• Social Media,  Uncategorized

    True Community on Social Media

    Social media can be used for connection but you have to be very purposeful about who you follow. There are many on social media that are just looking to sell something or get you to engage simply to build their own profiles. If your social media feeds are full of these types of people, but you want to move more towards a true community feel on Instagram and FaceBook, keep reading. There are three different types of accounts that I tend to follow: Educational Entertainment Community I will break these down in a moment. But first, if you want to build community, the bulk of the people you follow should…

  • Coronavirus,  Uncategorized

    Yoga Is Essential

    This morning, my husband, read off the list of essential businesses that should stay open during the Shelter in Place order. Liquor stores was one of them and so was places of worship. Why? These places keep people from going crazy. So does Yoga. I have practiced Yoga for 20 years and can say that it has been the rock that got me through all my major setbacks, let downs, break downs, injuries and illnesses. I am not the only one. I know many people who, without hesitation, will say that Yoga is the reason they are alive. It is the reason they beat addiction and eating disorders. It is…

  • Adventures in Mysore India,  ahimsa,  Ashtanga Adaptability,  Saraswathi,  Travel

    Turning Failure Into Compassion

    Sometimes, I feel failure when my practice does not look the way I want it.  From the first to the last samastitihi, I want stability and ease in each asana. I want audible breath and a feeling of reassuring improvement. When my practice does not go the way I want it, I feel anger and judgment towards myself and inevitably towards others. It took me a while to realize that dialing my practice down and lessening the pressure I put on myself to be perfect, creates space for friends and trips, exciting new work experiences, and compassion.  Discipline, and commitment, blinded by the fear of losing poses or the greed…

  • ahimsa,  Justice,  Privilege,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

    The New Spiritual Slavery

    “We are all one”. “There is no you”. “That is just your ego”. “That is just their/your pain speaking.” All these sayings have become the opiate of the spiritual masses. The new religion. A new way of getting people to shut up and allow injustice. They are being used in the same way plantation owners used Jesus to placate slaves. It is being used in the same way that missionaries used God to sooth Africans as they stole their land and their children. I am not saying these aphorisms are not true. I am saying they are being used to pacify the unrest that people feel deep in their bones.…

  • Abuse,  Diversity,  Guru,  History,  Justice,  Uncategorized

    Taking Away Attention, Taking Away Power

    “If you don’t like something, take away its only power, your attention.” -Anon Sounds nice huh? Yes, on one level this is true, but most people who say it, are not on that level. For most, it is simply spiritual bypassing and highly problematic. And often, a seemingly polite way of saying, “not my circus, not my monkeys”. Let me demonstrate. Picture yourself going to a loved one with an issue, if they looked at you and said, “I am not giving this my attention or power”, how would you feel? Would that be cool? You: “Are you cheating on me? Your partner: “I don’t like this conversation and I…

  • Uncategorized

    Why You Should Memorize the Ashtanga Sequence

    The number one reason people give me, for why they do not want to start Ashtanga, is they do not want to memorize the sequence. Memorization has never been an issue for me. In fact, it is the only reason I made it through school because, God knows, I didn’t actually learn anything. For many, I suspect it goes way further then not wanting to memorize and has more to do with being vulnerable in front of strangers. However, for this post, I will focus on memory. Fun fact. Memory is actually one of the mental fluctuations that Yoga is supposed to suspend. Why? Because when used negatively, memory locks…

  • ableism,  Diversity,  Jesus,  Justice,  Privilege,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

    Forgiveness + Responsibility

    You can forgive someone and hold them responsible. You can love someone and seek justice for that person’s abhorrent actions. People often use Jesus as an example of forgiveness. Well, there is the “turn the other cheek” Jesus and there is also the revolutionary Jesus. The Jesus that spoke up against a corrupt system and was hated and eventually killed for it. The Jesus that went into a temple with a whip, made by his own hands, turning over tables and kicking out charlatans. This Jesus spent his time with people that normal society had cast aside. If you agreed to change your actions, he would heal you. If you…

  • Guru,  Uncategorized,  Yoga Philosophy

    Lessons From a Drunk Spiritual Teacher

    There is a story about a drunk spiritual teacher told in some tantra and wisdom traditions. For the purpose of this blog, I will paraphrase it and make it super westernized. There was a student who was in line to take over the lineage when his teacher died. He had been studying with his teacher for over 20 years and had never once been invited to his teacher’s house….until now. He was super excited. He dressed up in his best clothes and picked the perfect gift for his teacher. Probably some prayer shawl made of unicorn tears. He knocked on the door. When his teacher opened up, cigarette smoke was…

  • ableism,  Adventures in Mysore India,  Alignment and Injuries,  Ashtanga Adaptability,  Guru,  History,  Privilege,  Social Media,  Teaching Ashtanga

    “Calling In” the Ashtanga Community

    “Calling in” is a term coined by Ngoc Loan Tran, a Viet/mixed race disabled queer writer who champions for justice in oppressed communities. “Calling in” is holding members of the community responsible for their actions, not as an act of punishment, but as an act of accountability. “I start ‘call in’ conversations by identifying the behavior and defining why I am choosing to engage with them. I prioritize my values and invite them to think about theirs and where we share them. And then we talk about it. We talk about it together, like people who genuinely care about each other. We offer patience and compassion to each other and…

  • Diversity,  Guru,  Privilege,  Social Media,  Teaching Ashtanga,  Yoga Philosophy,  Yoga Sutras

    With Me or Against Me

    People are asking, “Why is there a culture of silence in Yoga?” Something that often makes people go silent is “all or nothing” and “with me or against me” thinking. It is the idea that everything is black or white and you have to choose a side. If folks don’t want to choose a side, they will often just go silent. When the person speaks up, they get crucified by both sides for not choosing. This results in shutting down the conversation and shutting down the person. You can hate someone’s choices around a particular event but totally still love and respect everything else about them. You can love your…