So that anyone can practice…
I’ve had the misfortune of taking class with yoga teachers I didn’t know, who’s teaching style and instruction were so appalling and offensive I either had to abruptly exit the class or continually self-soothe throughout class by telling myself over and over again “remember, this isn’t yoga”.
On a slightly more mild scale, I’ve also been in classes where the instructor simply didn’t offer a sense of acceptance in their attitude. This created a tone of rigidity, judgment, and control. It also made it very uncomfortable to try to be vulnerable and go inwards.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for diversity within styles of teaching. That’s one of the most interesting and personal aspects of yoga; finding an instructor that resonates, who’s style just clicks and works for you. Different styles work for different people. Totally. …
What is it and how does it work?
So much of our day-to-day life is now online. People work from home, have online conference calls, offer coaching through video chats, market to customers online, have huge social media followings, take online courses and trainings, you name it, and it is probably being done online.
That is a physical practice, how can you do a private yoga class online with an instructor?
Virtual private yoga is done similarly to how it’s done in person 1-on-1, but through video conferencing, like Zoom, with the instructor and student both set up with audio and video so that the instructor can see what the student is doing and the student can simultaneously be guided verbally by the instructor. …
you might be overthinking it.
Last year I was living and teaching yoga in New York City. The city is a bustling, lively, challenging place to live. Often times the notion of teaching yoga in such a place felt ironic, with the serene grounding practice of yoga in stark contrast with the chaotic noisy flow of life in the streets.
Yoga and meditation provide refuge from the city, and in fact my practice was at it’s strongest during this time because of how needed it was. …
Rock climbing is an intense full-body activity. It recruits mental focus, body awareness, trust, strength, flexibility, and steadiness. Huh, sounds kind of like yoga, right?
THE MENTAL GAME
The routes on the wall are called “problems” for good reason. There is a strong mental focus required to continue progressing upwards. Your brain and body are working together to not fall or get injured, to maintain secure placement on the holds, and incorporating any beta (tips) that might be coming from peers watching below.
As you take on problems that are beyond your current comfort level, a lot of climbing becomes mind over matter. As I’ve said before, “in order to move forward, you have to let go of where you are.” Climbing is a constant letting go of what feels secure in order to approach an unknown but exciting new territory. In a similar way, we have to continually come out of yoga poses in order to move into different ones within the flow of our practice. …
An intrapersonal classroom on your mat
I didn’t expect to gain any sort of wisdom when I began practicing yoga 9 years ago.
I started for the way it made my body feel and the mental calm and clarity I experienced afterwards. Over time it evolved to become a versatile and invaluable support to return to. The more I practiced, the more yoga had a holistic effect, integrating into my perception and experience.
While from an outer perspective a yoga class might seem only physically focused, it has the potential to tap us into deeper layers of our experience.
In this practice we are continually asked to come back to our internal perception of what’s going on on the exterior. How are we breathing? How does the mind respond when we’re in a stationery pose, like half pigeon? What story are we telling ourselves about the instructor? From what intention inside ourselves are we moving? And then of course, experiencing the complicated fun of watching what comes up sitting face to face with ourselves and our minds in meditation. …
How ‘networking’ really just means building community and making connections
Like many others, I don’t love the word ‘networking’. It has this machine-like, ulterior motive, abstract-feel to it that doesn’t convey enough humanness. Perhaps we’ll create a new word to describe this process so it seems more approachable and less like a LinkedIn lecture. But for now I’ll simply use networking to refer to this process of making useful connections and creating greater, more accessible community.
When I first committed to becoming a part time yoga teacher, networking felt like a daunting task in a market that was already saturated and any efforts on my part seemed too small to have an impact. …
If you continually practice yoga, there’s a reason you keep returning to your mat; whether yoga has helped you reduce anxiety, deal with stress, or feel better in your body, you are likely getting something out of this practice that helps you.
Unfortunately, despite the service this practice provides, we tend to overlook the ways we can apply what we learn from class into our day-to-day life challenges. Yoga doesn’t just offer the opportunity to choose how we show up during our yoga class, but to live what we learn.
When a conflict arises, we may start to navigate from our instinctive default setting, we may behave re-actively, and forget certain foundations from our yoga practice. Although reacting instinctively and in an emotionally-charged way can be momentarily satisfying, we might be better off if we can continue integrating the insight found within the foundation of our yoga practice and let that support us instead of falling back on less useful behaviors. …
If you’ve decided to work with a private yoga instructor, but don’t know where to begin or how to find and decide on the instructor that would be best for you, check out the following insights to help guide you in the right direction.
Whether or not you’ve started seeking your instructor yet, ask yourself these questions:
I was taking a yoga class the other day with a teacher that was new to me. As she guided us into a particular pose, I started moving around within the range of the pose and exploring the pose with my body, something I invite students to try during their practice.
To my surprise, the instructor came over, held my arm in place, and pressed my foot down, ultimately pausing my intuitive movement and determining how the pose was going to look. …