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Yoga's Stillness Within Sound

BY Parvati

I AM LIGHT CONTINUES TO SHINE
Thank you for your continued support in the launch of “I Am Light”. Today I noticed that video plays are at 25,000 views after only a few weeks of being on Youtube. This makes me very pleased. I felt such love and joy move through me when making this song and music video. I am delighted to know the light there within is moving others worldwide.
A reminder that “I Am Light” is on iTunes and Google Play. Each download supports the song charting, which shares more light, and give me an opportunity to help realize MAPS: the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary. If you already own a copy – big thank yous! Make sure you rate and review the track so that those who have not heard of it will feel drawn to check it out.
THE REIGNING PRINCE
Lots of action this week for “I Am Light”, as Rishi (C.E.O. of my label Kupid’s Play) was in Los Angeles meeting with radio and record executives to promote the song and other music I have on the way. Sadly, while on his return home, we learned that Prince had suddenly died. I immediately thought of how he was just here to do a show in Toronto, only a couple of weeks ago. Then I felt a wave of deep gratitude for the legacy of creative wealth Prince leaves us. I hope wherever he may be, that he is at peace and feels fulfilled in the rich gifts he gave the world.
In an interview a few years ago with the Toronto Star, one of the biggest newspapers in Canada, Prince said, “ONE JUST NEEDS 2 STUDY THE FACT THAT MUSIC SEEMS 2 SOUND BEST WHEN THERE IS SOME ‘REVOLUTION’ INVOLVED.” The fiery light that pierces through perceived obstacles, the dedication to voice that which has not yet been spoken, the vision to stay true to that voice when it may seem out of phase with the mainstream is akin to how I feel about the power of music and the role artists can have. The creative process to me is about something so much larger than the small “me”. Music in my world is about giving voice to a new wave of consciousness, the rise in awareness that we are all connected as one Earth family. It is about the I Am revolution.
Rishi and I will share more about our remembrance of Prince in this month’s Parvati Magazine, coming soon on the theme of Nurturing. In the meantime, I would like to share more with you about what fuels my creative work, and what creates the foundation of my life: my yoga practice!
AWAKENING THE YOGI
I became aware of Yogic arts when I was about ten years old. When I was over to play at my school friend’s house, I saw her mother, a tall, beautiful German woman, quietly excuse herself to go into a room in the house for some time. I was never invited into that mysterious room. When the room door would open, it seemed that it pulsated with something I only now understand as the spiritual energy I have seen in yoga studios and meditation halls. After what felt like an expansive, infinite amount of time, my friend’s mom would come out of the strange room and somehow, she seemed magically transformed, radiating, brighter, glowing. I wondered what went on in there. It seemed somehow the fairies were in there helping her with something. All I knew was that I liked it, and wanted to be part of it.
Later I found out it was not magic or mystery that made that room seem so special, but a systematic, disciplined practice and life science called Yoga. She knew that if she did certain breathing exercises, calmed and focused her mind, allowed her body to move into certain positions, she was boosting her life force energy, vitality and sense of inner peace. I later found out she was a long time practitioner of Iyengar Yoga, which I ended up practicing quite extensively.
At 16, I took my first yoga class while studying at McGill University. It was taught by a Sivananda-trained yoga teacher. I distinctly remember how the world seemed richer, fuller and brighter after the class. Each week, the class felt like a homecoming. I would experience a feeling inside of me awaken, something I felt I had always known and also knew I was missing. Without understanding the fullness of what was happening, I sensed something deep within me growing through this weekly practice.
When I switched from McGill to Waterloo University, I continued my yoga classes with an Iyengar teacher, and went deeper into understanding postural alignment. I was in a demanding architecture program that exacerbated the type A personality, which I have learned to soften and release through my yoga practices. Yoga and meditation kept me sane. Classmates noticed I was doing something to manage my stress, so I started to guide a few peers through yoga postures and breathing to help us cope with our demanding schedule and tight deadlines. I guess you could say that was my first experience teaching, though I resisted any such title.
When I first arrived back in Montreal after university to work in a reputed architecture firm, I sought out a yoga school. At the Sivananda Yoga Center on St-Laurent, I became heavily involved with my yoga practice. I took mantra and meditation classes, advanced asana practices and went deeper into my own personal study. When I heard there was a teacher training program offered in India in a few months, I knew I was meant to be there.
I flew into Madras and had my 23rd birthday in Tamil Nadu, South India. A couple days later, I continued South to attended my first teacher training program at the Sivananda Ashram in Kerala. There I was introduced to a classical approach to yoga. I adored the whole program and the experience of daily immersion in the practice and study of yoga. The teacher training program lasted a month, but my time in India lasted a year.
Yoga is immense and also so simple. It comes alive when we practice, when we go within and face ourselves, when we get on the mat and do our exercises and when we bring that expanded spaciousness out into the world and chose to live awakened lives.
One of my favourite sayings by Swami Sivananda is “An ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory.” The saying helps us remember that enlightened action, living awake in the world, is where our true practice exists. We can stay “knowledgeable” in our heads, but if it does not translate into loving and serving more fully, it really does not mean much. Yoga in this way is a practical life science. It helps us live all aspects of life more fully. Yoga is the art of living.
Because of the broad foundation I received from my Sivananda practice, study and training, I have been able to open to a big vision of Yoga and its many layers and meanings. This sparked greater interest in the huge field of yoga, leading me to subsequent training in Iyengar and Scaravelli yoga, as well as study in Ayurveda, astrology, energy work, sound healing and more. All this, coupled with deep listening to the way life-force energy arises within my body/being culminated into the form of yoga I now teach – YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine.
The physical practice of yoga provides a readiness for sitting meditation. It cleanses the body and opens the subtle channels of energy so that in essence, we awaken to the reality that we are part of a much greater whole. The sense of vast interconnection, perfect balance, deep creativity and wise stillness I find through my daily meditation practice creates the forum through which I am able to listen to inner guidance that gives life to my creative works and musical projects.
Whatever way you connect to source, may your life flower through deep stillness and interconnection, knowing that you are vast beyond what you could ever possibly imagine.
Until next time,
Love yourself.
Love others.
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.
Namaste,
Parvati