Monday, June 27, 2011


The last blog I wrote was about a class I took from Chris Timmins where he talked about life being a mix of adventure and ordeals and the importance of attitude. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. There are really hard times in life. People are faced with many ordeals whether it be a physical injury, or a mental state like depression. I am also reading Sally Kemptons awesome book Meditation for the Love of it.
A girl friend of mine is going through a hard break up and has been feeling very depressed lately. I reminded her that past the pain there is still Awarness try to remember that rather then focus on the attachment to the personal identity. She responded saying "that is the hardest thing to do, be with no thoughts in my mind". When she told me this I went to grab Sally's book.
This has gotten me thinking of a class theme idea: Can you cultivate this connection to your Awareness as you move through the practice. Can you notice that no matter what pose you are doing whether your experience is more enjoyable or less enjoyable the back drop to that is this Awareness. Can you notice that "you are intrinsically divine  even in your flawed humanness"
So yes on or off your mat you might experience intense sensation, maybe you feel angry or scared, or alone but "if you can remember that divine energy, pure Awareness, God-ness, is present even in the midst of your fear, anger, and depression, it becomes easier to let the feelings come and go without clinging to them" (Sally Kempton: Meditation for the love of it 118)
 This is still hard for me to grasp especially going through hard times. But I have had personally experiences where I can feel the Love and bliss deep inside of my being in the midst of personal drama.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Be with what is. A great class from Chris Timmins

Went to Prana yoga and took a class from the very talented Anusara inspired teacher Chris Timmins. Tim focused on Attitude from the three A’s of Anusara. He referred to a quote that said life is full of both adventure and ordeals. He reminded us we don’t have to make every moment an adventure we can just be with what is present in our life (or our yoga pose) whatever it is.

Some highlights from the class:
Chris knew I was soar from gardening and incorporated in some fantastic psoas stretches using the wall as a prop.
We also partnered up and did an assisted twisted triangle that was phenomenal. The yogi grabs on to the partners calf and hand and can manually get more length and deeper into the twist.
He offered a great neck stretch done laying on your back pre savasana.
He gave some great essentail oil and light head massage that felt heavenly.
I loved it my great is full of gratitude for Chris and his wonderful teachings.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Solstice...Side bodies long

On Tuesday it was summer solstice and I taught a yoga class at Avenues Yoga in Salt Lake City Utah. I reminded the students that summer solstice is a time for found healing. A time to let go of what isn’t serving you, face challenges and make actions to move forward.

I talked to the students about a very common way we collapse in our bodies which you could call “side bodies short”. This is like shrugging your spine, it is the opposite of standing up tall and proud. We worked on side bodies long which is an aspect of first principle, open to grace.  We had lots of fun during the class as we stretched our side bodies in some very innovated ways. I also frequently had the students pause with the eyes close and notice how their inner body felt. If the inner body feels lifted and bright even when paused that is evidence that what they were doing in the pose is training their body to hold itself with more ease and brightness.

I think I was a mad scientist in a past life because I love having a problem that I want to find a solution for. For example lets say the problem I want to solve is holding length in my side body. Then I try out different experiments, like maybe I isometricly push down more here to see if I can expand more here, maybe I just learn to one side, maybe I stretch my leg out to the side and spread my toes.… here comes the important part… You have to observe the results and then adjust your equation according. I remember my multiple experiments learning how to do a vinyasa in a way that didn’t irritate me shoulder and through trail and error my technique and my shoulder have improved.  

Got a little off track, In conclusion the class was really great and it was a pretty great turn out. My husband also practiced on Tuesday and I asked if he had any comments or suggestion for my teaching and all he said was “your heart chakra seems like it has gotten a lot bigger, all class your heart looked like it was shining”. Hearing this for sure made me heart shine.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Allergies reminding me of pre-yoga life

This week my allergies have been awful! My nose is so congested I can barely breathe through it. Because my nostrils are not working I have been breathing or panting through my mouth. This is not fun. Breathing through my nose is a calming experience and breathing through my mouth causes so much discomfort it reminds me of my pre- yoga life of being a mouth breather. Before I started yoga at age 17 I could not breathe through my nose regularly. If I did it would be for a few moments followed by an opened mouth gasp. I remember so many down dogs after having completed a vinyasa where I would catch my breath as quietly as possible. But somewhere into the practice my breathing pattern changed. No I always (unless I have allergies) breath through my nose with ease.
Looking at the brighter side…what a great reminder of the many ways yoga changes my life

thinking about dogs and vulnerability

Yesterday I went to my friends house and I met her dog, Niko. Niko has never been exposed to abuse. All he has known is love. This made me think of my dog, Dharma, who has been severly abused when she was younger before I got her. When I met Niko he was so open and vonurable. Meeting Niko and seeing his disposition made me think about dharma and how she can not interact like that dog and allow herself to be so vulnerable because she has been exposed to such cruelty.
 This made me think of humans in our society. We have been exposed to cruelty over and over. Little unkind things happen daily and bigger wronge doings happen in longer time spans. Just like Dharma and Niko our past exposure to cruelty affects how we show up in all our relationships with one another from a hurt place and we (just like my dog) we don’t allow our self to be fully vulnerable.

 To continue my example about my dog….I have had her for almost 5 years and we have such a strong bond and she is her most comfortable around me. But I know she still has her gard up even though I have only showed her love. My husband has showed Dharma so much compassion over these five years yet the ability she has to open up purely with him is still very small. She thinks she needs to be defending herself because of her past experience, she knows that there is a possibility Tyler, like other men in her life, could hurt her.

 I thought of all of this in just a few moments and started to cry. It all makes sense…The way I respond and interact with in my relationships it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to be so open because I have been hurt in the past. I think knowing this is going to help me in all my relationships because I will know that it is my nature to hold back and self protect I need make shifts and forgive the past so that I can be more open and free....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

no more dreadlocks

Last Wednesday I cut my dreadlock off. I have been wanting to post a longer blog about this but haven’t had time so here is a quick short one until then…

Cutting off my dreads has been a tremendous shift to my whole being. I started my dreads a long time ago. At that time I had recently started teacher but was still pretty new to.  I was still a little injured from my previous snowboarding accidents and I was still competing snowboarding. I had been dating my now husband for about a year. I was a competitive, anxious, sad, judgmental and low self esteemed person. Now six years later so much has changed. I stating practicing and studying yoga intensely, started seeing a therapist,  developed a lot of meaningful relationships including with myself. I have learned soo much about myself. I feel like the person I am has become so much more honest and present. I have changed so much since the time I put my dreads and it’s nice to have my physical appearances dramatically shift life the way I feel my inside world has


Today I went up to Millcreek canyon with some friends and we went on a hike and barbequed. We went on a hike that overlooked that Wasatch mountains it was stunning. The hillsides were so green due to all the water we have gotten this year. I felt embraced by this greenness. I love the color green because that is the color of your heart energy center. Being in the mountains made me feel like I was dwelling in the heart.
Love has also been on my mind lately because I have been reading Sally Kempton’s phenomenal book, Meditation for the Love of it, enjoying your own deepest experiences. There is a wonderful exercise in the book called “Focus on an Experience of Love”.  Close your eyes and focus on your threat and ground and center yourself. Start visualizing someone you feel love for or have loved in the past. To make this experience more real add some details into this image. What are they wearing? Where are you? Let yourself feel love for this. Don’t be specific about the love like why you love them just simply feel that love energy you have for that person. Continue to do this for a few minutes until you can really feel the love and then let go of the person and shift your awareness to the love energy itself. Bath in this loving energy.
I love me some heart space awareness.
Here is a link to Sallys book:
Thanks for reading, Om shanty. Be Love

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I love my job

I love my gardening job! Being outside in a garden for 9ish hours a day is wonderful. My boss Marinda at Soul garden is phenomenal! The way she designs and maintains is so beautiful. I fee like a little fairy and each garden I go into and tend is like going to open presents. I also love the stamina and strength I am building both physically, emotionally and even spiritually. I even love how it makes me super sore. This soreness has been a great opportunity to really test out my yoga techniques. Do they really work? Can I come to my mat in pain and leave my mat feeling better through using the universal principles of alignment? 

The answer is YES! I am also learning from this opportunity how to maintain first principle, Open to grace,  during all aspects of my life. For example when I garden I think about how important the foundation of the feet and the hands are and how important it is to root into the  earth. Sometimes I say to myself "actively push your feet into the earth...from the pelvic focal point press down into the earth".
Every day is a wonderful blessing as the garden teaches me more about myself and about life.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New found Strength

I just got back from taking my first class from Anusara-inspired teacher Chris Timmins at Prana Yoga in Trolley Square. Chris talked about Love and not the romantic way love but the deep Love that we are. We did some really fun poses. We played with jump switch in handstand and I can feel so much power in my handstands and my practice in general since I have been getting so much stronger with my full time gardening job. We also work bakasana (crow) to handstand. I did it with assistance and learned a way to do it next to the wall. I helped assist one of my friends doing it who was very hesitant but she made it up beautifully. After she said “you are so strong you picked me up from the ground basically”. This made me feel really good. As my body gets bigger I sometimes get sad. But this was just a great reminder, “yes my body is getting bigger, but I am powerful and I feel fu*king fantastic”. I feel like this physical strength I am cultivating is reflecting the strength of my heart and my commitment to loving and accepting myself so I may Open to grace fully.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

wingin it

I love studying yoga and I love teaching yoga. I get pretty enthusiastic when I teach. I journal about a heartfelt emotion I want the class to experience, introduce a big-ish idea and make it more understandable by relating it to something smaller, and then decide on a alignment principle that integrates everything together. I also plan a sequence to go along with the alignment principle that is emphasized and includes a peak pose… I have a notebook that I record these journals, vocabulary I want to use, sequences… Yes I plan but part of my plan is that I plan on ditching the plan. And although the class does goes a little different then I had originally outlined the class still tends to go in that direction.

I also get a little stressed about planning everything out. I talked to a yoga teacher friend of mine, Sammy, he was talking about how I should try to be just completely spontaneous. Just the thought of that made my skin crawl, what happens if I went blank? Then I reminded myself that I have been teaching for over five years and have a deep passion for yoga…. A week pasted and I dint think much about it until the night before a morning class I teach came. I was so tired. I didn’t want to stay up and plan a class and a theme so I decided I would just wing it. That morning it was so hard to not get my pen and paper and start brain storming ideas but I resisted..

I taught the class and it was so great. There were a few new to Anusara students in the room. I asked what people wanted to work on, a few people mentioned shoulders. So we did lots of fun shoulder loop work. The poses flowed so smoothly, my alignment ques were very clear I felt very comfortable, and most importantly I had fun yet remained calm. I think it was one of the best classes I taught. I always get nervous before teaching a class but now I am starting to think that maybe me planning stuff out so much is what causes the nervous, will I remember my plan? I want to continue to trust myself as a teacher.
I talked about sthira sukham asanam saying that that not only the way we hold our pose but the way we live our life should have the dynamic balance between stability and delight or vibrancy and ease.

Desert Rocks

The roller coaster of life continues, things have been crazy busy yet wonderful. I went to a music festival, Desert Rock, in Moab. It was an interesting experience and not in the way I thought. I thought this festival would be a phenomenal just like last year and the years before. It wasn’t. I did make some awesome friends and danced to some groovy music but still something was different. I realized that what I want in my life I can’t find at a music festival. I want to find happiness through union and finding oneness with God. At desert rocks I watched other people turn to drugs and other devices to experience some euphoric feeling. Watching others do this was like watching a mirror of myself I have these attachments and techniques that I use (sometimes with good intentions and sometimes not) but either way I turn away from the moment, away from God, and away from myself. Yoga is often defined as a practice that facilitates union with your self and with God. Yoga isn’t something that is just performed on a yoga mat it is something to practice every moment. May I remember that what I want is NOT achieved through turning to something whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, sex, negativity, objects…. I want something more! I want to open to grace.  
 (The yoga swing, they had this set up and I went wild on it, felt like a kid on a playground)

 (Tyler (my husband) drew this he is such an amzing artist I felt like a lotus flower fairy)
 (handstands are fun)
 (My husband and I post delicious dutch oven chili)

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...