Three Things I'm Thankful For...

If I had to choose just three things in the yoga realm that I am grateful for this year, these would be the ones!

I really don’t know how to describe in words how I felt when Tim got sick back in June. I wasn't expecting it – I don't know if anyone really was. Of course I never want to see anyone suffer, but knowing that Tim was suffering was unbearably hard. Friends and family would call during that time to chit-chat and ask me how he was doing. Which was always followed by, How is everything else going? But for me, it didn't feel like there was anything else here. It's practice, family, work, community… what else was there?

Of course this was impermanent, like everything is. But I do feel incredibly grateful to have him back. I know I'm not the only one in the shala who experienced the auspicious disappearance of nagging body aches and injuries on Tim's return. 

The truth is, I'm grateful for all my teachers. We as a community are lucky to have such...

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Keeping On

Today marks the beginning of my third month in Encinitas. And, so far (as I should perhaps have expected somehow, although it’s naturally impossible to expect this) nothing has gone as I planned. I realize now, though, that perhaps I’m not the one doing the planning.

When I announced to my community that I would be taking a sabbatical and leaving DC to study with Tim Miller for a year, I told them to keep doing their practice. We all need to remember that practicing because of an attachment to a teacher is a dead end. In fact, to practice for any reason other than a love for the practice is a dead end. Practicing because you love a teacher is like looking for something you’ll never find - teachers can give us a false sense of permanency, especially considering how formative a good teacher can be, but one of the most crucial things this practice teaches us every day is that nothing is permanent.

I certainly didn’t think that I would get here and be...

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My Big Step

This is a blog post about change. In Buddhism, change is pretty much at the core of everything - grappling with change and impermanence is crucial to working toward the alleviation of one’s suffering. Well, after many years, the time has come for me to grow in new ways, and I will be making the big change of moving from DC to Encinitas, CA. 

I’ve spent my entire adult life as a yoga teacher. I’ve created and built a Mysore program I am proud of. I’ve invested in studying and spent hours and days and months traveling to study in India, Boulder, and Encinitas. I’ve woken exhausted, practiced alone in the dark, and learned more from my students than I could ever have taught them. I’ve rejoiced in the breakthroughs of others more, I think, than I have in my own. I’ve strategized and deliberated on how to build community and inspire others. And most importantly, I’ve shown up. Again, and again, and again, In my teaching, in my...

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We Get to Be Selective

With all that is going on in the world right now, and specifically the ashtanga community, it’s hard for me not to feel saddened and frustrated. I suspect anyone who has practiced yoga for any length of time has probably seen on their news feeds a lot of the same things that I have. Trending incidents like the sexual abuse allegations against Guruji and the removal of dedicated teachers from the KPJAYI list are hard to ignore. But truly, these are just the most recent and high profile incidents.

I don’t have direct experience with either of these things, so I can’t address them specifically, but for me it does bring up memories of numerous other incidents in my career as a yoga practitioner and teacher when I have seen or heard things that felt ethically wrong to me. Some of them I addressed, some of them I didn’t, but I now wish I had. 

Incidents like a student dropping in as a visitor in a different program and being started on a new series,...

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How to Find a Genuine Teacher

In yoga the teacher plays an important role. The teacher not only sheds light on the subject of yoga - but the relationship itself is foundational. The specifics of the teaching such as techniques and beliefs are not as important as the love and relationship established between student and teacher. Yoga, to yoke, is about connectedness, and that begins with the connection between two beings. Connection is the driving force in transformation.

Good teachers remain heavy in their experience and not swayed. One of the definitions of Guru is heavy.

I think as students we seek to find teachers because we need someone to help us hold what is too big for us all on our own, and hopefully to provide a vision for us beyond what we can imagine for ourselves.

One of the central components of being a good teacher, is to be clear on what you’re teaching. My job as a teacher is to impart my knowledge of asana, but I’m not an asana teacher, I’m a yoga teacher. My job is also to...

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