Yoga

Butterfly Introduction Day Autumn on 21st October 2017

on June 9, 2017 No comments

Full Moon Love on this beautiful Rose Moon.

I have already had enquiries about the next Butterfly intake. So I am planning a new Year 1 group to start January 2018. Dates will soon to follow. There will be a taster day at Yoga Kula in Leeds on 21st October 2017 and it is now open for booking. For more information and to book please click here.

Love Carly

 

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Carly MountainButterfly Introduction Day Autumn on 21st October 2017

Durga

on April 13, 2017 No comments

The thrash of the tiger
Is held so quietly within
the stillness of her striped form.
Soft muscularity,
Terrifying black, gold beauty.

Would my hand dare caress
Her silken curves,
Her pulsating chest,
The vicious magnificence of her passion,
Deadly and divine
With no transgression
Sensuous jugular enclosure
a powerful embrace,
Enters the darkness in rapture
Overpowered by grace.

Meditative feline
Stalk the deepest depths of being
Heart roars, erect claws,
Mortal flesh trembling.
Golden mirror of my soul
I know you could consume me whole
Untamed beast flying wild
She honours her nature
Like an innocent child.

What is the mirror that you hold
Hidden in your black and gold
Devoted to your enticing grace
Your ferociousness holds no distaste
You hold the power of the passion
Unashamed and unrationed.

If I am you and you are me
We are the perfect symphony.

~ Carly Mountain

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Carly MountainDurga

Coming out as…grey

on March 14, 2014 No comments

For 20 years no less, I have polluted my system with hair dye.

I’m done. I am taking my masks off. I do not want to pollute my system or our water with those chemicals anymore. I am done with the violence of the beauty industry, to the earth, to animals and to myself.

Change is life. And to age is a privilege.

If we are to walk a life of meaning we must do just that, walk it. And there are many ways to do that. We are after all transmitters and I find myself asking everyday “What do I want my transmission to say?”. So many people have said “you are so brave”. But isn’t it odd, that it is brave to be natural, to be seen as I am? I have finally realised that to let the earth shine through me is the most beautiful I could ever be. It’s not conventional, it requires a letting go of looking to those ideals for a sense of worth.

Ultimately we hold the keys to our own cages. Age brings wisdom. Women as they ripen into the autumn and winter of life are often mocked for being menopausal, or are “traded in for a younger model”, get the sack whilst their male counterparts work on in their distinguished gentlemanly aging. And we perpetuate it with surgery, hair dye, dieting, grasping outwardly for some resemblance of summer that we think will make us desirable, empower us and make us feel we have a place. I am not saying that enjoying looking after our appearance is wrong, it can be a beautiful way of taking care of ourselves. But, it is worth checking in with who we are doing it for and what our choices are based on.

You can’t grasp power from outside, you tap into it from the inside. We are abundant, we are earth, we are love.

So enter the reign of the wolf, the wild, the free.

Grow old with grace. And be the change you wish to see.

* Since writing this post I have re-dyed my hair. I was grey for about 3 years and it felt really important to make the statement. I still believe much of what I say in this piece. I would love to see more ageing women feel comfortable in their grey hair. But I also realise the importance for freedom to change and freedom to choose. I am still not happy to put chemicals on my head or in the water….but I am human and imperfect so sometimes I make selfish choices.

Here is to freedom of expression in all it’s forms and embracing our imperfections as compassionately as we can. 

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Carly MountainComing out as…grey

The beauty of a shell

on March 1, 2014 No comments

The natural beauty of a shell. My daughter was looking at this this morning and she said thoughtfully, “Sometimes I look at shells and think they are so beautiful that they can just have appeared, they must be ‘man-made'”.

To which I instinctively replied, “But the most beautiful things in life cannot be made by humans…they all come from nature. Natural things are the most beautiful of all”.

What we show speaks as loudly as what we say. Society values human made objects so highly and often to the detriment of nature. The so-called beauty industry sells the idea, primarily to girls and women that we must do so much to ourselves in order to become beautiful. So many Mums in the playground with eye lash extensions that on a timeline at my little ones preschool a child had included “put her eyelashes on” as part of her morning routine. Our children absorb everything and it subconsciously shapes them.

I dye my hair, I shave my legs…..there are some things that I cannot yet relinquish. But more and more, I see that we are being sold an empty shell of what a woman can be. And I wonder what could be more beautiful than letting nature shine through us? That women could once again be valued, protected and cherished as an expression of mother earth. That perhaps would be the most beautiful union, respect and liberation.

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Carly MountainThe beauty of a shell

Yoga is a process of becoming more intimate with yourself. Taking the time to spend with yourself, as you would with someone you love. Turning towards all that you are with compassion, so that you can embrace wholeheartedly the fullness of your being. Leading us towards naturalness, no pushing no holding back. Letting the notion of perfection repeatedly give way to love. What are we cultivating? Love.

The Why

Yoga – the whole picture

on December 20, 2013 No comments

Sometimes I get a bit weary of all the “look at how great my body and my life” yoga pictures and quotes that are out there. Mainly because I think they don’t show the whole picture. I love positivity and beautiful pictures, it’s great to celebrate as long as we are still honest. Some days practice is tough, some days I just feel sad, some days feel dark. Practice can be both celebration and joy. But true joy encompasses the dark and the light. And isn’t practice about being present with what’s there, rather than looking to be calm or balanced or some other ideal that is not truly where we are at? If we are not careful, yoga can become a stick to beat yourself with. A search for an ideal and within that is a pressure to pretend that we are supremely sorted, calm and in control; rather than honest, real, people.

When darker emotions rise, anger, desire, frustration, grief, its great to be able to recognize it mindfully and know that it will pass. But, if we do not ever allow it, and give in to its messiness then I feel that we do not fully embrace what it is to be human. Take belly laughing…impossible to do mindfully, it just wouldn’t happen if you were being mindful about it. And we all know how delightfully close laughing is to crying. Sometimes it’s okay to break into a million little pieces. Infact, this is the process of yoga.…..

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction” Cynthia Occeli.

We need to break in order to be visible and shed some light on what needs to be seen.

“The world is like a dropped pie most of the time. Don’t kill yourself trying to put it back together. Just grab a fork and eat some of it off the floor. The carry on.” Elizabeth Gilbert.

We always employ the 3 second rule in our house.

Surely, being human is about experiencing the full spectrum of our emotional life. We can feel totally raw and still be grateful and reach beyond to those around us and our practice and our life. Yoga is not about what a strong beautiful body we have and what a ‘together’ person we must be to achieve that.

“Although there are many physical places one can go to feel her way back home. The physical plane itself is not home; it is only the vehicle that rocks the ego to sleep” Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

I can honestly say, my greatest challenges and joys come from allowing my most vulnerable self to show…be that out of necessity, celebration or despair. I am learning that the messy parts of me, that I feel scared to show are not my weakness but the parts that hold my deepest strength.

So today I feel quiet and tired and sad. I still practiced. And I am still totally grateful for my life. I am human and I am alive.

And day always follows night.

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Carly MountainYoga – the whole picture