Buddhism · Meditation · Nepal · photography · Travel · Yoga

Nepal on my Mind: Monks, Sadhus and Astrologers

In my morning class, something urged me to express an experience I had during my time in Nepal. The memory of this experience from last November, as I thought was fading, today came back to me strong. It  has also made me go back into my phone and take a look at some of the… Continue reading Nepal on my Mind: Monks, Sadhus and Astrologers

Buddhism · death · Experience · human interest · inspiration · motivational · Philosophy · Teachers · Yoga

Birthday Reflection: On Life & Death

The idea of impermanence usually creeps up during my birth week. It always has. The thought of my own physical existence and eventual non-existence for some reason becomes a prevalent topic, which I choose to dwell on. This is usually followed by a state of sadness. It’s not the fact that I’m getting older that gets to me, but the thought process that seems to cause for an unsettling debate in my mind. However, this year I feel better equipped to observe the mind and sit with these emotions. Spending that month in Nepal truly equipped me to learn how to deal with emotions that surface: negative and positive.

Last night, leaving my yoga class I learned that a teacher from middle school, very young had passed away. Throughout our adult years, we communicated via social media and shared travel stories and advice. She also was convinced that I bring a photographer along with me everywhere I go and was very supportive during our conversations. She was one of those individuals who did made her happy presence felt during these far and between online convos. This morning, on my way to teach my yoga class, it hit me and in an effort to not walk into my class with red eyes tried to avoid the cry. But the physical response to sadness was stronger than anything my mind or I could control. Naturally, I went into class with a strong message about impermanence and a dedication to this beautiful individual who is no longer with us. With each movement and breath of my students, she remained in my mind and by the end of our practice I sealed in a dedication of her resting in pure peace and bliss. Garine, know that your presence has touched many hearts, many which you may never know.

As the news of death approached, I had plans of seeing my good friend who had recently given birth to a beautiful girl. Conflicting emotions began to collide and not knowing how to deal with the news, I resorted to my first reaction upon hearing news of that caliber: denial. As I got home from yoga class I just needed the quiet. I needed to sit with the thought that even though I physically exist now, in an undetermined amount of time that can change. The death process is unexpected and due to it’s taboo nature, not talked about as much as it should. As I approach the day that I celebrate my birth, I appreciate my existence and every breath that I am taking. As we expanded our breath in and out during yoga class, I reminded my students that we are so fortunate to be able to respire. To move our bodies into shapes and poses makes us even more fortunate. After a sweaty pose, in an upward salute as we brought our palms to touch, I remembered and reminded that it is a “beautiful life and a beautiful day to be alive” as the song “Beautiful Life” by Lost Frequences was playing. We finally sealed that sequence by bringing our palms to heart center. My eyes were less red and a slight smile surfaced. Closed my eyes and remembered the smile of my friend who is no longer with us and imagined the smile of my beautiful friend as she met her newly born girl.

Even if it’s only for today or this particular moment that I can remember to appreciate my expansive breath, my life and those who surround me then I have lived. Completing my 32nd cycle around the sun, I am grateful for all who have smiled to me and filled my heart with love. For my birthday, I wish that everyone be happy. I wish that loss is equally balanced with abundance. Because, today we may hear the news of birth, but tomorrow and quite naturally of it’s contrary phenomenon. How we react and sit with these emotions will guide our own presence. Today, I cry and I smile. Today, I celebrate life and I celebrate death. Today, I celebrate all of you.Because without out, there is no me.

Armenia · Ashtanga Yoga · Breathing · Buddhism · human interest · inspiration

Off The Mat: Living The Spirit of Yoga

Yoga is NOT only about poses and shapes. Yoga is about serving oneself in order to be able to serve others more effectively. Today, my best friend and I are shooting a video for a pilot project we are starting in Armenia. Our vision is to introduce yoga and meditation to individuals who commit their lives to making… Continue reading Off The Mat: Living The Spirit of Yoga

Ayurveda · Buddhism · Instagram · Lifestyle · Love · Spiritual · Travel · Wellness · Yoga

Instagram Giveaway: Eye of the Tiger Mala Beads and OM Essential Oil

Pack Your Mat and the Om Essentials by http://www.briyogi.com is giving away a 108 bead mala necklace acquired in Nepal and a hand blended essential oil. Rules: 1. FOLLOW @packyourmat and @theomessentials 2 Tag 3 or more friends 3. Like this photo (optional: share the photo and love with your friends) Must have a US mailing address;… Continue reading Instagram Giveaway: Eye of the Tiger Mala Beads and OM Essential Oil

Armenia · Buddhism · human interest · inspiration · Meditation · News

What I hope will become of Armenian Genocide commemoration day? 

Every year, since I was a child, I remember patriotic outcalls and calls for recognition. 32 years I occupy this earth and 101 since the genocide, those calls go unanswered. This is the first year I’m not inside the classroom or any other venue where I can teach this history, so I take this opportunity,… Continue reading What I hope will become of Armenian Genocide commemoration day? 

Buddhism · Hinduism · Nepal · spiritual

Easter Detached From Religion

Easter for me means color, vibrancy, rebirth and springing into new things. This colorful lotus mandala I photographed in Nepal during Diwali, represents just that. Because the lotus rises from unclean water to blossom as a pure, uncontaminated flower, it is a symbol of purity and resurrection.     Unattached to organized religion, the idea of… Continue reading Easter Detached From Religion

Buddhism · Meditation · Spirituality · Travel · Yoga

No Talking, Phones or Sex for 30 Days: My Experience At A Nepalese Monastery

Many of you have been asking me about my experience at the monastery, but I was totally keeping it internal for a while. Obsev.com offered to share my story on their platform, so I have been working on putting a fraction of the experience on paper. Check out the full story and let’s start a little Q&A.… Continue reading No Talking, Phones or Sex for 30 Days: My Experience At A Nepalese Monastery

Advice · Buddhism · California · Education · Ethics · Experience · Habit · human condition · human interest · inspiration · Instagram · life · Lifestyle · Los Angeles · motivational · Philosophy · Psychology · Spirituality · Uncategorized · Yoga

LYFT Confessions: The Guy from Juvie, Mexican Grandma and The Girl Who Needed Her Insulin 

Now, did a small part of me stereotype and judge that one from a lower socioeconomic strata will not be tipping me. Yes, of course! Am I proud of that? Not so much. At the end of our ride she pulled out a $5 as would my own grandmother and told me to make sure I buy myself a nice cup of coffee.