There is a feeling of effortless integrity to your practice which creates a certain energy that the entire class feels. Thank you for that.” ~ R Sidhu, Pranalife Yoga student

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Asia Nelson Yoga Expert for new wellness website

It’s an exciting day for Pranalife Yoga! Director and Advanced Teacher Trainer of Pranalife, Asia Nelson, has been asked to be the Yoga Expert for the new Rogers Digital Media wellness website Daily Squeeze. Daily Squeeze is “a uniquely Canadian destination for the latest, best scoop on health, fitness and wellness” (from’s About Us page). Daily Squeeze is the most recent in a series of successful websites from RDM, including, SweetLife, SweetMama, SweetHome and MySweetBaby.

As their Yoga Expert, Asia will be posting helpful blogs, giving advice on the latest and best in yoga, and being a part of the site’s discussion panels and contests. We’re very excited to be a part of this Canadian wellness resource. Congratulations, Asia!


The #1 way to get further in your yoga practice (and your life)

“If you want to master something, teach it.” - Yogi Bhajan

Yoga has been a resource for many mainstream approaches to success and happiness, and for good reason. Clarity, freedom from suffering, and personal empowerment are the outcomes of a true, dedicated yoga practice. If you’re craving evolution, it’s time for you to take your yoga practice to a new level with teacher training.

You don’t have to be interested in teaching yoga to take the training. Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) is focused on giving you the information to live yoga well in order to - if you wish - teach yoga well. It’s not important whether you can do full lotus; it’s important that you desire to have a powerful personal practice physically, mentally, emotionally and energetically. Put simply, this training is about becoming fit for life as much as it is about becoming fit to teach.

Pranalife YTT will deepen your personal practice exponentially, and if you choose to teach you’ll be well-equipped and confident to build a vibrant, abundant career based in personal health and supporting others. As the lead instructor for Pranalife’s teacher training modules I know the value they hold as some of the most well-designed and wickedly fun courses available. 

Go to our Teacher Training link to get more information, hear from previous graduates and find out about our upcoming modules. Our next module begins November 7th. There’s still time to apply, so do it now. Looking forward to seeing you on the mat with us!


SinS: God is dead; now we must learn to love each other

This Sexless in September challenge is centered on the yogic concept of bramacharya. In a previous post I’d described it this way:

It’s about more than some Puritanical concept of suppressed sexual desire. It’s really about relationships … At its heart, it’s really about exploring the nature of how we connect and how we can connect as more divine beings.

This week I’ve I found myself in the midst of a handful of reunions. Old dynamics that had been lost, severed, or simply drifted apart started reappearing in my life. A few of these people were interested in firing up old flames or at least creating some heat. This doesn’t surprise me. Redirecting one’s sexual energies has an effect on those around us, and it turns out restraint has a direct effect on one’s sexiness to others. Oh yeah - now you’re paying attention …

You’ve likely heard someone say, “It wasn’t until I stopped looking that s/he just showed up and it was perfect” or, “I could smell the desperation on that one.” Much new research is showing that people can sense others’ intentions, including sexual interests and energy. According to a 2007 study in Psychological Science by Paul Eastwick and colleagues, for example, people need very little information to make a vast array of decisions about you as a partner (somewhere Malcolm Gladwell is smiling). The New York Times did a particularly entertaining article on this topic as well, honing in on a key finding correlating availability with desperation: It seems when you’re out there and letting people know, you’re spitting D[esperation]-bombs. Lay low, act picky and you’ll have your own reunion festival, too.

But SinS isn’t an experiment in how to re-create my own Victorian novel. Bramacharya is about improving dynamics with people by respecting our mutual divinity. When I changed my sexual status to “unavailable” I had a specific reaction from specific people. Why? And more interestingly, how can I turn this into something that makes our relationships better? How can we connect as divine beings this time? This is where it’s more interesting and much more messy - to define bramacharya not as some abstract love affair with Infinity or god but as a guideline for doing the hard, fierce work of being better to ourselves and each other. What I’ve got here are a handful of opportunities to get honest and to the heart of each of these relationships. Could we reconnect in a different way that turns out better for both of us? How?



SinS: What does it mean to live as a divine being having a human experience?

My favourite way to describe bramacharya is that it’s the art of remembering that we’re all divine beings having human experiences. So what does that really mean?

I’ve found that it’s entirely too easy to deal with people on a carnal level. I react to things people say about me. I decide I like/don’t like someone based on what they do. I’ll be intimidated by people who have more money than me. I bypass what a person is telling me they’re about because I’m just interested in what I want them to be to me. I see myself and people on these tangible, physical, temporal levels. Philosophy and psychology often call this the “ego” element of our personality. And what’s the effect of dealing with others on an egoic level? Usually frustration, disappointment, manipulation, fleeting moments of satisfaction, and a consistent message that my locus of control is in the hands of those around me, always changing and inconsistent.

The Yoga Sutras explain that humans fall into trouble in part because we misapprehend things that are temporary as permanent, and vice versa. We see flesh and blood and ego and think it’s actually what we’re engaged with, when really it’s the living and breathing and thinking and feeling part[s] of another person. If that’s inaccurate then I guess we could save a lot of effort and get pretty into necrophilia or having sex with robots (neither of which hold much appeal for me personally, unless we’re talking about Data. You heard me). It’s not that our physicality isn’t real; rather, it’s that it’s not the essential, transcendent element of our experience. Bramacharya is about engaging ourselves and each other from something beyond ego.

What’s beyond the ego? Our bodies get old, things we say or do or have or don’t have pass into our history, but is that all there is? There’s a part of me that feels pretty much like it has for as long as I’ve lived. I can see the gaggle of new university students milling around Waterloo and realize, “Wow, I could’ve offically birthed these 17-year-olds and be having empty nest syndrome right now” but I don’t feel any older than they are. I have more experience, yes. I’ve been here a bit longer, sure. But the thing that stays permanently “me” isn’t the physical, tangible stuff. It’s soul-based. It’s what we’re calling “divine”.

When I think of myself as a divine being - an essential Self that’s not just my physical form but a Beingness expressing itself in this current physical form - then I find I pull out of small-mindedness, temporality, and entanglement. Buddhists do this by meditating on their own death. When I recategorize the physical as temporary then I can focus more on you as a possibly-infinite presence and not just some mysoginist asshole or poor Customer Service Rep. I can see your Self figuring out this human experience - and the skill or lack thereof with which you’re navigating the process - and start thinkging about how I can support your Greater Experience here. It becomes less important for you to fill my needs. It becomes kind of silly to worry about your habits. It becomes more intriguing to consider what you as a Bigger Being might be doing on this little planet.

Most of the people who hold major influence in my life and create experiences with me worth remembering are - consciously or not - interacting with me on this bigger plane. They hold a larger vision of me, and I of them. This is my number one best way to break through barriers, to feel safe and seen enough to I forgive, to envision amazing and impossible things. It is divine, inspired living and for me that’s at the heart of bramacharya.


The "I" word

Intimacy. Wiley little word. So full of connotation and always so personally defined and designed. What makes a situation intimate? What makes us want to be intimate with someone? What sends our guards up?

When the Pranababes first approached me about doing this Sexless in September, my first reaction was that it would be great for driving traffic to the site. Say “sex” and “yoga” on the same page and you’d be amazed how the numbers spike. Second thought to quickly follow was, “Why not? I’m kind of living that way by default anyway.” But then that doesn’t make for much of a challenge, does it?

So how do we make use of 30 days of consciously choosing celibacy? Well, our first mission was to use this opportunity to shed light on the real meaning of bramacharya. It’s about more than some Puritanical concept of suppressed sexual desire. It’s really about relationships - with ourselves, with each other. It’s about having an intention to improve those relationships. It’s about living with a vision of people being better to each other. At its heart, it’s really about exploring the nature of how we connect and how we can connect as more divine beings.

And that’s where we’ll begin, with considering relationships and these ambiguous concepts of divinity and intimacy. To me, intimacy means moving through layers: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, divine. The deeper you go, the more intimate. It’s a maze. Let’s explore …