Turning Failure Into Compassion
Sometimes, I feel failure when my practice does not look the way I want it. From the first to the last samastitihi, I want stability and ease in each asana. I want audible breath and a feeling of reassuring improvement. When my practice does not go the way I want it, I feel anger and judgment towards myself and inevitably towards others. It took me a while to realize that dialing my practice down and lessening the pressure I put on myself to be perfect, creates space for friends and trips, exciting new work experiences, and compassion. Discipline, and commitment, blinded by the fear of losing poses or the greed…
ableism, Adventures in Mysore India, Alignment and Injuries, Ashtanga Adaptability, Guru, History, Privilege, Social Media, Teaching Ashtanga
“Calling In” the Ashtanga Community
“Calling in” is a term coined by Ngoc Loan Tran, a Viet/mixed race disabled queer writer who champions for justice in oppressed communities. “Calling in” is holding members of the community responsible for their actions, not as an act of punishment, but as an act of accountability. “I start ‘call in’ conversations by identifying the behavior and defining why I am choosing to engage with them. I prioritize my values and invite them to think about theirs and where we share them. And then we talk about it. We talk about it together, like people who genuinely care about each other. We offer patience and compassion to each other and…
Adventures in Mysore India, Diversity, Social Media, Teaching Ashtanga, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Sutras
It Is So Much Easier To Tell You To Change
It is so much easier to tell someone else or an organization to change than to actually change ourselves. How many times have you made a statement that Ashtanga, the government, your job, your yoga studio should change but you cannot even clean out your closets without having a meltdown? For most people, switching careers, cities, boyfriends or hairstyles is a harrowing ordeal, but your democracy, that should change overnight. Not only should everyone change but they should do it smoothly and quickly without disrupting YOUR life. Hmm…how realistic is that? I have been yearning for change in my own life and I have made no steps in any direction.…
Adventures in Mysore India, Alignment and Injuries, Diversity, History, Ladies Holday, Social Media, Teaching Ashtanga, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Sutras
What You Don’t Know, Makes You Dangerous
Before you make that statement on social media, before you write that blog post, stop. Ask yourself, do you have all the information? Do you understand the subject outside of your own cultural biases? Are you listening to only one side? Every day, I gain more of an understanding of why some teachers and Patanjali tell us to pick a method and stick with it. Reason 1-so we don’t dig shallow wells. Reason 2-so we don’t get confused. Yoga is not one long unfractured story where the facts perfectly follow one after the other. That is like saying that American history is White history and just following the line of…
How Can You Have a Unity and Diversity Conference W/ No Diversity!!!!
I am not a confrontational person. That is not what Ashtanga Yoga Project is about but dude….I almost fell off my chair this morning when I clicked on a link for an Ashtanga Yoga and Diversity Conference in Bali that had all white faces. Are you kidding me? We all know Ashtanga Yoga originated in India. Not even any Indian faces!!!! Like seriously, are you kidding me? It is 2019. Why are we still doing this!!!!! Yes, I cannot tell someone’s ethnicity just by their picture but if everyone on the presenter list can pass for White, you didn’t reach far enough!!!! These people are not my global leaders. Stop…
Adventures in Mysore India, Alignment and Injuries, Ask the AYP, Teaching Ashtanga, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Sutras
Yoga Will Not Keep Bad Things From Happening
Yoga is not an inoculation against bad things. It is the science of learning how to deal with bad things when they happen. If you are lucky, you start to view “bad” things as just events and you don’t label them at all. On my last post, someone commented and asked, “how can you hurt yourself when you are practicing Ahimsa?” Easy. Most people don’t wake up in the morning and say. “I feel like hurting myself today. I really want to get in a car accident, maybe get a cold, catch my husband in bed with his co-worker, rip my hamstring, and have to bail my son out of…
Adventures in Mysore India, Alignment and Injuries, Ashtanga Adaptability, Guru, Interviews, Saraswathi, Teaching Ashtanga, Uncategorized, Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Sutras
Random Ashtanga Stuff That Has Been Driving Me Up The Wall
Ashtanga stuff that has been pushing my buttons.
What do Kapotasana and Swimming Have in Common?
Bear with me. Like your yoga practice, this story is going some where. When I was in college, I took a beginner swim class. At the end, my teacher told me I could swim, passed me and gave me an “A”. Summer came around and I was at the pool with my husband, an ex marine and expert swimmer. I was ecstatic about showing him my new skills. I get in the water. Show him what I can do and he says, Husband: Sweetie, you can’t swim. Me: Yes, I can. My teacher said I could. I passed the class. He moved me on. Husband: Sweetie, if I pushed you…
Adventures in Mysore India, Ashtanga Adaptability, Social Media, Teaching Ashtanga, Uncategorized, Yoga Philosophy
Ashtanga Community or Your Community?
Your circle of friends and acquaintances does not represent the whole human race. A few weeks ago, my daughter talked about how she doesn’t understand how McDonald’s is still in business because no one eats there. I explained to her that just because her vegan upper middle class friends don’t eat there, it does not mean that no one eats there. I see similar conversations about Ashtanga. Big blanket statements about what is going on in the Ashtanga community. Ummm…maybe that is happening with your circle. It is not necessarily happening in mine or India or Chicago or down the street at the next yoga studio. We draw to us…
Dear Physically Gifted People
Dear Physically Gifted People, Please stop using words like “easy” or “simple” when doing a demo, teaching a student or posting a video or picture. Why? It is too subjective. Just because something is easy for you does not mean it is easy for someone else. Using the words “simple” or easy, with a student who finds the movement to be difficult, can make them feel like there is something wrong with them, that their efforts will never be good enough, and that they are inadequate. It can make them feel shame and question whether or not yoga is for them. I understand that this is not happening on purpose. …