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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Men do yoga too!!!

Men do yoga too!!!

Men do yoga too!!! Hanging with Luke after class today at Guruv Yoga. I sometimes wonder how different our world would be if more men did yoga? The practice is so healing and so beneficial. I hope in the future more men awaken to the idea that yoga is for them too. I can’t believe how much yoga has helped me grow and transform as a person, AND it’s really challenging physically and mentally. You want to be a better athlete? Do yoga! Train your mind to concentrate so you can accomplish more and work more efficiently? Do yoga! Reduce stress and prevent injuries and disease? Do yoga! Hang out with a room full of hot and sweaty beautiful women who are impressed that you are the one guy who “gets it”? Do yoga! What are you waiting for guys? It’s time to get on your mat.

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A hot and sweaty Shiva Power class at Float Yoga!

A hot and sweaty Shiva Power class at Float Yoga!

A hot and sweaty Shiva Power class at Float Yoga! Thank you, Stella for inviting me to teach at your studio. It was a really humid day and, WOW, did we go into the fire!!! Strong students!!! Great job, everyone. It was fun practicing with all of you. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon.


Sit in the fire and let it cleanse you. Let your stuff come to the surface and let it go. There’s no spiritual by-pass. You have to go through it all to get to the other side. It’s messy. It’s intense. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes you leave it all on your mat. Sweat, tears, frustration, anger, sadness? What are you working through? What’s coming to the surface for you? Are you looking at your stuff? Are you ready to look in the mirror and see the truth? This is the practice. This is yoga. Fire is the catalyst. You are sharpening your sword. You are cleaning your pot. Transformation isn’t easy. Change isn’t easy. Undoing patterns and working through old stuck energy isn’t easy. But it’s worth it to take the journey! It’s SO worth it. Just get on your mat. Start walking down the path. One step at a time. Namaste.

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“He who teaches and doesn’t practice is a fraud. And he who practices and doesn’t teach is a thief.”

“He who teaches and doesn’t practice is a fraud. And he who practices and doesn’t teach is a thief.”

Our final Shiva Power class at Haipoo Yoga yesterday morning! A deep Twisting class with extra core work to prepare for our afternoon Handstand Workshop. This was a really fun group to work with and I’ve enjoyed watching everyone grow a lot in just a few days. We managed to cover some yoga philosophy and I had the students read and discuss five of my published articles on different aspects of the practice as well. I am confident that I shared as much as I could in our 3 days together. I think the greatest thing we can do as teachers is share everything we have with our students. If we do a good enough job they won’t need us anymore. Ideally, we want to eliminate ourselves from the equation altogether. Everything I have is yours! The way we honor our teachers and pay back the debt we owe to them is to share the teachings and become teachers ourselves. There’s an old yoga saying — “He who teaches and doesn’t practice is a fraud. And he who practices and doesn’t teach is a thief.” Better not to be either one.

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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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The story of Vacistasana.

The story of Vacistasana.

The story of Vacistasana is a story about a Great Sage, a sacred cow, and magical powers. But it’s ultimately about the journey from darkness to light. There was no sacred cow that gave the Great Sage Magical powers.
The power is within you! You just have to do your practice. Be consistent! Be patient! Train your mind to focus! Keep waking up. Everyday, wake up a little more. And a little more. You can do anything you focus your mind on. Some people might think you have a secret, a sacred cow, or are lucky, or have magical powers. But you know your power comes from your practice, from your dedication and hard work. The power is inside you. It’s inside all of us. You just have to learn how to access it! And then you can do anything.

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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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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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Shift your perspective. Experience the true nature of your Self.

 Shift your perspective. Experience the true nature of your Self.

Really fun Shiva Power class last night at Siddhi Yoga Shala in Athens. Thank you @mariamaganariyoga for inviting me to collaborate and teach at your studio. Really nice group of students. Thank you to everyone who came to take my Shiva Power class.


I was talking last night about the shift of perspective in yoga, and how profound it is when we make that shift. The mind is constantly falling down. When we are governed by the ego we are constantly judging, criticizing and commenting on everything. The mind is never satisfied. But when you touch the deepest part of yourself and realize that there is a part of you beyond the body, mind, thoughts, and ego, you start to see the world differently. You begin to move through the world with more gratitude. Love, kindness and compassion automatically starts to flow from your heart. The question arises in your mind — how can I be of service? How can I help others? This is yoga! Take the journey. Shift your perspective. Experience the true nature of your Self.

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If you can control your breath, you can control your mind.

If you can control your breath, you can control your mind.

One of the things I love about teaching with a translator is how it slows everything down.
Slowly moving with the breath is really where it’s at in a flowing practice. If you can control your breath, you can control your mind.
Let the breath lead the movement and let the breath wrap around the movement. The breath starts and then the movement starts. The movement finishes and then the breath finishes. This way there’s always going to be pauses. There’s always going to be control. Who’s driving your car? You are. Enjoy the dance between the movement and the stillness. Holding these opposites at the same time is the paradox that allows us to have a deeper, transformational experience. Concentrate but also surrender.
Practicing a slow flow that is connected to the breath will help you stay calm and keep you out of the default network of your brain - where it will be hard for you to not react and get caught up in everything that is coming up for you and just trying to process. Think of the four parts of the breath. There’s a little moment of stillness where the inhale meets the exhale, and another little moment of stillness where the exhale meets the inhale.
I love flowing with my students! I always practice a little bit with my students in every class. I find it helps me to connect with the group energy. I also think it reminds the students that I’m just walking the path with them. I’m not on a pedestal. I don’t want to be on a pedestal. We are all just walking home together.

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What an inspiring weekend with Dr. Richard Miller!

What an inspiring weekend with Dr. Richard Miller!

What an inspiring weekend with Dr. Richard Miller! I’ve been practicing Yoga Nidra for over 12 years and teaching it for the past 10 yrs. I’ve been trained in 2 traditions and I found Richard’s knowledge incredible. He helped me connect the dots in a lot of areas and helped me understand what is happening neurologically in different parts of the practice. A few really profound moments where I was able to unlock and make sense of this ancient practice and increase my understanding. When knowledge turns to wisdom! His practice was very powerful as well and it really resonated with me. I’m definitely going to be doing a training with him down the road. Thank you @irestrichardmiller for a really wonderful weekend! Thank you @larrypayneyoga for hosting and all that you do to provide so many opportunities for us to continue to grow and learn. The never ending journey of learning! Feeling very grateful.

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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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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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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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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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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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