Category: Blissology 101

Compulsively Checking for “Likes”? Eoin has a Meditation for That.

In a world driven by social media likes, in which we consider “friends” to be “followers” and our worth in clicks, it can be tough to cultivate a true sense of self-love and inner peace. Renowned yoga teachers, it turns out, are not immune from the bait of the ego. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and regular Wanderlust teacher, was leading a retreat in Bali when he had the revelation.

“In Bali, there are stars, there’s are no walls,” says Eoin. “So I’m sitting under the stars, looking at the light on my phone, when there’s so much beautiful light coming in from all those beautiful stars. And I realized I was plugged into the wrong light.”

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, of course. But for Eoin it was a reminder to cultivate his sense of worth within before he could accept it from outside sources, even if those sources are thousands of followers…

Read the rest of the article by Lisette Cheresson on Wanderlust’s website and see the meditation below.

Bali YTT Vision for Epic Community: Residential Accommodation

Dear Blissologists,

This course is deep, unique and powerful. None of us are ever the same at the end of it than we began. We have learned how to heal our bodies, our minds and our hearts.  We are kinder, wiser and most importantly more connected. Connection in Blissology is key as it is a pillar of happiness. For this reason, we are offering accommodation on site at Cosmos Oasis as part of the course offering this year. We wanted to share with you our reasons for strongly recommending the onsite rooms.

1. STAY TOGETHER AND GROW TOGETHER: we believe that the Blissology YTTs are about community and we want you to plug into the collective energy and connection during the course! It is amazing how powerful that is for all of us.

2. We’ve worked hard to rally the retreat center for affordable room prices! The Mezzanine Capsule Rooms in particular are an incredible deal. You’ll see photos and rates below for all the various rooms offered!

3. We will sleep more easily knowing that more of you are close by. While we know there are many places to stay in Canggu, if you are a single person or sharing a double room in particular, we think you will be quite comfortable right at Cosmos. If you are a family and coming with a partner we understand that you may want a villa or other accommodation options, but we do urge you especially if you are traveling alone to hang with the rest of the Bliss tribe. Our experience from past YTT’s is that students who stay on-site with the majority of the group truly get the most out of the training experience.

When you stay on site you will also have access 24/7 to the pool, full kitchen, room cleaning cleaning everyday,
shampoo, body wash, towels and the super friendly staff that we’ve been fortunate to know for the past few years. Indoor/outdoor lounge area etc. Plus you will be in the heart of Canggu yet in a quiet zone away from the busy streets.

Full month bookings include airport transfers. For session only bookings, Cosmos can arrange for transport at the cost of 300,000 IDR (equivalent to $21 USD). This is a very reasonable rate and we highly encourage you to arrange transport with where you will be staying. The driver will not get lost finding your accommodation! If you arrange at the airport, it is possible that your driver might not his way.

There are rooms to suit every budget ranging from $360 per month all the way up to $2000. Theses rooms on-site do book out so please inquire about availability.  For inquiries, please email Danila at blissology@cosmosoasis.com.  He is located in Bali so please note there may be a bit time delay if you are in North America.

General guidelines:

> All prices are in USD

> 5% service fee + 10% government tax are to be added to final bill.

> check in date is May 1st, check out date is May 31st (if you’d like to stay in the room before/after, daily rates apply)

> all bookings are handled by Cosmos

Here are the rooms and rates below.

Cosmos (single or double) (3 Rooms left!)

*These rates will be shared if booked as double room.

Session 1: $890
Session 2: $790
Full month including break: $2000
Session 1 + Session 2: $1440
Daily rate: $80

 

 

 

King Bed Mezzanine  with Bathroom (BOOKED)

Session 1: $450
Session 2: $378
Full month including break: $975
Session 1 + Session 2: $780
Daily rate: $45

Single Mezzanine (capsule) with Bathroom (ALL BOOKED)

Session 1: $370
Session 2: $315
Full month including break: $820
Session 1 + Session 2: $640
Daily rate: $38

 

 

Triple Bunk with Bathroom (BOOKED)

*rates are per person

Session 1: $160
Session 2: $140
Full month including break: $360
Session 1 + Session 2: $280
Daily rate: $18

Twin Bunk with Bathroom (BOOKED)

*rates are per person

Session 1: $250
Session 2: $216
Full month including break: $560
Session 1 + Session 2: $440
Daily rate: $27

Twin Share (BOOKED)

*rates are per person

Session 1: $250
Session 2: $216
Full month including break: $560
Session 1 + Session 2: $440
Daily rate: $27

common area with rice field view
toilet + private sink
shared shower downstairs

Guesthouse Room (1 pending -ASK!)

fridge + shared corridor

Session 1: $480
Session 2: $405
Full month including break: $1060
Session 1 + Session 2: $800
Daily rate: $48

Intention of the Blissology Yoga Alignment System

1. To create a feeling of “grounded spaciousness” in the pose. When it comes to the purpose of alignment, most people go straight to physical benefits.  In Blissology Yoga first and foremost we want to align our bodies to create a certain feeling.  Rather than using alignment to confirm to some kind aesthetically perfect pose that looks nice but may not feel good, we want to create a feeling from the inside out.  Our Mantra is Yoga is more about the feeling than the shape.”

In Blissology Yoga, the shape of the pose needs to serve the feeling of peace, lightness and ease. We are looking for a calm and relaxed, body. The shape of the pose needs to be a servant of the calmness of mind, body and breath. As soon as the shape of the pose is prioritzed over the feeling, the risk of injury increases dramatically and we violate the essential principles of kindness and sustanability.

This does not mean that we let the body do whatever it wants as we sit peacefully by. Instead we endeavor to create poses that feels light yet stable, grounded yet spacious.

2) To Balance the Yin and Yang forces in the body.

I am using the terms Yin and Yang in relation to gravity.  The “Yin Force” is the down and out into the gravitational field.   The “Yang Force” is in and up in relation to gravity.

You can think of Yin like a puddle or a river going down passively with gravity.  Yang, by contrast moves in and up away from gravity like a fountain.  Yin provides softness, relaxation and the ability to move stuck emotions and energy out of the body.  Yang provides stability, support and muscular engagement.  The yang energy used wisely distributes tension throughout the body for support and the yin energy allows the body to relax on that support in a way that does not hurt the joints.

We need a balance of both forces.When we get it right, it feels like we are being suspended from the ceiling by puppet strings,  rather than compressed and collapsed at one of the spectrum or overly rigid on the other.

Our goal is to find the most efficient “in and up” lift away from gravity in the most relaxed way possible. Wei Wu Wei, means “effortless doing.” We want to be masters of gravity in yoga and in all life’s activities.

3) We want to be precise with our poses.  This means we want to steer the body towards shapes that allow our bodies to grow more strong on more flexible according to the intention of the pose.  

This in is contrast to  just allowing the body to move into the path of least resistance so the changes are more random or ineffectual.

We strive to isolate stretch and/or strengthen in specific areas. By isolating these places using proper alignment so that muscles that are too tight and strong can find flexibility and length. At the same time, people who are too loose can find more muscular engagement, strength and integration.

4) Sustainable and well-functioning joints. We want to keep the joints protected by dispersing loads rather than concentrating them in ways that wear the joints out. We need to integrate the body parts together to function synergistically.

Misaligned joints are prone to injury in the bones, tendons, ligaments or other connective tissues because of concentrated forces on the joints. We want to disperse the load over many joints.  We don’t want any muscles to overwork but instead find efficient ways to share the load over a wider kinetic chain

5) We want to create better energy flow. We believe that if every yogi did the pose to create more prana in the body and remained sensitive to what interfered with this energy flow, the risk of injury is almost nil.  Also, the goal of flexibility becomes a secondary bi-product to the over-arching goal of better energy flow.

6) We want to create neuromuscular patterns for all activities in gravity. This means that the work we do in the poses to create grounded spaciousness and the distribution of yin and yang forces will carry over to all of life’s activities, not just the yoga poses.

The connection between mind and muscles (neuromuscular connection) will become like a path through a jungle after hundreds of people have walked on it.  We will develop integrated the alignment principles into our bodies that everything we do off the mat will be guided by the principles we work on on the mat.

What we are not trying do:  It is worth defining in our intentions what we don’t want to guide of study of alignment.  

1) We do not want to be guided only by the “aesthetic perfection” as the end goal.

This means that very often we need let go of the idea of lining bones up with other bones or walls in order to make an aesthetically pleasing pose of one that has “perfect” geometry.

How is looks can never be more important than how the poses feel (as per point 1 of our intentions). Being guided too much by what we feel the pose should look like will create a mental struggle, a lack of ease and will put joints at risk because we want to jam square pegs into round holes.

2) We do not want to be concerned about prioritizing end points that compromise the lines of tension (DUO Lines). If we are motivated by the end points we “go around” the fundamental alignment patterns and comprise all of the intentions we have set out in 1-6 above.

Eg: In revolved triangle, the end point to many is having the bottom hand on the outside of the front foot but most often, this will compromise our joints.  We call these “Go-Arounds.”

This will mean that often we need to approach a Blissology Yoga practice with a beginner’s mind.

“Energy without awareness of alignment can be dangerous
Alignment without awareness of Energy can be boring.”

The Miracle of Breath

Most yoga practices have a strong focus on the breath. The breath is a tool that creates heat, releases tension, calms the nervous system and helps provide a meditative focus. But how about using it as a means of practicing santosha?

Santosha loosely translates as contentment or gratitude. Taking time everyday to express gratitude will, in my opinion, contribute as much to your overall state of health and happiness as any physical yoga practice.

There are an infinite number of things that we can feel grateful for. Feeling grateful for the breath we breathe is a nice one because it is such a focal point of our practice already, but also because it points to the fact that “all things are connected,” which is the heart and soul of the state of mind called yoga. It is also the heart and soul of environmentalism. When David Suzuki writes in his book The Sacred Balance, “Every breath is a sacrament, an essential ritual” it is clear that environmentalists and yogis are on the same path.

Realizing the history of oxygen is a great way to turn every breath one takes into a sacrament. In primordial earth 4.6 billion years ago, there was no oxygen necessary for life as we know it today. Instead earth’s atmosphere was much like Mars’ atmosphere was today, 95-98 per cent carbon dioxide. As the earth cooled geological activity increased and gases were released by volcanoes. These gases known as greenhouse gases behaved like the glass of a greenhouse keeping heat in the earth’s atmosphere.

The theory is that the heat of the earth at one point got as high as 85-110 degrees Celsius. When volcanic activity stopped, the earth cooled and as a result the condensation-rain-evaporation cycle that thankfully continues today was established. Eventually oceans were formed.

Two and a half billion years ago primitive microorganisms evolved a process of capturing energy from the sun called we all know as photosynthesis. To crudely describe this process, plants use carbon dioxide, water and light as a form of usable energy. In this remarkable process, six molecules of carbon dioxide are transformed into sugar and six molecules are released as oxygen as a byproduct. And what a byproduct! If it were not for this amazing process of plants converting carbon dioxide into sugar and releasing oxygen, the opportunities for life as we know it would never have been created.

When plants invaded the land the diversity of and numbers of living things blossomed. Herbivores evolved to feed on plants. Carnivores and omnivores fed on them. And the beat of the dance of life increased.

So with each breath; each time our lungs capture some of the atmosphere around us and feeds this oxygen to our to our blood cells, let’s feel grateful for the how intimately connected we are to all things around us. The sun, trees and plants, the rain, the water cycle, beings that have lived here before us.

Take a little time every yoga practice and be mindful of how intimately connected we are to all things around us. We just cannot spend enough of our day contemplating how lucky we are to be able to play a small part of this divine dance of life.

Every breath truly is a sacrament.

Drop a Pin {Earth Day Poem}

earth day poem

When the glow in the mountains lights your soul
When you find yourself looking at the splendor of the clouds or a bird in flight

Pause and Drop a Pin

When the movement of wind on the water lulls you into a timeless peace
When the setting sun holds you in its golden light

Pause and Drop a Pin

When life shrinks you down
When you lose your way and cold winds make you pull your jacket over tightly over your chest
When you feel darkness enter your mind and hope seems out of reach

Remember all the sacred places that invited you into yourself
Remember the vast expanse of all those pins
A little piece of you lives in those corners

Don’t let your heart shrink or your world grow small.
Relax into your expansive and most radiant heart
We don’t end at our own skin, we will always exist everywhere we have dropped a pin.

By,

Eoin Finn.

Blissology Nature Appreciation Mandalas

What is a ritual? To me, a ritual is a consciously performed act meant to connect us to a belief system. In every class lead by a Blissology Inspired Teacher around the world, we make a Nature Appreciation Mandala because it is a ritual that connects us to both Nature and Community.

This is important because, as the name suggests, Blissology is the Art and Science of happiness. What makes us happy? Our belief is that there are two foundations to happiness: One is a deep connection to Nature and the other is a connection to the Community.

A Nature Appreciation moment is a few minutes of quiet observation of Nature with a quiet mind and open heart. Step one is to find something beautiful in nature: a rock, a shell, the clouds, the stars, a sunset or raindrops in a pond. Then we “relax and breathe, then observe and receive.”

To make a Blissology Nature Appreciation Mandala we ask each person attending the class to find something beautiful in nature that speaks to them, which they then fuse with their positive wishes and gratitude. At the start of class, each item is placed in the center of the yoga space and assembled in a Mandala.

At the end of practice we gather together as a collective in what we call the “Circle of Light.” The beauty of the objects is the touchstone to the beauty in our hearts and the awe and wonder that we need to restore in this busy life of ours. It is all too easy to forget our connection to nature but these mandalas help us remember.

One thing I know for sure is that the more I blur the line between where I end and Nature begins, the happier I am.  Let’s live a life of reverence for all living things. Here is a link to a few of the Nature Appreciation Mandalas from Blissology classes around the world

Let Love Rule.

Here is a collection of Nature Appreciation Mandalas from years past:

 

There are Two Types of People who do Yoga: Pushers & Sensualists.

I want to make it clear to people who are new to yoga that just because you are doing yoga doesn’t mean it’s good for you—yoga can hurt you or it can be incredibly healing. 

An old teacher of mine Joel Kramer breaks it down this way. There are two types of people who do yoga: Pushers and Sensualists.

Pushers

Simply put, a Pusher is someone who ignores bodily feedback in order to achieve an end goal in the pose. In the mind of the pusher, how the pose looks is most important—a pose must be achieved at any cost and bodily sensations are just an annoyance to how the attainment of the perfect pose so they “push” past it. 

Signals to stop may be “loud” like pinching sensation in the joints or they may be “subtle” like short, erratic breath. If we are not feeling ourselves breathing in yoga asana, in particular if the breath is short, choppy, forced or erratic in a pose then we have lost our best barometer for where we are on this spectrum of pushing vs. being sensual. 

The point is a pusher is “unplugged” from his or her feedback loops. The body is something to be conquered or dominated by our strong will. The outer form is more important than the inner experience. 

 

Sensualists

These are the people who do not ignore bodily feedback while practicing yoga asana. He/She may still have a goal to go deeper in a yoga pose (I think most of us want to “get better” at yoga asana), however they honor the sensations of the body. When there are clear signals to stop, they stop.  The body is something our mind wants to cooperate with to create an experience of beauty inside. 

We have a Blissology Yoga Mantra that sums this up: “yoga is a feeling, not a shape.” As soon as we loose the feeling of calm, relaxed focus in order to create some kind of shape, we are at high risk for injury. Conversely, when we get it right, we can build healthy and sustainable relationships with our bodies.

This isn’t just about safety, these changes have massive personal and social implications as well—what we learn on the mat we apply to life. We learn how to create sustainable relationships with our friends and families, our communities and with nature. 

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!