In the Present Moment, is Yoga, Part 2

Tiina Kivinen Blog Leave a Comment

This is a follow up to my last blog. Right now I am writing this newsletter from North Western Ontario, where I am busy preparing for Fall offerings, taking in the great northern energy, swimming in the most wonderful clear lakes, and supporting my family through a challenging illness. There’s nothing like cancer to bring up fear, pain, worry and stress. I know I am not the only one who has had a family member or friend go through something like this, and I am amazed by the support I have received from loving friends and comrades. But every day is hard.

Not knowing what is going to happen next. Being in the void, the mystery, trying to stay present and feel everything without pushing anything anyway. I am finding that the practice of being present and coming back to the breath is sustaining through the difficult moments.

Yoga teaches us to be Present, to lean in to a situation or experience rather than away from it. There is no way out, but through. I am forever grateful for the teachings of Yoga, both on the mat and out in the great experience of Life. Yoga reminds me to come home to the Present, through the breath, through the body, and with compassion. Within the present moment lives wisdom and clarity. This Moment is the perfect teacher.

Pema Chodron says it well…

“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
Pema Chödrön

She wrote one of the recommended books for the upcoming Yoga Teacher Training, which has been an inspiration for me during this difficult time.

See my previous most recent blog post for some further musings on the deeper teachings of Yoga.

Meditation Exercise

Try this: A Meditation for Feeling Into the Present with Compassion

Lie down in a comfortable position, if possible right on the soft earth.

Allow your eyes to be softly closed and relax the face.

Give the weight of the body over to the Earth. Imagine yourself being completely accepted and held by the Earth.

Feel a wave of relaxation flow all the way from the crown of your head to the tips of your fingers and toes.

Simply notice the sensation of the breath.

From this breath, focus your awareness, and relax into the experience of just being here, as you are, opening up to whatever feelings and sensations arise, with compassion.

If your attention wanders, let the breath bring you back, again and again, and again…..

In the Present Moment, is Yoga.

Tiina Kivinen Blog

Atha Yoga Nushasanam – Now begins the Practice of Yoga… the teachings of Yoga are in the Present Moment.. Yoga is the Present Moment….(1st Sutra of Patanjali) 

So how can we stay present in the reality of our day to day lives, amidst the challenges, the stresses, illness, injury, life change…. how can we practice moving in to experiences rather than away , to lean IN to the moment rather than away from it? To relax, as it is, here and now… and then when things are blissful, not be attached to that particular bliss?

Pigeon The practice of Yoga is the practice of being Present, and that means that its not always going to feel good.  One of our human tendencies/afflictions, or what Yoga philosophy defines as a Klesha, is our constant pushing away what is not comfortable, ‘dvesa’, or clinging or being attached to what we find pleasurable or comfortable, ‘raga’. This attachment and aversion are just a couple of ways that our human conditioning estranges us from the present moment, and thus our natural state of Yoga. The time you spend on the mat, stretching, breathing, exploring physical forms and the interplay of breath, awareness and sensation, becomes a mirror for the rest of your life. How you approach your forward bend or your warrior pose becomes a microcosm of the macrocosm of life itself and how we move through it. For example, do you push yourself to go deeper into a pose, maybe beyond your edge? Or when you are in Pigeon Pose and the sensation in the hips gets intense, do you check out of the moment and go on a mind trip planning dinner? Meeting yourself fully in the Present Moment is a practice that takes … practice. And what you practice, strengthens.  So trust that as you commit to your practice, you commit to your well being and ability to take the practices of Yoga off the mat and into your life and into the world, for the benefit of all beings!

The real nectar of Yoga comes alive in the inquiry of the Self, the journey of self realization and the awakening of the heart to compassion, love, and acceptance of what is.

Are you called to deepen your inquiry of the Self? Join me for the upcoming Yoga Teacher Training in Peterborough, Ontario, launching this October 2014. For me, this training is born from 11 years of teaching to diverse communities, 500 + hrs of certification, and my continued commitment to being a student of Yoga myself. After spending many years supporting Yoga Teacher Trainings as staff and faculty at the 200 hr and 500 hr levels with Nosara Yoga Institute and Kripalu Centre for Yoga and Health, it is time for me to give birth to a training with my own newly accredited school, Amrita Living Yoga. Through this training you will receive a 200 hr Yoga Alliance accredited certificate, as well as experience the myriad benefits that come from making a commitment to your own awakening, self love, and Self Realization. Space is limited. Apply here. 


Open up to Nature to Come Home to Yourself

Tiina Kivinen Blog


As we move toward the soulstice… just a week away… I look to nature for healing, inspiration, and rejuvenation. Living the day to busyness of teaching classes, farm life, householding, program development and all of this wonderful yet busy stuff of life, an afternoon to gaze out at Little Lake reminds me of the magic of being by the Ocean in Costa Rica. This was an epic, long, vortex winter for all of my fellow strong and very resilient Canadians…and its time for me to announce that YES Costa Rica Yoga Retreat is happening again! We have booked a beautiful ocean side retreat centre, La Cusinga Lodge.

From March 2 – 7 2015 we will gather by the shores of the pacific, practice yoga and let the magic of Costa Rica penetrate our souls into heightened states of natural joy. The area is known for its lush rainforest, sandy beaches, natural pools, waterfalls, amazing wildlife, like monkeys and whales… overall a paradise in which you can come home to yourself. Believe me, yoga in the tropics is a fine addition to your winter plans, you will find that a week away has a lasting impact long after you have returned home. Just a few more days until the website is updated with more information!  So, stay tuned to learn more and in the mean time, enjoy these long soulstice days of Sun Light!



Into the Rhythms of the Rainforest: A Yoga Retreat in the Tropics

Tiina Kivinen Blog

This January, 15 beautiful souls went into the Costa Rican rainforest to retreat, sharing 7 days of transformational yogic practices for my 2nd annual Rhythms of Joy Yoga Retreat. We gathered in a vibrant rainforest oasis, Finca Luna Nueva, a retreat center/biodynamic farm that exists as an inspiring model of sustainability and living in harmony with nature. I couldn’t imagine a better place for us to dive into practices that cultivate wholeness, harmony, and unity consciousness.

Our delicious, healing food was grown and raised with love and compassion…..spinach trees, turmeric, ginger, so many fruits, happy chickens, pigs and water buffalo cheese and ice cream! YUM!

Creating Space

Holding a sacred space for transformation and heart centred self exploration with my dear friends Joshua and Luna is a dream come true, again. Luna, Joshua and Jaya are bright lights who illuminate the space around them.

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In Praise of Economic Localization!: Now Accepting Kawartha Loons

Tiina Kivinen Blog

I am excited to announce that I am now a member of the Kawartha Loons Exchange and now accept the Kawartha Loon Currency! The KLE is a local initiative focused on moving our City and County toward economic localization. One of KLE’s first initiatives is spearheading the launch of the new Kawartha Loon currency, which I now accept as payment for Yoga classes! This is so exciting to me, as I am very passionate about LOCAL everything!
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Deepening Yoga Practice

Tiina Kivinen Blog

While I was on my holidays this august in thunder bay I had the intention of finding clarity and inspiration within my life's work. I was enjoying practice and allowing new intentions and inspiration to flow. People often comment that I must be so relaxed and tranquil all the time, with being in a yoga energy all day every day, but the reality is, even yoga teachers get stressed, overworked, and need vacation time!

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Why Practice Prenatal Yoga?

Tiina Kivinen Blog

‘What would it feel like if you could go deeper into the sensation? If you could surrender a little bit more? … connect with your body, breath, and baby… find your strength, open, and surrender… ‘

This is some of what you might hear in a Blooma Prenatal Yoga class. After experiencing 100 more hours of Blooma Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica, I am re-inspired by the amazing power of prenatal yoga and am excited to teach it in Peterborough, Ontario.
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Rhythms of Joy Yoga Retreat 2013 Great Success!

Tiina Kivinen Blog

Love from Nosara Costa Rica! We just completed the Rhythms of Joy Costa Rica Yoga Retreat last week and I am basking in the afterglow. The experience brought people together from Peterborough, Bobcageon, and Thunder Bay Ontario, Alberta, Minnesota, New York City, Holland, and our beloved co-facilitators from Asheville, North Carolina. One participant, Fern, described a ‘magnetic pull’ that brought her to the retreat, and I can attest that a force of love and grace brought all these beautiful souls together at the right place and time to experience rhythms of joy, deep connection and awakening.
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