Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday yoga hour class at the yoga center.

I absolutely love this class. Every time I leave I feel so good, like the student got what I was saying, and like there was a real connection with the students. Today I had three students (still working at growing the class). M mom came (one of my most loyal students), a great yogi and friend came, and a complete newbie came who was so open and excited about starting yoga. What a great great group!

I talked about experiments. As I was thinking about what I wanted my theme to be this idea naturally came up which is surprising because lately all of my themes have been connected to the shift of seasons, the doshas, grounding… So I was very excited when this idea popped into my head.

I talked about how what we do on the mat; the physical postures we put our bodies into are an experiment. Sometimes the experiments are more successful and sometimes they are less successful. But there is also a second experiment going on. The first one is less important. It is the external one what the pose looks like. The more important experiment is our attitude. No matter how the first experiment goes, no matter if we can do the full expression of the pose or not doesn’t matter it is the attitude behind it. Can we stay positive, optimistic, and connected to our heart? I know sometimes when I practice and I can’t do the full expression of the pose (for example Hanumanasana) I see my neighbors and the teacher doing it and I get frustrated, I think why can’t I do that, sometimes I go even farther and notice I am frustrated I can’t do the pose and then I get mad/disappointed in myself for getting frustrated. We come to the practice of yoga to help us grow and be more happy and full. However sometimes the practice can help us perpetuate this negative self talk cycle. So the experiment that is super import is can we keep our attitude bright, can we stay positive, can we have faith no matter what the exterior pose looks like.

We did lots of hamstring and quad openers, got into the hips, did wall work, and worked up to Hanumanasana. I think Hanumanasana is a perfect t pose for being aware what is going on inside as we work toward a really hard pose that most students can’t take the full expression of.

I did a great job connecting to the theme throughout the whole class!

I talked to my friend after class. this student, she doesn’t know it but is sooo incredibly inspiring to me, she has such a wonderful attitude, a lightness, an optimism, I want to be more like her  Anyways we were talking about yoga teachers and she pointed out that every teacher has “there thing”. We talked about one teacher, whose “thing” is curling, curling the tips of the shoulders blades back toward the heart to open the heart. (How lovely). I asked her what my theme was and she said it was strength. She said that when she leaves my class every cell seems like it has been connected to a whole, she feels stronger after. She said she also loves how I tie =the theme in throughout the whole class. She also mentioned that as she looks through her Anusara notes she is reminded of me because I point out similar things. I FELT SO HAPPY WITH MY SELF AS A TEACHER.

Life is great, full of obstacles but the practice of yoga makes obstacles fun; it turns life into an experiment. When we know we are working with an experiment we can alter the ingredients so we can get different results.

Halloween masks

Wednesday night’s class at the yoga center 540-7…quick summary

Since Halloween is coming up I thought it would be fun to tie in Halloween to the theme. I talked about masks. How Halloween provides as a time to put on masks and costumes. We can pretend to be someone else. However after Halloween we take the masks and the costumes off. I talked about the invisible masks or armor that we wear in order to protect ourselves. These masks aren’t necessarily bad because they give us an identity, the protect us… But the probable is we tend to misidentify with mask. We think we are the mask. We don’t realize it is just something that we can use and that we can take off. I said imagine if you were Frankenstein for Halloween and then you never took off the mask and the costume and you began to think you were Frankenstein and after wearing the costume for one year, two years… you were positive you were Frankenstein, you thought you skin was green. Taking off these masks can be scary and puts us in a vulnerable position but I think one of the best places to show up for yourself and be volunteerable is on your yoga mat. I encouraged the students as they moved through the practice to notice if they were “wearing” certain masks in their poses and if they could soften removed the mask and move inside. Become sensitive to the bhavana. Bhavana is a Sanskrit word that means the feeling tone of the pose. Thoughts to help connect you to the bhavana of the pose…What is the pose communicating? If the pose had a color what would it be? What emotion word it be? It was a great class. We continued to work on rooting the femur bones back and I introduced some new poses that most students hadn’t seen.

Two critiques:
  1. I said shit in class. I was explain how life can be hard or something and said shit. Oops. I am trying to eliminate swear words from my vocabulary in general because I don’t think they are nice, I think they negatively affect my energy just saying and hearing them, and it is disrespectful to some people (especially in Utah).
  2. I could have done better at tying my theme in through the whole class. I continued to mention it but I could have done it more and more smoothly.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

connet to your fullness from within

Summary…. This week I taught a private to a husband and wife, a group private for faculty teachers, and three public classes. In all the classes (in different ways) we focused on rooting the femur bones back, and inner spiral.

In one class I talked about the full moon and how it reminds me of purna which is Sanskrit for perfect fullness. Recently the moon. I look at the full moon and think of purna, perfect fullness. I encouraged students to be perfectly content with where they are in life, in the moment, in the pose, and that that contentment will allow them to feel full. Full of the divine essence that fills us all in such abundance.

I wanted to connect with the idea that we are all ready full as we worked with rooting the thigh bones back and inner spiral. When we are looking for fullness we only need to turn within our self and we will find that our fullness is there. It is an act of remembrance. So many times we strive and we reach and we try to acquire more so that we can become full, this is the mistake because we only need to look within to see we are already full. So when our femur bones move forward toward the psoas this is like us reaching to the material world to find our fullness (which is the mistake) instead we need to root, femur bones back toward the hamstrings, this is a looking and rooting into our self to remember that we are full. That we have everything we need inside of our self.

I also connected this to inner spiral. Inner spiral is the expanding spiral. One of my teachers Jen Hecht says that inner spiral is like opening the doors. That is what we need to do to experience our fullness. We need to open the doors to our self/heart/soul to see we our full. The opposite of inner spiral, of opening the doors is slamming the doors on the idea that we already our perfect and full within our self. Slamming the doors is saying that we would rather look outside of our self to find this fullness. This will only lead to more and more unhappiness.

So that’s what we did...lots of hip stuff, really working inner spiral and rooting the femur bones back and remembering that we are perfect and full as we are! It can be hard just like asana practice can be hard but it is so worth it when we remember our own goodness and fullness!

When you realize you are perfect just the way you are and that you are always full of spirit and are an expression of Grace, you feel perfect and full (Purnatva). One mantra I use when I feel like I am not perfect, not full, or I feel defeated is….”I am perfect and whole”...A simple mantra/affirmation but it helps shift my mood and energy tremendously.
Dana Faulds, Perfect Emanation:

"The perfect emanation is
alive inside each one of us
right now. I'm not denying
my imperfect translation,
my stumbling fits and starts,
or my dark side.
Yet look at what is
manifesting! Witness how
the thread comes off
the spool without tangles,
how the tapestry of life
weaves itself
using me a loom."

:) private client

A few weeks ago a husband and wife came to my class at The Yoga Center. They then contacted me and told me how much they connected to my teaching and asked if I would offer them a private. I was so flatter. One thing I have noticed just in the few years I have been practicing and teaching is how much the community of yoga teachers is increasing, and how many styles of yoga are being offered. This is great because each teacher has a unique way of teaching, and there are so many teachers offering so many different styles. This is great for students because if you are patient you can DEFINITLY find a teacher that you connect with so much. I definitely have taken classes where I am not ‘feeling’ the teacher so much, and I have teachers that I just love and my heart feels connected to their energy and their style of teaching. Because there are so many great yoga teachers it can be intimidating. But it is always nice to get feedback, to know that you are connecting to people and that they are enjoying what you are putting out there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

the Yoga Convo

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Two of my faovorite certified teachers Christina Sell and Elena Brower both are passionate, and honest. Christina and Elena are thrilled to bring their conversations to you.

Yoga Convo is dedicated to helping people access an authentic connection to the truth of who they are through thought-provoking conversations about yoga and yoga practice as it pertains to all aspects of life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

how can you look into your diamond

In Thursday’s yoga hour class (only $4 at the Yoga Center) I talked about looking for the good. I introduced this theme by talking about a diamond. Imagine a big diamond with lots of different angles/facets. Scientists have discovered that if you look at a diamond under a magnifying glass in the center of the diamond where all the facets intersect they form the shape of a heart… How cool. I also talked about how we can get used to things for example, patterns, habits, people… For this example I talked about the weather. We get used to looking into one part of the diamond, looking at just one facet. For example we have been used to nice sunny weather. I know I personally have connected to this part of the diamond. I knew how to look through this angle of the diamond (sunny, warm weather) I could experience the heart and see the heart. We get used to this facet. We get used to the sunny weather angle to see the heart. We get used to looking at this angle of the diamond to experience the heart. However sometimes the diamond shifts. For example the weather changes (less sun, colder, and darker). It is like we are being shown another part of the diamond, this can throw us off. But we need to remember that even this new angle that the diamond is facing, no matter which facet we are looking into there is still the potential of expiring the heart and Grace. But we need to be sensitive, optimistic, and willing to do the work. The weather changing is just one example that I think is easier to identify. I think the message of this story is that we need to look for the good in all things. In every situation, just like on every angle of the diamond there is a heart that can be seen and experienced. Sometimes it might be harder to feel./experience but it is always there. We can move through our asana practice today with thus in mind.

Can you see the good in every pose? Even if you fall down.

I asked throughout the class what color is their diamond, what form does it take...

Lunge curl back twiat version
1/2 moon stretch
mod. parsvak, v2
1.2 moon, v2
low lunge quad stretch
shalabasana + dancer
Shalabarsana + ardha chand. chap.
utl twist

shine the light of the heart

Quick summary of the call I taught at the yoga center wednesday 540-7. It was a really fun class.

I wanted to continue to talk about the change of the seasons, about how we are entering the phase of dissolution or destruction. I pointed out the Nataraja (we have a beautiful Nataraja/the dancing siva in the studio). I pointed out that in the statue of the Nataraja, in his upper right hand he holds a damaru(drum). This drum represents creation. In his upper left hand he holds fire. This fire represents destruction. This destruction is what we are seeing in the seasons. How the trees leaves have shriveled and fall to the ground (destruction) in order for the tree to eventually create new bud and blossom (creation). This destruction and creation are part of the pulsation (spanda) of life. We need to recognize that this pulsation not only happens in nature but that it happens in our self. We need to recognize that there is a time when we need to shed out old habits/patters/behaviors/people so that we can create new ones that serve us better and more fully. When we refuse to let go what we end up doing is contracting in on our self, and we get hard. When we do this we smoother our inner light so we can’t see it, experience or share it with others. When we contract around our old habits, this doesn’t put our inner light out because this light and Grace is always available to us but it does make it harder to experience. What we need to do is let go of what doesn’t serve us. When we do this we become soft and open. When we are soft we can feel, hold, and shine the light of our heart out. At first when we drop some of these patterns that we have identified with for so long it can be scary and we can feel vulnerable. But this vulnerability creates space for our inner body to expand naturally with joy, wonder, strength, faith, and love.

That’s what this practice is all about to me. It is a way to let go of what doesn’t serve us so we may hold our light with more joy. Open to grace!

I have recently re read a yoga journal and in the back I came upon an interview with Aadi Palkhivala where he says “90% of yoga asana is a waste of time. The asana must be done to hold the light of the soul. Most people just want all of the stuff the ego likes: a firm body and ways to impress people. We should ne striving to find a real connection with the divine”.

I love this. Especially the idea that asana is done in order to hold the light of the soul/heart. Today I wanted the students to feel that through their asana practice and through fire (like the fire that siva holds as he dances) we can destroys old habits/patterns/behavior’s/and people so that we may align our self so we can hold, shin, and experience the light of our soul/heart.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

100th blog post...thoughts = powerful

WOW! I was about to post this post and I realized that this is my 100th! Blog post…very cool.

That is pretty awesome. Our thoughts are very powerful! Our body can’t distinguish between a thought and reality. There is an evolutionary lag. So… If we think about getting cut off and about crashing into a median while driving our body while naturally respond as if that was the situation, as if that were where we were. There has been lots of research, setting up people to bio mechanical machines and monitoring people’s blood. One study asked people to think about a traumatic event when they were young and their blood chemistry actually changed! We constantly damage our self by just our thinking process. The first drug we use is thinking. The first way we disassociate with reality is thinking! We are born. When we are born we naturally breathe into the abdomen. But through the stresses of society most people by the age of 2-4 years old switch from abdominal breathers and become shallow breathers. When you are breathing in a shallow way you take in half a pint of oxygen when you breathe from the belly you take in half a gallon.

So…The first way we disconnect from reality is by thinking, whenever we are thinking we are not feeling, and whenever we are not feeling you are disconnecting!
What we need to do is get out of our head. Now, more than ever we are using our brain. For example think about how much were use our brain now more than two hundred years ago. We probably read more now than some people will read in their entire life. As helpful as our brain is, as I said above, our brain and our thinking process can cause our body to physically harm its self by stimulating the flight or fight response. Before our brain and our technology got so advanced we use to use and trust our gut. Our gut used to be the original way of intelligence. You have neru-peptides, and neurotransmitters just like the ones in your brain. We need to learn to trust our gut feeling. It takes a while. We actually have the capacity to feel in our gut. So feel in your gut, as things get crazier and things happen faster and faster start to listen to your gut. Feeling the body is really important.

Isn’t this cool! I wrote something similar to this in my precious post. By bringing our awareness into our body, by feeling what is actually happening inside our self we can help make real changes. It is intersting how much we can practice. But at the same time how much do we spend re thinking about bad situations or imagining bad situations. Because even if we arnt actually experiencing if we are thinking about them in the mind then the body IS actually experiencing them. I think this is super COOL! By just our thoughts we can affect our body!!!

exhale fully

The breath is super important. I was listening to a podcast from Abdi Assadi (this is someone I have recently gotten very interested in he does lots of shadow work). In this podcast Abdi talked about how one of the problems that happens when we breathe is that we are not exhaling all the way. I thought this was fascinating. I do different kinds of pranayama every day and the thought that I might not be exhaling fully when I practice pranayama and on a throughout the day really intrigued me.

This means not only are we holding old energy (prana) in our bdoy but we are then inhaling on top of that stale air. When we exhale all the air out it helps slow down the speed of the mind. First we need to work on exhaling. Right now pay attention to where the breath is. It is probably in your chest, start breathing with more awareness. Notice how the breath shifts toward the belly. Now as exhale and toward the end of your exhale start to count with moving your tongue (I even whisper the letters out loud). What that does is allow the lungs to exhale the air without forcing the lungs to tighten. Continue to do this, breathe into the belly, breath out..1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18… Repeat this for the next few minutes. Lengthen the spine, relax your shoulders and relax your jaw.

Can you feel the difference in your body! Say something out loud just a word or two and see how deep your voice is. That is the relaxation. This is free, no vitamins, no diet, no belief system needed! The breath just works.

Sit back practice and enjoy.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I took a drive up emigration canyon today. It was so beautiful. So much shri! All the leaves are now orange, red, and yellow. Some of the leaves are now starting to wilt, weather, crumble, and have fallen onto to the ground. This beauty of the seasons changing reminded me dissolution. Dissolution is one of the 5 acts of Shiva (I wrote about all 5 acts in more detail in Normally when I think about dissolution my first thought is something bad, that I am losing something, that something changing, that something is dying. I naturally contract around dissolution, resist the change. But seeing the beauty in natural that was a result of this change, reminded me of what I know deep deep in my heart. That change is good, all things will eventually wither and die, and we out of our freedom can choose how we can respond. We can choose to resist and contract around the change or we can open up to the change and allow the dissolution to help us shift in our life.

Seeing this dissolution inspired me to think deeply and honestly about what in my life is in the stage of dissolution. Like I said before I like to hold on to thing (this is one of the patterns I am trying to let go of). What habits are shifting (or have been shifting for a while) and are ready to dissolve out of my life. The leafs seem to shift through these changes with ease and beauty. However the patterns don’t dissolve so easily, something they take a lot of strength. I know I cling to things like a dead dread up leaf instead of having the strength to drop it to the ground and know that the dead leaf will be what helps me open more beautifully and fully.

I think that this act of dissolution is very softening. When we let go of habits, patterns, behaviors, and tendencies we soften and we become vulnerable (that is what I am realizing I struggle the most with, the vulnerability that comes with dropping some of these patterns I have cultivated for awhile). But when we become soft and vulnerable what blooms from us, blooms from such a deep place in the heart. The softness and vulnerability that went towards the cultivation of this opening is so big and so beautiful. When we allow our self to be open and from such a deep place the offering we make with our self, in our life can really touch people. It can really help us better serve the people and the planet.

Dissolution is just one part of the five acts of Shiva. After Dissolution comes concealment and the revelation. So as we let go and allow some the dissolution to happen come back to the heart and remember that a revelation is just around the corner

So I encourage you to think about what maybe dissolving in your life?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I teach a class for the faculty at Waterford. Waterford is a private school that goes from 2 pre k up to 12th grade. It is quite funny I teach here because I used to go to Rowland Hall St. Marks which is the rivial school of Waterford. Ha-ha.

Anyways. I absolutely love the group of students we have been working together for over a year and they have all made tremendous growth. I remember when I started working with them I showed up and there were probably around 20 students and all seemed very hesitant. We started the practice with questions because I could feel that people had lots of stuff on their mind. All of the questions revolved around "how hard is the class going to be". Many people wanted me to know that they thought the class should be very easy because most hadn’t had any exposure to yoga. A few people spoke up about injuries. So we started with a very gentle class. However as people started to gain familiarly, strength, and better alignment we started to go a little deeper into the practice both physically and spiritually. By the end of the year the students were doing hand stands, headstands, arm balanced.... Students were even requesting a more challenging class. It has been really amazing to be part of this transformation. I do see transformation a lot. But this is normally in a studio setting and I normally think the transformation that I see in students is coming from the wonderfully teacher I work with. I normally don’t think it is me. Don’t get me wrong I know people enjoy my classes. However I feel like I am just another student who study’s diligently and then passes on what she knows. However working with this group of students who don’t practice with anyone else it is a really nice reminder that I helped these students in their transformation. I was receptive to what they needed and may offering really made a difference.
Big smile

Moving on. We are starting another year together.
I taught a class to them on September 28th.

Main teaching point: fist principle (foundation, inner body bright, outer body soft), shoulder loop (starts in pallet curls head back, helps maintain natural curve of neck)

I talked about how though our life we have programmed our self in certain ways. Specifically that if we round our shoulders forward and down we will experience more ease. However this is not the case. I spoke about how the practice of yoga asana 9postures) can help us re program our self. When we roll our shoulders forward and down we unplug from he heart. This reminds me of what happens when we are reaching toward something. Think about a baby reaching out to grab something. The shoulders unplug from he heart. We do this all the time reaching for material things to bring us happiness. What we forget to realize is that these things will never bring us lasting happiness they will always change and eventually go away. What will never go away is our heart (at least as long as we are alive). If we can learn to plug in, to stay connect to our heart we can find stability and contentment no matter what challenges confront us.

Plug in
After teaching for about 30 mins I paused and asked if there were any question (I love this group of students my nick name for them is genie pigs, they are up for anything). A student I love asked what melting the heart ment. I term I have been using for a very long time. It was a wonderful oppurtuniny to break it down. The student who asked a very big wonderful man didn’t know the terminology but his body knew it. I asked him to demonstrate this in chaturanga and cobra. He did a wonderful job and it helped him and the students grasp the concept of melting the heart.

new book, new class

I don’t like going so far btw posts so this is a quick recap.
I keep track of the yoga classes I teach in a little 5.5 x 8.5 sketch book. I finished my 5th book last week. In these books I write down my sequence either very detailed or a rough idea, my theme, the date, the type of class and the length. The focus is normally on the sequence. I have been trying lately to focus less on the specific sequence and overly pre planning the class and instead being open to the students and receptive to what they want/need for that class. As I start this new book my plane is to emphasis the theme, the main teaching point (ex. universal principles of alignment), and the specific language I want to be using. I will still include the date, name of class, and length. I also want to start writing a brief reflection after about how the class went, feedback I got, and/or insights.

I have so far taught two classes out of this book.

On September 28th I taught a class at the yoga center.
The class was mainly new students 40+ yrs old with a few seasoned 30 yr olds.
The main teaching point:1st, inner body bright... outer body soft.
Theme: staying grounded.
I wanted to do lots of balancing poses and talk about how we can support our self when we are balancing. I wanted the students to think about which part of themselves they connect with when they are balancing. "Where do you feel grounded?" "Where do you pull your strength from?" The places that we pull this strength from to physically stay grounded from is always available to us, whether we are trying to stay centered physically, mentally, emotionally, or all of the above.

I wanted to make a point to talk about grace. That grace is always avalible to us, and that grace is the force that reveals our true nature to us.

I wanted to continue to remind the students to think about what they love? Value? And cherish? And suggest
that they center their selves with an openness that these thoughts provide.

I told them that when I think about grace and opening to grace. I think about seeing something amazing and how it makes me feel inside. For example seeing the shining stars, the full moon, the vast ocean... these sights make me feel soft but when I see them I can’t help but stand taller, and prouder... knowing that I am deeply connected to that same beauty.

I again wanted to mention our natural tendencies that may come up while trying to balance or in life. The tendency to feel sad, angry, or full of fear. But that through the practice of physical postures (asana) we can help shift our tendencies and instead choose how to respond.

Side body long

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...