On to the next adventure!!! I’m flying to New York today. It’s a long journey. First to Chongqing. I have a layover and then a direct flight from Chongqing to JFK. It’s been an amazing trip so far. These last 2 weeks in Shanghai have been a lot of fun. I’ve met a lot of new students and made a lot of new friends. My first stop on this trip when I left Los Angeles was to New York. Feels like a long time ago! I’m excited to be back in New York. Hoping to get a practice in with Dharma. I’m teaching 3 special event Shiva Power master classes at Pure Yoga this week. If you are in New York please join me for a class. These classes are super affordable and free to Pure Yoga members. I’m teaching as part of the Visiting Teacher Series. Hope to see you there. Namaste. See you again soon, Shanghai! And to everyone in China — thank you for being such amazing hosts and treating me so well these last 2 months.Read More
I was talking with an old friend today over coffee about love and the deep Soul connection kind of love that is so hard to find. I think we often confuse love with the lust. Just like we often get confused about who we really are and the true nature of the Self. Do you really love your partner? Or are you seeking their love? Love is kindness and compassion. Love says I want the best for you and I want you to become the best person you can be. Love is two people walking down the road together, headed in the same direction. You are responsible for your own happiness. I am responsible for my own happiness. I enjoy your company but I don’t need you.
I think before you can really love anyone or anything you have to learn to love yourself. And in order to love yourself, you have to get comfortable with yourself. Sit in stillness. Be alone. That person you are attracted to doesn’t have the answers to your problems. You have the answers to your problems.
The work you do on yourself is the most important gift you can give to the world. Go into the fire. Let your stuff come to the surface and let it go. Cleanse your body and cleanse your mind. Clear out that old stuck energy and make same space.
Are you ready to love someone? Or are you just looking for someone to love you?
Thank you, Haipoo Yoga for hosting me for another great Shiva Yoga Intensive program! I love the new studio and had a wonderful time with the students this week. Grateful to you for your support and our ongoing collaboration. Namaste.Read More
How old were you when you first started practicing yoga? Fun pictures at the Guangzhou Dreamer Yoga Festival.
My first yoga practice was when I was studying acting in the UK at RADA for a summer program. We did yoga in one of the movement classes. I don’t know if they were allowed to call it yoga back then because of the perceived connection to religion. I looked back on what we were doing when I started practicing regularly after I’d returned home from the program and realized we’d been doing yoga in some of our movement classes
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
I’m off to the Yonion Festival! Excited to be teaching at this festival in Xiamen for the first time. This is one of China’s largest yoga festivals. I’m honored to be presenting with some of the world’s leading international teachers, including my friends @tymihoward @diceyoga and @yogawithbriohny I’m in Brussels now. Waiting on my flight to Beijing. Where is your journey taking you next? If you show up with an open mind and an open heart the possibilities are endless. Enjoy the ride and breathe into every moment. The thought of all the travel I’m doing this year and being away from home for so long - several months on this current trip - made me very nervous at first and definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I’m loving being challenged like this, though and being forced to give up control. It’s such a beautiful practice. Let it go. What are you holding on to? Let it go. Trust. Have faith. The Universe has a plan for you. Just keep taking steps forward. Breathe. It’s not supposed to feel comfortable. Are you really nervous? Or are you excited and you’ve forgotten how amazing it feels to be excited, vulnerable and alive! Namaste, my friends. Thank you to all of you who I’ve met so far on this path who have inspired me to get out of my comfort zone. We are walking this path together.Read More
Hanging out in Bali after a photo shoot with some new friends. Yoga allows each of us to experience our true nature. Who are you at the center of your Self?
You are the experience of awareness experiencing itself. You are not the witness, but the experience of witnessing. You are not the lover, but the experience of loving. You are not compassionate, but the experience of compassion. You are not kind, but the experience of kindness.
Expansive. Beyond time and space. You are everywhere and nowhere. You are pure love. Separation exists only in your mind, and because of your ego.
Imagine, for moment, it’s as if there’s no you and no me. Just for a moment, there’s no separation.
We are travelers on a journey —home, to experience who we really are, underneath all the layers of who we thought we were.
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.Read More
Yogis! This month’s YogaLife magazine has been released. I have a nice 4 page article on Shiva Yoga. The magazine interviewed me after the XYoga Dubai Festival last month. I was really impressed with the depth of their curiosity. Lots of great questions about why yoga is more than just exercise and the technology of the practice works. Thank you YogaLife for including me in your publication and giving me the opportunity to share the teachings of my teachers. We are all just walking the same path, helping each other along. I’ve been blessed to have some incredible teachers and I feel so connected to the lineage of my teachers. Get connected, yogis! You can’t do this on your own. It’s not about learning a fancy asana you saw someone do on social media. You also can’t learn yoga from a book. Find a teacher who is walking the path and follow them. They know the way. Namaste!
You can catch the whole article at the YogaLife website. Www.yogalife-online.com Check out the beautiful cover pic on this issue of @deepikamehtayoga - a lovely teacher who was also at the XYogaDubai Festival last month.Read More
Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror up to where you’re bravely working.
Expecting the worst, you look, and instead, here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.
Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.
Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced as birdwings. — Rumi
A week ago we wrapped up an incredible Shiva Yoga 50hr Intensive at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas! Here’s a few pics from our Backbending Workshop on the last day of the intensive.
It is so important to understand the relationship between the core muscles, and the spinal erectors and the other muscles that take the spine into extension when you are Backbending. One of my teachers used to say that in every backbend there is a little forward fold. When you engage your core while you are Backbending, your backbend actually gets bigger. You create more space. Your spine lengthens. You don’t put so much pressure on your lower back. And you get to stretch your hip flexors. It’s this relationship of opposites and finding the balance between them that can really take us deeper into the practice. Some teachers call these actions and counter actions. I call this the ‘tug of war’ principle. It is the dance that is happening between the agonist and the antagonist muscles all the time. Sometimes there is an equal fight, sometimes one side wins, but the other side doesn’t just drop the rope and give up. The antagonist is still fighting, just like the villain at the end of the movie, who rarely throws in the towel and goes quietly away.
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?
How is your new year starting off? Did you set intentions? What are you going to do differently this year? What seeds have you already planted that you want to see continue to grow? What are you ready to let go of and leave behind?
I returned to Los Angeles on Monday after a wonderful trip to Toronto and the surrounding area to see family and a few old friends and a very rejuvenating trip to New York to practice with my teacher Dharma Mittra and reconnect with some of the Dharma community.
I picked up a cold in Toronto and I’ve been fighting it since. It’s almost gone now but it was a bad one. It was kind of the physical manifestation of what I’ve been feeling a lot lately on a deeper level.Read More
This has to be one of the best ‘feel good’ partner yoga poses! And it feels good for both partners too. If you are on the body in the Seated Forward Fold your partner helps you to fold deeper into flexion. If you are on top in the Upward Bow Pose variation your partner helps you lengthen your spine, open the mid and upper back, and take the shoulders deeper into flexion. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!Read More
Backbending Workshop! The Camel Pose is a great intermediate backbend. Once your hands can slide down to the soles of your feet, you are definitely ready for the first stage of the Full King Pigeon. Don’t forget to hug your inner thighs in and push them back while you are pushing your hips forward. Engage your core while you push your heart up and try to extend your spine. And make sure not to strain your neck. The cervical spine has lots of flexibility and a huge range of motion. Think about how imbalance leads to more imbalance. We want to stabilize areas that are vulnerable and open areas where there isn’t a lot of movement or full range of motion.Read More
“Copy the teacher, copy the teacher, copy the teacher.” — Dharma Mittra
My teacher — Sri Dharma Mittra, always talks about how we learn by copying the teacher. I love listening to him talk about when he would sit for meditation and say to himself, “I am Yogi Gupta, I am Yoga Gupta, I am Yogi Gupta.”Read More