Jonathan from Team Shakti on Bringing the Bed of Nails to NZ

Strip off, lie down and... relax?!

by Kara-Leah Grant Apparently one in ten Swedish people own a variation of the Shakti Mat - a modern-day rendering of the bed of nails. Consisting of a thin foam filler inside a cotton case mounted with 6000 plus plastic spikes, the Shakti Mat is meant to "increase blood circulation and stimulate the body to release endorphins which help to bring about a deeply relaxed state." And now, thanks to Jonathan and his business partner, who came across the Shakti Mat on a beach in Thailand, the … [Read more...]

How to Prevent the Practicalities Getting in the Way of Your Dreams

Get clear on your dreams and then take action. You will be supported.

by Kara-Leah Grant Over the past decade I've become skilled at working with the unconscious and that which holds us back from realising our dreams. I'm adept at identifying something I would like to experience, and then making it happen. I wanted to write and publish a book. I've now written and published two. I had a dream of teaching Yoga Trance Dance with a live DJ rocking it behind me, and I'm now part of Yoga Rhythms with fellow yoga teacher, DJ and Goddess Rire. I dreamt of … [Read more...]

Mark Whitwell on the Definition of a Yoga Teacher {Video}

Mark Whitwell

by Kara-Leah Grant New Zealand born yogi Mark Whitwell has been teaching for a couple of decades and studied with both Desikachar and Krishnamacharya. He is also the author of Yoga of Heart, and The Promise of Love, Sex and Intimacy and editor of TKV Desikachar's book The Heart of Yoga. You can see a Skype video interview we did with Mark on his book The Promise here. A month or so ago I wrote an article about my experience of attending one of Mark's classes at Great Lake Taupo … [Read more...]

Have You Given Up Reaching for Your Dreams?

Are you stuck or have you given up on reaching for your dreams?

by Kara-Leah Grant Never before in human history have we known so much. We have unlimited information at our fingertips, and that information is constantly being updated. We know how to maintain optimum health including how to eat, how to exercise and how to practice yoga. We can learn any new skill for free - a new language, a musical instrument, we can even get a degree for free. No matter what dream we want to pursue, the information required to do so is available to us. Yet … [Read more...]

So that’s what Brahmacharya is all about. Containing my Inner Vamp

Learning to stand my ground and contain my energy, opening only on my terms.

by Kara-Leah Grant This New Year’s Eve was a watershed for me. For the first time in my life, I tamed the wild demon of my sexuality. Never have I felt more powerful or more in integrity, and that sense of power and integrity has since spun out, infusing every element of my being. I was at a five day festival and in the company of an extraordinarily sexy man. The connection between us was humming and thick and a mere sideways glance was enough to bring on dry mouth and heart palpitations. And … [Read more...]

How to use Feldenkrais Technique to Free up Your Yoga Part 1: Twisting {video}

Christine Cutbush demonstrating a Feldenkrais technique for freeing up twists in your yoga practice

by Kara-Leah Grant I first came across Feldenkrais in a yoga teacher taught by a friend in Wellington - Oli Wiles. He was smitten with the technique and skilfully wove it through his yoga teaching to great benefit. Now that I've been practicing yoga for almost two decades, I've also become very interested in how the body opens up, or doesn't open up. From my own experience I can see that it's not a simple equation of doing x, y, or z posture enough times and achieving your optimum range of … [Read more...]

When the Price of Beauty and Presence is Sadness

Beauty is all around us

By Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat Yesterday we got home from six days away - my son with his father, and me in Napier teaching yoga classes and workshops. I love being on the road, catching up with the many friends I have around the country, teaching at a variety of studios, sharing my passion for yoga in workshops. I love home too but when I'm at home, I'm reminded of the home I don't have, the life I'm not leading. In that life I'm coming home to a man I love, who loves me. … [Read more...]

How I Took Responsibility for My Toxic Relationship & Found Forgiveness

Toxic relationship article

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat Recently, while choosing photos to put in a Facebook album celebrating my son's fifth birthday, I came across a series of photos that his father and I had taken of ourselves one month before I finally left him. I paused, and looked at us - the happy and in-love us, the good side, the side that kept me a destructive and difficult relationship for nearly four years - and I was grateful I hadn’t deleted the photos as I so nearly did a few months after we … [Read more...]

What Does it Really Take to Teach Yin Yoga? {Video Interview}

Yin Yoga caterpillar

by Kara-Leah Grant Yin Yoga has been around for a couple of decades now. Actually, that's not quite true. Yin is not so much a style of yoga as a way of practicing yoga. It's likely that yoga has been practiced in a yin manner for thousands of years. But it's only come to prominence in the West in the last two decades, largely (but not only) due to the influence of Paul Grilley. Paul's passion for and spread of Yin Yoga comes from combining three main threads of inquiry - an in-depth study … [Read more...]

There is No Space for Me. A Short Journey into Depression

Journey into depression

by Kara-Leah Grant On Sunday afternoon, lying on the grass outside under fluffy white clouds and a lazy blue sky, I felt the snaky tendrils of depression slither into my heart and settle in my being. One moment, everything was as it was. The next, I felt a heaviness of being, a reluctance to move or act or even be, a dragging at my insides, a rising of emotion. Usually the arrival of depression is not so noticeable. It sneaks up on me and I'm not aware until it's taken me down and I'm … [Read more...]