Yin Yoga Practice

As a full-time Yoga Instructor I am always looking to expand my own knowledge and understanding to better serve and lead my clients and students. Today I came across this beautifully done 1  hour and 12 minute Mindful Yin Yoga practice lead by Jennifer Raye, a practitioner of traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga Instructor out of British Columbia, Canada.

Wow. In her words: “May we bring the benefits of this practice out into the world so that we not only benefit but all those that we are in relationship with also benefit.”

I’d love to hear how this practice affected you.

Namaste.

I am drinking my green smoothie (today made of organic mandarins, banana, mango, beet greens, lettuce leaves, spirulina powder, and water) and pondering professionals. I’ve just returned from my chiropractor and saw my massage therapist yesterday. I taught a (land) yoga class this morning and read an article by a doctor about the value of good nutritional supplements. As a professional yoga instructor, I need to keep my body in the best condition possible in order to do my job well, but even if I were a lawyer, an engineer, a secretary, a librarian, a custodian, a chef, a wife, or a mother, I would still need to keep my body in the best condition possible in order to do my job(s) well.  

I told my chiropractor today that I felt “freer” after seeing my massage therapist yesterday. I have been incredibly happy with my chiropractor and seen incredible results through his work. Yet, even though I practice yoga nearly everyday, there are still some things that only a professional massage therapist can do. Even though I eat green smoothies every day and eat organic 95% of the time, there are still some things that only a holistic health coach can help me see. I told a friend last week in a conversation “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Professionals are trained and paid to be good and to know their stuff. Now, of course, not all professionals are good at what they do or have the right answers for you and your needs, but that is where you as a powerful person come in and make changes if necessary. I’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results.

How are you feeling? What are you doing that could be changed?  Is your life style helping you to be the best you, you can be? I encourage you to make a change if needed, step out: one foot in front of the other, and be open to different possibilities. You don’t know what you don’t know and there are a lot of professionals out there that are ready to help you be the best version of you possible.

Here’s some of the professionals I use:

Chiropractic: Dr. Rob Smith http://reddingvitalhealth.com/

Massage: Sally Holt http://www.yelp.com/biz/sally-bethea-holt-the-complete-retreat-redding

Health Coach: La Salud http://www.lasaludorganics.com/#!health-coaching/ct4x

May your day, week, month, year, and lifetime be full of health, allowing you to be the best you possible! Here’s to you and yours!

Namaste.

Bali Yoga Video: Day 25: yoga, market, stickers, Celeste and Jesse Forever

Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio was again my playground this morning. I took the RA Vinyasa class and the Core Yoga class for 2.5 hours of yoga delight. My thighs are sore from it and it’s great! I really enjoy taking other instructor’s classes so I can 1. Enjoy and not think about sequencing or leading, 2. Learn new poses, music, sequencing, cues, adjustments, etc. and 3. Because I just love yoga! After, I again had a kombucha at the Bali Buddha Café along with a salad and a raw cocao mint dessert. I am sincerely going to miss these $5 raw meals.

This video is of the Ubud Market which I strolled around after yoga and lunch. I was on the hunt for an I love Bali sticker which a friend had told me a stall at the market had. After about 30 minutes of sweating, wandering, asking, and not finding any, I prayed. Within 5 minutes, I found it, of course. I’ll be sticking it to my SUP paddle. It was really nice to wander around the town and see some new sights.

The roommate Joey and I just finished watching the movie “Celeste and Jesse Forever” and I really liked it! I’m pretty particular with my movie choices, as my good friends know (documentaries and real stories are my favs, although a good romantic comedy is a good choice too), and I was pleasantly surprised about this one! What I really enjoyed about it was the characters were so real. I have definitely been in both Celesete and Jesse’s shoes: breaking up with the guy and then it dragging on and on with no clear boundary while we each date other people, hurt each other, say really awkward and selfish things, but what was so great about this movie, was that it ended so maturely. Even with all the stupid choices they made, hurtful things they said, wrongs the did, they moved on. It wasn’t easy but it was beautiful and they both became better people because of it. (The yoga references were great too. ☺ ) I think this is such a testimony of the power of God. No matter how immature we are, no matter the bad choices we make, no matter how we may hurt others, He is good and the best will come to us if we are open and change to make room for it. There is so much more to this but as a whole, love wins.

May you know that you are not defined by your choices. May you know that you have a choice. May you know that goodness always wins. May you know that you are loved, regardless. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow I fly home. Namaste. Xx

Travel, adventures, Bali, and yoga: Day 1

It’s happening! After all this time, preparation, anticipation, studying, packing, saving, and praying, I’m headed to Bali, Indonesia for a month long yoga training! The hardest part so far has been this blog, actually. It’s the new experience for me; one I’m happy to accept and experiment with though and at this moment, it’s helping me stay awake. I hope my $50 Mac “World Travel Adapter Kit” works or this may be the last of these videos….

Enjoy!

Instructing people who practice yoga

What an incredible day it is here in Redding! It’s perfectly sunny and 75 degrees, and it’s November 13th. I’m sitting in my backyard with a cup of jasmine green tea (organic, free trade, and non-chlorine bleached paper tea bags, of course, from Numi), overlooking the pool, and the open space park that backs up against it. I know, it sounds all incredibly glamorous, being that I am in California and all, but there are real, non-glamorous things here as well (a black tarp along the fence rustling in the wind, the random pool toys littered about, the knocked over flower pot, the large burn pile of yard debris, leaves all over, the pool lining tearing, etc), but like ALL of life, I choose to look at the positive, and celebrate it. All of course, without ignoring the things that need to be changed, cleaned up, worked on, etc.

I have been teaching yoga now for 3 years! I can hardly believe it really. It was this month 3 years ago that I was asked by my pastor to lead my 25 person ministry team through a daily yoga practice while we were working with a church in Madrid, Spain. Wow. What a life changing trip, on so many levels. I had no idea it would lead me to where I am today, nor that I would fall more and more in love with yoga.

I taught one of my land yoga classes this morning and was talking with one of my students after class about his desire to teach. He used to coach sports and has some old injuries that make some poses and transitions very difficult or impossible. I asked him why he wanted to teach and heard a passion that is inspiring. Because of his background and experience he wants to lead, encourage, and inspire more men (and women) into the health benefits of yoga and knows that he can in a way that is unique and different than other instructors. It was a really great conversation and helps me remember why I started and show me how far I have grown and changed.

One of the struggles I have had as an instructor was the feeling that I needed to address everyone’s concern, everyone’s injury, everyone’s goals, and everyone’s problems. As I have gained experience, I have realized that I cannot, AND, I am ok with that. It is much like me looking at this yard: there is so much work that needs to be done here, but wow, it is still so beautiful, right now! It’s about trusting and believing that I am doing the best I can, keeping people’s best into consideration, of course, but also not taking things personally. It’s really not even about me! I have so enjoyed the practice of yoga for this reason: it has helped me to put into reality (practice), all the nice things that we hear at church, all the inspirational promptings we read in some famous person’s quote, all the incredible feats that we see in someone we admire. Yoga creates the opportunity to practice, in a safe place, so we can then carry this revelation out beyond the studio, or off the paddleboard. What a gift it is.

I pray a lot, as 1 Timothy 5:17 suggests, “Pray without ceasing” and have been striving to live my life as a continuous prayer (after all it is not feasible to be kneeling with hands folded and head bowed 24-7). Yoga has been the biggest vehicle by which I have gained progress in this goal. I pray for people’s lives to be changed and bettered through their interaction with me. I pray for the earth to be as wonderful as heaven (Matthew 6:10, Habakkuk 2:14). I pray for people to be healed. I pray for wisdom personally, locally, nationally, and for us all to take a stand for what is right, regardless of some short term discomfort we may feel. I pray for peace.

May my experience help you to choose the higher path, the better way. I could have easily gotten offended at my yoga student today because he gave me some great constructive criticism, but I chose not to. It’s getting easier each time because I am practicing. Like a physical posture/pose, yoga helps us to mentally grow healthier too. What are you choosing?

Namaste.