I feel like Jimmy Swaggart in a cheap hotel with a hooker….I have sinned! I skipped another day. I told you I am going to have to deal with myself. Tuesday came and I felt a bit overwhelmed and so I went back to bed after I taught my morning class and had lunch with a friend. My friend was going through a bit of a struggle and I spent my morning giving him a bit of a pep talk. Afterwards I felt a bit wiped and emotionally drained. I couldn’t take it anymore, I went to bed and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon. The point of a daily practice is not to push yourself beyond your means. It’s to become comfortable listening to your body and being open to hearing what you need. Some days, you need to rest. Tuesday was that day for me.
I had promised my good friend Tiffany that I would take her class since she was gracious enough to sub for Vanessa Wednesday night in San Jose. This saves me from having to get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to her 6am class. I typically am not a night yoga person, or an early morning yoga person. My sweet spot is between 9 and 2. Generating the energy to practice outside of my sweet spot takes a concerned bit of effort. Needless to say my energy was low but I forced myself to show up and be a man of my word.
Its really amazing to watch the transformation that happens when you decide to go on a teacher journey. Transitioning from student to teacher is not the easiest thing in the world. Discovering your voice and deciding what it is that you would like to share with the world is like opening the deepest recesses of the mind and digging deep to understand and know yourself at a deeper level. I'm excited to see my friend that I love making progress on that journey. Tiffany is one of the kindest, sweetest friends that I have and her light shines brightly among others. Tiffany and I used to sit next to each other (and near each other) for many years when we both worked for Symantec. We've dealt with each other on many levels of friendship, peers, mentor, etc, etc… I am honored to be on this next phase of the journey together and see her blossoming and growing as a teacher. It feels good…
Even though my energy was low and all I could think about was a cheeseburger (I know, such a health nut) I managed to pound out another 75 minutes of yoga. The feet prevent me from prolonged balance sequences still but I am slowly starting to build up more tolerance as the month goes on. I'm sleeping deeper and feeling a bit lighter. The practice brings a little something yummier off the mat as well as the strength and endurance on the mat. As the body opens, the mind expands and you start to walk in the comfort of the disciplined mind rather than the chaos of the scattered mind. I already know that I am going to have to go every day for the next two weeks after this weekend since I am taking a day off for Valentine’s Day to spend with my boo thang. SMH…..Sometimes, I’m a mess but that’s okay, it makes me cute and quirky. It’s not about perfection, it’s about the spirit with which I walk through this life. Hang in there Yoga Belly....we are almost to the halfway point in the challenge. You can do it!
All my love,
Monday’s are not really a part of my existence anymore. I live in a world that is more like Groundhog Day than anything else. Every day is an opportunity to work, play, see friends….laugh. Today was no exception. I decided noon with Dustin in Mountain View would be my yoga for the day and was greeted warmly by my home girls Manisha, Tiffany, Summer and Tim. We practiced up at the front together and was surrounded by warm smiles of the friendly crowd. Great energy in the room.
Every time I see Dustin teaching these days I swell with pride. One of my job’s in the studio is to be able to spot potential and talent. I almost passed on Dustin after his audition. It was between him and someone else and I made a last minute decision to go back and re-visit Dustin because something in my gut was telling me that there was something there that I needed to explore further. He was like a young Jeff Lang in the way he explored movement and was quite the anatomy geek. Even though he was green, I decided to bring him in and work with him. What a good decision that was. I really hit the nail on the head. A little over a year later and I can look at Dustin with wonder and amazement as to where his talent and skill are rising to. There is a kindness and innocence to the brutal intensity of his classes that compares to no one. He has tapped into a unique experience that is his own and continues to grow and be embraced by others. He’s definitely special. I did a good job in hiring him.
My practice was pretty good today. Not too hard, not too soft, just right. After a day off and tune-up yesterday I was ready to push myself a little harder. I have a tendency to want to push myself to please others. I find myself not wanting to look deficient in others eyes. Surrounded by other teachers and people that take my own classes on the regular drive something inside of me that wants to “prove something”. I’m good enough, strong enough, worthy to teach. It’s my own internal dialogue that disconnects my body from my mind. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter what I can or cannot do. It’s the spirit with which I approach the mat, the practice. The drive to show up, be present, move, shift my energy to the places of the body and mind that need it most. To open my body and mind to an intention of living my best life. Embracing life and movement and the sheer joy of living an active joyful life. Today I showed up. I moved. I lived. I did it surrounded by people I love. I was LIVING.
All my love,
I skipped another day already damn it. I had to teach yesterday morning and then William and I had an arm balance workshop in the afternoon. My only choice was to take Courtney’s 4:30pm class and I decided to go home and rest….Believe me, you don’t have to say it. I get it. Lazy is as Lazy does, Forrest. I needed the rest.
Today was day 4 and I chose to go to Yoga Tune-Up for the #joshmarksexperience. I went to Yoga Tune-Up training with Josh last year and it was great to see him come full circle and sub for the class where he discovered his first love of YTU. I love Josh, he makes me smile and shake my head disapprovingly at the same time. Since we met at the Yoga Belly Anniversary party in 2013 we have been thick as thieves. We are of the same generation and have pretty much the same frame of reference for pop culture. I can make pretty much any reference from my childhood and Josh gets it. He is a faithful friend and has grown from being my assistant in San Jose to leading his own classes and going on his own journey as an instructor. I’m proud of the way that he keeps moving forward and being hopeful for the future in spite of having to start over after moving to California from Thailand and re-starting his life over. I’m re-inspired for my own journey when I see him making adjustments and corrections along the path keeping his head up. He’s a good man.
As far as my practice was concerned today I thought I had a pretty good showing. Yoga Tune-Up isn't like the regular flow classes at Yoga Belly. It really hones in on the concept of Maximum benefit / minimum wear and tear. I'm able to go a bit harder in tune-up and leave with that feeling of refreshment rather than being wiped from getting my ass spanked. I find it’s a good addition to my regular practice and encourages me to look at my body / my practice through a different set of eyes. With a deeper understanding of how my body works I can set goals in my regular flow practice and maintain my body for some of the deeper work that takes place on the mat. I find it to be a perfect addition to the time I spend on my mat in “me time”
I keep plugging away at this challenge and hopefully you are doing the same Yoga Belly. I look forward to seeing your faces and practicing with me.
All my love,
Day 3 of the challenge was today and not yesterday because I ended up having to sub for Mr. Jeffrey Lang’s Thursday night class. We needed a reserve beard to fill in for the mighty bearded one and I stepped up to the plate to help out. I taught the 6am, 9:15am, Noon in San Jose and then popped over to Mountain View for a little love. So basically I was exhausted by the end of the day. See….I told you I would find an excuse to skip a day. But, less judgment and more compassion, that’s what this month is all about, I am dealing with myself and putting myself back on track with my practice.
Today I decided to take our newest teachers class, Sharon Peleg, at noon on a rainy Friday afternoon. Having never experienced her class since William auditioned and hired her I was pleasantly surprised to see some elements in her class that I really admire in yoga teachers. Unique sequencing, fresh / interesting transitions and that silky smooth voice. That voice is kind of magical. Kind of makes you want her to whisper dirty talk in your ear. I found myself listening to her with my eyes clothes and getting lost in the sound. It’s really quite….mesmerizing. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
As far as my practice is concerned I am still coming in at a mighty 65% of effort. Taking it easy on the mat and just getting used to moving and supporting my body weight. My feet ached this morning after teaching 4 classes and I find it hard to balance in postures with the feet not being able to properly ground down in the practice. It’s so easy to judge yourself regarding what you can or cannot do on the mat. I remind myself that it is not about the pose but rather the spirit with which I approach the mat and the willingness to show up, move, breathe and live. I’m still waiting for that moment when I say to myself….Damn…that was good. I know if I keep on showing up. It will happen. Happy Friday Yoga Belly. See you on the mat soon.
All my love,
Yoga Belly 21 Day Challenge
Day 2 of my 21 day challenge was pretty awesome. I decided to go to one of my favorite gals on the planet Summer’s Wednesday 9:15am class in San Jose. I like to do her check-in and occasionally take her yoga class but it had been a while and so I decided to go see her and get my yoga on. I enjoy the morning classes in San Jose. It’s a small group of folks (9 today) and I know most of them since I do the majority of my teaching in San Jose and was pleasantly surprised to see the amazing Dustin Jones (also participating in the challenge) taking his Day 2 class with Summer too.
I really like Summer. I love how people respond to her energy and light. The kindness with which she illuminates those around her. She’s the kind of woman that women love and guys find attractive. The love and kindness with which she presents is matched with a dry sarcasm and witty humor that can be tossed around with the best of them. Summer embodies what I love most about the practice in that it has the power to change us for the better if we step outside of our comfort zone and push ourselves to be our best self. I have seen her as a student for several years and watched her entire journey as an instructor and it is amazing to see someone transition from student to teacher with such grace. If you get a chance to take Summers class she’s pretty amazing. Can you tell I am a fan?
As far as the practice goes…i’ve resolved myself to dial down my practice to a stunning 65% effort in order to maximize benefit and pro-long endurance in the challenge. Plus with the plantar fasciitis on the mend in my feet I don’t want to ruin the work of my amazing chiropractor Dr. Taylor Griffith at Movement Chiropractic and Wellness (http://www.mvmtchiropractic.com/) and Acupuncturist Grace Bolton at Nurture Acupuncture (http://www.abundancehealthsj.com/) SHAMELESS PLUGS cause they are amazing! Moving with awareness in the practice more often will serve you more often than pushing at full throttle at your edge. Can you find what that edge is in your practice? Do you understand your boundaries? Do you understand how to safely move those boundaries into a more open, limber, stronger you….that’s the journey. That’s the magic. That’s the magic of these types of challenges. I’m holding strong at Day 2. See you in the studio soon.
All my love,
P.S. I hope I used the right filter to put you in your best light Summer, per your request....
I am getting a slow start to my 21 day challenge. It’s already day 3 of Feb. and I have just completed Day one of my challenge. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to come down to the wire and I will have no extra days left by mid-month and have to go everyday till the end of Feb. I haven’t exactly been super disciplined lately and this is going to take sheer determination to be mindful of the words that I have put out into the universe and follow through once I have set an intention to complete the challenge. I decided to start my challenge off with my husband’s class at noon in San Jose. I am trying to take all of the YB teachers this month and switch it up. There are 21 teachers at YB so this will have to be a feat in planning and getting myself out of my routine and trying new timeslots.
Days like today I am reminded how lucky I am to share my life with an amazing yoga teacher like my husband. It’s hard at times to view him in the same light as everyone else because I tend to get caught up in William the person and forget that we have been on this yoga journey together for a decade now and I am lucky to have someone that I share my life with to walk side by side. He makes me a better teacher, I have someone to nerd out with yoga. I get to talk about the sequences I love and the unique transitions, when I learn a new move or when he learns something we share with each other the little victories we take along the path. I feel lucky today. This isn’t something common among the other people I know. The person that was there on my first day sharing in my personal practice is there 10 years later sharing in my path as an instructor.
I’m happy to be back on my mat today. It’s a good day. I hope you all are enjoying your time in the challenge and reconnecting with your practice at another level. It’s a magical journey if you find the time and place for it in your life.
All my love,
Greetings and salutations Yoga Belly Family. We have kicked off our first of a few different challenges that we will be doing through-out 2015. I've decided to participate in this year’s 21 day challenge so that I can reach out and be among the people and blog about my experiences. It’s also an opportunity to jump start my own personal practice since I have been taking time off to deal with my feet. I've had plantar fasciitis and it hasn't been pretty to deal. My personal practice has been sporadic and it’s time for me to jump back on the mat and dedicate some hours to my studio practice. There always seems to be an excuse to not practice. That doesn't change when you become a teacher. If anything it becomes more intense. That doesn’t change when you own a yoga studio….if anything it only becomes even more intense. It’s good to go back to the beginning. Back to your first love…that space on the mat, surrounded by your brothers and sisters in arms, sweating, moving, and shifting energy and mindsets. I hope to take this month and make time on my mat a bigger priority. I hope to see you, practice with you. Share my thoughts regarding my time in the studio. Happy February Yoga Belly. I hope to see your smiling faces and share space with you. I hope that you will find the time to start your own challenge. Push yourself outside your comfort zone. Make yourself a priority and push your practice into the next level. We are going to give away some awesome prizes, more details to come as the month goes on. Practice 21 out of the 28 days in february and you will automatically be entered in the drawing to win. Best of luck.
Love and Light,
We hope this blog finds you happy and healthy and living your most satisfying life today. It’s been a while since we blogged anything and now we want to share in detail the upcoming changes that you can expect to see at Yoga Belly. We just returned from a 3-week road trip and took some time to have conversations around next steps for Yoga Belly. As a result of these conversations, we have decided to remove Power Yoga from the schedule and replace it with a new class called YBX effective August 1st, 2014.
YBX is a fusion style yoga class that combines the physicality of a yoga class with the influence and style of other forms of physical training. Each class varies in style and influence based on the instructor and his/her experiences. YBX offers the following in classes:
• An exploration of all the yoga poses fused with other influences from other schools of physical expression
• Heated to 85 – 90 degrees
Teaching yoga is an art. It is an experience that is crafted by the instructor that plays on their strengths and variety of experiences that have lead them to the practice. We have strived to make choices with instructors who come from a variety of backgrounds and influences over the course of the last 4 years: Vinyasa, Power, Flow Yoga, Martial-Arts, Crossfit, Dance, Boot Camp / Personal Training, Running, Swimming, etc. All of these experiences translate to the mat through movement, sequencing and inspiration that plays through the practice. We are lifting the veil off Power Yoga and the expectations that come with this style of yoga and freeing ourselves to explore the art of workout through movement, with yoga playing a core foundation of the movement on the mat. We will explore the freedom that comes with this change as we develop a methodology around YBX and these next stages of development at Yoga Belly. We will be updating our teacher profiles to reflect this change and set expectations for people in regards to the instructor’s background, influences, style, music and presentation. We are going to explore the limits of this art of movement and expression using yoga as a tool in our repertoire.
Yoga Belly (the class) is the place for people that are new to the practice, need to explore a stronger core or returning to the practice. Yoga Tune-up is where we fine tune the body in order to maintain a higher level of physicality in our practice. YBX is where we explore the full expression of the practice and challenge ourselves on a path of exploration and openness.
In the next coming months you will see updates and exciting announcements as we move forward and evolve into the next stages of the journey together. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to address them.
Aaron & Will
I'm not sure if y'all noticed but Yoga Belly is sooo big on posting selfies & taking pics of our lovely yoga community. So in the month of April we thought: Hey gurl, why not make taking selfies a challenge for our students and award one lucky winner (one for each location) free yoga coz that's how we roll?
Okay so in the month of April 2014, we present to you our very first Yoga Belly Selfie Challenge #yogabellyselfie. The rules are simple: Take a fun selfie in your Yoga Belly gear---it doesn't have to be a gnarly yoga pose---something that "pops" and stands out. Then simply post it on Yoga Belly Facebook page, write where you took the selfie, slap on #yogabellyselfie and hit "Post." Our hope is that your pic gets hella "likes." The selfie with most "likes" wins 2 consecutive months of free yoga. Yes, it's that simple.
Here are the deets of the challenge:
You gotta be wearing a Yoga Belly shirt in the selfie and the YB logo must be at least 80% visible, give or take.
You gotta take the selfie somewhere in Mt View (for YBMV Facebook) or San Jose (for YBSJ Facebook).
You can submit up to 4 pics (once a week only please).
Selfie challenge takes place April 1st to April 30th.
Most "likes" on FB will be tallied then winner will be announced by May 5th.
Yoga Belly students only can participate in challenge (sorry YB team, you are out).
There is no sign up or formal registration required for this challenge.
To help you participate we are offering Yoga Belly brand shirts at 50% off this weekend from 3/28-3/30. Get yours while supplies last. Limit one shirt per participant. We have a limited supply so please play nice.
Please send any questions you may have to email@example.com.
And check out this cool pic of Aaron, Josh, Mayor of Mountain View Chris Clark, Carina, and Will taken at City Hall of Mountain View #yogabellyselfie.
I haven’t sat to write much since my birthday and turning 40. After such a public declaration of truth in my life it’s taken a moment to adjust to my new existence. I meant when I said I am putting down the issues that have held down my mindset and picking up a new mantle. It’s amazing how when you set a public intention and invite a new path to materialize in front of you how the universe conspires to meet you on your journey. Privately I have been speaking to people that will listen about understanding the difference between your feelings and your truth. You can choose to react to different circumstances that arise out of how you feel or you can sit in the seat of self and recognize those emotions and evaluate them as either Feelings or Truth.
It’s funny how yoga is a reminder of the state of the union when it comes to health. A holistic sense of health; mental, emotional, spiritual, social and physical. We focus on the physical at Yoga Belly to provide a conduit for change. Decisions are made from a community standpoint in order to enforce the other aspects of health and wellness. Hopefully over time an awareness of a personal practice will develop a skillset that will translate to other aspects of your reality. The lessons I have learned on my mat have applicable life lessons associated with them.
Setting Intentions, Walking in Awareness, Careful Transitions, Dealing with yourself to bring yourself to your mat every day, Mental Discipline and Dealing with external stress…. To name a few. How will you apply your Asana practice to develop a sense of self that translates to living your best life off the mat? How will you choose to deal with yourself and extend a sense of self-awareness?
For me, I’ve made a couple of changes to assist me on my way:
1. I’ve started to teach yoga again.
I will develop a style that is unique to my own experience. It doesn’t matter what the laundry list of excuses is that inhibit me from returning to the mat and guide people through a practice. I have something to share. I will say kind things to myself for taking the time to prepare a path for people to journey with me on the mat. I will work on deepening my own understanding so that I will give from a place of sincerity and not allow my own insecurities to inhibit my personal growth
2. I’ve started the largest home construction project of my life.
I am re-doing the roof in the San Jose practice space so that I can walk in and be proud of our home for our San Jose community. I can’t help that I broke my ankle and got side-tracked. It is what it is and it’s time to move on. No living in regret for opportunity lost.
3. I’m resolved in my heart to see this through.
I have questioned my decisions in how I choose to live my best life today. My feelings have told me about the scary truth of this reality. I may have to change how I live my life. By choosing to not return to my corporate career and focus on the development of the Yoga Belly community there are some scary truths in front of William and I. The fact is that we opened a new studio and we are spending more than we are making at the moment. The fact is I believe that living my life in service to a work that is bigger than myself is my own personal destiny and I will see it through to the end. My truth is greater than the emotions that build up, I refuse to make decisions out of fear but out of the belief for the work I am doing.
I believe in public declaration, hide it under a bushel…No. I will choose to live life on the terms I have set for myself. I will call into being a reality that is full of love, light and laughter. I will pursue my dreams and be un-waivered in my resolve for growth. I will love those that choose to walk this life with me. This is my personal state of the union.
How will you choose to share your truth? How will you choose to interact with the world around you? How will you choose to love the people that you share this journey with?
All my love,