Jonni Pollard on the Nature of Unbounded Consciousness and Awakening {video}

Jonni Pollard

by Kara-Leah Grant I first met Jonni Pollard at Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo in 2015. He was leading the mass meditation at 7pm on the Saturday night. I'd bumped into the other Jonnie from Wanderlust - Jonnie Halstead - hovering nervously around the Mothership, which turned into the mainstage and dance floor in the evening. Jonnie with an E confided in me that this dude from Melbourne - also called Jonni - was about to lead a mass meditation and he wasn't sure how it was going to go down. Yes, … [Read more...]

When Kundalini Awakens. Now What?

Surrendering to Kundalini, and Shiva. Photo Credit: Pete Longworth

by Kara-Leah Grant Recently, I sat down cross-legged to do my daily Kashmir Shaivism Tantric* practice as I have done every day for the past 150+ days. More if you count my first attempt at hitting 1000 Day Practice, when I got up to Day 338. This practice has become very familiar to me. However, unlike my asana (posture) practice, it is still something I am intellectually imposing upon myself. I am executing the practice - which consists of pranayama, chanting, visualisation and meditation … [Read more...]

The Mysterious Case of the Mala Beads that Weren’t

The mala beads that weren't... and then were. Available here.

by Kara-Leah Grant A beautiful set of mala beads made their way into my hands a year or so ago. They are gorgeous. I've put them on so many times, tried them with this outfit and that. Yet every time... I end up taking them straight back off. They look amazing. But there's something about it that doesn't feel right. Maybe it's the colour of the beads. Maybe it's the way they hang slightly off centre. Maybe it's because I'm not used to wearing something with 108 beads. Or something that … [Read more...]

Peter Fernando on Illness as a Spiritual Practice {audio}

Find Freedom in Illness

by Kara-Leah Grant Peter Fernando has been living with chronic illness for almost two decades, including seven years spent as a monk in the Thai Forest tradition. He's seen over 24 different health professionals in different modalities, including both conventional, Tibetan, Chinese, and alternative medicine. At some point though he realised that his experience may not go away and his focus shifted to changing how he was relating to his illness and the pain. His new book Finding Freedom in … [Read more...]

Home Yoga Practice: What Counts if You Are a Yoga Teacher?

Asana isn't the only way to practice. Nor is a mat required. Photo Credit: Pete Longworth

by Kara-Leah Grant A few months ago I wrote an article stating that if you teach yoga, you must have a daily self-practice. That article was widely shared, and read. And it triggered some strong reactions. There were comments, and emails where people shared with me the reasons why they couldn't practice yoga every day. Some of these teachers were only teaching one class a week, on top of working 50+ hour jobs, and they were often teaching disadvantaged groups. They felt like what they were … [Read more...]

The Kiwi-Based Musician Taking the International Yoga World by Soundscape Storm [video interview]

Arli Liberman, ambient soundscape musician and composer. Photo Credit: Pete Longworth

by Kara-Leah Grant He started yoga because he had lower back pain, moving from Bikram to Vinyasa to Yin at East West Studios in Auckland. Then Nikki Harris, the studio owner asked musician Arli to play his soundscape ambient tunes for a yin class. Fast-forward a couple of years and Arli is about to go on a multi-continent tour playing music for top international yoga teachers like Shiva Rea & Elena Brower. It's a world away from his up-bringing in Israel, where he became a session … [Read more...]

How I Dropped the Ball on Day 338 of My 1000 Day Practice

Photo Credit: Pete Longworth | The Visual Storyteller

by Kara-Leah Grant Today is Day 138 of a 1000 Day practice I'm doing. It should be about Day 500. But earlier this year, on Day 338 something happened and I dropped the ball. I've been doing Forty Day practices for nearly a decade now. At first, it took great dedication, commitment and mindfulness to practice yoga every day for forty days in a row, especially when I was doing the same practice each day. I learned so much about myself, how my mind worked, and where I was sabotaging … [Read more...]

Adventures in the Field with Camilla Maling {video interview}

Camilla Maling, moving, of course!

by Kara-Leah Grant Camilla Maling is a fascinating woman with a deep perspective on our embodied experience as sensate beings, honed through her many years of dance, yoga, storytelling and life experience. She's endlessly fascinated about the intersection of our being - our psyches and our bodies and how these things map to each other. Spend time talking to her - as I did - and you can feel her passion and curiosity and desire to expand people's understanding of the body they inhabit. She … [Read more...]

Saying No to the Cult of Busyness

Pausing & dropping into presence. Photo Credit: Pete Longworth | The Visual Storyteller

by Kara-Leah Grant I've long been aware that I've had a particular way of operating in the world that doesn't serve me. I'm addicted to getting things done. To being productive. And it comes from being in my head, rather than from being. There are some big gains from this particular behaviour - like prodigal production. Given the limitations of my life, I have produced an extraordinary amount of output. Websites, articles, books, classes, workshops, retreats, videos. This on top of single … [Read more...]

Jayayoga: How to Use Yoga as a Life-Long Tool for Self-Care

Jennifer Allen of Jayayoga

by Kara-Leah Grant I spoke to Jennifer Allen of Jayayoga last year in a video interview about her yoga teacher trainings. Jayayoga's mantra is 'safe, sustainable yoga' and is built on Jennifer's 15 years of  personal development, yoga teaching, and teacher training. Her focus is on understanding of the way our bodies respond to yoga, not just on a physical level, but on all levels - mentally, emotionally, energetically, and systematically. The movement-based practice (asana) is a combination … [Read more...]