May you blossom through yoga and qigong!

May Offerings from
Karusia Nirmala

Beloved Reader!

Happy May! Isn't the joy palpable? Every one of us is delighted to feel the warmth of the sun and the breezes, aren't we? Longer days, birds singing, spring flowers popping... we are all relaxing, loosening up and shedding layers. It's a natural time to clear out the old and bring fresh energy to our endeavours.

I chose this month's image for two reasons. The first is the feeling of pure love expressed in this image. I see union, reciprocation and harmony. When I simply sit and gaze on these two sweeties, I feel happy and calm... And this is an example of the transforming power of art. It's one of the reasons I love Tarot so much too; through image, colour and free-association, we can come to new insights that free us. The second is my curiosity of all things Polish, as I continue my personal roots journey. Jozef Wilkon is a renowned Polish artist who paints and sculpts animals in a tender and skilful way. (Please click on his name if you wish to take a lovely internet detour.)

I also love dance, yoga, qigong, tarot and energy healing! These are all wonderful and complementary methods for self-awareness and self-transformation. Getting stuck in old ways and habits bogs us down. The truth is that we are never too old to continue growth and evolution. But sometimes we bump up against painful memories, thoughts and emotions... and this is when it is crucial to remember to love ourselves. In fact, it is so important that I will repeat it! We need to love ourselves.

I also love and believe in synchronicity. Sometimes the right thing or person comes into our environment at the perfect time. Is this random, or is it planned? It doesn't really matter, because what's most important is that it is a gift, a blessing. And we want to be available to notice these magical moments...

I had already composed a first draft of this month's newsletter on the theme of discerning between thoughts that liberate and thoughts that keep us stuck. I wasn't 100% happy with it yet, and knew I would play with a rewrite. And then a post that I had shared last year on FaceBook popped up in my newsfeed....I realized with a flash that the article that had magically appeared had it all! Everything that I had wanted to express was right in front of me, in a wonderfully clear and succinct form. This made me feel light and happy, and sometimes this is the criterion I use in order to make a decision. Which option makes me feel light and free, and which option makes me feel meh or heavy? 

So, I would like to introduce you to my "guest columnist", Jiddu Krishnamurti, a great thinker, teacher and yogi. This piece is about the art of deep listening, of really hearing what is there, instead of jumping to conclusions or opinions. I have added my own captions for each paragraph; otherwise all the words are his, and they are filled with wisdom.

The Art of Deep Listening

I hope that you will listen, but not with the memory of what you already know; and this is very difficult to do. You listen to something, and your mind immediately reacts with its knowledge, its conclusions, its opinions, its past memories. It listens, inquiring for a future understanding.

Become Your Own Witness

Just observe yourself, how you are listening, and you will see that this is what is taking place. Either you are listening with a conclusion, with knowledge, with certain memories, experiences, or you want an answer, and you are impatient. You want to know what it is all about, what life is all about, the extraordinary complexity of life. You are not actually listening at all.

Stillness is Your Ally

You can only listen when the mind is quiet, when the mind doesn't react immediately, when there is an interval between your reaction and what is being said. Then, in that interval there is a quietness, there is a silence in which alone there is a comprehension which is not intellectual understanding.

The Art Of The Pause

If there is a gap between what is said and your own reaction to what is said, in that interval, whether you prolong it indefinitely, for a long period or for a few seconds - in that interval, if you observe, there comes clarity. It is the interval that is the new brain. The immediate reaction is the old brain, and the old brain functions in its own traditional, accepted, reactionary, animalistic sense.

The Gift

When there is an abeyance of that, when the reaction is suspended, when there is an interval, then you will find that the new brain acts, and it is only the new brain that can understand, not the old brain.

--Jiddu Krishnamurti
Thank you for reading, and I leave you with this thought: Imagine what our relationships could be like if we could all listen to one another in this way? 

Sending Blessings and Radiant Love to You,
Karusia Nirmala

May Public Classes

All classes are held in the Amenity Room at 21 Nassau St. Please enter through the garden pathway west of the main doors. Mats and props are supplied.

Mondays (no classes May 6)
Hatha Yoga 5:30-6:45pm. By donation.
Women's QiGong  7-8:15pm. $15.

Thursdays (no class May 31)
Yoga Nidra 7-8:15pm. $20.

Special Workshop on May 25: The Healing Power of Breath
(see details below)

The Healing Power of Breath
Friday May 25 from 7-9:30 pm. $40.
21 Nassau Street, in the Amenity Room 

"Pranayama is the best method to remove mental chatter during meditation."
~ Baba Hari Dass ~

Learn how to release stress, anxiety and tension, and how to consistently create "the art of the pause" that sets us up to make new and better choices. We will employ simple and effective techniques of breath, movement and mindfulness that bring us to stillness and balance.

Please join me for a heart-centered journey of the breathwork practices that make up "The Four Purifications". These are four techniques that attune the nervous system in general, and also address the brain, belly and pelvic floor specifically. The result is a feeling of deep calm in body, energy and mind.  My beloved guru, Baba Hari Dass, created this flow to give us a fool-proof recipe that balances us and brings us to spontaneous meditation, without taking a lot of time to get there. How practical is that?!

I have been practising this system since 1998 and can wholeheartedly vouch for its elegance, wisdom and effectiveness. These practices are safe and accessible to all, and a
ll levels are welcome.

The practices will be interspersed with simple and fun dance movement flows that complement each component. Handouts and light refreshments will be provided. 
Registration required, RSVP to
Yoga Alliance CEU's are available.

photo of Monet's garden by Karusia Wroblewski, 2015
I teach you how to move, think and breathe in new ways that free you to be the best you can be. For this, I draw on a lifetime of exploration in dance, anatomy, prayer, yoga, meditation and qigong. I bring the sensibility of the artist and mystic to healing. My medicine chest includes: 

Traditional hatha yoga. Ancient teachings for modern times. Blending movement, breath, concentration and meditation to build strength, symmetry, flexibility and equipoise. 

Women's QiGong. The cultivation of universal healing energy in order to enhance vibrant health, inside and out. Based on Daisy Lee's Radiant Lotus Women's QiGong, a form designed to empower, connect and delight women everywhere.

Yoga Nidra. An extended relaxation accompanied by guided imagery that is guaranteed to reset, rest and refresh your psyche and your physical body on deep levels.  

Classes are small, which allows me to customize for your needs. All levels are welcome, and personal modifications are offered. My training as a yoga therapist gives me many tools to help you balance your biomechanics, your nerves, your hormones and your emotions while having fun and learning new skills that will boost your vitality and well-being. My background as an artist helps you to locate beauty, harmony and magic on your path. ~

I also offer the following services by appointment. Home visits are available. 

~ Private Classes
Yoga Therapy
Tarot and Oracle Card Readings 
Instruction in Breath and Meditation

Reiki Healing and Laying on of Hands
~ Customized Intuitive Healing
Public Speaking and Education

Tarot: Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is constantly in motion. Our lives are coloured by karma, namely the destiny that we inherited from our ancestors and from the choices we have made in our lives, as well as those choices that have been made for us.

And, (a big And), we can temper these influences by the choices we make going forward. If we remain unconscious, we are likely to continue habituated patterns and habits. But fs we are choosing to wake up in our lives, we can make new and better choices that will shape the course of our lives in life-giving directions!

Tapping into stillness every day, and using the calm moment found in the pause between impulse and reaction, we can become "teflon-coated". In that blessed moment, we can choose a new response, and hence, a new future. This is true liberation.

This card is from the "The Paulina Tarot"  by Paulina Cassidy.
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