Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Some pics of Sarah and I playing with postures in Boulder.
Be well!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Getting Cooked

"Who are you without your story?" Luke from the Yoga Workshop was inquiring to us in the corpse pose last week.

"The universe is conspiring to wake you up. All you have to do is listen."

I just finished a weekend meditation retreat Shamatha Style. After hours of sitting I would contemplate these questions.
I felt like I was slowly being cooked by Grandfather time. Just sitting there in the fire and feeling my hair turn grey. At times I was elated at how easy and pleasant it felt. At times I felt like I was in the center of the inferno... wanting to get up and run out of the eerily still room. Many times I fell asleep and almost hit the person in front of me. At times I experienced the emptiness and deep relaxation that comes when the emotions, body, brain hemispheres and ambition- align and rest- in timeless stillness (but not much).
Slowly cooking, and wondering, what is the thing that cooks time?

So I asked myself, who am I when I have no arms and legs to move? When I have no wilderness to roam in and captivate my senses? Who am I when I have no one to talk to and no one who thinks I am anything? Where is my spine anyways? What makes this skeleton, encased in flesh and muscles, breathe and think and feel? And love?

The universe is conspiring in it's myriad forms to wake us up.

So I just listened and came to terms that I may never know... and I felt like after two days I was just opening up. Like a bud just starting to curl it's petals shyly towards the brilliant sun, reaching out to grow.
I guess I'll have to wait for the Vipassana in August to get roasted a little more.

Other than a sore bum life is incredibly intriguing and having Sonnie here is like the cherry on top.
This weekend we are hoping to climb something around here.
Some pics of this beautiful town.

Friday, June 20, 2008

From the mountains to the sea...

It is amazing to be so close to the ocean - the smell is so foriegn to my dry rocky mountain nose. Wet air filled with the vibrant scent of growing flowers and trees - this place is very alive! Blooming flowers, ripening citrus trees on every street, salty air, dolphins swimming...

I(Sarah speaking here...not Lydia) have now been in Encinitas, California for a week, studying with Tim Miller. Tim was the first North American teacher to be fully certified to teach Ashtanga yoga. He has been teaching here for almost 30 years. Check out his website at As a teacher, Tim's presence and work ethic are energizing - he is the first to arrive each day, often teaches 3 classes plus 5 hours of teacher training each day...leading through example, the way he was taught by his Guru, Pattabi Jois. It is indeed motivating to study with someone who is willing to work so passionately doing something he loves.

The days start early with pranayama at 6, then mysore practice. The studio drips with humidity before bodies even begin to move and sticky yoga mats become slip and slides. The room is packed with as many mats as it can fit. It is an inspiring place to deepen the experience of the ashtanga yoga practice, as there are many regulars who have been practicing for decades at the studio.

Beyond practice time, we spend five hours each afternoon breaking down asanas, talking about indian mythology, astrology and the yoga sutras among other things.

Amidst busy yoga days I have been staying in a cute little cabin in a family's backyard with my sister who is hear on a little yoga holiday..i found it on craigslist. It is perfect. My sister, Tessa, left today to return to southern ontario - so i'll have the place to myself for the next week. It was bittersweet to see her go, as time together is so wonderful and rare, but i know it will be great to enjoy some rare time all to myself over the next week.

more soon.
enjoy the pic's of coastal livin' in California.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Boulder Pic's

Hey all,

It feels like we've been in Boulder for month, yet it's barely been a week.

Lots of learning,

enjoy the pic's
love to you all.
Sarah and Lydia.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


First of all I hope you enjoyed dear Sarah's addition to the blog. She will be posting from here and there just to keep things fresh and interesting. Pictures of us in Boulder coming soon.
From Canmore to Scotland, Scotland to Boulder... all in a flash of wings and emotions and themes. Sonnie ended up doing his climb yesterday, I was already in Boulder. Thankyou to all of you who meditated on his success... I think it helped (wink). I think for a brief moment of defying gravity he became a pixel of pure human intelligence without conceptual limitations. You'll have to keep your eye out for the new video coming out from Hot Aches Productions (some of the nicest people in the world as well)... in fact, not to worry, I'll keep you posted.

It has been a hard week for me. The jet lag and the lack of yoga practice rendered me with a plurality of ailnesses that moved into my body and took over. It has been years since I have been so sick and put up the white flag. All coming at an inopportune time... starting the teacher training that I have wanted to do for years, and having to miss the second day of class (each day being a precious jewel). I ended up in the hospital after trying to no avail to get into a clinic. Boulder has a very nice hopital among other things. Everyone here is very pleasant. To make a long story short, I owe Sarah and her sister Tessa my life for being such patient and caring friends; I feel much better (sometimes drugs are... gulp... necessary) and I slept 12 hours last night!
Some amazing things came out of feeling sick and in pain. I was quieter and listened more.
This teacher training has illuminated me with this skill. Everything Richard seems to say leaves a residue inside me that resonates for hours. I never need to ask any questions because during the course of the day they are all miraculously answered. I am left with my tongue in silent contemplation and my mind is happy. My body feels like it is an energetic orb that is humming the tune of my favorite mantra. I am sure this month will be like a very very exquisite meal that leaves one sitting back... quietly... with an audible sigh and a mesmerized contentedness at the miracle of life. Soul food.
So walking to the studio this morning at 6, with my ipod blasting, I was finally overcome with the joy of being here... and then I tripped over my flimsy havaianas and fell smack on my face in the middle of the pavement. I got up quickly with my headphones all askew and my knees starting to turn purple and quickly did the 1-2 check to see if anyone had witnessed my belly flop.
Life is really hysterical. It has a wonderful way of keeping you humble. Of giving you a good dose of humour every once in a while. Whether it reminds you not to take yourself so seriously in the form of sickness or falling flat on your face, it shows you that there is something bigger that keeps you smiling and laughing at yourself with the understanding that crazy things will just keep on happening. It will keep making you eat the shadowy aspects of itself (and yourself) and even though they might not taste as decadent, they are spiritually nutritious. I am starting to think this is what keeps one vibrant.
And as Richard Freeman says...
"Beautiful is out... vibrancy is in!"
So my boyfriend is coming out with a big smile on his face, I am back to practicing regularly, meditating and eating organic (which takes care of my basic needs), and things are looking vibrant and sparkly again.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life as a moving meditation...

Everything that I own is once again packed into bags as I prepare to head south for 3 weeks. Moving is a healthy reminder for me of the volumes I accumulate in my life, and traveling the glimpse into how little I need to be at peace on this journey.

In many ways, experiences living on the road have taken me into the present moment of life - where awareness of the past and future seem to blur into the realm of inconsequential and depth in each moment becomes the essence of my life.

When I travel I read more. I write long letters and poems and my dreams are incredibly vivid - as if my subconscious awakens to share worthy lessons from below. I talk less and listen more. And, I find myself less concerned with groceries for the month and more aware of what i will eat for my next meal.

What can all this mean?

If life is a moving meditation, an ebb and flow of energy, a constant journey into
ourselves, an exploration of truth - it is the moments where i am fully present in each movement - the mornings where every forward fold takes me deeper, the days where every move on the climb absorbs me and every word in the book intrigues my mind - those are the times where i enter the meditation of life most deeply, where I viscerally absorb living with every cell in my body.

Of course, we strive to live in this place of total presence as often as we can, the same way we would love to find deeper awareness and calmness every day when we sit down to meditate and breath. But in this moving meditation of life there are moments of clutter and moments of intense clarity.

For me, traveling consistently provides the space for me to nurture, learn and grow from being fully present and clear in my life.

I have arrived in Boulder - finished my first class with Richard where i found myself thoroughly amazed by the simplicity of the little yellow building called The Yoga Workshop - it is a beautiful space.

Lydia will be here tomorrow...arriving after a week by the sea in Scotland! For a while we'll roam this town together.

I wish everyone in Canmore a wonderful month - stay dry and i'll see you in July!

New addition to being with yoga...

Hey all,

This is Sarah Manwaring-Jones - a friend, co-teacher, dog walking partner (among other things)...of Lydia's.

We have spent many early mornings practicing together in the Bow Valley, long days playing in the mountains, many late nights drinking wine and contemplating life and endless hours talking about anatomy, alignment and philosophy as it relates to life and yoga.

We have recently been teaching yoga workshops and courses and Canmore together - and will both be studying in the states for the month of june. So, given all the things that we seem to share, the work we are doing together and the shared vision we hold in many aspects of life i'm excited to add a few posts here and there to Lydia's beautiful blog...