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.

How to Use Your Yoga Practice to Cultivate Specific States of Being

Queen of Pentacles - at home in her world.

by Kara-Leah Grant When Wanderlust asked me to submit four classes to teach at the inaugural four-day festival in New Zealand, I pondered how to theme those classes. One of my yoga students had recently told me how she thought my teaching was Goddess-focused and she always felt like I was helping her step into her feminine power in class. I pondered that for a few days. And then it hit me. I was a long-time Tarot enthusiast and love the symbology and depths of insight revealed in Tarot … [Read more...]

Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Ask Yourself this One Question Instead

Kara-Leah becoming a successful professional speaker

by Kara-Leah Grant It's my first day back at "work" in 2015. I'm starting by renaming "work" as "creation", because that's really what I do. I create. And I love it. I create words, movement, ideas, processes, life and ultimately, myself. This year I'm cranking up the mojo on my speaking career (find out more about booking me here) and I'm working on launching my first webinars. Actually, I was meant to do the webinar thing last year, but I kept putting it off. Out of the comfort zone, … [Read more...]

On the Dilution of the Genuine Transmission of Yoga Part 2

The Soloist by Alex Seton

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat I've been contemplating the many reactions I received to this article over the past week or so, On the Dilution of the Transmission of Yoga. One person unsubscribed from the website (or at least - one person told me they had because of this article, more people may have!) saying that I had made some good points but she found the article judgemental and unyogic. Other people rejoiced that someone was speaking such things out loud. It does feel … [Read more...]

On the Dilution of the Genuine Transmission of Yoga

Looks like a yoga teacher, talks like a yoga teacher, but is she really a yoga teacher?

by Kara-Leah Grant I was recently in a yoga class with yet another teacher who's not present, not teaching to the room, and not really teaching yoga. Oh, there were postures, and alignment cues, and by the end of the class as she'd come more into herself and some presence, offering some lovely phrases and suggestions. Other people enjoyed the class. They left feeling like they'd done a "good yoga class". They were happy. Content. And they'll keep coming back. Me, I was watching my … [Read more...]

Is Ancestral Trauma a Source of Modern Day Depression and Anxiety?

Can ancestral trauma be passed down through the generations?

by Kara-Leah Grant Since 2004 I have progressively healed myself through a combination of yoga, meditation and a wide variety of healing techniques. As I went through this process, my old coping techniques slowly but surely fell away - in the past I've used everything from drugs, alcohol, exercise and relationships to distract myself. Dropping these various distraction techniques was never easy. I didn't give up marijuana until I was pregnant. When life got really tough and I found … [Read more...]

The Conundrum of the Inflexible Yoga Teacher

I feel... tight, tight, tight, even with my knees bent to protect my spine.

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat One Sunday recently I retired to the beach for 90 minutes to work my way through a set yoga sequence a friend had posted on their Facebook page. It was total luxury. My son was with his uncle, I had no-where to  be and nothing to do, but soak up the sun, the salty breeze, and washing sound of the waves while immersing myself in a yoga sequence. I hated it. Oh, not the scene, or the setting, or the child-free time but the sequence. From the … [Read more...]

Ashtanga: Why it’s so Important to Trust the Process

Working with knees... softly, softly...

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat One of the great gifts of sharing my internal processes of life so honestly on-line is that I learn from myself. Often, a few years after I’ve written an article, I will re-read it and see the illusions that I was labouring under at the time. Yes, the article is usually about an insight into a difficulty, but there is always another layer or level of illusion. Through re-reading my own articles I’m able to watch myself wake up and become more … [Read more...]

Ashtanga: I Don’t Want to Break My Knees

Be gentle with knees!

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat My knees ache. They have been since about April of this year - about three months into a regular Mysore-style Ashtanga practice, two or three times a week. I also do a regular home practice of vinyasa, prana-led asana (slow and steady), meditation and pranayama. I've been able to do Half Lotus for some years now, including Standing Bound Half Lotus (without the forward fold). I have never had any prior knee issues or pain. Although my … [Read more...]

Giant Integration: Feeling Good vs The Truth of the Moment

Life is both rainbows and menacing storm clouds.

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat For over a decade now I've been living deep journeying into the Self. Post-Bali was no exception. I'd stirred up, identified and released a negative core belief centred around the third chakra. This was difficult work and intensely liberating all at the same time. I'm already seeing concrete results from the clearing of this old belief in the way i'm organising my yoga classes and new chakra course here in Wellington.  But that old third chakra … [Read more...]

Whereupon the Giant Flashes Back to Early Childhood and Wakes Up

Ganesh, remover of obstacles, watching over us all week

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat I'm on a 500hr Yoga Teacher Training with the Power Living Crew called Allow the Giant to Emerge. I'm triggered, massively, and have spent four days of mired deep in my shit. This Thursday evening I'm exhausted and I'm sitting in a Core Belief session with Keenan Crisp and Kristi Clark leading. (Which is really all about working with vasanas.) I'm sick of hearing about core beliefs, I'm sick of hearing about people's childhood memories, I'm even … [Read more...]