To me, many things can be a yoga practice for example, jumping into the ocean, sitting still for pranayam, athletics, sailing, riding a motorcycle, etc. and yet sometimes the day to day challenges of bills, errands and negative people are my most ultimate yoga practice. The journey around connecting my highest self – my most compassionate reactions, and positive thoughts is my most challenging type of yoga! Some days taking a vinyasa yoga class is the easiest thing I did that day.
I thought whoa yes, L I F E – what an epic journey around movement of posture, position and attitude in this world! I put this simple conscious awareness into practice and found myself shifting rapidly toward happier experiences. In fact, I’ll share that I truly reinvented myself through this JAMA practice – a Journey Around Movement + Asana (position).
When we’re faced with these challenging situations, and negative people that pop up into our lives (or set up camp), it can automatically stir up a sh*t storm of painful, or limiting thought patterns. Riiight?! It’s unfortunate, but true.
To me yoga is making an effort to live in a high state of awareness and mindfulness. When I sense myself kicking up dust as the storm hits, I just create less visibility. Versus, if I become still and be patient until the storm passes, it creates insight and understanding and I actually gleen lessons from the sh*t storm!
This is the perfect way to process these autoresponder negative patterns of behavior and thought. This journey around life as a yogi begins with mindfulness of our asana (our position in this world), basically constantly asking ourselves, ‘What is my position in this situation, and how am I reacting to it?”, and “What are the affects of my position (asana) in this situation?”.
This heightened awareness of our impact allow us to roll into ownership of the situation and take responsibility for seeking our most positive outlooks and feelings despite the barriers.
Whatever I find myself doing, whether it’s a hobby, work or something in-between… the FIRST thing is mindfulness; bringing it into the moment, and taking the situation into a state of current awareness with no anticipation into the future.
As we take note of our reactions (thoughts, verbal and physical responses), our behavior becomes more acute and astute, our minds become more controllable, vs the uncontrollable and this mindful thought process draws us into the here and now. As humans, we all have this heightened awareness within us, once we start practicing it, we realize how to create more peace during conflict and compassion in the midst of challenging times. We can change our reactions or behaviors to align to be positive with positive outcomes. When the outcome is not ideal, we can control how we see it and react to it by taking a moment to bring a deeper connected awareness to life’s JAMA (journey around movement + asana)!
JAMA has unintentionally created not only a way of life for myself in yoga, dance and mediation, but with curiosity from my students …
JAMA has grown into a unique style of yoga, creating a successful life of it’s own to be shared and practiced by whomever it resonates with!
If you’re a bit curious about JAMA, enter your email with us, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
There is incredible power walking into a sacred space that’s been created for you. Group yoga classes, workshops and retreats offer profound improvements in ways you’ll never experience practicing solo.
I believe there’s a time and place for group classes, versus a solo practice. When I want to process something really big, I go to my solo practice. When I want to energize myself, it’s 50-50 whether I take my practice to my community in a group class, or take my it solo. There are benefits to both as they serve different purposes.
Group yoga classes are a great places to connect with like-minded people, learn and feel deeply supported and challenged. As a yoga teacher, my livelihood is based on people attending my classes and workshops. However, I believe that the art of yoga is only deeply and fully understood when you experience it by yourself, totally alone. Classes and retreats offer human and community connection often times leaving you in a higher than normal energized state, and yet in a world that’s overstimulated, the classroom can be just that, OVERstimulation; talking, music, scents, movements the your body isn’t asking for, volume of the music, the instructor, temperature, personalities, ect. I believe it’s much more difficult to tune into your practice in a group setting, but easier to feel energized.
Solo Practice challenges: You’re faced with your own successes and demons in your solo practice. Do you want that? Sometimes I feel ready for it because I see faster self-development by stepping into every aspect of me (both the perceived ‘good’ and ‘bad’).
I also enjoy going at my own tempo. You choose where, how and when to do your yoga. You’re alone so if you wake up naked and drop to the floor for some nude meditation, or chaturangas – it’s your yoga party, you can do whatcha want – no judgement!
Personally, in my solo practice I’m able to dive more deeply into my breath and thoughts. It offers a deepening of my mental/emotional/spiritual connection and allows me to integrate it into the asanas (positions and movements). I can’t go as deep into my spiritual realm in most public classes, or in a group settings. A solo practice is something to build up to, reaping great rewards of uninhibited movements, tapping into the ebb and flow of your body more intensely feels rewarding and inspiring!
The release of endorphins and energy I receive when I am in my solo practice is unparalleled to anything else. Sometimes this is from a blissful practice, other times it’s facing ‘demons’ of negative self talk, or thoughts that I discover I was avoiding for weeks or months. Facing this head on in a solo yoga practice always results in a quieting of the negative mind for me.
I’ve also discovered in my own practice, and having spoken with hundreds of yogis – that there’s a profound sensuality—a gentle eroticism that takes place solo. I’ve never felt this kind of freedom anywhere else, it’s like a new kind of tantric unraveling. Unleashing the sensuality of your solo yoga practice is like pandora’s box if you will, once you begin this freeing journey around movement of body, mind and spirit it’s something you crave!
I recognize that it’s not easy to muster up the motivation to practice without guidance.
Hopefully you’ve felt a twinge of inspiration to start with one pose and breathing before or after bed time. Keep in mind solo practice requires some experience and a bit of training with a yoga teacher, in private lessons, or beginner classes but once you feel comfortable with a hand full of poses – combine these asanas and observe the effects. Ask yourself, what’s opening up, or where am I feeling tightness? Continue to observe as you experiment with what feels right and what doesn’t. Yoga is intuitive, trust yourself.
When most of us first encounter a group yoga experience – it’s such an intense setting that the contract to practicing alone can feel near impossible. However, yoga in my opinion, is about quieting the space around you to tap deeper into your personal connection with your divine, diving in AND THEN if you choose to connect to external stimulation (people, nature, etc.) let that deepen your experience to your personal practice. Physical yoga is just 1 of 8 limbs of what yoga as defined by Patanjali. I see yoga as a lifestyle, it’s how we think, act and feel, so yoga to me IS a very personal practice of self-realization.
I said this when teaching a dance workshop to hundreds of students, ‘our first dance partner is ourselves, our second is the ground and our third partner is human!’ Let’s continue to practice really ‘being’ with ourselves as our first partner in this life!
The Value of Personal Growth and Self-Improving Experiences
We’ve all heard the term, “You can’t take it with you”…While this may be true of material wealth and stuff that we accumulate in life, what about our life experiences?
Growth of the soul is invaluable, not only during our lifetime, but also rippling infinitely beyond. Whether you believe in karma and reincarnation or not, being the best human that you can be, in this lifetime, benefits your life experience, here and NOW, as well as others’ experience of you.
In Western culture, especially in the United States, society has developed (or digressed) into a culture of materialism. We are bombarded in almost every moment with messages to “buy, buy, buy” – being constantly convinced that this or that thing will make us happier, more fulfilled, more desirable, more (fill in the blank!). But, time and again, “retail therapy” just doesn’t provide what we were seeking, or does so only fleetingly.
True happiness comes from feeling fulfilled and at peace on a soul level. What we learn and gain in this realm is everlasting, and cannot be taken away. Better yet, the more we enrich ourselves on a deep soul level, the more we have to share with others, especially those we love.
5 ways to enrich your soul:
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 26, 2015
Ubud. Say it out loud:“Oobood”…(Rhymes with “GOOD”…which is quite telling of this community, where even if you mispronounce the name, the locals aren’t likely to do anything other than smile and say “seng ken-ken!” – Balinese for “no worries)”.
While Thailand is known as the “Land of a Thousand Smiles”, this is a world where there is a smile for every emotion. Living in Ubud, I’ve experienced a positive attitude from a beautiful community of Balinese people. This, in my mind, is no doubt a reflection of a way of life, a way of thinking that stems directly from their devout Balinese Hindu faith.
An example: Yesterday, my cab driver came centimeters from running right into an oncoming van. He simply didn’t see the vehicle. As we all gasped in fear, our van screeched to a halt just before we t-boned the other van. There was a strange silence, not because of fear that had subsided – it was something else. We looked at one another, and were more astonished at the interaction between the taxi drivers. The passengers in my van – from NYC, Amsterdam, CA, Sweden, and Germany – all assumed this near-accident would provoke yelling, or that a frustrating, angry interaction would occur between the drivers; instead, they smiled with respect and nodded to one another. It was like they knew something we didn’t. They knew that it does no good to react angrily and yell. Certainly, an unexpected reaction from the typical taxi cab driver!
We were more in shock over their kindness than we were in gratitude of being alive…that’s how ingrained in us it is to expect certain behavior, in certain people or in certain instances. There was no anger, no place of blame – just an exchange of pearly whites, and we were on our merry way!
Next time someone cuts me off on my scooter, I will remember the Bali way. I will try not to throw my fist in the air, in a frustrated response from almost needlessly dying! I’m going to keep both hands on the handlebars where they should be, and smile that I’m alive.
An attitude of gratitude is e v e r y t h i n g.
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 26, 2015
Dance is such a pure form of communication, crossing cultures, religions, race, sex, age, & shyness levels! I don’t speak Indonesian (yet) and they don’t speak English (yet), however we understood one another perfectly.
I helped create an afterschool volunteer dance yoga program in Bali and as I’m teaching class, we transition from a JAMA yoga class, to a Salsa class. We begin dancing and I think I’m dancing with passion until I look up and see this brown and white sea of moving bodies – young Balinese faces and sly witty grins expressing so much LOVE for dancing that I can barely contain the wave of happy tears welling up!
It felt as though they were telling me, ‘yes – teach me what you know b/c I can dance this fun dance you call ‘Salsa’, and anything else you show me!’
Thank you Dewa for representing a free after school program for these kids, for teaching them the beauty and discipline of yoga, and for inviting me to teach JAMA yoga dance Learn Pure yoga, dance and fitness services with Jubilee Organics products
I absolutely love teaching these kids, every week they cheer for more Salsa dance moves, like I’m giving them a week off school, or bags candy!
Feeling appreciated and have been reminded about what my level of passion used to be around dance.
Dance on my friends!
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 26, 2015
How can you lighten up your lifestyle? Start with making healthy eating decisions and don’t eat fast food. Your internal and external health is reliant upon the fuel you put into your system. Here are some suggestions to assist you with immediate lifestyle shifts.
1) Take liquid and/or chewable vitamins& you’ll reap big benefits! Those who take a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement have reductions in the risk of cancer and heart disease. The absorbability of folic acid in your multi is almost twice as easy for your body to absorb vs folic acid in food. Vitacost.com is a GREAT resource which I use for most my vitamins and supplements.
2) Get a large glass water container, put a 8oz cup on your desk, pour and drink throughout the day! Only 1/3 of all Americans drink the recommended basic eight glasses of daily water. Fatigue upon awakening, fatigue at midday, lack of concentration, and headaches are just some signs of slight dehydration…sound familiar? If ya think falling a little short of 8oz a day isn’t a big deal, try increasing what you’re consuming and see results for yourself – enjoy!
3) Eating daily 7 grain cereal or oats (Coach’s choice at costco) is your easiest chance to get lots of fiber in a small package. Fiber is a kick ass cancer fighter, plus it actually cancels out some of the calories you consume! YES PLEASE! Let me break it down, say you eat 30 g of fiber a day (which is more than what you probably consume), your body will absorb 120 fewer calories per day and this can be up to a 13-kb weight loss within a year!
4) Get a wake up call – that will strengthen your bones! Toss some almond milk in your Coffee. If you make instant coffee with hot water, steam a little almond or soy milk and you’ve got cappuccino or a fancy cafe au lait! … along with peace of mind you’re fighting against osteoporosis w/ increased calcium and vit D.
5) Slow down your aging clock by buying organic blueberries (or non organic if you’re on a budget).Freeze some of them so these precious nuggets don’t go bad and drop these brilliant berries on your cereal daily. These guys are so packed with antioxidants that a lil 1/2 cup has 2x’s the antioxidant power than the average consumption.
This information is based upon studies done on both humans and animals. The data is generally agreed upon by nutrition practitioners and understood as accurate. I enjoy my studies and I’m happy to share my resources with you – just message me :))
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 26, 2015
“Sample” different teachers to see what’s out there, it’s like relationships hit or miss! You may have to have some awful experiences before you find your a favorite fit! Whether you are an advanced practitioner in Yoga, Fitness or Dance…. or just beginning your journey, you should set expectations high (have fun and feel confident as your practice/fitness level is being expanded)!
Choosing an instructor is a personalized thing so hone in on the club, or style you like. IF you don’t have one do the “sampler platter” technique.This consists of new experiences and different classes than your used to. It’s great because you may be surprised when you take a paddle board yoga class, or a martial arts session and have a BLAST, or a quiet internal moment of realization! You might just find that magical teacher-student-class connection that you didn’t expect. Go for it, gather diverse perspectives and discover an instructor (and class) that fits you like the partner you’ve always wanted! It’s worth putting the time in and having patience.
If you value reaching complete comfort in challenging moves then look for a slower paced beginner/intermediate class. If you like the instructor,don’t be shy in asking in the beginning of class for more attention or alignment. If it’s in the budget – see if there is a private class is available because this means you can improve that much faster w/ the hands on personalized attention.
A great fitting teacher helps you;
1- feel amazingly alive, part of a tribe/ community,
2- helps you discover your instinctual and natural movements
3- makes you feel appreciated, aligned and improved; physically, mentally or emotionally (or on all 3 levels)!
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 26, 2015
Sleepless Spring? 3 techniques to be restful + fall asleep
If you find yourself sleepless this Spring – feel better rested by choosing from an assortment of meditation techniques. Try different methods until you find one that works for you. With practice, you can eventually and slowly choose your thoughts and create a more restful sleep.
Imagine it’s 3am and sleep is much desired – in one way or another we’ve all tried affirmation thoughts like; “I’s 3am, now I will fall asleep” “I will fall ASLEEP now”, “I will fall asleep NOW”, “NOW I WILL FALL ASLEEP!” ahhhh. Yeah, I tried that for years and it left me frustrated and wide awake.
When thoughts creep into your head that are not conducive to sleep, first of all give yourself a pat on the back for noticing that you’ve gone there, (becoming aware your mind is taking you down the wrong path is the first step). If (when) mind wondering happens, immerse yourself in 1 grateful thought specific to your life. Imagine loving yourself exactly as you are. Then proceed with meditation:
Follow these THREE TECHNIQUES and try each style (more than once) before thinking they may not work for you:
1) MEMORY TECHNIQUE – Lay in a comfortable position with eyes closed (hopefully that’s a given). Project yourself to your ideal place of relaxation; beach, mountain, lake, your comfy bed, etc. Imagine experiencing all the senses of your ideal place; are there any distinct smells, any tastes, what do you feel on your skin, etc.?
2) BREATHING TECHNIQUE – Take 3 deep cleansing breaths as you slowly repeat “relax” 3 times to yourself. (Take note of your breath and concentrate on the natural airflow of you body – you will go deeper into relaxation.)
3) COUNTDOWN TECHNIQUE – Count to yourself from 25 down to 1. Your body releases to gravity with every count, you consciously slow your breath down by constricting the area of the throat you gargle with. You feel a deeper level of relaxation (which can sometimes be more restful than deep sleep).
You have the choice to sleep better. If you practice these techniques, you can harness the power of your mind to achieve not only your mental, spiritual, and physical goals but your SLEEP goals! zzzzzzzzzzen I hope that you fall asleep in a great state of mind and much faster by focusing on the way that you think and what you think about. At the very least, you will be as relaxed as you can be in bed – meditating! How you think affects how u feel, how u feel affects your health.
Filled Under: Blog Posted on: November 24, 2015