Friday, December 30, 2011

My Yoga Journey in 2011

Tonight, when we finished our yoga class, Azmi told us to reflect on our practice for the year and write down our achievements which were what I was thinking to write for my blog before the start of the class.

2011 is a year where I find myself immersing into my yoga practice by going to a yoga conference and attending two wonderful workshops besides going regularly to classes.

My yoga journey in 2011 started with a hiccup in January where I had to stay away from doing the yoga poses that put pressure on my right elbow which was diagnosed with tennis elbow.  Following the doctor’s advice, I did not go to classes and only did restorative poses at home.

After one month of sitting out the yoga classes, I went back to classes regularly and found a new awareness to my practice.  I find myself more in tune to my body, feeling every sensation and pain and learning to ease off to avoid aggravating the injury.   As my elbow healed after going through a needle scalpel treatment, my practice began to grow stronger day by day.

Going to the yoga conference in Hong Kong provided me with insights on the shortcomings of my practice besides being able to practice and learn from some of the best gurus in the yoga industry.   It was an experience that I cherished and hope to go through again.
                                              
The workshops with Gianinna and Raymond Lim were fun and the sharing of energy especially in the partner yoga sessions brought forth the importance of communication and learning to trust and support your partner.

Going regularly to the classes with Azmi Samdjaga at My Yoga Sanctuary has given me more confidence as I learned from him the techniques to go into the poses.   I am also grateful to the replacement teachers, Viviane De Doncker, Raymond  and Angie Teh for reminding me the importance of grounding and alignment in the poses.

I am now able to do a full headstand and have learned to control my bandhas to come down from the pose whereas previously I was crashing down from the pose.   Bakasana (crow pose) has become easier as well as some of the arm-balancing poses like Eka Pada KoundiyanasanaII and Astavakrasana.

I have started to practice meditation on a more regular basis although it is just sitting in silence and listening to my breath for about 10 minutes. 

2011 has been a very enlightening year in my yoga journey and I believe 2012 will also bring a lot of changes to my practice.  I will be welcoming the new year sunrise on Sunday morning at 6.30 am with a group of practitioners doing the 108 Surya Namaskar at Taman Tasik Cempaka in Bangi.








Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ashtanga Yoga Videos

Two very comprehensive Ashtanga Yoga videos where you can practice along with emphasis on the breath and dristi and instructions on the fine points of the poses.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Up Close and Personal with Gianinna


If you have been following my blog, you would know that I have recently attended two yoga workshops with Gianinna. I took the opportunity to ask her for an interview as I find her to be an inspiring teacher and would like to have her share her thoughts about yoga.

What made you take up yoga and why did you become a yoga teacher and how long have you been teaching?

3 years ago I was attending a class, I used to leave before Savasana, running to work thinking “who has time for this”!, but once I decided to stay and I can remember when in Savasana I started breathing in the right way, allowing myself to face my feelings in the silence, opening my chest and feeling my whole body alive, it was a great and a huge inner experience. I’ve never felt so connected with myself before when practicing yoga.

At that moment I realized that I’ve been practicing yoga as a sport only, performing my postures but I wasn’t full minded and either connected with my breath. The more I practiced, the more I realized how important the silence is.

It took me some time to make the decision to become a Yoga Instructor. As soon as I made my choice I was completely motivated to share my experience. I’ve started looking for the way to start, lucky for me, I met the right person to help me to find a soft way to learn how to teach, without mirrors and listening to my body in the traditional hatha yoga way.

I’ve been teaching hatha and prenatal yoga since June 2011 and that’s what I share in my classes with loving, kindness and respect.

I’m a new yoga instructor, passionate about human contact. Teaching offers me the challenge and the joy of self-discovery though the process of yoga and to make contact with people out of the limit of the words.

How long you have been in Malaysia and what do you think of the yoga practitioners here?

Malaysia is a new experience for me, I arrived here in February 2011 straight from Switzerland. Originally, I'm from Peru and sincerely, I’ve found that my culture is similar as yours, despite the differences, we are friendly and as you, we like eating!

Yoga in Malaysia is part of your culture; lot of people is practicing yoga here. In my group classes I have people from everywhere, any sex, age, religion and different needs, it’s amazing. It exists so many possibilities to practice yoga. I have to say that in my prenatal class, I have ladies doing Sirsasana!.

The conscious of the practice is beautiful, “here people stay for savasana”.

What is a healthy yoga routine and how often do you suggest practicing?

I’ll suggest a daily practice. You do not have to practice a full hour and a half every time, as in a typical yoga class. Even a few minutes will do! A few minutes of practice is better than nothing, and every time you practice, you are enriched.

The best time to practice yoga?, I’ll say in the morning, yoga is especially beneficial because we tend to wake up stiff from the night of sleep. Yoga in the morning helps us loosen up and gets the blood moving so that we feel better more quickly.

It also helps to quiet the mind so that when we start engaging in the day’s activities, we can more easily maintain calm, clarity, and connection with our essence.

And of course, before bed, yoga is nice to help unwind from the day and to bring better quality sleep.

You can email Gianinna @ gianinna.yogakl@gmail.com if you would like to contact her about her classes and workshops.  You can also find Gianinna on Facebook.

Gianinna & Raymond in a Partner Yoga pose

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Viva el Yoga! Workshop

It was a workshop to celebrate “Being Alive” where we were asked to leave behind our self-imposed limitations, free our mind and all the stressed thoughts to celebrate life through Yoga, Movement and Dance.

And this morning’s workshop focused on liberating our body.  We started the yoga workshop with Gianinna leading the first session which was “Pavamuktasana-Hip & Shoulders Opening”.  Gianinna had designed a sequence of poses to open the hips and shoulders and increased the range of motion in these areas.   I could feel my hips opening more and more as we go through the poses and being able to bring my hands further back as my shoulder loosen from the tightness that have accumulated there.


Stretching in a side twist in Pigeon pose 
The next session was “Jala Vinyasa Flow” by Raymond. Raymond told us that “Jala” means Water in Sanskrit and in the session, we explored the breath synchronized movements that focus on bringing fluidity to the body. The dynamic movements helped to cleanse the system by stimulating perspiration thus eliminating toxins and the stagnant energy built up overtime. The session also revived senses and thus allow the Prana or life force flowing freely like the stream of water permeating every part of our body.   

Although there were no hard poses, i.e. arm-balancing or inversion poses, it felt like an advanced yoga class as we were led through a past-faced flow session where we used the breath to go into poses like plank to upward dog and downward dog to one-legged downward dog and it was a relief to go down to child’s pose after a few rounds of those continuous flowing poses.


Hip-opener and shoulder stretch 
We had a break after these two sessions and it was a light refreshment of sandwiches and raisins cake courtesy of Raymond with ginger cinnamon tea from Gianinna to help us replenished our energy before the next session.

It was then Partner Yoga time and with the help of my partner, my body was thoroughly stretched in the poses.  Sharing each other’s energy, we were able to deepen and increase the stretch and impact of the pose.  It was also a lesson learned on how to build trust as we worked together to support each other in the poses.


Partner Yoga 
The last session was a Dance session with Michelle, the owner of the studio, Arte E’ Vida where the yoga workshop was held.  Michelle led us through two Axe Zumba dance routines which were energetic and fun.  It was a nice surprise to the workshop as it provided us with an opportunity to let go of our inhibitions as we laughed and danced away to the heart-pumping music and by the end of the session, we were all exhausted and thoroughly drenched in sweat.


Let's dance...
The workshop ended with a meditation and chanting of the closing mantra where we were asked to feel the vibrations at different parts of the body as we chanted each syllable and “AUM” three times.   

Namaste Raymond and Gianinna for the awesome workshop!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alexi Murdoch's Breathe and It's Only Fear


I would like to share these two songs by Alexi Murdoch as I associate them with our yoga practice. 

The song, Breathe reminds us not to forget to breathe.  There are times in our yoga practice when we are so challenged by a pose, there is a natural inclination to stop breathing in the face of the strain to maintain the pose.   But breathing helps to keep our body relaxed and the mind calm and we find ourselves going deeper into the pose instead of collapsing when we hold our breath.  

Don't forget to breathe. You know you are here. But you find you want to leave. So don't forget to... breathe


It's Only Fear is the mantra I would say to myself when I hold back from going deeper into the poses . We tend to stay at our comfort zone, not going deeper for fear of injuring ourselves.   We also have the fear of falling when we go up into inversions.   But once, we get past the feeling of fear of whatever that stop us from going further, we opened up to many new possibilities.   We find ourselves willing to take on more challenges, push past our limits and explore new things. 

It’s only fear that keeps you locked in here.




Monday, November 14, 2011

Pose of the Day - Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II



At yesterday's Flow2 class at My Yoga Sanctuary, I finally managed to lift off on my left side for the first time in Eka Pada Koundiyanasana II for a couple of breaths.   I have always managed to lift off on my right side and hold for five breaths  but some how, lifting off on the left side has always been a problem.

After class, I found out that two of my fellow practitioners also managed to lift off in the pose and it seems it was our Pose of the Day.

Below is a good description on how to do the pose taken from Acro Core website.

To begin, come into downward dog. Bring the left foot to the outside of the left arm. Drop the left arm underneath the left thigh, trying to get the arm as far underneath the leg as possible. Bend the elbows and begin to lean forward. Squeeze the left thigh into the torso and then bend the left leg to lift the foot off the floor. At this point, the left thigh should be resting on the upper arm.

Extend the spine as much as you can here. Engage the right leg, extending it back strongly and lifting the back of the knee up to the ceiling. The more you can keep a straight line through the hips the better. Keep the chest lifted and the shoulders level. Imagine that you are reaching forward with the sternum. Distribute your weight evenly between both hands and extend forward, trying to find the balance point where the back leg just lifts off the floor.

Once the back leg is lifted, press back through the ball of the right foot, then squeeze the left leg into the torso again and straighten the left leg. As the leg straightens, try and keep the hips level and extend out from your center. Keep the gaze forward and the breath steady and even.

You can hold as long as you like. To come back, swing the left leg back, pressing through the hands as you jump back to plank. Some people find it easier to bend the left leg first and then try jumping (or floating) back. Flow to downward dog, then repeat on the second side.


"The best moments usually occur when a person's body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult or worthwhile." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
                                                  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

66 days of Self-Care for Inner & Outer Well-being

In April 2007, I took up yoga as my body needed some workout and that started a beautiful journey where along the way I found some enlightenment of my inner self while my body amazed me with how it was able to cope with the yoga poses which were so difficult to do in the beginning.

The 66-day Self-Care program which starts from today is my way of thanking my body and I hope that it will be an awesome journey of new discoveries.

This is my manifesto for the 66 days which I will try my best to adhere to.

Be kind to myself. Do not self-criticize and always remain optimistic.

Grow from every mistakes made and never regret the past.

Meditate at least 5 to 10 minutes each day.

Have at least 6 to 7 hours of sleep daily.

Enjoy my breath and take my time to come into the yoga poses.

Get up and stretch every hour after sitting in front of the computer.

Respect others' space and their unique individuality.

Keep a journal of any observations that I have come across during this 66 days.

I will not be following everything in the C.A. Kobu Self-Care program workbook as I will be incorporating things that I have been doing in my routine such as my yoga practice. The one thing from the workbook that I would be following closely would be the Writing Exercises as I believe it will help to raise my awareness about my body and emotions and the way I perceive my relationship with other people.






Monday, October 24, 2011

My Ego and My Yoga Practice

This post came about after I read Elephant Journal's blog post "Pull Your Ego Out of Your Asana". 

"The next time you roll out your mat, look deep into your ego and what it does to your practice. If you're practicing obsessively because that defines you as a yogi, that's ego.  If you're so caught up about missing a class or even a week of practice, that's ego.  If you think you need to look a certain way in a pose, that's definitely ego.  Achieving a deep posture is not the goal of yoga, however it's the practice of being calmly aware of the present moment, even if you're falling out of a pose."

The above paragraph made me reflect on my own yoga practice. 

Is my ego taking over my practice?  My answer is..."when I allow it to".

Sometimes, I find myself so caught up in attaining the poses that I do not want to miss a class.   There are times when my body gave me signals to take a rest but I just ignore them and went to class. And I realized that those are the times when I felt unsatisfied and frustrated with my poses.

Letting my ego take over has also resulted in trying to twist and bind my way into the poses even though my right elbow which has not completely healed was not ready for them.   Giving myself excuses and trying to ignore the pain in my elbow have been my way of dealing with it.

Although I have set my intention and is aware not to let my ego dictate my practice, I still find that occasionally in class I had allowed these feelings to come into play, "It's feel so good whenever the teacher gave me praise", "I think I am much better at this pose", etc.

I am learning to turn away from those feelings and not allow them to surface by maintaining a connection with my awareness and being present in my practice by using my breath and focusing on my drishti. 

I also noticed that my progress in some of the poses came about when I was willing to wait for it to happen.  It took me so long to able to go into Headstand which only came about after having fallen so many times in class. 

I am certain that I will be able to progress further in all the other poses if I take my time instead of trying to rush into them  And skipping classes once in a while whenever I feel like it will be my way of preventing myself from getting too attached to the asanas. 


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rejuvenating Yoga and Wellness - Yoga Retreat in the City

Partner Yoga 
After reading the posting below, I was immediately attracted to join the yoga retreat in the city which was held today and I managed to get two of my yoga buddies to sign up with me.

“Make a retreat from your usual Saturday’s to-do-list! Just for a change, come over and spend your Saturday with us in this beautiful private sanctuary in Damansara Heights for energizing yoga sessions, guided meditation, hearty meals, and stretch out those tight muscles in your body accumulated throughout your busy weekdays in our very special “Yoga Stretch & Massage” session.”

There was welcome tea waiting for us when we arrived this morning and before the yoga sessions started, we were sipping on freshly brewed mint tea. 

The first yoga session was led by Gianinna who started the class with some stretches  to warm up our body before going into a modified sun salutation sequence.  Gianinna’s class which was supposed to be a gentle class had us holding in chair pose, lunges as well as working on our abdominals.  It was a great session to get our muscles and joints ready for the next class. 

We had a fruit smoothies and mixed fruits break before the next class where Raymond gave us an energising flow class with hip and chest openers as well as twisting poses.  The poses helped to loosen up tension while letting energy flow throughout the entire body.

After the invigorating workout, we were ready for a healthy  and delicious lunch of vegetable salad with barley and pumpkin taro soup with homemade bread.  It was also time to get to know the other practitioners.

After lunch, it was guided meditation and breath work with Angeline and she started  with a  15-minute meditation and pranayama session where we did alternate nostrils breathing.  This was  followed  with a 15-minute yoga nidra or sleeping savasana which is yogic sleeping with awareness.  It is intended to induce full-body relaxation and a deep meditative state of consciousness.    

I am glad that I did not fall asleep as I was feeling a bit sleepy after the hearty lunch and instead, I emerged feeling rejuvenated from the session.

It was then time for Partner Yoga which was a great way to build trust and communication with my partner while we supported each other in the poses.  And thanks to my partner, I could feel a deeper stretch in the poses which helped  to loosen all those tight spots in my body which also received another boost from the massage session. 

The yoga retreat ended with all of us sitting in easy pose in a circle with our knees touching each other and placing our right hand onto the next person’s left hand.  Raymond led us through the session where we felt and shared each other’s energy.

And we were rewarded with a delicious piece of chocolate brownie made by Raymond to round up a beautiful day of wellness for the body and mind.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Learning from Replacement Teachers


"The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” - Pema Chodron


Ever since I joined My Yoga Sanctuary beginning this year, I have mostly been practicing with Azmi Samdjaga .   But whenever, Azmi goes on leave, there will be a replacement teacher taking over his classes.    I find that sometimes I am reluctant to go to the replacement teacher’s class as I am so used to Azmi’s classes. 

Recently, I have been to 3 replacement teachers’ class and from their classes, I have found that when I have no expectations and just go to the class with an open heart, I get to learn so much from them.

Viviane De Doncker who is a scoliosis expert, has been replacing Azmi’s Restorative/Yin Yoga classes and in her classes, I found that due to my mild scoliosis, my body has been compensating in certain poses which results in unevenness in my hips in the pose and my body leaning more to one side.   

From Viviane’s classes, I learned to focus on my inner awareness and finding my own optimal alignment and center and stretching muscles that have tightened and strengthening muscles that have become weak from my asymmetrical imbalance.

I have been to Angie Teh’s class before when I was practicing at Yoga Zone and I had found her classes to be quite challenging as I had just started my yoga practice at that time.  Angie teaches Anusara Yoga which is a heart-centered yoga practice with strong emphasis on alignment and grounding.   

After attending Angie’s classes, I found myself paying more attention to my grounding especially in the Warrior poses.  I always remembered her telling us to keep our back foot strong and imagine that the foot is pushing against a wall and the time she sat on my back leg while I was in Warrior II.   

I have never attended Raymond Lim’s class before and did not know what to expect from his class when I attended his Hatha class on Friday.   I like Raymond’s teaching as his instructions were clear as he demonstrated the poses.  It was easy to follow his instructions and I was able to coordinate my movements with my breath.    I attended his Flow2 class today and learned some new techniques on how to do the arm balancing poses which I will try to apply into my practice.

Raymond has been exploring yoga on a deeper level ever since he completely stopped having tonsillitis and gastritis after just a year of constant yoga practice 6 years ago. Fusing with strong passion for yoga and the natural health remedies till this day, this encouraged him to further his yoga studies in India, where he obtained his 200-hour Teacher Training Certiļ¬cation from Yoga India, a Yoga Alliance registered school run by a great guru, Bharath Shetty in Mysore. Raymond again visited India in 2009 to study classical Hatha, Advanced Pranayama and Meditation with another guru, Yogacharya Ramesh Kumar. Raymond had also studied Yoga Therapy and Yogic Anatomy with a Physiotherapist & Yoga Teacher, Dr. H.R Narasimhan for 6 weeks in Mysore, India. Raymond aims to help his students to bring “mindful movement” to their bodies, as well as to challenge their self-imposed boundaries and go beyond their comfort zones.

Are you a one-teacher student and do you go to other teacher’s classes?  What is your experience when you go to other teachers’ classes? 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ashtanga Led2 on Thursday - My Favourite Night of the Week

This beautiful poem by John Martin from Poetry for Your Soul put into words how I feel going to my yoga class on Thursdays; practicing along side my Ashtanga buddies  with our teacher, Azmi Samdjaga leading the class. Namaste.

Work has finished for yet another day
And I set off home, but not to stay
Tonight is my favourite night of the week
The night I always look forward to, and seek
Ninety minutes of yoga movement, and quiet meditation
All combined to create a beautiful feeling of deep relaxation
As the class slowly moves along, from the start to the end
The worries and concerns from the past week, do gradually mend
A feeling of joy and lightness fills my body, mind and soul
And I am overcome with a feeling of being expansive, open and whole
The whole world around me seems so clear and bright
And everything I cast my eyes on, is such a beautiful sight
By the finish of the session, I am happy and invigorated
And my need for calm and inner peace is pleasantly sated.
As I leave the classroom feeling healthy and content, not sore
I eagerly look forward to next week, and coming back once more.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

5 Facts The Students Don't Tell Their Yoga Teacher


I just finished reading the article 15 Facts That Your Yoga Teacher Won’t Tell You on the Business & Health website and it led me thinking about what some facts the students don’t tell the yoga teacher.  Here are 5 facts that I remember hearing from my fellow practitioners.

1.  I can’t get what you are saying…..
    
This is because your voice is too soft or your accent is too strong or I am not familiar with the name of the pose in Sanskrit.

2.  Why I am at the back of the class…

I am not familiar with the poses, so I need to copy what the person in front is doing.

3.  I need you to demonstrate the pose…

As everyone is doing the pose and I am too shy to ask, I will just fake it.

4.  Can you just give instructions on how to do the pose instead of doing all the poses throughout the class?

I have problem in having to keep looking up to see what you are doing as I can’t hear your instructions clearly.   Can't you just demonstrate those difficult poses or when you want to introduce a new pose? 

5.  Your sequence sucks…

There is no flow from one pose to the other and having to do eight standing poses in a row for the right side before doing the left side is too much.

So, dear teachers, we hope that you will look around and pay more attention. If you see us struggling in your class or if you don’t see the student come to your class again, you know what happened.

"The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach" - Paulo Freire
   



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Inspiring Yoga Teacher

Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are 
- Jason Crandell

I had the opportunity to attend Jason Crandell's class during the Asia Evolution Conference 2011 in Hong Kong this year and I enjoyed his teaching which was filled with passion and dedication.  He emphazized on wanting us to feel what was happening to our body when we were in the pose and using the breath to help us go deeper.   His way of teaching with creative sequencing and attention to details encouraged us to move slowly, deeply and mindfully into our bodies.  

Jason Crandell was recently named "one of the next generation of teachers shaping yoga's future" by Yoga Journal for his skillful, unique approach to vinyasa yoga.  

You can visit Jason's website for more information about his classes and also read articles written by him. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Yoga Off The Mat


I decided to write this post since I am still feeling some pain from the burn which I got while doing some ironing yesterday.

We often hear our teachers reminding us about awareness as well as keeping our focus when we are doing the yoga poses.

But do we realize that it is just as important to practice awareness as well as keeping our focus when we are off the mat.

Often, we injure ourselves when we are not focused on the task at hand as it is often in the case where we are doing one thing while our mind is thinking about something else. We also tend to make more mistakes in our work due to lack of awareness and staying present. 

Even though when we are on the mat, we have learned to be mindful, once we are off the mat, how many of us really practice this mindfulness? It is because when we are off the mat, we forget the real meaning of yoga.

“I love the asanas but the Real Yoga comes when I flow off the mat.”

Sunday, September 4, 2011

National Yoga Month - The Time for Yoga



September is the official National Yoga Month (a national observance designated by the Department of Health & Human Services of USA) designed to build awareness of yoga's proven health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well-being. (from Yoga Month website). During National Yoga Month participating yoga studios in USA offer ONE WEEK FREE YOGA to new students.  

National Yoga Month is going global this year by unifying the entire yoga community with The Time for Yoga, a global community yoga practice. Yoga Month invites all yoga studios, teachers and students to unite on September 30 for a worldwide yoga practice.  

At 7 p.m. local time on September 30, yoga students of all experience levels are encouraged to practice yoga as an international observance and the culmination of Yoga Month. A one-hour yoga practice will be followed by savasana beginning at 8 p.m., and a 15 minute meditation for universal peace and well-being at 8:15 p.m. By participating during your own local time, a wave of yoga will take place around the globe.

Calling all yoga studios in Malaysia, be part of the first annual Time for Yoga Global Community Practice by organizing a free yoga practice on 30 September 2011 at 7 pm in your studio.  You can register your event with Yoga Month at YogaMonth.org/events and also post your event here. 

Namaste. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Inspiring Yoga Teacher



Read more about her thoughts on yoga, fashion and inspirations in an interview with her posted at Spoiled Yogi.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Going to an Advanced Yoga Class



Recently some practitioners asked me whether they should attend an advanced yoga class at the studio I am practicing at.    The studio offers multi-level classes which include Hatha and Yin Yoga which is termed to be for beginners onwards while the advanced classes are Flow, Ashtanga Led and Dynamic.


I find that usually practitioners who have just started their yoga practice for a few months are curious about what is being taught in the advanced classes that is different from the beginners class. And to them going to an advanced class means they will get to do the more difficult and challenging poses like arm-balancing and inversions such as headstand and handstand.

I have often seen these practitioners going into an advanced class without realizing that they are not yet ready for the advanced class.  This is not because they cannot do the difficult and challenging poses as they have the flexibility in their bodies, but because they have not learned to use their breath.  Their practice ends up being all over the place as they could not concentrate on the teacher’s instructions when their breathing starts to get shallow.

On the contrary, they are practitioners who have been practicing for quite some time, who feel pressured to go to an advanced class as they feel that they should be able to do the difficult and challenging poses although they feel comfortable just going to the beginners class.

So, when do you know you are ready for an advanced class?

When you have been practicing with awareness – concentrating on your breathing in the poses as the breath will be the most vital element to take you through a 90-minute advanced class.

When you want to deepen your practice as the challenging poses in the advanced class will help you to confront your insecurities and learn to overcome your fears as doing the poses will make you realize how you deal with the challenges in your life.

When you are well-versed in the poses especially the Sun Salutations sequence if you are going to the Ashtanga Led class, as you will be doing five Sun Salutations A and three Sun Salutations B at the very start of the class.  If you don’t even know the sequence, you might end up feeling lost and it will affect the rest of your practice.

And having the humility to go down into child pose when you are tired and cannot keep up to the pace of the class.

Going to an advanced class does not mean that we are an advanced practitioner as our yoga practice is constantly evolving to change and transform our lives.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Setting Your Intention : 108 Words To Live By

A prayer of motivation and dedication written by Benjamin Riggs, Spirituality Editor - Elephant Journal.


(taken from Elephant Journal)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Heart of Yoga

Taking Flight 


You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life? - Rumi 

Control Your Destiny 


There is no truth except the truth that exists within you. Everything else is what someone is telling you. - Neale Donald Walsh

Achieving Balance 



Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you - Lao Tzu 


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wisdom from Yoga ..for Life

I had the opportunity to attend Alex Atherton’s classes when he was a guest teacher at Yoga Zone. I find him to be very passionate about his teaching and I always hope that I would be able to attend his classes again. 

So it was wonderful to know that he is one of the teachers featured in the book "Wisdom from yoga…for life"by Andrea Klein.

Below is the preview of the book and I am sure you will find the teachers featured as inspiring as I have.


Below is one of the many inspiring quotes from the book.

"Ask yourself "Where am I in the pose? How do I approach the pose?"
The parts you grip, and the parts of yourself you hold tight: you will keep practicing that way until told otherwise.
So question and notice all your movements and transitions.
As soon as you question, then you are aware, and that's when you transform!"
- Christine Price Clark 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What is Yoga?




Yoga is not about the pose.
It’s not the alignment of toes or hips or shoulders.
It’s not about the form.

Yoga is an invitation to explore, not a command performance.
 It speaks the language of the soul.

In the flow of breath and motion,
yoga coaxes us from the confines of the known,
across the silent  threshold into vastness.

Yoga is the union of prayer and movement, guided from inside. 
It is healing and the joy of saying yes to life.

Breathe, relax and feel the body receive its own truth.
The seed of freedom flowers within each of us whenever
we are open to what’s real.           



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Symptoms of Inner Peace

~ Saskia Davis 

An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

A loss of interest in judging other people.

A loss of interest in judging self.

A loss of interest in conflict.

A loss of the ability to worry.

Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

Frequent bouts of smiling.

A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.