5 Signs of an Advanced Yogi

5 Signs of an Advanced Yogi

When I started going deeper into my yoga practice, I began to wonder what it really meant to be an advanced yogi.   I remember the frustration I had with certain poses that wouldn’t happen no matter how hard I tried. One day in a yoga class, I noticed someone transition directly from a wide-legged forward fold to a headstand. My reaction was, “Wow, this person is like a magical unicorn!” I could also hear the little voice of doubt inside my head saying that would never happen for me. Well, I was wrong. A few years later, I conquered that variation—I’d officially transformed into that magical unicorn. Did I feel any more enlightened? No. Did I feel like I’d raised the bar? Not really. Luckily for us, what determines an advanced yogi has nothing to do with yoga poses; shifting into a refined practice goes a few layers deeper, to the core essence of what it means to be a “real yogi”—whatever that means. We can learn a lot about how we act and react by challenging ourselves. However, mastering that tough pose  suddenly give you enlightenment, so what does elevate a yoga practice?   Want to read more? Check out the original article here featured on Elephant...
Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Susan

Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Susan

Susan (Sadhana) is one of the skilled yoga teachers that the Yogacara community feels honoured to have. This week, she has been featured in our yoga teacher spotlight in the hopes that you can get to know her and the connection she has to yoga.      Do you have any favourite mantras/meditations/spiritual practices? I am fascinated with mantra, the Sanskrit language and the effects it has on not only those chanting, but all beings, plant and animal life in its proximity.  Mantra is a daily practice that has become effortless and brings so much joy.  It’s a very powerful tool to bring things back into balance and perspective.  During extended poses when I am not cueing, I am often chanting silently, helping to raise the frequency of the room.  Favourite mantra?  Guru Stotram.  You can listen and download here: http://rikhiapeeth.in/audio-gallery/  It is a shortened version of the Guru Gita.  One of my dreams is to go to an ashram in India where they chant the Gita each morning.   What’s the one thing you wish students knew? I wish they understood that the aches, pains, injuries and illness were not happening TO them.  Every one of these experiences, no matter how seemingly insignificant, are happening FOR them and through the practice of yoga one can begin to disentangle from the drama and learn to look at life from a wider perspective.  All students will benefit from introductory alternate nostril breathing practices to help dial down the mental chatter and take steps towards discernment.   Are there any books/movies etc. you would recommend for yogis? Light on Life (BKS Iyengar)  I...
Tips For The Busy Yogi

Tips For The Busy Yogi

Daily Yoga For a Tight Schedule   Let’s be real here. Not all of us have the time to commit to a 60 minute – 75 minute asana practise every single day. You know what? That’s okay! In today’s world, many of us have 40-hour work weeks, household commitments, kids, chores and so on. Before we know it, we’ve tossed our yoga practice aside to revisit it tomorrow or whenever time allows. For anyone who’s a busy yogi, I understand the struggle of balancing a quality practice with the demands of the world around us. As someone who spends up to 15 hours per a day at work, and spends my free time taking advantage of the short, but sweet snowboarding season here in Whistler, I too consider myself a busy yogi. Luckily, a busy yogi can commit to their practice even though they may not have a substantial amount of time in their day. Being a busy yogi, I’ve come up with my own strategies to ensure that I practice a little bit of yoga every single day. Although it’s tough to admit, I’m not one of those people that wake up early enough to make my breakfast, let alone make time in the morning to meditate. Meditation everyday is something that’s very important to me, but I’m unable to fit it in my schedule first thing in the morning. Have no fret! Thankfully, there are small breaks in the day that can be taken advantage where 5 minutes can be reserved to just focus on your breath and be present. Lately I’ll do this while on my...
New to Yoga? What You Should Know

New to Yoga? What You Should Know

If you are new to yoga, congratulations! You’ve made your first big step as a yogi. Choosing to be on your mat is extremely empowering. Starting out on this path into the world of yoga can be exciting but also a little intimidating. You may have a ton of questions like “what classes should I take? How do I do this pose? Am I in the right place?” We’ll break down the important parts of a yoga practice so you’ll know what to expect even if you’re new to yoga. Be patient This tip is key. Have you ever heard someone say “I don’t like yoga” but they’ve only tried yoga once?  Can you imagine someone trying ice cream for the first time and deciding they don’t like ALL ice cream, how ridiculous would that be? Let’s make this extremely clear off the bat: there IS a yoga for everyone. It’s having the patience to find the practice that’s right for you. There can be huge differences from class-to-class. If you’re new to yoga it’s a good plan to get a feel for the different styles of yoga by trying different yoga classes. Hatha is a great place to start then build your practice from there based on your needs. Be sure to check out different teachers as well since everyone has their own unique flavor when it comes to teaching. Yoga is more than just the poses You may be coming to yoga to get stronger or more flexible and that’s awesome but yoga is so much more than just the poses. It’s a way to connect you to yourself and the world around...
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