expression

Yoga — Why So Serious?

Brian Penny by Brian Penny | April 5th, 2013 | 6 Comments
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: Ally Ford, ashtanga, Bikram, compassion, discipline, disruption, expression, fun, joke, laughter, Mysore, sense of humor, serious, Shala at White Orchid, smile, solemn, Yoga, yoga class, yoga studio

serious yoga

I don’t mean to Bikram-bash, but my first yoga studio experience happened to be in a Bikram studio, and it wasn’t great. What turned me off the most about the experience was the energy in the room. Nobody was smiling. I can’t stand being places where no one’s smiling — my defense mechanisms kick in, among them a very snarky sense of humor. I found myself trying to fight laughter from the jokes I was telling myself internally to qualm the awkwardness, while staying as silent externally as everyone else. It’s difficult to ground yourself and balance on one foot when you’re shaking at your core from fighting hysterical laughter!

This isn’t the way a yoga class should be. Yoga is fun. I enjoy the practice. So why do most yogis seem so serious all the time?

Anxiety to Zen: An Open Letter to Yoga

Bonnie Schmidt by Bonnie Schmidt | March 18th, 2013 | 2 Comments
topic: Fitness, Personal Growth, Yoga | tags: anger, anxiety, arm balances, astavakrasana, breath, confidence, control, drive, enlightenment, euphoria, expression, forward fold, get to know yourself, going with the flow, imperfect, journey, judgement, knowledge, mistakes, new path, panic attacks, peace, poems, relinquish control, resentment, speak your mind, strong, sun salutations, tight hamstrings, tranquility, trust, truth, unique, universe, vinyasa, yoga class, yoga mat, yoga poses, yoga saved my life, yoga studio, yoga teacher training, yoga-practice

Yoga saved my life.

Pretty grand statement, I know. And perhaps other people say that, too. I guess depending on where you are in life or what you happen to be going through, there are a lot of things that can save your life. A good book could do it, a sign from the universe or maybe even a strong martini. But when I say that yoga saved my life, I mean it truly came into my life during one of the darkest moments I had ever experienced and gave me back my desire to really live — fully and entirely.

A few years back, I found myself completely paralyzed with anxiety. I couldn’t go to work, drive my car or even leave my house without a potential panic attack. This anxiety made me angry. It made me resentful. But most of all, it made me an entirely different person. I became a shell of what I used to be. A lot of people thought I’d stay that way. Full disclosure: I thought I’d stay that way too.

4 Tips for a Yoga Teacher in Training

Kim Fuller by Kim Fuller | January 2nd, 2013 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Yoga | tags: authentic awareness, body, breakthroughs, challenges, community, connection, Costa Rica, emotional work, expectations, expression, human development, inspiration, knowledge, movement, open heart, passion, personal practice, physical work, presence, Real Evolution Yoga, resistance, teaching, transformation, travel, willing mind, words of wisdom, writer, writing, yoga teacher training, yoga teachers, yoga-practice

Becoming a yoga teacher was never one of my life ambitions.

For over five years, my yoga practice brought me joy and fulfillment, but solely from my studentship. Teachers had always intrigued me with their beauty, strength, confidence and presence, but to actually become a yoga teacher seemed like entering a different realm — one that I thought could not possibly be as blissful as the space on my favorite coral-colored yoga mat.

But every now and then I would think about what it would be like to lead a class, spreading pieces of possibility and shining smiles to all the students. I would cue and they would flow, moving with ease to the perfect music I was playing that matched all the perfect words I was saying.

But then my daydreams would subside, and I would find myself happy to only be responsible for my own moves, my own mind. Why would I want to teach anyway? It would take up so much time. When would I get to do my practice? If I was teaching, I wouldn’t be learning.

But are the two job descriptions — writer and yoga teacher — really that dissimilar? As a writer, my true calling has always been found in the power of connection and inspiration, traits any good yoga teacher should possess. I like to set my own schedule, travel a lot, wear comfy clothes and work in bare feet. I love sharing my insights and experiences, spreading words of wisdom wherever I go.

So, yes, now I am not only a writer. My career of word crafting has united with my passion for movement.

Venus, Make My Wish Come True

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | May 25th, 2012 | 5 Comments
topic: Personal Growth | tags: affirmation, astrological, astrology, astronomy, destiny, expand, expansion, expression, future, gratitude, growth, healing, journey, let go, letting go, manifestation, meditation, opportunities, opportunity, planetary event, planets, spirituality, synchronicity, teleseminar, transformation, Transit of Venus, universe, Venus Transit

Venus Transit

We often find ourselves “asking” for expansion. We ask for expansion into a more powerful way of living and being; expansion in our thinking; expansion in our abundance and affluence; expansion in our relationships. The interesting thing to me is that when we are in a space of desiring expansion, we don’t often consider the totality of what that means.

Give Up Hope

Marylee Fairbanks by Marylee Fairbanks | May 9th, 2012 | 5 Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships, Yoga | tags: balance, chakra, courage, death, difficulty, expression, facebook, faith, grace, grief, handstand, headstand, HOPE, hopeless, hopelessness, manipura, mother-daughter, parents, Pema Chodron, positive change, spirit, support, third chakra, transformation, trust, Yoga

Give Up Hope

I don’t like being upside down and backwards. This makes Handstand a challenge for me. I don’t trust that my fellow students can hold me steady while I substitute my hands for feet. It’s a reflection of my own limited thinking, not an accurate assessment of their competence.

Still, I try. I go to class and work gradually. First, I achieved Headstand, which I couldn’t do a year ago. It’s a stepping-stone to the loftier goal of Handstand.

Yoga is always putting new challenges in our paths. Just when we think we have achieved a difficult asana, we discover that it was the modified version. It taught me to give up hope.

Relationship Epidemic: Shutting Out Body Wisdom

Gay and Katie Hendricks by Gay and Katie Hendricks | December 15th, 2010 | No Comments
topic: Personal Growth, Relationships | tags: alexithymia, couples, emotional energy, emotions, expression, feelings, intimacy, Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks, marriage, Personal Relationships, problems

Couple fighting

Relationships and the Body (Part One)

Is alexithymia wreaking havoc in your close relationships? Most of us struggle at one time or another with an inability to feel what’s going on inside us at the level of emotion and energy flow. The technical term for this problem is “alexithymia.” If you look it up in a medical dictionary, you’ll find some very interesting clues as to why relationship conflicts recycle without resolution. The word alexithymia comes from ancient Greek and literally means “without words for feelings.” If you’re alexithymic, you suffer from three main traits:

How to Shift from Depression to Expression

Cynthia James by Cynthia James | November 28th, 2008 | 8 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Personal Growth | tags: creativity, depression, expression, holidays

For many people, this is a time wrought with pain and suffering from failed relationships, financial challenges, job dissatisfaction and self-worth issues. Today I want to share a tool to help you or someone you love transform feelings of depression by looking at circumstances as gifts.