Category: Blissology 101

Presence, Meditation + Love: Three Rivers, One Ocean

I always teach why we need to be in the present before explaining how. I feel this is something that is elusive to people. Simply put, presence opens the door to more intimate engagement in life; life has more meaning and joy in the present.

A simple example is food.

When we are present to the food we eat, we eat slowly, we savor each bite. The conversation in our head is about how the food tastes, we experience slowly the sensations of each morsel in our palette. It is not about what we are going to do next week or typing a message on social media. We taste what is in front of us with intimate engagement. The flavors speak to us and we listen with our body and mind.

Photo: Made Sintya

 

By contrast, when we are not present to our food, we tend to just shovel it in as we watch our television or walk down the street. We are still living in our heads and our food is entering our body without any real awareness. There is no intimacy and no connection to who made our food, where it came from, how it tastes or what it is doing to our body.

The first step is to slow down and hit pause; to shift from doing to feeling. We want to open the door to more reverence to all life.

There is a sense of peace in the body that we seek in yoga + meditation. The lower back is relaxed, the breath is full and deep, the shoulders are relaxed. We need to use this as a barometer for when we are present or not. Often, when we are not present our bodies are tense and our breath is not very deep and only in the upper front chest.

The key to me is to see Presence more as a state of body, than a state of mind.  When our bodies are light, but grounded and relaxed, the door to presence opens easily.

Especially the week of Valentine’s when Love becomes something we focus on more, let’s commit to slowing down and truly being present for the ones who mean something to us. Let’s feel the miracle of each person and the honor to be in this time and this space with another.

Let’s make time for Kindness. Let’s make more time for Love After all, as we say in Blissology: “Love is the Ultimate Renewable Resource.”

Blissology Project Jan/Feb 2018 Teachers

We couldn’t be more stoked to be starting this year off with a Blissology Project that we’re running from January 22nd until February 4th!

We’ll be doing the 6 Big East Bliss Commitments—yoga, meditation, nature appreciation, food awareness, gratitude and a wild card—for two weeks and creating an Upward Spiral in our lives.

You can read more details on the project here and check the Bliss Teacher hosting the project in your area below:

Canada

Lorna Seldon Burd
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Pia Therese Maso
Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Lisa Sturt
Fort Saint John, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Jozef Bienkowski-Gibbs
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Azenya Burdett
Squamish, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Tami Wyber
Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Michael Toru
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Facebook event

Tiffany Green
Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
Facebook event

Andrea Combs
Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador
Facebook event

Ann Green
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Facebook event

Sonja Burrows
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Facebook event

USA

Sati Leavitt
Aptos, California, USA
Facebook event

Jonathan Bloch
Denver, Colorado, USA
Facebook event

Yvonne Perry,
New York, New York, USA
Facebook event

Devin Weiss
Woodstock, New York, USA
Facebook event

April Neufeld
Cedar Grove, New Jersey, USA
Facebook event

Lang Charters
Poulsbo, Washington, USA
Facebook event

        Adyn Pipoly
       Denver, Colorado
       Facebook event

Europe

Amir Khorasany
Paris, France
Facebook event

Donna Williams
Geneva, Switzerland
Facebook event

Rhyanna Watson
St. Gallen, Switzerland
Facebook event

Chloe Markham
Sheriff Hutton, United Kingdom
Facebook event

New Zealand

Tara Spice
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Facebook event

Jae Omnet
Oamaru, New Zealand
Facebook event

Australia

Chloe Santarossa
Bowen, Queensland, Australia
Facebook event

Leanne Hembrow
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Facebook event

United Arab Emirates

Hollie Sears
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Facebook event

 

Check back soon for more updates and links to regional Facebook events, we’ll keep adding these daily. If you can’t find a teacher in your area, join our Global Bliss Tribe and participate from the coziness of your home.

Put Down Your Smart Phone and Pick Up Your Heart Phone

Even though I am obsessed with yoga, I think it is only the second best thing we can do for health. The best thing we can do is to have an intimate connection with nature.

Last winter we moved to one of the great yoga hubs of the world, Santa Monica, California. I taught yoga, went to yoga classes every day with talented and famous yoga instructors, got used to paying $22 for superfood smoothies and practically took out a second mortgage at the Whole Foods salad bar. Every day was full of California sunshine and palm trees, but there was an emptiness inside me and a sense of restlessness that I could not quell. One chilly December evening, my wife, two-year-old son and I drove North on Highway 1. We found a long stretch of beach that was isolated with the exception of the distant silhouette of an older woman strolling in her leopard skin coat. A reminder of our proximity to Malibu. I had surfed on Venice Beach every day and played in the parks of Santa Monica with our son daily, but those beaches were filled with a stream of cruiser bike riders, joggers and roller coasters.

There was a quietness to us that night as we watched the hazy pink marine layer softly blend into the ocean’s seemingly endless horizon. I stopped and breathed deeply, not because it says to breathe deeply in a yoga text, but to replace the emptiness I felt in my chest. My heart became more inflated and I could finally pinpoint the source of my unease…

Read the rest of the article on Huffington Post Canada.

 

Blissology Project: January 22nd – February 4th, 2018

Aloha everyone!

This January 22nd – February 4th 2018 we’re launching the Blissology Project. This is a program we created years ago to create an Upward Spiral of positivity and health in ones life. We’ve refreshed the content while keeping what works the same and we’re stoked to change lives!

Watch the video below for more information. More detailed information will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned and keep your Bliss Vibes strong in the meantime!

5 Surf-Inspired Yoga Moves

A superflow is a joyous movement practice that pulls from yoga, tai chi, and surfing.

This powerful yet calming trinity intentionally mimics the rhythm of nature and flow of the oceans, opening you to a higher state of bliss in both body and mind.

Here are five beneficial surf-inspired movements:

  • Tai Chi for centering
  • Lay back flow
  • Surf burpees
  • Surf burpees with slash
  • Round house

On a physical level, these practices increase agility, coordination, and strength; mentally they evoke positive energy and clarity. Yogis will find these flows more circular and less confined to a grid than a traditional yoga practice. Fitness enthusiasts will love the physical challenge and creativity within each sequence. Expect a whole new level of mind-body harmony.

And if you want to dive deeper into the superflow practice, join me in Tofino in September/October for a Superflow: the Fluid Body advanced module course!

Karma Yoga, Blissology & the Value of having Reverence for Nature

Eoin is super stoked to be featured on this week’s podcast by the lovely Magda Freedom Rod (aka Visionary Lifestyle):

Our guest today is Eoin Finn. Eoin Finn is a yogi, surfer and blissologist from Vancouver, BC. A philosophy graduate, he has been deepening his understanding of Meditation, Yoga and Eastern Philosophy since 1989. In the mid-nineties he moved to Maui and learned Ashtanga and Power Yoga and later Vinjana Yoga. He’s been teaching yoga for 18 years. Eoin is a karma yogi with a deep passion for the oceans, and a connection and reverence for nature, that is truly inspiring. His yoga teacher trainings generally include a lot of education about the environment, as well as hands on projects to help clean and protect it. His Ecokarma program is replacing endangered coral in Key Largo Florida and beyond. Eion says “Karma is the offering of unselfish service – our offering to the world. I want us to connect our love for ecology with both the physical yoga practice and selfless service of Karma yoga. “ I caught up with Eion at the Bali Spirit Festival and we dropped in about the state of the oceans, the effects of overfishing and carbon on the oceans, and what it means to be a karma yogi. He shares his love for nature, explains his main goal in life and guides us on his path of Blissology. If you go back to my first episode and listen to the “7 steps of activating your highest potential” show , you’ll see that Eion really speaks to one of my points, which is seva, or being in service, sometimes known as karma yoga. I’m really impressed with Eion’s dedication to educating and inspiring people to pay attention to what’s happening to the oceans, and empowering them to find their own inner power and voice to be the change we want to see in the world.

Listen to the interview below:

 

My Favourite Morning Yoga Routine

Twenty-nine years ago I started dabbling in tai chi, meditation and yoga.

I didn’t know a lot about any of these at the time but I would go to empty beaches where I could feel the transformative power of the Great Spirit. I would move organically and let its energy flow through me, sand in my toes and peace in my heart.

Today, a mix of these tai chi, yoga and surfing movements is called a Superflow and it is my favourite routine every morning when I wake up (I highly recommend checking out the instructional video first to understand the movements before putting them together in a flow, practice starts at 5:20 mins):

If you’re inspired by these movements, join me for a 50-hr Superflow advanced module in Tofino this September/October. Or practice with me online, on Cody.

Blissology Yoga: 6 Essential Steps for Amazing Adjustments

There are few things in life as blissful as a well executed yoga adjustment. Yet when it goes wrong, it is very, very bad. We are offering a mind-blowing module in Santa Cruz this August called Advanced Alignment and Adjustments.

Just in case you can’t make it and in my interest of bringing more love and connection out into the world, here is our six steps to adjustments in our Blissology Yoga School. Remember, not everyone wants to be touched and you can always cue people with your words. As you will see in the article, if you can’t get passed Phase three, don’t worry.

I hope to see you on the mat soon.

Step 1: Intention: What is your intention for adjusting? Be clear.

It is important to start the process of adjusting at the foundational level: our intention. Most times, before we adjust someone, our intentions are unconscious. We go straight into the how the adjustment should be done and the question of why we are adjusting someone happens in the background of our minds. Even though I believe we need more touch in the world, I believe it needs to come from our highest consciousness.

I have trained myself to take a few extra seconds in my internal dialogue to clarify what my intention is before I think about putting my hands on someone. I know my intention will come through in my touch. Often it is the same simple Mantra I repeat to myself: “I want this person to feel total joy!”

It is essential to have an honest conversation in my mind. If it is not my “highest vibrational self” coming through, I have to catch those non-beneficial seeds. For example, if I ever think to myself, “I have to show this person how much I know,” or proclaiming judgmentally to myself, “God, what is this person doing? Don’t they know anything?” I know I am not coming from the right frame of mind as these are low vibrational qualities. These are about me wanting to be liked and needing to prove my worth. If these stories are operating somewhere in the background, the first adjustment I need to give is my own state of mind and not to another person.

I need to make sure that the place I am coming from is one of sharing the miracle of health and the gift of life with another. I need to feel in my body, mind and heart that I truly have nothing to prove and everything to share.

Step 2: Assessment Phase

Start your assessment process with the Pranayama Kosha—the breath. Is the breath relaxed and full or is it short, choppy, strained or being held? Are they embodying peace and listening to bodily feedback.

ManaMaya Kosha—the Mind: The mindset and the breath are ultimately intimately connected. Is the mindset one of dominating the body? Is there a sense of willfully trying to submit the body even if it means sacrificing the breath? Is the shape the body is taking more important than the feeling of peace and connection?

If the answer is yes, then we need to find strategies to soften and encourage the student to back up to a point where they can enjoy their breath. Often they will need a touch that soothes the side of them that is driven and turns their awareness to the internal experience.

On the level of the Anamaya Kosha—the muscles and bones—we need to scan for joints at risk. This is the biggie. But in general, watch for 1) Sharp angles or joint 2) stress that is concentrated on one joint vs dispersed over several. Know the 12 indispensible joint issues section of the Blissology manual cold. If there is a joint at risk, don’t move to the next phase of the adjustment process, back them out of the pose and start again.

Next, have an eye for whether the student has “yin” (loose) or “yang” (tight) tissues. Are they stable or instable? What is stuck and immobile and what is too loose? Have they lost their lines of DUO*? Their arches?

Step 3: Attunement Phase

Attunement is huge—it means that there is a harmony between your actions and the recipient. It means the doorway of trust and connection are open; you are both “in sync.” You are a “horse-whisperer.” Your energy matters.

Awareness of Energy and Feelings will come over time but the easiest place to start when you are in the attunement phase is by observing the breath of the recipient. When you touch them, do they clam up, tighten and lose the natural rhythm of their breath?

Don’t forget to check in with your own breath. Is it still deep and relaxed? Stay in your body as well and generate a vibration of kindness and confidence.

Find a soft touch on your partner and don’t adjust too quickly. Are you being “let in” or “shut out?” If you are not being let in, do not adjust your partner.

You need to know that you may not make it past this attunement phase. If you are not energetically in sync, do not proceed to the next steps.

You may not have to walk away, either. There is a little more exploration that needs to happen here.

Explorations:

1) Injury: Is there an injury? This is my go to for noticing why someone may be guarded and not willing to receive an adjustment. When I notice the breath is being held and the body tightening, I simply whisper to my partner, “are you injured?” or, “is this ok?”

2) Ego: Sometimes people are in their egos or from a different school of yoga and they feel that you are not qualified to adjust them. In this case, my response is to observe something in the pose that they are doing well and offer it up to the student. The words, “Nice Pose,” can go a long way to break down a barrier and they will be more likely to receive what you are offering.

Especially in the case of our Blissology Alignment system where the principles and methodology are new to many yogis, you will need a strategy to help them work with you. The compliment and redirect strategy can work well here. I often say “Nice Pose” and then complete the sentence with “… but let’s try it this way today.”

3) Trauma: A person may want you in their space: If you just aren’t welcome because a person is not ready to receive touch, that is okay.

Yoga for Digestion

The holidays are a definitely a time of indulgence and it’s easy to feel bloated as we are often eating or snacking more and more often during the day.  On top of this visiting family and travel can be stressful. Even the most dedicated of yogis have a hard time staying balanced since most of us end up out of our daily and weekly routine that provides discipline in our regular lives.

Here are some of my top yoga poses that will help to alleviate bloating and soothe and rebalance your digestion.

Child’s Pose
This restorative pose is not only good for the belly and digestive system since the thighs in the belly provide apana vayu (downward expelling energy), but it also offers a few brief moments of calm, introverted energy at a time in life where we get so scattered. This shift in our nervous system restores parasympathetic tone in the nervous system that is hugely beneficial to a stressed out digestive system.

Happy Baby
Yes, it stretches the hamstrings and lower back, but in this pose really concentrate on using the diaphragm muscle at the bottom of the rib cage to create the longest inhalation you can. Let your belly go and this will allow the diaphragm to really descend deep into the viscera (belly organs).  Yogis have long known that this “inner belly” massage is invaluable to stimulate digestion and relieve bloating.

Downdog
This is a great one because it is hugely calming to the nervous system and also counters the dull energy of excessive sitting during the holidays with calm, sustainable energy for your system.  When you press the sitting bones away from the hands, the whole spine gets long.  The belly organs also get inverted and are treated to more spaciousness. It truly is one of the best holiday treats.

Uttanasana
The act of folding forward places pressure on the abdominal organs and stimulates digestion. I also love this one because it helps me not to over eat as well. When I know I will be bending forward later in this awesome standing stretch somehow it is a reminder not to consume too much.  This pose feels so good when we don’t over eat that your body will not likely fall victim to gluttony. And hey, if it does, don’t beat yourself up. Start where you are at fold, breathe and enjoy.

Supine Twist
Twists act like a tourniquet for the belly organs. The yogic theory is that when we twist to one side, the belly organs on that side experience a temporary constriction to their blood supply.  When we come out of the twist the organs get a flush of fresh, oxygenated blood. It’s like pinching a garden hose and releasing it.  In particular the ascending colon on the right and the descending colon on the left are stimulated when we twist to each side.   The yogis knew how to remove blockages not just in our hearts, but in our bellies too!

Have a happy Holiday Season!

Eoin and the Bliss Team

Eat Honey!

Want to be Happy? Eat honey consciously!

Whenever I travel I bring back honey with me.

It has the essence of the local soil, the flowers, the fruit… Everything vital about a region. All in one amazing nectar-filled liquid that tastes so divine.

The key to happiness is to sift through all that is in front of us and see the interconnection, beauty and small miracles. Focus on them with wide eyed wonder and an open heart.

Honey is my muse… I learned this from my dad!

Share your honey stories with me in the comments below :-)! peace + aloha, Eoin.