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Showing posts from 2013

Losing my religion

That's me in the spotlight.  Losing my religion.  Trying to keep up with you.  I don't know if I can do it.  Oh no I said too much. I haven't said enough.
Something has happened to me and it changed me.  I thought it happened on the day that I stood up to bullying, but I was wrong. It happened long before that. It happened all along the way but I just didn't see it, and then one day I did.  One day the light went on and I could no longer accept what I had been allowing but could not see.  One day I saw what was there all along, and it was blinding. I had no choice but to react. To protect myself.  To say something.  It wasn't glorious. It was painful, and there were consequences for my defiance.  There continues to be. It was a battle ground that I wish I could have walked away from, but it seems that was not my destiny. On the day that I could finally see, I could not look away, or walk away.  I had to choice because my eyes were open and I was suddenly aware, co…

Learning to Fly and Questioning Why

The other day I was sitting in a yoga class. We were talking about yoga as an entity - a tangible thing that we define for our own purposes.

An entity is a thing.  Something that exists in a tangible form.  To some people, yoga is exercise.  To other people it is breathing. To some  people it is a means to manage pain.  To some people it is stretching, flowing, standing or sitting.  There is a pop culture aspect to yoga.  Some people do yoga because they like to say they do or be seen to be doing it.

In the end I guess all those are valid reasons to do this thing called "yoga" because all those things are good things, including being seen to be doing it, since that can lead to movement, exercise and breathing.

There is a lot of talk about the philosophy of yoga these days, and quite honestly, the more I attempt to learn this thing called yoga, the less I know what I thought I knew.  My learning curve seems to receding as the awareness of ignorance increases.

There are lo…

The Red Thread

I have been thinking about threads lately, and what they mean.

First, the concept of threads came up a few weeks ago when I was working on a draft of book 2.  My daughter is a fashion designer and artist with a head for business strategy and focus.  I was feeling like there were too many words and I was having trouble connecting them.

She asked me what is my red thread.  She said it is a metaphor used in fashion design. The red thread is the thing on the garment that stands out. It is the thing that connects the elements of a collection and speaks to the whole.

Brilliant.  In all my years of corporate strategy, I had never looked at it this way before.  So I went in search of my red thread - the passion that connects the work.

This second conversation about a thread came up on recently in a conversation with a friend and fellow business owner and yogi.  She said that one has to define the threads and that there must be a connection.

So I started mapping this story on my chalk tabl…

Keep on Rockin' in the Free World

On this day of Remembrance, I feel sad for those who lost their lives in lands so far away for our freedom.  I feel sad for the lives that were never lived, and the potential that we lost as a human race.

I feel sad that we have not yet learned how to be compassionate towards each other, let alone stop waging wars.

I feel sad that there are people today suffering this very moment, that while I sit here pondering tomorrow, some people will not have a tomorrow by virtue of this very lesson not yet learned.

I feel sad that we have not yet figured out how to be nice to each other, let alone not hurt each other.

On days like this, I feel sad for the people who fought for our freedom then, and those who fight for their freedom now, right here on our very streets.


I feel sad that we have not learned this lesson yet, that our children's children will continue to live in this world that seems to become more angry than the one before.  
I feel sad that tomorrow we will forget, until we ar…

I take my yoga without politics please.

I drink my coffee black.  I chose a politics free life and I am committed to doing good things and living well.

In my pursuit of living well, I practice yoga, among other things. Yoga grounds and inspires me at the same time. It lifts my spirits and reminds me that miracles are always occurring. It tells me that I am always changing and never standing still, so there is always room for something more, or less if I chose it.

My yoga is about living in possibility.  It challenges me both physically and mentally, and it keeps my ego in check.  Yoga teaches me about the power of the mind and living with intention.  The more I practice, the more I carry these discoveries off the mat and into my life, so I can take more chances, be more compassionate, and maybe inspire someone along the way.

I recently had a conversation with a fellow yogi and soul mate about the other side of yoga. I am talking about the politics of yoga.  Again, I choose not to participate.  I am not apathetic at all. …

My Yoga Community

Flamingos are community types.  They have a gregarious nature, and they love to party.  In the wild, flamingos gather in large flocks. This serves to protect them from their predators - large vulture-like birds - that can swoop down and take their young.  Flamingos need a long runway, but when they do fly, they paint the sky.

When I left my corporate life behind in June 2011, I was immediately on the outside looking in.  My fishbowl friends swam on without me.  The corporate world to which I belonged was no longer mine. I had to find another pond.

My daughter suggested that I find a new community.  Quite honestly, I had no idea what that meant.  Had I ever been part of a community?  Did I even know what that would look like?

I got busy trying connect with other people who I thought I would have something in common with.  I joined business groups for women and started attending events and functions. But I never felt a connection. I remember going to events and feeling like I had to…

Practicing in the Wind

I recently read that fall is the season governed by the Ayurvedic vata dosha.  I don't pretend to understand the ancient art and science of yoga. I  am a student of yoga. So I am learning.  But when I read about the winds of a vata-induced tailspin that takes one away from the centre and throws one out of balance, I could relate.

Vata Dosha governs movement in the body. It controls blood flow, elimination of wastes, breathing and movement of thoughts across the mind. 
Our daughter and son-in-law recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world. My special name for him is "King."  As in King of the Jungle. I think of the song, the "Lion sleeps tonight" when he finally falls asleep. He is a big boy, born at 10 pounds, 1 ounce, but he is a newborn. So his challenges are many. Born only 11 days ago, his life on the outside is consumed with how to get enough of his food source that was literally delivered to him on demand on the inside.  
Wind or vata is a big …

Moment of Truth in Business, Story Telling and Yoga

In my yoga and business practice, the moment of truth is when the light goes on. It is when the perfect combination of good thinking, good intention, good people and good execution come together. I have found this to be true throughout my life whether I was leading a corporation up the hill of what's next, writing, publishing a magazine or leading a yoga class.

An article was recently published in the local newspaper about the business of yoga, featuring some of the leaders in our yoga community who each have a shared commitment to helping others in learning, practicing and teaching yoga.

I have a bias to share on the topic of yoga. I am also a yoga teacher in training, a journey that began in January 2013 when I was accepted into the year long, 300 hour Bodhi Tree Teacher Training program, with Colin Hall and Sarah Garden. Over the course of the year, in becoming a teacher, I have learned that it is more than just calling out poses. It is about understanding who is the room and …

Be the Wrecking Ball

To twerk or not to twerk. To ride a wrecking ball naked or clothed.  To shave one's head or not.

I can't say I would do the same things, but I might have metaphorically speaking.  Miley Cyrus is today's most recent modern day metaphor for the historic struggle for women to be recognized for intelligence and their voice.

If a man were to ride a wrecking ball shirtless (we would not say topless), we would not object. In fact, we would probably admire the vision as long as it was well defined. Or we would laugh.

Sinead O'Connor recently weighed in on this topic because she said she was being repeatedly asked for a statement by the media.

"I wasn't going to write this letter, but today I've been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon you having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares . . . So this is what I need to say . .  And this is being said in the spirit …

Finding what I am looking for.

I remember the day, back in 2005, I was feeling kind of lost.  Like the world was tipping and I was about to fall off. Change was imminent. I knew it. I could feel it. The life that I was living did not quite fit as well as it used to.  Some how I became  . . . unsatisfied with that life, and I knew that changes had to be made.

I gave myself one year to change  . . . something.  I put in place a strategy that would challenge me to step off this ledge of my own making. To find the courage to fall, and land.  There were principles that I would follow:  to commit three acts of defiance; to seek to understand; to practice imperfection and to avoid rooms with no doors.  Throughout the year, I learned to say no to working long hours. I changed my diet, my hair, my body and even my job. I learned that I own my decisions, and that I alone open my own doors. I realized that my stories lead me to possibilities or contain me. I fell in love with the possibility of life, and I was changed.

Fast …

It's a beautiful day

It's a beautiful day to change your life, or at least make it better.

Change.takes time. I often see people getting frustrated..  They say, "I can't balance". Yoga is not about coming in that way. It is about leaving that way.  People say, "I am not flexible". Yoga is not about flexibility. It is about mobility and breath.  People say, "I don't have time." Time is all you have.  
My yoga practice has been the connecting thread that has helped to guide change in my life. It continues to teach me about possibility, courage and determination. It gives me time and space to think, reflect and learn so I remain focused on what matters.

I find that the best experiences are those that take me inside of myself to the universe that is me. It is there that I explore the boundaries of my own making, including my stories, my assumptions about my abilities, my ego and my intentions.  Each time I practice, I learn something new about this universe that is aliv…

Hallelujah Sequence: Vinyasa

Morning Vinyasa Practice: Walking Against The Traffic

It's 6:30 AM on a Friday morning, here is the city that rhymes with fun, in the land under the sun. I am at the newly opened Bodhi Tree Hot Yoga Studio in beautiful downtown Regina, ready to teach a beginner level Vinyasa class. Leondard Cohen calls out to me, and I can't resist him.

6:30 AM is a crazy time to do yoga you say.  Yes, if you plan on standing on your head, but what we are doing is a soulful flow with music that moves you.

If you know me, or at least read me, you likely know that I am a night owl. I like the stillness of the night. It has always been my time to write, to think, to plan, to meditate on life.

Walking against the traffic is to do that which is outside of the ordinary. So, for me, teaching a 6:30 AM yoga class downtown is a great way to start.

"It's a beautiful day" by U2, plays. We are in child's pose, finding our breath, feeling it move into the back of our lungs, and pushing our body upward with each inhalation.  As we exhale we f…

Who do I think I am?

My name is Lynn Armstrong.  I am a wife, mother, entrepreneur, dog lover, health-advocate, fitness instructor, yoga student, yoga teacher, sister, writer, etc.  These are roles, they are not me.  I am a possibl-ist with a passion for helping people connect and find meaning.  I am vulnerable and imperfect, unique and different. I am scared at times.  I am grateful to those who guide me through the fire and inspire the way ahead.  I am but one of many voices, a conduit in the human experience who uses words so that others may read this and say, "me too".  I am a pink flamingo who lives in colour.  I am the leader of my own revolution to stand up and stand out. I do a mean chaturanga. That's who I think I am. This is my journey to change the colour of the sky.

-Excerpt: Chapter 1 - How to be a Pink Flamingo in a Brown Duck Pond."

Why my vinyasa brought me to this place

"I remember the day you came to yoga and said, 'I bought SKY today'. After you went into more detail I realized it was a life changing moment for you.  A defining, empowering one that was only waiting to be discovered! Congrats!" 
A fellow yoga teacher sent me this note today, on a day that seemed like no one was listening, and I was reminded of why I am here.


I am celebrating my first year of publishing SKY Magazine (four issues). This is a big deal for me, because it is the first time in my working and living life that I truly love what I do, and truly feel that it makes a difference in the world. It feeds my soul in a way that makes every single day worth the journey. I have never worked so hard and made so little money, but it is worth it.
The meaning and significance of"SKY" goes well beyond the masthead.  SKY is my personal metaphor for possibility, freedom and the quest for continuous learning.  My SKY is endless, and infinite. It is the perfect plac…

Changing the Colour of the SKY in my World - Book Summary

I can't explain it really. I have been feeling a little defiant lately. I think this condition has existed for the past 51 years.  I was born with this affliction of thinking for myself.  I have trouble with the word no, and I don't like those who would try to control me. Ask my mother who has tried unsuccessfully over my life. Ask my principal who once said I would never be more than a C student. 
I believe that defiance is healthy and natural and in fact, I aspire to it. In my office, a sign says, "Be defiant 3 times a day."
And so when I receive this kind of advice, words come to mind that are   . . . not nice, but I don't curse on my blog. Let's just say the word, "no" comes to mind immediately. 
"On that day, I fell from the sky and began to fade to white."  
I have been on a journey that literally rocked my world and changed my life, both personally and professionally. The experience initially stripped me of my voice, my self confid…