Martini Yoga Philosophy

Namaste!  I recently returned from the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014 and unfortunately, the 11 hour flight home did not include a television and I had already finished reading all my books!!  No entertainment?  I was left to be present to my own devices for an entire 11 hours!  Thus, in between meals I sketched out the defining philosophies that sum up everything I've learned (and am still learning) from my experience in yoga practice.  These key mantras are what motivate the growth of my teachings; they are what inspire and keep me happy and healthy.  I can teach you how to do an anatomically accurate downward dog, but it is the philosophical stuff that has to do with your life off the mat that really gets me fired up!  So here it is, the Martini Yoga Manifesto.  If we've ever been in class together or retreated together, you will probably recognize some of these teachings as I tend to like to preach them til the cows come home (that happens around Thanksgiving on my parents' farm in case you were wondering…which you probably weren't). 

Learning how to drop back to Wheel Pose during the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014

Learning how to drop back to Wheel Pose during the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014



  1. JUNGLE SPIRIT:  The innate wisdom that we, as living beings, come from the earth and are thus happiest when we spend time cultivating a deep connection to Mother Nature.
  2. ROCK ON:  Be proud of your efforts, surrender the fruits of your labour, and continuously remind yourself that it's all good.
  3. TRANSFORM YOUR PERSPECTIVE:  Always remember that you have the power to control the way you perceive reality.  Your concept of reality is different from everyone else's.  Never judge anyone for viewing the world differently than you do.
  4. RETREAT:  In order to stay inspired and healthy, you must never forget to take time off for yourself to completely relax, do yoga, eat well, laugh, and love the living being that houses your mental and spiritual body.
  5. NEVER STOP LEARNING: Honour that you can never master anything as the world changes on a daily basis.  Always focus on bettering yourself and the world around you.  Trust that on your dying day, you will be proud of your capacity for growth and the good that you created with the wisdom you have developed.
  6. IT'S ALL YOGA: Yoga occurs everywhere, in every decision you make, in every reaction you take, and in who you choose to be both on and off your mat.  Everything you do is a practice in yoga.
  7. YOU ARE PERFECT.  Let your yoga practice not be about getting somewhere, but about being comfortable with where you are right now.  Everything about this moment is innately perfect.
Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Please understand if you don't agree with these mantras, that's okay!  Different philosophies work for different people with different beliefs.  These work for me because they inspire me to be a better and more loving person.  In our culture, I feel like this is something I need to be reminded of on a daily basis!  Anyways, happy spring everyone, and, as always...

rock on

l.e. martini

Yogi Secrets Revealed: How To Use A Mala Necklace For Mantra Meditation

Salutations!  This week I'd like to teach you how to give your New Year's Resolutions lasting power!  It's called Mala Meditation and it is a powerful practice for manifesting your desires.

Mala Bead Necklace

Mala Bead Necklace

Mala Necklaces traditionally have 108 beads usually made out of a natural substance such as bone.  The necklace pictured here has beads made out of Rudraksha seeds (my personal favourite) which are found in India and Indonesia.  There is always a tassel or "Guru Bead" which represents the beginning and end of your mantra practice.  

Once you've found a male necklace that resonates with you (I like the simplicity of the malas created by Okanagan based company Ahimsa Om), pick a mantra that represents what you are working on.  Historically, mantras are powerful Sanskrit phrases invoking an ancient deity however there are no rules that state you can not pick an English affirmation or word of your choice if it holds meaning for you.

Om Sri Rama Jai Rama Jaya Jaya Rama

Some sample Sanskrit mantras that hold power:

Om Namah Shivaya

Mantra to Combat Negativity

Sat Nam

Mantra to help during times of change- removes all that is no longer useful.

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu

Truth is my identity.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha

May the whole world attain peace and harmony.  And finally, the mantra I am currently using in my own mala practice:

Mantra to remove obstacles and bestow wisdom.  

On my last yoga retreat to Bali, we bought all the supplies to make and personalize mala necklaces for every yogi!  It was an afternoon of Arts and Crafts Yoga Style!

On my last yoga retreat to Bali, we bought all the supplies to make and personalize mala necklaces for every yogi!  It was an afternoon of Arts and Crafts Yoga Style!

Now that you've found the mantra that is most appropriate for your current situation, find a comfortable seated position, take a  couple of deep breaths to clear the energy, and place the guru bead of your mala necklace over the middle finger of your right hand.  Place your thumb on the bead, chant your mantra, then push the bead away with your thumb to find the following bead.  Continue in this manner through all 108 beads until your thumb comes back to your guru bead,  Repeat this process every day for 40 days.  Once complete, your mantra will have manifested.  Please keep in mind that if you accidentally miss a day, you must start again on day 1!  Also ensure that you are wearing your necklace for the greater part of your day during your 40 day practice.

Good luck yogis!  And don't hesitate to contact me if you need any advice or help!!

rock on,

l.e. martini

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Source: Everything I have learned about mala and mantra practice comes from my travels in Bali, my yoga training with Sonya Thomlinson from Trinity Yoga Center, and my SOYA yoga training with Kamala Wilkie from Purple Lotus Yoga.

Best Savasana Songs

Ever had the most blissed-out relaxation at the end of a yoga class?

 In the western world, where our Type A culture is always on the go, it can be difficult to find stillness of mind.  Yoga has taught us that contorting our bodies among strangers, breathing in new rhythms, and following the guidance of a new age hippie instructor can perhaps, just perhaps, give us the opportunity to glimpse a fleeting moment of meditative deliciousness.  My teaching experience has taught me that one of the best ways to facilitate a blissed-out savasana is through music.

 Here are my top 3 savasana songs:

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He Ma Durga by Donna De Lory is a song that evokes devotion, compassion, and yearning. A beautiful melody that will inevitably get stuck in your head for the rest of your day:)  Random fact:  Donna De Lory was once a back-up singer for Madonna.

Akasha Ma by Wah.  The most meditative of the savasana songs.  Get lost in a yogic trance listening to Wah's ethereal sounds.

Om Namo Bhagavate by Deva Premal.  The meaning of this song is "Thy Will Be Done" or "Surrender the Results".  Both of which are powerful and appropriate for the end of a yoga practice.  The song is hauntingly beautiful and the mantra also happens to be the most commonly associated with the Kripalu lineage.

May your savasanas be blissful always,

l.e. martini