Monday, August 12, 2013

6 Things I Want to Tell My Beginner Students

IT GETS EASIER. Fast. Soon - sooner than you think - you will know the pose names (even, in some cases, the Sanskrit names), and you won't have to think so hard to get yourself into each pose. The word "vinyasa" will actually make some sense to you, and your transitions from pose to pose will feel smoother and more natural. You will even discover that you can match your breath to your movement. You'll begin to reap the benefits of your practice more and more, and this will bring more positivity, strength, and peace into your life.

THE POSES REALLY ARE ALL ABOUT BREATH. When I first started, I thought yoga was mostly about increasing your flexibility and building a yoga body. I later realized that yoga is actually breathing practice, just in different situations or poses. It is really common to forget to breathe and hold our breathe during challenging postures and life situations alike. Next time that your upset check and see if you are holding your breath. If you notice yourself you have created self awareness and can gently remind yourself to breathe. I still catch myself not breathing in stressful situations. This is why I remind you to find your breath about seven thousand times in one hour. Because I need someone to remind me too. The breath makes all the difference. The breath makes it yoga. Do your best to use your breath. If you still don't "get" how to do Ujjayi breathing, that's okay. Keep trying; it will come with time and practice.

YOU WILL NEVER REGET PRACTICING.  You may struggle to make it to your mat. My teacher, Joseph, used to say 90% of the battle is making it to practice and if you've made it to yoga practice, then you've already won. You may regret not practicing, but I'm willing to bet you will never leave your mat wishing you hadn't spent that time there. Even when I am tired and don't feel like going to yoga and I go anyway I'm thankful that I did and some of my best break throughs and lessons have occurred to me during this time is resistance. I haven't ever wished that I had stayed home to watch TV or do chores.

YOU WILL EVENTUALLY STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE IN THE CLASS. This is hard, I know. I've done it too, and I'll do it again. But, for the most part, there will come a time when you'll forget to look around the room. One day you will come to a group class and leave realizing that you have no idea whether the person next to you got into Headstand or spent the entire class in Child's pose. I am not making this up.

DOWNWARD DOG REALLY DOES BECOME A RESTING POSTURE.  I know that may be hard to believe now, but this is something else that will happen sooner than you expect. There will come a time when you've had a rotten day and the only thing you'll want to do is place your palms on the floor and walk your feet back until you feel that space, that freedom, that this pose brings.

I WANT TO SHAKE YOUR HAND WHEN I SEE YOU MODIFY A POSE. I know how hard it can be to modify when no one else in the room is modifying, not to mention what your own mind says to you when you take it down a notch. Serious kudos to you for knowing your body and taking control of your practice. You are a quite advanced yoga student, whether you know it or not.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Yoga Playlist: Soft Heart Opening

Here you go Beautiful Yoga Friends! <3  

New to Yoga?

GIVE YOURSELF A LOT OF CREDIT

Doing anything for the first time takes courage, and trying yoga for the first time is no different. It can be intimidating to enter the studio and figure out where to remove your shoes, how to place your mat, etc. But you only have to do this once, and then you'll know this stuff (don't stress about these things - you'll catch on to yoga etiquette very quickly, and most studios have yoga etiquette information posted on their websites).

WE'VE ALL BEEN THERE

Even the most advanced yoga practitioner took his or her first-ever yoga class once. And yoga is called a practice for a reason. You will never "conquer" yoga. Every day is different. Your right side will feel different from your left side. Your balance will be different in each moment depending on a wide variety of things. Some days your mind will feel as if it won't turn off no matter what you do. Know that you're getting the benefits of your yoga practice even on those days. I still get nervous when I try a new style of yoga. That's natural. It's weird when you don't know what to expect, and it's uncomfortable to feel like you're the only one in the room who doesn't know what's going to happen next. Give yourself some well deserved credit for stepping outside your comfort zone, take some deep breaths, and see if you can tune into your body.

KEEP PERSPECTIVE

I like to remind my students that IT'S JUST YOGA. Really. Sometimes we forget this and feel competitive or say harsh things to ourselves when we struggle with a pose. Try to remember that it's just yoga. And it is truly a practice. Most people that start yoga are not naturally flexible and open. The flexibility happens organically through practicing yoga. With a good teacher, your flexibility and basic knowledge of the poses will happen quicker than most people would think.

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA ARE IMMEDIATE

You don't have to be practicing yoga for years to receive the positive benefits. One class is all it takes. Yoga is a way to train and teach your body and mind to be strong and calm. It has been around for thousands of years and still continues to help people. It stands the test of time. It doesn't matter if you believe in God or if you are an atheist because yoga is not affiliated with any religion. The practice of yoga simply teaches students to know and trust in the self.




My First Power Yoga Playlist

With this playlist, I first do a completely silent integration, allowing time for the students to connect with their breathing and turn the mind "chitta" off. We call for inner guidance and unite by OMing and then the playlist begins during Sun A warm up. It's designed to operate like a crescendo, slowly building heat and intensity and then coming back down for deeper postures, stillness and maybe mediation. I didn't add a Savasana song here, but I usually switch between a few go-to songs. Most of these songs are instrumental or only have a few words so the playlist doesn't distract and overpower the practice. Let me know what you think & don't forget to scroll through the whole playlist. Enjoy! Peace & Love <3


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why Do You Blog?

Here are my reasons and my intention:

This is my spot to create, share and discover.

My intention with this little slice of the internet is to share and document some of my stories, musings and realizations in a living, breathing on-going journal.

The primary focus will be on yoga, the yogic lifestyle and my adventures as a yoga student and teacher. To me it's all yoga, baby!

Here are some of the things I hope to accomplish from making and sharing this blog:

I want to...
  • share with, learn from and teach others
  • connect, interact and grow with people
  • expand my mind and clarify my thinking 
  • document my life, growth and realizations
  • develop my writing and voice 
  • expand my skills and knowledge about blogging/v-logging, SEO and website building
  • stay up to date, current and informed


Thank you for visiting! Peace & Love, K