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.Read More
A couple of weeks ago I got to do this really fun photo shoot at this incredible location in Shitang, in the mountains, about an hour from Wenling. It was a really fun afternoon. We went to these beautiful caves and I learned that this was where my friend Lee grew up. I loved that he took me here to show me this place. I am enjoying the Chinese culture so much on this trip. My hosts have all been very kind and warm hearted and it’s moved me several times how they treat guests with such honor. I was at dinner the other day and poured tea for the table before filling my own cup. This is a Chinese custom. I didn’t realize I was doing it until the table stopped and looked at me, and then everyone starting laughing. They told me I was becoming more and more Chinese everyday.
I take a lot of pictures in hanumanasana. I love this pose. I love the story of hanuman and the symbol of masculine and feminine coming together. What happens when masculine and feminine energy come together in perfect balance? A new energy is born! The energy of creation! Hanuman is a symbol of perfect balance, a symbol of the awakening of the kundalini force, a symbol of our yoga journey. Study the symbols. Yoga is sometimes described as a code language. You don’t see the signs until you are ready to see the signs. The teacher doesn’t show up in your life until you are ready for the teacher. And you don’t find balance and experience a deeper connection to yourself and the world around you until you are ready for that experience.
Sometimes the students inspire me so much! This student came to my class on Sunday afternoon in Fuzhou. She worked so hard! She listened to everything I was saying and paid such close attention to my cues. And she tried so many advanced poses and variations, even though many of them were out of reach. I was so proud of her. And the whole time she smiled and even laughed a few times when she fell out of some of the more challenging poses. I love teaching students like this. They are so easy to teach. No ego. So much light. The irony is that these students are already practicing so much of what we are teaching in yoga. They don’t need the practice as much as some of the students who are the hardest to teach. Sometimes students are rude and disrespectful and don’t pay attention and don’t listen. It’s hard to teach these students. Their mind is closed off. But really they need the practice most of all. Master teacher, Krishnamacharya has a famous quote about only wanting to teach the beginners and the really advanced students because they both know that they don’t know anything. He said the ones in the middle, the students with a little bit of knowledge who think they know everything are the hardest to teach. Keep your mind open. Listen. There’s so much to learn. Be a good student. Learn as much as you can from the teacher. Are you done learning? Is there no more room for growth? Really? You’ve got it all figured out? There is so much more to learn. You just have to stay open.Read More
There’s so many people helping me on this trip! I couldn’t do it without you. Thank you, Wendy for all your help seeing me off to the airport. Appreciated you waiting for me.
At the end of my class, I always encourage my students to give thanks for everyone who helped them on their journey. I always take a moment and thank my teachers and my parents during this time, and sometimes someone else who has helped me that day comes to mind and I make sure to offer gratitude for them as well.
We are never doing it alone. So many people to be grateful for! Sending you all gratitude now. Thank you for your help, big and small. Know that you made a difference and it didn’t go unnoticed. Namaste.
I taught a big Sun Salutation practice this morning at the Zhejiang Yoga Cultural Festival. Good attendance! It was very early in the morning and a little cold. But we persevered.
Sun Salutations have been practiced by yogis for thousands of years. When we practice them we are walking in the footsteps of our teachers and their teachers.
We practice sun salutations for four main reasons in yoga.
1. They help to quickly warm the body up.
2. They help to balance the nervous system and are a great preparation for meditation, or can be used as a meditation themselves.
3. They help us connect the idea of the brightest thing in our world with the brightest and lightest part of ourselves.
4. They are a gratitude practice. Each day, try to start the day practicing gratitude. Shift your perspective. Try to be grateful for the day, for this moment right here and right now. Practicing gratitude helps you open your mind and open your heart.
Enjoy this beautiful day!!! Namaste! Thank you, everyone for practicing with me this morning!
Working with my student on Upward Bow variations in our Shiva Yoga 40hr Intensive this past week!
The Upward Bow is a really nice backbend to help you open your shoulders in flexion. I’ve been working on this pose a lot in my own practice the past year. The work is really the same work as in the Downward Dog.
Hug the elbows in and push the biceps out. Keep trying to make space around your neck and keep the shoulders wide, as you move the arms deeper into flexion. Slide the shoulder blades down the back. Try to externally rotate the arms, as you push your chest through the arms.
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
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.
My apartment in Athens is right below the Acropolis! Athens is such a beautiful city. I’ve spent the last two days walking around and exploring little, narrow cobblestone streets, cute cafes — with incredibly fresh food, and checking out some of the beautiful architecture and historic buildings here. The city has a really nice vibe. I’m so glad I’ll be back next week and get to do a little more sight seeing. I’m teaching classes and workshops next weekend at Panos Skylos and Upward Dog Yoga! Excited to practice with you again Athens Yogis.Read More
Yogis! I’m at Pure Yoga in New York this weekend! Looking forward to a couple of fun classes.
I’m at Pure Yoga East tomorrow and Pure Yoga West on Sunday! Both classes are 90 min Shiva Power classes from 2-3:30pm!!! You can sign up at the Pure Yoga website or go to my website by clicking on the link in my bio for more information. This pic is from Pure Yoga in Singapore, on a teaching trip to Asia, last year. So much fun connecting with this Pure Yoga community. You don’t have to be a member of Pure Yoga for the classes this weekend. Drop in’s are welcome! See you on your mat, yogis!
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
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?
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.Read More
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.Read More
We had a very special Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony on the last night of our retreat! Thank you to Makoa Quest for organizing and bringing us this experience. This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Hearing traditional stories about Maui and Hawaii, offering old patterns to the fire and letting them go, making a commitment to live the best possible life, setting new intentions, and a special Ava ceremony. Deep and powerful. And the words of the Hawaiian Cultural Practitioner aligned with all that we are practicing in our yoga practice. The truth is Universal. Grateful for this experience and to have been able to share it with my students. 🙏Read More
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. 😁🙏👍Read More
Demonstrating an intermediate variation of the Shoulder Stand, with Plow Pose options, in one of our Shiva Power classes, in my recent Shiva Yoga training program in Qingdao, China. One of the great things about learning to teach with a translator is that you have to make sure you speak clearly and you have to slow down, so that they have time to translate what you are saying to the students, and the students have time to digest everything. I think teaching with a translator the last 4 yrs has helped my teaching in general. Embracing something new. What are you embracing right now? What is challenging for you? What are the new things you are learning by opening up to this new challenge? Did you notice initial resistance to the change and to your own growth?Read More
Different Pigeon Pose variations! The Pigeon is from the Dove family — a bird symbolizing peace. What happens when your yoga practice deepens? What happens when you experience the true nature of your Self? The yogi’s say your heart opens and love, kindness, compassion, energy, vitality, confidence, and bliss, flow through you. It’s not easy to open your heart. There’s often a lot of resistance, control, and fear, holding you back. Choose love over fear. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The only thing to fear is fear itself. Let yourself be vulnerable. Let things be uncomfortable. The unknown can be exciting and exhilarating! Breathe into it! Feel how good it feels to be alive!Read More
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
When you practice teaching others, you learn so much about what you know and what you don’t know. Our students, and teaching itself, is such a good mirror for us. Just like in your own practice, the yoga mirror shows you the things you need to look at, and the areas that are disconnected. Are you being effective when you are teaching, or not? Are you communicating with your students? Do they understand the things you are sharing? The real measure of a good teacher is not what you can do on your mat yourself, but how effective are you at connecting with your students, helping them to grow and transform. Show me pictures of your students. I want to see them. I want to see what they have learned. I want to meet them. Are they closer to balance? Are they more Sattvic? Do they have a deeper relationship with themselves, and deeper relationships with other people and the world around them?Read More
I met with my student, Andrew Oliver, last week in the Southbay. Andrew traveled to Cabo for our Shiva Yoga 200hr Program in August. I had lunch with him and his partner, Ei Ei — they own the yoga studio, ‘Yoga Remedy’s’ together. Andrew did an incredible job in the training program in Cabo and I was excited to hear that he’s now teaching 2 classes a week at Yoga Remedy’s. He told me that several people in his life came up to him when he returned from Cabo and asked him what he had started doing recently because they noticed this really positive shift in him, and one friend even said it was like he was a whole different person. This yoga technology will change your life. There is no more important relationship you will have than the relationship with yourself. When you change this relationship, it changes your relationship to everything. Proud of you, Andrew!Read More