“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.”

“I am Yogi Gupta, I am Yogi Gupta, I am Yogi Gupta.”

A happy belated birthday to my teacher — Dharma Mittra, who turned 80 yrs old last month. I’m so excited that I will be able to see Dharma this week while I am in New York. I’ve been lucky enough to take 3 Teacher Training programs with Dharma over the past 8 yrs and have come to New York on several additional trips for intensive study.
Dharma sometimes shares a story about practicing with his teacher, Swami Kailasananda — Yogi Gupta. He talks about focusing intensely on copying the teacher, trying to become like the master himself. We walk in the shadows of the great teachers who have come before us. We try to follow in their footsteps. We keep moving things forward, and our students are right behind us. As Dharma would say, “we are all just helping each other along.”

“Copy the teacher, copy the teacher, copy the teacher.”

“I am Dharma Mittra, I am Dharma Mittra, I am Dharma Mittra.”

Feeling grateful for this moment and everything that has led to this moment. Thank you, Dharma.

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Ride the wave!

Ride the wave!

Sometimes you just have to surrender and go with the flow. The Universe has a plan for you. Ride the wave!
I’ve been in Taishan and Guangzhou the last 3 days. I’d never been to either city. Didn’t know any of the people I was meeting. Didn’t even know where I was staying. Just hoped the studio owner’s would pick me up at the train station.
Am meeting such lovely people and we are having so much fun. Enjoying meals together, practicing yoga together, laughing, and connecting.
I love this selfie I took on Friday night. This is Sandy, the owner of the studio in Taishan and Stella, my translator for the class I taught at the studio. They are both so nice!
I was talking with Sandy and her husband, Ricky about how my teacher Dharma always says that like attracts like and same attracts same. What’s the vibration you are putting out into the world? You will attract people who are vibrating on a similar level. Light attracts light. If you want to change your experience of the world — shift your perspective. Change your relationship to your Self and notice how your perception of the world changes. It starts with you!
Ride the wave! Let go! Let it go!

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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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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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Remember "It's just the mind."

Remember "It's just the mind."

Last night my mind was very heavy. I was working on a technical problem with my computer and the cloud and on the phone with a support specialist. It was a long day too. I was getting tired and feeling overwhelmed with the situation. We kept trouble shooting the problem and couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
I could feel myself getting frustrated. I could feel the emotions coming up. I tried not to get attached to them. It was hard. I was agitated.
One of the things that helped me shift my perspective was remembering one day a few years ago, coming up the elevator to the Dharma Yoga Center during one of my trainings with my teacher, Dharma Mittra. I asked Dharma how he was doing and he surprised me when he said that his mind was very heavy that day and very sad. There was a pause and then he shrugged and laughed and said, “but it’s just the mind” and gave me a knowing look, and I understood a little better the concept we talk a lot about in yoga of shifting our perspective.
I always remembered that morning. And it helped a lot last night. I could feel myself getting caught up in my thoughts and the anger and frustration I was feeling. I kept telling myself — it’s just the mind. Let it go. It’s not you. It’s just the mind.
I went to bed and slept well last night and woke up feeling very light and energized. I remember thinking that It was so silly that my mind was so upset and agitated last night. And even sillier that I was getting agitated and upset too.
The mind is always going to be on the roller coaster. But it doesn’t mean that you have to be too. You’re not the thoughts. You’re not the emotions. You are the space between the thoughts. You are the witness of body and mind activities.

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Exploring Long Island.

Exploring Long Island.

Hiking on Long Island with my Dharma Yoga sister! Diana has been hosting me here in New York and she is such a great host. Grateful for her. She has inspired me to eat so healthy since I arrived here in New York. It’s been a great way to start the new year. I’m feeling refreshed and recharged. And it’s been so wonderful to practice everyday with my teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra. 

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Grateful to practice with one of my teachers Dharma.

Grateful to practice with one of my teachers Dharma.

A beautiful first day of the new year, practicing with my teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York. Grateful to be here. So grateful for Dharma. What a fun class! Nice to practice with so many old friends too. A really special day and wonderful way to start the new year. Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your year is off to a good start and brings you much peace and love.

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If you never try and fail, you will never find success!

If you never try and fail, you will never find success!

Once you have mastered balancing on your head in the Bound Head Balance and the Tripod Head Balance -- it can be fun to practice transitioning between these poses and other more advanced Head Balance variations. I learned so much about the Head Balance Poses from my teacher Sri Dharma Mittra. Dharma is a master at transitioning between Head Balances when he’s upside down and even balancing on the head with no hands. I’m not very good at these transitions yet but I find them a lot of fun. Some days I can balance on my head with no hands for a second or two and some days I can’t really find the balance at all. Always remember to have fun and keep your practice light. Be playful! I think we fall and fail at things we try 1000 times before we find the balance and find success. But if we never try and never fail we never find success. It doesn’t matter what your poses look like. It matters if you try. Get out of your comfort zone. Put forth your best effort. Let go of your expectations and let go of the results. Just show up and do the work. This is Karma Yoga. If you fall, don’t worry, no one is watching and no one really cares, except maybe you, and only if you are identifying with your ego.

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