Welcome to Yogi Sticks!

Do you know your Gomukasana from your Adho Mukha Svanasana? Is your Vrksasana all it can be? And how do you feel about Supta Baddha Konasana? Do you know what I'm even talking about?

Sometimes the Sanskrit - however beautiful it sounds - is not very helpful. So, to encourage my students to expand their yoga practice into their home, I sketch the poses we practice during class on a chart and add the Sanskrit and common name. Hopefully, this is a useful tool to help them along in their yogic journey. I also troll the internet, books, and journals to find interesting articles about yoga and the yogic lifestyle.

Family Yoga

It's not too late to register for Family Yoga. The first Saturday of each month at 10:30 at Yoga4All is a special class for children and their families. The next class is October 1st - space is limited!

What is Yoga?

Here are some thoughts from various internationally recognized yoga instructors and philosophers about what yoga really is (and isn't):

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Seminole Rec Center

I've just started a new class at Seminole Recreation Center (off 113th Ave). It is every Wednesday from 10:00 to 11:00. Rec members only pay $6! If you don't have a rec card, then it is $11.  Share yoga!

If You're Happy And You Know It...

A wonderful article about being happy NOW - not waiting until later, when everything is "perfect" for happiness to magically wash over you.

Welcome New Yogis!

To the new yogis from my beginner's class this morning, welcome to YogiSticks! I hope this blog gives you a glimpse into the many facets of a yoga lifestyle, as well as some practical information on creating your own practice using the drawings and class outlines as a guide. I'd like to recommend some posts to my new readers: Why do Yoga?, Savasana, Om, and Beginner's Yoga as a brief overview of common yoga practices. 

Again, welcome to the wonderful world of yoga. I hope you have found a "home away from home" with the studio and in my classes.


Back to School Yoga

As I pack my own kids off to school, I try to remind them to think and behave like a yogi: kind in thought and action, breathe, be present and aware, etc. Here is a great article that goes even further.

Have a wonderful school year - and thank you to all the teachers out there!

Guided Meditation

Usually, I lead my students into savasana with a brief relaxation technique - picturing something, mentally tracing the outline of their body, special breathing, etc. Last week, I used a guided meditation from the book "Complete Relaxation" by Steven Kravette. It's an older book (1979) and the writing is a combination of poetry and prose. After a great amount of positive feedback, I figured I should post the meditation - maybe you can use it, too!

Clean That Mat!

Eventually, most of us come to realize that the practice of yoga is more than just poses on the mat. It begins to seep into every aspect of our lives. One way to practice your yoga is through saucha, the cleanliness of body, mind, and environment. To that end, here's a recipe for cleaning your mat:

The recipe is simple.
  • one part vinegar
  • three parts water
  • 10 drops tea tree oil (optional)
  • a couple drops lavender oil (optional)
Practice saucha and keep your mat clean
You could put this in a spray bottle, or just place your mat in a bathtub, barely cover with lukewarm water, pour in a couple glugs of vinegar and dashes of oils. Then swish it around for a bit. Lift the mat out of the water and hang outside on an overcast day to dry (this could take a while, and too much direct sun can break down the mat material).

Schedule for the Summer

Over the summer, I will still be teaching at 5:30 on Mondays and 7:00 on Wednesdays at the Yoga 4 All studio. Additionally, from June 7th through July 5th,  I will be subbing on Indian Shores on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.  The classes are in the Indian Shores Community Center next door to the Salt Rock Grill and they are only $6! I hope you can make it - maybe we'll go to the Lighthouse for coffee and donuts after class?

5-9 Wide Angles, 5-11 Twists, 5-16 Lotus

 Lots of internal rotation (Warrior 1, pyramid, Warrior 3, yoga splits, hero) and external rotation (tree, wide angle series, frog, janu sirsasana) of the hips in tonight's class.

Quote for class: "No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." -Helen Keller
 Is there anyone who doesn't love a twist (whether in yoga or with Chubby Checker)? Wringing out your spine is such a treat, but finding ways to reach each part of our spine is sometimes a challenge. Hopefully the twist variations we did in Wednesday evening's class got to the good stuff for you!

Melody Beattie provided the quote for tonight: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, rings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Oh, lotus pose! The iconic stereotype of a yogi deep in meditation. If only getting into this pose was as peaceful as the image in our minds! Here's the thing: if your knees are aching in the pose (first, don't do it!), then it is probably your hips that are tight.  So tonight we worked through some poses aimed at stretching and stabilizing our "body's junk drawer".

Tonight's quote was from a French proverb: "Gratitude is the heart's memory"

5-2 Standing Poses and 5-4 Moon Salutation variation

Just a general class exploring some of the more common standing poses, building strength and practicing alignment. If you haven't tried downward facing dog with your heels up the wall, give it a try. It changes the entire feel of the dog...in a good way.

The quote for tonight is actually a Sanskrit chant (translated): "May all beings in all realms experience joy."

I think there are probably as many variations on the Moon Salutation as there are yogis practicing. To me, a moon salutation should revovle around the side body (whereas Sun Salutations are usually front/back body focused). So starting with Mountain and working through forward fold, then reversing the poses back to mountain (first one side, then the other) creates a version of a moon salutation. Be creative and do what feels good!

Tonight's quote is about attitude: "There is no duty we so much under-rate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world." -Robert Louis Stevenson

4-25 Core and 4-27 Posture

 Monday night was everyone's favorite (even though you won't admit it!) - core work. We were looking to plug into those transverse abdominals - take a look on Google for more information than you'd ever care to know about the TA. Be sure during the practice you imagine your spine pressing into the mat, like leaving a footprint.

Walt Whitman provided tonight's quote: "I am large; I contain multitudes".
Anti-slouching tonight! My favorite pose is the second one drawn, "spine mobilization". Lay across a pool noodle, placed just below the shoulder blades for 3-5 breaths and then sit up for 3-5 breaths. Repeat a few times and then just roll the noodle to the next vertebra down and repeat again, as much as you'd like. So delicious.

Quote for tonight: "So, if you stop trying to make yourself into more than you are out of fear that you are less than you are, whoever you really are will be a lot lighter and happier, and easier to live with, too."
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

FREE yoga!

Yoga 4 All (8836 Seminole Blvd) is celebrating Student Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 30th! We will be offering free yoga classes every hour from 9 until 3. I'm teaching kids' yoga at 1 and a beginner's class at 2. Check the Yoga 4 All website for further details and the full schedule.

Pollywog Yoga

I'm kicking off my newest venture:

Pollywog Yoga: Kids yoga at your pad!

Click on the above link to find out how to schedule a kids' yoga class designed just for your group - playgroups, church groups, private schools, homeschoolers, Scouts! I will travel to your meeting, or we can schedule use of the Yoga 4 All studio!

What Should I Eat Before Yoga?

I was asked to write a bit about what we should eat before practice to avoid upset stomachs, heartburn, and gas during (and after practice). I found this article to be helpful. For me, it's mostly trial and error, but I have found that I need to avoid eating at least an hour before practice, and the closer to practice, the more "whole" my food should be (less processed). You may want to keep a little notebook in the car to jot down your last meal or snack before practice and how it efffected you (did it make you gassy? nauseas? energetic? jittery? off-balance?). Then after practice, before leaving the parking lot, take a minute and reflect.

Does anyone out there have suggestions of what to eat or what to avoid before their yoga practice?

Rasa-Lila YogaFest

I attended the 1st annual Rasa-Lila YogaFest this weekend, working in the kids' tent. One of the highlights was to spend the day with Swami Vidyananda. She is a wonderous person, a beautiful light here on earth. She led the opening meditation and then hung out with the kids with a Kiddie Kirtan (a chanting session) and Laughter Yoga.

More Office Yoga

Need some stretching and energizing (or relaxation) during the workday? Here is a video and list of some yoga postures perfect for doing at your desk. Hope it helps!

Kids Summer Yoga

3-30 Bone Strength and 4-4 Evening Routine

I wanted to share some information I've gathered regarding yoga and bone health. As we know, weight bearing activities promote bone growth. The work of resisting gravity puts a mild stress on bones which forces them into laying down new growth. Yoga is an excellent weight bearing activity which is extra beneficial because it won't damage cartilagee or stress the joints (like jogging or aerobics might).Yoga also works to lengthen muscles and hold them in a position to increase tension on the bone. Again, the pull of muscle on bone increases bone strength. Holding a pose for merely 10 seconds triggers new bone growth. And in a study, participants were asked to either practice yoga (holding poses up to 30 seconds) or continue with their "normal" exercise. 85% of the yoga practitioners gained bone in their hips and spines!

Quote: "Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?/ Can you remain unmoving/till the right action arises by itself?"-Lao Tzu

A request for "Yoga for Insomnia" prompted this evening practice. According to Chinese medicine, an uneven distribution of energy ("chi" or "qi") can cause insomnia. Insomnia has been called "mental indigestion", in that our brain continues to digest information long after we need it to shut down. There are three main causes of insomnia (other than general pain) and there are some yoga poses designed to help with each type. Emotional insomnia requires chest openers and backbends. Hormonal insomnia can be improved with folds, inversions, twists, and other poses that massage and release our reproductive areas in the lower abdomen. Stress insomnia requires a fairly active practice, with particular attention paid to hip openers (I like to call our hips "junk drawers" because we just stash away anything we don't want to deal with in our hips).

Another bonus for practicing yoga: it has been claimed that for every minute of a yoga practice, you need one minute less sleep. So hit your mat!

Quote for class: "Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things,/and stand firm in that which you are." -Kabir

Out of the Clear Blue Sky...

I went with my family to explore Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales this weekend. What an amazing garden. Such beauty and peace - I can't wait to go back with a picnic lunch and spend the day meandering the many paths.

On the way, we saw a plane doing skywriting (my son, 7, actually said "Mom! Look at those clouds! They look just like words."). None of us had ever seen skywriting before, so that in itself was fun. But the final bit of writing was priceless:

11 Mindfulness Tips

Thich Nhat Hanh has composed this quick "list" of 11 ways to find time for meditation and mindfulness in our everyday lives. Take a look at this link.

21 Day Challenge

Yoga Journal is sponsoring a "21 Day Challenge" to encourage a home yoga practice. Their website has three weeks of yoga videos, motivational tips, recipes and more. Check it out at www.yogajournal.com/21daychallenge

A Mudra Minute

We've all used a mudra during our yoga practice, usually the "prayer" mudra at the end of class when we bow and share our "Namaste".  We also use the Wisdom Seal, or Jnana mudra (the "OK" symbol) during our "om" or even within some poses. 
Jnana mudra
Did you know that each finger has its own meaning and power, and that by bringing that finger to the thumb, a new mudra is created. Here is a list of your fingers and their symbols:
Thumb: represents the Universe or the Great Self, called "Parama-atman"
Index: represents the embodied self, called "Jiva-atman"
Middle: represents energy, called "Rajas"
Ring: represents inertia, called "Tamas"
Pinky: represents luminosity or benigness, called "sativa"

When creating the Jnana mudra, by keeping palms up, we calm our brain and soften our shoulders. If you keep palms down, our hearts open and our brains our stimulated.

For more information, check out: http://www.indotalisman.com/whtrmdra.html

3-21 Waist and Obliques and 3-23 Spinal Twists

 Wednesday night we worked through many twist variations trying to use the entire length of our spines, from tailbone to neck. This included reclined, seated, and standing twists - such a wonderful way to wring out the day!

Quote: "Only that day dawns to which we are awake." -Henry David Thoreau

Monday night this week I wrote a class based on our side bodies - the abdominal obliques. I think the practice is way more fun than old school sit-ups and crunches! Plus, it works the entire body, not just the abs.
 Tonight's quote was, "Your big opportunity might be right where you are now." -Napoleon Hill

Downtown Market

I'll be in Ulmer Park tomorrow morning (about 9-12) sharing yoga at Largo's "Spring Into Health".

Yoga 4 All will have a table with literature and at least one therapist offering chair massages. Ulmer Park is at 301 West Bay in Largo.

See you there!

Tiny Buddha

In my attempt to avoid housework this morning, I stumbled upon this lovely blog called Tiny Buddha. It is chock-full of thoughts, inspiration, curiosity, and joy.

Indian Shores

On Tuesday and Thursday this week (3/8 and 3/10), I will be teaching in the Indian Shores Community Center next door to Salt Rock Grill from 9 to 10:15. Only $6 - and the beach is across the street, if you like that sort of thing (and I think you do!)

2-28 Wide Angles and 3-2 From the Center

The practice tonight dealt with our center, namely the uddiyana bandha (our abdominal lock). There are three interior "locks" used in an asana and pranayam practice to control the flow of energy - mula bandha (pelvic lock), uddiyana bandha (abdominal lock), and jhalandara bandha (throat lock). The uddiyana bandha massages, cleans, and tones the abdominal organs. You can activate it by simply taking a false inhale (move the abdomen in and up without actually taking in any breath). It's like you are pulling your belling up and into your ribcage. While it can be used as an "exercise" in itself, it is also used to activate the core to protect the back and aid in balance.

Tonight's quote was from William Jennings Bryan: "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."

Monday's class was a fairly straight-forward practice in wide-angles: seated, reclined, standing, legs, arms, twists,boat. A yoga hodge-podge, if you will.

Quote: "I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore there can be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to a fellow being, let me do it now, and do not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." -William Penn

Yoga and Body Image

I'm currently reading, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter" and stumbled across this article. I love the quote at the end, "We are not just defined by the mirror on the wall".

Young Yogis

Check out these photos from a few recent kids' classes. Such energy and enthusiasm! This is my son, Ben, demonstrating "candle" - or what adults call shoulderstand.
How about a few bow poses? So good for the kids after a long day bending over their desks at school.

And tree is always a favorite (sometimes we pretend to be flamingos while in tree pose).

Another article detailing the positive results from a children's yoga practice. See you and your kiddos Wednesday at 2:30!

(If that link doesn't work, cut and paste this:

Neglected, but Not Abandoned

I have misplaced my class sketches for the past week in the chaos that is a normal week for me. So, I haven't completely abandoned my duties as Yogi Stick guide, just neglected them temporarily. I apologize for the disruption and plan to get it together ASAP.

On a side note, I will be subbing at the Indian Shores Community Center (next door to Salt Rock Grill) on Monday (3/8) and Wednesday (3/10) at 9:00. Only $6 for an hour and fifteen minutes of yoga, breath, and meditation, and a perfect excuse to spend the better part of the morning on the beach! Perfect!

Five Types of Restlessness

From Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

1. The first type of restlessness is due to the Place you are in. When you move away from that place, the street or the house, you immediately feel better. Chanting, singing, children playing and laughing can change this atmospheric restlessness. If you chant and sing, the vibration in the place changes.

2. The second type of restlessness is in the Body. Eating the wrong food, eating at odd times, not exercising, and overworking can all cause a physical restlessness. The remedy for this is exercise, moderation in work habits and going on a vegetable or juice diet for one or two days.

3. The third type of restlessness is Mental Restlessness. It is caused by ambition, strong thoughts, likes or dislikes. Knowledge alone can cure this restlessness. Seeing life from a broader perspective, knowledge about the Self and the impermanence of everything. If you achieve everything, so what? After your achievement, you will die. Knowledge of your death or life, confidence in the Self, in the Divine, can all calm down the mental restlessness.

4. Then there is Emotional Restlessness. Any amount of knowledge does not help here. Only Kriya (cleansing) helps. All that emotional restlessness vanishes. Also the presence of the Guru, a wise person, or a saint will help to calm your emotional restlessness.

5. The fifth type of restlessness is rare. It is the restlessness of the soul. When everything feels empty and meaningless, know that you are very fortunate. That longing and restlessness is the restlessness of the soul. Do not try to get rid of it. Embrace it! Welcome it! Usually to get rid of it people do all sorts of things - they change place places, jobs or partners, do this, do that. It seems to help for some time, but it does not last. The restlessness of the soul alone can bring authentic prayer in you. It brings perfection and miracles in life. It is so precious to get that inner most longing for the Divine. Satsang, the presence of the enlightened one, soothes the restlessness of the soul.

Your Heart's Garden

I came across this essay somewhere on the web and loved the visual nature of the meditation. So, with appreciation to the author, whoever you are, I'd like to share it with you here (and maybe in practice tonight).

"One of my favorite questions to meditate on is "If you planted your heart, what would grow?" It's a tough question to answer and even more difficult to answer truthfully. Sure, I would love to say that my heart would only grow a tree of fruit that is made up of beautiful light and nourishing love but the reality is my heart would also grow some less than favorable fruit at times. As someone who is comfortable wading in the light and the dark, and the area in between, I have grown comfortable seeing the bruised fruit.

When you think of nature and the fruit that gets damaged on the tree or is stunted and ceases to grow, you know it falls down to the ground. It falls and the nutrients seep into the soil. This enables the tree to grow. I relate this to the darker parts of my heart. The dark comes from experiences that may not have felt great, but those experiences provide for me. They nurture my soil and allow me to grow bigger.

So in honor of a month where we are surrounded by hearts in one form or another, I invite you to sit for a while and ask yourself, "if I planted my heart, what would grow?". Don't shy away from the ideas that are less than lovely. Embrace all the bits and pieces and honor the dark and the light in your heart. Once you take ownership of all parts of the tree of your heart, you will be aware of it's strength on all levels and see all the wonderful areas that it will continue to grow."

Yoga Festival

A Bay-area yoga teacher has organized an all-day yoga festival in Odessa on April 16th. Teachers from all over the region will be there with sessions of yoga, meditation, nutrition, ayurveda, music, dancing, and kids' yoga "stuff".

I plan on working at the kids' tent (run by Kidding Around Yoga) most of the day, but escaping once in a while to explore the other goodies. So it is going to be a family-friendly event. Bring your mat and wander the campground to learn what else is out there in the yoga community.

The festival has a Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/RasaLilaFest) or you can Google "rasa-lila yoga festival" and find the information there.

2-7 The Asymmetrical Body and 2-9 Fun Flows

Both classes this week were heavier in the vinyasa style of yoga. This means there is more of a flow between poses, with each asana moving gracefully and organically into the next. Like a dance.

Monday's class ended with this quote from Luke 12:48 - "Much is required from those to whom much is given."

Quote for Wednesday's class: "Remember, happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. -Dale Carnegie

Yoga in the Trees

Yoga in trees? Yes. Join fellow outdoorsy people for a day of yoga, tree climbing, and adventure on Saturday, February 12th. Looks like fun!



Check them out on Facebook: Yoga in the Trees

Meditation in Prison

I heard this story on NPR this morning while driving the kiddos to school. I stopped in the parking lot for a while just to hear the end of it. Beautiful. The power of meditation is incredible.

Here is the link to read the story and/or download the podcast: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/08/133505880/at-end-of-the-line-prison-an-unlikely-escape

(If the link isn't working, just cut and paste the address into your browser or search NPR.org)

There is also a YouTube link to the documentary about the prison meditation program called The Dhamma Brothers.

I hope you are as moved as I am by it.


Due to popular request (or perhaps overwhelming curiosity), here is the recipe for my lentil cookies. Yes, I said LENTIL COOKIES!

(If this link doesn't work, do a search for "lentil cookies" at www.foodtv.com. It is an Alton Brown recipe)

Guest Writer

I'd like to introduce my daughter (10 year old Whitney) and her thoughts on yoga:

"Why should you do yoga?" you may ask. The real question is, "Why shouldn't you?" Yoga isn't just hard balance poses, and crazy meditation. It's actually fun!
You start a yoga class by breathing. You're probably thinking, "boring!!" But it's not boring, and it's actually really good for you. There are many different kinds of breathing, from Bunny Breath to Ujayi breath. Breathing improves concentration and calms you down. Breathing also gives you more energy because when you breathe, Prana (energy) rides the air into you.
The next thing we do is the poses. Don't scream and run away when you get to this part. Just calm down and relax. Some poses improve your posture, like camel and mountain. Others stretch you like down dog, forward fold, cobbler, and triangle. Some give you energy, while other poses decrease it. Your eyes and tongue can even do poses! Twists squeeze out toxins that may be inside of you. Twists also realign your spine. Some twists are pretzel, half-lord-of-the-fish, and revolved triangle.
One of the last things we do is meditation. Meditation helps focus your brain. Some different meditations that I do are Secret Garden, a practice that calms you whole body. Pom-pom poppers, where you throw a pop-pom in the air and catch it to improve mindfulness. Mantras, where you think of a four word phrase that describes you, and Mala beads, where you say your mantra for each bead. Some meditations help you totally relax, others focus your mind on one thing.
At the very end of class we always do two special practice. We say "Om". Om is the vibration of the universe and of you! Then we say "namaste". Namaste means, "all the good things i me see all the good things in you."
So that's why yoga is good for you in many ways. Now you realize that yoga isn't just hard balance poses and crazy meditation. It's actually a fun way to be healthy in body and mind! "

1-24:Posture (Lordosis) and 1-26: Yoga for the Lymphatic System

I can't be the only one being bombarded with cold/flu/pneumonia germs right now, so I wanted to design a class to help our immune system with the battle. The practice from Wednesday evening used the lymphatic system as it's base. Our lymphatic system is crucial to our health: The lymphatic fluid contains message sending chemical and hormones from various lymph glands throughout your body, via the circulatory system. The lymph fluid is rich in white blood cells and therefore important to the immune system and in toxin removal. Interestingly, the lymphatic system has no pump (like a heart) or peristalsis (like the muscles in our digestive tract). The ONLY way lymphatic fluid is moved is with the contraction and stretching of skeletal muscles - enter yoga!

Yoga provides unique muscle movements that move the lymph fluid throughout the body, and your pranayam practice does, too! Deep breathing activates a lymph node deep in the thoracic cavity - and only full breathing can reach it. Inversions (like dog, forward folds, and bridge) shift the fluids while twists essentially wring out toxins from the spine and force the lymph fluids to the upper and lower quadrants of the body. Additionally, by moving through any of the common postures, you are able to access the areas of great lymph gland density: armpits, neck, groin, and the back of the knees.

Add to this the ancient kriya (cleansing practice) of the neti pot (sinus wash) and you will hopefully be well on your way to health, even in these germ-infested winter months.

Quote for class: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, we looked at kyphosis (hunchback) posture a bit, so Monday night I worked with the opposite (but often related) problem of lordosis (excess curve in the lumbar-low back). This posture creates a kyphosis (hunchback) to balance. It also tends to hyperextend knees, put more pressure on the balls of the feet, tighten the psoas, and weaken the lower abdominal muscles. This practice, like the one last week, was adapted from the book, "Anatomy for Yoga" by Nicky Jenkins and Leigh Brandon.

Tonight's quote was from Louisa May Alcott: "Love is the only thing that we can carry with us when we go, and it makes the end so easy."

What is a "Beginner"?

I'm often asked what level my class is - beginners? advanced? The answer is not easy for me to explain. Yes, I'm teaching poses that are appropriate for beginners, but advanced practitioners would also be wise to take a step back and re-connect with the basics. But, just knowing the poses and being hyper-flexible does NOT make you an advanced yogi.

I found this article on http://www.yogayak.com/ and some of the statements really hit home with me.

"...Carving up yoga into levels of physical difficulty, does not give the right impression of it. It sends the message that yoga is about how well conditioned and flexible your body is. In case you didn't know...that has little to do with yoga.
Rarely do I meet anyone who is not a yoga beginner, actually...and that goes for some extraordinarily flexible yoga teachers too. The modern yoga class culture would seem to suggest that physical mastery of some yoga exercises is the gauge we use to assess a person's "level" of yoga. If that were true, though, then we'd have to consider many athletes, world-class dancers and even circus performers as advanced yoga practitioners, too.
But we don't. because we know that yoga has very little to do with how flexible you are or how much bodily strength and control you've gained. In the holistic science of yoga, these physical abilities really actually don't count for very much.
Being an advanced yoga practitioner means much more than demonstrating how far you can back bend. It means demonstrating an uncommon level of poise amidst the challenges and turmoil of life...and a firm control over our emotion and mental urges too, not just our physical body.
Most importantly, it means showing others, by example, how to live in a way that reflects a deep respect on this earth, regardless of their ideologies or actions. That's not easy for the average person to do, I agree, but the one who is advanced in yoga is truly no "average" person."

On that note, Yoga Yak has numerous FREE videos on meditation, pranayam, and asana practices (some over an hour) suitable for beginner's in all stages of their yoga journey.

Let Me Count the Ways (all 77)!

Still skeptical?
Believe yoga is just to help with flexibility?
Think people who practice are just hippies who love incense?

Check out this list of 77 ways yoga makes you healthier!

Yoga at the Dali

Every Sunday from 12:30 to 1:45, at the new (and fabulous) Salvador Dali museum, join a yoga class! The class is a flow based, all level practice either in the Avant-Garden or the community Room. Cost is $15 and for an additional $6, you get to visit the museum, too. Purchase tickets on their website: www.thedali.obres.com/selectdate.aspx and bring your receipt to class.