Back bending! These poses have been one of my greatest teachers over the years. It’s not easy to be vulnerable. Backbends help us to open up, surrender, and let go. Being vulnerable is hard. But it also feels amazing! The more I practice yoga — the more I feel that this is the really advanced work. It’s hard but it’s worth it. How comfortable are you at being uncomfortable? How much can you let go? How open can you be? What’s your relationship to being vulnerable? I think this is directly related to growth. How much growth do you want to experience? On the mat and off the mat. How much discomfort are you ready to handle? Skill in action. Move with grace into the fire. Breathe. This is your life. Right here. Right now.Read More
It’s been such a great 2 weeks at Space in Shanghai! I’m really impressed with this company. Grateful to Robyn for inviting me to collaborate and teach at the studio. Thank you to all the amazing Space staff for being so welcoming and for all your support. And thank you to the wonderful students who have been coming to my classes. It’s been a pleasure practicing with you and helping you to deepen your practice and understanding of yoga. This weekend I’m leading my last 2 workshops — Handstand on Saturday and Backbending on Sunday!!! See you on your mat!!! Namaste.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?
Urdhva Mukha Vrkshasana! Upward Facing Tree Pose.
Another cool shot from my photo shoot with fellow yogi and yoga teacher, Richard Baimbridge.
Yoga has been so good for me on every level. It’s exciting to see more and more people embrace the practice and see how it’s changing people’s lives. When I first started practicing there were hardly any men practicing. When I did my first Teacher Training program I was one of three men in the training and there were over fifty women. I love seeing more guys getting on their mat and experiencing the benefits of the practice. Yoga is not just for girls. Guys! This practice will challenge you on every level and will kick your butt. And there’s nothing I’ve found that has the same effect on the mind. If you want to change your life — this is where it’s at. Concentrate, connect to your breath, turn inward, and experience a deeper connection to yourself.
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.
A hot and sweaty Shiva Power class at Float Yoga! Thank you, Stella for inviting me to teach at your studio. It was a really humid day and, WOW, did we go into the fire!!! Strong students!!! Great job, everyone. It was fun practicing with all of you. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon.
Sit in the fire and let it cleanse you. Let your stuff come to the surface and let it go. There’s no spiritual by-pass. You have to go through it all to get to the other side. It’s messy. It’s intense. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes you leave it all on your mat. Sweat, tears, frustration, anger, sadness? What are you working through? What’s coming to the surface for you? Are you looking at your stuff? Are you ready to look in the mirror and see the truth? This is the practice. This is yoga. Fire is the catalyst. You are sharpening your sword. You are cleaning your pot. Transformation isn’t easy. Change isn’t easy. Undoing patterns and working through old stuck energy isn’t easy. But it’s worth it to take the journey! It’s SO worth it. Just get on your mat. Start walking down the path. One step at a time. Namaste.
Dreamer Yoga Festival Teacher Introductions and Party!!! This was a fun night. Grateful to have been invited and honored to teach with such a talented group of teachers. Some beautiful performances after the teacher introductions and a hot and sweaty Zumba class at the end of the night. I even got an award for being one of the students dancing with the most enthusiasm during the Zumba class. Not necessarily with the most talent but with the most enthusiasm.Read More
Teacher’s dinner Guangzhou Yoga Festival!!! So great to see some old friends here in Guangzhou and meet some new friends too. I’m grateful for the invitation and honored to be here with such a nice group of teachers. Thank you, Gillia for inviting me to be a part of the festival.Read More
Our final Shiva Power class at Haipoo Yoga yesterday morning! A deep Twisting class with extra core work to prepare for our afternoon Handstand Workshop. This was a really fun group to work with and I’ve enjoyed watching everyone grow a lot in just a few days. We managed to cover some yoga philosophy and I had the students read and discuss five of my published articles on different aspects of the practice as well. I am confident that I shared as much as I could in our 3 days together. I think the greatest thing we can do as teachers is share everything we have with our students. If we do a good enough job they won’t need us anymore. Ideally, we want to eliminate ourselves from the equation altogether. Everything I have is yours! The way we honor our teachers and pay back the debt we owe to them is to share the teachings and become teachers ourselves. There’s an old yoga saying — “He who teaches and doesn’t practice is a fraud. And he who practices and doesn’t teach is a thief.” Better not to be either one.Read More
Shoulder Opening Workshop today at Haipoo Yoga!!! We mostly work in our yoga practice on opening the shoulders in Flexion and in Extension. Having a full range of motion at the shoulder joint helps to prevent injuries to the cervical spine and helps release tension in the muscles of the upper back and around the neck. Most of our shoulder opening poses in yoga are backbends. Usually the more advanced backbends take the shoulders into flexion but not always. It’s important to also remember that yoga is not just about flexibility. We are always looking for balance. Too much flexibility can lead to injuries at the joints. Not enough flexibility can lead to injuries in the muscles. This picture is of one of my favorite shoulder opening partner exercises. In this position, you can help your partner take their shoulders deeper into flexion, you can use your hands to help them externally rotate their shoulders, and you can encourage them to find more core and pull their front ribs in making more space and lengthening their spine. When you engage your core while Backbending you lengthen your spine and you actually deepen the poseRead More
Really fun class in Fuzhou yesterday! Great group of students. We did a lot of hip opening and focused on going deep into the fire and staying calm. I talked a lot about getting out of your comfort zone in this class. It’s always so hard when you are a beginner. You don’t have the strength and the ability to focus and the minute things get uncomfortable you are trying to make yourself comfortable, fidgeting your body, and getting distracted. It’s a practice! You will get really good at the things you practice. If you keep practicing concentration, you get really good at concentrating. If you practice letting yourself become distracted, you get really good at distracting yourself. Feed what you want to grow!Read More
Learning about the shoulders in my shoulder opening workshop at Dream Space Yoga this past week. Shiva Yoga Intensive. Backbends are the primary poses in our yoga practice that we use to open the shoulders. We are usually focused on opening the shoulders in extension or flexion, in order to increase our range of motion. If we have full range of motion at the shoulder join we can prevent injuries to the neck and upper back. If you want to be able to do more advanced backbends in your yoga practice it is essential that you open your shoulders.Read More
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
We finished up a beautiful 4 days here at the Yonion Festival! I had a lot of fun. I met a lot of new students. I made some new friends. And I got to connect with some old friends who I haven’t seen in years. Grateful to everyone involved who made the festival such a huge success. Grateful for the experience. I’m so glad they invited me to teach this year. It was such a pleasure being here.Read More
There’s some great teachers here at the Yonion Festival this year! I’m honored to be teaching alongside some of the best in the world. One of the teachers here is Tymi Howard. So nice of Tymi to come to my Shiva Power class today. Tymi has a big following all over the world, and especially here in China. She owns Guruv Yoga in Orlando, Florida too. I have been collaborating with her at her studio for the past year but we had never met and we finally got to connect in person here in China. Small world. This year she invited me to teach a small part of one of her Teacher Training programs too, which was a lot of fun. She has a wonderful community in Orlando. I’m excited to be heading back to Orlando in June to teach some classes and workshops at her studio again too. Love this girl! And I love this picture.Read More
My assistant, Tina, took some pics of the chaos after my class today. This must be a little bit what it feels like to be a rock star. I forgot what it’s like at these big festivals in China. So much funRead More
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
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.Read More
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.
Woke up early today to go to the port. Headed back to Athens for a weekend of teaching at Siddhi Yoga Shala and Pano Skylos. One of the great things about getting up so early to catch the ferry this morning was seeing the incredible sky before the morning sunrise. Wow! There’s been so many breathtaking moments this week. I am sad to leave Amorgos. But I am excited about the next adventure. The journey continues. Where is your journey taking you next?Read More