Really wonderful Kirtan with Dharma after master class yesterday!!! So good to be back at the Dharma Yoga Center. Fun class! Thank you, Dharma.Read More
I love this shot with my yoga brother, Richard in Shitang last month for the Zhejiang Yoga Cultural Festival. Richard is so inspiring! He’s been here in China for 20 yrs. He speaks mandarin beautifully. He’s a great yoga teacher and a really good guy too. We went on this adventure one afternoon with the owner of Haipoo Yoga. It was such an interesting day. Lee took us to these incredible caves near where he grew up and we got some beautiful shots. I think this was shot with a drone. I like that it’s simple. Stand in mountain pose in stillness. Think of the qualities of the mountain — big, tall, strong, stable, grounded, and still. Yoga doesn’t have to be a fancy pose. Sit in stillness and concentrate on one thing. Or stand in stillness. This is the hardest practice. The Jain monks used Tadasana as a meditation practice. It’s a really important pose in Jainism. Fun hanging with you, Richard! Namaste.Read More
One of the things I learned from my teachers was to teach the students to wake themselves up. I don’t do a lot of hands-on adjustments until I know students really well. Even then — I follow a few simple rules when it comes to adjusting students in class. If I can cue you verbally to find the adjustment yourself I think it’s more powerful than me simply using my knowledge of the pose to put your body in a better position. If verbal cues don’t work, then I’ll try to “mirror” for you what I want you to find in your own body. If that doesn’t work, light touch can be enough. Now, find it on your own. If all else fails or if I think a full hands-on adjustment will really help you deepen your work and you couldn’t get there on your own, then I’ll do the full hands-on adjustment. But the goal is for you to one day not need me around. I think if we do a great job, one day we’ve given our students everything and they don’t need us anymore. In a lot of ways, our job as good teachers, is to one day eliminate ourselves. Is your teacher teaching you to be self sufficient? Are you growing? Are you waking up? Are you waking yourself up? My teacher, Dharma often answers questions by asking a question back — “What do you think? Use your discrimination.” I think the best teacher’s force us to figure things out on our own. Maybe the best thing for you and your growth is to do things incorrectly for a little while and then figure it out on your own?Read More
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.Read More
What an incredible first day here at the XYoga Dubai Festival! Grateful to be here. Presenting along with some wonderful teachers including, Janet Stone, Davidji and Laura Sykora. I am loving the energy and receptiveness of the students. I taught my first Shiva Power® class. We did some pretty deep hip opening and I threw in a lot of fun advanced variations and a little bit of partner work. Thank you to everyone who came to this class. Day 2 I’ll be leading another Shiva Power® class at 8am and a very special Shiva Meditation® at 3pm. Can’t wait! Thank you XYoga Dubai for producing such a special event!Read More
The volcano Haleakala! It’s been dormant for almost 300 yrs. Incredible! I love the girls jumping in their Shiva Yoga shirts. Great shot! Maui has so much to see and explore. And the different parts of the island are so different. I will definitely be going back to explore a little more. Not enough time in just 1 week! And it’s so close — I can’t believe I haven’t been already until now. Beautiful! This incredible planet we live on. Let’s take good care of her and try to leave behind something better than what we found.Read More
Some more highlights from our Shiva Yoga 200hr RYT Teacher Training Program! I will miss this amazing group of Yogis. I am leaving Wenling today for Shenzhen! I am sad to leave. Leading these trainings is definitely a practice for me. Yoga teaches us so much about concentration, going into the fire, experiencing the present moment, and then letting go, surrendering. This is yoga practice. Over and over again. It’s like that when I lead these intensive Teacher Training Program’s too, just like another practice. It’s been an intense 5 weeks. Incredible focus and concentration. We went deep into the fire. Now, it is time to let go and prepare for the next adventure. Time is always moving forward. Concentrate, go into the fire. Breathe into each moment, live fully, and then let go, let it go, and focus on the next moment. Every ending is a new beginning! Namaste. Lots of love to you, Wenling! See you again soon.Read More
Fire ceremony and cleansing ritual on our retreat to Bali. We always do a variation of this ceremony on my yoga retreats. First, we do some journal writing exercises, and then boil things down to one thing we are ready to let go of once the retreat is over. And then we condense that down to just one word. This word gets written down on a piece of paper and gets burned in the fire as part of the ceremony and cleansing ritual. These ceremonies aren't always fun. They aren't always the "feel good" moments on the retreat. Yoga isn't always about feel good moments. You've gotta go through your stuff to get to the other side. The fire ceremony and cleansing ritual offers another opportunity to dig deep and take a look at old patterns, to shine the light on some darker areas, and then to set an intention to let go of this old pattern that isn't serving you. Often times, these ceremonies are uncomfortable. They make you feel vulnerable. They can be confrontational. They make you look at something about yourself or about how you're living your life that you may not want to look at yet. That's the point. This is yoga. Getting out of your comfort zone is your yoga practice. Being vulnerable is your yoga practice. Yoga isn't all about rainbows and unicorns, and neither is going on yoga retreat. Your yoga practice at times will be confrontational. It will challenge you. It should challenge you. Yoga is intimate. It's vulnerable. It's profound work. It's not always about being happy and smiling, or, checking out, listening to music, and distracting yourself. What are you ready to let go of? What are you ready to burn off in the fire? What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?Read More
I'm staying in this Airbnb apartment, here, in Shanghai. There is this sweet, little, old lady, who lives in the building. Her daughter, or granddaughter, has been taking her out for a walk each day, and I've been running into them. They both give me such a nice smile when they see me. When I practice my limited Chinese, and say things like, "Nihao" (hello), the old lady lights up, and grins from ear to ear. These little moments of connection have really made each day so special. So simple to just have an open heart and smile at a stranger and say hello. Each day, when I leave from these exchanges I am grinning from ear to ear too. The three of us have had a beautiful moment of connection. It's the "namaste" connection. The light in me recognizes the light in you, and it's the same. Life is so beautiful. So many incredible and meaningful moments. Grateful for each one! Namaste.Read More
This was our last day to explore the islands. The trip had started off feeling like it was going slow and then a few of the days just flew by and suddenly we were on our last day. We had bonded so much as a group. It had been such an amazing time together on the islands. I was going to miss this Galapagos Islands family and our home away from home at Semilla Verde.
We were up early for a yoga class at 6am. Sun Salutations and meditation. It's amazing how just doing fifteen minutes of sun salutations and a fifteen minute meditation can change the rest of your day. If you don't have time for a full practice this alone can be enough.
We had breakfast at Semilla Verde and then waited for the bus to take us on our last excursion. The dogs were out playing. The cat was wandering around. A couple of turtles were already eating nearby on the lawn.Read More
Day 4 of our Galapagos Islands adventure we were up early to do an asana class to start the day off!
I was getting up a little earlier than everyone else to do my own practice on the retreat before leading our morning classes and most days when I headed from my room to the studio it was still dark outside. I often came very close to stepping on one of the giant turtles who were sleeping on the pathway to the studio or nearby. The turtles hiss at you when they are scared or startled and it sounds very strange.
This morning on Day 4 was one of those times when I almost stepped on one of the turtles and we startled each other. I was walking to the studio, half asleep, and it was still pretty dark out. Suddenly, a loud hissing sound to my right startled me. I remember thinking, what the heck is that noise? I think I must've woken up the poor turtle as I was walking by because when I looked back over my shoulder, I could vaguely see him and he was looking around, moving his head from side to side, still hissing and looking rather confused. They usually just tuck into their shell and hide for a few minutes when they are startled. This guy was startled just like I was and was probably thinking, what the heck is that noise, just like me.Read More
We left from LAX on Friday morning. I was flying with three other students coming from Los Angeles. We flew to Panama City and then on to Guayakil, a small city in Ecuador. We spent the night in Guayakil and met up with two more students at the airport, who were booked at the same hotel.
Saturday morning, we took an early flight to the Galapagos Islands, landing on Baltra Island, where a former American military base was located during WW2 . From Baltra Island, we took a short bus ride to a ferry and then took a ferry to the island of Santa Cruz, where we would be staying. A second bus ride took us north across the island. We climbed in elevation as we headed inland and watched the land change from an arid and dry desert landscape to lush green and tropical forest.Read More