Chakra System of the Universal Mother

Sanskrit scholar and teacher of Tantrik Shaivism, Christopher Tompkins, traveled to the University of Jammu and Kashmir in 2012 to study a vast collection of ancient and revered Tantric works. The Jagad Mātā scroll presented in this video is one of these incredible texts. Wow. What a find!

“The Jagad Mātā Scroll (ca. 13th century) pre-dates all translated sources on the subtle body currently available. It contains a rich tapestry of empowering chakra symbolism omitted in all sources for the chakras currently in translation, and takes us far deeper into the known chakras (mūlādhāra, svādhisthāna, maṇipūra, anāhata, viśuddha, and ājnā) than any text available in translation today.”

– Christopher Tompkins

Yoga is…


Ok. So I talk about yoga a lot. I can’t help it. When I’m passionate about something, I share the love. And because I do, I’ve been asked a time or two, “what is yoga all about?” Oh, where do I start? Honestly, I rarely give the same answer twice. Just when I think I know what “yoga is”, I have a new experience or discover a new description, definition, quote, etc, which alters, elevates, or deepens my understanding.

Yoga really has to be experienced to be understood. But saying, “you have to try it to know it”, seems to fall short for inquiring minds. So I’ve Googled, flipped through books, reviewed my notes, and asked a handful of teachers to see how they answer this age old question.

My discovery? The explanations are esotheric, practical, intellectual, thought-provoking, feel good, challenging, and philosophical. 

So what will I say the next time I’m asked, “what is yoga all about?”  Only time (and circumstance) will tell.  Today, I answer….yoga is my way to say hey there, how are you, I love you.

I hope you enjoy the growing list I’ve started here, and you’ll consider sharing your favourites with me.

Yoga is a Science

Yoga is a System

Yoga is Union

Yoga is a Way to Connect with the Self

  • A method for increasing awareness of the inner self (Yoga, Mastering the Basics, Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik)
  • Connection to the authentic self (Barron Baptiste)
  • Relation; means; union; knowledge; matter; logic; upaya (path) (Yoga Mala, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois)
  • A tremendous opportunity to be honest with yourself. It’s like looking through a magnifying glass at yourself. And when you begin to see yourself as you really are, if you take the time to look, you get to manage your life in a different way (Yoga Is film, Eddie Modestini)
  • The way of establishing the mind in the Self…the means by which the mind is directed toward the Self and prevented from going toward outside objects…the means to the realization of one’s true self (Yoga Mala, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois)

Yoga is a Path

  • a universal path as well as traditional teachings and practices to cultivate and realize our full potential (Shiva Rea)

Yoga is a Journey

  • A journey that culminates in sublime success and happiness (Rod Stryker)

Yoga is a Practice

  • Practices and techniques that are ultimately meant to lead you to an experience in which you recognize both the fullest, most essential part of yourself and the grandeur of the magnificence of the life around you (The Four Desires, Rod Stryker)
  • 99 percent practice and one percent theory (Sri Pattabhi Jois)
  • The backbone of every beginning class is practice – postures combined with breath training and systematic relaxation (Himalayan Institute)

Yoga is a Heightened Way of Being

Yoga is Skillful Living

Yoga is Life

Yoga is the Mastery of the Mind

Yoga is Being Set Free from Pain


Living Yoga

Ganges sunset

Watching the sun set over the Ganga during my pilgrimage to India

What does Living Yoga mean to me? My experience and journey has evolved over the past number of years. Two years ago, I may have said it meant taking a class once or twice a week – becoming better at poses and quieting my mind for a minute or two. Now, it means so much more. Yoga is my spiritual path and practice to connect with my higher self.

From focusing on perfecting poses to connecting with the inner divine is quite a leap. The shift in my experience and understanding of yoga didn’t happen over night. It’s been a slow and organic process of learning and becoming gradually more dedicated to a personal practice. Practicing yoga has heightened my awareness of who I am, who I want to be and the joys of living a fuller life. It’s a work in progress that will span this lifetime and likely a few more.

On May 12, yogis and yoginis from cities and towns in Atlantic Canada will gather to share their yoga experiences at the 1st annual Living Yoga Unconference happening in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Over the past two years, I’ve come to know and practice with many wonderful yoga teachers and students in Halifax. I was also very fortunate to meet many more from all over the US, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and of course India at the Kumbha Mela pilgrimage this January and February.

The Living Yoga conference will be one more opportunity to meet and learn from fellow seekers who are “living yoga” in their own unique way. Hearing Pandit Rajmani Tigunait’s keynote will surely be a highlight. I’m still digesting the many lessons and his inspirational words from the pilgrimage. He shares his wisdom and experiences with such openness, love and a sincere desire to help others on their spiritual path.  Pandit Rajmani lives yoga with an infectious joy and passion. I look forward to learning from him in person once again, and the many others attending the conference.