Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Yoga is my gateway drug to Peace



This morning I felt such heavy energy as a nation mourning the cultural loss of Robin Williams, yesterday morning I felt the heavy energy watching the turmoil and sadness of the situation in Israel, Palestine, Iraq and news of the shooting of Michael Brown.  When I begin my day with the news I can feel the darkness creeping up within me, like an oil spill over my heart.  Thick, dark and heavy the weight of it spills out of my eyes and tears flow as the oil turns to a salty cleansing release.

For me the tears are not enough.  The emotional release feels good. However, my body is still thick and heavy with this dark oily weight deep within.  I step onto my mat and root thru the depth of the earth as I join my teacher Shiva Rea in our Sringara Rasa Sadhana.

Yoga is my gateway drug to peace.

When I escape I go deep within myself, closing my eyes and swimming thru the dark waters of my mind aware how every ripple of breath offers a shimmer of light.  As though I could touch this glistening translucent place within myself.  I leave an imprint of each moment, each breath, each flowing asana I observe the simmer beginning to glisten, then glow...I am igniting the darkness within myself.

Only in Sahaja (free flowing movement) I create a deep release of darkness and sadness.  When I open the gateways of my body I open the walls around my heart.  When I flow with the freedom around me I notice the light within myself.  No matter what your movement alchemy is (running, swimming, dancing, love making....) go there, be there...let that be your gateway to inner peace, light and flowing bliss.

Namaste

If you are interested in joining this movement alchemy please link Samudra Global Community 

Photo by Susan Currie

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wanderlust without a mat!


This year was my 4th year at Wanderlust Stratton Vermont!  I decided for the first time ever to enjoy the festival without my mat.  The first two years I ran around attending every class I could, squeezing every bit of energy out of my body and loving it.  Last year I taught at the festival and had the opportunity to share a different experience thru the lens of a presenter.  This year I decided to experience the festival without practicing on my mat. I LOVED IT.

Wanderlust is truly an experience for EVERYONE.

I decided to be a true Vermonter and spend as much of the festival enjoying the beautiful mountains.  I loved stand up paddleboard (although my board hit a rock and I ended up falling in the lake and entertaining a group of golfers ;).  Meeting new friends at the farm to table dinner next to the mountain before amazing music and dancing the night away to DJ Drez was the perfect first day.  Saturday/Solstice started with a hike/gondola ride and exploring the mountain before a playful AcroYoga class that made me feel connected without the stresses of where to put my mat down.  Renting bikes and going riding around the Sunbowl was amazing and enjoying the rush flying down the Stratton Access road was a highlight. Wrapping up the perfect day with wine tasting and more amazing music and entertainment.  Sunday wrapped up the weekend with vendor visits and shopping while getting the chance to see old and new friends as we all head off on our own true north until next year.  

This year was by far my favorite.  Sharing an amazing house with friends from all over the world each with their own experience to be had yet enjoying the festival together at different times.  As I prepare to make my move to Jamaica and get ready for my upcoming retreat at Jamaica Inn Hotel in September.  I will be sure to add some Stand UP Paddleboard Yoga to the itinerary and keep the Wanderlust Vibe going as I'll always come back to Wanderlust Stratton Vermont.

Thank you. Namaste.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Where Root2Rise began







Root2Rise Where my Journey began

Up until recently I always thought that my roots meant where I came from.  My home I grew up in, family I grew up with and place I am from.  However, whenever I went there or spent time with my ‘roots’ I wasn’t rooted.  This place no longer resonated with my energy and my family although I love them deeply didn’t ground me. 

My roots are where I am when I am still.  My roots are a place of peace, of presence with myself, my home within myself.

There are geographical locations I have felt extremely rooted.  These are spaces where I tap into meditation naturally, where I find myself singing as I walk and chanting as I sit.  One of these places is in the mountains of Jamaica.  I know that many of you think beach when you think of this island but coming from Vermont I found a great connection in these Blue Mountains.

One particular night shines brightly in my reflection of this sensation of rootedness.  I woke up at around 5 a.m. and knew going back to sleep wouldn’t serve me although I could use the rest.  I was leading a retreat at Bromley called Soul Rebel and instead or prepping for the morning class  I decided to walk the hill to a meditation platform.  I remember when this platform was first built and myself and owners (Alex and Johnathan) sat there with wine and snacks to watch the sunset. Such profound moments in the simplicity of nature.

I walked up slowly, with my flashlight and the three dogs following me and sat on the platform.  The stars were still glowing brilliantly and the sounds of the night hadn’t yet shifted to morning birds calling.  I took out a mala made by my dear friend Kristie and began to chant out loud. “Aum Namah Shivaya” It started calm like an earthy whisper, then louder as a purposeful offering, then I began to sob…. a levee broke and I continued until that giant wave washed thru me and left me continuing until I reached the end of the mala….108 I felt healed, rooted, awake and so vibrantly alive I began to sing.  The stars turned to clouds and the sun began to slowly show her pale pink  blanket over the mountains as I stood and rose with her.  This is being rooted.  This is where my journey Root2Rise began.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

My Journey to Kripalu



Virgo moon, evacuation and my journey to Kripalu

Tomorrow we shift into Virgo the moon of humility and surrendering to a power greater than ourselves so that we can let go of control and be more trusting.  This is why I am leading a restorative Yoga workshop, complete surrender in the body helps the mind and emotions.  A time of trust and effortless enjoyment in the journey, even if it throws you surprises that challenge your very essence....below I share a reflection from the most challenging experience of my life where I had to surrender.

My evacuation from Peace Corps Bangladesh was this month 8 years ago, and I am still deeply moved by my time there...this is from a piece I wrote after being evacuated:
The process of reflection is bittersweet like a piece of fruit picked too ripe that puckers up your face then after time becomes sweet like a perfect dessert. I am still in the bitter stage. Feeling bewildered…I am saddened by the things that I put off because I had ‘time’. I always told myself I have two years, I have time, there’s no rush.  But there was no time in the end when the end came, the time was taken away. My feelings about Bangladesh played through the speakers in my home last night as the words of Tracy Chapman floated through the air. 

I’ve seen spirits
I’ve met angels
I’ve touched creations beautiful and wondrous
I’ve been places where I question all I think I know
But I believe
I believe this could be heaven…….
If we have faith in humankind
And respect for what is earthly
And an unfaltering belief in peace and love and understanding
This could be heaven on earth

If you want to read more this will link you to my 1st blog

 

Kripalu...While living in Bangladesh it was a tumultuous time for the country and what helped to get me thru the hartal (strikes) when we had to stay indoors for days was two Yoga DVD's Shiva Rea and Ashtanga. When I was evacuated I took my first trip to Kripalu Center for Yoga to train with Shiva, it was life changing.  I went back years later to live there and volunteer and now I am blessed to be returning to teach and lead a workshop, what an amazing circle.  Joined with dear friend and a lover for service and living Yoga Nadine McNeil we hope you will join us for this powerful experience.

Remember....put nothing in your life off for later.  Live this day fully.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


I have found Inner Peace

It was there all along, it took a moment in Paradise to reconnect


As I stood at the edge of the ocean tears poured down my face, returning home to their mother.  The immense joy I felt at that moment ravished my whole being and I crumbled into her arms, the sand held me and the breeze whispered into my ear....you are home. The peace within myself was alive again, there waiting for me patiently.  My time in Jamaica is a time for healing, a time to connect with myself in nature and slow down the busy distractions of my mind, society and roles.  I found a deep well of creativity that moved me to not only stand back up, but begin to dance, the waves moved with me and I became one with myself.  

This moment at Jamaica Inn changed me, as todays New Moon in watery Pisces teaches us to follow our hearts desire and let our dreams and imagination carry us into a new reality.  Pisces moon asks us to take responsibility for our own behaviors as a conscious community, a sacred tribe of mindful beings who desire that peace within and will actively became change catalysts in society.  Bring your heart and mind into alignment and see the 'impossible' become possible.  Remember the example of Mahatma Gandhi, BE the CHANGE you WANT to SEE.

I am grateful to be sharing with you that I will be hosting the first ever Yoga Retreat at Jamaica Inn this September.  Beginning with the auspicious Autumn EquinoxSeptember 23rd, enjoying the New Moon positive energy and closing with the end of National Yoga Month.  This All inclusive experience will offer the balancing energies of luxury with nature, of practice in peace and simplicity within elegance.  It's time.

With Humble Love and a Peaceful Smile I wish you New Moon Blessings All ways,
Sienna

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let us Begin! Forgetful one, get up!  It’s dawn, time to start searching.  Open your wings and lift.  Give like the blacksmith Even breath to the bellows.  Tend the fire that changes the shape of metal.  Alchemical work begins at dawn, As you walk out to meet the Friend.   -Lalla (Coleman Barks translator)





Full Moon Blessings!
Something changed when I woke up this morning, I could sense it very clearly.  Experiencing this Full Moon in Cancer, watery, emotions, sensitivity and turning in.   I am grateful to be connected to my Prana Flow community right now sharing in the pathways of Flow with my teacher Shiva Rea.  As we began at the root today I felt as though I was returning home to the root of my practice.  The lotus flower has been a source of inspiration for me as I was gifted two different lotus flowers this year by dear friends.  To me this is an invitation.  Yes to be vulnerable and also strong, soft like the petals but courageous to push out of the mud.  

Connecting to tribe and community is very important to me.  This is why I return to Jamaica so often, that is a very powerful part of my tribe, my dharma.  The island has a magnetic energy that dives deep within.  I am eternally grateful to this path I am on and the teachings I come across.  

Peace

Fogetful one, get up