Dowel, Down Dog Determine Great Digestion!

Dowels, Down Dog and Great Digestion At Stouffville Yoga Life!
February 27th 2016

At the beautiful studio of Stouffville Yoga Life, Isidora our yoga teacher led us through a series of simple exercises using a dowel. This piece of wood is about the size of a broom handle and about two feet long although a quick google search demonstrates longer dowels used for other postures.

This picture shows what a dowel looks like

I placed my feet directly on the dowel, just behind the padding follows my toes. We hung out for a few minutes, our feet dangling, as Isidora taught the meaning of the pose.

Immediately I felt sensation up my left side inside my skin. The organs responded to the dowel and the loosening of fascia in my feet!

Feet have at their base, fascia. Fascia is what creates muscle to hold its shape. "Without fascia, muscle is no more than ground meat," Isidora said. Fascia extends throughout our bodies like a wrapping, and especially in our feet, creates a buffer between skin, ground, and other flesh.

When fascia begins to tighten, as it will over time and experience, in one place, all the fascia in our bodies begins to tighten up.

The experience of loosening continued, with a kind of sensation I've come to recognize as loosening of tissue. We alternated between dowel and Downward Dog, or Vinyassa Flows.

The next day my body registered the experience through signals of gentle fatigue and a feeling of being slightly out of sorts. These are the communications I've learned to accept from over four decades of meditation, bioenergetics, deep release breathing and dreams as the way my body reconfigures to a more relaxed, more deeply tuned position. As the old, held tensions release, the cellular intelligence flushes the toxins creating newly experienced space, opening and looseness within.

As an added bonus, my digestion improved markedly the next few days, another sign of body cleansing, clearing and calming.

This cellular intelligence responds to our efforts. Learning to trust this intelligence, far greater than what we currently call intelligence, means we learn to trust life, that thrust of kundalini that provides knowledge about our true path in this life.

Come to Stouffville Yoga Life and experience the power of the dowel! Or ask your yoga instructor to help you learn how to dowel your fascia into its free flowing natural state. When we heal ourselves we help heal the entire planet! Now that's worth doweling!

A picture of a single person, in lotus posture in front of the globe, demonstrating how as we each heal we help the Earth.

Meditation on Full Moon

Full Moon aka Wolf Moon, Hunger Moon, Snow Moon Meditation/Contemplation

Today's full moon brings with it a host of possibilities. As the moon transits through the astrological positions of Leo/Virgo opposite the Sun's position in Aquarius/Pisces we may see increased tensions, inner pushes and pulls, increased drive to create. The awareness constellated by such opposition as the full moon harnesses us to whatever inner streams we create.

What this means is watch: watch the inner pushes and pulls, watch the tides of emotions and beliefs and just watch. As you position yourself as a watcher, just as you would if you decided to gaze upon this month's full moon, without grasping at any of those fragmented, temporary coursing energies

Image demonstrates full moon and wolf
you may discover a world of truth.
None of these fleeting thoughts, emotions, moods, whims and fantasies have the power to construct your life, unless you admit them, cling to them, empower them.

Your choice? Choose the energies that serve you. Choose service to your own life. Start with forgiveness and loving kindness toward your own insecurities, your feelings of not being good enough (Wolf from a Jungian understanding). Allow your hunger for something more peaceful, contented and beloved take you toward those thoughts, feelings and emotional wisdoms that provide you with refuge.

Take a deep breath. Watch whatever does not serve your life fall away like Snow flakes.
Now, this is a Full Moon meditation worthy of its name!
Image demonstrates a healing of self, healing of planet

Deepening Your Meditation Experience

Soulsciences and Stouffville Yoga Life present:          
Deepening Your Meditation Experience
On Saturday April 2nd 2016  2  to 4  pm


I've been exploring meditation for 45 years and in that time have had the
great blessing of experiencing many different kinds of meditation and many
different postures.

Come to this workshop and learn about the Four Major Types of Meditation.
Experience each of the Four Postures, Standing, Sitting, Lying and Walking
Experience the difference between Vipassana or Mindfulness and
Visualization Meditation.

This image demonstrates some of the experience of some meditators

Please join me for this opportunity to ask questions, delve more deeply and learn more about
the art and science of Meditation.

42 Somerville Ave
2 to 4 pm
Cost  $40 per person

The Soul of Historic Fiction from Science of Research: Elaine Couglar Talks About The Loyalist's Trilogy!

The Soul of Historic Fiction according to Elaine Couglar, author of The Loyalist's Trilogy rests in excellent research! Find the Science in her methods when you listen in as Couglar describes what motivates her here!

Moving Tender Memoir of Grief: In the Context of Love by Linda K Sienkeiwiciz

This moving guest post  dips into the heart of loss, its profound echo of emptiness and the step by step approach back into life. Read more here!

Moving,Tender Guest Post of Grief by author of In the Context of Love Linda K Sienkiewicz

In the Context of Love: 
Cover image from book In the Context of Love
A Journey of Self-Discovery and Strength
The second darkest moment in my writing career was when I reached that awful juncture with my then-agent: she asked me if I had anything else to show her because my first novel didn’t sell. Editors had overwhelmingly praised it, but they wanted the next bestseller, not a solid mid-list novel. It was a crushing disappointment. Because I’m a writer, though, I started work on something new, but let me tell you it’s tough to write when you’re not sure the story will ever see the light of day.
Shortly after, the very darkest moment happened: In 2011, my eldest child at age 32 lost his fight against depression and took his own life. I can’t tell you how painful this was, not only to me as a mother but to our entire family. My dreams of publication, my writing goals, everything I’d once aspired to now seemed unimportant. I didn’t even feel I had the right to have goals.
The first year after his death was incredibly hard;  the second year just seemed cruel. Derek had often called me in the afternoon when I was writing to talk to me about philosophy, mythology, Egyptology, Jim Morrison, travel, whatever. I found it impossible to sit at the computer, knowing the phone would never ring with his call again.
I shut my computer down. I let it all go. I had to trust the desire to write would return when I was ready. If not, well, that was okay, too. My husband and I adopted an adorable one-year old Welsh Pembroke corgi that needed some serious retraining, so I funneled what little focus I had into working with her. She was good for me. Clementine didn’t care if I cried when we went on walks. She became my therapy dog.
There were times I wondered if I would ever write again. After two years, I decided it was time to find out. Knowing Derek had been proud of my prior writing accomplishments convinced me it was okay to have dreams again. My heart wasn’t in writing anything new, though— I didn’t want to give up on that first novel,  In the Context of Love. It is a story of one women’s personal journey of strength, redemption and empowerment after breaking the silence of shame. In a way, her story became symbolic to me. I was determined to get it published.  
I worked with an author/editor on the manuscript, and soon that wonderful enthusiasm for writing returned. In the Context of Love evolved into a much more powerful story. Excited, I sent the manuscript to a handful of small presses on my own. Shortly after Buddhapuss Ink LLC offered me a contract to publish it.
Life is a constantly evolving journey of self-discovery. I don’t know if there’s ever an end to the journey when you lose someone to suicide because you have to find your way every single day. Living with loss becomes part of who you are, yet we can’t let tragedy define us. We have to let it go. “The heart is imprisoned not by being broken, but by being silenced.” ~ Martha Beck.
Thank you for listening.
author Linda K Sienkiewicz

Linda K. Sienkiewicz attributes her creative drive to her artistic mother, who let her paint murals on her bedroom wall, and her father, who let her monkey around with the gadgets in his workshop. She is well published in fiction and poetry, has a poetry chapbook award, a Pushcart Prize nomination, and a Masters of Fine Art in Fiction. Her debut novel, In the Context of Love, was inspired by the real life stories from a Glamour magazine article titled “My Father Was a Rapist.” 
“Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. In the Context of Love should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls—and their mothers, too.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of critically acclaimed  Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.
In the Context of Love on Amazon
Author website

Memoir Dana Goodman Grief

A Soul's Grief Memoir: In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning

Navigating Through Painful Life Losses
Mystics have called the journey of suffering the “dark night of the soul,” the place where heart pain is so deep, raw and intolerable you begin to wonder if you will ever transcend from the pit of despair into a place where hope, light, love and faith exist again. Such was my reality after losing a husband, son and mother-in-law to cancer.
As one who has swum in the ocean of grief, experienced the bitter cold, the choppy seas, the unsuspecting storms, my heart’s desire is to help others navigate through their painful life losses. Grief needs to be leaned into, felt and mourned. It is counterintuitive for us to move toward pain, but it is necessary for the heart to beat a life rhythm again. Otherwise, our heart is frozen in a place of numbness, unable to experience a full range of emotions.
Entering into mourning is like thawing after frostbite. The pain can be so intense it feels abnormal. But there is nothing normal about grief. It has a life of its own, and it ebbs and flows to its chaotic and unpredictable rhythm. Grief is like a symphony, mixed with extreme intensity and quiet stillness, sounding off the emotional rhythms of our hearts.Some sounds are peaceful, still, meditative and quiet in their tones and tempo and other sounds extraordinarily powerful, painful, clashing like claps of thunder echoing into heaven, crying out for help, screaming for God’s attention.
During my intense grieving moments, other peoples’ stories gave me words to describe the ache that was indescribable. They gave me hope that a new day would dawn, and I would not be stuck in the black forever. Their stories inspired me to write my lament, which birthed my memoir, In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning. Within its pages, readers will find pain and joy mingling together, dancing side by side. Even in the valley of sorrows, there is peace in knowing God, our families, and our communities overshadow us in love. It is this great love that gave me the courage to pen our story. Writing my grief journey meant I had to say yes to being vulnerable and transparent. Drawing deep on my courage, I began to pry open unspoken cries, longings, aches and disappointments. The layers of grief were almost impossible to put into words, and when I did find language, it felt inadequate to describe the depth and poignancy of my journey through the valley.
In any case, sharing my story was the beginning of healing. Grief stays stuck in our bodies unless it is shared, absorbed and described. We must put words to our struggle. Molly Fumia beautifully describes the grief pilgrimage: “Grief is a journey, often perilous and without clear direction, that must be taken. The experience of grieving cannot be ordered or categorized, hurried or controlled, pushed aside or ignored indefinitely. It is inevitable as breathing, as change, as love. It may be postponed, but it will not be denied.”
Grief is an expression of love, so when we dig into our depths to give language to our mourning, we are in fact tapping into the deepest places of love within ourselves. Sharing heals.   What has been buried inside trauma layers is now in the open, in the light and out of the darkness.
When I think of all my family has been through, I marvel that we have made it through the storms that have raged against us. There is something extraordinarily beautiful about having endured and come out the other side, a depth that only the winter season can bring.   Love has won. There is a deep peace in knowing that love is not just for the good days—love forges through the thick of life until there is a trust that goes deep into bedrock.No storm can uproot the person who has found meaning in suffering.
Day to day, I must contend with the unhealed parts of my grief. A pain so deep always has new layers to be discovered. I will never be healed, but will always be healing. Words cannot express the myriad of emotions since my family was annihilated by cancer. Grief still rolls in like a fog and threatens to take me out, but I know God will never leave me or forsake me. He will hold my hand during grief ambushes and see me through the night.Every day my heart grieves and every day I find joy. God touches me so I can press on to the good parts of my life still unfulfilled. He gives me courage so I can help others find their way through the valley of weeping. No matter how fierce the storm gets, God promises his “appearing is as sure as the dawn; he will come to us like the showers, like the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3). His love never fails.
“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”–Hilary Stanton Zunin
Thank you, Dana, for sharing this powerful and heartfelt testimony to the power of love and faith to see you through the many phases and faces of unimaginable losses and grief. The hope you share in the midst of so many losses is truly awe-inspiring. The desire of your heart to help other has been fulfilled in this reader’s mind. I have no doubt your inspirational story will help many. You show how “love has won”.
Author Bio:
I believe we are invited to share all of our dimensions—our messy, gritty, less than ideal bits along with our intimate moments of connection and beauty.  In our transparency others find a safe harbour to rest and feel OK even when their lives are twisting and twirling out of control.  If you’re messy and frazzled and hanging onto life by a thread then you and I have a lot in common.
I am Dana Goodman.  I’m highly sensitive and most days I feel like life is overwhelming.  Sometimes going to the store for milk feels like the last straw.  Life is hard, unpredictable and sometimes very disappointing.  But it is breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.  Most days we live in this tension—beautiful and ugly mixing together like paint—pain and joy kissing each other.
I have a degree in education and in English Literature, as well as a Master’s Degree in Counselling. My clients, who have endured unthinkable life losses, teach me about endurance, perseverance, faith, strength and courage. They are my teachers, my role models, reminding me we are all overcomers.
My greatest joy was when my two boys Carter and Zach were born.  My greatest heartache when my oldest, sensitive, full of love boy died at age 13 of an aggressive brain tumour.  It was the darkest night I have ever experienced.  My husband and mother-in-law also died of cancer.  Pain has been relentless, yet somehow seeds of love have spread far and wide because of our story, which I have chronicled in my memoir, In the Cleft Joy Comes in the Mourning. I never would have imagined beauty would come from tragedy, but it’s happening like a tsunami of love seeds.  Pain has a way of being a lighthouse for others to find their way back to the shores of hope.
Author Contact Information:

Meditation Affirmations Podcast: Neuroscience says Listen In and Change Your Brain!

It's my joy to offer you this lovely podcast of Affirmations designed to help you remember what's important in your life, right now!

eg of some good affirmations

Take it with you in your car, at your desk, while cooking or just sitting. Tune in and spend some moments with these affirmations. Feel yourself grow more content and centred. This is Meditation On The Go!

Great eg of positive affirmations for meditation