Stories

As a fellow traveler on the path, I invite you to share in my stories and adventures for your inspiration.

One Simple Thing That Can Turn You Into a Yoga Master

If you’re like most yogis, you really enjoy how yoga makes you feel. Your skin glows. Your body looks great. And you don’t sweat the small stuff as much as you used to.

As you get more hooked on yoga, you discover your life force. You realize how deeply your breath influences your emotions…how the right food affects your energy…how being around positive people puts you in a better state of mind.

Keep Growing in Your Yoga Practice

This is where most yogis stop growing on the path of yoga.

It’s not that you want to. You just don’t know where else your yoga practice is supposed to lead you. You’re like the beggar who doesn’t know he’s sitting on a field of diamonds.

The Beggar’s Story

Once there was a beggar who lived in a run-down hut sitting on a field. The villagers complained to the king because they didn’t like the beggar taking up space that they could be farming. So the king made an offer to the beggar. He...

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White Girl Steps Off Plane, Slips in Pile of Dung, Finds Enlightenment

sanskrit Aug 06, 2016

By the time I’d finished the last chapter of Swami Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi, I’d completed my first semester of college—and I was finished with that also.

Yogananda’s stories of yogis who’d attained heightened states of consciousness and miraculous abilities filled me with wonder. And I kept hearing the same voice inside—“There’s something more incredible in this life that beckons you.”

Just 18-years-old, I was fiery, idealistic and spunky. It made perfect sense to me to drop out of college, travel to the Himalayas, and find a real yogi to teach me the secrets of the soul.

My mother, however, was mortified.

“Just where do you think you’re going, young lady, to find this so-called goo-roo?”

“Kathmandu, Nepal,” I quipped—as if every teenager in America was going there as the new hip hangout. It was 1988 and globalization was still in its infancy. Nepal may as well have been the...

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What You Need to Understand the Yoga Sutras

You will never understand the Yoga Sutras if you read them in English. The only way to really imbibe their meaning is to feel them in Sanskrit.

Each Sanskrit syllable has an emotional quality that cultures your deepest way of knowing—your intuition.

You don’t need a dictionary to know what a word in Sanskrit means, in other words. You just need to teach yourself how to understand through feeling, like the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa.

The Story of Kalidasa

Kalidasa wasn’t always a great poet, however. In fact, he was born a mute. Although he could hear, he never uttered a single sound—which made him unteachable.

You see, Vedic education requires listening and repeating in Sanskrit. If a child can’t speak she can’t be taught. So Kalidasa’s father abandoned his son’s studies and left him alone to play in the forest.

As a result, Kalidasa spent many hours alone in the nearby forest observing nature and enjoying the innocent play of the...

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How Vedic Astrology Can Change Your Life

Once I went to a Vedic astrologer when I first began college. Of the many things he told me, one point stood out. He said, “You’ll never be happy in any profession you choose.”

I felt devastated. Every time I attempted to decide upon a career his words haunted me. I repeated again and again in my mind, “I’ll never be happy. I’ll never be happy.”

The astrologer’s words had habituated my thinking.

Moreover, his reading of my destiny conditioned how I perceived my life’s purpose. It had colored the way I saw my place in the world.

Anyone else could have told me the same thing and it wouldn’t have affected me like that. There was something about the context of having my chart read that shifted the way I perceived my life purpose. His interpretation literally altered the way I thought, spoke and acted from that moment on.

It was that powerful.

I realized that Vedic Astrology is not just an objective “reading” of my...

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How Sanskrit Increases Your Life Force

sanskrit Aug 05, 2016

Spend an hour gossiping. Don’t stop talking. Then feel your energy.

Your mind will be tired. Your body will feel depleted. You’ll be exhausted.

That’s because when you speak, your life force gets expelled with each exhalation as you speak. With every word your life force gets diminished. Talking is truly akin to death.

With Sanskrit—the language of yoga—the opposite happens. As you pronounce each syllable, your prana (life force) gets redirected back into your body, replenishing your energy. It gives you life.

I once observed the power of Sanskrit to give life while attending a goddess festival in southern India. The Brahmin priests chanted the Vedas non-stop for nine nights. You would have thought that they would have been exhausted from such an exertion.

Not so. After hours of repetitive chanting, they were bouncing with energy. They couldn’t sleep. And their joy was contagious.

This is because the rules of pronunciation are designed to send the...

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Your Power as a Yogi

sanskrit vedas yoga Aug 05, 2016

I once discovered the real benefit of a daily yoga practice while sequestered in Didholi, a remote Indian village along the banks of the Narmada River. Officially I was there to conduct my doctoral dissertation research, but really I was on an inner quest of self-discovery.

I was staying with Nani (my best friend’s grandmother) where I shared a bed with five other women, bathed at 4 a.m. in the river with the rest of the villagers, and helped milk the cow for my morning chai.

Privacy was a luxury I had to sacrifice—until I discovered an abandoned storeroom, which was a perfect sanctuary for my morning yoga and meditation practice. No one could bug me in there.

Before anyone stirred awake from sleep, I slipped out from under the leaden arm of one of my bed mates, tip-toed to my private refuge and unfurled my yoga mat. Swooping my arms above my head, I relished the flow of each breath as I invoked the sun in my body.

Alone with myself at last, I really missed being an...

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The One Thing That Can Benefit Your Yoga Practice Most

sanskrit Aug 05, 2016

I once discovered the real benefit of a daily yoga practice while sequestered in Didholi, a remote Indian village along the banks of the Narmada River. Officially I was there to conduct my doctoral dissertation research, but really I was on an inner quest of self-discovery.

I was staying with Nani (my best friend’s grandmother) where I shared a bed with five other women, bathed at 4 a.m. in the river with the rest of the villagers, and helped milk the cow for my morning chai.

Privacy was a luxury I had to sacrifice—until I discovered an abandoned storeroom, which was a perfect sanctuary for my morning yoga and meditation practice. No one could bug me in there.

Before anyone stirred awake from sleep, I slipped out from under the leaden arm of one of my bedmates, tip-toed to my private refuge and unfurled my yoga mat. Swooping my arms above my head, I relished the flow of each breath as I invoked the sun in my body.

Alone with myself at last, I really missed being an...

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Understand Your Unique Connection to The Universe

jyotisha Aug 05, 2016

There’s one thing I’ve learned after over 15 years as a professional Vedic Astrologer: We are all imprinted beings.

Sociologists lead us to believe that we are nurtured into the people that we become. Your parents, your religion, your education, and your culture all condition what you will express of yourself. They assert that you are a product of your surroundings. You’re born as a blank slate that gets written upon by your life’s experience.

In my meeting with many parents over the course of my career as a Vedic Astrologer and life coach, however, I found this theory to be entirely suspect.

Once the mother of a five-year-old boy came to me for a consultation. Her son was having trouble adjusting to pre-school because he was convinced he was a soldier fighting in World War II. He would describe vivid battle scenes on the playground, scaring the other children. His obsession with war scenes became too much for the teacher to handle and she requested he be...

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How The Stars Determine Your Destiny - With Incredible Accuracy

“You’re destined to receive this reading when you are 20 years, nine months and three days old,” Chakrapani Ullal— Los Angeles’ most reputable Jyotishi (Vedic Astrologer)—began his discussion of my life’s fate.

Having provided him with only my name, birth date, time and location, he described my psychology more accurately than anyone prior—better than any shrink or counselor.

He knew about my relationship with my parents. He described the kind of work I’d be most happy doing. And he discussed my future as confidently as if he were unpeeling a fruit and handing it to me to eat.

Listening to a stranger narrate my life’s story with so much intimate knowledge made me feel awkwardly exposed. Yet I wasn’t ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, I felt authenticated. It was an entirely new feeling for me.

Someone, finally, spoke out who I am.

Jyotisha’s Spooky Accuracy

Then he hit on my life’s most pivotal...

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