Have you suffered an injury or chronic ache or pain because of your yoga practice? Do your wrists hurt from down dog? Did you overstretch and get “yoga butt”? Have old injuries been healed while new and different ones scream?
Up to 62% of yoga practitioners have experienced a yoga-related injury. This statistic continues to rise. Class sizes are rising while more and more teachers enter the workforce with less and less training and experience. As with anything, yoga in America has blown up on steroids as practitioners seek the next crazy pretzel pose and challenging arm balance transition. Students get addicted to the adrenaline high of extreme backbends, or the rush of arm balances and inversions. Eventually, they get addicted to their own stress hormones! All this happens at the expense of the original purpose of yoga, the achievement of inner peace and centeredness. The typical yoga class in America has gone TOO FAR!
After fifteen years and dozens of my own yoga injuries, I decided one day that yoga should ALWAYS feel good. It should never hurt, not even the next day. For years, my yoga practice was 2-3 hours a day, and sometimes even 10-18 hours a day at trainings. I lived in constant yoga pain! I now practice for 30-45 minutes five days a week focusing entirely on breath and feeling GOOD. I’m proud to say that now, in my forties, I am in the best health of my entire life. I teach a gentle “less is more” approach to yoga practice. I guide my students to find the ah and yummy in every stretch and be mindful about breathing and intention in every single moment of the practice.
Yoga is a Body-Mind-Spirit Science
Does the spiritual side of the practice feel like either cheesy motivational speak or esoteric mumbo jumbo?Most yoga instructors give beautiful inspirational messages. After a long while of practice, those spiritual messages begin to sound cheesy and overdone. On the flip side, some instructors go deep into Sanskrit chanting and Hinduism. Do you wish there were a class or studio that explains the practice scientifically and spiritually, in a simple way that you can understand?
Yoga is a spiritual science based on indigenous wisdoms passed down over 5000 years. Through biology of your body, neurology of your mind, and chemistry of your spirit (through your hormones) yoga is medicine. With yoga, you can heal yourself from the inside out for on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, psychological, physiological, spiritual, social, interpersonal and more. Yoga medicine is wisdom steeped in the science of the natural elements (earth, water, fire, air, mineral, nature, spirit) and their symbolic integrations to life on earth.
Body – alignment of the body, particularly the spine
Mind – conscious intention through focus and attention
Spirit – flow of the breath through the body
Yoga Education not Instruction
Most yoga instructors are exceptional guides to a beneficial and pleasurable experience of yoga, but they are instructors, not educators. To educate means to “draw forth from within.” In other words, to educate someone is to pull out from inside them what they already know. Modern yoga instructors often lack the ability to educate. They tell you what to do, how to do it, but they don’t help you find independence and connect with what you know inside yourself. Instead, they hold the belief that they know more than you because they are certified and trained. They instruct, and they make you dependent upon them.
As a yoga educator with a master’s degree in teaching, my goal is always to teach myself out of a job. My greatest pleasure comes when a former student shares with me what they learned from their solo home practice. I have taught over 200,000 students nationwide, and inevitably, when I return to guest teach somewhere, someone pulls me aside to say that they took one class from me and they still hear my voice in their heads. And not just while on their mats, but in their every day lives.
My hope is that every student learns ONE simple things in each class with me. And they walk away with homework to practice that lesson everywhere in their lives, continuing their learning without me. Then, they are digging inside their own minds and hearts and psyches to experience the depth of Self.
Yoga Down the Rabbit Hole
When you practice with me, whether through a podcast, during a one-on-one session, or in a group class, you will take an adventure through the wonderland of the asana practice. Through curious exploration of the ancient roots of this 5000 year-old practice, you will gain perspective that helps you to better know yourself and your authentic nature. I will teach you to view the practice as medicine through symbolism, and you will fly like an eagle, climb a mountain, and play like a dog.
Over the years, I have watched and studied hundreds of thousands of yoga bodies and poses. I have analyzed the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of the poses and how they heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Yoga Down the Rabbit Hole is my on-going database of poses, practices, and body-mind awarenesses.