Monday, September 26, 2011

Do you love your life?

Another inspired post...

Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed | Video on

Mr. Elias said a couple of things in this 5-minute talk that brought me immediately to my practice.

1. "I love my life,"

2. We will not be here forever.

During this past summer a number of challenges have crossed my path that brought about deep and intense feelings for me: of sadness, of regret, of uncertainty. In too many of these moments, I had wished for it all to pass by me so that I could remain untouched by the overwhelming experience of emotion that I didn't trust that I could handle. Of course, in my hindsight, I know that all states are temporary and that these feelings always pass, but in the moment, they felt endless. At the turning point, I had to shift my stubborness around and use it as a tool for self-enhancement. Instead of continuing my limiting attitude in some stubborn attempt to prove my ill-feelings valid, I needed to move consciously, from a headspace of patience and of grasping a bigger idea of what was happening in my life, of seeing my life from someone else's perspective. Whenever I do this, I always come back to the fact that my life is and has been filled with really cool and interesting experiences, and when I really start to stretch my perspective to the number of people whom I know have drastically different life situations than mine, I remember that I love my life in all of its imperfection.

This gets me thinking about point # 2 - we will not be here forever. I have a lot of ambitions, many of which require resources that I don't yet have and will probably take some time to get (money, mentors, networks, experience, space)... on challenging days, this reality causes self-limiting thinking, doubt, sadness, know how it goes. But in my current state of realistic thinking, I know that these means can come, even if the events that will culminate to manifest them are unknown to me right now. And also, that the more I indulge in this kind of self-limiting and draining thinking, I am wasting time and energy where I could be investing them. Ambitions are great goals and ideals to keep close at hand, in order to keep up endurance for the challenges that face us in our lives. But just as it is possible to achieve our ambitions, it is just as possible that our lives will end without notice. In this gap, we live our lives.

What do you need to move or shift in order to love your life? What do you need to maintain in order to keep loving your life?

Be well!

P.S. I will be teaching a Basics class at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks this Thursday from 630 - 800pm <3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Upcoming Classes and Mushrooms

I will be teaching at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks the next 2 Thursdays of this month - September 22nd and 29th from 6:30-8:00pm. A basics class best for beginners/injured/tired/tight/happy people! Minimal trip-hop music and decompression from the work week...come by!

On an unrelated note, check out this guy's talk:
Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic? | Video on


First, if you don't know about TED you do. Bookmark the page and visit it often.

Second, Eben Bayer is a product designer with an eye for efficiency and sustainability. The product he describes in this video provides a resolution to a number of problems, including 1.) our economic and political codependency on patroleum and 2.) the ever-growing volume of toxic waste (not to forget the user-friendly process that would help reconnect People to the earth, the creative process and to the welfare of their environment).

Good lookin' out Mr. Bayer.

((Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu))

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Upcoming Classes

Hello Lovlies!

I will be subbing at Black Dog Yoga in Sherman Oaks on Thursday, September 29th from 6:30-8:00pm. This is a Basics class with a focus on alignment, breath support and visualization.

I am now able to host private and small groups in the North Hollywood area for super reasonable prices. This would be best for people who aren't interested in committing their wallets to a membership at a studio, for couples or a small group of friends who want something different, and for more attention to the elements of your practice.

You can email me at for more information or if you have questions.

Hope to see you at Black Dog in a couple of weeks!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

When do you move to a more advanced class?

One of the things I love about teaching yoga is when a student comes up to me after class with a question...I just LOVE it. Maybe because I am a nerd, or because it is an obvious sign of deep study and interest, and of great studentship...but I am honored and validated each time someone approaches me after class with a question.

After my last class at Black Dog, a new student to yoga [her 3rd class] asked me, "When do I know to move to a more advanced class?" I told her this:

When you can keep your breath even and uninterrupted for the entire practice.

My reasoning is this: The body-mind is complicated and one part will often try to outweigh the other. The mind will see others doing things with their bodies and think that the body is ready to receive positions that it really cannot support wholly. The mind may desire a more advanced practice or feel bored in the current level of hatha yoga, creating an illusion of readiness.

On the other hand, I have had the experience where I was bored in my studio practice and for fun took a more advanced class with my teacher. Turns out that my body WAS ready to support more advanced poses but my mind was over-cautious and doubtful.

In the end, I told her that [especially because she had chronic radiating pain from her wrist to forearm] the most simple way to know when you are ready is to listen to your body and respect what it is telling you, and then, to always come back to your breath. And when you feel that in the most strenuous of hatha practices your breath is sweet and easy, then you are ready to explore new classes and poses.

Nama ste

Friday, September 2, 2011

Faith: An Issue

The one year anniversary of the completion of my first yoga teacher training will occur in less than 6 weeks. This is a big deal for me, just as participating in and completing the teacher training were big deals for me.

Another kind of big deal for me that comes up repeatedly in my life, and didn't skip the chance to challenge me during teacher training, is the principle of faith. The sanskrit word that most accurately translates to our english word is "Shraddha" (pronounced shrah-dah).

I could really indulge on the topic... taking you on a dizzying, uncensored, non-sensical tirade about faith and all of my confusion with it. But part of cultivating an untwisted mind is to use a degree of self-discipline toward clear-thinking. So, suffice it to say that when my teacher began the lessons on faith and how yoga relies principally on it, I found myself in a bit of a bind [pun intended].

Perhaps it is my associative learning that immediately brings to mind connotations of religion, judeo-christian god figures, group-think and ignorance. I didn't understand how this principle had such a place in yoga. It really bothered me.

Luckily, I made a connection tonight with all the clarity of my highest mind, my yogic mind: When I am feeling desperately confused, alone, uncertain and weak, I have always turned to the warm reassurances of best friends. It is in their encouragement, their characteristically good-hearted efforts to raise my spirits as well as my sensibilities, that I trust. I trust that my confidences will be taken warmly and without reproach, and that they will somehow talk me down from my weird, usually dramatic and sometimes poetic self-pity. In hindsight, I notice that throughout the entire process, I never once have to consider if they think less of me for revealing what I feel are my most unattractive moments. Even in my darkest moods, I somehow have the faith enough to trust that there are other people in my community of friend-family that will support me in my weakness, and will be flexible in their heart-space when mine is bent unflinchingly.

So tonight I observe that faith, for me, is not religious. It is not judeo-christian, god-figured, or ignorant. For me, faith is the movement my heart makes to grasp for the warmth of a loving friend when my mind so desperately wants to grapple the issue alone. My shraddha is embodied and made manifest in the unconditional love of great friendship.

My deepest gratitude, and most vibrant love goes out to every one of you!

Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu