Tag Archives: Yoga

Rest in Love and Peace BKS Iyengar

This week an incredibly instrumental and inspirational guruji in the yoga community transcended this world for another. Through his words, his teachings, and our yoga practice, the spirit of BKS Iyengar will live on forever.

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The light that yoga sheds on life is something special. It is transformative. It does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees. – BKS Iyengar

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Perfectly PiYo for Summer Challenge

I am excited to host my first 30-60 day Perfectly PiYo for Summer Challenge beginning on July 7.  PiYo uses low-impact (no shoes!), high intensity movements inspired by pilates and yoga-asana, set to a fast pace to get the heart pumping and the calories burning. This revolutionary fitness style works to stabilize, strengthen, and stretch your physique, sculpting longer and leaner muscles. To keep the group personal and intimate I am only accepting 20 people into this challenge. Learn more about the challenge and reserve your spot by sending me a message, or you can click here to enroll now.

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Truth

“TRUTH: Experiencing our lives with our physical eyes closed and our minds wide open.”

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Too often we go through our lives relying on what see and what we hear, but not on how we feel. We allow our perception of reality to be shaped by what we’ve been told rather than by what we experience. We deny ourselves the opportunity to truly see because our sight has been blurred by preconceived notions of what is real. Close your eyes, feel your heart, and without judgement or doubt outline the pattern of your thoughts. Let intuition guide you, tap into your wealth of knowledge (it’s in there!), and silently observe. Listen, to find your TRUTH.

Kālidāsa

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Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

~KālidāsaThe complete works of Kalidasa

Advanced Poses and Social Media

“The Study of asana is not about mastering the posture. It’s about using the posture to understand and transform yourself.” ~ #Gary Kraftsow

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Although I mostly post pictures of advanced postures, handstands namely and especially recently while participating in #handstandlove, my yoga practice did not begin where it is now. Yoga is a journey that can take you to many places with a proper practice and much discipline. My journey to balancing on my hands has taken me many years, guided instructions, and falls to achieve. I realize now that my posts could be misleading and even dangerous, the poses could be mistaken as the ultimate goal in an asana practice. As a yoga instructor, my passion for teaching and practicing is equal, and my intention is not to misrepresent yoga to anyone.

Yoga begins and continues with so much more than the ability to stand upside down. Yoga is the unity between the body, mind, and breath. It connects us to our inner and outer strength, helps us to be mindful on and off of our mats, and prepares us to respond rather than react to situations in our lives. As our asanas (physical poses) begin to strengthen with correct form and alignment, we can make the decision to try something new and possibly advanced. Or we can to continue to strengthen where we are now.

On Instagram and other social media outlets there’s a plethora of yogis posing in beautiful asanas and it’s easy to want to try to make these poses happen in our own bodies too. And while being inspired is great, attempting to recreate before your practice or your body is ready, can be dangerous. It’s also easy to see the picture without seeing the falls and retakes that go into getting just the right shot or angle. Trust me, there are MANY!

To avoid injury, it is essential to practice beginner and intermediate poses first, before even attempting advanced asanas. Work first on getting your alignment on point and gaining the strength that is pertinent to holding such poses (ie. if you are still struggling in your chatturanga, it’s probably not a good idea to kick up to handstand). The yoga practice is always going to be there, why rush from point A to point Z without visiting all the other letters along the way? Life is long and so to is the journey of yoga. Savor each moment and try to find just as much fulfillment and satisfaction in child’s pose as you do in the advanced poses.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being upside down and I feel really good while balancing on my hands. But holding a handstand is not the source of my joy, it does not define who I am, it does not measure my practice or my passion to teach, and it does not reflect all of my dreams or accomplishments.

I hope my pictures inspire you to commit to and further your practice, or to give yoga a try if you haven’t yet. I hope that they can make you smile. I hope you can realize that a picture is just a picture, and that it doesn’t represent the entire spectrum of my life or the years that have been dedicated to my yoga practice.

Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel or in Sanskrit, Devaduuta Panna Asana, is a beautiful pose that requires grace, strength, vulnerability, and surrender. It’s a great reminder that even angels can fall. Below is a breakdown of how to safetly get into and out of this pose.

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1. Begin in mountain pose (tadasana) with arms by the sides.

2. On your inhale come into chair pose (utkatasana).  With big toes and inner thighs touching, bend at the knees, lower the hips , tailbone down eliminating the arching from the lower back, and shift the shins back to encourage the weight into the heals.

3.  With hands together at the heart (anjali mudra) twist to the right on the exhale breath, hooking theleft elbow to the outside of the right thigh, coming into side prayer twist  or chair pose twist (parivrtta utkatasana).

4. Wiggle left arm as far down the right thigh as possible, deepening the twist. Bring the knees in line with one another, press the right palm into the left, roll the right shoulder back. Extend your heart away from your chest and lean the upper body back. Hold for 3-5 breathes.

5. Staying in the twist, place both hands on the mat shoulder distance apart, fingertips pointing away from the right thigh.

6. Bend the elbows to create a shelf , bring the elbows directly on top of the wrists, and lean forward and begin to lift the shins up parallel to the mat, coming into side crow pose (parsva bakasana). Keep the inner thighs squeezing in and the inner elbows firming in towards one another

7. From side crow pose turn gaze toward the bent knees and slowly lower the right temple onto the mat . The right shoulder will decend for the mat but will not touch.

8. Hinge the hips and reach the left toes up towards the ceiling, sending the energy and strength up the leg and through the toes. The bottom, or right toes, will reach up for the ceiling. Keep the right knee bent when rolling from the outer to the top of the right thig. Hinge until both feet are reaching up, left leg stays straight and right knee remains bent.

9. If possible hold for 3-8 deep breathes.

10. Lower and bend left knee, roll back onto the outer right thing, bring shins parallel to the mat.

11. Lift right temple off the mat, returning to side crow.

12. Set the feet down, come back into chair pose twist.

13. Untwist, bring the hands back to the heart  in chair pose.

14. Straighten the legs, release the arms to the side.

15. Repeat on other side.