Yoga: Up Dog

I have always been bendy. When I was 8 years old I was the little baffoon in the Nutcracker in SLC UT (Ballet West production) who did the 5 back handsprings across the stage.  Flips, tricks, rolls, you name it, I loved it!  After cheerleading, drill team and a childhood full of music, dance, theater, pointed toes and pom pom’s it was no wonder I got hooked on Yoga in High School.

It all began with Keate, one of my best friend’s moms.  She was “new age”!  On day she opened her new Yoga book and began teaching us. 7 high school girls all in down dog, bending our bodies in ways it had never experienced.  I loved it. I began taking yoga at the gym and years later not only do I still make yoga a part of my physical practice, I am certified to teach it. No matter what format, from YogaFit to Vinyasa, or Bikram or Baptiste, Yoga is a part of my mental, emotional and spiritual practice.

As Yoga has evolved over the years and mixed with new creativity of the ages, we have seen the transformation of what many interpret yoga to be for them, from AcroYoga (yoga with 2 people) to Yogance (dance plus yoga). We have seen the ever needed Bikram yoga studios dot America and have seen an increase in basic yoga at the gym yoga.  Yoga can be as simple and basic as you need, or as passionate and energetic as you can imagine. The beauty is that it is a journey, just like life. 

Over the years my Yoga practice has evolve. I adore that growth is a natural evolution of my Yoga practice, not just physically, but mentally as well. The ease of flow through which our practice evolves extends into other areas of our lives.

3 reasons to implement Yoga

  1. Stress Reduction

Meditation is proven to decrease stress. Yoga is a clear concise way to meditate. To become introspective and to be allowed the time, space, and ability to focus inward. By doing yoga we become more clear about intentions in our life. We begin to unveil who we really are. We let go of outcome and let go of expectation.  Those who practice yoga embrace feeling worthy of taking time out for themselves.  Self-love and embracing our own path takes patience, time and silence. Many days that is enough to help us stay balanced and focused in our own lives.

  1. Flexibility

This comes easy to some and is impossible for others. Because these principles take the most time to master, balance and flexibility are 2 aspects of fitness that many overlook. When clients want a good workout they come to a Kettle bell class or Personal Train with me, rarely do people set aside time to become more balanced and flexible.  And yet I see new clients weekly at my group Yoga class and it reaffirms to me that Yoga still is and always will be a growing trend simply because it will never go out of style. There is always a place for flexibility to increase because it is something that we must constantly and consistently do in order to maintain.

  1. Breath

Breathing is something we do automatically yet how many of us concentrate on it?  Did you know that Yoga really is about life force or “Prana”? Our breath really is our life force, the energy that is all around us is rarely tapped into.  Are we conscious of our breath? To realize that all life is, is a series of breaths, a series of journeys one after another is yoga.  How we flow through those paths (together with contentedness)  is of utmost importance and therein lies the essence of yoga. Our breath bridges gaps in our yoga practice, in our life and in our relationships. In yoga we learn to connect breath to movement and as we move through our flow, our practice from down dog to up dog we see that by letting our breath move us, we are moved, by allowing our breath to lead us, we are led.

Interestingly enough, acupuncture uses meridians, Qigong is a practice that dates prio to Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese practice.  The belief is that we can, through breath, achieve the energetic flow through our meridians and therefore our body, without the needles, and simply by using our breath.  Breath is life.

Yoga is for everyone, every shape and every size, any ethnicity, any fitness level.  We are all on a journey, just like you are on yours. Welcome each other’s journeys, for it is only in the celebration of individuality that we are accepting and loving of others and their paths, as we become accepting of our own.

I leave you with a though, a simple one in today’s chaotic, fast paced world that is filled with confusion, loneliness and stress.

This moment is a journey. The destination we have fixed our gaze upon is a distance hope, when we become fixated on that point we miss the flowers, the smells in the air and the kisses being blown to us from those around us. Having goals is a part of life, living passionately has its ups and downs as when that destination consumes us it also has a tendency to eat us alive, in essence we choose to eat ourselves alive. I believe. I believe in a world where there are many destinations, many paths, and many passions. I believe in a way of living where passion drives us forward, yet that same passion causes us to stop.

To breath. To feel. To think. To enjoy.

I believe in the journey, in the walking and the running, the jumping and the down dogs, the child poses and the corps pose, the time we take to run and exhaust ourselves  beckons us to crumble onto our mat. To regain, refresh, to renew and realign our self, time and time again, fall after fall, and disappointment after disappointment. It is on the mat where we remember why we are running, remember why we were born, and remember our true priorities and purpose.  Through yoga practice we learn to not only enjoy the journey, on and off the mat, we learn that life IS the journey and just like a pose we have worked on for years to “achieve” once we do “achieve” it we realize that we are not at our destination at all. There is always more to learn, always the potential of moving deeper into the pose, always another level and layer.


On the mat, and off the mat, in the studio and at home in our lives, enjoying the journey, for me, is one of the greatest lessons of all.



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