What is a Yoga Community?

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By Steph Wall

COMMUNITY. A word I’ve thrown around for years without understanding the depth of its meaning. What and who makes up the “yoga community”? I always thought of it as the width of my social circle, or the yoga teachers or students who I knew of in Glasgow or Kelowna, but I’ve come to understand it’s actually the depth of people brought together, regardless of length of time we’ve known each other, if we know how each other earns a living, the stories of our past....all that “stuff”, the layers, are irrelevant and instead we are brought together through things like yoga, empathy, understanding, pain, similar transformations...

During my time in Kelowna, Canada I’ve fully felt the power of community. Being H E L D by people who don’t care much about me except for who I am deep down, my soul and essence. And will hold the space for me to experience life whether I’m hurting or laughing. AND me to them. And to know deep inside that when I’m experiencing hurt, transformations, highs, it’s for the greater of the community. My experience is theirs. Theirs is mine. No separation, never ever. All connected. Always always”

Join Steph for her Vinyasa Yoga Classes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:15!

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The Most Loving, The Most Fierce Mother

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Kali is easily one of the most misunderstood figures in ancient mythology. To simply look at her image without seeing her symbolically or with complexity, one might just see a violent image of an enraged black woman. Many people shy away or dismiss this figure due to staying on the surface and taking powerful symbols literally, however Kali is not an energy to dismiss. For those who know the basic qualities of Kali, we know that she epitomises the dark, mysterious, vast, infinite unknown. She works via death and destruction and is not for the faint of heart. However there is a side to her that often gets missed and that is her as the all loving Mother.

When we think of the role of Mother we might immediately turn to qualities such as warmth, kindness and softness. And although these are indeed qualities of Mother, they are not the only ones nor should they be placed at a higher value. Another face of Mother is the face of Kali; fierce, relentless and direct. What all faces of Mother have in common though, is Love. For anyone who truly wants to grow and experience self transformation, preferring one expression of Love over the other may be a mistake. Sometimes the love, the lessons, the nourishment we want is not what we actually need. Sometimes we really do need a strong, tough, fierce love that might be painful and knock you off your feet as a way to transcend lifelong limitations we’ve placed on ourselves.

Kali is not a Mother to dismiss because she doesn’t show up the way that is preferred. She is a Mother that will love, tirelessly and endlessly, to hold you as you transform. Sometimes that Love just might need to be a bit tough and scary.

KALI THE MOTHER

By Swami Vivekananda

The stars are blotted out,

The clouds are covering clouds,

It is darkness vibrant, sonant.

In the roaring, whirling wind

Are the souls of a million lunatics

Just loose from the prison-house,

Wrenching trees by the roots,

Sweeping all from the path.

The sea has joined the fray,

And swirls up mountain-waves,

To reach the pitchy sky.

The flash of lurid light

Reveals on every side

A thousand, thousand shades

Of Death begrimed and black —

Scattering plagues and sorrows,

Dancing mad with joy,

Come, Mother, come!

For Terror is Thy name,

Death is in Thy breath,

And every shaking step

Destroys a world for e'er.

Thou "Time", the All-Destroyer!

Come, O Mother, come!

Who dares misery love,

And hug the form of Death,

Dance in Destruction's dance,

To him the

Mother comes

Who is Kali?

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Kali is the Goddess of time, change and destruction. She is the energy current inside of you that is wild, empowered and all loving.  This energy is deeply involved in the life / death / life cycle to keep you growing and transforming, as does the rich practice of yoga. 

The Dark Mother in all her love and ferocity will guide you through transformation by dissolving all forms and time. She will tear things up to help you see what is needing die inside of you, such as self limiting beliefs or attachments to the past that prevent you from moving forward. These deaths then create a fertile field for growth and creation of the new. 

She’s the darkness most of us fear. She is fierce. She is loving. She will transform you.