Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I received a message from a few people over twitter asking me for advice in regards to yoga. Many of them want to start, but aren’t sure how or where to. I was asked what I feel are some good DVD’s to buy or books. I didn’t hesitate to share my opinion…do I ever?
I am not a fan of doing yoga from a DVD you buy @ Chapters, or some other fitness outlet. I realize the convenience of it. I also realize how intimidating it can be to walk into a yoga class, especially if you haven’t taken part in it before. I’ve been there! We’ve all been there at some point in our lives with something or other.
The reason I don’t recommend doing your first or even second yoga class in the comfort of your own home, by yourself…with a DVD is because of the numerous things that can go WRONG!

First, you haven’t done a yoga class before so how do you know what to do. Videos tend to move quickly through postures with little explanation as to HOW and WHY you’re doing the pose. These two things are VERY important to a registered…REAL yoga teacher AND dedicated student.

HOW: Postures come with different variations. Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. The GREAT thing about yoga is that it allows you to move through these at any point throughout your practice on any given day. Once you’ve worked at an advance level, you may jump from advanced back to beginners depending on what you; your body and soul need on THAT specific day. Throughout each class you should be given the option and SHOWN HOW to move deeper into a posture if you feel it’s right for you at that time.

WHY: As a yoga teacher, we’re taught what each posture does for your mind; body and spirit (if you choose to be open to that part of yoga) we’re taught how to sequence the postures so we may align the mind body and soul. A sequence of yoga poses are meant to do different things. For example I would never start a class in Natarajasa (Dancers Pose) as there are a few things your body needs to do to get ready for that pose. You should be aware of your body and know what needs to be stretched and worked before moving deeper. Being aware throughout your practice will help deepen the connection to yourself as well.

Secondly, during a class the teacher will adjust you and help you (if that’s ok with you) into deeper postures. We’re trying to make sure you reap the utmost benefits from each pose. Other reasons for adjustments are for modifying the posture when we feel you may benefit from doing a slight variation. When you’re by yourself following a book/video you may end up pushing yourself too far, not far enough and could end up hurting yourself due to the fact you weren’t aware of WHAT the pose was designed to do. I also feel that when people are at home filled with distractions they may not be completely committed, aware and present to really gain what they need from yoga. Be honest, who will is going to push you to your limits? Yourself or someone dedicated to guiding you through your practice?

Thirdly, You’re missing out on a few of the BEST parts of yoga:

• Meeting the community and your yoga teacher…maybe even making a new friend.
• Feeling and being inspired by the energy a room full of yoga students gives off...
this is actually incredible and makes me smile EVERY time! Everyone should
witness this.
• Learning something new about yourself, or someone else.
• Being a part of something.

Yoga books are wonderful. They have a lot of useful information for those who have already studied the practice or at least been to a few yoga classes. DVD’s are a great way to keep up with your practice when you’re away or don’t have time to attend a class, ONCE you’re familiar with your body, yoga and the practice that’s right for you. I don’t think people realize HOW many different styles of YOGA there are. What is right for you may not be right for others even though YOU came out feeling amazing. I personally enjoy Hatha yoga, where my brother enjoys a structured Moksha yoga. Both are amazing in their own separate ways, but we as individuals, require different effects and outcomes.
Take the time to explore different styles of yoga and LEARN what they do for you and your body.

Always ask questions and above anything, relax and HAVE FUN!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Physical Adjustments-A different Kind of Communication

I went to a new yoga studio last week and the yoga teacher happened to be a girl I’ve grow up with since grade school. I knew she was a yoga teacher as well, but didn’t know she worked at this studio. I always enjoy taking classes where I know the teachers personally, especially when they’re friends of mine. One of the many reasons behind this is because of the adjustments. It’s one thing to tell a student to move into a posture, but it's a different thing to in reality place your hands on another’s body.

Personally, I LOVE adjustments, more so now that I’m a yoga teacher because I recognize the logic behind them and welcome the benefits. Some often think that adjustments are done to “correct” or “repair” your pose, where in fact they’re just meant to help you reap the full benefits of each posture. I’ll admit when I was just a student and was given an adjustment I also had thoughts of “I thought I was doing it right though...???” This is why it’s important to explain to your students WHY adjustments are done at the beginning of class, as well as asking your students if it’s OK that you adjust them if found valuable to their practice.
Please also be aware that before giving any kind of physical adjustment to your students, you need to make sure you have an intimate understanding of both the posture AND the adjustment. What works for you MAY not work for others so move forward based on the student and how THEY will profit and NOT what just felt good for you in a previous class.

Taking the classes of my mentors and fellow teachers that took the training with me is my favorite because they know me, my style and ultimately understand what I need to advance as we did spend a year together in each others close personal space. When being adjusted they can push harder, stronger and go deeper. I am aware of the adjustment and WHY they're doing it.
Having said that, why do some yoga teachers not adjust other yoga teachers?
While taking this girls class, she didn’t adjust me...I’m 100% sure I was the only one she DIDN’T adjust during the entire 90 minute class. I’ve seen this before, and to be honest I’ve also been guilty of this.

Judgement is probably the biggest reasoning behind this.

You’re worried that the other yoga teacher will think you’re adjusting them “WRONG” I had to let go of this and concentrate on my INTENTIONS. When adjusting my main concern is how you can benefit more from this pose. You may also need to change your approach too. Instead of walking up to the student and moving a limb, ask them instead while saying “have you tried it like this..” or “I’ve done this before and felt it was better for me, how do you feel?” You never know. They may try it, and realize it’s not for them and go back to their original position, OR you may have just changed their practice entirely and helped them move one step forward.

At the end of the day you need to let go of your fears, inhibitions and pride.
Believe in yourself, your accomplishments and most of all believe in your ability as a yoga DID make it THIS far.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yoga & Sports

When asked as a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was never “a princess”. This was simply because as per my Dad, I already was one! My answer was always “a monkey trainer” I’m not sure just sounded and looked like a cool job. As I grew through the years my career ambitions changed. A teacher, a masseuse, a nurse, sports medicine, Respirologist, Physiotherapy...etc... As confusing as it was to decide, I knew one thing was clear. I wanted to work with the public, and I wanted to help and/or cure people anyway I could. I ended up working in medicine and to this day I’m satisfied and 100% content with my decision.

My other job, a Yoga teacher has been the most influential, most moving and enlightening job I’ve ever done. I get to help, inspire and work with some of the most stimulating people. As much as I’ve learned from practicing yoga, most of it came directly from teaching and my students.
I feel lucky to have made it this far and made most of my dreams come true. I am one who is always looking for a challenge though. It keeps me interested and keeps me on track. When I’m not goal setting and ultimately achieving them, I get bored and have found myself lacking desire and drive. At times I’ve felt stuck, lost and confused, and isn’t a good look for me, or anyone for that matter
Recently (with the “help” of a friend) I have come back to one of my thoughts of working with sports medicine and therapy. I have always wanted to train a team with yoga. I know the MLB, NFL and the NHL practice yoga, but was questioned when told that the NBA doesn’t. Being an Aries...I couldn’t let this person tell me they didn’t when I KNEW they did. I had to do some research and prove my point. The research wasn’t Google page later and I was RIGHT! When you look up the name Ken Katich with ESPN, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
Yoga and sports are often seen in opposition. On one side you have the quiet calmness of yoga in dissimilarity to the competitiveness of sports. We say we’re going to “practice” yoga, while in sports the emphasis is positioned upon training. What we all need to focus on in the end is the attitude towards growth and attainment of the individual's goal.
Does it matter WHAT you do to get there though? We all know WHY exercise is beneficial, but why is yoga beneficial for sports?

Well if you’re into sports or play sports, you already know about these top 5 things:

• Greater strength
• Flexibility
• Concentration and/or focus
• Quicker recovery time
• And MORE energy

When working out, in general you use up a lot of energy. When practicing yoga you actually build up energy internally which is referred to as Chi. This leaves you with an overall feeling of calmness, yet power. The feeling of being alive!
Doing yoga can help prevent injuries and is a great way to shorten recovery times as the deep stretches help increase oxygen flow and reduce the amount of lactic acid that builds within your muscles.
The regular practice of yoga aids in the increased ability of your lungs which in turn gives you much greater oxygen capacity. Yoga breathing also helps keep the mind and body calm and focused, which is crucial when the pressure starts to build in competitive sport.
A lot of men worry that yoga is not appropriate for them because they are not naturally flexible. However flexibility is not a prerequisite for yoga. We ALL need to preserve an even balance between stretching, relaxing, strengthening, yielding, and between the peace of our inner self and the performance of outer body.
With the right attitude towards yoga and sports training, we can understand how the human body is made of different structures, muscle formations and subtle, yet powerful energies.

When I started my job as a yoga teacher in a gym that was %80 men THAT was my mission. I wanted to open this unfamiliar door and welcome them into the possibility of being MORE than what they could imagine. My classes went from no one to at times to being FULL and having more men than woman. I’m grateful I’ve been able to share my passion and love for yoga with all of my students and ultimately watch them advance and grow over the last year.

Going back to my dream of working with sports teams I would eventually love to practice yoga with either local sports teams or professional teams. Knowing in my head the vast benefits and leading them with love knowing in my heart what works.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A DREAM come true JUST to be Nominated!

So...I made it into the Yoga Journal Talent search to be the NEXT Yoga Journal Model :)

THIS WOULD BE A DREAM COME TRUE...but I already feel lucky enough that I made it THIS far :)

I am asking for ALL your support and PLEASE vote for me :) it only takes a second...

Just click on the "RATE IT" @ the bottom (under the pic) to vote 5 stars :)

Thanks SOOOOOOO much!


Peace & Love


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Method to my Madness

Yesterday’ class was tough! It was the first class after the time change and I could tell everyone was feelin it, including myself. I needed to wake up and get energized.
At the end of my class yesterday one of my students asked if I had joined the police force because I was on everyone’s case about keeping certain parts of their bodies aligned. I didn’t take offense to this, but needed to explain WHY I do the things I do.
As I lead my class through a flow I’m walking around assisting, adjusting and ultimately helping each of them obtain the MOST from each posture. I’m constantly telling them “It’s not about the pose, it’s about getting the pose to work for you and your body” This is what my mentor told me and has really resonated in me ever since.
I explain to my students not to follow their neighbour, or try to look like their teacher, it’s about FEELING the pose and working one on one, listening to your body to know where and how to move next. Whether you’re moving forward and taking the pose a little deeper, or realizing you’re in pain and taking a step back. Ultimately finding the balance between easy, too difficult and playing within YOUR boundaries.
There are times I’ll walk around and I’ll observe my students faces. They look like they’re in more pain than they’ve ever been in, and I’ll question their motives. WHY are you doing this to yourself, and I’ll ask them what they’re getting out of it. I’ll direct them into something a little more valuable for their bodies and they get it. I GET that they WANT to challenge themselves, who doesn’t? However, when it comes to manoeuvring your body into positions you’re not ready for, this can at the end of the day end up doing more damage than good.
Adjustments are made not to “correct” you because you’re doing something wrong; as yoga teachers, we’re not trying to be on your case about keeping certain parts aligned, flexed, bent or flat...we’re merely looking out for your safety, and overall wellness.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Being A Yoga teacher I get asked a LOT what my thoughts of Lululemon are. Honestly, I LOVE it! Yes, it’s expensive, but these days you really do get what you pay for. For me, I haven’t HAD to spend lots of money for LuLulemon because what I purchase LASTS, it’s more so because I want to OWN everything in the store.

Yesterday a yoga student approached me after class and practically tore Lululemon apart RIGHT in front of me. She was saying how she didn’t like the clothes, and thought they were VERY over priced, and the quality had diminished over the years. I’m not going to lie, I kinda wanted to hurt her, but everyone is open to their own opinion and I can respect that.
I DO agree to an extent. Lululemon is on the pricy side...ok I’m lying, they’re VERY expensive. BUT, like I said, ONE pair of Lulu pants have lasted me over 3 years. You also need to take care of these particular items if you want them to last as well. I wear my yoga clothes EVERYDAY, whether it be before, during or after my practice. I have a set for EVERY day, EVERY mood and EVERY situation. Lululemon doesn’t only sell clothing for the active, but for the everyday too. Some of the clothing you might not even realize is part of the brand. They’re also known for making ANY butt look pretty perfect!
One of the things I learned about Lululemon is they support their community Yoga teachers. They have programs such as Lululemon Ambassadors, Morning Community Yoga classes at local Lulu stores, and they make an effort to get to know YOU as a person.
One of the best meetings I ever had was when a Lululemon educator came to take my class and chat with me after. She appreciated my yoga, my opinion, my life AND ME!

It’s not just the clothing I love about this particular brand, it’s what they stand for, their “manifesto”

Reading these little quotes brings a smile to my face every time. Check it out, and see if there isn’t ONE thing YOU can relate to. They promote teachers of all sorts in and around their community. They believe in being GREEN in everything they do. The BEST part, they’re CANADIAN!

Why do I love Lululemon?

They bring out the best of me, my body and HELP me achieve greatness! Thank you Lululemon!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Yoga STUDENT Etiquette

There have been many blogs about what annoys students about yoga/yoga teachers so I've decided to address the other half.

1. Grooming while in a posture- nails, hair, picking your teeth...really!?!
2. Tapping your foot/fingers like you’re bored.
3. Trying to guess what my next posture is by already moving into it
5. Chewing gum
6. Students adjusting other students
7. Arriving late for class
8. Leaving early
9. Doing your own flow
10. Heavy breathing or moaning
11. Turn your cell phone OFF
13. Leaving your socks and/or shoes on
14. Not coming prepared
15. Being disrespectful toward my beliefs, others and the practice

Monday, February 14, 2011

♥LOVE & Yoga♥

Why do you L♥VE yoga? Is it the way it makes you feel during, or after your practice? Is it the tranquillity and relaxation it provides? Is it because of the studio, the students and/or the teacher that guides you? During and after your practice I advise you all to tune in and ask yourself WHY do I love yoga?

Celebrating everything to do with LOVE today I thought I would share with you why LOVE & YOGA go hand in hand.

Prevents fatigue: It’s doesn’t matter what yoga you practice whether it be Hatha, Vinyasa, Anusara or Yin all yoga will help you feel energetic like any exercise will. This will help with the sensations in your body and awaken the internal organs. Coming home from a long day at work and going straight to the couch will not help your love life. This will only increase the sluggishness and sometimes even cause insomnia. Yoga is a great way to improve your sleeping habits and make sure you wake up feeling well rested.

Promotes Confidence: Everyone who has done yoga can vouch for the amazing workout you receive. Yoga helps build muscle, trim the body of fat and helps lengthen the body by improving posture. When you look good, you feel good both inside and out therefore making you shine brighter, increase confidence and more attractive to the opposite sex.

Intimacy kick-start: When you feel better physically and more in tune with your body mentally you’re more likely to connect better with your partner. Communication is key not just with your partner but with yourself; that automatically translates to a better love life for the both of you.

Appreciate life: Yoga helps promote good vibes in all aspects of yourself; mentally physically, spiritually, and emotionally. When people feel good about themselves, they’ll reap the positive benefits that yoga has to offer they are less likely to abuse their bodies with drugs, alcohol and foods that aren’t good for you. Keeping the body and mind in good shape will result in a better mental state and overall feeling of happiness.

LOVE for YOU: Yoga increases your awareness within. Being happy will ultimately assist in getting rid of the negative things in life like negative banter, draining relationship, careers without passion and purpose, tension in body, stress, and unhealthy habits and/or addictions. You will feel better about setting goals and taking the steps to achieve them. ALL of this results in better love life with the partner too and you can work on reaching your goals together and making sure you support each other as well.

Love for yourself, others and the world we share, Happy♥Valentines♥Day & Namaste.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What doesn't kill me...

Recently I've unexpectedly encountered a road block in my life (another one). I was shoveling the snow on my driveway for the 3rd time... When suddenly my back spasmed and gave out. This was all new to me considering I'm a 27, fit, flexible yoga teacher. How does THIS happen to ME? I have been practically bed ridden for the last 4 days not being able to move or really do anything for myself and THAT'S frustrating since I'm a very independent woman, or it could be the fact I hate asking for help.

Over the last 3 days I've been on crazy medications containing ridiculous amounts of muscle relaxers since the regular drug store stuff did nothing for me. I've had to take more time off work as well as cancel all my yoga classes for the week. The insecure part of me only wonders what my students must think of me hurting myself. I was able to relax a little more when I received countless emails from them containing LOTS of well wishes and positive vibes.
Then there’s the ego part of me. Everyone has one...and it's not a bad thing, It just depends how BIG yours is. Mine...well let's just say I'm learning to not let it get the best of me or be TOO big.
Being a yoga teacher and a yogi of 6 years myself I am more flexible than most. I'm not trying to sound conceited or toot my own horn, it's just the truth. The asanas or poses is just a small part of what yoga is, but being an instructor it's one of the things I value most. After this unfortunate accident I went from being able to put my legs over my head and doing the splits to not even being able to touch my toes. It's frustrating to say the least. I was getting angry, upset and pushing myself and nothing was helping. I had to tune in and really think about what was happening and what wasn't happening too. I had to become my own yoga teacher.
I thought about some of my students and what they've gone through in the past. I've shared a lot of stories with my students and they've shared a lot with me which led me to deepen our practice together because I understood what they needed.
I had to ask myself- What do I need right now?
I focused in on my body, listening to the breath, feeling the tense muscles and moving step by step welcoming the positive and negative reactions. It was my lower back that was the big concern but NOT what needed the most stretch. It was my hamstrings (its ALWAYS those guys) that were taking most of the beating. I was able to lie down and stand up with minimal pain, but sitting was unbearable. When I was standing I would banana back to take the pressure off. This was actually narrowing my sacrum and the muscle surrounding it and shortening my IT band and hip flexors. Having to lay on my back most of the day was not helping this situation whatsoever.
When I first started to stretch I was frustrated and angry with myself (for ultimately putting myself in this position and not listening to those who told me "lift with your legs") I had to stop, reflect, and suppress the ego. What a great opportunity life is presenting me I told myself. I'm able to teach myself how to stretch breath and surrender all over again. Feel what some of my new students were feeling and maybe even discovering new ways to stretch and teach my class. Connecting with each of my students was one of the things I loved most about my job and being able to relate as much as possible to their feelings and frustrations was important to me. As a yoga teacher already being flexible I had felt I was sort of loosing my ability to "feel" and relate to those certain things again. Maybe this was a test or what felt more like a slap in the face... A BIG wakeup call to really appreciate the little things, and definitely welcome the progress not matter how big or small.

The first thing I focused on was my breath. Using the breath to help move through the moments of insecurity, instability and sometimes pain and discomfort. It was proven to me all over again that the breath is an amazing tool to keep calm, relaxed and really does help in those situations.
I then focused on the stretch. Moving myself into a pose. If it was too much I came out of it a little bit. I found that sweet spot between neutral and pain. It was the uncomfortable boundary that I played with and surrendered to. Overall I needed to be careful and remind myself that although I wasn't in that much pain anymore, it could be the meds masking it and still had to take it slow.
Today was day two of physio and noticed how much more I can do and how much further I can reach. I really was proud of myself and was thankful my body was responding so well. That was the biggest lesson through all this. Be thankful for even the littlest progression you make with your body. It doesn't matter how fast or how far you go, you're still moving forward and that's the wonderful part. I know I'll be back to where I left off sooner than later, and maybe even more advanced but for now I'm just working with how my body is today... in this moment... cause that's all that matters.

I’m just going to add that after all of this happened, my computer broke so I blogged this entire entry on my iphone. If you have an iphone you know how annoying the touch screen is and how WRONG predictive texts are. Anyways, I’m pretty proud of myself, in more ways than one :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Props to Props!

I never really thought about props THIS much until I became a yoga instructor. Being a student myself it’s natural for me to walk into the yoga studio, place my mat on the floor, walk over and grab two blocks and a strap. Sometimes, depending on whose class I’m taking I might even grab a wedge board too. I don’t think I could get through my flow without these things. My body is different EVERY day. Some days I don’t have to use them, and other days I can’t let go of them. Do you use props? What are your thoughts on them? Blessing? Supportive? Training wheels? Security blanket?
As an instructor I have encourage the use of props during all my classes. In forward fold when my students can’t touch the ground with their hands, or in some restorative postures to aid in a deeper release. Either way I look at props being an asset rather than a peril; though some of my students don’t see it the same way, and refuse to use them. As I spoke to some of my students asking them why they thought props would hinder their practice, they told me they wanted to become more flexible and the props would be a roadblock for advancement.
I completely understood what they meant by this and really appreciated the fact that they wanted to move forward with their bodies and really see what they could achieve. I explained to them to look at props as a tool rather than a setback. Using them to get the full benefits of the pose from basic all the way to the advanced. It didn’t matter what stage you were at within your practice, props will always be the extra hand, assist and even pillow throughout your journey. I assured them that they would actually help them move forward with their practice and gain the flexibility they sought after quicker than without them. By using props you’re able to explore the deeper stretches, strengthen the muscles in balancing postures and even cross the threshold to more advance postures by taking baby steps with the props as your safety net.
When I look back at my own journey with yoga and using props I think of Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon. I always used a block on the highest side to prop my body to align myself with my extended leg. It made it easier to balance, and hold myself up there while in the pose. Without the thought of me falling over I was able to think more about the engagements of muscles, the spirals of my inner thighs, lengthening of my entire body and finally my gaze. It wasn’t until almost a year later I tried it without the blocks one day...after a few attempts, falls, and adjustments I was at the same place, but without the use of my blocks to support me. I felt a sense of greater accomplishment and ultimately a deeper sense of the pose. I was able to strengthen deeper muscles now and work on different goals within the same pose.
Have fun and try using props during your practice. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your instructor like WHY you are using this prop in this way. Be creative with your props; find new ways to get the best possible release, stretch and ultimate relaxation during your practice. Most of all do what YOU feel works best for your body and enjoy EVERY minute of it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still asking myself WHY?

I remember Googling my area before I moved to Vancouver and the first thing I looked for was where the closest yoga studio was. To my delight, about 200 steps from the door of my condo to the Bikrams yoga studio up the street. I was VERY excited. Not only was it ALL hot yoga ALL the time, but a different style that I would be learning.

I remember coming into the studio for the first time and asking myself if I had done the right thing by spending $300 for 3 months unlimited...without checking the place out first. My frame of mind was overwhelmed and I needed something to link me back “home” I needed SOME similarity, an outlet, and some much needed yoga relaxation. WOW, did I go to the wrong place!
I walked into the studio and into the yoga room. CARPET! Ummm EWWW! Having a Mother who worked in infection control and microbiology didn’t help this situation as a multitude of bacteria (with very long names) ran through my head. I set down my mat and towel at the back of the room knowing that this usually the coolest part of the room. I was wrong. At this Bikrams studio, it was the HOTTEST. Bikrams is already HOT at 105 degrees Fahrenheit; add 50 more bodies and 90 mins of yoga on top of that. Back home in Mississauga I was use to doing 90 minutes of hatha, vinyasa, anusara inspired flows at a comfortable 36-38 degrees Celsius. I did not know that Bikrams was the same 26 postures every class, every time, every day. I also noticed a big difference between the yoga instructors at Bikrams and my home town studio. Back home the instructors would walk around, assist, adjust and SMILE! This particular Bikrams studio the instructor sat on a stool, on a stage and BARKED orders at us as if we were in the army. I remember after about the 5th standing posture I bent down to take a sip of water and was yelled at. No one told me about the “no water rule” until after the 15th posture...or something CRAZY like that! I remember walking home, drenched, tired, sore but not mentally satisfied. I went back (more so because of the non refundable 3 month pass) two days later, wanting to give it another shot...again it could have been the expensive pass, but I REALLY wanted to give this a shot, and like a lot of other things in my life...I don’t give up easily.
The 26 postures were a range of things I had done before and things that (back then) made my mouth drop and say to myself “are you F%#&ing kidding me”
I do remember the breakthroughs of waiting until I was allowed to drink water (still not sure what’s up with that “rule”) laying down into child’s pose only twice, once then going through the entire flow without feeling like I was going to faint. I remember the boost of confidence and energy these little accomplishments gave me and how much it made me want to go back. Eventually the Sergeant like feeling of the instructor and the 26 postures over and over again and a lot of little things finally broke my already fragile state of mind. I ended up quitting and selling the rest of my 3 month unlimited pass. Unfortunately, I gave up. This wasn’t like my defense I wasn’t “ME” while living in BC anyways.
The reason I decided to write this blog almost 2 years after the fact is that it took me 2 years to learn what I didn’t know back then. Put in the same position now I would have done things differently as I am stronger, and a well educated yoga instructor. I know my body, my feelings, my mental and physical capacity and most of all I know what I value, and locking my knees ISN’T one of them. I am thankful I went through what I did as discouraging as it was, it taught me about what I don’t want in my yoga practice, as a yoga teacher, and in the end I’m saving a lot of money by not signing up for a 7 wk Bikrams Yoga intensive.
Having said all of this negative stuff about Bikrams yoga, I can’t help but wonder why it continuously pops up in my life. We talked about it in teacher training, amongst yoga friends, my students asking my thoughts on it and finally a BRAND new Bikrams studio opening up conveniently up the block from me.

I recently read this very well written article on Bikrams

I cringed and nodded and I related to the article. “Before the session is over, 50 or so students have rolled up their mats and left, overwhelmed. I hear what sounds like the chop-chop-chopping of helicopter blades and realize it's my own heartbeat.”
However...a small part of me is intrigued. It could be the fact that I’m VERY competitive and feel the need to DO this, over come my hatred with Bikrams, face my fears and challenge myself once again. Not sure who I’m trying to impress or what I’m trying to prove, but I just feel I need to give it one more chance. This time, I’ll buy one class instead of 3 months worth. Sometimes you can’t help but be overzealous.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yoga in Motion-2011

In motion for a cure...for my 2nd year!



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knowing your audience

I’ve been lucky enough to teach many classes in the last year. Not only have I taught lots of classes and lots of people. I’ve entwined lots of different styles and taught many different levels of students as well. There’s obviously a big difference between teaching a room full of novice yogis and teaching a room where most of your students are also teachers. Usually this would be a little intimidating at first as you think you may be judged on your flow, your voice, even your LuLu Lemon attire?

I find teaching both of these classes very helpful and the best way to utilize my skills. When I’m teaching my classes at my studio it’s usually filled with new students, non flexible body builders and people who have never even heard of yoga. I usually plan ahead and know what type of flow I will be doing, what I’m going to value and any specific parts of the body and or muscular system I’ll be focusing on. This can all change the moment I’m ready to teach and I look around my room and all the eager and sometimes terrified faces. One of the many things I am grateful I learned is my ability to change up my flow and postures in an instant due to skill level, class size, mood, requests, injuries etc...

When put in these situations I tend to talk more. I give directions for specific angles, foundation and movement. I feel I can get the class to focus MORE on their body rather than looking at the front of the room trying to duplicate what my body has done.
I’ve taught classes filled with teachers of all levels and found I have to say very little as they are so in tune they already know what I’m going to do and/or say. Considering they’re already so conscious, they know what they should be focusing on.
I am appreciative of BOTH these circumstances as one helps me use my ability to develop my “language of yoga”-being Sanskrit, anatomy, physiology, and values. While the other lets me simply shut up while the student concentrates on breathing and tunes inward.