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.

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...]

But First The Giant Must Dissolve in a Puddle of Tears on the Yoga Mat. Again

My tears could have filled this water feature.

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat It's post-Bali yoga teacher training with the crew from Power Living and I am totally spaced out. I don't know whether I'm coming or going. One minute I was in conversation with Duncan & the PLAY crew poolside at Potatohead in Seminyak, then I was in a taxi and off to the airport, flying for eight hours overnight, arriving the next day in Auckland, driving 2.5 hours to Tauranga to pick up Samuel, sleeping some more, and driving four hours to … [Read more...]

Forty Days of Meditation and Manifestation – Did It Work?

Meditation is awesome - really!

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat I've just finished a Forty Day Meditation and Manifestation practice. It's something I completely made up. I'd been wondering for many months about combining daily meditation with a conscious manifestation process because I'd observed in my own life that the first key step for creating anything new is always getting clear. Usually, before I write, I meditate or walk first. This helps to shift me into the ground of being, and out of my head. Out … [Read more...]

If All Ambition Falls Away, How Does Anything Get Done?

No more driving ambition?

by Kara-Leah Grant, Musings from the Mat It's a crisp, clear, clean autumn morning in Napier, New Zealand. Almost a frost, but not quite. Cold enough for me to see my breath as I stood waiting for the jug to boil. I have entire day stretching out before me with no appointments and no yoga teaching. My only commitments today are to The Yoga Lunchbox and writing. Something's missing though. Something that's been with me for a long, long time. Possibly since childhood. Actually, … [Read more...]