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5 Ways to Live a More Authentic Life NOW!

5 Ways to Live a More Authentic Life NOW!

When you live a more authentic life, the benefits are many! By putting time and effort into this endeavor, and learning to be yourself, you are rewarded with an opportunity for real happiness and an ability to achieve your true potential. To get started on this worthwhile journey, give these five practices a try:

5 Ways to Live a More Authentic Life NOW:

1. Be Honest with Yourself and Others.

We often think that the little white lies we tell ourselves and others will make things easier. We think we are doing a favor to others by saving them the time or emotion of the truth. But the reality is, it makes things much more complicated and incredibly dishonest. These lies snowball until you can’t remember who you’ve told the truth to. Find your authentic truth.

2. Stop Saying “I Can’t.”

We look out at life and say that we can’t do this or that, and what we say becomes our truth. What we tell the Universe is what we get back from the Universe.

Erase “I can’t” from your vocabulary and replace it with “I can, I have, I know, or I am.” Take life and start living in the moment.

3. Take Risks.

I’m not saying jump off a cliff, but rather, live boldly. I would rather fall a million times than never fall once and have never tried. We learn through hardships and risks, and the only bad risk is the one not taken. Sometimes you need a little clarity to feel more confident to take that risk…

So are you willing to take that risk if you know it will bring you clarity? What if there was something you could do to aid that clarity creation and feel more confident in that next step?

4. Speak up.

I often speak what is on my mind and what I desire. And yoga has taught me how to channel that in a positive, more helpful, loving way (better than I could years ago). I often hear people say: if only, or I didn’t know, or I wish someone would have told me, but the truth is, unless you speak up, why should anyone come running to your aide? Don’t blame others for your unspoken wish list. Don’t say, “I should have” when you know you could have. We all have a voice and the right to speak up. So when you don’t, it’s no one’s fault but your own.

5. Be a Leader.

We need not be trendsetters or inventors, but rather leaders in our own lives. You may not be famous, but when you live 100 percent each day with no regrets — truthfully and positively — and speak up in a kind manner, you become the authentic leader for others to follow in living their lives that way too.

Each and every day we must work to be more mindful and work to be the best version of ourselves in all that we do. When we step outside our comfort zones and work just a bit harder than the day before, things get easier and we start to enjoy life more. Seek to live an authentic life and reap the rewards.

Are you ready to experience monumental clarity?

Click here for 5 minutes to Monumental Clarity – FREE

What Are Mantras?

What Are Mantras?

Being stressed appears to be the new norm. Tasks just keep piling up and finding time to de-stress seems to never fit into the day’s schedule. And when it comes to work, it may not be realistic to drop everything and hit up a yoga class or take a day at the beach. We can use mantras and affirmations to keep our mind calm and focused without detracting from our productivity.

As a yoga and mindfulness expert of more than seventeen years, I firmly believe in making small little changes to our lives. And at the end of the day, those small little changes all add up to big results.

And that is why incorporating the use of mantras into your life and workday can be a very effective way to curb stress, help you become more productive, and keep a “zen” state even in the most stressful of times.

The use of mantras can benefit anyone who incorporates them into their lives.

Benefits include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Soothes stresses from technology hangover
  • Assists in shedding neurotic habits
  • Boosts immunity
  • They are FREE

What is a Mantra?

A mantra is a word or syllable repeated to help curb the mind and keep focus. It acts as a form of meditation. One would often use a mantra in yoga and meditation to help keep “the mind on the mat.” They are often also used in everyday life and given from teacher to student to help overcome obstacles, challenges, and transitions.

Incorporating mantras into ones’ workday can be a wonderful way to combat stress, keep better focus, improve confidence, and keep negative, self-sabotaging thoughts at bay.

How Do I use a Mantra?

If you are a yogi working with a teacher, one would often recommend you recite your given mantra for 108 times, X amount of times per day for so many days. (108 is a special number in the yogic world.)

Anyone can begin to use mantras and instantly benefit. And that means you can start today.

You may already have used a mantra and don’t even know it.

Affirmations are forms of mantras in the English form. Mantras can be more powerful as the vibrational tone. The sound of a mantra when spoken correctly aids the brain and our inner state more deeply than its English sister.

No matter where you start, a refocusing on the mind will surely follow, with commitment and regular repetition.

Where do I Start?

One of my favorite mantras that I was given during my stay at an ashram during one of my yoga teacher trainings is a mantra to Ganesha.

Ganesha is seen as the remover of obstacles. When chanted to, it can help you overcome, move through, or see more clearly that which is in front of you and needs to be dealt with.

Mantra for the Workplace

“Om Vakratundaaya Hum” (Ohm Vah-krah-TOON-die-yah Hoom)

When chanting this, you would either chant using a mala or even just chant this frequently during the day to help keep the mind focused and aid in working through difficulties.

If you would rather not use a Sanskrit mantra, then using affirmations (which many of us do already) is a great place to start.

I think of mantras as a way to change the internal voice we have. For many, that internal voice is negative and downgrading.

Affirmation for the Workplace

“Peace is within my reach” or “I am calm and focused”, or “Obstacles are opportunities”.

No matter what mantra or affirmation you choose, they don’t work and cannot help you if you don’t use them. Check out this blog post to learn how to craft your own personal, positive affirmations.

Please comment and share with me what mantras you have chosen for yourself!

 

Namaste.

 

 

This post was originally published in the March 2018 edition of Inspiyr.

Why My Yoga Mat is My Refuge

Why My Yoga Mat is My Refuge

My yoga mat has been my place of refuge, my place of contemplation, my place of self-discovery. My mirror for the good, the bad and the ugly. Time and time again I step into the unknown, only to find that everything I need, everything I am wondering about, lies on my yoga mat.

I look back at myself five, even ten years ago, and find that I am still the same person. Even memories as a child are laced into who I am today. But the difference is that how I see the world, how I see myself, and how I chose to live – is drastically different.

For some yoga is a savior for their physical bodies: to be saved from inflexibility, headaches, cramped feet, or to regain the body they have been long searching for. But for me, my yoga practice has taught me how to actually be able to look at my body and befriend it. I can look at my life and no longer see myself as the victim. Rather, I see myself as the person at the wheel, in control.

I tear up thinking about what I have been through and what I have put myself through. Only to come out bright-eyed and ready to move on with no regrets. And I never thought I’d say that. The tears that come are only tears of joy and amazement that my mat brought this to me.

Our Yoga Practice is a Promise to Ourselves That we Want More and Deserve More.

Yoga is so powerful and unique in that it is an experience and a practice. If you are not ready to step onto the mat, then the change will not happen. I have not only seen this in myself, but also my students over the last decade of teaching.

To me, Yoga is the most real that someone can get with themselves. The lies will eventually rise to the surface, the false hopes will eventually go sour and the work will time and time again be put back in our court. What I’m trying to say is that life becomes a lot sweeter when we start to trust that the universe and our Creator has our best interest at heart. That we might not know it all, and that no matter how “good, smart, elite, or savvy” we think we are, there must still be a humbleness to remind us that there is always something to learn.

Interestingly, My Journey was the Opposite.

For much of my life, I felt lesser. I felt that I was the one always lacking, or missing the bar. For me, my yoga mat became a constant reminder that I am great today, just as I am… even during my stages of recovery. I began to stop seeing myself as “messing up” day after day. Now I am thanking life and God for the opportunity to be aware of what I need to learn and how I can change.

I post a Facebook quote of the day, a Daily Dose of Hope. It is usually something from my heart. I had posted a few months ago a quote stating:

You know you are ready for change when you come to realize that what you see in other people and don’t like is a mirror for what you need to see in yourself and begin to change.”

For me, this simple thought was such an eye-opener. This awareness not only helped me to grow and realize what I needed to change in myself, but to also realize what I didn’t and did want to take into my life. Without awareness, you will never grow. There will never be change, and that box you feel stuck in… It will still be that box and you will still be in it.

Stepping out Means Taking a Chance.

It means trusting without immediate proof. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, trusting that you are being guided. Trust that what you are doing is right. If you don’t like your life, where you are, or what you are doing – ask yourself…

What am I doing to move beyond this? 

What am I doing to make a change?

Are you tired in the morning? Well then stop going to bed at 12am. Sick of all the mess? Well then go clean it up. Who are we all waiting for? What formula do I not know about that fixes all problems, all people, all situations? The only formula I know is the one where I start to take care of me, work on me, and change me. Because that is the only way I know to get to where I want to be.

If you pray and ask for guidance, once you get the guidance it’s your job to take it and act on it. When you meditate for peace, it’s your job to work to keep the peace. If you ask for help and suggestions to regain your health, well then you have to follow through to see the results.

So how does this all tie back to a yoga practice? On our yoga mat we see ourselves as we truly are, raw and willing to do the work necessary to move forward or make change. Even if we are not ready, at least now we are aware and it becomes our choice what to do with that awareness.

One Legged Forward Bend

The sweetness in me bows to the sweetness in you…

Namaste

This post was originally written for MindBodyGreen, and updated on Oct 7, 2019.
Savasana IS the Most Important Pose of Your Yoga Practice

Savasana IS the Most Important Pose of Your Yoga Practice

Savasana, the final pose of yoga is the most important. Are you missing the boat? Or should I say relaxation?

I have had the honor of coming to the yoga mat for almost 20 years, and 17 of which I have been guiding others from their first pose to relaxation.

And it has most definitely happened on more than one occasion that students skip out on Savasana. Some are very clear that they need to leave to get their kid from school or to hit a deadline and I am happy that they at least made time.

But there have been a few occasions where the student could not handle such a pose and as a result, left. But acted as though they were late for something, or continued to roll around and strike a pose at the back of the room while the rest of the yoga class soaked up some Zzzz yoga style.

Well, I should probably explain to my non-yoga readers that Savasana is a fancy Sanskrit word for relaxation or corpse pose. Which I would say is both the easiest pose of class and at the same time the most difficult.

You will often hear me encourage my students minutes prior to Savasana that this pose, relaxation is the final pose of yoga. It is what we prepare for the entire 60, 75, or 90 minutes. Post that, is meditation.

Yoga itself is a bit of a challenge in that it confronts our insecurities, our weaknesses, our strengths, our anxieties. And if we are not attentive to it, we simply ignore them and find ways to work around such challenges in-order to say safe and say comfortable.

But yoga is “comfortably uncomfortable” as I like to say mid-way through a pose that to my students appears to never end. And how we treat the yoga poses. How we act and react on the mat is a complete mirror for our everyday life.

In my experience, many of my type-A students often gravitate initially to the faster-paced yoga classes. The ones that on the surface, in the description appear more difficult.

While their counterparts often gravitate towards the slower styles, and classes where moving and grooving isn’t in the glamorous description.

It could very well be a torture chamber to request my type-A students to attend a Yin style yoga or slow style yoga with a ten-minute relaxation. By minute 60 there might not be anyone left in the room.

But here’s the thing. We all need to chill out. Not fake chill out. Not relax with our phone scrolling Facebook aimlessly. Not huffing and puffing trying to keep up with a flow that does not exactly scream soothing and calming, and then skipping out on the relaxation part because it seems “pointless”.

I was that person. Anxious, busy, rigid. And laying around made me fidgety beyond normal comparison.

But for some odd reason, I stuck with yoga. I began to learn that my anxious state on the mat was a complete mirror for how I was behaving off the mat.

My restlessness, my need to keep moving and “not feel” was the same way I was approaching life. The need to push, stress, and basically kill myself in class to call it a success were the exact unrealistic standards I was holding myself to in my life.

Savasana Blog Post Hope Zvara

And relaxation. Don’t even get me started. I had more anxiety about it than my students at times. And watching them lay quietly I was the one restless, anxious about whether or not they were anxious, bored, and disliking the moment they were in.

But I learned. I learned along with my students about the importance of this pose as well as a deeper insight into my yoga style choices per my current personality and life challenges.

Savasana should offer you, your body, and your mind an opportunity to fully unwind. To experience a complete surrender of the physical body. See the class was meant to exhaust you. Not like too hard to keep up exhaust you. But challenge you in every way, shape, and form.

Keep your mind focused. Challenged. Nurtured.

Keep your body working, opening, reaching, strengthening, trying both new and familiar things to help you step outside your comfort zone.

Long story short, for many they struggle with allowing their bodies and minds the opportunity to reset the central nervous system. That of which Savasana can and does play a huge part in.

I (tried) to run track in high school and one thing the coach always said was “do not forget to do your cool down, do not just stop after you cross the finish line, keep walking”.

Why? Because that abrupt stop is stressful and confusing for the body.

Leaving prior to Savasana. Or not allowing yourself to fully reap the benefits of it is like giving a kid a sucker and just before the tootsie center, taking it away. How rude!

So why Savasana your way to bliss after your yoga session?

  • It removes fatigue
  • Calms the central nervous system
  • Brings clarity to the mind
  • Brings emotional balance
  • Promotes deep healing
  • Cultivates an energetic connection
  • Restores and resets the physical body post-movement
  • Offers self-reflection
  • Lowers the heart rate
  • Lowers the body temperature
  • Replenishes vital energy in the body
  • It is a mini-vacation or relaxation
  • This is the pose that connects your entire practice together

The most precious thing in the world which is missing these days is relaxation Yogi Bhajan 

Preparing for a Proper Savasana

Take advantage of having a captive audience for 45+ minutes prior to relaxation and prepare your students for what is going to eventually happen. Encourage them of the benefits. To work hard, or breathe now so they can fully benefit later.

I often equate relaxation to sleep. “Skip it too many times and you’re dying at work or dragging trying to keep up your normal groove. Why is it we skimp on the most important aspects of life? Of yoga?”

Spend 1-5 minutes of floor work preparing the body for relaxation. Sitting or supine poses, movements or even breathing exercises to help them wind down.

Offer them a focus or intention. Or even guide them through a short relaxation for the body to soften even more. But it will also aid the mind in wandering and causing frustration.

How Long Should Relaxation Be?

It is a vast debate as to how long relaxation should be. And depending on the style you are teaching or practicing. The teacher, even the location (gym VS yoga studio) the length of time will and can drastically vary. And it is in my experience that at least 10% of the class’s total time could be considered dedicated to relaxation.

Examples:

  • 60 minute yoga session = 6 minute Savasana
  • 75 minute yoga session = 7-8 minute
  • 90 minute yoga session = 9 minute

Now that might not work for your current demographic and in some cases, it has been my experience that as the teacher you may need to work them up to such a time block.

Customize Your Savasana:

Hopefully, you have already ensured there is enough room for each yoga mat, and the person attached to it in class.

And if it is a yoga class you are relaxing to, then chances are the mood and energy is already set up for such a pose. But if you are considering adding in a little Savasana to another style class or practice then here are a few tips to enhance the experience even more.

Tips to help everyone present relax a little more.

  • Invite the class to stay for relaxation.
  • Let them know exactly how long it will be.
  • Ensure them this will not take away from what comes next in life, but enhance it.
  • Dim the lights or turn them off.
  • Cue students as to where their body parts should go.
  • Decide the room set up: legs up the wall, students on belly, back, side, support, etc.
  • Invite students to check in with their breath
  • Reassure students that the mind wandering is normal and the power is in the practice of continuing to come back to the stillness on the mat.
  • Speak in a language that students can understand. Meet them where they are and guide them by hand as to where you want them to go.

Yoga can be a perfect package. It is important to remember that it has to potential to lead the mind, restore the body, and open the soul. And in my experience, I have learned that when you remove a piece of the pie for no other reason than it makes you uncomfortable. Or you don’t like it, the pie just won’t taste right. The benefits may not be at their fullest potential.

So I want to encourage you that if someone offers you time to just be, to relax and lay like a corpse. Do it.

And the clarity, rejuvenation, and sense of restoration you will receive thereafter is truly what you will bring home to your family and loved ones.

The Counting Breath for Stress Relief and Relaxation. Time 9:50Full Body Scan for More Movement & awareness Time 46:21      

How do you develop insight and your own voice?

How do you develop insight and your own voice?

When was the last time you truly felt like you could see clearly and speak up in your own unique truth?

When was the last time you spoke up without questioning who you would offend?

For years now, I have felt like I have so much to share, as a teacher and as a person. I have been given a plethora of life experiences at an early age and I know in my gut that this was no mistake. Yet for much of my life I was very scared, scared mainly because I was afraid of what others would think or say; scared that I might offend someone, that they might not agree and then as a result not like me.

Those thoughts for years kept me from sharing my insight, thoughts, opinions and ideas. Even in casual conversation with friends and family, I would often do more of the listening and hardly any sharing because I didn’t want to be different, I didn’t want to make anyone mad. And when I knew I had a different opinion I struggled in holding onto my own truth.

I would go home from those conversations mad at myself for either not speaking up or leaving my opinion beaten into something that I didn’t stand for. I didn’t have the backbone to be okay with my belief and being different than the rest.

This people-pleasing mindset left me even more unhappy, even more angry, and irritated at the world. In reality, I did not know that this anger and irritation was really more about me… because I didn’t have the skills to speak up confidently without taking others actions and reactions so personally. I was mad at myself and projecting it onto others as their fault.

Yoga has helped me a great deal with developing insight, and with insight you are able to see things differently, you are able to step back, practice compassion and at the same time, practice standing in your truth.

Insight can be a tool to help you make changes in your life, but having insight doesn’t mean you are perfect and it surely doesn’t mean you never make mistakes.

Before I was a bystander in my life, and now I get to be fully integrated into it. I’m constantly learning. I would often tell my husband how much I admired his abilities to tell it like it is, and not care. He would often reply back, “I do care, just not about everyone’s BS, I have my own issues. I don’t need to hear about everyone else’s.” He is always saying that when you are upfront right away about things, there is no guessing and less issues later (if you are wondering he does a lot of wheeling and dealing and is a business owner too).

So how do you develop insight and your own voice?

Here is what I’ve learned:

How to Develop Insight and Speak Your Truth

1. Breathe more, talk less.

Learn to focus on your breathing. Breathing keeps you in the present moment and helps you slow down. If you are not breathing then internally you are putting yourself in a position of anxiety and stress where it can be difficult to think straight and truly feel. So in those moments of truth and honesty, in those moments of both giving and receiving information slow down to breath more and talk less, this will help you feel and evaluate what you are going to say before you say it.

2. Think before you talk (or write).

Get quiet and ask yourself, why am I going to say/write this? Who will it help, is it truthful and honest? I can’t count the number of times I write a comment on social media, type a reply to a video, email or go to post something myself only to delete it because when I reread and reflect I feel in my gut it’s not worth it and I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. There are times to speak up and times to shut up.

3. Be Honest.

Privately practice getting honest with yourself, talk out loud to yourself, and practice speaking your truth (or writing your truth). In the beginning it may not be pretty, but as you gain better insight skills you will be able to tame and mold it. I have written countless blog posts, only to never publish them in fear someone might not agree, or might get angry or take it personally, this is no way to live.

4. The people you surround yourself with, are a reflection of who you are.

Surround yourself with people that inspire you to be better, people that you want to aspire to be like, remember you become your company. Be in good company of people who have mastered the art of insight and speaking up, learn from them, even ask them questions, doing this has offered me some of the greatest insights and self reflection.

5. Speak up with safe people.

Speaking up with people who you trust and people you can maybe even share what you are working on with. The only way to get better at riding your bike is to watch a YouTube video do it over and over again.

6. Practice NOT having the last say.

This is a hard one for many, sometimes speaking up means you say nothing and let things go, this has been a great practice of developing personal strength and insight as to why I feel the need to fix or have the last say. What matters truly is what you think of yourself. And what I have discovered is that my need to have the last say was a direct response to feeling like I was never heard. (Try practicing #1 to help you practice #6)

7. Remember, negative feelings pass.

Start to sit with the uncomfortable feelings after you speak your truth and let yourself feel those feelings. Those feelings don’t last forever, but they do stick around if you continually avoid them. Being uncomfortable is a huge part of growth and a huge part of change. I see this often, people deflecting change by blaming others, or giving excuses for what they are not willing to address and take action on themselves. I have both been the target, and have targeted others due to a lack of skills and insight; the only reason I see this now is because I was the queen of this for many years.

If you are a yogi, I would encourage you to consider a slower practice to help you learn to sit with the feelings more, feel them and let them pass.

8. Observe your body language, and tone of voice.

Parenting is a great example. If you parent from across the room you can pretty much expect your child to never listen or take you seriously. Just as important, if you ask your child to do something or listen to you and you are requesting them to do so while scrolling on your smartphone, do you think they will take you seriously? If you don’t give them complete attention, why should others do the same to you? There are a million angles to take on this. Feeling inferior? Try sitting up tall, or uncrossing your arms and legs to help you receive better. Make eye contact when you talk and use inflections in your voice to stress importance in the conversation. These are all things I use in my personal life and when I teach to help students stay tuned in.

9. There’s always room for growth!

No matter where you are in your life there is always room for growth and insight. I see now what I could not see before, that those who develop a sense of self, a voice and a truth are the ones who receive what life has to offer more fully, because the goodness that is waiting for them knows where to go and is then well received.

When was the last time you spoke up for yourself?  Be well, my friends. Namaste.

To Adjust Yoga Students or Not? Four Hands-Off Ways To Approach Your Students

To Adjust Yoga Students or Not? Four Hands-Off Ways To Approach Your Students

Insight into Hands-On Adjusting Yoga Students

It’s either a fear or a flow of excitement for a new yoga teacher to be taught adjustments. The often-incorporated step into yoga teacher training’s that teachers are encouraged (with little to no anatomy training) to move a student’s body around with little to no knowledge of their circumstances and limitations.

I have seen a lot evolve over the years as a yoga teacher. And a lot has changed in fifteen years of teaching.

One thing that has drastically changed for me is my involvement with my students on the mat while I teach yoga.

I will admit in my earlier years in teaching, I taught a great class, very soulful, inventive but I was naive. I knew very little about the body and about: how the body moves, should move, and doesn’t move. I was taught parts and poses, I was not taught people. So, to fulfil my yoga teacher training requirements, I learned adjustments.

Moving a person’s foot here, guiding their knee there, trying to gracefully fight against their tight hips to create an experience of “openness” to the level I thought it should be, all based on poses and parts.

Can we just say that this is “not OK!”

By the grace of God, my teaching style has evolved and so has my level of education. I, now, have come to a place as a yoga and movement guide to truly believe that it is not OK to physically touch, adjust, or maneuver a person’s body no matter how much you think you know, during a yoga class.

Think about it, every other person that “adjusts”, “manipulates” or “presses and pulls” on people HAS A LICENSE!

Let me list it out for you:

  • Massage Therapists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Medical Doctors
  • Cosmetologists
  • Aestheticians
  • Registered Nurses
  • Chiropractors

All need state approved licenses to touch their clients. Yoga teachers do not. And although yoga has a way of making one feel God-like, reality is, they are not. Because yes, yes you can get hurt in yoga. And if by chance someone does, as a yoga teacher, it is best it not be by your hand.

If you are a yoga teacher one thing you can always ask yourself is: “why do I feel the need to make the adjustment”?

I spent seven years teaching yoga teacher training’s and one thing I have changed is how I teach teachers to approach students. And my process is simple:

  • Verbally instruct and demo with clear instruction what the student should be doing.

If you notice a student does not understand…

  • Verbally specify what the group of students should focus on and point it out on your own body (and possibly ask the entire group to watch).

If you notice that a student still does not understand…

  • Verbally instruct & direct 1:1, meaning, go over to the student and from behind verbally guide them and use markers to help them guide their own body where it may need to go towards.

If you notice that student still doesn’t understand…

  • Mirror them 1:1, so they see you directly with no distractions and ask them to focus in on a specific area. (NOTE: step’s 3 and 4 can be done interchangeably)

And if by chance you feel multiple students are just lost in translation, call a “freeze” moment for the entire class and take five for a mini breakdown clinic where you can teach everyone step by step in a more interactive way. The above has proved time and time again to be a simple, safe and legal way to help guide your students where you may want them to go. And as always with an understanding that not all bodies move the same way, so you may be asking something of someone that just will never be able to do it, no matter how many hip openers he or she does. ?

I know that during my years of teachings, some of my teachers were disappointed in my later training’s that I did not teach many “hands-on” adjustments, and the immediate need to go out and learn them was very apparent with some of my student teachers, sadly without even having any teaching experience under their belt, perfecting the above.

I have spent more than half my life interacting with people solely on a yoga mat and one thing I have learned is less is more. And when you adapt this to your class, what ends up happening is you facilitate your students to be self-responsible.

You request that they cultivate a sense of self awareness, in that I could move your knee out to the side 100 times and you will still never remember to do it. But if I request your awareness of the maneuver and give you a valuable reason why to explore this and ask you to do it yourself. You will more than likely do it one or two times and remember forever, which may just be another benefit of practicing yoga in a more hands-off way.

I will admit, in my earlier years I had a deep sense of ego-driven pride, when I would deeply move a students’ body and they would respond in “wow” and amazement of the release or challenge I brought to their practice. To those people I pray I never hurt you or manipulated your tissues in a way that caused later issue as if your body wasn’t willing to go there on its own, I should not have brought it there.

Naive to a great deal of the legalities to what goes into being a yoga teacher. My eyes were opened wide when I opened my own yoga studio, and then in running my own yoga teacher training.

Still not on board? It is not uncommon for yoga teachers to not even invest in liability insurance to cover the act of teaching yoga. And if you have liability insurance ask your provider if they specifically cover injuries inflicted by the you the yoga teacher. You may be surprised, they do not.

The good news: Take a load off, yoga teachers! Take a load off in that you are not responsible for your students’ bodies in a sense that THEY are responsible for themselves, something I think we all often forget about in today’s world. On a certain level, we are responsible for ourselves (a little yoga philosophy may help enhance this point).

I’m sure my students wonder why I don’t adjust them much anymore, and the truth is:

legally, I shouldn’t…

physically, I shouldn’t…

mechanically, it’s not my place…

and energetically, one must be ready for change, because if the body is holding on, there must be a reason and while instructing a dozen others in a group setting is not really the place to figure that out.

So, am I saying yoga needs to be state regulated? Not necessarily, but what I am suggesting is that all yoga teachers step back and reflect and ask is it necessary? Is there a better, safer way to help your students? And if the answer is no, then maybe that student should consider a different style of class, a private class or complimentary therapies like massage, chiropractic’s or physical therapy to help that issue resolve itself.

Because what if giving a little less, will actually, in the end give more?

Want to take a class with me? Check out my Asana Video Library.

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