad was with me. He was behind me cheering me on and inside of me inspiring my arms to lift despite their heaviness. And I was on fire. I could have kept going for the rest of the day. My arms didn't hurt because I couldn't *feel* my arms. My breath was stronger and more accentuated, my movement was more forceful and steady, my tears became heavier and from a deep place inside, and I moved further inward with every second that passed. I cried for the pain that my Dad experienced, I cried for the pain that I've experienced, I cried for the relationship lost, and I cried for the revelation of the relationships' evolution. I cried because he's not with me anymore, and I cried even harder because he's always with me, I am nothing but him, and everything is moving me closer to him. I cried because every time I heard Jo behind me chanting SAT NAM, when I was unable to get it above a whisper, I could feel her lifting me up and I knew that my Dad was moving through her. I was held by the love of my Kula and it was safe to let go of any walls and be fully vulnerable, broken, scared and completely on fire. One of the greatest lessons that I took away from my Dads passing is that if I can survive that, I can survive anything. And this is what I love about kundalini. Because I experience a small death every time I practice. A death of the thought "I can't", or "I'm not enough"....and the further rebirth of I AM and I CAN shines brighter. As the transformation happened I moved into my mantra of "I AM POWERFUL AND AMAZING" and I was. I continued, fueled by my Dad, Josephine and the Kula. The whole kriya was TWENTY TWO MINUTES LONG. The rest of the day is somewhat of a blur. I was in and out of sadness, bliss and exhaustion. But mostly I was resting in a blanket of revelation and peace. We have learned a lot about the Hindu dieties in this training. When Saraswati or Lakshmi are on my altar I'm not worshipping them, but I'm invoking their essence that is a part of ME. Does that make sense? And that's what I realized I can do with my Dad. Just like Saraswati exists within, my Dad is a part of me-- and I can call upon him whenever I want.

Kundalini Kriyas should be mandatory for the masses. I'm serious. I suggest you put on your powerful, big-girl panties and get your ass to a Kundalini class ASAP. Not now, RIGHT now. You're welcome.

New Moon Manifestations

I am fascinated by the incredible power of intention, and even more so by the power that the Universe offers us to support the process. The other night was the New Moon, which is an auspicious time to share with the Universe your desires and goals that you want to bring to fruition. To celebrate this and to bring more awareness to the process we held a ceremony on the grounds of Somaterram. Tara, Josephine, Georgia, Katie and myself gathered with our (carefully crafted) list of intentions under the night sky, armed with incense, sage, offerings of flowers, and a few devatas of dieties that are close to our hearts. The ceremony, facilitated by Tara, began with all of us cleansing our energy bodies with sage, and then by a vigorous ringing of the bell (bells, as well as clapping, help to clear the energy of a space). Tara read a prayer by the Grandmothers, and as she was reading, a hawk flew overhead. We centered ourselves with a few rounds of "Aum" and then we began. One by one we went around the circle, ringing the bell to begin and end, lighting our incense (which we put out after sharing and will burn completely at the upcoming full moon), and sharing with the group of list of intentions. The evening ended with the Ganapati mudra and mantra "Om Gung Ganapataye Namaha" to clear any obstacles that will get in the way of our intentions coming to existence.

I not only had a list of intentions, ranging from what I want in a partner, to teaching at Wanderlust, but I was also inspired by a journaling exercise that we had done earlier in the day. Danny and Lora had asked us to open our journal and write down our 'old story'...the blah blah bullshit story that we are so attached to. And then, flip the page, and write our 'new story'. At first glance I thought that this assignment was....well, stupid. But as I started to write, I realized all of the stories that I stay attached to, allowing to dictate, direct and demean me and my life path. I set the bar pretty high for my NEW STORY, but I'm excited for the challenge to RISE UP. I'm proud to be moving out of old patterns and creating a new higher vibration of living.

So, Jai Ganesha! Today I celebrate all of the new beginnings! Shri Kali Swaha! Today I celebrate the death of all of the relationships, thoughts, and habits that do not lift me up!