Tag Archives: yoga

Mar 03

Spring FlowersI’m looking forward to teaching a series of “Spring Tune Up” Kundalini Yoga classes at Yoga West again this year! Read on for a summary of the series and details on the dates and location. You’re very welcome to attend, even if you’re brand new to Kundalini Yoga (or yoga in general).

Toxins are a part of life…

Toxins are a part of everyday life. Even your own body create toxins as part of the normal digestive process. To lighten your load, it’s a good idea to take steps to reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposed to — for example, by eating healthy, organic food and drinking clean, filtered water. It’s equally important to tune up your body’s toxic removal systems so that you’re well equipped to deal with toxicity that inevitably shows up in your life.

Six Weeks. Five Cleansing Systems.

The March 4 class will provide an overview of our innate ability to detoxify, and we’ll explore how Kundalini Yoga can help. Each of the following Sunday (10-11:30am) classes will focus on a specific cleansing system. You’ll learn about the basic roles that each of these systems plays and will practice Kundalini Yoga kriyas (yoga sets) designed help these systems function at peak efficiency. You’ll also work on cleansing mental toxins through the practice of meditation and the use of mantra. And we’ll explore the link between emotional and physical toxins.

Location and Dates

All classes are at Yoga West (2662 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver) on Sundays from 10-11:30am (specific dates are below). You’re welcome to attend as few or as many classes as you like and beginners are welcome. Use your Yoga West class package or pay for a drop-in class ($15 for your first class, $18 otherwise). Please arrive by 9:50am if it’s your first class at Yoga West.

Sunday, March 4 (10-11:30am) — Detoxification Overview

Sunday, March 11 (10-11:30am) — Kidneys

Sunday, March 25 (10-11:30am) — Colon

Sunday, April 1 (10-11:30am) — Lungs

Sunday, April 8 (10-11:30am) — Liver

Sunday, April 22 (10-11:30am) — Lymphatic System

May 17

Kundalini Yoga Foundations Classes in Vancouver: May to August, 2015

I’ll be teaching four “Kundalini Yoga Foundations” classes over the next few months. All classes will be held on Saturdays (May 23, June 13, July 25 and August 29) from 11:45am-1pm at Yoga West, located at 2662 West 4th Avenue in Vancouver. These classes are perfect if you’re practicing Kundalini Yoga for the very first time or want to brush up on the basics.

Watch the following video and read on to learn how these classes came to be and for more information on the class format and themes.

My First Kundalini Yoga Class

Twenty years ago I attended my first Kundalini Yoga class. It was taught by my good friend Robert Hay, who enthusiastically promoted the positive benefits of yoga and meditation years before this ancient practice emerged into the mainstream. I remember feeling curious (Robert had been sharing his own experiences with Kundalini Yoga on many occasions, usually after our regular squash games) and admittedly a little sceptical at the prospect of trying something new and decidedly foreign. My sense of adventure in concert with some gentle encouragement from Robert won me over. I showed up for my inaugural class.

Opening Up to a World of Possibles

Little did I know what a profound impact this simple first step would have on my life and work. I soon became a regular at the Rama Lotus Yoga Centre in Ottawa and started to notice profound shifts in my health and an enhanced ability to handle stress; timely, given my high pressure job as a project manager for a large hi-tech firm in the area. Beyond any immediate benefits, a strong sense of purpose began to unfold as I uncovered hidden talents and strengths. It was a pivotal moment in my life that opened up a world of possibilities

Teaching Kundalini Yoga

Inspired by all the benefits and insights that I was realizing through this multi-faced practice, I enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in 1999. My primary motivation was to absorb more of this timeless wisdom while delving more deeply into my own personal practice.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that I love to teach. I joined the then small, but growing, teaching staff at Rama Lotus, and taught there regularly until moving to Vancouver in 2004. Since completing my certification I’ve the honour of teaching thousands of students at numerous centres across North America, including Yoga West in Vancouver, one of oldest and most respected Kundalini Yoga centres in the world.

Lowering the Barrier to Entry

Over the years I’ve talked to many people who are intrigued by Kundalini Yoga. Some have never practiced yoga, and others have had some experience with other styles, typically those with a primary focus on postures, or “asanas”. Many people I spoke with feel as I did when Robert first invited me to try a class – curious and a little uncomfortable at the prospect of attending their first class surrounded by seasoned yogis who have memorized lengthy mantras and who’s vernacular includes words like “chakra”, “nadis” and “aura”.

To make Kundalini Yoga more accessible, I took the initiative to develop classes specifically designed for those of you who are experiencing Kundalini Yoga for the first time. These classes don’t assume any prior experience with any style of yoga. The only requirement is a willingness to try on something new, and to see if it fits. You’re also very welcome to attend if you have had some experience with Kundalini Yoga and would like to get back to basics and fill in some gaps in your knowledge.

Kundalini Yoga: What to Expect

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is sometimes called the “mother of all yogas”. A typical class incorporates postures, movement, breathing techniques, meditation and mantra to support enhanced health, focus and connection to purpose.

The class begins with the chanting of a short mantra (“Ong Namo, Guru Dev Namo”), a key component in setting the stage for a powerful experience during the class. A set of warm-up exercises is followed by a yoga set, or “kriya”. A kriya is a sequence of exercises that are masterfully woven together to achieve a specific effect. Yogi Bhajan shared hundreds of kriyas, each with a different focus.

The kriya is followed by a long, deep relaxation, to integrate the effects of the exercises, and a meditation. There are a wide variety of meditations that make use of various hand positions, or “mudras”. Some meditations are silent and others incorporate the repetitive chanting of a mantra.

Most mantras are chanted in Gurmukhi, a language born out of the ancient language of Sanskrit. What makes these mantras special is the effect that is achieved as these words are chanted. It’s something that must be experienced to be appreciated. Words will be provided and, while I encourage you to chant along to get the full impact of the meditation, listening is always an option.

Each class concludes with a short prayer and the chanting of “Sat Nam”, a mantra to call upon and acknowledge our inner truth. “Sat” means truth and “Nam” is the naming or calling upon of this truth.

Four Saturday Classes (11:45am-1pm)

Kundalini Yoga is a holistic practice that acknowledges that we humans are multi-faceted by nature and that all of these facets are intimately connected. Each class will focus on one aspect of this practice, always in the context of this holistic model.

Class 1 (May 23): The Power of the Breath (Pranayama) — Most of us were never taught to breathe growing up…and likely aren’t breathing as effectively as we could be. During the class we’ll explore a variety of breathing, or pranayama techniques that help us tap into our inner calm as well as some to energize and cleanse the body.

Class 2 (June 13): Nerves of Steel (Nervous System) — Yogi Bhajan put a lot of emphasis on the nervous system and gave us a wealth of techniques to help us build this system so that we’re better equipped to handle the stresses of life. I’ll be taking you through some of these techniques during the class and talking about some things you can do in your day-to-day life to help maintain a strong nervous system.

Class 3 (July 25): Your Guardians of Health (Endocrine System) — Yogi Bhajan also talked a lot about the endocrine system and collectively referred to these glands as our “guardians of health”. We’ll go through a series of exercise that are designed to balance these glands. The results can be felt across a wide spectrum, from improvements to digestion to a more balanced emotional state to having a better memory and sleeping better at night.

Class 4 (August 29): Beyond Stress: Tapping Into Your Vitality – This class centres around a theme of vitality. We’ll explore the concepts of healthy and unhealthy stress and I’ll introduce you to some exercises designed to help you tap into your inner vitality.

Come and Have an Experience

I hope that what I’ve shared has given you a good taste of what to expect…and piqued your curiosity. Fundamentally, Kundalini Yoga can’t be explained in words. The only way to learn what it’s all about is to come and experience it for yourself.

Attend as many classes as you like. Dress in comfortable clothes and be sure to bring a water bottle. If you’re attending a class at Yoga West for the first time, plan to arrive 15 minutes early to give yourself time to complete a short form and to settle in to the space.

If you need a visual reminder, consider printing out this poster and putting it up on your fridge. And why not invite a friend to join you on this new adventure. And you’re very welcome to contact me or Yoga West if you have any questions.

Kundalini Yoga Foundations - May to August, 2015

Sep 25

Come and experience what it’s like to start the day with a powerful, energizing and relaxing yoga class. Starting November 5, Yoga West (2662 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver) will be offering 6:45-8am Kundalini Yoga classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and I have the honour of teaching the Thursday classes. Everyone is welcome and no previous experience with Kundalini Yoga is necessary.

Yoga West Morning Classes

Sep 21

TEN Bodies? I thought I only had one…

We are multifaceted beings by nature and our physical body is only one of the aspects that defines us as humans. In addition to our physical body we each have three mental bodies and six energy bodies that can be experienced, developed and balanced through the practice of yoga and meditation.

If you understand that you are Ten Bodies, and you are aware of those Ten Bodies, and you keep them in balance, the whole Universe will be in balance with you. — Yogi Bhajan

Experience Your Multifaceted Nature on October 6

Join Seattle-based Yoga and Shamanic Teacher and Present Journeys co-founder, Alec Davis and I for a Yoga Workshop on Sunday, October 6 (2-4pm) and experience yourself as a multi-faceted human. The workshop will take place at the Maya Whole Health Studio, located in Renton, Washington (1322 Lake Washington Blvd) — about 27 km (17 miles) from downtown Seattle.

Hatha & Kundalini Yoga, Guided Relaxation and Healing Circle

Resident yoga teacher Alec Davis will support you in connecting with your breath and will take you through a series of Hatha Yoga postures to engage your physical body. I’ll then lead a Kundalini Yoga kriya (set) called “Awakening to Your Ten Bodies”, that includes dynamic physical exercises and pranayama (breath work) followed by a guided relaxation and a powerful healing circle meditation. Everyone is welcome and no previous experience with Hatha Yoga or Kundalini Yoga is necessary.

Reserve Your Space Today

Reserve your space in the workshop by registering online at the Maya Whole Health Studio. Space is limited, so it’s recommended that you book early to be guaranteed a spot in the workshop.

[button link=”http://bit.ly/mayaws” color=”#AAAAAA” size=”3″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”auto” target=”self”]Register Now[/button]

Bring Your Ten Bodies to Costa Rica in December

Want to take your experience to the next level? Alec and I are leading a seven-day Yoga and Shamanic retreat from December 28-January 4 at the beautiful Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa, located on the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet. Visit PresentJourneys.com for more information and to register online.

Apr 12

SunflowerToxins are a part of life…

Toxins are a part of everyday life. Even your own body create toxins as part of the normal digestive process. To lighten your load it’s a good idea to take steps to reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposed to — for example, by eating healthy, organic food and drinking clean, filtered water. It’s equally important to tune up your body’s toxic removal systems so that you’re well equipped to deal with toxicity that shows up in your life.

Five Weeks. Five Cleansing Systems.

This five week series focuses on a different cleansing system each week. You’ll learn about the basic roles that each of these systems plays and will practice kriyas designed help these systems function at peak efficiency. You’ll also work on mental toxins through the practice of meditation and the use of mantra and will have the opportunity to explore the connections between emotional and physical toxins.

Tune-up Schedule: Thursdays 12-1:30pm

The Kundalini Yoga classes will be offered at Yoga West in Vancouver (2662 W 4th Avenue, between Stephens and Trafalgar) as part of the 40-day challenge that begins on April 22, 2013. You’re welcome to attend as few or as many classes as you’d like and no previous experience is necessary. I’ll be teaching four of the classes, and Dharam Darshan Kaur, who’s a regular teacher at Yoga West will be teaching the May 16 class.

Thursday, April 25 (12-1:30pm) — Kidneys

Thursday, May 2 (12-1:30pm) — Colon

Thursday, May 9 (12-1:30pm) — Lungs

Thursday, May 16 (12-1:30pm) — Liver (taught by Dharam Darshan Kaur)

Thursday, May 23 (12-1:30pm) — Skin



Dec 09

Rama Tim at Khalsa Men's CampI’m teaching a couple of extra yoga classes at Yoga West (2662 W 4th Avenue, Vancouver) this month — specifically the Tuesday 7-8:30pm classes on December 11 and 18. The theme for these two classes is “Setting the Stage for 2013”. You’re very welcome to attend one or both classes whether you’re a seasoned yogi or experiencing this practice for the first time.

December 11 — Creating Space — The first week you’ll focus on creating space for growth in 2013 by letting go things that don’t serve you. This can include tension in the body, toxic emotions, outdated belief systems and unproductive habits. In the process you’ll tap into new sources of energy and create momentum to carry yourself into the New Year.

December 18 — Attracting Prosperity — The focus for the second week will be on attracting prosperity into your life. You’ll learn about prosperity from a yogic point of view and will undergo a process that supports you in attracting wealth in many forms.

A prosperous person has certain characteristics. For that person richness is not the basic aim. It happens anyway. No matter what the circumstance a prosperous person creates, delivers, and fulfills. They always remember the presence and possibilities of the Infinite within each person. To such a person, prosperity is as natural as the breath, as unlimited as the mind and as immediate as this moment. — Yogi Bhajan

I hope to see you at Yoga West…and feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

Apr 23

Budding Rose - Awaken and TransformBetween April 26 and May 31 I’m teaching a series of Kundalini Yoga classes under the theme of Awaken and Transform. All classes will be held at Yoga West in Kitsilano (2662 W 4th Avenue, between Stephens and Trafalgar) on Thursdays from 12–1:30pm.

These classes are part of a 40-day yoga challenge that officially launches at Yoga West on April 23 at 7pm. According to yogic science, 40 days is the amount of time it takes to let go of an old habit and cultivate a new one. You’re very welcome to attend any or all of these classes whether you’re participating in the 40-day yoga challenge or not.

April 26 — Awaken to Your Ten Bodies — We are multifaceted beings by nature and our physical body is only one of the aspects that defines us as humans. Come and experience, strengthen and balance all of your ten bodies through breath, movement and meditation.

May 3 — Understanding Through Compassion — According to Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, we have entered into the Age of Aquarius. Key to thriving in this new age is going beyond an intellectual understanding of the world and learning to understand through compassion. Experience yourself as an integral part of life and open yourself to exciting new possibilities.

May 10 — The Other Person is YOU — Consider that we see others as a reflection of ourselves. Qualities we admire in others are qualities that we possess. And any time we have a reaction to something someone else says or does we have an opportunity to see our shadow. Learn how to apply this teaching in a practical way and embrace your light and the shadow it casts.

May 17 — When the Time is On You…START — Is there anything in your life that you’re putting off? Resisting doing things is, in many cases, more draining that actually doing them. Learn to apply yogic technology to create momentum in your life as you take courageous steps along the path of fulfillment and happiness.

May 24 — A Way Through Every Block — Like it our not, challenges will come along throughout our life. Resisting these challenges can lead us to feeling stuck and drained. Embracing them presents us with an opportunity to learn and grow. As children, many of us loved to play with blocks. Bring your inner child and re-experience how much fun blocks can be.

May 31 — Vibrate the Cosmos — At a very basic level we humans (and everything else for that matter) exist as vibrations. Kundalini Yoga places a strong emphasis on chanting sacred mantras that support us in raising our vibration and reaching heightened levels of awareness. Don’t take my word for it…come and experience it for yourself.

Oct 18

Yoga West LogoI’m excited to announce that I’m teaching a regular Thursday noon (12-1:15pm) class at Yoga West in Vancouver starting this Thursday (October 20, 2011). I have been teaching yoga since 1999 and was a regular teacher at Yoga West before getting diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Kundalini Yoga played a major role in my recovery and I’m grateful to be teaching regularly at Yoga West once again and to have the opportunity to share the many lessons that I learned during my healing journey.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kundalini Yoga, it’s a style that is often dubbed the “mother of all yogas”. It has a strong physical element, with more of an emphasis on dynamic movement than on static postures. Kundalini Yoga also provides the opportunity to experience the many other facets of yoga, including breathwork (pranayama), meditation and yogic lifestyles and philosophies. The best way to learn what Kundalini Yoga is all about is to come and experience a class for yourself.

For more information on Kundalini Classes at Yoga West visit yogawest.ca. And feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

p.s. I’m also going to be teaching Kundalini Yoga in downtown Vancouver starting in January 2012 and have some plans for workshops with a yogic theme. Stay tuned for details!

Oct 17

A Snapshot of Your Life

If you’ve ever worked with a life coach, you’re likely intimately familiar with the “Wheel of Life”. For those of you who are new to this concept, the Wheel of Life is a coaching tool that allows you to take a visual snapshot of your life as it exists in the present moment.

Life is, by it’s very nature, multifaceted. The most powerful and lasting approaches to growth and healing encompass all aspects of your being. Taking stock of your life and acknowledging and accepting where you are right now is a requisite first step to engaging in transformation.

The Wheel of Life includes all major areas of life, typically: career, money, health, friends & family, significant other/romance, personal growth, fun & recreation and physical environment.

Wheel of Life

The exercise is to assign a rating from one to ten for each of these areas. A score of one indicates that you’re thoroughly unsatisfied in this area and a score of ten indicates that this part of your life is off-the-charts amazing. And, there’s all the scores in between, with five often being expressed as an uninspired “fine”. A common trap is to label lower scores as “bad” and higher score as “good”. I encourage you to approach this exercise from a very neutral place and accept life exactly as it exists in the present. The ancient yogis called this “Santosha” – contentment with the way things are.

“Career” in Modern Times

I frequently remind my coaching clients (and myself) that the labels associated with the Wheel of Life are arbitrary. If a specific term doesn’t fit it can always be substituted with a different, more empowering label. The goal is to create an all-encompassing view of life and not to fit a pre-defined mould.

The one label that has never really worked for me is “career”. I have struggled over the years to define my career, with varying levels of success and plenty of frustration. I’ve discovered that I’m not the only one who faces this dilemma.

In the past, a common scenario was that you’d receive an education in a given field and then spend the next 25 years or more working in that area, perhaps even for the same company. For better or worst, our modern life doesn’t always work that way. Our world is changing at such a rapid rate that industries that existed twenty, or even ten years ago may already be yesterday’s news.  And we’re exposed to a wealth of information and have many opportunities to learn that simply didn’t exist in years past. The result is that it’s common to have several different “careers” over the course of our lives and many of us are in a seemingly constant state of learning and training.

The concept of “career” doesn’t work the way it used to. Perhaps it’s time for a new paradigm.

Introducing the Wheel of Life Work™

Earlier this year I started working with a talented and highly creative coach, Phil Askew. During one of our calls I mentioned my challenges around the word “career”. As an experiment, we substituted career with a term which fit much more naturally – “life work”.

I believe  that each of us has a purpose for being here on the planet and that we each have unique gifts to offer. Our level of happiness and fulfillment is proportional to the degree to which we’re able to live this purpose and share these gifts (I’m tempted to insert a mathematical formula and graph at this point, but I’ll resist).

There’s a practical side to life that requires us to earn money in order to support ourselves and our family…and perhaps indulge in some of the finer things in life. Ideally the work that you get paid for is completely in alignment with your life work. This isn’t always the case and, especially in earlier stages of life, your purpose and “life work” may be somewhat (or completely) undefined.

As a minimum, hopefully your paid employment satisfies at least some aspects of your life work. And with a little creativity this is almost possible, regardless of circumstances. Those aspects that aren’t met by a traditional career can still be cultivated in other areas of your life, with or without financial gain. Sometimes rewards for carrying out your life work can exist in the form of fulfillment or as an experience of deep connection with the world around you.

So how does the Wheel of Life Work apply in practical terms? Read on.

My Wheel of Life Work

To further illustrate this concept, here’s my own Wheel of Life Work as it exists today:

Wheel of Life Work - Tim Stringer

In my case, I came up with eight personas and gifts that bring great fulfillment and allow me to make a positive contribution to the world. Some of these exist as part of paid work, while others aren’t attached to a financial income stream, yet bring great joy. In my case, I’ve discovered that the specifics of the work I’m doing is less important than the results that are created. For example, as a public speaker I enjoy engaging a group in a way that leaves them inspired and willing to look at their life in a new, positive light. The specific topic of the speech is less important than the impact that is delivered.

I’ve also noticed that none of the areas of my Wheel of Life Work exist in isolation. For example, as a Technology Consultant I’m motivated to share ways in which technology can be used to bring positive changes to our lives and our communities. I might express this enthusiasm and knowledge as a Writer, Teacher or Workshop Leader and may draw upon my training as a Yoga Teacher to inject some ancient yogic wisdom into the conversation.

I frequently revisit my Wheel of Life Work to ensure that each of these areas is getting “fed”. If an area is being neglected I put a plan in place to shift this area. I also use the Wheel of Life Work when evaluating new employment opportunities. If the opportunity doesn’t satisfy at least a few segments of my Life Work it’s time to look elsewhere.

Now It’s Your Turn…

Enough about me. Now it’s your turn to explore your own Wheel of Life Work.

Set aside some quiet time – 20-30 minutes will likely be sufficient – and define the various facets that make up your own life work. It’s useful to look back on your life and identify moments where you felt particularly fulfilled and content. These could be moments spent in the context of a job or they could be activities you’ve pursued for the sheer enjoyment they bring.

The key here is not to over-think the process. Often the first thought that pops into your head is the most relevant one. It may help to do this exercise with a coach or a friend. Let their curiosity around your life work help you clarify the various activities and roles that light you up and are aligned with your core essence. In some cases, it’s as much about your gift of being as your talents at doing. For example, you may have an enthusiasm that is contagious to everyone around you or your mere presence may instil a sense of calm.

Your labels may exist as personas, as mine did, or they may be more topical in nature. For example, sustainability and the environment may be a key component of your life work. You may come up with eight facets, or you may have more…or fewer. There may be some aspects that are crystal clear, while others may be foggy or even invisible at this stage. Identifying what is clear is a good first step that can allow clarity in the other areas to unfold naturally. It’s also important to keep in mind that none of this is cast in stone. Allow yourself the freedom to evolve your Wheel of Life Work over time.

Once you identify the various facets of your Wheel of Life Work, rate each of them on a scale from one to ten based on your current satisfaction in each area. Imagine what each area would look like if it were a ten – even if the means to achieving this level of satisfaction is unclear.

To help ground this exercise, take three areas from your Wheel of Life Work and commit to the rating you’d like to have in each of these areas three months from now. The key is to come up with measurable indicators. For example, if you currently aren’t putting any significant energy into a key part of your life and rate it at at two – a measurable quality that would make it a five might be that you’re spending two hours a week in this area or have identified jobs that would feed this part of your work life.

Creating accountability is a key aspect of coaching. I encourage you to share your Wheel of Life Work and goals with a friend or coach. And, if you’re feeling particularly brave, share a summary of your discovery in the comments below. Publicly revealing your gifts and ambitions can be a powerful way of setting the stage for a fulfilling life.

Aug 29

A Simpler Time

At the risk of dating myself, I have vivid memories of a “simpler” time when there was no voicemail or e-mail.  When the only “spam” you had to deal with was the occasional flyer that would show up in the mailbox. If you didn’t make it to the bank by closing time on Friday you had no cash for the weekend and if you wanted to take a trip somewhere you went to the local mall and leafed through glossy brochures under the guidance of a travel agent. Wondering what’s going on in the world? Your options were to stroll down to the local news stand or wait for the six o’clock news to air on the radio or television.

The Rise of Modern Technology

I watched the introduction of the first calculators and personal computers with a child-like wonder (not surprisingly, as I was a child at the time). I can remember getting up bright and early to spend fifteen minutes with one my school’s few Commodore PET computers and even getting my hands on a SuperPET or an Apple II on occasion. I was thrilled when my Dad brought his Hewlett-Packard calculator home for the weekend and managed to program it to accept input and print the results of calculations on paper tape.

The Great Debates

I remember all the debates that sprang up at the time. With the advent of technologies like instant tellers, there was one group who were purveyors of doom and gloom – who were adamant that modern technology would lead to wide-spread unemployment. After all, why would a bank hire a teller when a  machine could do their work for a fraction of the cost? At the other end of the spectrum, proponents of these modern trends pointed to all the new jobs that would be created to satisfy the world’s hunger for technology. They were also quick to point out that computers are well suited to mundane, repetitive tasks that nobody enjoys doing anyway. Automating these tedious tasks would mean that us humans would have and abundance of time to enjoy the finer things in life – music, art, literature.

As a wide-eyed teenager in the seventies I was firmly in the second camp. I’m a naturally creative person and saw modern technology as a vehicle with great potential – an opportunity to expand my world and stretch the limits of my imagination. My intrigue led me to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering with a Computer Systems Engineering focus and to employment as a software developer and project manager on varied and complex software projects.

Welcome to the Future

I’m in awe at how far technology has come in a very short time. In many ways, it has far exceeded the prophecies of the seventies. Technology that, not long ago, was the stuff of science fiction is readily available to the average consumer. Boggling amounts of up-to-date information is accessible at the click of a button and communication, even to the other side of the planet, happens in a blink of an eye and often without a second thought.

Even as I marvel at our technological world, I also witness lives that are out of control and hear stories of excessive stress and overwhelm. It’s all to easy to become distracted by all the “noise” and it’s equally easy to become obsessed with all the tools we have at our disposal for connecting and communicating. If anything, life feels more complicated than it was in the seventies and, especially in our Western culture, I’ve noticed that there’s less emphasis placed on core human values and the finer things in life.

Fast Forward and Out of Control

So, what happened? Why all the stress? I see two core issues at the source of our woes. First of all, a high level of personal discipline is required in order for technology to serve us and not end up being a source of stress. Having a lot of power and information at our fingertips is, in some ways, akin to having a mountain of financial wealth. Sadly people who win lotteries too often don’t go on to live happy and prosperous lives. In fact it’s quite the opposite – their lives tend to be ruined as they don’t have the capacity to deal with their new-found wealth. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having money, just as there’s nothing inherently wrong with having access to technology. What is often missing is a balanced and constructive way of relating to this abundance.

The other core issue is that people generally aren’t taught how to use technology effectively. Instead we tend to be thrown into the middle of it all and are somehow supposed to figure out how all the parts fit together. Add in the myriad of marketing promises, many of them grossly overstated, and it’s not surprising that modern technology has led to so much confusion. People are worried about being left behind and not sure which “band wagon” to board.

Technological Bliss

I feel called to serve in both areas. I have been practicing yoga and meditation for the past fifteen years and teaching since 1999 and see how this ancient technology is needed more than ever in our modern civilization. Getting in touch with our core essence and developing mental discipline is key to not only surviving, but thriving in this fast-paced world we inhabit. A strong sense of self is more important than ever and is something that needs to be cultivated.

I’m also professionally trained as a coach. It’s not surprising that this professional has grown significantly in the wake of our technology advancements. Working with a coach can foster creativity and clarity and can be a powerful way to maintain focus in a world that is full of temptations and distractions.

The world of technology is frequently and appropriately referred to as a jungle. It’s an exciting space to be in and one that can easily become disorienting and uncomfortable to the uninitiated. Having grown up in the technology jungle, I feel well equipped to act as a guide and strive to help others feel at home while experiencing the marvel of this brave new world. This quest exists at a very practical level – as a guide my mission is to separate the substance from the hype and demonstrate, largely by example, how freeing technology can be. The jungle can be a dangerous place and I’m equally committed to pointing out the pitfalls along the way.

Your Humble Sherpa

This officially marks the beginning of a series of blog posts that delve more deeply into both areas. I’m not sure where this will go, which makes the journey all the more exciting. I’ll talk about specific technologies, with the focus being on how they can be used to make life fuller and richer, rather than on the technology itself. I’ll give plenty of practical examples from my own life and I encourage you to share your own experiences and wisdom.

Care to join me?