Laura

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  1. silina liked a post in a topic by Laura in Where Are You Reading This From?   
    Hi Candace, what a beautiful thing this forum! I'm Laura and I'm writing from Milan, Italy.
  2. Laura liked a post in a topic by MrBalloonHands in Forum Update   
    Hi Yogis,
    I wanted to let everyone know that within the next 8 business days the forum will be getting a big software update. During this software update, we will lose our custom look and there will be some small changes to the layout. Please be patient with us during this transition as it will take us some time to rebuild the YBC look and feel.  
    This update will have a much more modern and clean look. I have been told it will be a little more user friendly as well. We look forward to bringing you a better product soon. Thanks for your patiences. 

  3. Laura liked a post in a topic by kcharts in Evolving practice   
    Hi Tiff,
     
    Its inspiring to read about your personal journey.
     
    My Yoga journey began when I was a little girl, as my Mom introduced the physical practice to me.  I also grew up on three different Native American Reservations in the Southwest so was introduced to the sacredness of nature and ritual at a young age.  
     
    Being a student of Yoga I've explored vinyasa, hatha, restorative, anusara and turbodog Yoga.  It's helped me through heartache, life transitions, physical pain and loss.  My personal favorite practices now are strength based practices with an inward focus.   I like to do a home practice and take online yoga classes since I'm traveling currently have mostly used YogaGlo and Turbodog Yoga classes.  Though, am curious of Candace's offerings.  
    As for which classes I choose its normally a  consistent style which at this time is TurboDog Yoga with some restorative mixed in when I need a more restful practice.  I see Yoga less as a regimented routine and more as a practice so, really try to practice as much as I can regularly even if its just for 15 minutes a day.
     
    Other things I do outside of Yoga are Slackline Yoga and AcroYoga.  The YogaSlackers teachings (slackline yoga and AcroYoga) have been truly trans-formative in my life.  The practice of Slackline Yoga keeps me super present, is challenging and meditative at times.  
     
    To me, our Yoga practice can be tested only in relationship to others.  So, my fiance and I have a regular practice together of AcroYoga.  We also practice with other people within AcroYoga communities we visit.  It's been truly a safe place to deal with my fear of judgement, obsession with competition and being hurt/hurting someone else in my relationships.  And its super fun!
     
    In addition, I follow and have studied Ayurveda, which is a sister science of Yoga, all about healthy lifestyle and diet.  This has been extremely empowering in understanding when I feel weird or when something is out of balance  and then be able to self heal.  For the longest time I thought I was some weirdo with something wrong with me and Ayurveda has truly revealed what my imbalances are, there cause and how to bring myself back into balance.
     
    As for improving poses, trying the pose many different ways and strengthening what is weak works well for me.  For example, to improve handstand - I'll do core and wrist strengtheners, headstand, forearm balance, handstand against the wall - in splits, legs together, backbend variation, etc.  Then I also like to do shoulderstand on the slackline and on a person in AcroYoga.  It works for me.
     
    Is there a specific pose you are working on that you would like some help on? 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  4. Laura liked a post in a topic by mrsjoe24 in Evolving practice   
    Hey-o Everyone!
     
    I've been thinking extensively about my personal yoga practice and how to grow it into it's next form. I'm quite interested to see what fellow yogi's are doing and have done to grow in each step of their own practice. 
     
    A bit about my journey:
      Many years ago I started taking a yoga class at a summer camp I was in. Following the conclusion of the camp I bought a yoga-pilates video that I'd wake up early every morning and follow through. It had 3 sections of area specific routines then a full body routine so I would alternate through them. 
      Fast forward, life got busier, I changed priorities and set down yoga for a few years.
      A couple of years ago I slowly injected it back into my life. I found YBC on youtube and it's been a non-stop blessing since. Until now, my yoga plan consisted of hopping online and browsing for a YBC video that fit my fancy for the day, I'd go through it, and that'd be it. 
      I deal with chronic pain and as I've continued in my practice I've begun to use it as a remedy. The pain always returns in the morning but like Pavlov's dog when I feel the pain my reaction is yoga. It's become a wonderful necessity that I look forward to. Now that it's a routine I'm looking to mature my practice.
    ...
     
    With that said, what has your yoga journey looked like? How have you evolved it? 
     
    Are there certain videos you follow on regimented days as you work to better that specific routine? Do you go for flow one day and alternate with power or balance? Are there specific things you do outside of yoga (other types of exercise) with intent to better your yoga? Do you go through a class or video then also practice on specific poses? How do you work to improve your poses? 
     
    ...
     
    My main goal here is to see what others' practices look like and seek out things I can incorporate into my own practice. Thank you for letting me scrape your minds.  

    <3 
    Tiff
     
  5. Laura liked a post in a topic by yogafire in Ladies - how do you avoid panty lines when wearing tight yoga pants?   
    Apologies, this is a rather personal question!  I just saw how nice some yoga pants look on other people, and am wondering what their secret is!
     
    I wanted to know what everyone likes to wear underneath tight yoga pants.  I don't like thongs, so I am trying to figure out how to avoid panty lines, or if I should just suck it up and get used to wearing thongs (if that is what most people do).
     
    I have switched to seamless and moved up a size for underwear, and then the waistband became too loose!  Do I just have a huge butt for my frame, or have I been wearing the wrong underwear sizes this whole time?
  6. MrBalloonHands liked a post in a topic by Laura in Transparent   
    I've seen yesterday first two episodes, it's awesome
  7. MrBalloonHands liked a post in a topic by Laura in Transparent   
    I've seen yesterday first two episodes, it's awesome
  8. Laura liked a post in a topic by YogaByCandace in Yoga selfies - Yoga porn or Yoga practise?   
    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. Laura liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in Yoga selfies - Yoga porn or Yoga practise?   
    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.
  10. Laura liked a post in a topic by Robbie in Yoga selfies - Yoga porn or Yoga practise?   
    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?
  11. Laura liked a post in a topic by YogiRishi in Relating To "non-Yogis"   
    I've learned recently that people will ALWAYS have an opinion about you. 

    People have commented on my vegetarianism my whole life, and then my tattoos and piercings...and now so my yoga practice.  I just learned that you always gotta just do you
  12. Laura liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in Relating To "non-Yogis"   
    I'm wondering how folks on this forum who have really embodied yoga as a way of life manage their (close) relationships with those who do not embrace yoga in the same way? For example, if your interpretation of ahimsa is to be vegan and your partner thinks spending $6/lb for "happy chicken" is beyond crazy, how do you reconcile it while respecting each other's views? Or, if you are serene when financial doom appears imminent, and your partner acts as though the first step to financial independence is to freak out about how screwed you are, how do you respond?
     
    I guess I'm wondering how you folks have found balance in your personal lives when you are close to someone who doesn't have a regular yoga practice (or alternative, such as a 12-step program, etc.). Personally, I just remain authentic and don't freak out (about finances) or I eat less meat to keep it affordable (as I won't buy the "unhappy" stuff...). But sometimes this leads to tension because it's interpreted as irresponsibility or lack of acknowledgement of our circumstances. For the record, nothing is dire, but things are far from ideal - it's more about not having enough income to live in absolute alignment with our values.
     
    I'm posing this question because I'm guessing that this has come up with at least some of you. Thanks in advance for your responses!
  13. Laura liked a post in a topic by EricaKaye in Youtube Video Request   
    Not technically a yoga request, but I loved the circuit workout you posted on Instagram a few months ago (right before you came back to the US, I think). It is just a little tricky to follow along with the 15 second limit they put on videos! I've written down the order to do on my own but it would be awesome to have a short video showing the workout in real time! 
    Thanks for all the amazing videos you share with us! 
  14. Laura liked a post in a topic by Mamadances in May Project   
    Hey Shannon , my name is Shannon too.. I was like did I post twice? Great job! Getting over the fear of inversion is the hardest part after that they are so fun!
  15. Laura liked a post in a topic by Mamadances in May Project   
    Hello all ! after 1st day my legs were sore after second day my shoulders and arms are sore, I have to say I LOVE the variety in the videos and how everyday is different. THANK YOU SO MUCH Candace ! I had no idea such a treasure was available for FREE online.. A blessing for those of us like me who live somewhere where there is NO quality yoga available . i am one of the best teachers in my state (rural south central Mexico ) But also it is obvious you really take a lot of time to plan each day according to bodily and muscle needs , really thank you so much.
  16. YogaByCandace liked a post in a topic by Laura in May Project   
    Great project and beautiful post on the blog, I totally agree with you. Strengthening my whole body is one of my purposes for next months, so this challenge couldn't be more suitable.  I think I'll chose wheel, I'd like to build strength in shoulders and core to lift a leg (or even a feet!) from floor in that pose, which seems me something inconceivable now  I'll work also on full boat pose to balance.
     
    Thanks for another awesome project 
  17. Laura liked a post in a topic by yogagrammy in May Project   
    I can "sort of" do baby grasshopper so I'm going to work on my form and strength to hold it for several breaths. If I make good progress with it I may move from baby grasshopper to Full Big Momma Grasshopper! We'll see about that!
  18. YogaByCandace liked a post in a topic by Laura in May Project   
    Great project and beautiful post on the blog, I totally agree with you. Strengthening my whole body is one of my purposes for next months, so this challenge couldn't be more suitable.  I think I'll chose wheel, I'd like to build strength in shoulders and core to lift a leg (or even a feet!) from floor in that pose, which seems me something inconceivable now  I'll work also on full boat pose to balance.
     
    Thanks for another awesome project 
  19. YogaByCandace liked a post in a topic by Laura in May Project   
    Great project and beautiful post on the blog, I totally agree with you. Strengthening my whole body is one of my purposes for next months, so this challenge couldn't be more suitable.  I think I'll chose wheel, I'd like to build strength in shoulders and core to lift a leg (or even a feet!) from floor in that pose, which seems me something inconceivable now  I'll work also on full boat pose to balance.
     
    Thanks for another awesome project 
  20. Laura liked a post in a topic by femmefatalekris in May Project   
    i'm going to work on forearm stand and boat pose...something fun and something not fun
  21. Laura liked a post in a topic by mimisouth in April Yoga Project   
    Can you commit to practice for 10 minutes per day?

    The days I don't want to practice are the days I most need to.. So I made a promise to myself to practice for at least 10 minutes even if I don't want to.. Maybe just 10 savasana.. Every time it was worth it and more often than not I think ooh I will just do a few stretches too. Then you realise why you fell in love with yoga in the first place!
  22. Laura liked a post in a topic by EricaKaye in Hashtag?   
    Love this idea yogagrammy! Can't wait to connect with the great people on here and get to know each other better! 
  23. Laura liked a post in a topic by yogagrammy in Hashtag?   
    Hi fellow ybcers! I have a thought. I love looking at everyone's progress with ybc projects! Here's where it kind of gets hard. I, along with some of you all, also join in other challenges as well. I get a little confused as to who I'm following and from where so I had an idea. What if we added a hashtag to our posts on IG so we could just check in on that hashtag from time to time and see what else the YBC family is up to. It really wouldn't have to be just pose pics! I don't know if this is an ok thing to suggest or not?! Something like #ybcyogis or something? Just a # we could add to all our other #s!!! I also wanted to let any over 50 yogis that myself and others use the hashtag #yogaover50. It's kind of nice to see someone my age showing strength and flexibility that can continue as we all get older by practicing yoga and some of the issues we...ahem..."more mature" yogis have! Thoughts anyone?
  24. Laura liked a post in a topic by Vicky in April Yoga Project   
    I'm posting the photos a few days late... but this is what happened at Day 2 of the April project!
     
    I know I have a loooong way to go... but the whole journey is what matters and it's so fun!
     
     





  25. Laura liked a post in a topic by KristiSmithYoga in Really Inflexible   
    Most yogis I know - even teachers - have issues with flexibility to some degree or another. I have been practicing yoga for 13 years (albeit not always consistently), am about to finish my teacher training program, and my flexibility leaves much to be desired. Yoga is not about being able to touch your toes to your head or wiggle your way into full lotus.
     
    First and foremost, yoga is not competitive and it is crucial that you do not push your body beyond its capabilities. Most poses can be readily modified for inflexible folks. "Hatha" or "Gentle Flow" classes may be your best option until you develop more flexibility, as are Iyengar beginner classes and even chair yoga. If you can swing it, a few private sessions geared on learning modifications with an instructor you like could really be a great thing.
     
    You mentioned not being able to touch your toes, so for forward folding, make sure you minimize the degree to which you round your lower back and deeply bend your knees instead. Seriously, there is no need to keep them straight! If the nature of the class allows it, you could use blocks to bring the floor closer to you. For tight hips, you can elevate your sit bones by sitting on a bolster or two, some folded blankets, or even a block. If you are doing a seated forward fold this way, make sure your knees are at least slightly bent.
     
    Also, be patient with yourself - yoga is a beautiful and challenging journey; it's not a destination. Good luck to you!