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One Teacher, Many Teachers

How do you learn about your yoga practice?

Our yoga world is filled with incredible teachers from around the world. These instructors offer their energy not just as teachers but as influencers, leaders, philanthropists, and business owners. Our naturally categorical brains label some of them teachers, some yogi-lebrities, others gurus.

A student asked me the other day, “who is your teacher?” and I didn’t know what to say. I have many teachers, but currently I don’t have one specific person or one specific lineage that I study solely. Read more

Walk With Your Shadow

 

“The cure for the pain is in the pain.” -Rumi

To someone who isn’t familiar with yoga, it might seem like a yoga practice is always a happy, shiny place. Magazines tout very flexible people with huge smiles, contorted into beautiful shapes and yoga festival advertisements boast photos and articles of happiness and health through yoga.

Everything in our world is balanced with an equal opposite. Lightness can only exist because of darkness. Health only exists because of sickness. Strength only exists because of weakness. Yin only exists because of yang. Read more

Yoga for Ski and Snowboard Season

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It’s been snowing on the Front Range and we’re very excited. And very cold. But mostly excited.

With resorts starting to open for the season, we’re tuning up our edges, getting new boots fitted, and winterizing our cars for the trek up to our favorite mountains.

While we prepare for ski and snowboard season in all these ways, we also need to take some time to do a physical tune up as well. One of the best ways to prevent injury, build endurance, and strengthen muscles is through a yoga practice. Here’s why: Read more

Lotus

Most yoga asanas (poses) that have history also have a story or a myth behind the shape. Padmasana, or lotus pose, is a seated pose with ankles lifted on top of the thighs, so ideally the knees, thighs and sitting bones are rooted into the earth in preparation for a grounded seat for meditation.

The lotus flower starts as a tough seed. In order to grow, it needs to root down into the muck and grime at the bottom of a body of water, then grows upward toward the light of the sun until it breaks the surface of the water and finally blossoms at the top. Read more

Ying and Yang of Yoga

Yin and yang exist in everything, from our yoga movements to our conversations to the spaces in which we live. Yin qualities include cold, hard, dark. Yang qualities include warm, pliable, light.

In our yoga asana practice, yin asanas (poses) are generally the ones that we hold for several minutes, allowing the muscles to soften and the plastic connective tissues to release. Our yang postures include most of the vinyasa flow: movement, sweat, muscle, etc. Read more

The Sound of Om

omtatIn many traditional lineages, the sound of om (or pranava) is chanted at the beginning and end of every yoga practice. Om looks like it might be just one sound but in fact it represents all sound—of the universe, existence and of human communication. The sound starts with “ahh,” (as in father), then “ooo” (these first two blend together into one sound), then “mmm” and ends with silence. When we enunciate the sounds, it travels through all the parts of the mouth that create speech.

The sound of om is also known as “anahata nada” or “unstruck sound.” It is literally the sound of the energy in the universe, not of anything happening or hitting together. Read more

On Being Present

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

Practicing yoga is a beautiful way to check in with ourselves. How we treat ourselves and others on the mat, how we respond to frustration or excitement on the mat is likely how we respond to these feelings off the mat as well.  There’s probably never going to be a time where we’re perfectly, consistently living in the present moment, but there are definitely benefits to doing so, and some tricks to get there. Read more

Savikalpa Samadhi

After the moonwalk of 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell came back to Earth with a quandary: he couldn’t quite describe to others the experience he had in space. As this was only the third mission to achieve lunar landing in history, Mitchell became one of just a few people in existence to have seen the Earth from the outside, looking in.

Mitchell enlisted the help of a university to help him describe his experience and what they found was the overview effect, or Savikalpa Samadhi. Read more

On Being Different-y

The very first class I taught in my now hometown of Boulder, I was really worried about fitting in with the local style. I did my initial 200-hour training at CorePower Yoga in Chicago, but the CorePower style in Boulder was noticeably different.

This is a yoga town, there’s no question about it. Many of the students have gone through trainings and even if they haven’t, they know a great deal about their practice. Many of them have been practicing longer than me. This is intimidating. Read more

On Being Enough

Most of us walk through life with excuses and justifications for the way we are: I’m not smart enough. I’m not as attractive as him. I’m not qualified enough. I’m not good enough.

The same happens when we walk onto our mat: I’m not flexible enough. I’m not strong enough. My balance isn’t good enough.

When we internally or externally voice excuses or justifications for the way we are, we create those truths for ourselves. I’m not flexible enough, so I’m not going to try that posture. Because I didn’t try that posture, I’m going to remain at my current flexibility.

When our brains tell us we’re not enough, we have the opportunity to listen to it or to recognize it and choose to change our thought patterns.

How to remind yourself that you’re enough: Read more