Thoughts on Autumn Equinox

Today marks the day that we’ll experience equal parts light and dark hours. This fact of the autumn equinox always reminds me that we are all, each, half dark and half light. Just like nature, as nature, we too are dark and light.

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Kiara McBain
Self-Awareness: A Definition

In class the other day, I felt like defining what Self-Awareness has come to mean to me.  After having Complex PTSD, being highly dissociative most of my life and finally coming back to having self-awareness, particularly as a yogi, I feel I do have the ability to define this complex term…

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Kiara McBain
Love is Love

Recently I had a riveting conversation with someone about the stigma around mental illness. How when you come clean about your struggles, people shun you, push you away. I think if that's true, it's because they don't know how to handle your suffering and need guidance on how best to proceed.

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Kiara McBain
Surrender

One lesson I learned from PTSD is to consider how I’m making a situation harder on myself. When I’m feeling emotional intensity or reactivity to pause and consider “am I doing anything to make this worse for myself?

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Kiara McBain
Post Traumatic Growth

I have been learning more about trauma these last few months; much of it about my own experience. I had complex PTSD which occurred from soft trauma and hard trauma combined.

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Kiara McBain
Take Breaks

PTSD taught me an important lesson: take breaks when stress gets high. It’s easy to want to push through and just do, do, do. But I know I’ve got to stop when my old friend anxiety shows up.

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Kiara McBain
Spirit Animal

I know some people find spirit animals silly and, maybe, taken out of context they are. But, having grown up in Oregon with a strong influence of Native American culture in my childhood, I find my totem to be immensely important. If we were to reframe "spirit animal" and instead call them archetypes, would they then seem a little less silly?

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Kiara McBain
Self Regulation

Did you know that alcohol sales are highest on Fridays? No doubt because our stress is at its peak and we’re looking for a way to self regulate those feelings.

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Kiara McBain
Fight, Flight Freeze

The stress response induced by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. When we’re in any one of these three states our body is being flooded with stress hormones intended to save our life from imminent death.

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Kiara McBain
Self Love

Having mind-body awareness is paramount to having this ability. I love that yoga & meditation have been so evident in the power of the mind-body connection that science has formulated their own terms for what we’ve known for centuries.

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Kiara McBain
Worklife Balance

Most of us only have the weekend to get some rest before another 5 days of work and business roll in. How often do you take these 2 days and just work more on your personal life?

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Kiara McBain
Midlife Crisis

Last night I explained to a friend how all the radical changes I'm making in my life are because I'm having a midlife crisis. And then I took some time and thought about that term and realized that I hate it.

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Kiara McBain
My Worth is Based on My Asana Practice

Yoga teachers and students alike validate their identity as a yogi by their ability to achieve advanced asana shapes. In this post I explore how the asana isn’t the yoga, but the internal battle is and can even be the gateway to Samadhi.

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Kiara McBain
Aparigraha & the Season of Change

Aparigraha means non-grasping or non-greediness. It’s actually a fundamental step in learning how to ease our sometimes ‘out-of-control’ human nature. Our true human nature is that of harmony, which is a balanced state of constant ups and downs.

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Kiara McBain
Intro to Interoception

Now what is interoception and why does it matter? Interoception is defined as 'awareness of one's own internal body state, our sense of the body's own internal signals. Interoception is essential to our sense of embodiment, motivation and well being.' It's that ‘gut feeling’ or instinctive sense.

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Kiara McBain
Intro to Proprioception

One thing I simply love about our bodies is the gift of proprioceptive awareness. When we practice yoga, we start to build better connections with these proprioceptive nerve-endings and with time experience a smorgasbord of sensation when we practice.

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Kiara McBain
Practicing Intentions

Sankalpas are in essence much more profound than a goal or a resolution. They are a compulsion from deep within to embody some portion of your truth that is not being expressed.

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Kiara McBain