It is during the pause that follows the end of that long exhale, that my attention mercifully shifts from being stuck in habitual thinking to wholly present. From this inner vantage point, the future comes into focus. So that as I reset our home, review my endless to-do list, and commence another blessed day, it is with the remembrance that all of it—the home-making, the meditating, the teaching, the cooking and cleaning, the writing, and yes, even the laundry—is in service of my highest intention: to radiate whole-heartedly with the light of awareness.
And of course, as soon as I remember, I forget. And so it goes throughout each day and into the next; forgetting and remembering, abusing and taking care, hurting and healing. But each time I remember is one less time that I forget.
This month, let us practice remembering. Remembering how to care for ourselves. Remembering how to be kind to each other. Remembering that we are brilliant and beautiful. Remembering that we already know who we are and what we are here to do. The shift from summertime to school mode is an exercise in patience and persistence. In fact, the changing leaves hint at what can happen when we over-do it.
Ayurveda teaches us that Autumn is the season governed by vata or wind energy, which itself is characterized by movement and change. When we are in harmony with this season, we can experience a sense of lightness in the body, clarity in the mind, and expansiveness in how we relate to others and to life. Whereas barriers divide, boundaries reinforce. Barriers promote hostility, but boundaries provide stability. Barriers—like the infamous wall proposed by you-know-who—are externally imposed blockades in an eventually futile effort of resistance. Boundaries—like the banks of a river—from through an organic process of going with, not against, the flow.
The best boundaries arise from the inside out. They are not programs or prescriptions bestowed upon us; rather better boundaries are an organic extension of your inner wish, your intention, your dharma. Yet, just as the breath mirrors the natural pulsation of life which is never static and always in flux, a better boundary expands and contracts according to what is needed.
A better boundary is responsive not reactive. You know when a boundary is better because you FEEL better—simultaneously supported and free. But rather than adopt mine carte blanche, I encourage you to listen within and discover the boundaries that will best suit who you are now and who you are becoming through this next phase of your evolution. Like this blog.
Is it in alignment or conflict with my priorities? And when I catch myself here, it helps to look for how this experience can serve as a growth opportunity—what can I learn? How can I raise the vibration or, at the very least, maintain an inner state of equanimity instead of being at the mercy of the situation. But more often now, the ways that I am spending my time resonate with what matters most to me. One simple practice to try is uttanasana or standing forward fold at the wall. Beautiful for experiencing the simultaneous sense of support and freedom of boundaries. I'm not sure who coined the phrase of the moment, "September is the new January," but I love it.
In fact, September has always been my January. The anticipation of a new start, the fresh supplies, and the return to routine fill me with both an eager determination and a wistful mourning. What will I do to feel the way I want to feel? Focus is the thread that inspires and unites our actions. While whatever is touching the earth grounds and stabilizes the body, it is the breath that establishes a sense of connectivity and roots us into the present moment. Simply observing the breath can align us with presence in a pinch. For a more focused practice, try following the inhale breath from the soles of the feet, through the legs and into the muladhara chakra, or pelvic floor.
On the exhale, breath flows from the pelvic floor, down the legs and into the soles of the feet. Allowing movement to follow breath establishes a relationship of trust that relaxes the mind and releases the body. Likewise, when shifting from one season to another, one event to another, or even one life experience to another, we can practice attuning to and accepting how it is, rather than struggling against the current.
One easy way to open the channels of breath is to use a neti pot daily. Irrigating the nasal passages with warm salted water gets rid of the gunk and lubricating with oil—sesame, coconut, argan—protects against colds. Keeping the channels open and clear—in the body and in the mind—enhances our ability to move fluidly and easily. FLUENCY: Borrowing this term from a dear and gifted teacher, Elena Brower, fluency describes our ability to adapt to new situations and the level of mastery we attain through measured devotion. To be fluent requires focus, foundation, and fluidity.
On the mat, fluency is experienced through the integration of body, breath, mind, and spirit; off the mat, fluency is expressed through the quality of our responsiveness to the moment. May these principles and practices be of value and use to you and the people you care for, and may you move with ease and an ever-expanding sense of possibility into the next stage of your becoming.
Hej Hej from Sweden, where my family has been spending a fun week exploring and eating our way through Stockholm and now immersing ourselves in the local ski culture and reuniting with dear friends. Among them, one that I am particularly stoked to share with you is a Yoga Retreat that I am hosting next fall…in the Maldives! More information on this and other happenings is on the website, under "My Offerings.
As with many good habits, it takes commitment, patience, and time to establish a healthy routine, but a minor disruption or a short break—like a holiday--can be all it takes to land us back in outworn patterns. Knowing which habits of eating, exercising, and daily living are absolutely key to keeping us feeling good means that when we go on holiday or have extra demands at work or home or face some other interruption to our daily routine, we not only withstand the change, but we flourish through the challenge. My essential habits are: 1.
Ultimately, however, it is not the actions themselves that matter as much as it is the feeling or flavor—the bhavana —with which we act. Perhaps you can spend some time considering which habits are fundamental for you to feel good in your body, mind, and spirit? Write them down. Do them every day.
No excuses. Feel good every day no matter what. My trusty alarm, the riot of Hindi music blasting across the rice fields and through the coconut groves beckons me out of bed and along the short path to the yoga Shala. There, shrouded in the cool darkness of the amritvela , the hours of the predawn, I quietly take my seat alongside the outlines of kindred spirits. Our custom has been to maintain silence during these morning practices, yet as I settle in, the world around me is anything but quiet.
The local dogs howl mournfully, bidding their dear moon goodbye for now and an old rooster does his best to compete with the din. Gradually, as my awareness shifts to the hush of my own breath, the morning song recedes into the background. A fresh and floral sweetness enters through my nostrils and as it exits, the silky air tickles my upper lip. Drawn in by the sound of the ocean caught in a shell emanating from my own throat, peace enters my entire being.
It is for this moment--in which Awareness and breath dissolve into silence--that I am here: on this mat, in this place, on this planet. We are four women arranged in a line facing the east where the sun will soon begin the daily miracle of showing its face. For two weeks, we have begun each day in this way with our masterful teacher guiding us, but today we are unaccompanied, each woman attending to her own practice.
Exhaling out resistance until empty of so much effort. Inhaling space and grace until full of the lightness of simply being. Receiving each breath, grateful for the nourishment which unravels, softens, and releases layers of aches, pains, and sorrows accumulated over lifetimes. For the next hour, we move in this way. Each woman harmonizing her own body with breath as together, we compose a symphony for the dawn. Sequestered there, they learn the language of the plant world and how to communicate with the spirits.
They recite the stories that have sustained their culture for millennia, and though they never see it, they learn of the Sun and its importance to our human existence. After ten or more years of imbibing the mysteries of the natural world, one night they are taken out of the cave and lead to the top of a mountain where, for the first time, they watch the sunrise. As they witness the sun cresting over the horizon, their hearts blow open with the ecstasy of one who has witnessed a miracle, and they are reborn.
In their new life, these young adults wander the forests where they are called upon by their people to bless, protect, and heal as keepers of the light. Lying on my mat in the dim light, I sense how it feels to live surrounded by darkness having knowledge and reverence for, but no real experience of light. And I imagine the sensations of that first contact with light and what it would be like to live perpetually in such a state of grace that, every morning, the sunrise would be a divine revelation. Breath whispers through the stillness that presides over the threshold between dawn and daylight.
As we return to our seats, heads bowed, palms pressing, a tenderness for my companions, for myself, for every being who is right now praying for the light tightens my chest and closes my throat; tears trickle down and drop into my lap. Eventually, we women will return to our homes spread across three continents; but for right now, we share this breath, this moment, this sunrise.
A new day begins as I awaken to everything ordinary.
I teach yoga. A routine encounter at the school drop-off the other day led to an epiphany: I teach yoga. While this may seem pretty obvious, especially the dear souls who have been my yoga students, I have struggled to own this simple claim since I earned my teaching certification nearly a decade ago. Naturally, I inquired about it. It was just a good workout that left her feeling amazing and radiant—just talking about it, she totally lit up. Yoga is an ancient tradition that traces its roots over 5, years ago to what is now Northern India; what we call yoga today would be practically unrecognizable as such to the Rishis or seers, mystics who recorded their experiences of yoga, or unity, in the Rig Veda, a collection of devotional songs, mantras, and rituals that were practiced by Brahmans, the Vedic priests and original yogis.
And yet, both these acrobatic asanas and the ancient scriptures are yoga. How can this be? How can yoga be at once an ancient spiritual path rooted in mystical shamanism and an exercise regimen? According to T. Desikachar, considered to be one of the modern proponents of yoga in the West along with Pattabhi Jois and B. The actual practice of yoga takes each person in a different direction. It is not necessary to subscribe to any particular ideas of God in order to follow the yoga path.
This lady has some serious photography skills, playing with a mixture of landscapes and light to show a real variety of shots. Clay is incredibly talented. His modest followers don't reflect his possibility. In a way, it reaffirms his love of the cause and not the recognition on social media. Working as a contributor at Sherpa Cinema, Clay helps us see the pass less travelled through the eyes of a native.
Dark, sometimes ominous, other times happy and bright, a whole spectrum of emotion is invoked by his work.
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Jana is the epitome of fancy-free and laid back effortless cool. With cool hues of white and grey, she takes us on a journey through some of the globes most beautiful spots. From city to beach, Jana has an approachable charm that locks you in as a dedicated follower. Anton Bengtsson antwenture. Anton is Scandi cool. His own brand of minimalistic, raw photography is something to be revered. We are so stoked to be following Anton as he travels around his native Sweden, around the Nordic lands and beyond, capturing the raw unwavering landscape, local wildlife and people.
A real find, he has a very recognisable style that we adore. Beth Wald bethjwald. Beth is truly amazing. In every way, we can't say enough good things about her work. Her Instagram is only a small example of her portfolio but she has helped us see people, landscapes and animals like we have never seen them before. We were balled over by her work in Kyrgyzstan and since we can't stop watching. Bnar sardar Bnar. Photojournalist, Bnar is getting to the centre of the subject in just one shot.
We see the passion and life jump from the image, every facial line, every shade and the way the surroundings affect the image. Bridget Smith BridgetmarieSmith. Jumping between Alaska and Washington, followed closely by her absolutely adorable pooch, who features heavily in her work, we are charmed by Bridget.
Her dark but happy images of her friends and the amazing nature of wild America has us hooked on her feed. If a variation is what you are after then Daniel is the guy for you.
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From the barren deserts of Morocco to the snow lavished peaks of Chamonix then across the globe to British Columbia, Daniel is a formidable force to be reckoned with when armed with a camera. Amazing feed. Erin Sullivan erinoutdoors. There are few words that truly encapsulate how amazing, strong, capable and talented Erin is.
Her feed and her whole portfolio of work is something to be savoured, not skimmed over but instead grab a cup of tea and study her images. From tribespeople, wildlife and nature like you have never seen it, Erin is also a sweet, kind and wonderful person to boot, her stories demonstrate just that. Jacob Nordin jacobnordin. Jacob has been a firm favourite of ours for a while now as we certainly looking forward to seeing his new works posted. Beautiful imagery and great use of light. Jenny Levin Jennylevin. Jenny embodies the delicate, uninhibited and raw beauty of nature.
As the snow falls, the clouds descend and the grey hue of the sky overshadows the land, Jenny comes into her own. We are charmed by her personality and her work and a few sentences certainly aren't enough! Boasting a travel hit lists that would make any adventurer drool, Joe has us captivated. His use of green, blue and brown as it envelopes the landscape is really amazing. The colours are vivid and yet somehow gentle and easy on the eye. You can see the nature, the landscape, the hills and the water and transport yourself.
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We can appreciate unique images but of course, there is something so special about an Instagram feed that works so well as a collective. The images blend together yet you see the individuality of the nature of Indonesia to her Native Germany work fluidly together. Laura Lawson lauralawsonvisconti.
Laura is another example of how much love care and affection has gone into her work and how to works so well as a collective. The images of nature are embracing and warm with an eclectic mix of wooden browns, deep greens and ice blue snow. She website is also not to be missed! The link is in her bio.
Her images are cheerful, warm and charming, with light and delicate colours, we feel instantly intrigued by her and her subject matter. Matteo Righi matteorighiphotography. Matteo is a force to be reckoned with. Discovered years ago before he hit the big time, we have followed his career with avid interest.
From our already deep love of Lake Garda and the surrounding area, it would be hard for someone to capture our memories and love for the area but Matteo has done it. The flora and fauna perfectly demonstrated, the lake and the mountains all there for you to discover. Matthew Hahnel Matthewhahnel. Places like Banff National Park and the Faroe Islands need little help to look naturally rugged and mesmerising but if its possible to make places such as these look even more evocative then Matthew achieved it.
He is giving us major wanderlust vibes, but that's the aim, through his lens we can discover new places! Mattia Bonavida mattiabonavida. Another example of a naturally talented guy who has a huge task to capture our memories of Lake Garda is all their glory. Mattia smashed our expectations. From city to mountains see Italy through his passionate eye. Katie is particularly adept at photographing the beach in her home of Australia, of course with images of perfect sandy beaches comes the local wildlife, the culture and lifestyle shots.
Although we are sure Katie doesn't spend every day at the beach, we like to imagine ourselves living the simple life by the ocean and her clean but wishful images help us imagine. Exploring the path less travelled in every way, not only is Mohit breaking boundaries and showcasing is unwavering talent, he helps us see people and nature that we have simply never seen before.
Unique and mysterious, Mohit is one to watch! Paul Zizka paulzizkaphoto.
Ohhhh Canadaaa! Paul has us feeling very patriotic to the sheer magnitude and raw beauty of Canada. His use of colours, his vivid reimagining of the night sky and creative use of light is absolutely incredible. We love this work and will suggest you follow with enthusiasm too! This magnificent photographer has some truly commendable photography skills. So much so that he runs his own workshops in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland.
Have a look at his account to see some outdoor photography that we all wish to aspire to. The Shetland islands as seen through the eyes of the wonderful James. These gems show us what an adventure in the Shetlands looks like and damn does it look good. Meg Atteberry adventuresoffoxintheforest.
Mountaineering, trekking, exploring and discovering. Meg is an avid traveller and we simply love following her adventures. We see the wild and lush landscape of America demonstrated through her lense. Anna Karsten anna. Stories behind the images. Seeing the vivid, strong colours and interesting sights come to life through her feed. Anna has authenticity in her work, making images you have seen captured in a similar way before- look different with a new perspective. Hailing from Frankfurt, Anne captures nature and travel through melancholy, grey hues.
Its a combination we love and with such a recognisable style, we think Anne is onto big things. Seeing crashing oceans and spooky forests come together on her impressive feed. Passionately capturing her family life through her lens, her husband and children, so much love and devotion plus the beautiful pastures and mountains of New Zealand make this a varied and interesting profile.
Ellis O'Connor Ellisoconnor. Ellis effortlessly fuses her art with her photography, they are both one in the same thing but by placing her painted works by the side of her images, you have an eclectic mix of emotions. All inspired by the rich and rugged landscape of Scotland, we are really inspired by her work! Glo glographics. Love this page! The colours are amazing, the imagery is charming and the stories are exciting.
Glo has fused her passion for exploring with her art and we are hooked on her work. Not to mention the fact she seems like the best travel buddy out there, we see her personality shine through her work. Anika hashtaganika. Unlike other profiles that centre around the saturated world or lifestyle travel, Anika effortlessly differentiated herself from the pack with a natural talent to make the world around her pop. Colours are brighter, sights are more clear and lines and shapes more precise. Telling stories through her images! Its demonstrated in her feed. Through her epic travels, seeing the world at all four corners Nicole explore the use of light in a unique way.
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Loving her imagery and the message, it makes for an evocative combination! Janis Janiceinwanderland. With minimal editing, Janis lets the background speak for itself. Janis uses the basic fundamentals of photography without all the glitz and glam some profiles to show the natural beauty of the world around her.
Through people and places, we explore her Island home by her side. Jenny Olsson jennyeolsson. Jenny is a shining star. Its the mark of a good artist if they can take any subject and apply their signature style to make images of all different kinds speak to the viewer. This is Jenny down to a T. From San Fran city to the dark Scandi shores, Jenny takes us on an emotional journey. Marina Calderon marinacalderon.
A whole spectrum of emotion is evoked through her work. Marina shows passion and soul on a fundamentally intrinsic level. Whether she is capturing protests in Rio or simply her friends, you feel what the subject feels, almost as if you were part of the art. Sarah Williams sarahskyann. This narrative speaks to adventure lovers and something that is perfectly demonstrated in her work. Sarah captures the great outdoors with love and care. Valerie trustedtravelgirl. Valerie is such a character. Her vivacious personality marries so well with her work which makes it all the more fun to see.
Her smile lights up a shot and gets you excited to plan your next adventure. Her photography does just that, it inspires and motivates us to get out and be just like her. This inspiring young Swedish lady is one to follow if you love safari wildlife and are impassioned in your love of protecting nature.
Sakthi Vel sakthiraasai. Another safari favourite of ours, Sakthi uses his incredible skills as a photographer to capture great images of the wildlife in the African outdoors. Julia Wimmerlin juliawimmerlin. A professional photographer, Julia uses a range of subjects to explore her immense talent in this field. Her images of women in a variety of poses are certainly inspiring, but it is her wildlife photography that is truly breathtaking to behold. Utterly encaptivating photography from the immensely talented Tim Flach.
Who would have thought it would be possible to get so close to some of the animals depicted on his account, and yet, somehow he depicts nature in an incredible way. Follow this awesome foursome in their four-legged adventures around the globe. Featuring images of these furry friends alongside her adorable children you will fall in love with the life that this woman leads. Danielle Fulsher-Walton Daniellewaltonphotography. Combining her love of photography and the Icelandic horse is the talented Danielle Fulsher-Walton.
Using the horses she raises and trains herself as muses for her stunning images you will come to share her love of this incredible breed amidst the backdrop of the wild west of Alberta, CA.
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This profile is utterly charming. You feel instantly more whimsical, as if part of a real like Alice In Wonderland, feeling and seeing what the woodland creatures see and cheerful, artistic and totally devine, An unsung hero! Jackson Groves jackson. Jackson dances between the line of extreme sports and wildlife.
J ackson is a master underwater photographer in our eyes. Capturing the raw inspiring nature his native Australia and beyond. From turtles to stingrays and more, Jackson mixes bright vivid colour with the motion evoked by seeing wildlife in its unencumbered form. Jennifer Hayes jenniferhayesig. As a national geographic contributor, Hayes is absolutely smashing the underwater photography. We see seals, polar bears, penguins, sharks and jellyfish with such clarity as if they were in front of our eyes. Her unquestionable natural talent is amazing to see!
Kat Stewart katstewart Kat isn't a wildlife photographer persay, but she is certainly talented at capturing the windblown and rugged landscape of Scotland and the local wildlife, wild horses, highland cows and sheep pictured in all their glory. Kat is a real champion of the land she holds so dear, showing us a new side of Scotland. Kristle Wright kristlejwright. From extreme sports, climbing and hiking etc to capturing penguins and marine life, Kristle is an exceptionally talented cinematographer. She embodies strength and perseverance in the quality of her images we see a true adventurer!
Valerie, well where do we begin, we cool clean minimalism, letting the subject speak for itself, Valerie lets the local wildlife, flora and fauna and mountains of Canada communicate with the viewer. She has matured capturing the personality of her subjects, seeing the emotion evoked from the animal.
Tiffany Nguyen tiffpenguin.
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When someone's kind and embracing personality shines through their work you know they are a special find and this is true with Tiffany. With a true appreciation for nature and the outdoors, Tiffany leaves no stone unturned. Daniel Valerio valeriolife. People and places and everything in between, Daniel is such a varied talent. From shooting the emotion and character of his living subjects to brings nature to life, Daniel has mastered it all! Yeliz Sevin yelizimsevinim.
Yeliz is absolutely, unequivocally incredible. Her portraits of people from around her native turkey bring emotions to the surface. Seeing Turkey, the sad, the happy, the people with less, the people with more, its something that has to be experienced. Take her profile in, not to be glanced at but to be devoured. The moody, the mysterious, the dark and emotional, the images are simply divine. The Belgian student certainly has a bright future in photography ahead, we simply can't get enough of the spooky, Tim Burton vibes we get from his feed.
Totally beautiful. Chris Collacott avisionphotography. Chris is the master of high res, the colours are provocative, nature- stunning. Again Canada needs little help to look amazing but Chris took the already blessed nature, turned up the colour pop and the resolution and birth a photographic gift to the world. Christina Lusti christinalusti. Revelstoke - the powder skiing mecca of British Columbia, nigh the world. Follow Christina as she takes powder to new extremes. Her insta is full of awe-inspiring video footage, birds-eye views of stunning peaks and a fair few shots of skiing for good measure.
This rocking gal is a true demonstration of spectacular snowboarding as she nose grinds her way through the turns. Giulio Salzani giuliosalzani. Any pictures of the Dolomites are incredible no matter what the medium but Giulio takes their wonder to new heights with her photography. As she reaches for the peaks of this stunning mountain range you can follow her on her journey with a cheeky follow. Freeride lovers return to Chamonix season upon season for a reason.
This incredibly talented skier and photographer will take you on adventures to the far reaches of the resort and wish for winter all year long. Janice Power janicepowerphotography. Photographer, snowboard instructor and self-proclaimed adventurer do the talents of this woman know no bounds? Mirte is the one, the only, the amazingly talented adventurer that we are proud to declare as one of our idols. The stoke is real and tangible with this photographer. Indeed, his photography allows us to explore the often underestimated beauty of skiing in the Scottish mountain ranges.
Considering a holiday to Scotland after seeing his work? Us too!
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Dave Searle searlerdave. As a mountain guide, you can get a unique perspective of the alps with his photography. Follow as he climbs, treks and skis down the mountain of this spectacular vista. Henrik Windstedt windstedt. Henrik is there to prove that bounds of adventure is to be found in our home country of Sweden. Blake Jorgenson blakejorgenson. Whistler, Canada - the place where powdery dreams are conceived. Blake Jorgenson demonstrates in stunning style why this destination is the mecca for ski bums worldwide.
Michael Overbeck michaeloverbeck. Check out this encaptivating image from Bella Coola, British Columbia. Darcy Bacha darcybacha. Cat skiing with a beer in hand? S and captivates us with images of incredible landscapes and fun-filled days in the powder with friends. This blue tick account is one you need to see. An inspiration for all of us rebelling against the office lifestyle, this skier and father has found a way to explore the mountainous regions of the globe and shares all with stunning style.