Backbend to Mend Your Mind and Change Your Life

Last week, I highlighted the importance of filling yourself up first so that you have the energy to truly care for others. I embraced yoga’s narcissistic appeal because it lures us onto the mat, where we can begin to evolve our relationship to ourselves and to the world. This week, I will teach you how to use asana, the practice of yoga poses, to generate the physical and mental energy to power this transformation.

It’s taken me about a decade of practicing yoga to figure out what we’re really doing on our mats: manipulating our bodies into specific positions to calm the mind. The mind and body respond differently to each pose, challenging us to learn to be OK with the varying energies and discomforts they elicit.

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Be Selfish To Become Selfless

Last month, we learned how to create solid foundations for ourselves in yoga, exercise and nutrition. From this steady base, we can advance this month to building our energy. When we pour energy into stable containers, we can concentrate and direct it to effect the changes we want to see in our lives.

Let’s start with yoga. The practice in the West, on the exterior, can appear to be selfish and even narcissistic. Because it is. We focus predominantly on the physical qualities of yoga because of our obsession with the physical body, our desire to preserve the ego and the salability of sex. This self-obsession is fine. We are looking for something to attach to, to fill us, and to answer questions about ourselves.

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Build Your Nutrition From The Ground Up

This month’s blogs focus on building strong foundations in your wellness practices to set yourself up for success and to enjoy the freedom this yields. Understanding the basics of nutrition is essential to create a diet that serves you.

Many of us are confused about what and how to eat. There is a lot of information about nutrition available, and much of it is crap. The amount of contradictions among sources makes it nearly impossible to know what or who is correct. One article proves going vegan is the only way to go, while the next article proves that it is life-threatening. It is a mess out there.
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Squats Are For Mondays

In last week’s blog, I wrote about the importance of focusing on the feet and legs in your yoga practice. This week, we’ll learn how to do weighted squats in order to build a strong foundation for your exercise regimen.

Many yoga teachers shun weight lifting, and many weight lifters scoff at the idea of incorporating yoga into their exercise routine. I say everybody needs to relax and consider how different modalities can be beneficial regardless of their origins. If your goal is to hold Warrior II longer, then incorporate the squat to build leg strength. If you want to perform a full squat, then incorporate Warrior II to increase groin flexibility.
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Ground Your Yoga Practice To Grow

This month’s blogs and teachings encourage building strong and stable foundations, whether in yoga, exercise, nutrition or even goal-setting. These facets of wellness do not need to be separate. To build a strong body and mind through any of these practices, you must have a solid base.

I see many yoga students, exercise enthusiasts and people in general wanting to rush to the end. They want to achieve advanced poses, lift heavy weights or overhaul their diets before they have mastered the foundations. Not only is rushing to the end unsustainable, but it also can be dangerous.

This week, we will explore the foundations of building a strong yoga practice. In the following weeks, we will examine the foundations of exercise and nutrition.

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Audaciously S.M.A.R.T. Goals

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; thoughts become things. I’ve been diving into a classic book entitled “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, who takes this even further when he says: “Money is the transmutation of desire into it’s tangible equivalent.” What he’s saying is that whatever you desire must first be conceived in the intangible world of thought before it can be brought into the physical world of form. The act of writing down your thoughts brings this process one step closer to reality as it directly transfers your desires into something you can see, touch and feel.
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5 Big Takeaways From 2015

2015 was a big, powerful year for myself and as a result for many of my students and private clients alike. I’m not saying that to brag but to highlight the main theme of “The Big Yogi”;
Inspire, Move and Transform. My perspective and teachings revolve around the principal of filling yourself up first in order to be of greater value and service to the community and the world. The power to make change starts with the ability to inspire yourself to move towards transformation. You have got to get clear on who you want to be and how you want your life to be, then you can take this energy and purpose outward and share it. This blog represents my takeaways and personal experience with these principals and teachings over the past year and is in the first person for this reason. I offer myself as a tool for you to reflect on your own big takeaways from 2015.
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How to Create Your Life’s Dreams: 3 Tips to Getting it Done.

Last week marked my completion of another 50 hour block of advanced yoga training; which I have been taking part in for the past year. I spent the week really getting to know my mind, including all of its little tricks and all the ways it tries to hide things from me. It was also an opportunity to evaluate the areas of my life that are working and uncover the aspects that aren’t.  Overall, the experience has created a desire to share some of my takeaways from the week, not only to put down on paper what I think I have learned, but also to inspire others to become happier and healthier through the process.

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A Calorie Is Not A Calorie

Yesterday, while chatting with a long term client about nutrition, we came to the controversial topic of whether or not the calories from fruit effect our bodies the same way the calories from grains do. Our conversation got me thinking and I’ve come to this stance: a calorie is not a calorie. Let me repeat that again, a calorie is not a calorie. Stop counting them, stop trying to understand them and stop rating your workouts by how many you burn. In fact, from here on out, forget you’ve ever even heard of calories. Calories aren’t worth your time. This may sound shocking, but I never count calories and neither do many others who understand nutrition. Without counting calories I hover at around 12% body fat (that’s far above average). One of my colleagues eats over 3,000 calories a day from fruit alone and maintains himself at 5% body fat (that’s professional athlete level)! He’s not concerned with his calorie intake either. There is a lack of understanding in the health and wellness world which tries to sell everyone on the ole “calorie in, calorie out” lie. The amount of calories in a banana effect you differently than the same calories in ice-cream because they are bio-nutritionally built differently. If this weren’t true then “calories in and calories out” would be correct and we could all maintain healthy body weights by limiting calories . If you’ve ever dieted before (and who hasn’t) you know this doesn’t work. So let’s take some time today and look at how calories effect us and how calories are not calories.

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5 Questions a Yoga Teacher Must Ask to Build Their Brand

So, you want to jump on the multi-million dollar bandwagon that is the yoga industry and you want to make a living doing it too?

Well, let’s get one thing straight first; yoga is a business and a competitive one for that matter. I mentioned before in Yoga Is a Lie that “Studios are unfortunately not in the business of teaching yoga, they are in the business of teaching what’s popular and driving revenue.” And what drives revenue? Teaching the masses to teach yoga.

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