Preparing for 10-Day Intensive Workshop

Preparing for 10-Day Intensive Workshop

Breakfast with my student. Niya is hosting my Shiva Yoga 50hr Intensive at her studio Baja Soul Yoga. We start this Friday, February 15th with a very special Pranayama Workshop from 6-9pm! You can do the whole 10 day intensive, or the weekend of workshops, or just join us for a class, or a workshop when you are free. It’s going to be awesome! There is a meditation workshop, core workshop, backbending workshop, Hip Opening workshop, Arm Balancing workshop, a week of Asana Breakdown workshops and lots of Shiva Power and Shiva meditation classes!!! Looking forward to practicing with you Cabo San Lucas and Baja Soul Yogis!!! See you on Friday. Namaste. 

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Arrived in Cabo for our 10-Day Workshop

Arrived in Cabo for our 10-Day Workshop

I arrived in Cabo San Lucas!!! So excited to see this girl. Grateful for you, Niya. Thank you for inviting me to share again at Baja Soul Yoga!

Our 10 day - 50hr Shiva Yoga® Intensive starts this Friday, February 15th. Hope you can join us! You can also sign up for each weekend separately or individual classes and workshops. Are you ready to take things a little deeper? See you on your mat!!! 

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Congrautations Kristin!

Congrautations Kristin!

Congratulations to this wonderful yogi — Kristin Hughes! Who just completed her required post teacher training work and has officially graduated as a Shiva Yoga teacher. You rocked it, Kristin! So proud of you.

Kristin completed training with me at Baja Soul Yoga in Cabo San Lucas last year. We have another 200hr teacher training coming up at Baja Soul Yoga this July 15- August 16. If you want to deepen your yoga practice, become a yoga teacher, or just make some big changes in your life this training could be for you. Check out the Teacher Training page of my website or go directly to bajasoulyoga.com to reserve your space. There is an early registration discount. Act now to save money and get the best price when you sign up.

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Goodbye Dubai and hello Cabo San Lucas!!!

Goodbye Dubai and hello Cabo San Lucas!!!

I’m here in LA for a week and then headed down to Cabo San Lucas for 2 weeks to lead a 50hr Intensive at Baja Soul Yoga! Join me in Cabo for the whole 10 day Intensive — with lots of Asana Breakdown. Excellent for teachers and those wanting to deepen their asana practice!  Or just stop in for a class, workshop, or one of the two weekends that are part of the intensive. Each weekend we have workshops on Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon. Saturday and Sunday morning I will also be leading Shiva Power® classes. And Saturday and Sunday night I will be leading Shiva Meditation classes. It’s going to be awesome!!!

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Zip-lining Dubai!

Zip-lining Dubai!

Here’s an after pic from our zip lining adventure in Dubai! Janet Stone and I decided to go zip lining on our last day in Dubai, after the XYoga Dubai Festival was over. Thank you XDubai for this really fun experience. Thank you Sara Fakhouri for setting this up. It was a blast. I’ve never zip lined lying face down like Superman before. It was pretty exhilarating. And really cool to zip line off a building and fly through the middle of the city.

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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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Day 2 at XYoga Festival in Dubai!

Day 2 at XYoga Festival in Dubai!

Incredible Shiva Meditation® class to finish day 2 here at the XYoga Dubai Festival. So grateful to be able to share this practice. 100+ yogis in attendance for a powerful and transformational experience. Thank you for coming, everyone! 

When the class finished all the students just sat there, in stillness, with big smiles on their faces. There was a peace and a calm that you could feel radiating from everyone in attendance. I told the students that this is what happens everywhere I teach this class. When the class is over — no one rushes out, there’s no where to go, nothing to do. It happens everywhere. The mind is quiet. Each students has a deeper experience of themselves. Maybe for the first time ever they feel a connection to something beyond the body, mind and thoughts. The mind has stopped saying, “What’s next? What’s next?”

I always feel so happy when I see the students sitting there peacefully after class. It reminds me of taking classes like this with my teacher, Dharma Mittra. We would all sit and Dharma would sometimes say, “Any questions?” There was almost always no questions. This was just like after my class today. I finally told the students what my teacher Dharma always says — “That’s it. It’s over. There’s nothing else.” Then he would laugh and we would all laugh, as we all did today after my class.

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Shiva Power at XYoga Dubai

Shiva Power at XYoga Dubai

There’s an incredible energy here in Dubai at the XYoga Dubai Festival! Perfect weather for our first day. A really wonderful group came out for my first Shiva Power® class and I enjoyed sharing some free time with the other teachers who have come from all over the world. It’s been a pleasure meeting and hanging with Janet Stone and Deepika Mehta. I have to say it’s been a pretty powerful experience so far. Thank you XYoga Dubai for bringing together all of us and putting on this wonderful event!

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Just Landed in Dubai!

Just Landed in Dubai!

After a quick stop in Los Angeles, I have arrived in Dubai for the XYoga Dubai Festival! It was a long flight but very smooth. I slept a lot. Lol. A day to rest and I’m excited to be presenting 2 Shiva Power classes and a Shiva Meditation class on Friday and Saturday at the festival. Looking forward to practicing with the students here. It doesn’t matter who you are, or where you are from — everyone can benefit from yoga. Quieting your mind and experiencing a deeper connection to your Self is Universal. Grateful to be here. It looks like a beautiful city. The people at the airport were so nice upon arrival. 

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Taking in Greece during the Elysia Convention

Taking in Greece during the Elysia Convention

Yogis! It’s that time again. I booked my flight to Greece yesterday. Want to come on an adventure with me? Join me at the 3rd Annual Elysia Yoga Convention, at the 5* Aegialis Hotel & Spa, on the Greek Island of Amorgos! The convention is March 28th - April 4th! It’s an incredible value! Accommodation, 3 gourmet meals per day, Island excursions, and full yoga program — all for one low price! There’s single, double, and triple occupancy available. I hope you can join me. Amorgos is a really special place. See you there!!! 

www.elysiayogaconvention.com

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Meet my new friend Jack

Meet my new friend Jack

My new friend!  This is my buddy, Jack. I’m staying with him and his family here in Orlando this week. He’s a very special guy. Thank you, Jack, for opening your home to me. And thank you, Annette. It’s been such a pleasure being here. You are a very special and kind person. Grateful for you. 

Jack is an old dog. He’s not very lovable sometimes. He doesn’t see very well and he doesn’t hear very well. So, he’s mostly in the dark. That must be a scary place to be. He gets startled a lot and he’s losing his mind a little too. A lot of the time Jack barks at you and growls. He doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just scared. It must be scary to be in the dark.

I tried practicing lots of love and kindness and compassion towards Jack even when he wasn’t being very lovable. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I think he opened up a little while I was staying with him and Annette.

Just because someone is angry with you and barks at you or growls at you it doesn’t mean you have to bark back them. You can still practice loving them and being kind and compassionate and maybe they will open up a little.

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The Kula Yoga Community All Dressed Up!

The Kula Yoga Community All Dressed Up!

We had a really fun dinner on Saturday night! Nice to spend some time with this lovely Kula Yoga community. Fun to see everyone dressed up and not in yoga clothes too. 

A Kula is a family. I feel like I have several yoga families right now and I love connecting with these families as much as I love connecting with my biological family.

We are in a time where the things in our life that are supposed to help us connect to each other are actually making us feel more lonely and alone. I think yoga and the communities we create around our yoga practice can really make up for this lack of connection we feel in our modern world and this lack of community that is disappearing from our lives.

Do you have a Kula? Do you feel connected? Come to a yoga class and you’ll meet a whole lot of people on the same journey that you are on. You might make some new friends, you might find a new partner, you might find the sense of community and belonging that you have been missing.

Thank you, Kula Yoga community for a fun night out!

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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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Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony!

Traditional Hawaiian Bonfire Ceremony!

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. 🙏

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The volcano Haleakala! It's been dormant for almost 300 yrs! Wow!

The volcano Haleakala!  It's been dormant for almost 300 yrs!  Wow!

The volcano Haleakala! It’s been dormant for almost 300 yrs. Incredible! I love the girls jumping in their Shiva Yoga shirts. Great shot! Maui has so much to see and explore. And the different parts of the island are so different. I will definitely be going back to explore a little more. Not enough time in just 1 week! And it’s so close — I can’t believe I haven’t been already until now. Beautiful! This incredible planet we live on. Let’s take good care of her and try to leave behind something better than what we found. 

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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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A lot of stuff bubbles to the surface when you are in the fire.

A lot of stuff bubbles to the surface when you are in the fire.

This first picture is of a hip flexor stretch that I love. If your hip flexors are tight — your low back is going to suffer when you backbend. Monkey Pose and Hanuman variations are great to open the hip flexors. And variations of Lying Down Kneeling Warrior, like this one — using the block. And the Backbends themselves will open the hip flexors as well. Use your core to stabilize the low back, lengthen the spine, and help the hip flexors release.

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Experiencing suffering in order to grow.

Experiencing suffering in order to grow.

This girl had such a big weekend in my intensive at Kula Yoga this past weekend! Look at your King Pigeon — Samantha! Beautiful.  We did so many backbends in my Backbend Workshop on Saturday afternoon. My teacher — Dharma, would be proud of us. Backbends are such great teachers. They are energizing, uplifting, stimulating, and intense — taking us out of our comfort zone and deep into the fire. They teach us about surrendering in the middle of the fire. They teach us about breathing into the discomfort. They teach us to open our heart and to let go of the ego. How quickly can you get past your fear and resistance? It’s not easy being vulnerable. Let go. Let it go. Open up and let go. All of our growth lies out of our comfort zone. One of my favorite definitions of Tapas is — “experiencing suffering in order to grow.” Are you ready to let go of your ego? Are you ready to grow? A lot of people don’t like Backbends because they challenge the ego so much. We develop complicated patterns and ways to avoid being vulnerable. The ego says — I don’t like this, I’m uncomfortable. Be uncomfortable. Be vulnerable. Be authentic. Feel your feelings. Yoga is real and authentic and sometimes painful. Go towards the pain. Don’t avoid it. That pain is a part of you that is disconnected and is trying to reconnect. Pain is how we heal. And the way we sharpen our intellect is by learning the difference between pain that is leading to growth and pain that is leading to injury. So proud of where we went in this Backbend Workshop on Saturday!

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Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance.

Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance.

Hanuman is the symbol of perfect balance and also represents the bridge to the Ultimate Reality, the experience of the true Nature of your Self, and through that experience, your connection to the Universe. 

This picture was shot in one of the Temples in the jungle in Bali. It’s hard to see it in the picture but I’m doing the pose on this small grass walkway that is separating two rice fields. The walkway is pretty narrow. The field on this side is just a short drop into the mud, but still, into the mud. The field on the other side is about ten feet lower. A long drop into the mud! I managed to find balance and not drop into the mud, but there was a pretty high probability that was going to be the end result of getting these shots. Lol 😂. See you on your mat!

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What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

Fire ceremony and cleansing ritual on our retreat to Bali. We always do a variation of this ceremony on my yoga retreats. First, we do some journal writing exercises, and then boil things down to one thing we are ready to let go of once the retreat is over. And then we condense that down to just one word. This word gets written down on a piece of paper and gets burned in the fire as part of the ceremony and cleansing ritual. These ceremonies aren't always fun. They aren't always the "feel good" moments on the retreat. Yoga isn't always about feel good moments. You've gotta go through your stuff to get to the other side. The fire ceremony and cleansing ritual offers another opportunity to dig deep and take a look at old patterns, to shine the light on some darker areas, and then to set an intention to let go of this old pattern that isn't serving you. Often times, these ceremonies are uncomfortable. They make you feel vulnerable. They can be confrontational. They make you look at something about yourself or about how you're living your life that you may not want to look at yet. That's the point. This is yoga. Getting out of your comfort zone is your yoga practice. Being vulnerable is your yoga practice. Yoga isn't all about rainbows and unicorns, and neither is going on yoga retreat. Your yoga practice at times will be confrontational. It will challenge you. It should challenge you. Yoga is intimate. It's vulnerable. It's profound work. It's not always about being happy and smiling, or, checking out, listening to music, and distracting yourself. What are you ready to let go of? What are you ready to burn off in the fire? What pattern are you done with that isn't serving you anymore?

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