One Legged Crane (Eka Pada Bakasana) Variations.

One Legged Crane (Eka Pada Bakasana) Variations.

I am back in LA! I had a wonderful time at Kula Yoga this past week. It was the perfect end to a 3 month teaching trip. Wow! I can’t believe I was gone for a full 3 months! It’s good to be back. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
Here’s a couple more demo pics from our Arm Balance Workshop yesterday. These two pics are of the One Legged Crane (Eka Pada Bakasana) variations.
Once you are balancing in the Crane Pose, to come into the first variation of the One Legged Crane, try to lift one knee off of your arm and bring it to the middle of your chest, or bring it across your body and tap the other knee. If this is successful, try to straighten the leg behind you. Reach up and back like you are in the Standing splits. It’s hard to keep the arms straight in this pose. Do the same work in the arms and the shoulders as you would in the Crane Pose.
The second variation is easier to come into from Downward Dog. Step your right foot forward. Move your foot to the right and bring both arms inside the right leg. Drop your shoulder and work your shoulder behind your knee. Place your hands down, shoulder distance apart. Now, step your back foot forward and bring your knee to the back of your arm, by your armpit. This knee is in the same position as the Crane Pose. Drop your hips and lean back. Lift the front leg and straighten the leg. The front leg will be in the same position as Koundinyasana 2. Press your arms, lean forward, and lift your back foot. Bend your knee and pull the heel closer to your buttocks

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Back to Basics.

Back to Basics.

Really fun Shiva Power class last night at Kula Yoga Port Orange!!! Back to basics.

I was talking yesterday about practice and detachment. What is practice? Effort to steady the mind — concentration. What is detachment? Letting go of distractions. So, our practice is the practice of concentration, staying present, looking at the distractions, and letting them go.


You’re taking a journey to the center of your Self. You’re walking to the center of the wheel. You’re not going to suddenly burst into flames when you experience the true nature of your Self, or turn into light and disappear. Yoga won’t make all your problems and all of life’s challenges go away. But you can change your relationship to those problems and challenges. Yoga will help you shift your perspective. You change your relationship to your Self and you change your experience of the world.


The ego is the part of us that is constantly created separation. If you identify with the ego then you are constantly looking for the world around you to change for you. Yoga is asking the opposite. You change your relationship to your Self and your experience of the world changes.


Be the change! This is our practice. This is the shift of perspective.

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Variations in Scorpion Pose!

Variations in Scorpion Pose!

Some fun variations on the forearm’s yesterday in my Shiva Power class at Guruv Yoga Lake Mary in Orlando!!!
Work on the Dolphin and the Forearm Plank to strengthen your arms and shoulders and prepare for the Forearm Balance. Once you’ve mastered the Forearm Balance you can work on the Scorpion Pose. Or play with splitting the legs, or work on the charging scorpion hollow back variation to open the shoulders and upper back.
Backbending poses and poses that challenge my hip flexors are so challenging for me. I love practicing them, though. And I feel so good after a big backbending practice. 3 rounds of backbends is the bare minimum. 7 is better. And 10 is the best! These words are from my teacher Dharma Mittra.
It surprised me to learn when I started studying yoga therapy that it’s not backbends that are the most dangerous poses in yoga — It’s actually forward folds!
I think we are afraid of backbends because they make us feel vulnerable. They take us into the fire. They challenge us to open up and to let go. We aren’t good at being vulnerable. But the walls we put up around ourselves to protect us from the outside world don’t just keep out the bad things, they keep out everything good we could be experiencing as well.
Make sure you stabilize your low back when you backbend by engaging your core. Don’t go too far. Don’t push too hard. But don’t shy away from backbends in your yoga practice either. We are sitting in flexion most of the day. Chronically tight hip flexors! Herniated discs! Tight shoulders! A closed off heart! Backbends can help you with all these things. These poses are energizing and lift us up too! They are great for the spine! You get to flood the spinal discs with nutrients. Keep your spine flexible and strong, yogis!

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Demonstrating the Pose Koundinyasana

Demonstrating the Pose Koundinyasana

Demonstrating the pose Koundinyasana for my students today at Guruv Yoga Lake Mary in Orlando.
When you do this pose your shoulder stabilizers need to work extra hard so that your arms stay roughly in the same position as in chatturanga — the low plank pose. If your shoulders round forward, and your shoulder blades come off the rib cage, you are in danger of giving yourself a shoulder injury. If you have to look sideways in your pose then you are probably dropping one of your shoulders. Be careful. My teacher would see people doing this and say, “this is an injury waiting to happen.”
All arm balances are essentially chatturanga or plank pose + a standing warmup pose. Koundinyasana is chatturanga + triangle pose.
If you want to deepen your work in this pose you will want to work on increasing hip flexibility and strengthening your arms, shoulders, shoulder stabilizer muscles, and your core. You will want to open your hips more in flexion, abduction, and external rotation. Think of the other poses in this family that you could work on in order to deepen your work in this pose? Triangle pose, Half Moon pose, Standing Wide Legged Forward Folding pose, Standing Hand to Foot Open Hip pose, Vacistasana, Lying Down Hand to Foot Open Hip Pose, and Seated Wide Legged Forward Folding pose, would be a great start — to name a few. Practice your transition from Plank pose to Chatturanga over and over again. Don’t go all the way down. Stop halfway. This will help you build the strength you need in your arms, shoulders, shoulder stabilizers and in your core. Practice holding the Plank pose for at least a minute, or two minutes, or three minutes. And practice holding chatturanga for at least a few breaths. That’s what you are essentially going to have to be able to do in this pose. Have fun!!!
Once you’ve mastered this pose, you can try transitioning into the pose from Tripod Head Balance and Handstand.

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Hot and sweaty Shiva Power class this morning!!!

Hot and sweaty Shiva Power class this morning!!!

Hot and sweaty Shiva Power class this morning!!! Great work, everyone!!!
If you are constantly seeking happiness through the senses, you will be on a roller coaster, going up and down, and up and down. The mind is never satisfied. And their will always be more going down on the roller coaster than going up. Even when you get what you want — after a brief moment of happiness, the mind is asking, “what’s next? What’s next? What’s next?”
The yogis understood the mind was constantly falling down and never satisfied. The only way to experience lasting happiness was to turn inward and experience the true nature of the Self.
It’s time to get off the roller coaster!!!

Get on your yoga mat. Concentrate. Stay present. Look at your mind. And let go of the thoughts. Let go of your distractions. Concentrate. Stop getting caught up in the movements of the fluctuating mind. Turn inward. Experience the true nature of the Self.

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Really fun class in Fuzhou yesterday!

Really fun class in Fuzhou yesterday!

Really fun class in Fuzhou yesterday! Great group of students. We did a lot of hip opening and focused on going deep into the fire and staying calm. I talked a lot about getting out of your comfort zone in this class. It’s always so hard when you are a beginner. You don’t have the strength and the ability to focus and the minute things get uncomfortable you are trying to make yourself comfortable, fidgeting your body, and getting distracted. It’s a practice! You will get really good at the things you practice. If you keep practicing concentration, you get really good at concentrating. If you practice letting yourself become distracted, you get really good at distracting yourself. Feed what you want to grow!

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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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Demonstrating Flying Pigeon.

Demonstrating Flying Pigeon.

Demonstrating the Flying Pigeon (ekapadagalavasana) for my students, during one of our Shiva Power classes, in my Shiva Yoga Intensive program, at Dream Space Yoga, in Shenzhen!
It took me forever to be able to do this pose! I thought I was never going to be strong enough. I didn’t realize that the arm balance poses in yoga are simply standing warmup poses done on the arms. I wasn’t lacking the strength to do the pose. My hips weren’t open enough. If you want this pose to become easier, you have to open up the piriformis muscle. Lots of Single Pigeon Forward Fold and Double Pigeon Forward Fold.
Once you increase the range of motion at the hip joint and are able to externally rotate your hips fully, this pose, Lotus Pose, and Leg Behind the Head variations open up for you. And you protect your knees, which will suffer if you are not able to fully externally rote the hips

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Shoulder Opening Workshop at Dream Space Yoga.

Shoulder Opening Workshop at Dream Space Yoga.

Learning about the shoulders in my shoulder opening workshop at Dream Space Yoga this past week. Shiva Yoga Intensive. Backbends are the primary poses in our yoga practice that we use to open the shoulders. We are usually focused on opening the shoulders in extension or flexion, in order to increase our range of motion. If we have full range of motion at the shoulder join we can prevent injuries to the neck and upper back. If you want to be able to do more advanced backbends in your yoga practice it is essential that you open your shoulders.

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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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One of the greatest - Tymu Howard

One of the greatest - Tymu Howard

There’s some great teachers here at the Yonion Festival this year! I’m honored to be teaching alongside some of the best in the world. One of the teachers here is Tymi Howard. So nice of Tymi to come to my Shiva Power class today. Tymi has a big following all over the world, and especially here in China. She owns Guruv Yoga in Orlando, Florida too. I have been collaborating with her at her studio for the past year but we had never met and we finally got to connect in person here in China. Small world. This year she invited me to teach a small part of one of her Teacher Training programs too, which was a lot of fun. She has a wonderful community in Orlando. I’m excited to be heading back to Orlando in June to teach some classes and workshops at her studio again too. Love this girl! And I love this picture.

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Visiting Sister Irene in Amorgos.

Visiting Sister Irene in Amorgos.

After a long detour where we made a wrong turn and ended up taking a beautiful winding road across the island we finally got back on the main road and headed to see Irene at another monastery. Sister Irene is such a special woman. I love visiting her when I come to Amorgos. She has put so much energy and so much love into taking care of her monastery. It’s beautiful!

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Congratulations to my student, Niya!

Congratulations to my student, Niya!


Congratulations to my student, Niya! Niya just completed her post training requirements and is now an official Shiva Yoga teacher and graduate of our 200hr Shiva Yoga Teacher Training program. Niya is the owner of Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas. Baja Soul Yoga hosted our program last year. We have another 200hr program coming up at Baja Soul Yoga this summer from July 15- August 16! I’m also excited to be collaborating with Jackie & Jodie Anderson at Kula Yoga in Port Orange, Florida, who will be hosting our Shiva Yoga 300hr Teacher Training program this fall!

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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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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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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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Incredible sunset here in Cabo San Lucas!

Incredible sunset here in Cabo San Lucas!

Incredible sunset here in Cabo San Lucas tonight! We finished a really fun day 4 of our Shiva Yoga 50hr Intensive at Baja Soul Yoga. It was an incredible weekend. I’ve really enjoyed reconnecting with the community here and seeing some of the TT students from last year. Been a wonderful time so far

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Arrived in Cabo for our 10-Day Workshop

Arrived in Cabo for our 10-Day Workshop

I arrived in Cabo San Lucas!!! So excited to see this girl. Grateful for you, Niya. Thank you for inviting me to share again at Baja Soul Yoga!

Our 10 day - 50hr Shiva Yoga® Intensive starts this Friday, February 15th. Hope you can join us! You can also sign up for each weekend separately or individual classes and workshops. Are you ready to take things a little deeper? See you on your mat!!! 

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Zip-lining Dubai!

Zip-lining Dubai!

Here’s an after pic from our zip lining adventure in Dubai! Janet Stone and I decided to go zip lining on our last day in Dubai, after the XYoga Dubai Festival was over. Thank you XDubai for this really fun experience. Thank you Sara Fakhouri for setting this up. It was a blast. I’ve never zip lined lying face down like Superman before. It was pretty exhilarating. And really cool to zip line off a building and fly through the middle of the city.

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