Calling in your Highest Alignment

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Hi beautiful souls,

A practice for you:

Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths. Centre your attention in your heart space. Take 5 – 10 minutes to be with the breath, to get quiet and still.

And then, welcome in these questions:

My highest alignment looks like…
My highest alignment feels like… 


Notice any visions, messages or feeling sensations that come as you sit with these questions. Notice both the internal (How does this alignment show up in your body, mind, heart and connection with your soul?) and the external (Where do you see yourself? What are you doing? Who surrounds you?) Allow your intuition to speak fully, clearly. Let all the whispers of your heart be heard.

And then, ask your inner guidance: 

What steps can I take to embody my highest alignment? 

Maybe it’s something you need to release, or something you’re ready to welcome in. Maybe a new practice to begin, or a quality to embody in thought, word and deed. Maybe it’s a big leap, maybe a few smaller steps. Maybe it's something to do solo, or a tug to call in extra support. Whatever steps arise are what you’re ready for. Have courage to take them.
 

Alignment feels like home

In the asana practice of yoga, we talk about alignment a lot. Making sure the body rests in the right posture to receive the maximum benefit of the asana, and protect you from any injuries that often spring up from misalignments. Oftentimes we don’t even realize we’re out of alignment until a teacher gives a certain cue or comes over for an adjustment, and then – ahhhh. We get it. Wefeel it.

But the system of yoga is about so much more than just the physical practice. It's working through the body, breath and mind to find union with our highest self. It's practices and philosophies to help us embody our highest alignment, internally and externally. This is why I show up for my asana practice and meditation daily, and turn to energetic healing again and again. I've tried many practices and healing modalities, but these are the ones that for years and years now have worked for me to truly connect body, mind, heart and soul, and to keep this alignment consistently integrated. 

They are no one-shot magic cure. They take consistent practice and commitment. And yet each time I practice, I feel a coming home. An ease. A deep comfort. And a deep courage and faith in the process even when things feel uncomfortable. That is how I know these practices hold the keys to embodying my highest alignment. And this is why I share them with you with such heart.
 

Let's practice together, shall we?

We're still riding the energetic waves of eclipse season, Mercury Retrograde, Mars Retrograde, and more. The good news? While we may feel a bit more on edge, these energetic shifts are all here to help serve our highest alignment. They clearly illuminate what is no longer serving our highest evolution. If we have the courage to dig deep and look at these shadows, we also have a big opportunity for healing and clearing. And each eclipse and retrograde acts like a portal. If we take time to tune into what our highest alignment looks like and feels like, and have the courage to take bold steps towards that vision, we have a big opportunity to step into our highest evolution and callings - oftentimes quicker than we may expect ;)

I’m in Toronto this whole month (wahoo!), so hope to see you for yoga + meditation classes, and the New Moon Circle, finally back and at our new home at the beautiful (and still intimate :) The Quiet Company studio. Also getting ready to hit the road with my The Art of Intuition deep-dive, coming to Maha Rose in NYC (a longtime dream of mine!) September 22, Health Hut in TorontoOctober 14, and a special PEC spot in the fall :) As well, always here to support you remotely or in-person via healings if you need extra support to heal and release any misalignments, and embody fully your highest alignments.

May you have the courage to see, learn from, and release fully anything that may feel out of alignment, inside and out. May you have the courage to see, trust in, and work towards your highest visions, inside and out. And may you welcome in and practice your highest alignment this month with a spirit of play, so you can root into it fully in time for Fall's power and force.

The doors are opening. May you courageously step through, embodying your highest alignment fully and wholly.

With love, 
ayah 

La Dolce Vita

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Hi beautiful souls,

I’m a couple weeks back from my holiday in Italy, where I was immersed in pleasure, beauty and love as the Italians know so well how to savor. If I didn't have pictures of me jumping out of tiny cars to prove I was there, I may indeed have believed it was all a dream ;)

As I strolled the streets of Rome on my last evening, letting all the magic of the week sink in, I was reminded of one of my favourite mantras that exemplifies and open crown chakra. Located at the top of our head, our crown chakra is the energy centre that connects us to the divine. As the crown chakra truly opens, we begin to understand we are not human beings having spiritual experiences, but rather spiritual beings having a human experience.

We come to this earth plane to learn, to grow, to help each other and to push forward all our evolution. But my time in Italy reminded me we also came to play. To get up and dance without inhibition. To enjoy delicious food without guilt. To kiss under the stars. To marvel at the sunsets and sunrises and all the beauty mama nature has gifted us with. To laugh with each other. To take care of each other. To honor and celebrate love in all its forms. To revel in all the pleasures of this being human.
 

Sweet + simple

In the most serendipitous and unplanned of ways, Italy reminded me that the simple and easy pleasures can be as beautiful, illuminating and soul-nourishing as the deep and complex depths. That the highest truths can be found in both closing our eyes and journeying inward and in opening them and journeying outward. That while all our practices, rituals, studies, and connection to ourselves must be honored, so too should play, laughter, rest, and connection to each other. It’s all divine. It’s all beautiful. It’s all an integral piece of a richly full life.

As many of you know, I’ve spent the last few years diving into some very deep depths, and close with the energy of Kali, the goddess who cuts no corners in helping us clear what we no longer need (especially the bits of our ego!) and isn’t afraid to give us tough lessons to show us our strength and our truth. Italy was a refreshing rest, a chance to relax and float for a bit amongst all those strengthening swims. While I’m certainly not shying from the depths, I’m reminded to find more space to enjoy life’s simple and sweet pleasures and joys. It's been beautiful to weave these into my teachings, healing sessions and my own practices, finding a little more levity amongst all the depths. And who couldn't do with a little more dance parties, luscious dinners, and beautiful flowers? :)  
 

Let's find joy together, shall we? 

It's the summer - what better time to revel in joy, pleasure and beauty? I hope you'll join me in weaving in more sweet and simple pleasures into your day-to-day this month. Our seat of joy is our swadisthana (sacral) chakra, the place that connects us to our creativity, sexuality, sense of joy, and freedom with our emotions. Dive in to some of the practices at the bottom of this email to reconnect to this centre of sweetness!
 
This month, you can catch me at my regular classes at Good Space in Parkdale and The Quiet Company in King West at the schedule below, and as always, for healings + private instruction at my West Queen West studio, remotely, or in your home. I'll be on retreat with my teacher Amma from July 8 - 13, which is sure to be a whirlwind of healing + awakening, as time with her always is! Official New Moon Ceremonies will be back in August, though we'll cover some new moon magic at the Thursday, July 13 Move Light class at Good Space and full moon magic on my Thursday, July 27 classes at The Quiet Co (midday) and Good Space (evening).

I’m encouraging all this talk of sweetness and simplicity because we’ll need this balance with the intense astrology this month. Mars is retrograde from June 26 to August 27, Mercury goes retrograde for a few weeks on July 26, and we have a Solar eclipse on July 12 and lunar eclipse on July 27. All of these events will help us shake up to the surface whatever we have buried. If you want to learn more on how these will affect you, I encourage you to check out my fave astrologer Chani Nicholas and the astral insights curated by Mystic Mamma. If any of these transits or any other circumstances are affecting you intensely, you know where to find me for extra support.

Even amongst this intensity, may this summer remind you of the simplest and sweetest of pleasures. May you make time to laugh, dance and play. And may love, beauty and joy find you in the most serendipitous of ways.

With love, 
ayah 

Full Circles

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Hi beautiful souls,

As I sat down to write to all of you, I noticed a tiny spider journeying across my windowsill. The great weavers of the animal kingdom, spiders symbolize creativity, harmony, and receptivity. It seems this sweet spider had a message for me to help me understand so many of the full circle moments that I’ve been experiencing lately.

I used to think of expansion as being linear, like climbing a mountain. We grow, and yes, sometimes we stumble, but ultimately we climb the mountains of our lives to reach the summit. Sometimes the path takes us up, sometimes down, sometimes even and steady for stretches that allow us to catch our breath. But ultimately, each step is a blaze forward on the path. What we traversed strengthens us, enriches us, helps us to better know the mountain (and ourselves). On this journey, we leave what was behind and keep reaching toward new terrain.

Yet these last couple weeks have me reflecting on all I thought was “complete,” and the serendipitous ways the past has re-emerged into the present. I’ve had the privilege of reconnecting with community, friends, and clients with whom I thought chapters were closed, lessons learned, karma complete. I’ve found myself in circumstances oh-so-similar to ones I’ve been in before, yet this time with fresher eyes and a wiser heart. These full-circle moments have me thinking about the cyclical nature of life. How we revisit the same places, people and circumstances again and again. Sometimes to see how far we’ve come, sometimes to see how close we always have been.
 

No beginning, no end

This is the work I’ve learned through healing too. In my own healing and with my clients, rarely is the process linear and a quick-fix. Many of us hold core wounds we revisit again and again, peeling through layer after layer. If we think one healing session or therapy visit or medicine ceremony is going to get rid of it, we’re in for a big disappointment. This work takes a deep commitment, a willingness to see the whole again and again. The healing is less about ridding ourselves of what we no longer want, but rather embracing it to learn from it,and working through it as a way to come home to our truest selves. But it's not all shadow. In the healing journeys, there is also much light. That too is cyclical. It’s not that we see a plethora of new gifts, more, more, more. Oftentimes we find what was always in us grows bigger and brighter the deeper we go. We come to see how our greatest lights permeate all circumstances and experiences.

It seems this sweet little spider had a message for me. Perhaps expansion isn’t about continuing to take steps upward, leaving behind the old and reaching toward the new. Perhaps expansion is about weaving an interconnected tapestry, tracing around and through as the web grows larger. Rather than the beginnings fading out of sight, they remain deeply embedded as a piece of the whole. Each person, each place, each circumstance becomes an integral piece of the whole of our journey. Always there, never left behind.
 

Let's practice!

Next week I'm off for another full circle experience, a revisit back to Italy exactly ten years after I first visited. Last time I was ticking off all the tourist ‘must-do’s during my first trip to Europe, and this time I’ll be there to celebrate love at a friend’s wedding, and revel in some much needed restoration in the Umbrian countryside. I can’t wait to see what mirrors this trip may have in store, for each journey always seems to hold much.

If you've been feeling the tug to come in again for a healing or a class, consider this your full-circle call! You can catch me for healings the first week of June and from the 18th onward, and for yoga + meditation practice at Good Space in Parkdale and the newly opened Quiet Company studio in King West. Save the date for the next Art of Intuition workshop, a two-part series July 17 & 24 at Health Hut, taking you deep into your light and all the wisdom that lies within you. Lastly, more scoop on my corporate offerings are below. This area has been yet another full-circle expansion for me, allowing me to weave together my history of experience, and share all the practices and tools that helped me stay mindful + zen in my own corporate days :) 

May June bring you many serendipities and much synchronicity, allowing you tointegrate all the beautiful pieces of you into a wide web of magic.

With love,
ayah
 

Easing into Expansion

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Hi beautiful souls,

... and hello spring! Many of us are emerging out of our shells of winter hibernation, and into maximizing every moment outside we can muster. Expansion is in the air!

Of course, I’m thrilled spring is finally (!) here. My extroverted side has loved all the catch-ups, longer walks and fresh new energy. And yet, I noticed some glimmers of resistance from my introverted side. Winter was all about coziness, quiet, solitude. On many fronts – personally and professionally, mind and heart – I am being called out of the cozy, comfortable nest I rested in, and into new frontiers of expansion. Instead of pushing over my resistance, I worked with it. What does expansion really entail? 
 

The calls of expansion

Expansion requires courage. Like a seed beginning to sprout, expansion requires we trust the inertia moving through us, even when we know it’s leading us to places we’ve never been, and away from all the comforts we knew. Expansion can pull up all the fears and self-doubts – “I am just a little seed. Who am I to be a tree?” And so we require an extra dose of courage (and compassion) to look to all our resistances, all that needs healing within us before we can truly expand.

Expansion requires letting go. We are not infinite (at least, not in our human forms!), and so calls for expansion also include calls for release. For making space. Like that little seed cracking through its shell, oftentimes we are called to let go of what was safe and cozy, what held us, all that we’ve known. We need to accept that even though some things may have held a strong purpose before, hanging onto them may in fact be holding us back from new growth. 

Expansion requires grounding. We cannot grow sustainability without a deep connection to our sense of self and our sense of place. If we rush and jump before taking care to build a stable foundation, the first storm will blow us up and out.

Expansion requires trust. Trust in the intertia moving through us. Trust in our capabilities. Trust in all we were designed to grow into. If we’re tuned into the wisdom of our heart, it will oftentimes lead us into expansions that our mind doesn’t quite grasp or understand. This is where we learn to trust ourselves and hold onto the flames of whatever guides us. This is the dance of surrender. Once the seed begins to sprout, it doesn't have much of a choice on going back, does it? :)
 

Easing into it

And, I remembered –  there's no rush. It's all happening at the pace it's meant to happen. So instead of diving headfirst into saying yes to all the things, jumping from one extreme to the other (definitely an old tendency of mine :), I'm easing into this season of expansion. Letting the pressure roll away. Some big changes are underfoot, and I'm reminded it doesn't all need to happen at once, and that the restorative aspects of winter need not vanish. I'm expanding  slowly and steadily, listening to the whispers of my body, heart and spirit along the way. 

Many of these expansions are on the teaching front. I’m thrilled to join the warm, beautiful and community-oriented new yoga + meditation studio Good Space in Parkdale, around the corner from my home healing studio. I'll be teaching yoga there a few times a week, and meditation on Wednesdayevenings. I’m also hosting another Art of Energy workshop on May 10 with The Quiet Company at Health Hut (back by popular demand, as the last one sold out quick!), and a New Moon Ceremony on May 15 where we’ll explore this theme of expansion together, emerging brighter + stronger into spring.

On a personal front, I’m gearing up for visit to Italy for a dear friend's wedding. I’ll be away June 7 – 17, so book in your healings this month and come join for a class (or a few!) before I’m off!

In whatever ways you are expanding – body, mind, heart, spirit –  may you ease into them gently, holding steady in your courage, your roots, and your trust. May you release all that is no longer serving your expansion with gratitude and grace. And may you shine brighter than ever as you step into these new frontiers.

With love,
ayah

Blissful Balance

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Hi beautiful souls,

Balance is in the stars, the skies, and the earth right now… and of course, within you too. 

Spring Equinox marked a day of balance between the light and the dark in our skies, the yang energy of the sun and the yin energy of the moon. This energy is still with us as day and night are mostly equal. We are just coming off a full moon in Libra, the sign of fairness, equality and harmony. The sign of the balanced scales encourages us to find this inner balance, and the full moon likely helped illuminate some areas that were off-balance. Mercury is retrograde, an astrological period that encourages us to relax, rest, and review. And yet, we’re also in Aries, the sign of bold action, creation and movement. There's friction in this timing, but friction can also be a huge catalyst for growth. 
 
It’s not just in the stars. It’s in the earth too, all around us. For those of you in Ontario, our weather is in that in-between state. Not quite the depths of winter, yet not quite the full bloom of spring. Our bodies aren’t quite sure what to make of it. And that cold that seems to be going around everywhere? When our energy is off balance, our immune system becomes compromised. Our bodies often get sick to force us to rest and recalibrate.
 
Above all, this potential for balance always lies within us. Our surroundings have simply created the perfect storm of energy to inspire us to reflect on, discover, and embody our own inner balance.
 

Finding the Equilibrium

Personally, I was super in yang mode in February, making, going, and doing. As you all know, the universe put a screeching halt to that when my pup went in for emergency surgery (he is doing well now and near fully recovered – thank you for all the love + well wishes!). I took the cue, and March was all about yin mode, resting, receiving, and nurturing. The pendulum swung hard one way, and hard the other way. In April, I’m inspired to find the balance on a daily basis... and I'd love to have you join me :)

Which way has the pendulum been swinging for you? Have you been in fierce yang mode, planning, doing, creating, thinking, go-go-go-ing? Or have you been in a super yin flow, opening, receiving, resting, intuiting, nurturing, just relishing in be-ing? Both are beautiful, in balance. Swing too hard one way for too long, and life will throw you some big curveballs to encourage some more balance internally and externally.
 
In this new month and fresh season, I encourage you to set your spring intentions and practices to find greater balance and harmony. What’s one big goal you’d like to plan, create, and act towards? And each day, can you make some space for an activity or action outside your comfort zone, planning, doing or giving something towards a new personal frontier?
 
On the flip side, what’s one thing you’d like to welcome in, open up to receiving? Something you're fully open to surrendering toward, without any hard action, plans or stories on your end? And what’s one yin activity you can do each day, allowing yourself to just blissfully be without any agenda? 
 

Blooming into Spring

If you're called to set these intentions together, I'd love to have you for this month’s New Moon Ceremony, focusing on the theme of new beginnings. This sacred space is designed for healing, reflection, and the planting of beautiful new seeds. For those of you craving some deep self-care, self-reflection and spiritual opening, I welcome you to join me for my bi-annual Reiki Level I training. This day is deeply transformative, and a beautiful opportunity to shed old layers and connect deeply to your heart, soul, and truest essence. If you’re looking to cultivate some deep balance amongst the body, mind, heart and spirit, come join me for an in-person or remote healing or private yoga or meditation teaching.
 
Have fun with your intentions and practices. You may be surprised how beautiful it is to play on the other side of your innate tendencies. And, you may discover some blissful energy and wisdom that has always been resting within you :)

With love, 
ayah

Where do you go when things get difficult?

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Hi beautiful souls, 

You know those times where everything is rolling ever-so-smooth, and then... BAM. It all flips upside down. Such has been my week. I was on a high the last few weeks. Super busy, yes, but really feeling like everything in like was falling in to place so… perfectly. I was like aha, I really get it, this business of holding the space of joy, light, presence, trust and love all the time, no matter what. I was high-vibing at its highest. February was a whirlwind, and my last week was even busier, but I had it scheduled like clockwork. All I needed to do was show up and be present with it all.

And then – crash. I was en-route to a full day of in-office healings when I got a call from the doggy daycare I had just dropped my pup Otis off at. He was playing, let out a huge yelp, fell, and lost control of his front legs. And just like that, my perfectly planned schedule went out the window. I went up to get him, and multiple vet visits later, had him in surgery that afternoon.

"Oh, you thought you had it all figured out?” said the universe "Well, here you go. You aced that last level. Time to level up. Can you still hold that joy, light, presence, trust and love when the curveball is thrown? When all the concerns of earth call you in, can you still hold your highest connection?"
 

Through the fire

And so here I am. Facing a big exam on my practicing what I preach, on holding the full integrity of all my practices through the fire. I’ve been teaching many meditation and mindfulness workshops lately, extolling the benefits of being here now, accepting instead of resisting, and responding instead of reacting. In the eye of this particular storm, I see the pain comes from reliving how things were before, or worrying about what life will be like moving forward. When I bring myself back to now, I fall into full surrender, knowing there is nothing I can do in this moment but trust the good hands he’s in, and pray and hold the faith for his smooth recovery. 
 
I’ve also taught many of my Art of Intuition workshops, sharing how we can stay connected to our hearts and hear and trust the call of our intuition. In all this, I can see the pain of letting my mind run amok, and the peace that comes when I rest in my heart and trust the guidance I am receiving. I have used each and every one of the practices and tools I teach to stay connected to my inner guidance and quiet the waves of my mind.
 
I convened with my healing students this month, and shared that this life of a healer was both rewarding and challenging beyond measure. That it was no easy path, and that life would flip things around for you time and time again until your connection to all that lies beyond this material world is deeply rooted, so that you may be a strong support and compassionate bridge for others. In all this, life was flipped upside down again, and I was placed in the fire of learning how the pain of the human heart can awaken more compassion in us. How resting in the void of the unknown can deepen our connection to all the guidance that is always available to us, and show us all we really have is right now, as it is.
 
And with my clients, I’ve been guiding many this month on being present with what is, not looking to erase the pains, but rather integrate them and let them strengthen you, help you become a better human. In all this, my question is not how can I numb, distract from and override what I feel, but rather, how can I be with it gently and sweetly? How can I let this teach me, strengthen me, and awaken me?
 
I am human; none of this has been easy. The last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster, and I have remembered these are all practices, not perfects. It is a constant dance of retraining the mind and surrendering to all that is. But in the face of something I never would have wished for, I am seeing the grounding I have in my practices, my principles, and most importantly, my heart. My trust, faith, and willingness to surrender were tested, and through this, they have been been strengthened. My ability to remain connected with my highest self and highest energies was tested, and through this, my connection and vibration has elevated. Diamonds become brilliant through heat and pressure, and through this, somehow, I have brightened.  
 

Where do you go when things get difficult?

Prem Baba, a beautiful teacher I’ve met in India, asked a question at one of his satsangs: Where do you go when things get difficult?
 
I ask that to you now. The energy of last night’s full moon highlighted this for many of us. Get quiet. Dig in. Where do you go when things get difficult? Do you numb or nourish? Do you shut out or listen? Do you override or allow? Do you distract or tune in? Whatever you do, does that feel in alignment with your heart, with your soul? Where do you go now, and where do you want to go when things get difficult?
 
We are human, and life is life. We came to this earth school to experience the duality of bliss and sorrow, of joy and struggle, of love and pain. We came to learn some big lessons, and often times this duality can be the greatest teacher for our soul. Don’t shy away from the difficulties. Dive in and let them awaken you.
 
Otis is recovering slowly and surely at the clinic (though prayers + good vibes for the little guy are always welcome!), and I am feeling grounded back in my heart and ready to elevate to this new level I’ve been called to. I have leaned on my support systems hard the last few days, and I am full with more gratitude that my heart’s work allows me to be a support and guide for others through the ebbs and flows of life. Each of my own trials awakens more compassion in me, and each allows me to clear more resistances and allow more higher energy. The highs and the lows are both my teachers, and for both I am grateful. If there’s any way I can be of service to you in healing and gaining perspective through your own trials, please reach out.

Life will bring you joys and life will bring you pains. The joys teach us faith, trust and show us all that is possible, all we are reaching for. The pains awaken the strength, resilience and compassion in us. Hold both sacred in your heart, for both hold the key to your highest growth. 

With love,
ayah  
 

Soul Callings

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Hi beautiful souls, 

What a year… and we're only one month in! Anyone else feel like you've lived a third of the year in the past month?! :) 

It’s been a joy to share so much with so many of you already. Across the board, common themes are arising. Many of us are being called to level up in our connection to our heart, our intuition, and our soul. We’ve seen much tumult around the world, and there is a greater call for you to show up and shine in all the ways you were always meant to. This was the call of this week’s full moon lunar eclipse in Leo – there is no more playing it small!

So, how do we step into our highest callings? 

There is opening to all the magic of your soul. Following your joy. Taking in the beauty that surrounds you in so many ways. Resting in love. Noticing the serendipities and inspirations that show you all the glimmers that lie beyond the mind’s analytical reach. This is the opening.

And then, equally as important, there is the courage to take a hard look at what isn't so pretty. In the system of yoga, an integral piece of the process of connection to our soul is actively working through our vasanas, the negative tendencies of the mind (judgment, fear, anger, etc.) that hold us back from our highest evolution. In energy healing, we also work through your emotions and energy system to see, understand, and then let go of what has been buried. We listen to our body as the mirror it is, seeking to holistically heal the root of imbalances rather than just bandage the symptom. All this takes accountability, a willingness to show up fully instead of glossing over, sweeping away, or making excuses for. Whatever is holding you back must be fully seen to be released. This is the clearing.
 

Making space

As you clear lower level vibrations, emotions, thought patterns and tensions, you have more space to see and hold your highest visions and highest light, to connect with that which is so much greater than your body or mind alone.
 
Our bodies and minds are not infinite. They cannot hold more and more and more, and so we must actively clear away clutter when we want to welcome in fresh, uplifting energy, thoughts, and feelings. If you want to redecorate your home, it doesn’t quite work to push all your old stuff in a corner, cover it with a cloth, and try to place the new around it. Doing so would make you feel suffocated, and wouldn’t yield a pretty result.

It is the same with our body, mind and heart. We must take time to clear out the old to welcome in the new. This is why we attend to our healing. This is why we remain committed to our practices. This is how we grow, by listening and responding to the whispers of our body, mind, heart and soul. Actively choosing the higher over the lower. Being brave and courageous with every step we take.
 
If things are feeling serendipitous and joyful – that is your soul knocking, reminding you of your highest essence. Don’t shy away from it! Open up. If things are feeling heavy or dense – that too is your soul knocking, letting you know it's time to release. Don’t shy away from this, either. Be with it. Heal it. Release it with love.

We all get both types of knocks often. Embrace it all. As long as we are here being human, there is always work to be done and growth to be had. This is no reason to give up hope. From my own experience, I can attest the more we attend to our inner work, the more beautiful and magical our journey becomes, the more present we are, and the more fully and richly we live and feel.
 

We're all in this together

I can also attest – you are not alone in your journey, and you need not do this big work alone. If your soul is calling and you're ready to dive deep, come connect for a healing, class or workshop. I’ve cultivated more spaces for us to grow with each other, including my new New Moon Ritual circle, SundayRestoration, and the Art of Intuition deep-dive. There are a handful of spaces left for the New Moon Ritual and Art of Intuition Workshop – let me know if you're in :)
 
We are being called this year to attune more to our feelings – not just our thinkings – and listen more to our wise inner guidance system. I've recommended some practices at the end of this email to help you tune in. As well, stay connected on Instagram or Facebook (make sure you click 'follow' + 'see first' so it doesn't get lost :), where I've been sharing some more of my heart wisdom this year.

Stepping into your soul's calling is not just about what you do in the world, though that is a part of it. More so, it about who you came here to be, owning all the beautiful qualities you hold and not being afraid to let them shine. 2018 is not playing around. I can feel it in my bones that this year is going to be a big one for us all… are you ready?! :)
 
Sending you all my love in this month of love,
ayah 

New Beginnings

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Clean Slate

What would you do if you moved to a new city? Free from the tethers of the past. Free from other people's ideas or attachments to who you are. Free from your own stories and expectations about what you "should" uphold.

If you were given a clean slate, how would you craft your story? How would you walk in the world? Which communities would you seek out? What shape would your dreams take? Who would you give yourself permission to be?

Spend some time — on your cushion, your mat, your bath, with your journal —envisioning what this may look like. Allow yourself full freedom. Allow yourself full connection. Allow your fullest, highest vision. Let it all in.

Now — how can you bring this vision to life without a big external move, but rather an internal shift? This practice isn't about erasing your past. It's about giving yourself permission to envision a clean slate, and then working to bring that energy in to your current life. Right where you are. Right as you are. 

Too often we hold ourselves in from expressing our truest nature. We hold ourselves in our own constraints and all the ideas and judgments of others. When we constrain, we block our flow with our highest self and impede our healing and evolution. When we free the reigns, we learn to allow and surrender to the present moment and all the magic it offers us.
 

How will you feel? 

I love the new year. It's full of promise. Fresh energy. New hopes. New dreams.

In place of hard-set new year's resolutions, personally, I'm all about intentions — the ways I want to feel, be and move in the world. These qualities act as signposts for my growth and action, but still allow me to stay in a state of flow and surrender, with all the twists and turns life brings. My intentions inform my state of being, and they inspire all my doing.

Bringing ourselves back to the first practice — if you freed yourself from all constraints, who would you be? How would you move? How would you feel? 

How can you bring this in to the new year?
 

2018, let's do this!

This month, two beautiful new events to practice and grow together. January21, I'm leading a slow and sweet yoga flow to open us up for all the magic my dear sister Catie Fenn has to share in  The Circle: Surrender Series. We're so excited to share this night with you... last year we both practiced the true art of surrender, and learned how much magic it brings in :) 

January 22, I'm diving into another favourite area with Tap Into Your Intuition, in collaboration with the amazing women of The Quiet Co and Health Hut. If leading with your heart is on your new year's intention list, this one's a must. This is an intro to intuitive theories and practices to connect to your inner guidance, designed as a complement to my more intensive Art of Intuitioncoming in March. 

More details on all events are below, and as always, all levels are welcome. Given past track record, both will likely sell out... grab your spot soon :) 

If you'd like to work together 1:1 this month, healings (in-person or remote) offer you the space to reset and renew your body, mind, and heart, and connect with your soul to allow your highest visions for the year in. As always, each session provides you intuitive guidance and wellbeing practices to help you stay in harmony. I'm also available for private meditation and/or yoga instruction to get you set up with a beautiful routine for connection this year. And if wellness is on your office's radar for the new year, take a peek at the corporate + group offerings I'm bringing out in 2018 :)

If you'd like to book a session, have questions on an event, or just want to share your intentions for the year (I'd love to hear!) — I'm always here.

May this year bring you many blessings, much growth, and lots of love. May you come closer to seeing the vastness that already lies within you, and may you share more of your beautiful light with the world. May we all be happy, free and at peace, and may we hold hope for all to come. 2018, let's make some magic!

With love,
ayah x

Reflections. Rituals. Radiance.

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Taking Time to Reflect

Close your eyes.
Take a few deep belly breaths.
See yourself on January 1, 2017.
Where were you? Who were you with? How did you feel?

Spend a few moments connecting with your sweet self at this time.

Then, bring to mind you now, as you are.
Where are you? How is your heart? How have you grown?

Spend some time with yourself here. Feel in to the highs and the lows. Let the lessons that come to mind seep deep in to your bones. Know that there is no going back. And why would you want to? Look how far you’ve come. How much you’ve grown. How beautiful you are. The outside, yes of course. But mostly, I mean inside  – your heart, your mind, your soul. Whether you see it consciously or not now, I promise you are more radiant than you may believe.  

The shorter days and weather are calling us inward. Mercury is in retrograde (not a bad thing, I promise!). Don't skip ahead to the new year quite yet. The last month of the year is perfectly designed to help us reflect on all that was and integrate all we've learned.

2017 transformed much. How did it transform you?


Holiday Presence

I saw this quote from Mother Theresa the other day, and it rang so true for much of my own learnings this year: 

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." 

This rebuilding of our world starts at home. This bringing of peace starts inside. 

The holidays may be joyful for you. They may be challenging. They may be all of the above and more. Wherever you are for the holidays and whatever they bring your way, I encourage you to practice presence. Gently, and with compassion.

As much as you focus on finding the perfect presents for your loved ones, can you also think of how you can gift them with more presence? Maybe this means deeper listening – taking in the fullness of what they share instead of thinking of what you have to share back. Maybe this means practicing replacing any thoughts of judgment to compassion, or thoughts of frustration to empathy. Maybe this means carving out some extra time to extend a helping hand, or asking the simplest and sweetest of questions – “how are you?” Not what is going on in your life, but how is your heart?

To me, the key to presence is no hidden agenda. Being there for someone for the sake of being there for them with the fullness of your heart, without seeking anything in return. Being present, without letting the stories of the past or ideas of the future cloud all that is.
 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for me (ok, I know, it often is :), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I learned the importance of grounding, in my body and in my life. I learned equanimity, taking inspired action without attachment or aversion to the outcome. I learned the power of surrender, how much strength and courage it requires, and how much surprise and sweetness it brings in. I learned to allow, receive and intuit, balancing this with clear plans and action. I learned commitment and patience, the power of a marathon over a sprint. I learned timing is always divine, and the answers are always there when you're ready. 

I saw deeper in to the depths of my spirit.
I helped others see deeper in to theirs. 

On that note - it has been the greatest privilege to continue to work with so many of you, and to meet so many beautiful new souls this year. Thank you for allowing me to help guide you, and thank you for allowing your own guidance in. Thank you for trusting me, but most important, thank you for trusting yourselves.

I know many of the journeys we’ve gone on together involved treading in to new territory, and I thank you for your courage to show up so fully and beautifully as you did. It has been the deepest honour and joy to see how so many of you have grown, evolved, and transformed.
 

A Few More Chances to Gather

Reflection and ritual are all the more beautiful when shared. Join myself and The Quiet Company for a Meditation + Solstice Ritual. We’ll dive deep together, reflecting on all the growth we’ve had this year, and setting our intentions for all to come. Tickets are almost sold out (!), so grab yours soon if it calls your heart. And if the beautiful chaos of the holiday season has you feeling in a frenzy, come join for a healing or Sunday Restoration yoga + meditation to help you restore and recalibrate. 

For those still holiday shopping, I have some of my favourite recommendations from my shop for the high-vibe tribe in your life below :) 

May you have the most beautiful of year-end reflections. May you have the most beautiful of holidays, full of rituals new and old. May you see how far you've come and how radiant you are, as you are, in this moment. I promise.

If there's any way I can be of support as the year comes to a close, I'm always here. 

With love,
ayah x

Traversing the Transition

A practice...

Breathe in for one, two, three four.
Hold for one, two.
Breathe out for one, two, three, four, five, six.

Let each inhale bring in more peace to your body, mind and heart. Let each exhale ground you in to a deeper state of calm. As you hold, in the space of the transition, notice. Notice the fullness of the hold, the ushering in the transition. Notice too that while the rhythmic counting of the breath helps to still the waves of the mind, the mind still may wander. Yet in the space of the hold, it is near impossible for your mind to drift. In the space of the hold, in the space of the transition, you are fully aware, mindful and present. 

How much our breath has to show us, to teach us.

 
Take care in the transition

Fall is here (but thank you mama earth for those bonus days of summer :) – the weather cools, the wind blows, the days shorten. The feeling of transition, and even contraction, is heightened in the fall, and as with any transition, it's easy to feel in limbo and out of sorts. 

Take care in this transition – it can be harsh on our bodies, minds and hearts.

Nourish yourself. Make the switch from cooling foods (smoothies, salads, and other raw foods) to warming ones (porridge, soups, stews, and other cooked foods). Bundle up with all your beautiful layers. Take warm baths with essential oils. Light candles. Keep your home green and blooming with plants and flowers. Stay cozy. Stay warm.

The transition to colder weather calls us inward – listen. Lighten the load on your calendar, and take more space just for you. Take time alone to meditate, journal, and practice self-care in the ways that call you. Give yourself permission to slow down. Attend to your healing. Nest. Restore.

 
Protect your energy

As well, November can be an energetically sensitive month – it’s said this is the time of year where the veils between worlds are thinnest. As you begin to bundle up for the weather outside, take care to add extra layers of energetic protection. Use sage or palo santo to protect your energy before you leave the house. Clear your aura / energy body with a selenite wand when you return home. Carry or wear grounding and protective stones like tourmaline, obsidian, smoky quartz and labradorite.

If you’re feeling extra-sensitive, vulnerable or are experiencing lower energy levels, join me for a healing or yoga + meditation class, both of which will hold the space for you to tap back in to all the light and energy your soul has to offer, allowing you to recharge and restore.

If you’re ready to dive deeper in to self-care, self-healing, meditation, spiritual empowerment, and the world of energy, join me for a full-day Reiki Level I + The Art of Energy training on Sunday, November 12 – just a couple of spots are still open, if one is calling your soul :) 
 

The only constant...

I’ve been through many (many!) transitions in the past decade, and each one has taught me the joys of staying mindful, aware, and awake in what is, not the stories of what was or what might be. The more transitions I've traversed, the more I've learned we are always in flux. There is no arrival to some magical shore where the challenges of life cease. We are always on the journey of becoming. Transitions have taught me the truths and magic of patience, practice and presence.

So too has attention to my breath, particularly the practice above. Our breath teaches us we're always in transition and change. Each inhale, we breathe different particles of air around us, and with each exhale, our cells shift and change in a way they've never been before. Each breath ushers in a new moment that never before was, and will never again be. In this way, we learn the fullness that is presence. The fullness of the traversing the paths we are on. Stay close to your full, deep breaths this fall.

What transitions are you moving through, and how are you weathering them? Send me a note – I’d love to hear from you.

May you find the balance of strength and softness, courage and gentleness, giving and receiving this month. All are divine, and all are worth cultivating.

With love, always,
ayah x

World Mental Health Day

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Shining some light + sending you lots of it on World Mental Health Day 🌺

You are not alone. We all have people close to us who have mental health concerns, and chances are we’ve all struggled ourselves in varying degrees, be it with anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma or more. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison game of what we might see on the surface, but know we all have wounds, pain and suffering. Let’s remove ourselves and each other from pedestals. We are all human, and this is par for the course of our humanness.

Let’s not deny our pain. Let’s shine awareness on our instinct to sweep it under the carpet or numb it (not just drugs or alcohol- food, technology, work, etc...). Let’s acknowledge when and how we are suffering. Let’s see it in its entirety. Let’s move through it head on (with care and compassion), instead of around it in circles. Above all, know whatever you may see or feel does not define you. At your core you are nothing but love. And in more ways than you might realize, you have a lot of love around you exactly as you are.

Let’s not try to walk this path alone. If self-care and self-guided practice isn’t helping, that’s ok. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, therapist, counselor, doctor or healer to talk about different options. Whoever you are most comfortable with is the best place to start.

Care for our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health looks different for each of us. Your recipe will be as unique as you are. Keep exploring to find the paths and tools that resonate with you, and the places and people with whom you feel safest and most yourself.

The conversation isn’t easy. We have so many centuries of stigma to help turn around. But particularly with all that’s happening in our world, now is the time to have the hard conversations and take the courageous steps.

And as you take those steps- be easy. Be gentle. Be compassionate. With yourself and with each other. Remember - at your core, it’s all love. Keep finding your way home to that place.

Always here for you. Always sending you love. Let’s take the best care of each other and this world 💛

Cultivating Compassion

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Shifting tides...

A lot is shifting and evolving in our world.

I know it’s hard to take in what's happening across the globe. Yes, we are seeing a lot of suffering. It's ok to feel the pain of these losses. Just don't let what you hear make you numb or discouraged. Let it awaken you.

Compassion is one of the most beautiful qualities we can hold. And compassion is not born from everything being sunshine and roses. Compassion is born from from intimacy with suffering.

As individuals, we can’t do it all. As communities, we can. Let this be the time we all rise up.
 

How to help in these trying times?

I believe it’s more important than ever to make sure you are in touch with your unique gifts, and sharing them in some form of service to your communities, and in turn, to the world.

Get really close to the call of your heart. Notice what moves you most. Become aware of the gifts you were born to share. Then, go out and share them with your fullest heart. 

This doesn't just mean what you do in your career. It means how you hold space for others. How you lift up those around you. How you treat those whom you view as different than you.

Be there for others. Smile at a stranger. Listen deeply to a friend or family member in need. Extend a hand in whatever way you are able to, be that with time, finances, or prayer. No contribution is too small.
 

Compassion begins with you

How you care for yourself is how you care for others. Be mindful of what you consume. If the news you take in, the food you digest, or the company you keep dims your energy again and again, take time to revisit what you feed your mind, body, and heart. Focus your energy on that which nourishes you.

Rest. Ask for help when you need. Invest in your wellbeing. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable. Be gentle and sweet with yourself. Care for yourself as you would your dearest loved one.

Drop any masks you might be wearing – you know what they are. Ground down in your truth. Know who you really are. Let your mind be in service to your heart’s calling. Let your heart’s calling be in service to the world. We need your light.

Be grateful for all you have. In this exact moment, you have everything you need for your highest growth and service. No more, no less. When we’re awake and aware to all we have, it is only natural we begin to share as much as we can. This is your highest evolution.

Above all, don’t lose your optimism and shine. Feel all you feel, and let it pass through you. Keep your light burning bright.
 

Diver deep in to your heart

Ready to get deeper in touch with your truest self? Come check join me to heal, practice, learn and gather at my freshly updated West Queen West studio... I can't wait to welcome you!
 
This month begins yoga + meditation at the studio. Opening classes on Oct 15 and 18 are PWYC, with all proceeds going to Sojourn House, a local charity that helps newly-arrived refugees settle, integrate and build new beginnings in Toronto.

As well, all in-person purchases for items from my shop will be 15% off this week.... come check out the light in the space and the crystals in person!
 
Sign-ups for my Art of Intuition and Reiki Level I + The Art of Energy workshops are open too. All details below, and experiences from past students are here
 
Know I'm always here for you, and always sending you love. I can't wait to welcome you to the studio, and help welcome you home to all the light already within you. Let's shine brighter than ever.
 

With love,
ayah x
 

Sweet Surrender

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A vision...

I’m led to a vast wall of riches. These aren’t material riches per se, but instead represent my heart’s desires, all I could imagine or seek in this lifetime. I'm in awe of what lies ahead. As I face this wall, I notice I’m gripping on to a handful of similar riches. They’re not 'bad' by any means. But it's very clear what's in my palms in no way compare to the vastness that’s ahead of me.
 
Then, I understand why I’m here. I realize if I release and offer what’s in my hand, I'll reach what's ahead of me. Logically, this is an easy investment.
 
And yet – I can’t let go. I’m trying, but my grip is tight. Why? Because what’s in my hand is what I know. It’s what I’ve carried around with me up to this point. My attachments. It holds with it some measure of safety perhaps, but mostly the comfort of the idea of control. 
 
The vast wall of ahead of me represents what the energy of my soul is capable of, if I relax, let myself be guided, and take inspired action accordingly. What I grip in my hands represents what my mind is capable of, if I attempt to hold on and control the ride. 

This vision came while in a deep meditation with my teacher Amma at her ashram in India this winter, and it carried a potent lesson for me around surrender. It clearly illuminated my mind's strong desire to know and control what’s going to happen, and what could happen if I released that grip.

Since then, I’ve been working on a sweet surrender – away from the attachments of my ego mind, and towards the call of my heart. This is far from passive. To me, surrender is not an “I give up,” or “I’ll sit back and wait for everything to roll in for me.” Rather, surrender is ceasing resistance – letting go of the internal battle, and learning to swim with the tide and let the waves of your life carry you where you have always meant to arrive to. You use the beautiful intelligence of your mind in service to your heart's lead, not as the sole captain of the ship.

Far from surrender being unsavory, I think it’s one of the most courageous things we can do in service to our hearts. Surrender requires we stay alert – listening deeply to our intuition, noticing the synchronicities around us, and leaning in towards them. It requires we learn to adapt as the tide shifts. It requires a broader faith that there is more to our lives than we may consciously see at the moment, and a trust in where the call of our heart is lifting us to.
 

Let's practice together

As we slip in to the changing currents of fall, I invite you to join me in surrender. What are you resisting? What are you holding on to or trying to control? Where and how can you cease the internal battle?

And... where might you go?

Can you hold your highest visions and heart’s longings, and take inspired action towards them –  without attachment to how and when they will manifest?

Can you open to surprises and synchronicities, trusting there are no accidents in your path?

Can you relax, open and align your body, mind and heart, and swim with the current your intuition is leading you towards?

Surrender offers many gifts. Perhaps paradoxically, the deeper I've let go of my mind’s reigns on its own notions and projections, the more beautiful opportunities I've found arise. The deeper I've surrendered, the clearer the path ahead of me has become. The deeper I’ve surrendered, the more faith and trust I’ve built, and the more peace of mind I’ve found to rest in. 

As always, I'm here to help in any way I can offer. Lots of opportunities to practice and study together this fall – yoga, meditation, and The Art of Intuiton and Reiki Level I + The Art of Energy workshops – as well as healings to help kickstart your journey in to the sweetness of surrender.

With love,
ayah 

Heart Wisdom

A few years ago, I spent some time working with a Shaman in Costa Rica. We were chatting one day, her sharing some wisdom and context to some of my experiences. Near the end of our chat, she looked at me and smiled. “Muy analítico!” she said, “You think so much with your head… you need to move more from your heart.”

I burst in to tears – I knew this was the core of the healing work I knew I was called there to do. It's a reminder that's come through all my teachers on the healing and spiritual path since, and a constant practice of mine.

A few weeks ago, I had the blessing to be with my spiritual teacher, Amma, who was visiting from India. I went to her with some questions, of course from my mind (see - I said it was a constant practice ;), and as I stood by her, I felt a strong call to shift my attention away from my mind's questions, and into my heart. There, resting in this space, without her saying a word, I had all the answers I needed, and saw all in front of me in a space of pure clarity and deep love.
 

When we move from the heart...

We move from a space of love and compassion, for ourselves and others.

We act in the highest form of service, and away from ways we might consciously or unconsciously enslave ourselves or others.

We move away from fear, and towards our highest power.

Our heart connects us to our inner wisdom that is beyond our analytical mind. When we connect to this space, we connect to our intuition, our highest selves, the highest consciousness. In our mind-driven society, it's not an easy practice to move from our heart. It takes practice, trial and error, and a constant remembering.

The more we practice listening to the call of our heart, the less we have to turn outside us for answers. The more we courageously follow our heart, the clearer the path ahead of us becomes. 
 

On my end...

Exciting news! As many of you know, I'm currently subletting my West Queen West studio space. Well, the universe blew open some pretty magical doors, and I'm following my heart to officially take over the lease this fall :) 

Toronto family, I'll be in town until August 15, and back mid-September - send me a note if you want to pop in for a heart-focused healing in the next week or two! Orangeville/Headwaters family, I'll be near you for this period for healings, workshops, and lots of yoga classes at Discover Your Yoga - see the schedule here!

I'm cooking up lots of exciting events for the fall... stay tuned, and as always, stay in your heart :) 

With love,
ayah

Seeking Stillness

The light. The warmth. The extra bounce in our step... it's here! Happy summer, beautiful family :) 
 
This summer, inspired by some of my most restorative moments of childhood and travels abroad, I’m taking time for stillness. It’s so easy in our world to fall in to the trap of always ‘doing.’ Work has its own demands, and we tend to follow a similar pattern in our time off – filling space with plans, people, activities, books, TV shows, podcasts, etc. etc.… our calendars end up packed to the brim, and save for sleep, we find ourselves in very few moments to truly restore.
 
Summer changes things. Summer offers us beautiful moments to just be. Basking in the glow of the sun. Taking in the sunset. Sharing time with loved ones in parks, on docks, in backyards, simply being together.
 
This summer, take time to be. Take time to unplug. Take time to breathe deeply. Take time to meditate. Take time just for you. Take time to connect. Take time do absolutely nothing at all. How sweet does that sound?
 
One of the most nourishing places to practice stillness is outdoors. Sneak in every little moment outside that you can. Turn off the AC and let the breeze blow in. Summer is the most expansive time for nature, when everything – the light, the plants, the mood of us all – is at its fullest. There’s so much to marvel at, so much nature offers us in this time of expansiveness – find moments of stillness to take it all in, eyes and heart wide open.
 
I can promise you this – the time you take just to be is equally as important as the time you take to do. When we take time to surrender the constant activity and just be, we refuel our whole being – relaxing our body, calming our mind, and reconnecting to the energy of our soul. We break routine, recharge our batteries and refresh our creativity… you may be surprised to find what comes on the other end of your ‘be’-ing time :)

A stillness challenge for the month: the full moon comes to its peak just after midnight EST on Sunday, July 9th – if it calls you, stay up Saturday evening to bask in its light at its fullest. In Capricorn this month, it offers us up lots of grounding energy. Set an intention of which old habits you’d like to release, and let the light of the moon wash them away from the corners of your mind.

In whichever ways you seek stillness this summer, remember, this is not a rigid stillness we’re seeking. It’s a softening stillness. A nourishing stillness. A clarifying stillness. A coming home. A gift to yourself. Enjoy it fully.
 
May you find many magical moments under the light of the sun and the moon this month. As always, here for you in any way I can help, whenever you feel the call :) 

With love,
ayah x

Spring Cleaning

’Tis the season for spring cleaning 🌱

Some big changes and transformations seems to be calling many of us this month… and lots is being called to the surface to clear. This was a beautiful reminder amongst it all - change is good!

First up in the process of change is often a call to let go. Far too often we hold ourselves back from all that could be because we stubbornly hold on to all that was - old thoughts, emotions, goals and dreams. We let our heart's desires drift because of our mind's tight grip on its "plan." When we hold on to what was, we can't see where we’re really at, and where we might go.

So, join me in some spring cleaning. Detox your body and mind, clearing physical and mental toxins that slow you down. Make space in your homes and your heart, releasing items and emotions that don’t nourish you. If you're in a place or have people around you that that don't light you up and make you feel like the truest you... let them go with love. Be grateful for all you've shared, but know when it's time to move on. Whatever, whoever and wherever isn't serving your highest growth - let go.

And a beautiful thing happens when we let go... we find all this new Spaciousness. Lightness. Freedom. We can finally see with clear eyes all the beauty right in front of us. We can finally hear the quiet voice of our intuition leading us forward.

If life seems to be pushing you in a new direction, don't resist. Let go of the old, and welcome in all the magic ahead.

Sending you love, always x

Coming Home

I'm back in Toronto, and nestled in a new space to call home.

This idea of home has been at the forefront of my mind and heart for the past few years. It began in the summer of 2014, on my first night at my first Burning Man. I had managed to get separated from my group of friends, and was worried about finding my way back to my camp on the other side of this temporary city that felt like another planet. Amidst my uncertainty in this otherworldly place, a strong knowing came to me from the depths of my intuition – “You will find your way home.”

This washed over me with relief. I trusted my inner compass was leading me in the right direction, and that I would indeed find my camp (which of course, I did :).

That said, as I walked, this message seemed to expand and take on a broader context. This wasn’t just about finding my camp. This was a broader affirmation from my intuition. I would always find my way home – to where I was supposed to live, to the people I would share my life with, and to the work I was to share with the world. In the midst of my mid-twenties angst about where I was supposed to be and how, this was a wave of relief. There was no need to worry or doubt, or struggle or fight. Every step I took on this path, one way or another, was leading me home.

The deeper I went, the more I began to realize this sense of home was already inside me. The more I moved from my head and into my heart, the more I would realize that at every moment, I was exactly where I needed to be. During any difficulty, I could drop in and find home – a space of safety and comfort, where any guidance I needed could be found.

This maxim, “you will always find your way home,” guided many of the adventures and lessons of that year’s festival. It also led me to a daily meditation practice, where I truly found that internal space of home I could refuel in every day. It let me deeper into my spiritual explorations, which ultimately led me full-time into this path of the heart.

A year-and-a-half ago, after leaving my job in sales, I moved out of my apartment, moved my stuff back to my family’s home, and packed up my trusty backpack for nearly six months of traveling. Since then, I’ve found home in fifteen countries, across guest houses, hotels, hostels, airports, one tent (it was glamping, to be fair :), shared homes, friends’ couches and spare rooms, my family’s home, and finally now, a little space to call my own – for the next few months, at least ;) With all this movement across countries, cultures and spaces far from my own, it was tough to find the comfort of home in any external spaces. I had to go within. 

I can now see what beautiful training this was, as this work of coming home to one’s self – peeling away the layers that aren’t truly you, and connecting to the peace, ease and light already within you – is the heart of the work I now share with others through yoga, meditation and healing.

With the move on my mind, I explored this idea of coming home with my meditation and yoga groups last week. Spring is upon us, and the beautiful weather often carries a desire to be outside as much as possible, bouncing from backyards to patios to festivals and more. With all this movement, it can be easy to get swayed from our centre and lose our balance. This is the meditation exercise I shared with my students to find calm in the chaos, their centre, and their home within themselves. May it guide you as well:
 

Meditation // Coming Home to Yourself

Close your eyes. Find a grounded seat, with your palms facing downward on your knees. 

Begin to scan your body, starting from the crown of your head, all the way down to your toes. If you encounter any spaces of tension as you do this scan, gently rest your attention on this area and direct your breath here to help open the space.

After you reach the tips of your toes, move your attention back up to the crown of your head. Begin another body scan, this time with the intention of finding home in yourself. Trust your intuition when you reach this place. You will feel an opening, a sense of peace, and grounding.

Spend the next few minutes resting in this place. If you’d like to use a mantra to help you settle in, you can repeat to yourself the words of one of my favourite poets, Nayyirah Waheed:

 Nejma // Nayyirah Waheed

Nejma // Nayyirah Waheed

Spend the next few minutes coming home to yourself.

Gently move your hands to this area on your body that feels like home. As you rest your hands here, send your breath to this area as well. Spend a few minutes connecting deeper to this space.

When you’re ready to come out of your meditation, place your hands back on your lap. Take a few deep breaths, feeling your belly rise as you inhale, and fall as you exhale. Spend about a minute focusing on your breath. Gently open your eyes.

Whenever you feel something pull you out of your centre, come back to this space. Focus your attention and breath in this space. If possible, close your eyes and rest here for a few minutes. In this space, you are protected and grounded. In this space, you are at ease, at peace and connected to your light. In this space, you are home.


May all your explorations and journeys continue to lead you home.

With love,
ayah x

Welcoming

 welcoming a new day in ella, sri lanka

welcoming a new day in ella, sri lanka

One of the things I’ve been exploring since I’ve been home is the idea of welcoming - greeting whatever shows up at your doorstep from a place of calm, equanimity and openness.
 
Sometimes this guest at your doorstep may be an exciting new opportunity or person that enlivens you and lights you up. Can you welcome this guest with a deep gratitude, knowing one of your heart’s desires has come to you? The more we welcome with gratitude all the goodness in our life, the more flows to us, and the happier we find we are with all we already have.
 
Sometimes this guest might be a challenge or loss you didn’t ask for, and might not be quite so happy to see. Can you welcome this guest with a calm acceptance that it’s here? Can you soften into it instead of resisting? It’s from this place of acceptance that we can see the lesson in this challenge – how it can help us grow – and how capable we are of moving through it.

On my end, I look forward to welcoming you! I’m moving into a new healing studio space in West Queen West at the end of the month, which will be home base for healing sessions and workshops. I look forward to welcoming you into it, and having many of you finally meet my sidekick Otis, who’s been training in the secrets of the yogic path ;)
 
Whether it’s for a healing session, workshop, or just to come by for a tea, I’d love to hear how you’ve been and help you in any way I can to welcome in more calm, clarity and ease this year.
 
May you open the door wide with welcoming for all that shows up for you, knowing it’s all come for your highest growth and good.
 
With love,
ayah x 

Flying High + Grounding Down

 atop triund, soaking in the magic of the himalayas

atop triund, soaking in the magic of the himalayas

Something special carried me up here.

This 25K hike to Triund was one of the most challenging I've done, yet somehow, I barely felt it. My body seemed to float up the rocky paths. The month of intensive yoga certainly played a role, yet I couldn't help feel the magic of the Himalayas was also at work.

Like this hike, the past few months in India have been intense, exhilarating, strengthening, inspiring and clarifying. And like this hike, through the thrills and the challenges, I always felt carried.

Last year, I found a lot of quiet moments and space to integrate all I experienced, which helped me acclimatize to this new path as a healer, teacher and entrepreneur. This year, India had another plan for me. I found myself constantly in motion, surrounded by others, and on a disciplined schedule... no easy feat for this free bird!

Now, I can see what was at work. I pushed my edges in mind, body and spirit, and found more harmony amongst them in the process. I cut distractions and vices, and found more space for both inspired action and quiet restoration. I opened new pathways to my intuition and trusted myself more. I upped my discipline, focus, commitment and endurance. I flew high, and grounded down stronger than ever.

Like the energy of these mountains pulled me up, the energy of India stoked my fire into action. I have no doubts this was preparation for the work that's to come as I expand my practice, and integrate and share the inspiration of the last few months.

On the ride to my Delhi hotel yesterday, my driver sweetly asked me, "Ma'am, how much feeling you have for my Indian culture?" It took me a second to understand, and then my heart lifted. "I love it very much," I replied. We smiled knowing smiles. There is so much treasure here, and a special energy that blows open doors for us to really see the treasure we hold inside. Yet again, India threw my expectations out the window, and still managed to give me all the clarity and growth I sought.

With much feeling, I'm wrapping up this chapter. With a full heart, I'm welcoming the next. Now begins a new adventure... :)

Now Begins the Practice of Yoga

  Atha yoganushasanam // Now begins the practice of yoga - Yoga Sutra 1:1

Atha yoganushasanam // Now begins the practice of yoga
- Yoga Sutra 1:1

Back to earth, back in my beloved Rishikesh, and back to my body with a new challenge! 

I flew to some amazing heights in meditation at the ashram, and also saw clearly the need to ground down and integrate it all. Years ago, a friend told me about healers he knew who didn't properly strengthen and care for their body, and ended up getting sick. "It's like a strong current running through a weak wire," he said. That always stuck with me, and my experiences at the ashram crystallized how important it is for me to keep my body strong, clean and clear for the work I do in the world.

So, quite spontaneously (though some saw it coming... :), I signed up to do my one-month yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, with the ever-amazing @hathayogaworld and @yogacabin. After this beautiful puja (fire ceremony) for blessed new beginnings, twelve of us yogis threw ourselves into twelve-hour days of study, including four hours of asana (physical) practice each day. A few days in, I have more strength, discipline and determination for all that's to come.

On that note, I wanted to share how inspired I've been by all of you fighting the good fight with your marches, your voices and your light. While it was a bit of a shock to come out of the ashram bubble to all the news at home, my heart is hopeful seeing how many people are stepping up and standing up. I've been sending love and prayers from India on the daily, and my fire is burning to join all of you to help hold each other up, heal these divides, and bring more light to our world.

Until then, sending lots of shanti, shanti, shanti to all of you!