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Filtering by Tag: Nepal

Cultivate Joy, the Lion's Path

Jennifer Oechsner

As most of you know, I recently returned from a 3 week journey in Nepal. Two weeks of that journey were spent co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat with Kimi Marin. Upon my return I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the experience. So often when we return from a vacation we bask in our more relaxed existence for a short time and then quickly return to our patterns of stress, sleep deprivation and old thought patterns. Following my recent journey I have been focused on keeping the emotional and energetic benefits I received from this fantastic adventure at the forefront of my mind. 

One of the feelings that comes to mind when I reflect is joy. Joy for being able to visit such a fascinating country, joy for sharing the experience with a dear friend, joy for the new friends I made, and joy for the laughter we found along the way. Joy isn't just about having fun, but also about the deeper spiritual connection it cultivates. A connection with ourselves and with others.

The Shambhala tradition references the importance of joy in our lives. The path of Shambhala is about awakening to the potential in our lives. In part, this potential is awakened by living a meaningful and joyful life. Within the Shambhala tradition, this joy is represented by the snow lion. The snow lion breathes the fresh air high in the Himalaya, free from the cage we often place ourselves in. We cultivate joy through discipline. Discipline can be practiced in many ways, through meditation, yoga, creating art, living a healthy lfe, or service to others. Each of these paths can lead us down the path of the snow lion, a life of meaningful joy. To find this joy, we must be mindful in our endeavors. Mindful pursuits that feed the soul cultivate joy, help us to realize all that we are capable of, and make us better citizens of the world.

Your weekly yoga practice is a great place to cultivate a mindful life. When you come to your mat, have fun, be joyful and be mindful. Embody the snow lion.

Journey to Nepal...a journey within

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I am co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat to Nepal with Kimi Marin.

This adventure has been in the works for a year and it's a project Kimi and I are so excited to be working together on. Our partner in Nepal, Asahi Treks and Adventures, has been a great pleasure to work with. Thank you, Kumar for all of your help. This trip is another dream come true for me and as I prepare, I find myself filled with butterflies and joy. I encourage you to put your dreams on paper, make a plan and set the wheels in motion. Find what brings you joy and gratification and keep it in sight.

Arranging the volunteer component of Journey to Nepal has also been a moving experience for me, an experience from and of the heart. I am grateful for our guests' enthusiasm for this endeavor and for the many individuals who contributed to the cause. I embrace the opportunity to travel to this enchanting country and practice Karma Yoga, yoga of service.  I am grateful for each individual who is joining us on this journey.

I will be posting messages and photos periodically throughout the trip. Follow me on Facebook for updates on our adventures. 

Each year I will offer a new opportunity to travel with me to an amazing location.  Next year's retreat is already in the works.....Journey to Ecuador! Save the dates, March 23-April 1. It is going to be another amazing adventure with yoga, reiki, meditation, horseback riding in the jungle and more. This trip will also include Karma Yoga. Stay tuned for details. 


Yoga for Education: Nepal School Benefit

Jennifer Oechsner


The 2015 earthquake devastated parts of Nepal and orphaned children. Many children are without the resources to continue their education. Yoga for Education: Nepal School Benefit is to raise money to provide school supplies for children in Nepal's Dhading Region.

Join me and Kimi Marin for a 75-minute yoga class followed by food and juice samples to move your body, nourish your spirit, and lend a helping hand to the world! 

Saturday, March 26, 3-5pm, 5514 SE Foster Road, Portland, OR

In April, Kimi and I are leading a yoga retreat to Nepal where we will visit and meet both teachers and students of the school the money is assisting. 100% of Profits will be donated.

From The Heart

Jennifer Oechsner

The earthquake that shook Nepal on April 25th left over 7,000 people dead and over 500,000 homes destroyed. The historic city of Katmandu has been decimated. My heart goes out to all of the people effected by this disastrous event. I can't fathom what it must feel like to be in the midst of the aftermath of this disaster. I want to reach across the miles and help. I want to wrap my arms around the children who have lost their families and homes. I want to share my compassion and somehow ease a sliver of the suffering.

Compassion is innate, we all have the same compassion in our hearts and the potential to express it. The problem is that we fail to make the effort to cultivate this inborn quality. I am reminded of this when I see suffering on a such a grand scale. I am reminded of the responsibility we all have to practice compassion and share our world with kindness and love. We can do this by being kinder to ourselves, and to each other. I don't mean just the people we like, but those we don't usually notice, or those that we conflict with. Even the smallest acts of kindness can have a large impact of the well-being of another. How does this apply to natural disaster relief? Keep the conversation going. Through social media we can keep awareness alive and at the forefront.  The more we talk about it, the greater the impact. Most of us don't have the means to travel to Nepal and help directly, but we all have the ability to give, just a little. The more of us who contribute from a place of compassion, the greater the impact. 

When we are so geographically removed from an incident like this it is easy to be detached and go about our daily lives. For this natural disaster it seems as though the media coverage is already lessening. The people of Nepal will need help for months and years to come to rebuild their infrastructure, homes and lives. I encourage you to give what you can to support this ongoing cause. If you are unsure of where to direct your financial assistance, here are a few organizations you can connect with.:

Together we can continue to raise awareness and support. Together we can live with compassion and make a difference as a collective whole. The more people who live from the heart, the greater the shift in consciousness the world needs.