Reduce Tamas & Rajas. Cultivate more Sattva.

Reduce Tamas & Rajas.  Cultivate more Sattva.

Another Shiva Power class, on our retreat to Maui last week! Come into stillness. Concentrate. And breathe. Practicing asana reduces Rajas. Practicing pranayama reduces Tamas. Practicing concentration increases Sattva. This is Samkhya Yoga. This is Ashtanga Yoga. Reduce Tamas and Rajas. Cultivate more Sattva. Make the mind fit for concentration and ready for the higher Raja Yoga practices of concentration, meditation, and Samadhi. Ommmmm!

Read More

You have to have context in order to make sense of things.

You have to have context in order to make sense of things.

You have to have context in order to make sense of things. It’s really important that we understand how Classical Yoga Philosophy compares to the other philosophies which competed with yoga, as a way to understand the world and our place in it, around 2000 yrs ago. These philosophies influenced each other and influence traditional yoga practices. Modern yoga classes are using these traditional yoga practices. It’s important to understand why. What is the goal of these practices? And, once reaching the goal, what is the experience once we are there? If you want to learn more about yoga philosophy, please join me for one of my Shiva Yoga Teacher Training programs next year. We have a 200hr program in Cabo San Lucas next year July 15-August 16 and we have a 300hr program, spread over 3 modules, in the fall, in Port Orange, Florida!  Check out the upcoming trainings page! Now, is the time for yoga!

Read More

This powerful technology of yoga!

This powerful technology of yoga!

This powerful technology of yoga! When you practice concentration on one object long enough it leads to a state of meditation, and this leads to the state of Samadhi — where it is as if you have peeled off the layers of body, mind, and ego, and you get to experience the true nature of your Self. What is left over in the stillness, when there is no more body, mind, and ego? You. The part of you that is Pure Consciousness.

Read More

Healthy confrontation.

Healthy confrontation.

I was talking tonight in my class about healthy confrontation. This is one of the things that we are practicing on our mat that is so helpful off the mat too. Can you stay open and confront your challenges? Can you confront the people in your life in a healthy way and with an open heart? Can you sit in the discomfort of the asana and breathe. Stay soft in the heat and intensity of the fire! This is our work on and off the mat. Confrontation is healthy. The world is filled with challenges. What’s your relationship to the challenge? Can you shift your perspective. This is what yoga is asking us to do. Really fun to see you tonight — Equinox Encino! Thank you for your lovely energy and practicing hard with me but also keeping things lighthearted.

Read More

Most of us spend most of our time living in the lower chakras.

Most of us spend most of our time living in the lower chakras.

Most of us spend most of our time living in the lower chakras. Energy is constantly flowing down, through us, and out into the world. The first chakra is all about survival, the second chakra is all about pleasure, and the third chakra is all about power. I need to survive, I want to feel good, and I want to be in control. These three chakras are governed by the ego.

Read More

I love flowing with my students!

I love flowing with my students!

I always practice a couple of Sun Salutations with my students every class. I love practicing yoga!

I think it’s helpful to flow a little along with the class, and to demonstrate or mirror some poses for them as well. I am always so inspired when I practice with my teacher — Dharma Mittra, and he demonstrates something, or practices a pose with us. We have to be careful demonstrating too much when we teach, though. Students who are Tamasic often feel defeated when they see the teacher’s demo, and students who are Rajasic often feel competitive and resent having to watch someone else demonstrating the pose.

Read More

What is a Guru? What does 'namaste' mean?

What is a Guru?  What does 'namaste' mean?

Every morning for the past 4 weeks I’ve started teaching my classes with a long Dharma talk before each class. This is definitely one of my favorite parts of leading these Shiva Yoga® 200hr Teacher Training programs. We have extra time and I can take the time to share some of the stories that my teachers have shared with me that have helped me understand yoga, and break down and talk about some of the common terms we use a lot in yoga but may not fully understand.

Read More

Yoga Terminology

Yoga Terminology

We are deep into our study of yoga philosophy in our Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training program! It’s not easy to make sense of the different systems of philosophy that inform the practice. There’s even a lot of confusion with terminology and even understanding the difference between modern styles of yoga and traditional systems of practice.

Read More

Honoring our teachers.

Honoring our teachers.

We do a lot of studying in my Shiva Yoga® 200hr Teacher Training program and the students work on a lot of creative projects together. One of the chapters in the training manual is on Lineage and how important it is to honor our teachers in yoga. We owe a big debt of gratitude to our teachers and to their teachers and to the original teachers who were trailblazers. Think of how amazing it is that we just have to follow the path that someone else has already been down. It’s incredible! It’s like my teacher — Dharma’s teacher, Yogi Gupta said, “Copy the teacher, copy the teacher, copy the teacher!”

Read More

You are a microcosmic expression of the Universe.

You are a microcosmic expression of the Universe.

“The Head Balance is the dad, the Shoulder Stand is the mom, and the Fish is the son!” — Sri Dharma Mittra

Tantra Philosophy takes a closer look at the perfect balance between masculine and feminine.

What happens when masculine and feminine come together in perfect balance?

Read More

Walk to the center of your wheel.

Walk to the center of your wheel.

Walk to the center of your wheel. Do you remember when you were a kid? There were those wheels you could get on at the park and your parents would spin them and you’d fly around and it was so fun and so exciting? You were hanging on out at the edge and everything was moving so fast.

Read More

Who Am I? What's the True Nature of the Self?

Who Am I?  What's the True Nature of the Self?

Dharma talk before class in our Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training Program — meditation and the technology of concentration, meditation and Samadhi.

Learn to ride your horse to the destination. Yoga answers the question — Who am I? What’s the true nature of the Self? Quiet your mind and in stillness experience the true nature of your Self.

Read More

Transformation --

Transformation --

Leading the Opening Ritual in one of our Shiva Power classes here at Baja Soul Yoga. I always teach my students to check in at the beginning of class. Before you set off on any journey you have to know where you are starting from. What’s your entry way into this practice? How does your body feel right now? Check in. How are you out of balance? Set up a baseline. How does your body feel? Observe your breath. What’s the state of your mind right now?  If you check in at the beginning of your practice, you can compare this to when you check in at the end of the practice. What’s different? What’s shifted? What’s changed? Are you closer to balance? Is your breath flowing more evenly? Do you feel lighter? Is your mind quieter? Do you feel a deeper connection to your Self? Yoga practice is about personal transformation. It’s not dogmatic. It’s not about someone else telling you how you should feel.

Read More

We hold space as yoga teachers.

We hold space as yoga teachers.

We hold space as yoga teachers. We create a space where it’s okay to be vulnerable and to push out of your comfort zone. We offer encouragement and support. We push you hard when you need it and we remind you to back off when you are pushing too hard. We help you stand your ground in the middle of the fire and breathe. We teach you to welcome the discomfort. We teach you to get out of your comfort zone.

Read More

What is your practice bringing to the surface for you?

What is your practice bringing to the surface for you?

Fire Ceremony and Cleansing Ritual during my Shiva Yoga 200hr RYT Teacher Training Program last month. What are you ready to let go of and release? What are you ready to leave behind? What are you holding onto? What is holding you back? What are you ready to burn in the fire?

Read More

Be. Right here. Right now.

Be.  Right here.  Right now.

Look at the judgment, criticism, and endless commentary as you move through your practice. The Ego behaves as if everyone asked us for our opinion on everything – but in reality, nobody asked us for our opinion on anything. Whether we verbalize the commentary or not – we have to listen to it. You’re either present or you’re not. You’re either in this moment or you’re not. And if you’re caught up in your head, judging the moment that just passed, you’re not really in this moment.

Read More

How can I be of service?

How can I be of service?

When you take the journey inward and experience your inner Light — Love, kindness, and compassion, flows out of you to those around you. You ask, “How can I be of service” “How can I help?” “How can I make the world a better place?” We could say another name for the ‘pure consciousness’ within us is ‘love’. Not the kind of love that is selfish and asks, “What’s in it for me?” The kind of love that says, “I want to help.” “I don’t want anything in return.” “I want to be of service.” It’s time for us to shift our perspective. More compassion and kindness. Less judgment and criticism. How could you practice more kindness in your life right now? How are you going to be of service today? How are you going to make the world a better place? Instead of looking at the world and thinking, “What’s in it for me?” — what if you looked at the world instead thinking, “What can I offer?” “How can I help?”

Read More

The Guru is "heavy" with knowledge!

The Guru is "heavy" with knowledge!

The Guru is the one who is “heavy” with knowledge! I try to pack as much as I can into my Shiva Yoga Teacher Training programs. There is so much to learn in yoga. The asana is such a small part of the bigger picture. If you’ve done training with me before you know that we cover the walls and decorate the room with the many creative projects we are working on during the program. Focusing on the bigger picture of yoga and understanding yoga philosophy can be just as fun as breaking down an asana and understanding alignment and anatomy, and both are essential, if you want to be a good yoga teacher. Teaching asana without philosophy is like serving a meal without the sauce. The sauce is essential! If you are just doing yoga exercise you will get many benefits from your practice but if you are practicing yoga you get those same benefits and you also have the potential to change your life, your relationship to your Self, and your relationship to everything and everyone around you! Don’t forget the sauce! Lol

Read More

Making a peaceful transition to the next life.

Making a peaceful transition to the next life.

I was talking in class this past week about yoga and the journey of life...

I remember in my training with my teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami, during a discussion one day, we were talking about yoga not just helping us to find more peace and balance in the present but helping to make the transition easier at the end of this life.

Some of my teacher's are getting older now and they are moving into their old age stage of life and the end of this life is approaching.  My teacher, Mr. Ramaswami, wrote a book called 'The Three Stages of Yoga'.  In the book, he talks a lot about this third stage of yoga as a preparation for the end of this life.

Read More