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!