4 Main reasons for doing Sun Salutations.

4 Main reasons for doing Sun Salutations.

I taught a big Sun Salutation practice this morning at the Zhejiang Yoga Cultural Festival. Good attendance! It was very early in the morning and a little cold. But we persevered.
Sun Salutations have been practiced by yogis for thousands of years. When we practice them we are walking in the footsteps of our teachers and their teachers.
We practice sun salutations for four main reasons in yoga.
1. They help to quickly warm the body up.
2. They help to balance the nervous system and are a great preparation for meditation, or can be used as a meditation themselves.
3. They help us connect the idea of the brightest thing in our world with the brightest and lightest part of ourselves.
4. They are a gratitude practice. Each day, try to start the day practicing gratitude. Shift your perspective. Try to be grateful for the day, for this moment right here and right now. Practicing gratitude helps you open your mind and open your heart.
Enjoy this beautiful day!!! Namaste! Thank you, everyone for practicing with me this morning!

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Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher!

Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher!

Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher! My teacher, Dharma is a master at the Head Balance pose or Headstand. You might have seen him in pictures balancing with no hands? Dharma tells this great story about practicing with his Guru and doing his best to copy his teacher during one of the practices.
We are following in the footsteps of the master teachers who have come before us. Think of how incredible it is that we don’t have to search in the darkness alone for the light. There’s others who have come before us who are a little farther down the path. All we have to do is follow in their footsteps. So grateful for Dharma and all my wonderful teachers. I am doing my best to follow in your footsteps. Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher! Copy the teacher!

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Working with my student on Upward Bow variations.

Working with my student on Upward Bow variations.

Working with my student on Upward Bow variations in our Shiva Yoga 40hr Intensive this past week!
The Upward Bow is a really nice backbend to help you open your shoulders in flexion. I’ve been working on this pose a lot in my own practice the past year. The work is really the same work as in the Downward Dog.
Hug the elbows in and push the biceps out. Keep trying to make space around your neck and keep the shoulders wide, as you move the arms deeper into flexion. Slide the shoulder blades down the back. Try to externally rotate the arms, as you push your chest through the arms.

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Hip Opening Workshop in Shenzhen!

Hip Opening Workshop in Shenzhen!

Hip Opening Workshop! Why do we open the hips in yoga? Some of the reasons you might want to have a full range of motion at your hip joint:
1. To protect the low back and the knees and prevent injuries.
2. To find balance.
3. To prepare the body to sit for pranayama and meditation.
4. To cleanse and release tension from the body and sub-conscious layer of the mind.
What a fun workshop — exploring a little deeper with this wonderful group of curious practitioners. Grateful to be here and grateful to be able to share these teachings and honor my teachers

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Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!

Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!

Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!I taught a Shiva Power Class/Backbending Workshop. We had a thunderstorm in the middle of the class. We were dry under the tent but the power to the sound system had to be cut and it poured rain. It was so loud.
Part of our yoga practice is going with the flow. We shifted to a much more workshop style class. My translator and I tried to be as loud as we could but it was still hard for the students to hear us. I ended up gathering everyone close to the stage. We demonstrated a few things to work on and then I sent them back out to their mats to practice. We did this a few times and it was actually quite a fun way to present to such a big group. Sometimes you get these wonderful spontaneous moments from just accepting things as they are unfolding. My teacher Dharma always used to remind us — Everything is happening the way it is supposed to be. What’s that famous quote — Yoga is not about stopping the waves but learning how to surf.

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Tittibasana (Firefly Pose)

Tittibasana (Firefly Pose)

Demonstrating one of the variations of Tittibasana (Firefly Pose) in my Arm Balance Workshop at Pano Skylos! Thank you for coming, everyone. It was a fun day and a great weekend. I think we connected the dots today and made sense of a lot of things. The arm balance poses are advanced warmup poses. Each arm balance is either plank or low plank + one of the standing warmup poses. If you can hold plank and low plank and your hips are open enough you will be able to do many of the arm balance poses in yoga.

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Really fun pop up class at YogaWorks Southbay today!

Really fun pop up class at YogaWorks Southbay today!

Thank you to all the students who joined me for a hot and sweaty Shiva Power class, with a lot of hip opening, and some fun and playful Arm Balancing poses. So good to see Kiera again. We used to practice together in this same room 10 yrs ago. Loved seeing Zvia in the front row. Zvia completed her Teacher Training with me almost 10 yrs ago. The journey continues. Please join me for a Shiva Meditation class tomorrow morning from 8-9:30am. There will be pranayama, yoga nidra guided meditation, and seated meditation practice. A very powerful experience! Hope to see you there. Namaste.

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Our last Shiva Power class on Sunday morning at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas!

Our last Shiva Power class on Sunday morning at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas!

Our last Shiva Power class on Sunday morning at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas! I’ll miss you Cabo. I just landed back in LA. It was a beautiful time connecting with everyone. Thank you for your big open hearts. Grateful to have seen you all again and to meet new friends on this wonderful journey. Thank you, Niya, for inviting me to share with your community. More to come!

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Really fun Core Workshop on Saturday afternoon!

Really fun Core Workshop on Saturday afternoon!

Really fun Core Workshop on Saturday afternoon! We sometimes think of the core as just the belly — but there is more to the core than just the Rectus Abdominus (the 6 pack) muscles. And you want your core muscles to be strong but also flexible. Just like the whole practice — balance is key.
The Rectus Abdominus flexes the spine.
The external and internal obliques flex and rotate the spine.
The transverse Abdominus provides stability for the low back.
The pelvic floor stabilizes the pelvis.
The diaphragm and intercostal muscles facilitate respiration.
The psoas muscles flex the hips.
The quadratus lumborum laterally flexes the spine.
The spinal erectors extend the spine.
The serratus anterior helps to stabilize the shoulders.
We broke things down in this workshop and isolated these muscles to really feel how each one is working and what it’s supposed to be doing when it’s functioning properly. Then, lots of practice to really feel these muscles in action and apply our work to some common yoga poses. Great job everyone who came out to practice on Saturday. It was really fun to practice with you!

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Congratulations to Andrew!

Congratulations to Andrew!

Congratulations to Andrew Oliver — another recent graduate of our Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training Program! Andrew recently completed and handed in all of his post training required assignments. Last year, Andrew completed his 200 contact hours in our training at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas. Andrew is currently teaching at Yoga Remedy’s Essential Wellness in Los Angeles. If you are in the Southbay, Torrance, Harbor City area I would highly recommend his classes. Great job, Andrew! Proud of you! Namaste.

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Hip Opening Workshop this Saturday.

Hip Opening Workshop this Saturday.


On Saturday we had a big hip opening workshop as part of our Shiva Yoga 50hr Intensive! We focus on the hips a lot in yoga. When we have full range of motion at the hip joint we can do a lot to prevent injuries to the low back and the knees. The hip is a ball and socket joint, which provides a lot of movement. We can move at the hips in all three planes. We can flex and extend the hips in the Sagittal plane. We can abduct and adduct the hips in the Coronal plane. And we can externally rotate and internally rotate the hips in the Transverse plane. If we have limited range of motion in the Saggital plane — then the low back could become compromised. The spine wasn’t meant to flex and extend the way the hips can flex and extend. Transverse plane. If we have limited range of motion in the Transverse plane, especially external rotation, then the knees can become compromised. The knee joint is a simple hinge joint. There a small degree of movement right to left at the knees but, mostly, this joint was meant to flex and extend. If your hips are not able to externally rotate, this can put a lot of pressure on the knees to try to make up for this lack of movement and this can lead to injury. Protect your low back and your knees, release stored tension and find balance, and prepare for seated pranayama and meditation practices. Some of the reasons it’s a good idea to open your hips! Great work on Saturday, everyone!!! Thank you for going into the fire with me.

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Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.

Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.

Fun Shiva Power class this morning at Baja Soul Yoga! Nice to see everyone.
Yoga philosophy teaches us that yoga is the stopping of the movements of the fluctuating mind. When the mind is quiet — in stillness, we experience the true nature of our Self. When the mind is constantly moving and distracting us, we never really get to see who we are because we are caught up in all the movements, and all the distractions. It’s like things are upside down. The senses are leading the mind, and the mind is dragging us along for the ride. Yoga is the practice of taking charge again. You are directing your mind to control your senses, and focus on the things you want to focus on. Every time you concentrate on something and hold your focus — you increase your willpower. Every time your mind wanders off and fidgets, distracting you — the pattern of distraction gets stronger. The greatest battle you will ever fight is the one with your mind. Concentrate! Without concentration there is no yoga.

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Pranayama Workshop on Friday night!

Pranayama Workshop on Friday night!

In Hatha Yoga — pranayama is used to balance the nervous system, bring clarity to the mind, and remove the veil of darkness that is covering the inner Light.
In Raja Yoga — pranayama is used to make the mind fit for concentration and is a preparation for meditation.
A very powerful evening working with the breath. Great job, everyone!
Some questions to consider: Why do we have two nostrils? Why would you want to predominantly breathe through the nose vs. the mouth?
This workshop kicked off a big weekend of Shiva Power classes, Shiva Meditation classes, and a Hip Opening and Arm Balancing Workshop! 🙏❤️Thank you to everyone who came to the workshop and thank you to Baja Soul Yoga for hosting. We have Asana Breakdown all week and then another big weekend coming up. Hope you can join us!

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Congratulations Ashlee!

Congratulations Ashlee!

Congratulations to my student, Ashlee! Ashlee completed her 200hr Teacher Training with me, at Baja Soul Yoga, in Cabo San Lucas last year. Ashlee recently completed her post training assignments and has now officially graduated and is eligible to register with Yoga Alliance. Great job, Ashlee! Proud of you. Excited to see you begin your teaching journey. Namaste! 


I am in Cabo for the next 2 weeks, leading a 10 day - 50hr Intensive program. Baja Soul Yoga is also hosting my Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training program again this summer from July 15-August 16!!! Want to join me in paradise for a month and take your practice to the next level?

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Congrautations Kristin!

Congrautations Kristin!

Congratulations to this wonderful yogi — Kristin Hughes! Who just completed her required post teacher training work and has officially graduated as a Shiva Yoga teacher. You rocked it, Kristin! So proud of you.

Kristin completed training with me at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas last year. We have another 200hr teacher training coming up at Baja Soul Yoga this July 15- August 16. If you want to deepen your yoga practice, become a yoga teacher, or just make some big changes in your life this training could be for you. Check out the Teacher Training page of my website or go directly to bajasoulyoga.com to reserve your space. There is an early registration discount. Act now to save money and get the best price when you sign up.

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Something in the water...

Something in the water...

There’s something in this Dubai water. Feels like I’m just floating and light as a feather! Thanks for the fun play session! Lol.

I posted this picture on social media and some people wondered if it was real. We had so much fun playing and creating this and other pics. The XYoga Dubai Festival had this booth set up with everything rotated 90 degrees, so you could do these really crazy and wild looking asana variations. You were lying down but when you take a picture and rotate the pic 90 degrees it looks like you are defying gravity. Pretty cool!

Either that, or maybe I have more siddhi powers than I often share. Lol.

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Hip Opening Workshop with the Guruv Yoga trainees!

Hip Opening Workshop with the Guruv Yoga trainees!

Hip Opening workshop yesterday at Guruv Yoga Dr. Phillips in Orlando!

The students in this picture are working on putting poses into families of similar poses.

Yoga philosophy tells us there are as many poses and pose variations as there are people. Some texts describe the potential for 8,400,000 different asanas. We also learn from the ancient yogis that there are archetypal poses — and really only a handful of “categories” of poses or pose families.

When you break down the asanas and look at the anatomy it becomes easy to see there are only so many ways to move each joint. That really limits the number of actual poses that are really different than other poses.

Fun workshop yesterday!

Please join me today at 1-4pm for an Arm Balancing workshop! Exciting to build on what we covered today.

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Demonstrating Kukkutasana.

Demonstrating Kukkutasana in my Arm Balancing workshop yesterday at Guruv Yoga Dr. Phillips in Orlando! This is a challenging pose for me. I’ve been working with a shoulder injury the last two months and this was the first time in this pose in a while. I had a lot of fun playing with the students yesterday in our workshop. It was definitely a hot and sweaty one with lots of focus on the core, shoulders and the arms. A strong group came out and we were able to work on some challenging poses and advanced transitions. It was great to practice with you, everyone! You all did a great job! Look forward to seeing you again soon!

Shiva Meditation with the Guruv Yoga Teacher Trainees!

Shiva Meditation with the Guruv Yoga Teacher Trainees!

Our last Shiva Meditation practice yesterday with the Guruv Yoga Teacher Trainees! Such a pleasure to work with this dedicated group all week. We have had a big week of Anatomy, Asana Breakdown, Philosophy, Yoga Sutras, and Shiva Power classes & Shiva Meditation classes. Grateful to Tymi Howard for allowing me to contribute to this program and share these teachings.

I am here at Guruv Yoga Dr. Phillips for 2 more days. Today - 1-4pm - we have a Hip Opening workshop and tomorrow - 1-4pm - we have an Arm Balancing workshop. Hope you can join me for one or both of these weekend workshops! Have a great weekend, everyone. 

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Anatomy Breakdown at Guruv Yoga.

Anatomy Breakdown at Guruv Yoga.

I had so much fun teaching anatomy yesterday afternoon at Guruv Yoga in Orlando! Thank you Tymi Howard for inviting me to be a part of your teacher training program. Great group of students! Really open and receptive and hungry for knowledge. Going to be some great teachers coming out of this program. I’m back with the trainees on Thursday (tomorrow) for more anatomy and applied anatomy. Lots of asana breakdown. I love breaking down the poses so we can better understand what’s going on in the body in each pose. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow everyone! Have a great day with Tymi today.  I’m leading an open Vinyasa class at 9:30 tomorrow too. Please join me if you are free. You don’t have to be in the training program to come to the class. Look forward to practicing with you.

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