How I came to yoga

Picture of Heather Morton Yoga teacher

Heather Morton

I came to yoga with no understanding of its meaning or history. Wearing a full-length fur coat I took my first yoga class with a friend at university. I cringe at the picture of this in my mind today. What I remember about the class was lying on the floor and laughing like a hyena. I later became remotely interested in yoga when I was able to take free classes at a yoga centre in exchange for working as a receptionist. I had no “real” interest in yoga and would describe myself as ignorant.

By “real”, I am referring to being interested in the theory behind the practice. After a brief introduction and dabbling from class to class it fell to the way-side. Like many people, I was drawn to yoga for physical reasons; I thought I might get a great workout. I did not consider yoga as a way of life or a body of theoreticial implications. My ‘real’ interest in yoga was ignited when I left Canada and moved to South Korea; a pivotal point in my life. I lived and worked in Seoul for 2 years as an English teacher including living with Korean families. Living amonst the natives allowed me to have a first-hand experience of daily life in the context of their traditions.

While in Korea, I wandered in and out of Buddhist temples. I sat for hours in the temples watching people doing the sun saluations, praying, sitting and/or looking at me looking at them. One of the main temples in Seoul had Buddhist heads on the back wall; looking it one could almost get lost. Other wonderful moments were siting on a crowded bus and looking out of the window at the biggest sun I had ever seen. It was exactly like the picture books of an orange ball blazing in the Asian sky. Continue reading

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Differing opinions

Comic strip illustrating different points of views

Reposted with permission from Joseph Boquiren.

Joseph Boquiren is a yoga instructor, artist, and storyteller. He is the indentured servant to Samadhi Pants, the weekly cartoon about our sometimes humorous quest to gain enlightenment. He is also the author of WingWars, the graphic novel that chronicles the adventures of an elite cadre of fighter pilots set in the InterWar years. He spends about 30-40 hours a week with his nose in a drawing pad. When he does come up for air, he likes to ride bikes, skate (both ice and inline) and enjoys a cup of coffee or four in the company of other human beings.

He is also a registered architect although recently he hasn’t had much opportunity to practice this profession. Occasionally, he may pause to gaze up longingly at the odd building or two before returning to his senses and moving on. In addition to flexing his drawing fingers, Joseph can be found teaching Yoga. You can follow Joseph on Twitter as well as on Facebook.

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Yogasutras: an online study program

AG Mohan and Indra Mohan

AG Mohan and Indra Mohan

It is not everyday that you get a chance to study the yoga sutras in depth in authentic form from authorative teachers. Now here is an opportunity to not only study the Yogasutras but also do it from the comfort of your home at your own schedule!

A.G. Mohan and Indra Mohan, are our gurus, and are offering an on-line study program for studying the Yogasutras. This online study program of the Yogasutras of Patanjali is based on the authoritative commentary of Vyasa, as well as the classical commentaries of Vacaspati Mishra, Vijnanbhikshu, Hariharananda Aranya, and contemporary commentary of Sri T. Krishnamacharya.

Beginning July 8th, 2011 a new video will be posted to a web-site every Friday. Each video will be of 20 to 25 minutes duration and can viewed at your convenience. You will have the opportunity to view it over the period of next 30 days. Chanting of yoga sutras will be included with the weekly videos. No prior knowledge of Sanskrit is neccessary.

What if you have questions? The Mohans have provided an option to submit questions. Selected questions will be answered on the forum every month.

More details can be found here.

Other than the love for yoga and our teachers, we have no personal interest in this program. Ketna Shah has registered for the program and highly recommends programs offered by the Mohans.

A. G. Mohan was a personal student of Krishnamacharya for 18 years. He is the author of “Yoga for Body, Breath and Mind.” The co-author of “Krishnamacharya- his life and teachings” along with his son Ganesh Mohan. And the co-author of “Yoga Therapy” along with his wife, Indra Mohan, and son Ganesh Mohan. He has also translated “Yoga Yajnavalkya” one of the most important classical texts on yoga.

Indra Mohan is the wife of A. G. Mohan. She recieved her post-graduate diplomoa in yoga from Krishnamachayra and has been teaching and practicing yoga for over 35 years.

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Yoga got me back to gardening!

Picture of rose that is signature of Marilyn Wells
I have worked with Ketna Shah for a little more than 2 years, practising my special yoga daily with her guidance and instruction. I have a hip joint condition that inhibits me from working with regular classes of yoga. When I began working with Ketna, I complained of a lot of leg muscle pains, shin splints, that I was taking Motrin daily, that I could hardly garden any longer (my favorite long time hobby).

Two years later, my leg muscles are so much improved that I am enjoying gardening once again with no severe aches and pains and no Motrin! This is a miracle, in my eyes, and means so much to me – I want to keep practising for a long and happy life.

Yoga has definitely improved my life. I also eat a healthy diet, much inspired by Ketna as well, which includes recommended spices, and tons of fruits and vegetables!

This story was submitted by Marilyn S. Wells. She is an artist and teacher of art. She can be found at

Has yoga had an impact on your life or the life of somebody you know? Please send us the story at: info [at] mylifeyoga [dot] com

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Being the change

La Sirena Logo
My name is Janice and I want to change the world. I’m a stubborn idealist, often called radical, and I have been this way for all of this life, and I’m quite sure in many of my past incarnations.

Ecuador has been a very special place for me since I arrived from Canada in 2006, and although I was already on the path to great change, those changes have been happening quickly and often since I arrived here. I arrived here semi-conscious, just after losing someone dear to me, and finally aware that I must live life to the fullest and follow my heart. The light was beginning to shine through the cracks, and I was open to growth and happiness. From that beginning, through a series of ‘adventures’ on an often precarious road, I am now the proud operator of La Sirena Yoga Adventures (and a Reiki therapist, an artist and engaged to the love of my life, but those are other stories). I want to share this magical energy that I have found here in Ecuador and facilitate transformations in others, and that’s how I developed the idea for La Sirena. La Sirena’s mission is to provide yoga and holistic therapy retreats, combined with adventure travel, to visiting English speakers while supporting the local communities of Ecuador through fair and ethical trade practices and a Giving Back program. I also try to keep things as eco-friendly as possible. Actually, La Sirena has expanded in scope and now includes art workshops and life coaches as well. The idea is that transforming yourself sets an example for others to follow- kind of like that shampoo commercial where you tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends, and so on.

At the heart of La Sirena Yoga Adventures is the desire to do something good for the world, to be of service, to help others. I pray daily that I may be successful so that I may be in a position to help others. That’s why you’ll find a section on the web page called Giving Back. Micro finance for disadvantaged and abused women is a great way to give back to the local communities of Ecuador and make a lasting difference in the lives of many people. Regular charity is a temporary solution; it may feed a family for one day, or two or three, but what about the future? As the Chinese proverb says, give a man a fish, and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime. Continue reading

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