Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday, November 1, 2019

Teachings on Death this Halloween

On this day of #samhain which is a day to celebrate and honor the dead. I find myself reflecting on my own death. The thought of my death used to conjure up feelings of anxiety & fear especially thinking about my kids not having a mom. But not thinking about my death can lead me to sleep walk through my life with no real urgency and take things for granted.

For over a year I have been mediating on my own death and connecting to the motivation that can come with the reminder of my death. I actually use an app called We Croak that sends me 5 reminders a day that I will die. In Bhutan they say contemplating death five times a day brings happiness. However there is a big difference between motivation which inspires us to act effectively and anxiety which stops us in our tracks or creates ineffective actions.

So on this day of Halloween and as we near winter solstice and the end of the year I encourage you to think about your death. Not as a way to scare you. But to remind you that we each only have so much time to live. From the moment we were born the clock of our life began to count down. Use this reminder to Wake up and live with purpose. Life is to short to be asleep at the wheel.

I heard Ram Dass say “you need a practice that wakes you up!” Like an alarm clock that at first could wake you up eventually you can learn to sleep through.

Let your contemplation on death help WAKE YOU UP to higher consciousness and motivate you to find something that keeps you waking up so you can live woke and with meaning during your short life.

I taught a class today on this theme. I talked about how our practice should help us wake up. Waking up is moving our body, mind and heart toward optimal alignment. As busy yogis I think we want to learn to wake up (find better alignment) quicker with more efficiency and be able to stay away (hold the alignment) longer. But this takes training. Training to not fall asleep/ into our habitual collapses. Sleeping walking through out life is living in our subconscious demoting tendencies. I wanted to focus on outer spiral. I talked about how the glutes often are a sleep and this can lead to low back and knee injuries. 

Sun A 3x
In tadasana I explained where the attachments for the three gluteal muscles are and what the actions of each muscles do. How one attachment site stays static and the muscle contracts to pull the more mobile attachment site toward it. We were focusing on how the muscles create leg extension, abduction, spinal extension and rooting down the foot. We played around with these movements in tadasana and down dog. we did the full movement about 5x pulsed for 5x and held with a squeeze for 5 sec. Also for using the glutes we always did this order widen glute muscle (inner spiral) squeeze muscle, do action, squeeze muscle again at the top. 
Ardha uttasanasa - tadasana hip hinging using the glutes
high runners lunge leaning forward hands on hips (like ardha utt)- L (same hip hinging action as before
w3- Tadasana balancing on one foot same hinging actions.  
Lunge side stretch- then bend and hoover back knee (hello front glute)
w2 interlace hands above head side stretch in both directions forward and toward back of room- dancing warrior without using your hands (normally I dont like this variation but I do to emphasis the glute action)
dancing warrior with hands
w3- half moon no hands- rev warrior- wide leg forward fold
tree- half moon quad- standing pigeon
seated massage glute by rocking weight around on one side of body- pigeon- pigeon quad twist
supta pada a b c- mantra missile
happy baby

this was a kick butt practice. Love challenging the students to work in new ways and really make them work. So their practice do not become alarms that used to wake them up but no longer do. 

Hope this was helpful

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Handsdand balance. Ego balance

Yoga= Union. I like to think of it as union between me and my Best Self.
It’s the space of “I am”
Whenever I play with handstands I am reminded of the teachings around the Ego. The Ego gets a bad rap. The Ego is NOT bad. However the Ego can get out of balanced. It can be to HIGH with thoughts like “I am the shit!” and it can be to LOW with thought like “I am a piece of shit”.
I feel connected to my best self when I can be with I AM (period)
So wether you can balance in handstand or not really isn’t the point. What really matter is can you be with I AM regardless of your handstand performance. We can apply this teaching to other things beside handstands. Can we be with I AM regardless of the ease or craziness we might be experiencing in life.

Mindful parenting

“Every child is born as karma to parents, but also every child is born as karma to himself or herself. There is a double action and mostly people forget this. One is the karma to parents, the other is the karma to the self. In between, a person has to develop, grow and become free.”#yogibhajan
Today was a challenging day. Where nothing bad happened but from the whinnying and complaining and resistance from these littles you would have thought so.😬
This quote helps me remember the big picture. That these tiny humans that I am blessed to raise are not MY kids, they are MY teachers and every opportunity is a teaching.
Even the refusal to brush teeth. And they are not here on earth just behave “well” but instead to learn the lessons they are meant to learn to GROW more FREE in this life and I am supposed to assist them in doing that!
One of my favorite quotes from #ramdass “we are all walking each other home”
that doesn’t mean it will be easy (it rarely is because we resist learning we resist our biggest teachers).
Sometimes it means looking past the tantrum in the middle of the parking lot and instead start looking for the lesson. The lessons that lead us to more growth and more freedom. Freedom to respond differently then our habitual patterns and neurosis.
This hopefully inspiring message coming to you after I have put the kids to bed and reflected on this ruff day and how I could have handled it a lot differently.
Live and learn #progressnotperfection

Your greatest strength is LOVE

When you allow your mind to take over and bring up  insecurities like old hurts, dramas, and traumas you are keeping alive your  fear. You might think. I don’t live in a state of fear. But ask yourself how often do you feel stress, anxiety, panic, nervous or worried?
When I see these words I realize how much fear is in my life. Fears like my family getting sick, the car breaking down, the laundry never getting cleaned, taxes filed wrong, conversations misinterpreted, traffic jams making me late or causing an accident, politics, second guessing decisions....
FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.
This means that most (or all) of the things we experience some level of fear over are not real. They are imagined in our head and then projected onto our life as fact. This feeling of living under the pressure of constant stress (fear) is one of our biggest killers. We fry ourself with our sympthetic nervous system on overdrive  (flight/fight/freeze) and thinking everything is an emergency.
Fear is our biggest weakness. The antidote to fear is LOVE.
Join me this week to move out of fear, drop into your heart space and feel connected.
Teaching at @inbodyacademy Tuesday and Saturday at 9am. Teaching at @centeredcityyoga Friday at 9am.


Stuff that is exterior to us is always changing, meaning they have an end, they are finite. Often, they are more dense and more tangible like the seasons, our physical body, businessesadventures and relationships. However, they can be less dense like our thoughts and emotions. The stuff between the exterior things deep within ourself is a more subtle energy that resides inside of us. I like to think of this place as my true home. It is permanent, infinite, unending. We sing about this in the Anusara Invocation with the word Nishprapanchaya which means is never absent. This is our True Self our Inner Light. 
The place we get into trouble is when we attach ourself to the exterior finite things. The more we attach our happiness to these things that our outside of ourself the more suffering we will experience when these things eventually go away. For example,a student of mine shared a poem her dad wrote, who is an avid skier. In the poem he expresses the deep sadness he experiences at the end of the season as one of his biggest loves, skiing, is taken away from him. 
This cycle where things are born, grow, fade and eventually go away (sometimes quickly sometimes over a long period of time)is completely normal. To expect otherwise would be unrealistic and yet we do all the time. Another example is the real sadness I have knowing that we are on the last season of Game of Thrones (but why!). This is the cycle of nature and everything on this planet even the man-made stuff like plastic, is made of natureand thus goes through the cycle of nature.
This isn’t to say don’t enjoy the seasons, don’t get into relationships, don’t take care of your physical body because they will all disintegrate and it will make you unhappy. Instead develop a practice that connects you to the one thing that is always every present and does not go away, which is the source, the light, the link of our oneness that shines within the core of ourself. Through consistent practice you will experience a more subtle contentmentThen enjoy all the things, enjoy them as they are in full expansion and as they contract away and since your contentment comes from within when they eventually go away (and they will) it will disturb you less and cause you less suffering.  
One of the studios I teach at, Centered City Yoga, is moving studio locations. They are actually moving back to their old location one building over. This is what prompted me to write this post because it reminded me that almost all things are impermanent. In the past 13 years I have taught yoga at studios I have seen so many studios change locations, change names, close, and new ones open. It used to really upset me. These places were a big source of my happiness. Now that I am older and wiser, I have learned that if I put my happiness on something outside of myself, I am asking for pain. This is not bad, because pain is a wonderful motivator. We have more willingness to take action if we know it helps us to avoid pain.Let this encourage you to practice connecting to your infinite self with commitment and consistently so you become so stable in yourSelf that when stuff changes outside of you that it becomes a more beautiful experience of the cycle of nature then a heart break.    

Another teaching in yoga I love is forgetfulness. Meaning you will forget this teaching, but then hopefully and with practice you will remember you forgot, you will attach your happiness to something outside of yourself, you will experience pain and then you will remember. You will draw back in and do the work. The more you do this the father away from your center you will go and the more efficient you will get at coming back to center. We become listeners to the whispers of pain to readjust and realign instead of the screams of agony from the pain. 
Home has Om in it and om is the vibration of the earth the world which is our home. Come home. We all have an inner child that can run the show this shows up as tendencies that run the show and one of the tendencies is, we get lost it we run away and we have to find our way back to our home our Center. And the more we forget. Leave. Remember come back. The easier it becomes to find our way back. Because we have broken trail, we don’tneed to bush wake.

Remembering home. Remembering to consistently commit to connecting to your deeper perminate always present self will help you navigate the fluctuations, the conning and goings of that which is finite. The stuff that doesn’t last. 
Our collective consciousness has made it to a place where we know we have to clean and care and connect to the subtle parts of ourself daily if we want it to operate effectively and if it doesn’t operate effectively your gambling with your happiness which is the most important thing we got. If you put your happiness in the conditions of the outside things that will fall away like a yoga studio location or a flower or a relationship your happiness or contentment is not steady. If you put your contentment and happiness based on the connection to your undying self then you can enjoy the outside stuff and even enjoy or suffer less when it goes away. 

Connection. Connected to what matters. Not at the surface level. Enjoy stuff at the surface level but hold onto what’s deeps. Yoga is the joining of self with Self

Apex- full Urdhva Dhanurasana
Universal Principle of Alignment: Muscle Energy to the midline. With some extra shoulder work.
Keep coming back home to your center, your midline. Go out and do all the things while being connected to YOU so you suffer less when all the things always change. 

Sun A teach strong legs in cobra
Down Dog
L- tree- tadasana eagle arms- vinyasa with knees bent like Dhanurasana prep
L- eagle - tad vinyasa with knees bent like Dhanurasana prep
W2 arms bring up upper arm bone positioning and when is not home, and where is home that connects us back to the midline
Dancing warrior
Cow face with prone pec stretch prep - triceps stretch - fish twist - mod side plank prep set up collapse into shoulder and then push it away (inner body bright) keep that and squeeze arm bone into heart into home into the vibrancy of love, light, andintelligence (vibration of hOMe of our center)
High runners lunge twist
Low lunge twist- Low lunge quad twist
Cobra squeeze block between feet- push into hands plank on top of feet (Kidney Loop) chaturanga- cobra 5x
Block between inner thighs Dhanurasana prep on forearms – to full Dhanurasana 
Roll onto back keep squeezing block between inner thighs during the transitions
Supta feet off floor in line with knees, knees over hips crunches
Squeeze blocks bridge
Tadasana Urdhva Dhanurasana shoulder prep work: arms forward hands in line with arm pits- hold block between hands squeeze to midline  broaden shoulders- arm bones back- scapula tips together. Keep that then bend arms at elbow bringing hands over elbow- then straighten 5x
Repeat but this time extend arms over head. Urdhva hastasana: hold block between hands, hands to sky- squeeze to midline – broaden shoulders- arm bones back- scapula tips together. Keep that then bend arms at elbow bringing hands over elbow so the hands should face the wall behind your head- then straighten 5x
Urdhva Dhanurasana prep on top of head integrate shoulders into sockets and back of heart 
Urdhva Dhanurasana prep- full. From the stop of your head. From the connect to yourself, your home press arms straight (just like in the drills above)
Or optional supported bridge
on back Asyemtical femur root - half happy baby- mod pada c- mantra missile
Supta Baddha konasana

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Heather Sky and Kimberly Achelis-Hoggan will be leading an all inclusive “Living Illuminated” Yoga Jungle Retreat in Yelapa, Mexico! If you haven't heard of this tiny beach haven in Puerto Vallarta’s Bahia de Banderas, that's because it has gone decades without the infiltration of obstructive high-rises or a mass influx of tourists. Some say Yelapa is Mexico’s last authentic beach town—but not only is it the country's top undiscovered stretch of sand, the retreat center is located a short walk into a jungle oasis! I can tell you from experience, this is a retreat you do NOT want to miss. 

Upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta, participants will take a water taxi to the secluded beaches of Yelapa where we will be met by our host and guided to the retreat center. The gardens are bursting with tropical flowers and fruits, fish ponds, and a waterfall cascading into a natural swimming pool. All accommodations are unique and comfortable palapa casitas, with thatched roofs that harmonize with nature and open walls to let in the cool jungle breezes. Beds are suspended from the ceiling and have mosquito nettings. Fresh safe drinking water is provided at bedside. Bath facilities have rosewood countertops, ornate tile sinks, and hot water. 

Coffee and tea is provided every morning. Breakfast/brunch and dinner will be prepared using ingredients from the retreat centers own garden, as well as other fresh and locally sourced ingredients. A light fare will be available at the property during the lunch hour, or you can provide your own lunch from one of the local markets or restaurants. The days will begin and end with an optional collective yoga practice, interspersed with a wide variety of optional activities such as: a guided hike, a seva (service) project in the community gardens, and whale watching tour.

October 13th-18th 2019

$1199 single occupancy rate (meaning you come alone)- A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration. Must be paid in full no later than September 30th, 2019.
$1099 double occupancy rate (meaning you bring a friend)- A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due at the time of registration. Must be paid in full no later than September 30th, 2019.
$999 - Discount for certified yoga teachers or registered yoga teacher trainees. See payment notes above. 

Please pay Heather or Kim directly with cash/check OR send payment through Venmo (@rebelutionyoga) or Paypal ( We will happily accept your payment in increments, as long as it is paid in full by the required date. No refunds.

Approximately 20 spaces are available. All rooms have either 2 single beds or 1 king bed. If you book with a partner or friend, you will share the same room (please make sure we are aware ahead of time).

What IS Included:
Accommodations for 6 days/5 nights at Los Naranjos Jungle Retreat Center.
Healthy daily meals made with local fresh tropical fruits and vegetables, local fish, and farm grown meats. Tea, coffee, and fresh water available all day.
2 yoga sessions daily (morning and late afternoon/early evening)
Time for relaxation, self reflection, and adventuring 

What is NOT Included:
Airfare to/from Puerto Vallarta.
Taxi fare to/from Puerto Vallarta's International Airport to the Los Muertos pier downtown.
Water taxi fare to/from the Los Muertos pier downtown to the Yelapa town pier (Approximately $10.00 USD p/person one way).
Optional excursions: Water sports, whale watching, paragliding, etc.
Occasional meals and/or drinks off site (in the village).
Gratuities for retreat center staff at the end of your stay.

We will kick off the retreat with a welcome ceremony and traditional Yelapa beach bonfire under the full moon on the eve of our arrival. What better way to start living illuminated?!

All participants must have a valid passport containing at least 2 blank pages, valid at least 6 months after your departure date. No Visa is required for American tourists who plan to stay less than 30 days. Travel insurance is optional, but encouraged. Please feel free to reach out to Heather or Kim with any questions, comments, and/or concerns. You will receive additional details upon registering.

here is the facebook event page link

youtube video

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...