bringing community to (yoga) class

have you ever felt uncomfortable or intimidated at a yoga studio?  well jacoby ballard has. and from that experience a new studio was born. 

i always love hearing the reason’s behind someone’s practice.  why does someone choose the studio they do?  how did a person begin practicing?  what does a person gain from asana?  it’s always unique and interesting to me.

this brooklyn studio is really focused on serving their community with innovative classes and encouraging people to get to know their fellow yogis when on the mat.  and it seems people are diggin’ it.  i know saying our names and introducing ourselves prior to class can sometimes dredge up memories of freshman year on our first day of high school, but i can appreciate the intention.  when i was just starting out in my practice, i didn’t really interact with anyone in class.  i kind of came and went and left my practice on the mat.  now i really love saying hi to familiar faces at the studio, grabbing a cup of coffee green tea with other yogis post- class and bringing that sense of community into other areas of my life.  it’s also a pretty cool way to find out if you mesh with a particular studio/teacher/class.  my classes are lighthearted and you can see it with my students.  i encourage talking to each other (before or after class 😉 ) laughing and enjoying the moment.  i really strive to have people connect with their practice, and to themselves, and promoting that sense of community can enhance that experience. 

what do you think?  what draws you to a certain studio or class?  do you love to make friends in class or do you come, flow and go?

 

asana and anxiety

it’s no secret that i started practicing yoga, and ultimately decided to get my certification to teach, because i was dealing with an overwhelming anxiety disorder.  even though i know how yoga makes me feel, i know there are still some skeptics out there.  yoga helping to alleviate anxiety?  yeah, right. 

well here’s proof thanks to a Yoga Dork piece that i came across while doing some research.

what do you turn to yoga for?  post-workout stretches?  shoulder openers?  happy hips?  headache relief?  i kinda love that yoga can help everything from hang nails to hangovers.

10 ways i’m un-yogic

i recently read this funny article about an unconventional yoga teacher. in the past few months there’s been lots of buzz about what makes a yoga teacher a yoga teacher.  is it using sanskrit in class or having amazing backbends? is it the ability to spout off the sutras with as much passion as your co-worker rehashes the latest drama on the bachelorette? 

it got me reflecting on myself as an instructor.  do i fit the stereotype of your “typical” yogi?  definitely not.  and call me crazy, but i think some of the best instructors i’ve ever had have known who they are and own it no matter what.  hey, we’re all students, right?  we can always find something to learn- even from the most eccentric yogis.

so in honor of following your own path, here’s 10 ways in which i can be un-yogic:

1) i enjoy a martini as much as a cup of green tea

2) i’m obsessed with goal setting, to-do lists and planning out my entire day (sometimes down to the hour)

3) i think cheetos should be a food group

4) i can hold a grudge like a champ

5) there are days i could spend hours watching bad reality tv

6) i need to be in control… of everything

7) i have a competitive side

8 ) i know way too much about designer handbags

9) when my sarcasm is stifled, i can feel incomplete

10) i can’t wrap myself into a pretzel

so tell me, how are you un-yogic??

happy august and goal reviews

happy august wellness mavens!

i worked yesterday and then led a yoga class so i waited until today to sit down with my journal and review my monthly goals. 

source

here were my july goals:

1) run 3x/week  still working on this, i’m up to about 2-3x/week

2) yoga 2x/week  this was going strong except in these past 2 weeks when the move has pretty much taken up all spare time

3) long runs at 5 miles by end of month  done!

4) complete 1,5,10 year goals for work  done!

5) become education expert at work   super close to this

6) actively blog 3-4x/week   done!

7) volunteer at animal shelter   all i need to do is orientation but, alas moving has also taken over in this department

8 ) daily TO DO lists   done!

9) review brian tracey life planning/goal setting   in progress (there’s lots of info here!)

10) read 2 new books  done! (i’m actually on my 5th for the month)

11) date nights with Hubby P   done! and still in progress 😉

i just started working on my august monthly goals- markers, magazines, glitter and glue all ready to go!  i’ve started to make my goal setting time into a small-scale event 🙂

after doing my 1, 5, 10 year goal planning i broke down my 1 year goals into monthly sections and then i started writing out a TO DO list every day in order to accomplish those monthly goals. so ideally, if i break down my monthly goals into totally do-able actions, i’ll have no problem getting all my goals within reach! 

do you goal set? write out daily to do lists? if you do, how’s it going? how do you keep track of your successes?

Tips on Yoga Teacher Training

hey, hey!  happy weekend!

when i meet new people and they find out i’m a yoga instructor i’m often asked the question “how did you get into that?”

to be honest, the universe pointing me in the right direction helped a lot. i was working in PR and dealing with an anxiety disorder that was slowly becoming too overwhelming to deal with.  i was googling ‘holistic healing for anxiety’ and other variations of that topic and a website for a local yoga studio offering teacher trainings popped up on my screen. the hours of training fit into my already full-time schedule and i figured going through a training would really help me create a practice that i needed during times of high anxiety when classes aren’t always available to me.  so after visiting the studio, numerous hours of practice and 4 months of balancing this training on top of my regular job,  i was proudly a certified yoga instructor. 

i started out slowly… teaching classes at the studio i graduated from and practicing on friends and family. and then i realized i loved sharing yoga so much that after a few weeks i made the leap into full-time teaching. since then i also got certified in spin and kickboxing.  i totally dig the fitness and yoga community and have never regretted my choice to immerse myself in it completely. 

so where do you start when you know you want to take a training, but don’t know which one would work best for you?  here’s some tips to help you out:

1) know what kind of training you want to get

are you interested in a comprehensive 200 hour or 500 hour certification? would you prefer to get certified under a specific style of yoga such as Anusara or Bikram?  each training offers something unique so take some time to think about what would fulfill you the most.

2) what studio/school feels good to you?

if you’re taking your training at a studio, get to know the person conducting the training so you know you feel comfortable. if you’re going away for the training make sure to visit the location and get a feel for the place. take some classes with the teachers at the studio or school and see if you jive with the atmosphere.

3) what kind of committment can you offer?

do you need to stay local or can you take some time to travel to kripalu?  maybe you need a condensed version (some studios offer summer schedules that allow you to cover the 200 hours in a matter of months) or perhaps you can fly off to an exotic place like Thailand for an immersion training/retreat.

4) cost

this is definitely something to think about. depending on how much you’d like to spend on your training (whether you travel to a far off place, stay local or stick to 200 hours instead of 500) plays a part on which training will fit best into your life. some places may offer scholarships or early sign up specials.

5) pick your teachers’ brains

you practice with them every week, are inspired by their class themes and philosophies and trust in their adjustments. ask them where they went. find out what their experiences were and get their advice on how you can approach this new journey in your life.

6) make sure the school is recognized by yoga alliance

this helps ensure proper training curriculum standards.

source

 

if you find yourself interested in taking a training, go for it! it can be a life-changing experience.  i hope you find these tips helpful! and if you’re already an instructor, please feel free to add some of your tips and experiences too 🙂

♥peace out♥

memorial day weekend recap

Hi lovelies!

i’m getting ready to head to bed soon so i’m bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for an early flight tomorrow morning. i wanted to catch up because lots of fun things have happened these past few days. i hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  friday was my birthday! what a great way to kick off a weekend.  Hubby P surprised me with an amazing gift and told me we could spend the night any way i wanted to – and you know what sounded terrific to me? ordering in, with a glass of wine and watching movies on the couch. it was perfection! i also celebrated another fun milestone – my one month vegan-versary! i officially made it one entire month sans cheese, dairy and eggs. it wasn’t always the easiest, but i definitely feel it was worth the work. i felt healthy, energetic and completely satisfied food-wise.  i had a good time experimenting in the kitchen with new dishes, i’m now a cous cous connoisseur, and enjoyed learning about new foods and ways to enhance my diet. after the one month vegan diet and a raging stomach flu i was officially down 10lbs. 

when i first started this diet, i wasn’t sure if i’d keep the lifestyle but it was always a goal of mine to transition to a vegan lifestyle at some point. i did have a slice of pizza a few days after my vegan-versary to see how my body would react. i felt alright, but definitely realize that i really enjoy my new lifestyle and will probably adopt a 98% vegan diet from now on.  which should be interesting on this upcoming trip!  i always feel like traveling can sometimes pose challenges when you’re trying to maintain your daily activities.  but i’m going in as prepared as possible.  i’ve checked for vegan food and options at all the places we’ll be, i packed my running sneakers and tossed in some yoga togs.  i even tried to look up the fitness classes at the hotel, but had trouble viewing it, so i’ll just see if i can pick up a schedule when i get there.

i’m out like sauerkraut –

♥  peace out loves ♥

i’m bringin’ sexy back… to yoga

it's getting hot in here

the other day the warmer weather had me craving a slow, frisky flow and i just knew i had to create a sexy soundtrack to go with it. so here it is! feel free to get your vixen on!

Sugar Water – Cibo Matto

Silver Lining- Nadia Ali

Crucify- Tori Amos

Glory Box- Portishead

The Space Between- Zero 7

The Trick is to keep Breathing- Garbage

Breathe on Me- Britney Spears

Dissolved Girl – Massive Attack

Angel- Massive Attack

picture source: http://www.squidoo.com

 

 

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