Kara-Leah Grant gets up close & personal about life on and off the yoga mat in her long-running yoga blog, Musings from the Mat.

The Key to Ageing Gracefully

What we often end up comparing ourselves to...

by Kara-Leah Grant I watched Madonna on the Grammy's a few years ago and I almost wept. Who was this shell of a woman, her papery-thin and paper-coloured skin stretched tight across her face? We all know she's nearly 60, where's the deviant wrinkles, the glorious salt & pepper hair, the relaxed winks as she settles into enjoying her undisputed reign as Queen of Pop? Instead, she's morphed into a caricature of her once saucy and irreverent self. I yearn for the Maddy of old, who was … [Read more...]

How Love’s Shadows Invite Us Into Deep Intimacy

Vulnerability and openness leads to intimacy leads to physical intimacy. Photo Credit: Pete Longworth

by Kara-Leah Grant I didn't expect to feel this way when he arrived in my life. But this man who I'd been friends with for four years online before finally meeting in person landed in my heart with the softness of a blown dandelion flower gone to seed. Looking back, I asked myself, when did I know? When did I realise that we had this connection, this intimacy, this opening into relationship? Was it when he stayed at my house after getting off the plane? Was it when he got off the … [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...]

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...]

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...]

A Personal Exploration of Vairagya (Non-Attachment) in Romantic Relationships

Kara-Leah | Photo Credit: Pete Longworth

by Kara-Leah Grant There is a man I was recently immensely attracted to - on all three levels, sacral, heart and wisdom. It felt like that attraction was reciprocal. It felt like we had a similar depth and perspective on life, similar histories, values, vision and lifestyle. So potential and possibility arose, and on my side at least, intense desire. He and I had several conversations around relationship, sexuality, purpose, life visions and purpose. It felt like we were feeling each … [Read more...]

How I Found my Ground through Shiva Rea’s Taupo Immersion

Shiva Rea at Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo. Photo Credit: June Bug Photography

by Kara-Leah Grant In February this year I spent five days at Wanderlust and then rolled straight into an Immersion with Shiva Rea. Now, a month or so later, everything around me is the same as it was. But I am not. I have deeply changed. I can feel it in the way I stand upon the earth. I can feel it in the way I wear my clothes, the way I walked my son to school, the way I'm sitting here now. Something in me has awoken - I have found my ground. Stepping back into training with Shiva was … [Read more...]

How to Liberate Yourself from the Tyranny of Desire in Romantic Relationship

Liberate yourself from romantic fantasy.

by Kara-Leah Grant When I was twelve years old I started a long short story - more of a novellete - about a young woman snatched from her home who finds herself in this other-worldly detention centre for teenagers. She's feisty as all hell, and makes a break for it with one of the other teenagers - a boy. As she and the boy go on the run, most of the action revolves around their relationship, which is fiery as all hell. Their banter is antagonistic, she gets mad at him often and isn't shy … [Read more...]

How George FM Blue Skies Gave My Radiant Self an Opportunity to Shine

Learning how to shine, wherever, however.

by Kara-Leah Grant A couple of months ago, I went to George FM's Blue Skies three-day music festival in Fiji as part of Yoga Rhythms. I wrote about that experience in this article: How George FM Blue Skies Challenged my Judging, Critical Self. This is the follow-up. Once I got over my angst and judgment about spending three days in the whirlwind of a mainstream booze-fest dance party, I got on to the serious business of being joyful. Of being me. The first time at Blue Skies Fiji that … [Read more...]