Intelligent Design
 
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Every breath signals a beginning and an end.
Every song and spoken word creates universes.
Every decision reverberates through dimensions of time.
Every time you open your eyes, you create a new story.
It’s all so simple, yet expansive beyond your wildest dreams.
It’s all so unknown, yet you are the creator.
Of time, of life, of love,
The far-reaching galaxies of your imagination.
The answers you seek are the questions you create.
You are intelligent design.

 
Letting Go
 
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Autumn sings her hymns of letting go.
Let it go, the leaves whisper
as they transform and release
effortlessly into the ground.
Let it go, shout the voices from my past.
Let it go, begs my karmic path.

And there were times when I let go,
instead of speaking for my truth.
There were times letting go trapped
me in a cycle of complacency.
Rather than fight for what I wanted
or how I felt,
I let it go.
When I asserted boundaries and they
backfired, I surrendered.
I let go of my ego.
I let go of my voice.
I let go of my worth.

And now I know that harmony
doesn’t mean surrender.
It doesn’t mean settling, enduring.
It doesn’t compromise or accept
duty over love.
I know that wanting something happens
for a reason. To teach me
that I’m worthy enough to receive it.
And when doubt stands in the way,
tries to convince me that I’m better off,
or that I should give up,
I let doubt go.

 
The dance of Shakti
 
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The Tantric tradition acknowledges the experiences and pleasures of life as a path to enlightenment. The senses provide keys to the ultimate realization of pleasure and purpose. Being here, being present, and experiencing wonder open the deeper channels to ecstasy and bliss.

The body is a universe in itself, and the movement and vibration of our personal energetic currents determine how we show up and connect. With intention and understanding, the subtle becomes deeply profound and purposeful — showing up in our relationships, offerings, and through every interaction and encounter.

Every breath, every moment contains an ecstatic dance of beauty, pleasure, and transformation. The practice allows us to tap into this power of being. And once you’re there, you’ll never look back. 🧡🍁

 
Reflections on Libra Season
 
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Happy Equinox, Mabon, and first day of Libra season! I love this time of the year (almost) as much as the Summer Solstice window. On the surface, there is much to be appreciated. Beautiful fall colors, plenty of food to be harvested, idyllic temperatures, and the excitement of upcoming holidays. Yet underneath that beauty and bounty there is deep transformative energy. Nature begins her retreat, displaying all that she worked hard to produce. And energetically, we also prepare for hibernation, honoring what we’ve accomplished and letting go of the things that didn’t fit.

The other night as I was falling asleep, I suddenly shot out of bed to write the following words:

“The things you desire are as beautiful and perilous as autumn leaves.

“Look away and all that you love becomes vibrant without you.

“The last of your opportunities fading with the waning sun.”

I will write a longer post about the meaning behind those words eventually, but the big message is *don’t look away.* If there’s something you want, make it a priority before the opportunity passes. It can be so easy to find distractions and excuses, but life is short and we have no idea how long we have. It’s like autumn in New England. It may last three months, it may last three days. But however long it lasts, beauty is there if we open our eyes and hearts to see it. The balance of Libra isn’t about compromising to accommodate the status quo. It’s about learning how to create harmony with all of the things we love and desire — a magical dance of temperance and pleasure. A Tantric dance, if you will. 😉

Because why else are we here, if not to have these transformational experiences of life?

Go for it.

 
Meditative Mind
 
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Resting in the silence,
attention pulled by memories.
Emotions follow energy,
energy attached to words.
The silence becomes a story.
The story becomes a memory.
Until I can’t tell one from the other.
Maybe there are some lessons
I’m not supposed to master.
Never knowing if it’s ego, desire,
conditioning, fate, or karma
that keeps me from the course.
So can I resist the pull,
or let it teach me?
We can’t really regret
unless we try.
And we can’t know ecstasy
until we let go.

 
Hacking the Matrix
 
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I’ve tried the routine thing. It’s a natural human behavior. Oh, I like this... this worked in my schedule... this gave me good results — therefore I should make it a routine. Wake up at the same time, eat the same breakfast, drive the same route, practice the same daily behaviors, eat dinner at the same time, zone out before bed. Sometimes I can flow with some semblance of structure, but my spirit is saying 😱🤬🤯😩🤪

Other times (okay a lot of the time) I like to hack the matrix and do something completely different, reprogramming my brain to embrace (rather than fear) change. (That and it’s just more enjoyable.) Dance party first thing in the morning, reaching out to someone I haven’t talked to in five years, a cold shower, creating mandalas in nature, wearing a dress to clean the house, eating takeout at a mountaintop by sunset, creating a blanket fort, buying plane tickets with no plans, stargazing on the lawn pretending to study planets when I’m really looking for satellites and UFOs. 🔭 🛸 👽

If there weren’t people willing to live outside of the box, resist the norm, and question assumptions, then nothing would ever change. Let’s rewrite the norm so that living in the moment and prioritizing freedom becomes encouraged rather than ostracized. Let’s tear down the power structures that program fear and division by turning off and tuning out the voices until they no longer exist. Start to question and break down every assumption until the only right action is the one that makes you happy and maximizes your potential. Don’t be afraid to pave your own way and break the rules. —>> Make decisions out of love instead of fear.

See you on the other side. 😉

 
Mirroring
 
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We always ask,
What do you want?
What’s stopping you?
But the real question is,
Can you handle what you want?
Are you willing to invite change,
or are you satisfied with wanting?
Does longing make life less boring?
Do you want things to feel out of reach?
Does it fuel your day?
Have the daydreams become addictive?
Do you wait for the “hit” of possibility
to get your cortisol rush?
What have you boxed inside
under the guise of obligation?
What have you pushed away,
gambling with the possibility
that it may never come back?
The hardest questions are those
that get to the truth.
So can you handle what you want?
Can your nervous system accept joy?
Can your heart accept love?
Can your mind accept change?
Can your ego accept the possibility
that maybe everything you’ve ever wanted
has been in front of you all along?

 
Step into your light codes
 
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As you’re upgrading, you’ll encounter many tests. These tests are designed to assess your readiness for the next level and create space to receive new growth and possibilities. Some of these end up being fairly obvious: the same empty promises or hollow words you’ve heard a million times, the bad habit that isn’t serving your highest good, the reappearing business deal you’ve already turned down, a past relationship resurfacing with someone who still isn’t ready, the same triggers that once made you upset but now you see them coming. Most aware and awakened people are able to move through these tests with understanding and grace, knowing when things simply aren’t meant to be.

But sometimes we have situations that occupy so much space and energy, that the simple notion of letting go feels agonizing — even if we know it needs to happen. We hang on, bury the emotions, try to make it fit, distract, hide, repress, run away, make excuses... SO MANY of us are going through this right now. We’re being asked to step up, step out — and in our hearts we know what’s holding us back, but it feels too difficult or painful. I see you.

Letting go of things doesn’t necessarily mean they’re gone forever (although sometimes it does). But it may mean that it just doesn’t fit right now. It may mean that some person/belief/emotion/etc. is holding you back from your truest embodied self. Perhaps when you step into that higher vibration, the thing that once was an obstacle becomes more aligned. Maybe it becomes a distant memory. You never know unless you try.

And it won’t necessarily be easy. The big things become big voids, and those voids need time and space to heal. They need love and attention. They need to be filled with new, light-filled experiences and higher vibrations. They need to be grieved. But through that devotion to your elevation, your light, your dharma, your true self, your embodiment, your empowerment — you’ll discover more magic than you could ever imagine. If you’re in this experience of upgrading, then you’re ready for it. Most likely, you’ve asked for the next level. So step into your light codes. I can’t wait to see you shine. 🙏🏻

 
Frequently Asked Questions about Yoga Teacher Training
 
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Do I have to be an advanced yogi to be in teacher training?

If you’re being called to pursue yoga at a deeper level, then you ARE an advanced yogi. Yoga Teacher Training has nothing to do with your ability to accomplish advanced postures. It offers the framework to (a) help you explore a deeper practice; (b) understand your body mechanics, capabilities and limitations; and (c) help you work with others to empower them to understand their bodies, capabilities and limitations. During teacher training, you may feel motivated to work towards advanced postures — and that’s great but definitely not a requirement. You may instead discover that certain poses don’t work for you, and that’s an important part of the learning experience. It is through this deep discovery into your own practice and your own body that you can then become an informed and empowered guide for others.

I have an injury that limits my practice. Will I be able to keep up?

Again, this is a valuable opportunity to explore how you can accommodate your yoga practice to meet your body where it’s at. You’ll learn about modifications using props, walls, chairs, or posture variations — and you’ll discover through deep inner listening and practice how to maintain a yoga practice even when limitations arise. This will develop the knowledge and skillset to help you become an experienced and informed teacher for others who may be coming to yoga with an injury.

I’m not sure I want to be a yoga teacher. Should I still consider this training?

Absolutely! In fact, I never pursued teacher training with the intention to be a teacher. I just listened to my intuition and then life unfolded in magical ways. When I was in teacher training, I was working a full-time management position, pursuing a master’s degree, traveling for work several times a year, had no intention of changing any of that… and then the practice opened my spirit in ways I never expected. This commitment to study and physical practice will shift your body, energy, and mindset. It’s life-changing. And whether you want to be a teacher or whether you want to discover yoga’s magic through devotion, you’ll never regret following your intuitive guidance.

What kind of yoga are we learning?

This program primarily teaches traditional Hatha yoga using Iyengar-based alignment cues and sequencing. However, my personal practice and body of knowledge is very broad, and it’s important to me that you also receive a broad insight into different styles of yoga. We’ll cover Vinyasa and its origins, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Gentle Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama (breathwork), and much more. My hope is that you feel comfortable exploring and teaching the style(s) that resonate with you.

I might have to miss a class. Should I still apply?

Yes! If you think you might miss more than one class, please contact us, and we can discuss how to make it work. :)

What is the Yoga Warriors program?

Yoga Warriors Teacher Training offers a specific body of knowledge and tools to help you teach evidence-based hatha yoga to manage or alleviate symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Combat Stress (COSR), particularly for veterans, military, first responders and others who have experience PTS or high stress. It is the first and largest program of its kind, and you’ll learn it directly from its founder and developer, Lucy Cimini. In addition to becoming a 200-hour yoga instructor, you’ll also be a certified Yoga Warriors International Instructor.

If you have more questions, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them! :)

 
Mandi GarrisonComment
Your growth is a priority
 
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It’s not selfish to focus on yourself. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary. We’re conditioned to believe that our worth is determined by our ability and capacity to meet everyone else’s needs at all times. But you can devotionally meet your call for service and attend to yourself at the same time.

Lately I’ve been in this energy of inner awakening — knowing something is shifting but not sure what or how. And I know that many of you have been feeling the same thing.

This space is incredibly frustrating for an impatient Gemini, especially since I’m usually clear about my wants and how to attain them. The lack of motivation has me questioning everything. Am I doing the right thing? What should I be focusing on? Where are the signs? What am I creating space for? There seems to be a powerful force field separating me from the computer, and I keep gazing at this pool of untapped potential saying, “not today.”

Early this morning, feeling fed up, I opened my journal and prepared to make a list of priorities, assessing where I need to make space and what my focus should be. But before I even had a chance to hold the pen, that familiar internal voice chimed in, loudly, “Your spiritual growth is a priority.”

And then again.

“Prioritize your growth. Everything else will fall into place.”

I know the message was for me, but I think everyone else needs to hear it. If you’re being called to pause, if you feel unmotivated, if you want to take time for yourself — then please, take time for yourself. If something is shifting, growing, changing, transforming — that energy needs your attention and love. Your growth IS a priority, because it is the exact process that prepares you for bigger things, for serving others, for fulfilling your dharma.

The lows arrive to prepare you for the highs. You simply can’t receive the expanded energy for next level stuff unless you’ve created the space and emotional fortitude necessary to do so. Honor your word, your commitments and responsibilities, but take the rest of the time to focus on yourself, even if it’s sitting on the couch for a while to process your thoughts. Your growth doesn’t have a to-do list. 💙

 
Mandi GarrisonComment
Cultivating Joy
 
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What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? If I were to guess, you’re probably cycling through your to-do lists, clocking time, ensuring everyone’s needs are met, stressing about a future event, etc. But what if you woke up every morning and immediately went through the lists of things you WANT to do? The things that bring you joy? I know, I’ve probably already lost you, because you have responsibilities. People can’t just do what they want to do. Well, let me ask you... why the hell not?

Maybe you can’t do everything on the joy list today. But at least start your day figuring out how. What do your wants look like in comparison with the have-tos? Are they starkly different? How can that shift? Can they be aligned? If so, how? If not, why? If I’ve created a life that eliminates my ability to fulfill my joy list, then I know something needs to change. And maybe change is scary, but wasted time is scarier.

Joy comes with the ability to experience moments that bring INNER fulfillment. Joy doesn’t care what something looks like on the outside. Validation is a very temporary, addictive form of pleasure that can take you from the path of pure ecstasy to the dangerous path of expectations. Other people’s expectations have nothing to do with me. So why should they affect my life or my ability to experience it? I’ll let you in on four very powerful words that have the ability to transform your life: Nobody owes me anything. Read that again.

The expectations that do belong to you are your own. They are those niggling feelings and desires that bring you closer to what you want and what you’re here to experience. Challenge yourself to create moments of joy and meet your own expectations. See what blossoms as a result. 💜

 
Mandi GarrisonComment