My Story

Namaste and Sat Nam.

My life is informed by my yoga practice. Ever since I was a child I have been interested in yoga and Eastern philosophy and spirituality.  My mother practiced Iyengar yoga and Transcendental Meditation so from a young age I learned by watching her. In high school I found Kundalini Yoga and fell in LOVE with the practice. It is a profoundly healing practice for me; giving me the strength, clarity, discipline and self-knowledge that I so desperately need! I’ve dabbled in all sorts of traditional and post-modern yoga and meditation practices.  In 2010 I garnered the nerve to try Ashtanga Yoga (a system that previously intimidated me to no end).  The time was right and now I practice in the Mysore style six days a week.  I learn so much about myself in this practice.  It is a truly amazing experience.

I live in Denver, CO with my husband Thaddeus. When I’m not traveling, making a mess in the kitchen or blogging, I teach Kundalini Yoga, practice Ashtanga Yoga, do Floral Design for weddings and events as well as offering healing bodywork sessions. I love sharing my passion for yoga and a healthy Sattvic lifestyle with all people.

This site is a platform for me to share my thoughts, ideas and practices with others regarding yoga, health, beauty and living a creative, joyful and fulfilling life.  Lila functions as part journal, part travel-log, part DIY projects, part health forum, part recipe book, part yoga instruction, part …well …open to whatever the universe wills!  Who knows?! It is constantly changing depending on where I am in my life.

Yoga is an inward practice.  So the idea of blogging about it is kind of silly I guess. Blogging is inherently narcissistic – to think that other people give a damn about me and my little thoughts!! Ridiculous! In yogic philosophy we learn that the purpose of yoga is to restrain the chatter of the mind-stuff…and yet on this blog I’ll chatter away!  Yoga is a practice of surrendering the small self to the big True Self.  So the irony is ripe, you see…here I am, little-self me, flapping about with my vrittis (those whirlings of the mind), hoping that someone out there even cares, that someone is intrigued by, interested in, or perhaps even educated by these posts! Ah, to hope! to dream!  In all seriousness though, this little me writing is fueled by the real Self, the Sat Nam. From this earnest place of devotion and with my intention to serve, share and connect with my fellow seekers on this path of spiritual progress, I write to you, dear reader.

So with full understanding and acceptance of the irony, absurdity and narcissism of  this whole endeavor, I humbly offer myself up to you.

With Love and Gratitude.
Frances Prema Harjeet.

25 thoughts on “My Story

  1. “From this earnest place of devotion and with my intention to serve, share and connect with my fellow seekers on this path of spiritual progress…”

    So very grateful for your service, Frances. Thank you for reaching out!

  2. Hi, Frances. I am very interested in this spiritual path and practicing yoga. But Im still confused and new in this, can you help me with some pointers? How do I start and what should I do. Thank you so much.

    • Hi Tenzin.
      I’ll be happy to try and help you. Do you live in a place where this a yoga studio? Have you ever been to a class? If that’s not the case, don’t worry! There are a lot of resources online including videos of classes on sites like yogaearth.com. Lots of blogs such as elephant journal can teach you a lot as well. But I think the most important thing is to take a look at the philosophy that sets the foundation for the practice of yoga. The two most important texts for you to read are the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (Satchidananda’s translation is a good start). For a little commentary on the philosophy and on the asana practice as well, I would recommend you check out Desikachar’s book “The Heart of Yoga”.
      Hope this helps.
      Many blessings to you on your path!

  3. Hi Frances, thanks for the help. Okay, I will read those books that you suggested. I do yoga everyday with DVD and I read elephant journal. You are fortunate enough to grow up with a mother who was doing yoga and meditation. I am alone in my family in this one that’s why I don’t know where to start, yet I feel it inside me that this is the path I have to take.
    Thank you so much. Namaste.

  4. thanks much for stopping by Linda’s Yoga Journey…love brand new readers! have been writing LYJ since 2005…take a seat and check it out! metta….

  5. In the web world of slick and saucy writing, your refreshingly intimate words radiate joy and devotion. I once met Mataji, renowned yoga teacher and dear friend of Sai Baba, in Manila, when I was 28. Now twice that old, I’m feeling the fire of a renewed yoga passion from the power of your prose. Namaste.

    • I am humbled by your generous words. Thank you very much Jana – it brings me so much happiness to know that my small service (and somewhat senseless ramblings) on this blog effects others in a positive way. I really appreciate your comment.
      Carry on with that passion and shine!
      Blessings,
      Frances

  6. Frances I am a newborn Ashtanga baby, starting my 6 day a week practice around one month ago. I love your blog, its simplicity and honesty, and was wondering if maybe you could talk to me a little bit about how you found strength to continue the practice? The patience is what I want to strengthen, because not being able to really jump back and through make my practice choppy and strange. However, I know all is coming. Right? All is coming?

    Om shanti om! Anna

    • Hi Anna!
      Thanks for your kind comment and questions. Where do you practice? Are you under the guidance of a teacher? Community and a strong connection to my teacher have been essential to me in my commitment to Ashtanga Yoga. It is definitely a challenging practice! Physically, yes, but also emotionally and mentally. A lot of days, it comes down to mind over matter! Having a yoga buddy helped me a lot in the beginning with motivation to get up and go! Now I’m so in love/addicted with the practice that I’m the one pushing people to get up and go! This doubt and impatience of which you speak is inevitable – and these pesky little things will keep popping up their annoying heads at you even when you think you’ve got ‘em beat!
      Sraddha – Faith – is key in spiritual practice. Dedicate your practice to something beyond yourself – make it a self-less practice instead of a selfish practice. Eventually, if you are going to have a sustainable strong practice, it will be about more than just looking good or doing some cool tricks with your body.
      I know it feels a bit disjointed at first, but trust me, within just a few months, you will really start to feel the flow of the series in your body and it feels amazing! Those jumpthroughs will come before you know it! More dynamism and strong core are essential. Jumpbacks? Well, those are a bit trickier, especially for those of us of the fairer sex – honestly, jumpbacks still elude me so what I focus on is a really strong lift and hold before trying to jumpback and that helps me build strength physically so that the legit jumping back action will happen soon (I gotta have faith that it will be soon if I keep practicing, right?).
      Please stay in touch and let me know how your practice is going. Stay curious with yourself in practice – inquire constantly – observe your mental, energetic and emotional states that relate to asana practice – become an explorer of your own mind and body and soul – this practice of svadyaya makes all the difference in the world – it makes practice so fascinating that you won’t ever want to stop.
      Blessings,
      Frances

      • I am practicing at a Mysore studio in Minneapolis, guided by a wise teacher. When I can’t make it out to class some mornings, I’ve dedicated myself to a home practice, simple but understanding. Do you practice at home or in a studio??

        The spiritual and mental growth are what I initially came to Ashtanga for, the physical strength and changes are an added bonus.
        The documentation of your journey can be my yoga buddy right now. Because at only 19, I haven’t found a lot of kids interested in exploring all of this yet. Haha, it’s beautiful but intricate stuff.

        I can’t wait to grow and see how my jump throughs, elusive jump backs and overall practice evolve. Thank you so much for your authentic and speedy reply!

        Anna

      • Great! I lived in Minneapolis for a bit a few years ago…it’s a fun town. I loved riding my bike around the lakes and drinking those tasty smoothies from the raw food restaurant in uptown…yum!
        Currently I mostly practice Ashtanga at home, though a few days out of the month I get in with a teacher, either in our town, in DC, Philly, NYC etc. I used to practice 6 days a week at our local shala, but my partner and I stopped that after too much drama with the studio owner :( Lame-o.
        I’m so happy you have found Lila as a buddy for now! I totally can relate about your isolation in your yoga journey. I too started yoga as a spiritual practice in my teens, and my friends just couldn’t really relate. Just be patient…you are blessed to be practicing right now at your age…it helps immensely in the years to come.
        Stay in touch!
        Blessings,
        F

  7. Hari Om Prem, Nice to read your blogg from time to time but mostly I glance and skimp read. I so much enjoy. Really want to settle down a little so that I can enjoy my time more and to keep on with your blogg proper. You so inspire me on so many levels. Keep on Keep on writing and I will keep in reading. Om Shanti Ommmm

  8. This is such a beautiful blog! I too spent some time in Mysore studying Ashtanga Yoga with Sheshadri and delved into the amazing healing potential of Ayurveda. I too am Vata/Pitta.
    A few years on, my life is less disciplined being a full time Mum/ homeschooler of two fiery children!
    I’m seeking inspiration to bring my focus back to my Inner Journey, then today with the guidance of a beautiful friend/ neighbour once more came back to Kundalini Yoga and found your blog. ( I used to use some Kundalini Yoga Postures to help release anger – I too stopped doing this )I hope to start using the Radiant Beauty Meditation to help me, just need that extra little……?
    Namaste,
    Fran(ces) !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s