As a child I would listen to audio books. It would come with a picture book and a 45 record that you would play and the bell would ding and it would be time to turn the page. I grew up in a very religious family and there was a lot of training that went into making sure that I would become a spiritual leader in my home one day. I find myself at times singing to myself:
Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry, when you get impatient you only start to worry. Remember, remember that God is patient too so think of all the times when others have to wait for you…
– The Music Machine
Somewhere in outer space, God has prepared a place for those that trust him and obey, Jesus will come again and though we don’t know when, the countdowns getting lower everyday…
– The Countdown Song
I am a promise, I am a possibility, I am a promise with a capitol P. I am a great big bundle of potentiality. I am learning to hear Gods voice and I am trying to make the right choices. I am a promise to be, anything God wants me to be…
– I am a Promise
These principles have been reinforced inside my psyche. They are a part of who I am. I have been trained to not let my soul be forgotten from young. When I left the church in 2003 and ventured off to find my own path I was pretty angry. It took getting mad to fuel me standing up for myself and to say, “This doesn’t represent what I believe in.” Even though I was angry I quietly bowed out of going and left in silence. I had seen over my lifetime all the people that had left in anger and caused a commotion on their way out of the door. I went on a journey to figure out what it was that I believe in. My mother wanted me to go to the pastor and talk it out. I knew he would try to convince me to stay and to rededicate my life to Christ. I said, “No.”
I was 30. It took me 30 years to open my mind and heart to the idea that I could find the thing that accepted me for who I was and provided me a moral compass to guide my path. I began to study other religions and to be open to other ideas that had not been a part of my conservative Christian background. Along the path I discovered yoga and meditation and my mind was blown. The body high, the calm, the strength of the practice. It was everything that I had been looking for. When I went to my family to share with them what I had found they told me that Yoga was rooted in Hinduism and left you open to demonic possession. I was devastated in the moment because I knew that I needed to tell them that I was gay and how could I tell them that when I couldn’t even share with them about how the practice had shifted me and moved in a way that meant so much to me.
I was gearing up to get angry and tell my parents out of anger that I was gay and I didn’t care what they thought until I received a phone call from my father at 5 in the morning on a Monday morning that my sister had died unexpectedly. I immediately went to their side to conduct the business of death and probably three or four days later we finally sat down and talked about how we don’t agree on everything in life. Let’s try to love each other as best we can in spite of those differences.
Part of me looks back on that moment and wishes that I had just said my truth to them but I made the decision to put coming out on hold while my parents were suffering a tragic loss and just be there for them. The first year after such a close relative dies there are a lot of firsts that just pretty much suck and you do your best to just get through them. It took me three years to get up the nerve to come out. I over-compensated by lavishing them with gifts and trying to create magical moments that would circumvent the fact that I had kept secrets from them by choice. At the end of the day, the day I told them was the last day that we spoke. I’ve seen them twice at two funerals. Other than that, our relationship has migrated to a casual acquaintance.
I was 36. At 36 years old I finally decided to live my life for me. I put down what others wanted for me and began to construct a life that was grounded in what I believed in. Out of tragedy, hard work and a decision to do the right thing came one of the loves of my life, Yoga Belly. Light on tradition, heavy on workout. William and I wanted to have a space in the world that wouldn’t “should” on you. Tell you what to believe in. Seek to control people with principles that may or may not apply to your everyday life. Creating a safe space for people to explore their boundaries and find their truth, what you believe in. Where you do “the work.” Where you enjoy the process because it isn’t always easy. We physically express and practice the skill sets that we apply to other areas of our life in order to promote success: socially, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Where all ideals are respected and belief systems are recognized as valid if they provide you growth and opportunity to live your best life.
At 37 I decided to go to my first Teacher Training and get my 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification. Teacher Training is really about the journey of self-exploration. Understanding yourself at a deeper level. Understanding what motivates and guides you. Coming to a higher level of understanding of the physical practice and how the intention of the pose / practice relates to you. I didn’t go to teacher training because I was the most flexible, the strongest, and the most badass yogi, in fact, when I got there, nobody looked like me. It took me a minute to realize that I was unique and that there are a whole sub-section of humanity that relate to my body and the way it moves and as I come to an understanding of my practice I can share my specific needs with others and they will relate and want to practice with me. That level of awareness is what teacher training is about and now a gift that I share with others on a regular basis.
Yoga Belly is now entering our fifth round of teacher training and our alumni have gone on to be some of our most beloved teachers at Yoga Belly and in the surrounding area. With this round of teacher training we have decided to expand our offering to three offerings that meet the needs of our students. There are three ways to join the upcoming training:
If you are on the fence and don’t know if Teacher Training is the right next step in your yogic journey I would highly recommend trying module 1. Surprise yourself by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and make a commitment to living your best life today. If you have any questions about next steps please reach out to us at email@example.com or talk with myself, Courtney or William before or after one of our classes. The journey of 1000 steps begins with the first.
Now is the time.
All my love,
In the spirit of Batman Versus Superman movie premiering this month—are you joining us for the private screening?—Yoga Belly is bringing back the Dynamic Duo Contest! For this contest, participation is simple: Create a team consisting of 2 members and practice yoga together at either Yoga Belly Mountain View or Yoga Belly San Jose throughout April 2016. The Dynamic Duo who practices together most/earns most points in a month wins prizes.
Here’s what the Dynamic Duos can win:
As an added bonus, all top 3 contest winners receive $50 gift card per duo to Paul Martin’s Bar & Grill!
Here are the contest rules & regulations:
Ford is taking over Yoga Belly for one day only on Saturday November 14, 2015. Come test drive a 2015 Ford Edge and receive a FREE class & a FREE $20 Gift certificate, compliments of Ford. Please tell a friend and sign up today here: http://www.yogabellystudio.com/schedule/
I wanted to create a class where we could teach people the beginner level information and they could have space and time to ask the questions that they need answers to in order to be successful in a Yoga Belly or YBX class. In Y B Basic it is my intention to pass on knowledge to people and empower them into a deeper level of self-awareness in a yoga class.
First and foremost it isn’t a flow class. I pull elements of Flow, Yoga Tune-Up and from my personal experience to pass on the basics to you. Will you sweat? Probably. I do a little warm up every class and we end up holding poses for an extended period of time to allow time for examination and adjustment. This might be a little hard in the beginning for some but the extra time allows us to work on understanding the intention for the pose and how your body relates to that intention.
Topics vary but I try to swing back around for refreshers as new people join the class. I usually have some type of theme or topic in regards to specific poses that we are breaking down. Also I go into some additional layers and break down for people the thought process that goes into planning a class or different yogic elements that will elevate the understanding of why you feel the way you feel when you leave a class. Its really awesome to create space in a class to really get into the details and take questions and create dialogue for people around the practice.
I think this class isn’t necessarily for you. William is trying out something similar with YB Freestyle for the advanced practitioner. It really depends on how well you understand YOUR practice. People can practice for years and not have an understanding how their body specifically relates to the practice. Body awareness and a deeper knowledge of the asana in relation to their specific needs.
I warm the room to help with opening the body. I like to practice yoga in a warm environment. Not nuclear hot….just warm.
Mat, Towel, Water Bottle….the usual.
Injuries is such a generality. The class is done workshop style so it’s okay to sit in and ask questions. I can help you understand how to modify your practice into something manageable if your doctor says it’s okay to practice.
Pimp style obviously. Haha j/k. I think I mentioned it earlier. I try to keep it workshop style
Everyone seems to break a sweat in class. We are definitely moving through postures, we just aren’t flowing to the breath as in a typical Yoga Belly and/or YBX class.
I’ve thought about capping classes to 15 if it becomes unmanageable but so far there are usually around 10 people that come to each class. I try to give everyone their time and create an environment that is fun and conducive to learning.
October is refer a friend month at Yoga Belly. Simply follow the three easy steps and you will be entered into a pool to win a free month for you and your friend at Yoga Belly.
Follow these easy steps:
This promotion is for first time visitors only. If you have any questions please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Valid October 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015. Winners will be announced on social media October 8, 15, 22 & 29.
Get your yoga on!
The YB Family
From a young age Keshia had always been active. Studying classical ballet in Sydney, AU then receiving a black belt in Tae Kwon Do before entering college, and regular gym exercise after that. After a set routine, she was looking for something different and a friend persuaded to try Yoga Belly. After several failed yoga attempts, she decided give yoga another try. From the first class, she was hooked. The challenge of flowing and being mindful of the breath and body was something she wasn’t aware of through other workouts. Finishing Yoga Belly’s teacher training and mentoring under Yoga Belly’s own Sean and Loran Loosli, she was able to expand her yoga practice. Keshia would like to share her love of yoga and Yoga Belly to others and hope to open them up to their potential and find their strength. After all, she too is still a student! Outside of yoga, Keshia works in commercial property management, loves to hike, and likes to smoosh her dog’s face because he’s so gosh darn cute!
Please welcome Keshia to the Yoga Belly family!
Yoga Belly 21 Day Challenge – Results
What a whirlwind February has been. I started off strong with taking classes and writing blogs regarding my journey but soon into the month we started Yoga Belly teacher training and I was refining the curriculum and working full weekends and things started to slip. I have continued to take classes this month but writing the blog became overwhelming. Something had to give so I figured the easiest thing would be to post-pone my written ramblings. My apologies for not following through on my intention for this challenge. Good news is that participants finished strong and prizes have been picked at random from the list of people that completed the challenge. Thank you for everyone that participated in the 21 Day challenge. Here is a complete list of winners in no particular order.
Sikha Bhattacharya: Hardcore (1 Month Unlimited)
Mike Doan: 12 Pack of classes
Ton Duong: Hardcore (1 Month Unlimited)
Namita Khurana: Lululemon Top
Chen Li: Yoga Belly T-shirt
Sumi Lim: 6 Pack of classes
Bill Lin: 12 Pack of classes
Kimberly Mullins: Lululemon Mat
Clara Tong: Lululemon Pant
All my love,
Day 9 and it is Valentine’s Day weekend. Sometimes its good to surround yourself with loved ones. Being present in the moment and not should-ing on yourself. I had intended on taking Saturday off to allow William to spend the day with his better half but after a night on the town with our friends Hani and Philippe and a day spent hanging out with William for Valentines we decided to keep the party going and take a drive up the coast and have lunch in Bodega Bay with our friends Anna and Rich who we have known for a while. Technically I have known Anna as long as I have known William. We all met on the same day. So it was needed to catch up and hang out and touch base.
Practicing yoga is about being present and listening to your body in this moment. This applies to other areas as well as the physical practice. Being present in your primary relationship, understanding what you need to propel yourself into the space that you want to see yourself in. Deeper in love, a more meaningful connection. The practice on the mat is the physical expression of the mindset that we present in all areas of our lives.
Day 9 I was present, feeding my soul in other areas, practicing yoga in its highest form of connection. Sharing my light, allowing it to burn a little brighter by sharing space with those that I love. Be well today Yoga Belly. Practice yoga on and off the mat.
Day 8 I decided to wake up and take Courtney’s Yoga Belly class on Friday morning at 9:15am. I have to be finished with my work day early so that I can make my way up to the city to see Roseanne Barr at Cobb’s. We’ve had these tickets for a while and William is a big fan of hers so its building up to be a big moment. My husband is a man with few boundaries and don’t let someone famous be within earshot because we NEED to talk to them. We NEED to meet them. I usually just stand back and shake my head and let him do what he needs to do to let some of the steam off his OCD boiling pot. That’s the kind of love they don’t tell you about in the movies. Enough about us.
Courtney’s Yoga Belly class is pretty amazing. I really like how my body feels after having her guide me through the sequence. The amount of pumping and crunching in the beginning is pretty intense. Definitely some Pilates inspired Ab work and different techniques to getting a complete core workout. I really admire the knowledge that Courtney brings to her classes. The amount of time and energy that she puts into keeping herself at the forefront of education and taking herself to the next level is one of the reasons that we have decided to partner with her for the 200 hour Teacher Training program that starts in August. I would like to incorporate more of Courtney’s style into what I present as a teacher.
I have been really dealing with myself this month. Dialing it down on the mat, practicing more often. Not taking every chattarunga, perhaps a knees / Chest / Chin instead of taking the Double Chattarunga. There is something that is ingrained in us that feels like we have to push ourselves to our limits in order to:
A. Be a good Yogi
B. Get a good workout
So not true. Can you develop an ear to listen to your body? Can you make the right choices in the moment to feed your mind, body and soul? I’m trying to discipline my mind and feed myself what I need. Practice more often, more consistently, minimize the internal dialogue, and connect more. Isn’t the ultimate point of embracing the practice to maintain this level of mobility for the span of our lifetime? For me it is….I’m trying to find the balance between the practice and my duties in this life. Be well Yoga Belly. I hope you are enjoying the practice this month and the challenge.
All my love,
Hello there Yoga Belly. Day 7 of my 21 day challenge and I am reporting from my home after waking up from a drooling coma like nap that I took just now after teaching three classes and then auditioning a new teacher this afternoon. I know what you are thinking to yourself, “Hey, auditioning a teacher isn’t taking a class that counts toward the challenge.” In my world though we have ruled on the subject and said to ourselves….Good enough! What am I gonna do? Award myself free yoga? Lol
Meet Grace Bolton. She’s an amazing graduate of the YogaSource Las Gatos teacher training program as well as my acupuncturist that I have mentioned in a previous post www.abundancehealthsj.com , she’s pretty awesome. Hopefully you will be seeing more of her around the studio as she spends some time getting to know folks and being a politician, kissing babies and shaking hands.
I’m taking some time off from teaching to prepare for our upcoming YB Teacher Training program that starts weekend after next so hopefully I will see you guys in the studio and we will be able to practice together. Hang in there kiddies! Stay strong.
All my love,