Tag Archives: yoga

Resolving to Evolve Your Practice

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If you are looking to take your practice up a notch for for 2014, then resolving to evolve your yoga practice is an excellent New Year’s resolution. The evolution of your yoga practice begins with a very important question, why do you go to yoga? It’s very easy to show up to class after a busy day of work and go through the motions with no intention. However, once you have a clear purpose for being a dedicated yogi you have a foundation to build on. I am not going to list reasons for why people go to yoga, as it is something I really want you to think about for yourself.

Once you have established the why, you can begin to dig a little deeper into where you want to go next and this is where the evolution begins. This process of growth requires a great deal of self-awareness. If you are doing a pose incorrectly and this is what is holding you back then it is important to ask questions and figure out what you need to fix and as your self-awareness increases you will start to become your own teacher. When you reach the point where you can catch yourself falling into old habits whether they be physical or mental, then you are truly on your way to evolving your practice.

As with most resolutions, it’s good to begin with a small, single purpose and build on that. Maybe you are working on one specific pose. Be diligent about doing it after practice on your own or working on the on the pose at home. This is a good place so start your resolve and evolve your practice as a whole from there. And don’t worry if your resolve slips on occasion. The main thing is to get right back at it!Image

The Power of the Blog

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Blogging brings personality, depth and character into a brand. In my opinion, blogging is a fantastic way to communicate and one that all brands could benefit from. To see a beautifully detailed chart about blogging history and statistics, take a look at this article called The Blogconomy. Blogging is a great way to enhance a brand’s online presence. In the yoga industry, a company that I think really benefits from having a blog is Yoga Outreach. YO is a non profit organization that collaborates with yoga teachers and community services to bring classes to at risk youth and adults.

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Yoga Outreach specifically benefits from having a blog because it is a chance for the organization to tell it’s story. There are many non profit organizations out there asking for donations, so what makes you want to donate to one over the other? The answer lies in how well you know the people, when staff members or volunteers blog it gives the outside world a glimpse into the people who make the company tick and that is true for any non profit or business. Hence, there are three significant reasons why companies of all shapes and sizes in the yoga industry should have blogs:

1. Community

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The word yoga in Sanskrit (ancient yogi language) actually means “union.” Yoga is all about community and now with so much of our lives being on the web, the yoga industry is making that transition as well. Creating a community around a blog means readers can engage and interact through commenting, which can also lead to your articles being sent out to a larger network of people as your fans share your blog.

2. Low Cost

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Who doesn’t love to keep things low cost? The only part that is not free is the time spent on the blog. Nevertheless, yoga is all about karma and a great way to start is to ask people to write for your blog for free. Many people, myself included do not blog for money but because we truly love yoga and want to share our knowledge. Yoga Outreach and other non profits can greatly benefit from low cost marketing activities.

3.  Search Engine Optimization

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For SEO it doesn’t matter if you are a yoga studio, a law firm or a retail store because everyone wants to be seen on the web. The best way to gain attention is to optimize your content so that the little search engine monkeys will scope you out and plop you onto the 1st page of Google. Blogging happens to be excellent for SEO because the little monkey’s love new content. If you already have a blog then update it frequently, if you don’t have a blog try Googling your organization and see where you rank. I’m not saying all company’s with a blog are on the first page of Google but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

What do you think about blogging in the yoga industry? What are some other awesome benefits to having a blog for your organization? Let me know with your comments below!

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Be Awesome and Blog

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        yoga-in-the-city-2 When I was younger I always enjoyed keeping a journal or diary, somewhere to write all the stuff down that was floating around in my head. As I got older and especially in the past couple years, I realized that I had many things I wanted to  share with people. I had contemplated starting my own blog for sometime, but put it off for the usual, lazy reasons! However, thanks to my social media class I got a chance to start my own blog, which I will definitely be continuing on with even though the class is coming to an end.

In my class, a great deal of the emphasis was on corporate blogging and while there are many excellent reasons for corporations to  blog (SEO, brand personality, credibility etc..)  I’m going to tell you my three reasons for writing a personal blog.

1. As a yoga teacher, I like to include philosophy in my classes, life lessons, that sort of thing and when you are in a yoga class it is  easy to be calm, forgiving and compassionate with yourself and with others. Now, what happens when you finish yoga and you go out  into the world? You are confronted with all sorts of life situations where it can become easy to loose your temper or fall back into old  habits. For instance, if you come across my blog articles in your inbox or on the web in a stressful moment then maybe, just maybe you can be  taken back to the calm positive state of mind you had in your yoga class and gain some perspective on the situation. I want my blog  to be a place where yogi’s can reconnect and transition yoga teachings into their everyday lives.

2.  If you are an introverted individual such as myself, blogging and social media in general, are great ways to put yourself out there. Blogging gives you the time to think about what you really want to say and how you want to say it and it doesn’t matter how loud your voice is or how many people you are talking to because it’s all written down. I’m not saying that you need to have two different personalities for offline and online but sometimes it is easier to say what you want to say in writing.

3. When I first started teaching yoga, I thought having a website would be the best way to go. However, I’m happy with my blog and I can post everything on my blog that I would put on my website. I can also link my blog to other social media platforms and for now that is perfect for what I need it for. Blogging is also great because I can submit my blog to other sites such as Digg and Reddit to gain more readers.

Is blogging important? yes definitely! These are some of my reasons for blogging, what are your reasons? do you blog for money? or for fun? for yourself or for a company? I would love to hear about it in your comments below.


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The Why and the How on Handstands

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The Why and the How on Handstands

Are you in the process of working on your handstand? Or maybe your wondering how handstands can benefit you? Well you’re in the right spot! In this blog I’m going to talk a little bit about the benefits of handstands and then give you a step by step video on how to begin or enhance your handstand journey. Check out this article on handstands which corresponds to the handstands I will be teaching you today.

Handstand aka Adho Mukha Vrksasana is actually an inversion. An inversion is when your legs are above your heart and your whole world literally turns upside down. Why would I want to invert you may ask? Well, besides feeling like a carefree 5 year old again, handstands have many physical as well as psychological benefits.

One significant physical benefit is lymphatic drainage (when all the old blood from your legs returns to your heart, allowing new blood to be pumped back in), which is actually escalated when your contracting your muscles. Further more, handstands are fundamentally about strengthening your upper body, core and shoulders, in addition they can also be very energizing.

For the psychological benefits, this quote taken from the article above makes a great point:

The handstand is one of my favorite poses to teach in yoga because it shows the practitioner where their fear and doubt lies. With practice, this pose can remind you that you are capable of anything you put your mind to.

Challenging your perspective, facing your fears, giving you feelings of empowerment and confidence, who wouldn’t want to practice handstands?! Now we are going to get technical…

The article I’ve been talking about calls this pose the Half-Hand stand. Here is a brief description for you then take a look at the video as a picture (or youtube video) speaks a thousand words!

1. Come into downward facing dog with your heels up against the wall

2. Walk both feet up the wall til your heels are at the same level as your hips

3. Lift one leg, put it back on the wall and then lift the other leg, put it back on the wall and slowly come down.

Happy Handstands Yogis! Do you have a handstand story you would like to share? I would love to hear your comments 🙂

Top 10 Yoga Videos From a World Perspective

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Inspiring, heart wrenching, eye opening and funny. These top 10 diverse videos will change how you see yoga, from prisons in Africa to hospitals in New York, get ready for a tour around the world to see how yoga is helping people from all walks of life.

1. Sh*t Yogi’s Say
I thought I would open with this video as it’s pretty freaking hilarious, while there is nothing life changing here it’s worth a laugh!

2. Where do you practice yoga? This video highlights some famous yogi’s from around the world (John Friend and Seane Corn) and the crazy places they have practiced yoga.

3. Yoga Prison Project
Going deeper now this video is about teaching yoga to prisoners in San Quentin.

4. Uprising Yoga Heals
Sex trafficking takes place all around the world. However, it’s not something that is always talked about. Watch this video to see how yoga is helping young people in LA deal with these issues.

5.Cancer Patients Practice Yoga in NY Hospital
The most basic, fundamental reason for practicing yoga is to feel good and to help people deal with life issues. This video about cancer patients is not about yoga being sexy or a workout, it’s about life.

6. Yoga Added to Elementary School Lesson Plan
Instead of sending kids to detention, this principal sends her students to yoga. Watch how yoga is helping kids become less violent and giving them the tools to deal with growing up.

7. Yoga Outreach
Yoga Outreach is a Vancouver based non profit organization that works in women’s shelters, helps combat addictions and teaches in prisons.

8. Africa Yoga Projects
In Africa both yoga teachers and students benefit immensely from yoga. This video will give you an idea of how powerful yoga really is.

9. Yoga in Women’s Prison in Kenya
Imagine being sentenced for life, how would you deal with this? Watch how this yoga teacher interacts with her students and how she is making a difference in her life as well.

10. Amy Cuddy Ted Talk
While this video is not directly about yoga it is about empowerment, which is what us yoga teachers strive for every class. To empower our students and give them confidence to take over the world.

Yoga is changing not only our lives but is reaching out to people who never would have thought yoga was possible for them. I hope you enjoyed watching and I would love to hear your comments, please feel free to post below!

Do you have a story about how yoga changed your life?