Happiness & Freedom

May all beings know happiness and freedom
May all your actions promote happiness and freedom


Think about what you’re grateful for this holiday, and how you can be more generous with your love and compassion.

For those who might seem far away…

1. Sit
2. Close your eyes
3. Reconnect to yourself (mentally, physically, spiritually)
4. Reconnect to the prana within yourself
5. Through the earth, feel the connection to all other beings
6. Find solace in knowing that to be loved from afar, is only a breath away


Inspired by a more recent conversation with my niece, “YOLO,” came out of her mouth before I even knew what the acronym meant. “You only live once, Uncle Bryant,” she said with a confident smile. And with that modernized intention, I started to have conversations with others as to what living meant in the past, present, and future. You’re supposed to “carpe diem,” right?!

We all dwell in the past because experiences mold how we view the world today. There is planning for the future; however, whether you choose to fear or accept the uncertainty of change is up to you. Given the general philosophies of being “present,” this is where the most churn is experienced.

What determines living presently? Is that through the joy, excitement, and fun of the moment or something else? I’ve had definitions from numerous people. Living presently is…

…keeping life exciting and fun

…travelling the world

…bringing awareness to your surroundings

…loving what you have

I don’t think any of them are incorrect, but I think what is missing is something more broad that could encompass them all. Living presently is acknowledging the moment in all its forms. This includes not just the positive moments we thrive on, but also the negative/neutral ones as life goes through its ebb and flows. It’s okay if things aren’t happy-go-lucky all the time. If things are sad, grieve; if things are happy, celebrate. But don’t get wrapped around expectations that living is only when your adrenaline and dopamine levels are high. If your only source of life comes from the addicting “highs,” you’ll never be satiated, and the dualistic view of happy versus sad may lead to the improper correlation to life versus death. Living is based on the choices you make in each moment: good/bad/neutral. So just learn to make choices. Inaction is stymied growth, but is still life as we know it. Is it yours?

~Namaste~ BC

Practice is of Theory

A response to one of my students who had a question regarding yoga asana, kirtan, meditation and whether or not they could sustain themselves without the need of theory from the sutras, scriptures, etc…

Bryant_0149 1 copyPractice is of theory…
Sutra 1.13 Tatra sthitau yatno bhyasah
Sutra 1.14 Sa tu dirgha kala nairantarya satkara asevito drdha bhumih

Practice is effort towards removing citta vrtti (turning of the mind – misperceptions). Practice is grounded when continued frequently with devotion.

Your karmic actions are unrelated to the derivative outcomes of your job. Karma, as you plant a seed through action(s), will germinate through its path, unless disrupted with alternative intentions, and will result in experiences that may not be directly related to your cognitive interpretation of “root action.”

It is in theory that our practice of yoga (in all its limbs) helps us to move past our kleshas and in this case, your attachment to expectations. It is in the acknowledgement of experience, that you remove your suffering. Asana is a somatic practice that can help us to focus our thoughts to achieve a place of mindfulness, in order to navigate our misperceptions. Even your expectation that asana is a direct experience to conscious peace and well being is a misperception, as it’s still a projection of your mind.


Yoga is absolutely a practice, hence why we always say “practicing yoga…” And sometimes I purposefully sequence postures that may test our mental fortitude more than our physical prowess, during classes. So why is this relevant? It’s relevant because yoga is simply a practice for when you’re off the mat. In the “real world” you’re constantly bombarded with uncomfortable situations and tasks that you don’t necessarily want to do.

Ask yourself when was the last time you were in a stressful situation and how did you react? What “tools” did you use to move past the uncomfortable situation? Did you avoid the situation, break down from the stress, or manage it as cool as a cucumber? More often, it’s a combination of all of those avenues, and all of those choices have run through your mind. Having tools, routines and habits that can help you through those uncomfortable events can ease the overall stress in your life, if applied frequently. For something to be frequent usually requires regular practice in order to build a default state of mind – hopefully one that is able to navigate the ebb and flows of our lives.

One of my favorite somatic tools I use on a regular basis is a breathing technique:

  1. Exhale everything out of your lungs; optionally close your eyes to reduce stimulus
  2. Inhale through your nose, from your lower belly all the way to the crown of your head (figuratively speaking)
  3. Opening your mouth, vigorously sigh it out, exhaling away the stresses
  4. Repeat at least 3x times in a row

This could give you an oxygen high, helping to bring more “life” to your mind and your muscles (depending on the activity/event you’re participating in). By also repeating this sequence of breathing, you’re engaging parts of your nervous system that allow it to relax. Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed out you typically have a shortness of breath? Lengthening your breath can help you to relax, and even trick your body and mind into believing that things aren’t so bad… This at least allows you to step back and bring some clarity to your stressful situation.

So start with this “practice” and incorporate this into your life. It may require some continued effort at the beginning, but I think you’ll soon see results that may bring more ease to the stressful situations in the future.

~Namaste~ BC

Awareness invites opportunity…

So what is awareness?


the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness

Applying that to our daily lives may involve something like: book smarts, street smarts, information we bring in through our 5 senses, and just about anything we can interpret through our noggin. So ask yourself, are you actively being aware of things going around you?

How do you feel?
–          What are your body, mind, heart & spirit telling you?
How do others around you feel?
–          Are you ingesting their information with the least amount of judgment?

Sometimes we pull information in, but don’t have the tools to fully understand it all. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And sometimes, knowing everything isn’t always the best thing either. How else would we and others around us grow?

So what is an invitation?
the act of inviting; attractive, alluring, or tempting

I call this an open-hand gesture. Open your fingers, see what’s in my hand being offered. Do you see it for what it objectively is; subjectively, perhaps, through your own eyes and experiences; can you empathically see through another’s perspective? So take my hand (or not) in yours and let’s go on a journey.

Simply put, this is a gesture of agency. You have a choice of whether or not you want to proceed with something. In this case, it’s how much do you want to see around you. Are you open to being aware? Are you open to the possibility of also not understanding what’s going on around you? Can you be curious enough to continue down a path with no end-goal in mind? Invitations are options.

So what is an opportunity?
a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement

The action of bringing awareness into our lives is not necessarily a battle with others, but more of an internal obstacle to overcome when we are closed off to the idea of something new. What you see, feel, and sense every day is not in the past, so every experience that’s destined for the future is new – even if you think of an action as routine, like your yoga practice. So these opportunities are built upon the nuances we discover in our lives. And this opportunity is for growth. Should you choose not to grow, though, is certain stagnation and figurative death.

Ask yourself a simple question, “What do I see?” and you might surprise yourself to the possibilities that arise.