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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Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!

Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!

Yonion Festival — Day 4! My last class at the festival. What a fun day!I taught a Shiva Power Class/Backbending Workshop. We had a thunderstorm in the middle of the class. We were dry under the tent but the power to the sound system had to be cut and it poured rain. It was so loud.
Part of our yoga practice is going with the flow. We shifted to a much more workshop style class. My translator and I tried to be as loud as we could but it was still hard for the students to hear us. I ended up gathering everyone close to the stage. We demonstrated a few things to work on and then I sent them back out to their mats to practice. We did this a few times and it was actually quite a fun way to present to such a big group. Sometimes you get these wonderful spontaneous moments from just accepting things as they are unfolding. My teacher Dharma always used to remind us — Everything is happening the way it is supposed to be. What’s that famous quote — Yoga is not about stopping the waves but learning how to surf.

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Tittibasana (Firefly Pose)

Tittibasana (Firefly Pose)

Demonstrating one of the variations of Tittibasana (Firefly Pose) in my Arm Balance Workshop at Pano Skylos! Thank you for coming, everyone. It was a fun day and a great weekend. I think we connected the dots today and made sense of a lot of things. The arm balance poses are advanced warmup poses. Each arm balance is either plank or low plank + one of the standing warmup poses. If you can hold plank and low plank and your hips are open enough you will be able to do many of the arm balance poses in yoga.

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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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Exploring Meditation.

Exploring Meditation.

We started the weekend off with a Meditation Workshop on Friday night. It was a really great evening, with some philosophy and Yoga Sutras discussion, and exploring many different ways to meditate. There are a lot of different meditation techniques because there are a lot of different people with different tendencies. You don’t have to master every technique. You want to pick one the works for you and use it to take you where you want to go. Many paths leading to the same destination. Thank you to everyone who came out for the workshop. It was a lot of fun to practice with all of you.

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Sticking with Our Intentions!

Sticking with Our Intentions!

How is your year going? Did you set any intentions this year? Did you make some resolutions? What is shifting for you? What are you working on shifting in your life? Remember, it’s a practice. You can set the intention and head down the path and it’s okay if it doesn’t work out, or if you fall or fail. Just get back up and try again. Our journey is always forward. Sometimes it’s little baby steps. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back to steady ourselves. But it’s always forward.

I started the year off in New York, at the Dharma Yoga Center, practicing with my teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to see Dharma and to start this year off in such a positive way. It’s been an incredible start to the year. My Dharma sister, Diana, hosted me in New York over NYE and we officially began the New Year with a Psychic Development Meditation practice. She also helped me get my diet back on track. I was eating such heavy foods over Christmas. Lots of sugar and lots of processed foods. I found out that I am a little gluten intolerant too and so I’ve cut gluten out of my diet. That’s been huge! I’m back on a plant based vegan diet and have been since December 29th. It’s definitely a practice eating only a plant based diet. I have had cheese a couple of times this past month. I always feel better when I am eating vegan, though. I was really hard on myself when I couldn’t keep my vegan diet going a few years ago. I think maybe I just wasn’t ready for it. It was a real struggle. It doesn’t feel like a struggle this time and I also am okay if I have an overwhelming feeling to eat something not vegan and I have to give in and do it. This whole journey is slow and step by step. I’ve never been a big fan of the “militant” vegans on social media who make you feel terrible for your food choices.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful year and I hope some of the things that you want to manifest in your life are happening. Stick with it. If you concentrate hard enough, you can make anything happen. Hope we can practice together again soon. Namaste.

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Finishing last week at Port Orange with Handstand Workshop

Finishing last week at Port Orange with Handstand Workshop

We finished our week at Kula Yoga last night with a Handstand workshop! These Handstanders worked their butts off. Lots of Asana Breakdown, to better understand the work needed to find balance in the middle of the room. Lots of playful exercises to emphasize different muscles in the body and wake up areas that needed waking up. Lots of work on the core and the shoulders.

Handstands are advanced arm balances. They are great warm up poses for advanced students. They build strength in the shoulder stabilizer muscles and the core. They help students build confidence. And they are a lot of fun!

I had fun practicing with all of you last night. Next time I come back we are going to do the plank competition too!  Lol.

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Working on Opening the Hips!

Working on Opening the Hips!

A fun picture from our hip opening workshop on Saturday. Guruv Yoga in Orlando — I’m coming to teach all this week and we have a Hip Opening Workshop scheduled from 1-4 on Saturday, January 26th! Hope you can join me for the workshop. Let’s explore the hips together. This is a fun all levels workshop with lots of knowledge shared as well as time to practice and explore how things feel in your own body.

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Shiva Meditation Class at Kula Yoga.

Shiva Meditation Class at Kula Yoga.

Shiva Meditation class this morning at Kula Yoga in Port Orange! Powerful way to start the day.

Pranayama, yoga nidra, and seated meditation.

What is yoga?

The stopping of the movements of the mind. When the mind is quiet, in the stillness, you get to experience the true nature of your Self.

What’s left over in the stillness when for a moment the body, mind, thoughts and ego have disappeared?

You!

Our next Shiva Meditation class is tomorrow night at 5:30pm at Kula Yoga In Port Orange. Last one of the week! Hope to see you there.

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Hot and Sweaty Shive Power Class in Port Orange

Hot and Sweaty Shive Power Class in Port Orange

Kicked things off at Kula Yoga Port Orange yesterday with a hot and sweaty Shiva Power class. I’ll be back at the Port Orange studio this morning at 9am for a Shiva Meditation class and at New Smyrna tonight at 6pm for a Shiva Power class. Look forward to seeing you there. Thank you to everyone who came to practice yesterday. Such an open and receptive group. 

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Shiva Meditation in Port Orange

Shiva Meditation in Port Orange

Wonderful group of students this morning at Kula Yoga in New Smyrna for my Shiva Meditation class! Great way to start the week. I’ll be at Kula Yoga in Port Orange tonight at 5:30pm for a Shiva Power class. Such a nice surprise to see my old student and co-owner of Kula Yoga - Jodie Anderson in class today. Thank you for coming, Jodie! Thank you for coming everyone! It was a pleasure to practice with you all. Hope to see you again this week and on the weekend, as we dive a little deeper.  Namaste. 

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Exploring Long Island.

Exploring Long Island.

Hiking on Long Island with my Dharma Yoga sister! Diana has been hosting me here in New York and she is such a great host. Grateful for her. She has inspired me to eat so healthy since I arrived here in New York. It’s been a great way to start the new year. I’m feeling refreshed and recharged. And it’s been so wonderful to practice everyday with my teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra. 

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Grateful to practice with one of my teachers Dharma.

Grateful to practice with one of my teachers Dharma.

A beautiful first day of the new year, practicing with my teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, at the Dharma Yoga Center in New York. Grateful to be here. So grateful for Dharma. What a fun class! Nice to practice with so many old friends too. A really special day and wonderful way to start the new year. Happy New Year, everyone! I hope your year is off to a good start and brings you much peace and love.

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Until we meet again.

Until we meet again.

Our final day together! Lots of fun and laughter. Some silliness and play. I love how everyone comes together like a family on these retreats. It’s a really fun way to travel. Bittersweet to say goodbye. Good memories. This week on the retreat was really packed with activities, and at the same time it just flew by and the last day was suddenly upon us. A very special group and a very special place. Thank you everyone and thank you Maui, Lumeria, and all the wonderful people we met on the island, for hosting us and letting us soak up all the wonderful energy on the island. I feel tired but also refreshed and rejuvenated from this experience. I’m already thinking about the next one. Where will we go next? The feedback from those on our last few retreats is — Croatia, Thailand, Iceland, Cuba, or India! Where do you want to go? Look out for one of these destinations in the near future. Until we meet again.  Namaste.

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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!

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Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui!

Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui!

Hip Opening Workshop and Shoulder Opening Workshop, on our retreat this past week in Maui! We had the perfect balance of beautiful sunny days which allowed for lots of adventure and time to explore the island, and rainy, windy days where it felt great to be inside the yoga shala learning new things an deepening our practice. It was really fun to explore some deeper work on the retreat, as we might in one of my Shiva Yoga Teacher Training programs. We covered a lot in these workshops! From basic anatomy and asana breakdown, to sequencing, and understanding how yoga philosophy informs our yoga practice. Do you know the difference between the warm up and the deeper practices? My teacher’s would say that a lot of modern yoga is missing the bigger picture and the key elements that will allow you to experience a deeper connection to your Self, and really receive the full benefits of this incredible yoga technology. Make sure you are not just warming up to go home. 😂🤷‍♂️ Great work, Yogis! You were so focused in these workshops — we got to cover a lot in a very short period of time. 😁🙏👍

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Stand Up Paddle + Yoga!

Stand Up Paddle + Yoga!

We attempted to do a little yoga on the Stand Up Paddle boards. I have so much respect for the yogis who do this regularly and make it look so easy. It was really hard!!! Lol. What a fun day! Such a great group on this retreat. Almost everyone on the retreat was returning after having already done a previous retreat adventure with me and it was kind of like a reunion for a lot of us. So nice to see everyone and share another adventure together. Where are headed next?  Possibly Iceland, Croatia, Thailand, Alaska, or India. Stay tuned! Lots of fun adventures on the horizon! Don’t forget about the Elysia Yoga Convention next year in Greece too!

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Sun Salutation Workshop!

Sun Salutation Workshop!

Sun Salutation Workshop with my students in Qingdao! Breaking down Sun Salutation 1. This Sun Salutation is often associated with Hatha Yoga and it’s not as popular as it used to be. It’s a traditional Sun Salutation with 12 positions, making it perfect for the Vedic Sun Salutation chant. I love this Sun Salutation and practice it daily. Grateful to my teacher, Dharma Mittra for showing me this sequence and teaching me the traditional variation as well. Grateful to my teacher, Mr. Ramaswami for teaching me the Sun Salutation chant. The Sun is the brightest and lightest thing in our world. It is a symbol of the brightest and lightest part of ourselves, which we sometimes call our inner light.

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Teaching my students different ways for beginners to come into the Bound Head Balance Pose.

Teaching my students different ways for beginners to come into the Bound Head Balance Pose.

Teaching my students different ways for beginners to come into the Bound Head Balance Pose. The ‘Tug of War’ actions in the arms and the shoulders will keep pressure off the neck. Once you are comfortable balancing, take your gaze to the middle of the eyebrows and concentrate. Let the Pose work on you. The Head Balance Pose is good for the heart and the cardio-vascular system and good for the spinal discs, which need to be squeezed in order to get nutrients. More importantly — this pose is a mudra, and has an effect on the nervous system. Combined with the Shoulder Stand, it helps to bring about a state of balance. In Raja Yoga — we work towards a state of Sattva, a place where the mind is fit for concentration, meditation, and Samadhi. In Hatha Yoga, we work towards perfect balance, a place where the Kundalini force awakens, a place where Samadhi automatically occurs.

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Every training program I lead begins with an opening ceremony.

Every training program I lead begins with an opening ceremony.

Every training program I lead begins with an Opening Ceremony. These are one of my favorite parts of each training program. It’s a chance for all of us to get to know each other and hold space for each other. We set basic rules for our time together so everyone’s expectations are clear. We create a sacred space and honor our teachers and we commit to honoring each other and those in our lives who inspire us and help lift us up. A light ceremony reminds us to move towards the brightest part of ourselves and let our inner light shine through. I feel like after these ceremonies we come together as a family. Now, we are ready to be more intimate with ourselves. Now, we are ready to be more vulnerable. Now, we can work on letting go of old patterns and replacing them with new patterns that will lead us in a more positive direction. Yoga is the technology that you can use to change your life. Make this space different. Mark it as special. Do what you need to do to create a sacred space for yourself and experience the power of this technology.

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