Blog

Writing about ideas, influences, and inspirations.

Paris, Lyon

Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Paris, Lyon

Paris, Lyon

It’s been 20 years since I last travelled to Europe alone. Back then I was an insecure grad student, and spent most of my days wandering around cobblestone streets in a state of anxiety and fear. I was lucky to have some touchstone visits with family both in France and Italy, but the in-between was just me. I did it so that I could believe I was the kind of person who could do it, and I came home feeling a bit more resilient and capable. I’m now in my early 40s, still grappling with insecurity and fear though markedly less so. It’s been a challenge-filled, transitory year...

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single, mother

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on single, mother

single, mother

I wanted him so badly and for so long that when he arrived I felt an emptiness where the wanting had lived. Here he was, the standing ovation, the hard-won result of years of bedroom efforts, medical visits, needle prods, chakra balancing, mantra recitation, daily juicing, pill-popping and praying, covered in meconium and crying in my arms. He was our reason for working together, many days he was our reason for staying together. Eventually he also became our reason to dissolve. It’s possible that we could have otherwise carried on indefinitely, trudging along on those ragged parallel...

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the hardest thing I’ve had to write

Posted by on Jan 26, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on the hardest thing I’ve had to write

the hardest thing I’ve had to write

It’s hard for me to pin-point exactly when my body issues began. It seems I have always lived with a nagging, navel-gazing disdain. I have seen photographic evidence of me living at ease, snapshots of me at three or four years old, happily playing on the beach with my little round Buddha-belly hanging out, smiling and waving at the camera. I believe there was that time, I just can’t recall it.  I do, however, have early memories of feeling embarrassed or ashamed of my physical form. I can remember skipping with a friend who lived on my street, and the feelings that welled up as she...

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on being okay alone

Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on on being okay alone

on being okay alone

You may have already read about it in my “sayonara, 2016” post, but last year I became officially separated. My former husband and I have a managed to keep up a pretty amicable post-split relationship, and have decided to equally co-parent our son. What this means is that while I’m emotionally invested in motherhood 100 percent of the time, I’m only physically on board for 50 percent of it. I’m suddenly in a place where I’ve got a lot more solo time on my hands and just like any other new state of being, it has required that I feel some uncomfortable...

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2016

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on 2016

2016

Dear 2016, It’s been a year. When you took away some of my dearest heroes, you bruised my heart. But you also gave me a chance to reflect on just how many of my memories and life experiences have been tied up in evocative lyrics, guitar riffs, and the sex appeal of performative rock and roll. David Bowie was one of my first crushes. In Labyrinth, I secretly wanted Sarah to be stuck forever with the Goblin King so at least she might be able to explore some of the feelings that I felt stirring in me whenever I saw him dance that magic dance. Bowie felt simultaneously dangerous and...

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the warmth of everything

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on the warmth of everything

the warmth of everything

“Mama, can we snuggle?” he asks, rolling dozily over the bed to nuzzle in.  His creased and cowlicked hair smells like sleep and you can hear the lightness of his breath, the rattle of his runny nose.  You pull him close, your eyes still closed, and think this is everything.  And then an echo from inside your chest, a shadow beat beneath the beat, whispers still not enough. You have been dealing for some time with the magnitude of loss, and with trying to find your way through the neverendingness of change that gushed out from beneath it. You have been saying...

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to grow where you are planted

Posted by on Oct 4, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on to grow where you are planted

to grow where you are planted

 A few months ago, I was meandering over a rugged lava field in Iceland. As I wobbled across the expanse of crumbled grey and black rock, I noticed this flower. Its seed had really landed in a tough place, I thought. But it had light and it had water, and it found a way to lay down its roots even though it wouldn’t have the easier path of carving smooth lines through soft soil. After some time the seed had not only survived, it bloomed like it was always meant to be a flower of the rocks. So many of us are working to build lives in the rubble of what we thought we’d...

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September

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on September

September

I am sitting on my porch watching the rising light over the backyard trees across the street, and it feels way too early.  I’m up well before 6am for the third morning in a row, my body still working through the remains of the jet lag that followed me back across the Atlantic.  And my son, never one to miss out on an opportunity to have a few minutes of quiet reading or ipad time before breakfast hits the table, has followed me down the stairs.  It is the first day of school and in a way that reveals so much about the kind of person he is, he woke up and exclaimed, “Today is...

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debunking

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on debunking

debunking

There are certain traits that people tend to associate with yoga teachers, and at times I fit the bill: vegetarian environmentalist who follows the phases of the moon and might be caught wearing a mala wrapped around her wrist.  But there are a whole other whack of things that get sucked into this stereotypic vortex that don’t apply so easily to my life: easily thin, detox-obsessed, “let it flow, let it go” mentality, teetotaler, perfect handstand, perfectly peaceful life.  Facebook and Instagram, while offering fun diversions, really serve to exacerbate this...

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This is 40

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on This is 40

This is 40

I’m not sure exactly what I expected 40 to be like.  I suppose it would have mattered at what age you’d have asked me.  At 10, I pretty much hoped to be like my parents– married, kids, steady job, living in the suburbs.  By 20, I’d added in the hopes for travel and a PhD.  By 30, I’d set aside the PhD-of-Anthropology plans, and even my hopes for children weren’t going well.  My “steady job” wasn’t making me happy in the way I’d imagined a steady job would.  I guess I had hoped 40 would just have me doing things differently. I...

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the safety dogma

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on the safety dogma

the safety dogma

I’ve been standing back and watching this all unfold for quite some time now.  I can only speak in reference to the community with which I am most familiar, but there seems to be a shift going on in many schools of yoga– a movement away from the more traditional dogma and blind repetition of sequences towards a questioning of the core principles of the practice (ideal alignment, class sequencing, verbal cuing, physical assisting, etc). I was really excited to witness this dialogue developing.  I love “geeking out” with other professionals about anatomy and biomechanics as they apply...

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the hard body

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Blog | Comments Off on the hard body

the hard body

As far back as I can remember I have seen my body as, at best, something I needed to whip into shape, and at worst, a source of embarrassment or humiliation.  My body has been an ongoing source of struggle: I wasn’t thin enough, tall enough, I could never find that elusive thigh gap.  My hair was too curly, the moles of my face too noticeable.  My legs were too jiggly, I was too flexible and not strong enough.  As a kid I had exercise-induced asthma, pasta-feeding parents, and a perfectionist’s mind– a recipe for self-hatred.  I compensated for all the ways I saw my...

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Patti

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Patti

Patti

Last night I met Patti Smith.  Well, I heard her speak, watched her strike lioness poses in front of a microphone as she sang, and leaned over a table to thank her with a goofy grin while she signed my copy of her new book of memories, M Train.  I was struck by the weight of her presence.  She’s a force.  On one hand she’s this rogue wave, this counter-culture spark of art and optimism, an unapologetic creator of things based in memory and inspired by beauty.  She’s a conduit between the classical artists and poets and the modern page.  On the other hand, she speaks candidly of...

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The dream, the promise and the consequence

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on The dream, the promise and the consequence

The dream, the promise and the consequence

I just returned from a weekend long immersion into the Handel Group method in New York City.  While I did go into the weekend with some hesitation over the entire concept of “life coaching”, I had heard enough great things about this particular program to commit myself to the process.  So with a mix of trepidation and curiosity, I walked into that crowded room and took my seat.  Much of the rest is private, complicated, remarkable. The basic idea of the Handel method is that you need to develop a clear dream for yourself.  So many of us have lost touch with what it is to...

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commitment

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on commitment

commitment

A few days ago, I completed the final day of my 50 Day Yoga Marathon.  I had been feeling a bit disconnected and uninspired with both my teaching and my own personal practice, and decided I needed to do something about it.  I needed to recommit to a daily practice.  While I do think I tend to have a good sense of “will power” so to speak (read: steadfast control issues), I knew that it would help me to bring others on board to help me to stay accountable to this goal.  I created a Facebook group and invited a few people that I had met along my yoga journeys, and a handful of...

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for Lucy

Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on for Lucy

for Lucy

Just over a week ago I lost my best friend, Lucy.  She was a sweet shepherd/collie mix, and we adopted her when she was only 8 weeks old from a shelter in Sudbury.  She had a hard run from the get-go; injuries and illnesses punctuated our time together.  But we always fought hard for her, and she in turn did her part to fight too.  With our efforts combined, we made it, with gratitude, to 9.5 wonderful years.  She taught me a lot about hope, and about vulnerability and that complex mixture of joy and woe that comes with loving wholly. Every morning, when I would come down the stairs...

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waking up

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on waking up

waking up

This past week, I slipped away from cold Toronto to the South for some reprieve.  It has been a relatively kind season so far this year, not nearly the abominable one we suffered through last year.  Since we had been free of those long and unabated arctic freezes, I was surprised to see just how heavy the winter doldrums I had been carrying had become until I was able to take them off and set them down.  Tight shoulders and short strides melted away as air moved lightly across my skin, a warmth so perfectly approximating that of my own body I felt a part of it, and it a part of me. ...

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better than a resolution: setting a sankalpa

Posted by on Jan 7, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on better than a resolution: setting a sankalpa

better than a resolution: setting a sankalpa

Happy 2015!  It’s a new year, it’s January, and just like everyone else I’m using this time of year as a bit of a psychological “reset” button. For me, December was a month of happy indulgences– social engagements with packed buffet tables, endless glasses of wine, huge Italian style lunches and desserts galore, long afternoons spent reading and drinking too much coffee–in other words, a whole lot of eating and not much doing.  But I moved into this new year feeling I’d had enough of such extravagance; I’m now looking to strip away the...

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apostle of hustle

Posted by on Sep 5, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on apostle of hustle

apostle of hustle

It’s been a while since I’ve come by here.  I’ve been largely silent on the writing front this whole summer, sheepishly sneaking away from the computer after some quick Facebook updates and email checks, avoiding a confrontation with my website so desperately in need of updating.  It was summer, after all.  I went camping, I hung out with my kid, I did a lot of yoga.  Call it cellular memory if you like, but summer triggers my inner sloth-brain and not only am I unable to create interesting pieces of writing, I can barely hold up my end of a conversation.  My summer...

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truthfully yours

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off on truthfully yours

truthfully yours

I often talk about the importance of authenticity in my yoga classes, of practicing in a way that is honest and truthful and serves the needs of the body as it is rather than the ego.  I also talk about using the teachings on the mat to move into a place of living from a deeper sense of authenticity- being yourself, being truthful and being unafraid of the perceived repercussions of honesty.  After years of training I’ve noticed the idea of “delusion” comes up again and again in the sacred texts, in both Hindu and Buddhist traditions.  To live in delusion is to move...

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All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.