The only space we can truly hold is our own. Our own bodies, our own breath, our own thoughts… When we facilitate another person’s process, we can practice being an impeccable host. Hosting space is very different than holding space. Knowing the difference lessens the burden and takes the weight off our shoulders. It’s much less exhausting. But to be a host of space is a great responsibility. To be done well, it must be done actively and consciously. To play the role of host requires the upmost care and consideration…
The tenth annual Yoga Union Yoga Challenge begins April 1st, 2017. We host the yoga challenge every April. We do it primarily for the three reasons:
1. It reminds us of the joy that consistent yoga practice brings into our lives.
2. It motivates us to emerge from winter hibernation into the glory of spring.
3. It builds community through a common goals.
The Yoga Challenge is meant to be empowering. The last thing you want to do is set a goal you can’t attain and then beat yourself up for failing. I’ve been participating in the annual yoga challenge every year running. I haven’t always completed it, but I have received some valuable lessons along the way. I’m happy to share some of what I’ve learned. Below are my essential secrets to ‘success.’
“If you can’t feel excited by your own creative output, you have to try something new. No one can innovate without destroying or dissolving what came before.” These words came to me from a deeply trusted ally in the Spring of 2015. I was questioning my impact. I was vacillating about signing up for Yoga Union…
The main reason why I felt so sure in choosing this training was the fact that I’ve done private sessions with Annie. That she’s shown me true healing happens from someplace deep inside, someplace nameless. I knew I wasn’t signing up for a teacher training to be able to get into crazy instagram-worthy inversions or “be super flexible.” I signed up to witness the magic that is as simple as breath. To study the interfaces of the body, the skin of language, its texture, quality, effects. To connect these threads.
Growing up on 2,000 acres of hay fields and forested mountain, you will believe in magic. I spent the first decade of my life making potions out of thistle heads, dragonfly wings, badger bones and handfuls of small river rocks. I could speak to all of the animals, and the wind, and the thunderclouds. With the…
We’ll meet on the beach, form a circle, set the boombox in the middle, and crank up a strength and mobility-focused workout in the sand. As the orange sun slips into the sea, you’ll be jumping, running, skipping, and playing your way to greater health and vitality. Finish with a swim as the sky fades from orange to red to purple to blue.
The problem with yoga and all this self awakening shit is that you are aware of your own mental tricks. The things your brain used to do to get you out of bad situations and make you feel ok with yourself and justify that the way you are is perfect and needs to alternation, they don’t work anymore cause you’re “enlightened” or whatever buzzword is popular this week. Really, it’s because you’re being honest and relatively aware of your own consciousness. Enlightened sounds entirely too graceful for what is really happening.
Yoga is taking away so many pillars I use to stand on and slowly replacing them with my own two shaky legs.
I understand why people focus on receiving strength from an outside source. A deity, a religion, a significant other. Having to scrounge it up from your own volition is fucking rough.
In therapeutic yoga, no two sessions ever look the same because your body is always different. We’re able to be in the moment and assess the situation as it is.
After a long break over the summer it is getting close to the next part of the Awakening Heart Intensive with Sianna Sherman at Yoga Union. This has been a truly amazing summer for me. I have been busy teaching a whole lot and at the same time hiking, camping, swimming and enjoying the natural wonders…
As part of the Awakening Heart Intensive we are encouraged to do a cleanse and 40 days of committed practice. Sianna says “40 days of committed sadhana is one of the most transformational gifts you can offer to your own great being.” She gave us a list of practices for morning, mid-day and evening and a…
Paul Muller-Ortega has a way of relaying information and wisdom through story telling and the use of colorful adjectives and pronouns, contagious enthusiasm and bubbling excitement about the opportunity of living life with a heightened awareness and applying that to practical use in order to live life to the fullest potential.
The night of the event there was electricity in the air, and prana everywhere. It felt like a concert and everyone was excited to be there for such an auspicious occasion. The place was still rough and in the raw, but had been cleaned out and decorated for the night. Over 145 people showed up and the entire place was filled with yoga mats and chatter.
“Bhukti” means enjoyment or worldly fulfillment. “Mukti” means spiritual liberation. Tantra is the bridge between bhukti and mukti. It is a way of reconciling the apparent opposition of spiritual and worldly fulfillment. The message here is that in the tantric practices it is possible to enjoy a “worldly” existence and discover full spiritual liberation in this life.
And, so on Friday, April 12th I embarked on a yearlong journey with Sianna and a few dozen others on the yogic path of Self discovery.