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  1. 17 likes
    I just have to share my excitement somewhere - anywhere - that today I finally mastered crow pose! I have been trying this one on and off for what feels like years, but I have always struggled with arm strength. Thanks to Candace's 30 minute video for strength and flexibility which I have been practicing for a few weeks now I have finally done it. I'm hoping this newfound strength will help me build into handstands and other exciting ventures. I've always been happy with my level of flexibility and balance, but strength was a major downfall. I proceeded to show my husband, who has never done a day of yoga in his life, and he did it perfectly on his first try... just to rub it in
  2. 15 likes
    Hi there! I'm putting the finishing touches on the forum and going to go through and start some posts and hopefully get a little convo going. I love knowing where people are checking in from, so I'll start it up - I'm Candace and I'm reading this from the Czech Republic.
  3. 13 likes
    Hey there! Sure, happy to share! Mostly I just blogged and blogged for years even though I had no readers. I have a background in teaching so during my own yoga teacher training I had all these ideas I wanted to share and thought a blog would be a good place for them. I was mostly doing it for myself, just to get these ideas out - no real end goal with where I wanted to go with the blog. I always approached the blog as a job since I was moving all the time for my husband's job and didn't really have much going on for myself. I set specific hours for myself for blogging and kept to them. I also was always teaching regularly and pointing students in the direction of the blog. I was active on social media and acquired some readers that way. It was a super slow rate of growth but the people who read the blog are awesome, likeminded people, and I'd rather have those readers who are truly interested and add to the YBC community. If I had just posted 'filler, fluffy' stuff with highly clickable titles just to get clicks, I wouldn't have attracted the type of people I want, you know what I mean? For photography, I invested in a great camera (started with a rebel 2, and then upgraded to a canon 6d) and played around until I figured out how to use it. Over time, I've learned what photographs will be highly pinnable, and what are best for social media promotion and what should just be tossed out. Reviewing products came as the readership grew, and I always try to make sure it's a natural, organic fit for the readers/blog and only if it's a benefit to all people involved. (You wouldn't believe some of the pitches I get - had a casino the other day want to sponsor a post...uhhhh not a natural fit!) There's really no quick way to make it all come together I don't think - just lots of consistent work blogging about stuff you really, truly love and would write about even if people weren't out there reading it. I'm hoping to do more US-based blogging retreats/workshops, just finishing up the spring things before planning the next adventures. I have looked into webinars but the blogging workshop is really, really hands on and requires partner work and I just don't think it'd be that effective without the big round table discussion I envisioned when I designed it. But we'll see, I might offer one to one consulting.
  4. 13 likes
    Hi Candace! It's your Mom signing in from Connecticut, USA love you xo
  5. 13 likes
    I thought the same thing! So I went to Home Depot last night... Here is the album to my little project I bought a .5" sheet of particle board, and had them cut it to 6.5' x 2.5' Fit some old mats to the board, then screwed them down from the edges. It feels great! I'm Really excited to have upgraded my practice. If anyone is interested in building one, it doesn't take long, and only costs about $20 if you have some old mats.
  6. 12 likes
    YogaByCandace (YBC) Forum Rules General Posting Rules • Be nice, treat fellow forum members with respect. If you disagree with someone else's opinion, settle the argument maturely. Attacks on other members will not be tolerated. • Only one registered nickname per user, please. • Should you have a problem with a member or post, send the member a Private Message (PM) or optionally, report the post to a Moderator using the 'Report This Post' link. Do not take your complaint to the public forums. • Keep threads on topic. Start threads in the most appropriate forums. • No profanity or cursing, please. • Observe all COPYRIGHT LAWS, TOS's and NDA's when posting copyrighted material. If the material belongs to someone else, please credit the original author. Do not post messages that violate Federal, State, or Local laws which include, but are not limited to, anything that violates a copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or is bound by NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement). • Do not post materials if you do not have permission to distribute them electronically or otherwise. This includes posting images directly from a website (hotlinking). • The YBC Forum staff keeps track of users who upload infringing material or post links to infringing material and, in appropriate circumstances, suspends repeat infringers (those who have posted infringing material on at least one prior occasion). • No posting of or linking to materials of pornographic nature. • No shouting (excessive use of capitalized letters). • Linking to or promotion of other yoga-related online forums or groups is prohibited. However, referencing another forum via a link to credit an original author of a story, information or image is permitted. • Links to your own blog within posts is not permitted. Links to your blog can go in your signature, which you can create in your profile settings. Buying/Selling on the YBC Forum • Public selling/buying/trading is not permitted. Threads of WTS (wanted to sell) or WTB (wanted to buy) nature will be locked or deleted. • Soliciting your items for sale or desire to buy via Private Messages is prohibited. • Linking your own auctions is not permitted, in posts, signatures or otherwise. This includes but is not limited to eBay, Bonanzle, eCrater, iOffer and other auction-type sites. • Offering to obtain goods for others or requesting for others to buy goods for you is not permitted. • Links to products on smaller or lesser known web merchants are subject to review and might be removed. These links could be viewed as personal promotion or self advertising. Links to sites such as amazon.com, lululemon.com, etc. (where appropriate) are welcome Promoting your business & listings • Store/business promotions in form of signature or profile links are only permitted for well established members with 300+ posts and 3+ months of membership. • Soliciting via Private Messages or spamming the forums with links to your business is prohibited. • For advertising opportunities, please contact an Administrator. Signature Rules • Limit the total area occupied by your signature to approximately 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels tall (including images and text). • Links to personal blogs/websites are encouraged! However, links to yoga forums are not permitted. • Links to your commercial web site for established members (3 months & 300 posts minimum) only. Breaking any of the above listed forum rules can result in the loss of posting privileges and loss of your YBC Forum account. We also reserve the right to ban any user. The administrators frequently review forum messages for those that are in violation of YBC Forum rules. Any messages found to be in violation will be deleted without warning or explanation. We reserve the right to edit, reprint, distribute, or delete any posting for any reason and without prior notification or explanation to the author. The YBC Forum and its representatives will not be held liable for the result of the usage of any information provided in the YBC Forum, and disclaim all liability resulting in the use of the posted information. The YBC Forum takes no responsibility for the content of any of the messages posted in the YBC Forum or of the authenticity of its authors. All opinions and views expressed in the YBC Forum are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of the YBC forum and its representatives. We reserve the right to change the aforementioned rules at any time without warning or notice. By registering with the YogaByCandace Forum, you agree to abide by the above rules and terms.
  7. 11 likes
    I have noticed an interesting debate gathering momentum on various platforms recently, so I thought I’d bring it here to see what people thought. It seems to have originated with this article on yoganonymous: http://yoganonymous.com/end-yoga-porn-focus-on-real-people-stop-the-selfies?fb_action_ids=10155586581055612&fb_action_types=og.comments And Ali Kamenova has responded with this articulate rebuttal: http://www.alikamenova.com/visitors/yoga-thoughts/yoga-porn-nudity-and-yoga-selfies/ There is, as always, a spectrum of views in between. It has raised an interested contradiction in my own beliefs which I am still reasoning through. I follow many of the skinny white bikini girls under 30 on Instagram. I also follow male yogis and yogis of all shapes and sizes colour and creeds. The yoga selfie is a staple part of my social media diet. They inspire me and motivate me. They teach me and help develop my yoga practise. However……! I am not oblivious to the narcissism of many of these yoga selfies, and sometimes you can’t see the yoga for the vanity. There is a phenomenal dominance of inversions and arm balances and more than just a hint of showing off. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that the most popular feeds belong to the young and the beautiful. The very first yoga text I read was The Heart of Yoga by Desikachar, and I highlighted a passage that really leapt out at me, “What is yoga after all? It is something that we experience inside, deep within our being. Yoga is not an external experience…….Yoga is different from dance or theatre. In yoga we are not creating something for others to look at………We do it only for ourselves.” Now I know that modern yoga has no dogma. You don’t have to follow the teaching of the Desikacher or Patanjali to enjoy the benefits of yoga. But for me, the above extract taught me a valuable principal of yoga that I apply every time I get on the mat. It has allowed me to focus on the importance of being mindful and present in yoga and to free myself from external perceptions and pressures. It is one of the foundations of my practise and I cherish this philosophy very dearly. I uploaded my first yoga selfie the other day. I have started balancing in handstand for a few seconds and I wanted to see how straight I was. I posted it on Instagram with a yoga hashtag and instantly received more likes than I had for any other upload (Granted, I am spectacularly crap at posting on Instagram). It was great encouragement; I felt like I had finally joined the Instagram yoga community and yes, I want to do it again… Was my handstand an internal experience? No, not at the point the picture was taken. Was I creating something for others to look at? Yes, I was showing off at least a little bit. I feel a little conflicted. One the one hand I think the positive feedback from Instagram can really help motivate and develop my practise, but on the other hand I know it won’t be long before I crave validation and before you know it, whoops my shirt has come off. I’d love to know what others feel about this phenomenon. Is there a place in yoga for vanity?
  8. 11 likes
    I love that you started this discussion, Robbie! That first blog post is such crap I almost feel it was posted just to start a heated debate. There are so many things I disagree with the author on - most notably the shaming. I cannot stand it when people shame others. This sounds like the type of teacher who gives a crap about what her students wear to class (my mom, a woman in her 50s, was turned away from class because she wore a tank top with spaghetti straps - the instructor loudly told her she needed to change because yoga was a 'reverent practice'. My mom was humiliated and left in tears. WTF?!) And for the record, being in a bikini is about the same amount of clothing that's worn by Bikram practitioners. But the real point is, who the heck cares?! (Related post: Dear students, I don't care.) Sorry, this gets me really fired up. And to say her job is to make people feel good about themselves? I mean good luck with that, but it's another point I disagree on because I truly believe we are responsible for how we feel and the energy we bring into a space. You've met people who are so determined to be in an awful mood that no matter how kind you are, they just won't change? That's what I'm saying. My job is not to make people feel good about themselves. My job as a yoga instructor is to create a warm, welcoming, compassionate, safe environment for people to come practice. My job is to accept everyone within that space from the woman in her 50s wearing a spaghetti strap tank to the college athlete who is so tight in his hamstrings he can't touch his shins, never mind his toes, to the super bendy ballerina type who I know I need to watch out for with the hyperextension so she doesn't hurt herself, to the first timer who is nervous that I'll judge him for not knowing what savasana is. My job is to show people that this my class is a safe place where all of our insecurities and ego can be dropped at the door and we can all just breathe a sigh of relief and just BE. If I'm worried about the under 30 skinny white girl and what she's posting on instagram, well then I'm not doing my job. I'm 31 and of Ecuadorian and Lebanese decent so maybe I'm not the skinny white girl she's referring to, but my yoga selfies serve me well in my personal practice. Comparing this handstand to this handstand shows me solid evidence that the practice doesn't lie - that I am finding growth and strength over time even though I might not be feeling it daily. And of course the scorpion pose progress - I am fascinated by the human body and all that it can do. That series of photos is so beautiful to me - not because of how I look but because it represents my yoga journey - all the hours I practiced when I was happy and sad and frustrated and tired and all the times I got on my mat when I didn't want to... and it represents my health journey. As most of you know, I have struggled with my health for years due to Lyme disease. In the first picture I was uber skinny - but not because I wanted to be - I was extremely unhealthy due to the after effects of all the medication I was on for Lyme disease. The second photo, slightly better. By July, I was a lot better but still struggling in certain aspects of my health - basically what I'm saying is that a picture is just a picture - it tells nothing about the person's struggle, and how we choose to interpret that photo says a lot about who we are (and who we are not). On the topic of clothing I have some thoughts - above all, I don't think what anyone wears matters at all. The human body is so beautiful to me in all shapes and sizes. I am more fascinated by how the body works - how when I see a video of people doing an intricate arm balance, I can see each little shiver and shake the little tiny muscles in their hands and forearms make. I can see how the tilt of the pelvis determines whether or not I fall over out of handstand, and how when space between my shoulder blades is slightly round, I am more stable in forearm stand. You can't see these little things if the person is wearing baggy clothing. Now, don't get me wrong, I live for baggy pants - but if you've ever tried practicing in them you know they get caught in your, um, butt, and then your entire practice is spent picking a wedgie. What difference does it make if the person is wearing leggings or a bikini? Why is it that when we see skin we freak out? Doesn't that say something about how comfortable (or how uncomfortable) we are in our own skin? And I don't buy the rebuttal that it must be easy when you look like that (believe me, everyone has something they're dealing with) or that it makes others feel bad (no it doesn't - how people react to a photo is more about them than it is about the person in the photo. I mean, unless the person in the photo is all like, 'HEY! Look what I can do that you can't!" Then, you just unfollow and call it a day). What I really want to communicate and to encourage people to do is to look beyond the photo or the video. What can you learn? What can you celebrate? What can you extract that might serve your practice? Lastly - I am super inspired by the people I follow on instagram that share their yoga journey. I've actually learned different ways to enter various poses, really cool transitions and other things that have impacted my own practice. There are definitely people out there that seem to be doing it for attention - and in that case, I just unfollow. When I take my own, I'm often either teaching something, looking to promote an event I have coming up (and there is no shame in that, by the way - I can't pay the bills unless I work and tweeting "come to my yoga class" will not reach as many people as if I post a photo to instagram, share a little snippet of something I'm inspired by and tell people about my class), or I'm sharing something I'm either struggling with, challenging myself to do, or a major breakthrough. When my practice becomes solely about taking the photo for instagram, then obviously there's a problem, but I truly think that social media - especially used in this way - can be a means of developing a better connection between communities (#YBCyogis - woop!) and a means to learn. Thanks for letting me share!
  9. 11 likes
    I'm so happy to hear all about your experiences and ups and down (well, wait, that came out wrong - not happy to hear about your downs, but you know what I mean). So glad you have stuck with it and have seen improvement overall. To share my own personal experience w this project: I didn't follow the schedule mostly because I do a LOT of yoga for custom DVDs and shooting videos etc each day so to add a full out personal practice each day would probably leave me with very little time in the day. However, I did my own personal practice focusing on strength building this month. I practiced when I could, for whatever duration I could (sometimes just ten mins, sometimes an hour), and I tried to let go of expectations for myself. I had set out with the intention to even out my left side (weak side), work on tick tocks (which I hate), and work on handstand (which I love/hate). I feel like overall my strength has improved - what a difference just ten mins a day focusing on tick tock and handstands made! I noticed the added bonus of a more smooth forearm stand (I think I might be getting to the point where I could begin practicing pressing up), so that was awesome, too. By far my favorite part of the project has been going through the instagram hashtag and seeing people's growth. It's incredible what our bodies can do with a bit of consistency! So proud of everyone!!
  10. 11 likes
    i struggle to keep my feet facing forward and flat on the ground ...ugh, but i got it up long enough for my camera to capture it the timer on my phone helps...as soon as it gets to 2 seconds i lift very briefly lol
  11. 11 likes
    So first day completed. I've decided that I'm going to challenge myself and work on baby grasshopper (I couldn't even lift myself!) but also try and improve my crow pose..
  12. 11 likes
    Here we go, friends! All the details HERE. Who's in?! Feel free to share the promo picture on instagram now with #YBCprogress to let your followers know about it so they can join in! Links for Suggested Schedule Nov 1: Snap a pic and post your photo on instagram with #YBCprogress. Then, begin with any video you like, of any length you like. Also hop on over to the to share what pose you’ll be focusing on and find out what others have chosen. Nov 2: 30 Min afternoon power yoga & 5 yoga poses for upper back pain (do this twice, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 3: 30 minute restorative yoga video & supine heart opener (use a couch cushion if you don’t have a bolster. Hold for 5 minutes, focusing on your exhales) Nov 4: Rest day! Nov 5: 15 min chest video & neck and shoulders poses (do this twice, breathing 5-7 full deep breaths in each pose) Nov 6: 20 min yin yoga video (use a couch cushion if you don’t have a bolster). Check in on social media, if you like with #YBCprogress and head over the to to get some support from fellow participants! Nov 7: 15 min yoga video for men (this focuses on tight chests) Nov 8: Rest day! Nov 9: 20 min total body video for beginner vinyasa & energizing yoga sequence (do this twice, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 10: 15 min strength and flexibility vid & 3 poses for chest (do these 3 times each, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 11: 20 min blindfolded yoga vid & 5 poses to get strong now (do this 3 times, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 12: Rest day! Nov 13: 30 min power yoga for core and hamstrings & morning yoga for legs (do this 2 times, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 14: Rest day! Nov 15: 15 min yoga for a good sweat & 30 min sciatica vid Nov 16: 30 min athletic morning yoga for legs and check in with #YBCprogress! Nov 17: 7 poses to lengthen and strengthen (do this two times through, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) & 15 min gentle yoga with abs vid Nov 18: Rest day! Nov 19: HALFWAY THERE! Progress report day! Snap the a pic of the same pose you did on Nov 1 and feel free to share on social media with #YBCprogress. Then, log on to the to ask questions, chat with others, and get motivated to complete the rest! 30 min power vinyasa flow vid & good morning sequence Nov 20: Rest day! Nov 21: 15 min afternoon power vid & 10 min slow and sweaty vid Nov 22: Rest day! Nov 23: 30 min invigorating yoga vid Nov 24: 30 min feel good heart opening yoga vid Nov 25: 30 min power yoga flow & 6 poses for hips (do this twice, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Nov 26: 60 min vinyasa vid & and check in on the and social media with #YBCprogress Nov 27: Rest day! Nov 28: Rest day! Nov 29: Detox yoga vid (coming soon) Nov 30: 30 min power yoga for core and hamstrings & seated sequence (do this two times through, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Dec 1: 20 min yoga with a blog vid & 10 min office yoga vid & check in on the and social media with #YBCprogress Dec 2: Rest day! Dec 3: 25 min yoga for travel vid & 30 min yoga for balance vid Dec 4: Rest day! Dec 5: 15 min yoga for tight hips vid & 15 min yoga for low back and legs vid Dec 6: 30 minute restorative yoga video & supine heart opener (use a couch cushion if you don’t have a bolster. Hold for 5 minutes, focusing on your exhales) Dec 7: 60 min vinyasa vid & and check in with #YBCprogress Dec 8: 30 min sciatica vid & improved posture sequence (do this three times through, breathing 5-7 full, deep breaths in each pose) Dec 9: LAST DAY! 20 min yoga for back flexibility. Yeah! You did it! Check in with #YBCprogress and hop on over the to share your photos!
  13. 11 likes
    What about setting an alarm on your phone? You might be able to make a reoccurring alarm for, say, the same three days a week at a certain time. Maybe you just get up 15 mins earlier and do yoga for that 15 mins - it doesn't have to be a crazy long time in order to reap benefits. Think of it as a meeting with your boss and make a commitment not to cancel. If you do, here are some vids I'd recommend: 5 min morning meditation to have a great day 15 min morning yoga 30 min restorative 20 min beginner yoga flow
  14. 10 likes
    Hi everyone, I joined this forum a few days ago and found many helpful and inspiring posts! Thank you so much for that, Candace and YBC community I am in the process of reflecting how yoga changed my life and am very interested in hearing other people's experience with yoga. I started doing yoga two years ago to (re)connect with my body after many years of dieting and over-exercising. I started by watching yoga videos on youtube but it took some time until it "clicked" and yoga became indispensable to my life Since that time, yoga has not only helped me to change my body image but it also made me more compassionate and emotionally and mentally strong. Something I would have never believed possible. Why did you start doing yoga and how? How have you changed since practicing yoga for the first time? Julia
  15. 10 likes
    Oh nothing, just me here, prepping tomorrow's post where I'll announce the January project. This is the space for questions, support, motivation and chit chat about the project. Stay tuned - it'll be announced tomorrow afternoon and I'll come back and edit this post with more details. It's ready, friends! Introducing the 31 days STRENGTH project! It starts this week, January 1st, 2015. Who's in?! This is the space for questions, support motivation and chit chat about the project. ...Need to figure out how to change the title of this forum. #bloggerprobs #nottechie #wheresmrballoonhands
  16. 10 likes
    Bumping this oldie back up. I'm in the process of rekindling my relationship with my mat. I fell off my practice when I went back to working in an office almost three years ago. I had an on/off thing with it until last year, when I fell completely off. Other hobbies, life. .. whatever... we broke up. Fast forward to the start of this year, viral pneumonia kicked my tail, subsequent infections left me wasted, weak and in bad shape. I'm lucky, I work in a medical office, one of my nurses is also a yoga instructor. She encouraged me to come to class and just roll out my mat and be present. I did... I struggled through 15 minutes of our 1 hour class, laid in Savasana and let the tears run down my temples. I went back the next week and did the same. I found myself mourning my old practice, the one that I had left and was angry with my current body (medication weight, stress related hair loss.. etc) Each time, my active participation in class grew and my tears lessened. It's been 3 months,I make it through a whole class now and I have just started to rekindle home practice, now that I feel more confident and capable. I'm still a long way off, but I realize that it really is a commitment and more like a relationship than an exercise routine. My mat is really only a tangible represtation of myself. I'm on the right path physically, emotionally and spiritually. So, I'm making a goal of getting out my mat daily, even if it only means Savasana for a little while.
  17. 10 likes
    I wanted to share that I unexpectedly realized just how much my strength has increased since we started this challenge. I've been working on handstand, which I can only do in front of a wall (although it's light years ahead of where I was pre-challenge), so I didn't think I was getting too much stronger. Well, this evening I was talking to my husband in the kitchen when he got home from work and I was squatting down (kind of like crow, but just before you put your knees on your arms) to stretch the insides of my legs a bit and he turned around and saw me and said, "What are you doing?" So I told him I was stretching out my legs a bit, but that actually there's a yoga pose called Crow that starts out like that, but that I wasn't strong enough to do it. I kind of shifted forward to show him what I meant, by putting my legs onto my arms, but not balancing or anything and when I did it I realized I actually could balance and lift both my legs off the ground! I was like, "Huh...I guess I am strong enough?!?" Which, for me, is a good lesson to keep trying things I think I can't do because if I had been in a class and that pose came up I would've probably skipped it because I thought I wasn't strong enough.
  18. 10 likes
    Whoop whoop practicising baby grasshopper today I managed to get off the ground (with the aid of a block) and hold for a millisecond!!! Yippee..
  19. 10 likes
    One of my goals for 2015 was to work on baby grasshopper, so I'm excited to kick off the new year by working on it right away! Good luck everyone!
  20. 10 likes
    Yey ! Congrats to yogagrammy but really I do feel that we are all winners, we form part of this great idea that Candace had which is awesome , you can just feel the good vines and intention in every single person that forms part of the fourm , I really wnat to thank you Candace and Greg, you guys rock
  21. 10 likes
    Hi, In my understanding, "detoxing" is something that is constantly going on in our bodies - it is the primary task of most of our inner organs. And they (the organs) are very good at that. So I think it may be a bit of a misunderstanding to think that we have to do certain things like drinking hot water to initiate that proces. But of cource our internal organs too can suffer from a too laid back lifestyle or an unhealthy diet. Increasing physical movement or changing diet may help with that. And I do think yoga is a great help in that. I am constantly surprised that I will go into a yogasession feeling hydrated and 30 minutes later I feel like I haven´t had water for days! Something happens, that speeds up the good processes in the internal organs and that requires a lot of water In general I think it´s necessary to be quite skeptical these days with the internet overflowing with personal opinions being dressed up as evidence.
  22. 9 likes
    I needed a place to put this... and this seemed the best place. I know that there are a lot of topics of Yoga in Social Media... and they aren't wrong, they just aren't for me. Maybe, in my previoius practice... maybe. I love seeing all of the various "challenges".. a whole month or two weeks of balance, strength and other poses that might help to shake up a practice out of a rut. Because we are all in danger of "ruts" in our practices and hobbies. I really enjoy watching people experience yoga.... from the very beginner to the most advanced instructor. I have been invited to join in several of the "pose a day" challenges and I constantly drag my feet to join... I watch... but almost never do you see me in a photo or a "selfie". Maybe I am at a place where my practice is truly between my mat and I....... not between me and anyone else. My mat knows that I am struggling to get back to the most basic of head/hand stands.... I am not compelled to share it with anyone. I'm okay with talking about my practice, the physical challenges I am expereincing and where the world me and the mat me join to move through the world together. I love watching... but I am just not compelled to share. I'm alright with this, honoring the place where my pratice is.... I suppose I need to spend some more time letting go, of the things that don't serve me or my practice. I don't expect a response.... but I did need to share this with other people on the mat.... because you might get it more than someone who doesn't make kissy friends with the floor.
  23. 9 likes
    I love the conversation this has started, and thank you, SJP, for sharing your thoughts, and thank you, everyone, for chiming in with their own thoughts. I've loved reading this thread. I have definitely been there, SJP, and sometimes still find myself there. I think that's been the hardest part, for me, about making something I love my job. At some point, it really does become work. I sometimes feel like if I need to post because it's part of my job. And a lot of times I feel like a fraud because I am struggling with whatever I'm struggling with and yet sharing my personal practice as if it hasn't taken years and lots of falls and whatever else (although I do try to acknowledge that during breakthroughs). When I'm in the mood, I do enjoy sharing my struggles and progressions on social media because I get to connect with people and feel less alone in my struggle. I get to hear from others who are in the same boat or who have been there before, and that makes me feel really connected to the people in my social network. I love to watch certain people's personal practice. I get inspired by super creative flows and I don't know, sometimes you can just tell what the motivation is behind a post. There are some people who just have the most lovely practice - and I don't mean just the asana, but the whole outlook and way they approach the practice. I really am drawn to that. And other accounts feel like it's solely about publicity (which I understand on one hand, especially if it's for work), but I'm not moved by it or inspired by it so I usually unfollow. When I share my own personal practice, I like to share two types of things: 1) a really cool flow that I think might inspire others who have hit a plateau in their practice or teaching, or 2) something I am struggling with or just learning. I appreciate those types of shares from others, which is why I share those types of things on social media along with other stuff from the blog and my personal life. But I have to be in the mood for it, and sometimes I'm just not. Especially lately - there have been a few nasty comments and I just found the whole thing draining, so I've taken a little break from sharing my personal flows. I have never been a fan of "challenges" on social media because I do feel like they're mostly about the end result and feel they often focus too much on one specific pose rather than the practice as a whole, so when people began requesting "challenges" I called them 'projects' and wrote them up as 'programs' (although Greg has called them 'challenges' here on the forum which I keep bugging him to change haha). Somehow in my head the name made a difference. Since so many people are visual, I had the focus be on how one specific pose changes over the course of a month with consistent practice and invited people to share their journey on instagram or forum if they liked. This served two purposes: 1) it was kind of a nod to the 'challenges' people had asked for and 2) it helped promote the yoga practice, and I'm not going to lie, the blog and video content I've created. But truth be told, it's just one of those things where 'challenges' doesn't sit right with me, 'programs' or 'projects' feels better to me, and ultimately, if it gets people to the mat, then I feel like I've done something good. But yeah, I completely understand not wanting to share, and feeling turned off by the emphasis on sharing on social media. Sometimes it just feels too saturated. When I get to that point, I just take a step back, turn the phone off, and focus on my breath and strive for balance. Thanks again for sparking this convo.
  24. 9 likes
    i love when candace says "if it's in your practice, take a bind" because it reminds me that it's not a race and i can take my time to get certain variations into my practice well without even realizing it, for the first time, i took a bind in seated spinal twist im pretty sure i scared my neighbors because i was yelling "oh sh-t, it's in my practice!" kind of excited...ok carry on
  25. 9 likes
    For years, I've dabbled in my practice of yoga. Usually to help me avoid injuries as a runner and to help keep myself feeling balanced, I've taken classes and practiced at home. My level of commitment has ebbed and flowed. After battling road running and extreme trail running-related injuries for the last 6 months, I've decided that my new way to feel badass should come from stepping up my yoga practice. As I recover, I would like to slowly practice and learn more about the yoga that I've always loved. Even though I've practiced for over a dozen years, I know I have much to learn. That's part of what hooks me to yoga: the constant learning and opportunities for growth. I'm looking forward to my new commitment, because I know that it will bring massive positivity into my life, along with renewed strength both outward and inward. I am a mother, wife, caregiver, lover of laughter and joy, knitter, teacher, runner, aspiring writer, and seeker of personal fulfillment. I love to travel to breathe in new places and experiences. This is a pivotal time for me as I explore new frontiers in careers and personal endeavors. In my mid-40's, I feel stronger than ever and have every intention of moving forward toward all the wonder that life has to offer.
  26. 9 likes
    So happy for everyone!! Today I did my first full split since I was 10 years old! I have to take a picture but I'm just so amazed at how my body is opening and responding to the practice at my 42 . I've been into sports all my life, I've been doing yoga consistently for 3 years now, I practice yoga everyday and TODAY, I did my first full Hanumasana. I called my husband to watch me and he was like
  27. 9 likes
    my current, favorite pose is supported headstand...i haven't mastered it at all, but i get really excited watching my feet float up a little lol
  28. 9 likes
    Hi everybody, I have updated the emoticons with some new emotions for the forum cuz the old ones just weren't cutting it. When you click on the emoticon symbol in the editor tool bar, the emoticons appear on the bottom of the text box. Initially the original emoticons will appear first, but if you click on the arrow to the right, you can scroll through a few more pages of emoticons for more options. Enjoy!
  29. 8 likes
    Hi YBCers, I went ahead and activated the live chat tab at the index of the forum page. If you find yourself online at the same time as other members, it can be a quicker and more efficient way to hold a conversation with one another. A few people had requested the feature and we are happy to have it. Clicking on the "Chat" tab just below the YBC logo with automatically enter you into the chat room. Once you have entered you can simply join the conversation. There is a button to the right of the page that also allows you to move the chat room into a separate window that will make it convenient to continue chatting live and surf the forum at the same time. If you want to leave the chat but stay on the forum, be sure the click the "leave chat" button on the right side of the chat page.
  30. 8 likes
    I'm really curious what other yogis favorite poses are. I'll go first, my very favorite is pigeon pose! I have always loved it and the the poses that follow like mermaid. I'm enjoying working my way to king pigeon. Dolphin is another favorite! Last but not least tripod because it's fun and a big goal of mine is to achieve a solid headstand, tripod and dolphin are getting me there! So what are some of your favorite poses?
  31. 8 likes
    http://yogabycandace.com/blog/2014/9/4/confessions-of-a-yoga-teacher-im-bad I love this post! And I love your red lipstick Candace! You rock it! I'm really bad, like super super bad. I love meat hate flowery yoga talk (once I was in a class w/ a sub and there were 3 college aged guys in the class. The 60 year old teacher at one point said something like "lift your ankle towards your uterus" I immediately lost focus, looked at the guys and actually snorted out loud at the look on their faces.) I like normal music - chanting makes me nervous. My teacher has some Indian rap songs and I love them, even though in my head I make the words sound English w/ weird made up lyrics. I hate meditation - I do fall asleep and wake up startled when I start to snore. Whenever I go into a place that has a budda statue I want to dress it - put on a fun hat, sunglasses, fake mustache... I totally notice all the cute yoga outfits and have to find out where they were bought When someone falls during class - I laugh as soon as I know they are ok... What makes you a bad Yogi
  32. 8 likes
    This breaks my heart! The last thing I want is for you to feel defeated. Here are some thoughts: are you eating enough prior to practicing yoga? With two kiddos to take care of and a full schedule of your own, adding in power yoga will require extra energy, so maybe just check to be sure you're eating enough throughout the day prior to yoga? (but avoid eating 1-2 hours before yoga.) if you want, feel free to post your crow pose on instagram or the app - I'm happy to take a look and can usually give a tip or two that can help. I am in the middle of writing a post called "I don't give a s#it about handstand" and basically I'm just explaining that I seriously couldn't care less about the final pose. The final pose means nothing to me. But the time and effort and sweat and yes, the tears, it took to get there? That's the juicy stuff. That's the stuff I live for. The wobbles, the quick second I'll meet with the full expression of a pose before tumbling out of it - I love that more than I love when I finally nail it. Like, just watching that video almost brings me to tears because it is SO hard for me to do and I'm still not really even doing the full scorpion pose, but it represents so much hard work and dedication and is a nod to my practice over the last few years. It is so highly personal to me, and at the end of the day, I just have to appreciate the journey and all it has taught, as cheesy as that sounds. My advice to you is to fall in love with this process. If we were perfect at everything we did on the very first attempt, life would be so lame. You are a strong, amazing woman who has a lot on her plate. Give yourself a break and remember the schedule is just a suggestion. Do what works for you and what doesn't? Skip it.
  33. 8 likes
    'Put your hands underneath your feet until your toes touch your wrists, gently rock forward on your hands, this is a balancing pose, trust yourself....' Splat! Lol I just had my first fall doing yoga XD Anyone else got embarrassing yoga fails?
  34. 8 likes
    Crow is my favourite pose for that. You can feel yourself falling, but you know you're not going to get your hands out from under you in time so.......face plant! I was having a headstand competition with one of my daughters a couple of weeks ago and my other daughter wondered what would happen if she shoved me over. Why do shins hurt so much when they collide with furniture?
  35. 8 likes
    Great topic - thanks for starting this thread, Robbie! I had to stop reading about half way into that first article, as it really turned me off. Among other things, the author/yoga teacher/studio owner wrote was that it was her "job to make people feel good about themselves". This attitude is so disempowering, as it places our individual well-being in the hands of another. Her article was strongly peppered with judgement on so many levels, and I was put off by her implication that somehow uber-hot young women doing arm balances aren't "real" yogis. Had to stop reading because I found myself wanting to call her out on these (and other) things, which is not going to help me maintain my own serenity. Breathe, Kristi ... :-) I think selfies are a great way to check your alignment in a pose - I do it (via video) all the time! As a yoga teacher, I need to demonstrate poses properly, and since I am (thankfully) not practicing in a room full of mirrors, I don't always know when my arm is too low in warrior 2, that I'm arching my back in headstand, or that my hips are sagging in bridge. I'm also very appreciative of yogis who do post selfies because they are a reminder that there are multiple ways to do a pose "correctly", and they push me past my comfort zone when I get inspired. Candace's scorpion progress selfies are insanely inspiring to me and because of said inspiration, I'm doing them too! So, post your selfie handstand pics...please! Ever since I started my own (relatively new) blog, I have been posting a lot of yoga selfies. Why? Because I'm explaining how to do and modify poses, and it's kind of hard to do this without a visual. My selfies include forward folding, down dog, scorpion, headstand, etc. - basically, everything I'm trying to explain! I'm also passing on the same sorts of things that have inspired me from other sites - like YBC. And the feedback has been great. As for the young hot female issue...they are "real" people doing yoga. No, they are probably not truly into their inner zen when posing for pics, but that's fine. I don't know how you get to that place with a camera nearby anyway. And they are inspiring. I don't look great in a bikini, but when I see pictures of Candace in hers on the beach doing scorpion, I don't feel bad about myself. Rather, I get inspired to get more into my own yoga and to hit the gym more often. Because she radiates vitality, and I'd like more of it. Women (and men) need to take ownership for their own well-being and focus less on what society "dictates" we should look like. Yoga can help us transcend these things so that society's "expectations" are meaningless. Anyway, I am rambling. I'm looking forward to reading others' responses.
  36. 8 likes
    i noticed candace sneaking in my least favorite pose, savasana, on the suggested schedule...it's like she knew i only do 3 minutes silence is punishment for me lol
  37. 8 likes
    Mkay confession: I almost cried on my yoga mat yesterday. I've read that some people feel an emotional release after doing lots of heart-opening and I've always been skeptical about this. Whelp, I definitely felt the tears welling up after practicing dancer's pose. I think it's stemming from a bit of pent-up frustration because I don't really feel or see any progress in my chosen pose. My back has been feeling a little tighter than usual; maybe I'm focusing too much on spinal flexion and extension? Maybe I should do some more rotation and twists? I dunno, but I took a step back and didn't practice my chosen pose today. I might have to avoid it for a while and then come back to it. I'm trying to honor my body, but it's pretty hard when my ego thinks that I can keep pushing it. Ah here's to being patient with myself!
  38. 8 likes
    I can't believe that 2 weeks have already passed. My sad core strength and even more pitiable upper body strength have both increased substantially during these past 2 weeks and I definitely feel like celebrating. Rather than choose one pose, I opted for two and practice chaturanga and Utthita hasta padangustasana C daily. I can also lift my legs MUCH higher. While chaturanga is definitely my weaker pose, I have seen so much progress in just being able to get into the pose and hold it for longer than a breath. My progress may seem small, my confidence and personal happiness in my practice have bloomed.
  39. 8 likes
    I started quite a few years ago, but only very gentle, basic yoga. It was when my son was little, and I was working a stressful job. I'd come home after wrangling kids, shopping, housework, on top of my stressful 9-5 and I found by the end of the day my poor back and not to mention head were so sore and tired. I started with some very gentle yoga in my bedroom with a candle to de-stress at the end of each day. Then one day a colleague of mine who was in charge of trying to motivate people to be healthy (she'd bring in fruit in order to try to get some of the men working there to lay off the donuts and into some organic fruit) suggested I come with her to this "Bikram thing" with her one evening. I sort of hated it at first, but ended up going back, and back again. I liked going with her for the company, and then kind of fell in love with yoga as it was really the only way I'd felt graceful or flexible or in some way talented since my old gymnastics days, which I'd given up way too prematurely when I was young. I liked challenging myself as I'm not competitive so haven't enjoyed competitive sports, and loved seeing my progress from week to week. It was only really since I discovered Candace's videos a few months ago that I've progressed from being just flexible to being flexible as well as becoming physically strong, which I have always lacked. I'm still working very hard on meditation and mindfulness, and not letting the mind wander during yoga, but for now I'm really enjoying progressing even further in my poses. I've also started doing classes with my husband fairly locally at a new studio overlooking a lake which focuses on not just poses but also mixed with breathing exercises and meditation. I'm really enjoying the relaxation aspects, as well as bonding with that guy that I married
  40. 8 likes
    I stumbled on a youtube video called "Standing spine twist" and thought I would try it. I have been dealing with back issues for over 20 years and just thought why not? I did it everyday for two weeks straight and couldn't believe the release it generated. Since it was also attached to yoga videos I started digging around in the beginner section until I found some I was comfortable with. I have been doing it almost daily since then (April 2014). The improvements are incredible. I haven't had not even a spasm since then. Yesterday I ran a chainsaw and split wood all day. That would usually leave me wrecked the next day. But today I got up and did 2 of Candace's videos and practiced headstands. Also for the first time my nose touched my knee in forward fold. 9 months ago I couldn't hardly tie my shoes. I can't imagine I would ever stop but rather keep creating more and more distance from my previous physical self. Thank you to all who encourage and especially those who work hard to post videos on how to do this. It has changed my life.
  41. 8 likes
    I started doing yoga because it seemed like a good way to get in better shape that didn't require too much stuff, a lot of space, or a high ceiling. This only worked for a little while. Because I wanted to lose weight so badly, I would force myself to do strenuous practices on days when my depression was bad and I wasn't really up to it. When I'm not really up to it, I get frustrated and angry at myself when I can't keep up or when a pose doesn't feel right or when my wrists still hurt even after reading every tip ever written about avoiding wrist pain. Basically I ended up hating myself and yoga, stopped exercising altogether, and put on another ten pounds. When I fail, I fail spectacularly. So I don't look to yoga to help me lose weight anymore. I know it can help others do that, and I'm genuinely glad for that, but if I put that expectation on my yoga practice I'm going to ruin it with my crazy and end up with no yoga and no weight loss. Eventually I'd like to be able to physically challenge myself again, but right now all I'm looking to yoga for is to help me be a little happier and a little saner. Which it does, on the too-infrequent occasions I'm motivated enough to actually do it. That's so rad you were able to get to a better place, Julia. It's really helpful to hear it's possible.
  42. 8 likes
    Hello all! This new year is starting off wonderfully, and I'm pumped to see my yoga practice improve. I chose to work on 3-legged dog, mostly because I need to work on core/back strength, and I have problems with my hips, so I feel that it's a pretty well-rounded choice to cover all those areas! I will be posting my "before" pose on insta and on my profile here as well. I have never participated in a challenge that had as much support as this one does! It scares me a little, and makes me want to be shy, but hopefully I can make the most of it. Cheers to the new year, and good luck to everyone.
  43. 8 likes
    Initially, I was going to do supported headstand because I find the pose fun, but then I realized I should probably try a pose I consistently avoid lol. So baby grasshopper it is...Idk why I find it more challenging than crow or supported headstand, but it's definitely a struggle for me Good luck everyone
  44. 8 likes
    I found this challenge on pinterest this morning and I just signed up here so I could join in. I had already made crow pose my New Year's Yoga Pose Resolution (that's a bit of a mouthful). I definitely need to improve my upper body strength, since any arm balances that require hands instead of forearms on the floor are currently one of my biggest challenges. I'm hoping that this challenge will help my baby crow grow up into a real, grown-up crow!
  45. 8 likes
    I avoided yoga for years (to my own detriment) because I was turned off by what I perceived as the combination of materialism and spirituality-lite that the modern culture of yoga in the west seemed to represent. And I really didn’t like that it seemed to be turning into a status marker, that having the time to devote to yoga and the money to invest in a pricey yoga wardrobe was sort of a class signifier. But I realized that it doesn’t pay to throw out the baby with the bathwater and that yoga has a lot to offer, and what it has to offer is bigger and more powerful than – and will outlast – the contemporary cultural associations that I may not find so tasteful. And anyway, if some people are initially attracted to yoga because of the cute Lululemon leggings, and they find some meaningful benefit from doing yoga, then isn’t that still a good thing? Is it my place to judge anyone’s reason for doing yoga? This is a good question for me, because becoming less judgmental has been one of my major goals as I get older. In a time when ideas can spread across the farthest reaches of the globe, humans looking to tend to their mental and physical well-being can choose from any number of spiritual and religious traditions, psychotherapy, pharmaceuticals, dietary practices, exercise regimens, systems of meditation, and more. In some ways this is overwhelming, and it is bound to lead to a cafeteria approach – picking and choosing what works rather than dedicating oneself fully to a single practice or tradition. I don’t see that as good or bad, it just is. If one person wants to get more into yoga as a full “system” and someone else just wants to do the postures for 90 minutes three times a week, I think that's fine. What is clear is that most of us need something to keep from being tossed about on the waves of modern life filled with constant stressors and intrusions on our mental peace. For many people, that might be sugar, alcohol, drugs, shopping, zoning out in front of the TV, etc. Life is hard, and I myself am not giving up my red wine any time soon. But I believe that yoga helps, and it helps even if “all” you do is the asanas. I’m not in it for spiritual reasons per se, but I know that when you do good for your body, you do good for your mind, and yes my “spirit” benefits from yoga. Even just looking at it as a physical system, I am constantly amazed at how thorough, deep and effective yoga is. I’m not going to renounce such a great practice because I wasn’t born to the culture that came up with it. I count myself lucky to live in a time when I can benefit from the wisdom of people across the ages and across the globe! And as for yoga at the YMCA, etc., I would actually like to see yoga become *more* democratized, and for more men, older people, heavier people, people with unfancy workout clothes, etc., to have access to it and feel that it is for them too. Will it become "watered down" by virtue of becoming more widespread? Is that bad? Interesting questions to think about!
  46. 8 likes
    Great topic. I know of one teacher who turns his nose up at any creative workshop or yoga activity (in his city the new thing is yoga in breweries), says there's no need to have retreats, says we don't need special yoga mats or special yoga clothes, nor music. He says if you don't chant before your practice that you're not really doing yoga. He goes to India regularly and he believes very firmly in maintaining the tradition. And to that I think - man, when you spew negativity even though you're coming from what I think is a good intention (trying to maintain the tradition and heritage of yoga), it doesn't negate the fact that you're going against the true meaning of yoga - union and togetherness - by intending to discredit teachers who lead retreats or come up with various workshops. How do we know that these teachers aren't leading their classes with a deep respect to the tradition yet presenting it in a way that appeals to people in the west? I personally don't drink beer so teaching yoga in a brewery is not for me, but really, who is that yoga instructor hurting? If anything, is he or she not bringing something wonderful to people who might otherwise not be inclined to practice? Sure, maybe the practice for most of the participants is mostly physical, but in my experience that's usually the first step toward moving in a more spiritual direction. And if someone doesn't take that step, then they'll surely just stay with the asana and benefit physically from the movement. What is so wrong with that, provided the instructor really is leading a yoga class rather than a fitness class? We can go around and around with it and if we look at other aspects of our lives, it's like where do we draw the line between appropriation and cultural exchange? Sushi with chopsticks? Chipotle? Dreadlocks? Yoga?
  47. 8 likes
    Man, I have really thought about this a lot in the past. I've found it is good for me to be quiet and stop questioning when I can directly deduce that I'm not hurting anyone. But in the interest of exploring the topic... Personally, I do not ever feel as though I am appropriating a culture because my practice is my full body prayer. My best practice is private. I don't mind saying that it's the only 'prayer' that I have ever executed with entirely good intentions and regular attention. I remain devoted because it served me when I had nothing to give and basically felt like my life was a long catastrophe that I was waiting out. I am humble on my mat, and can now sit with all of the blackness that drove me there. I am never going to India (they don't need me there) and I am not throwing myself completely into something dogmatic because that is against my nature and feeds into the falseness of new-wave American yoga culture that is, yes, driven by money. The number one way to be disrespectful is to be INSINCERE and wear, preach, market something that will fade out of your life as soon as you find Jesus, or Crossfit. Intention matters. In the end, I am so grateful to the good teachers I have known who have traveled and studied (history, anatomy, tradition, language) so as to pass on what they've learned in a respectful way. That- doing things thoroughly, so as to benefit others- is very valuable to humanity. It will never nullify abuse and oppression, but it doesn't feed it.
  48. 8 likes
    I have practiced yoga for several years with varying levels of commitment. I have had months when I practiced daily, and months when I neglected my mat, and months where I practiced somewhere in between the two extremes. Between parenting, working, taking care of a household, and all of life's other busy-ness it is too easy to let go of the priority to take care of myself. About eight weeks ago, I vowed to commit to my practice once again, to explore why I so often break the commitment even though I reap amazing benefits, and to work toward a daily practice. I am currently practicing five days a week, both at home and at a local studio. Good luck to you, Wildore! I think that 3x per week is a great goal, but I know for me, I have to get to my mat every day, even if it is for just a quick meditation, a ten-minute video, or a couple rounds of sun salutations. I think it helps me keep it a priority. Here are some things I have found that help me get to my mat regularly: I leave my mat out, unrolled, ready to welcome me at any moment. It is in a room that is also used for other purposes; it is not a perfect nor beautifully decorated yoga sanctuary (although I did create a little altar near the mat to make the space seem a bit more sacred and with purpose). The point is, it can be anywhere--the kitchen, the hallway, wherever. I set my alarm for the same time each weekday, 5:30am, and go immediately to my mat (I do this even if I plan on taking a studio class later in the day.). Some mornings I eagerly go, some mornings the thoughts in my head are like a small child, throwing a tantrum. I go anyway. This is how I discovered Candace. I was looking for gentle morning yoga videos, as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Just something to get me moving on my mat. Somedays 10 minutes only, and I am off to enjoy my favorite cup of coffee. Other mornings, I stay longer, a 30+ minute practice feels good. I think Sun Salutations are a great way to build strength needed for more advanced poses. I keep a yoga journal. I think this has been the number one tool to keep my motivation high. After each yoga practice, I take a few minutes to write the date, time, where I practiced (@home or @studio/teacher), and the duration. Then I jot down something about the practice: how did I feel, what pose did I enjoy the most, what pose did I resist the most, did I feel focused/distracted, did I have any proud moments in this practice? I don't want to have to skip a day, so it has been a good incentive for me. I try to keep yoga current in my mind: I read yoga-related or yoga-inspired writing (e.g. currently reading Pema Chodron), I seek out yoga online via video (Candace!), Pinterest, blogs, this forum, et cetera. I am also working my way through the e-book Forty Days of Yoga (http://www.amazon.com/Forty-Days-Yoga-Kara-Leah-Grant/dp/0473239582/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414467712&sr=1-1) which is good read as I work toward my goal of a home practice. I try to do yoga poses throughout the day: tree pose while washing the dishes; plank pose during TV commercial, downward dog while I am talking to the kids about their homework (they have gotten used to talking to me while I am upside down lol). No, it doesn't replace a full practice, but it helps build strength which I am eager to bring to the mat. I write it on my calendar, just like any other appointment or important event. I am enjoying reading what inspires others to show up at the mat regularly!
  49. 8 likes
    I use mala beads. I find them especially helpful when I'm really stressed out and my brain is all over the place. Having something to physically touch and knowing that there's an "end" just somehow calms my thoughts and lets me totally focus. At some retreats I've done, if I know the group is comprised of beginners, I'll do the first few meditation classes with music because I've received feedback that it's "easier" to meditate with music. Then later in the week I'll play OM chanting and then I'll introduce silent meditation. It's a nice way, too, over the course of the week, to build up a couple techniques to call upon after.
  50. 8 likes
    I just think it's so important to be your authentic self as a teacher. If deity stories, chanting, or kriyas don't speak to you, then don't try to force them in your teaching. If you geek out over anatomy, share that passion with your students--telling them exactly what is happening in their bodies can open up whole new worlds for them. If you studied philosophy or anthropology or science--something that seems unrelated to yoga to the layperson, but where you see symbolic chains of association, share them! Your students will begin to see that yoga isn't a separate thing they do for an hour a day a few days a week--it's connected to other interests and elements of their lives, of society and culture, and of human history!