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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How Much Does a Yoga Instructor Make? More Than You Think!

How Much Does a Yoga Instructor Make? Well, that depends. Here’s why;

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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Five Afflictions Destroying Your Happiness

Are you happy? Are you truly happy at the deepest level of your being? Sure, on a superficial level, happiness is relatively easy to achieve or at least to project outwardly, but on the inside it’s a whole different story.

Outward happiness can be achieved through a smile, purchasing a new possession, even a new relationship. What they all have one thing in common however, is that they are temporary. When I get what I want I’m happy. When I avoid what I don’t want I’m happy. When I’m in love I’m happy. But what happens when life doesn’t go how I want it to? I feel angst, I feel loss, I feel less than, I feel sadness. Today, I’ll talk about the “Kleshas” of the “five afflictions” responsible for causing suffering and ultimately, unhappiness.Read more

Detox to Retox!

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been hungover… It sucks, I know, we’ve all been there and the older we get, the more it hurts. Let’s be honest, part of living a modern lifestyle involves being healthy and active while the other half includes being social and drinking. We all work hard  and sometimes we need to blow off some steam. I’m not here to tell you to drink less, you’re a grown up, do what you want. I am here however to share my “extensive” field research in bars (yes, yoga teachers get just as drunk as the rest of us) and help you get over that Saturday morning hangover so you can get out there and take on your weekend like a champ. So here it is, The Big Yogi’s time-tested way to “Detox to Retox.”

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Yogis Don’t Eat Tacos III: Yoga Is a Lie

In my near decade of practicing, studying and now teaching the art and science of yoga I have come to a deep and controversial stand- yoga is a lie. Yes, that’s right, you heard me correctly, yoga is a big fat lie. Part of me feels frustrated and upset to have dedicated a large percentage of my life, career and faith into a practice that has lied to me for many years, another part of me just sits back and laughs as more of the veil becomes removed. The modern practice of yoga has become so convoluted and so loaded with connotation that it’s to the point of being a big joke. To understand why I’m making this claim, here’s the first thing you need to know: Yoga means “union” or “to yoke”, it does not mean poses or “asana”. In fact, poses only make up 1/8 of the total scope of yoga (and that’ s Hatha yoga to be exact, as there are numerous other forms). The word yoga brings up thoughts of hippies, blonde babes in Lululemon pants, handstands, hot and sweaty rooms and teachers who are borderline insane. For all of these reasons and more, the word yoga has become a product, a commodity and a misguided movement. But just to be clear, here’s 5 reasons why modern yoga is a lie.
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How to Manage Stress: Drop Your Expectations to The Floor

How to manage stress? Drop your expectations and assumptions to the floor, period

Expectations and assumptions are natural functions of the human mind and can exist at a deep and  unconscious level. They prepare and inform us how to act and can protect us from emotional pain, they serve a function. Expectations and assumptions however, are core contributors to our unhappiness and prevent us from living in the present moment.

Think back to a minute ago before you started reading this blog; when you read the title, what did you expect to find, what did you assume it would be about? That answer is different for all of us, so take a moment and see if you can recall your initial thoughts that came to mind.

Maybe you thought to yourself “I expect this to be good or I expect this to be bad.” Or maybe you assumed that this blog would only be related to yoga and not applicable if you don’t have a yoga practice.  Are any of these thoughts right or wrong? I do not know the answer, but neither do any of us until we actually experience this article, event or moment first hand.

I can hear you saying already “But it’s good to have expectations about things, we should expect things to be good and avoid things we expect to be bad.”

Well, I have some advice for you, drop your expectations.

Throw them out the damn window.

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Sitting: The New Smoking

Did you know that the average American worker now spends more time sitting each day than they do standing?  The effects are evident. 2/3 of our population is overweight or obese, stress and preventable diseases are at an all-time high and for the first time in U.S. history, our children face the chance of being less healthy than their previous generation.

Sitting has been called by some the new “smoking” and here’s why:

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Paleo Balls

A few years ago I really began to dial in my diet and got turned on to “Paleo eating.” For me it has drastically improved my physique, strength and most importantly, my mood. I find that limiting my processed carbohydrate intake allows me to think clearer and stay leaner at the same time. One issue I run into though is finding new and tasty foods to eat, as a result I find myself experimenting in the kitchen a lot and creating quick/healthy versions of some awesome traditional dishes. Today I messed around and let the Italian in me shine and created what I’m gonna call “Paleo Balls.”

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What is Meditation and Why The Hell Should I Do It?

What is meditation? It an old esoteric practice reserved for monks chanting in caves, atop a mountain- it’s weird, it’s something for hippies and is practiced for hours on end, right?

Well, not exactly, at least not anymore.  Meditation is actually quite normal, and has been practiced by the great leaders of the world; Jesus, Buddha, Ghandi and Russell Wilson (the Super-Bowl winning quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks).

I’m kidding about throwing Wilson into the mix with these others, but did so for a reason; meditation has become mainstream. It is now being practiced by yogis, home-makers and professional athletes alike. The reasons for one’s own practice may differ; from the search for enlightenment, to managing stress, to improved athletic/professional performance.

So what do these very different motivators all have in common? The quieting of the mind and the search for a clearer, sharper reality. If you’ve never meditated before, the concept of sitting still can be quite scary, so let’s get to the topics at hand and learn what mediation is and why the hell to do it.

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Stress Management: The Choice Is Yours.

More so than ever, many of us are experiencing constant stress. It’s a hot topic these days, as the research has shown that stress is literally killing us. Students are constantly coming to me asking for tips, techniques and ways to be unstressed, “just like myself.”

Firstly, the assumption that yoga teachers or experienced meditators don’t experience stress could not be farther from the truth.

I personally experience stress daily- from deadlines, to getting upset in traffic, to disagreeing with my roommate (I originally came to yoga to help with the stress I was experiencing from corporate sales). The main difference between a student and a teacher is that the teacher has learned how to manage stress and learned to notice when they are experiencing stress. It’s not like the tension isn’t there, it’s just seen and then regulated appropriately- and don’t forget, it’s is the teacher’s job to model how to be on the outside in order to help others create calmness on the inside. So do your best and try to not to compare yourself to how someone else “appears” to be on the outside. Let’s spend some time looking at what stress is, what causes it and how to help manage it.

 

Remember, learning to manage stress is a process which takes mental and physical training, and won’t “just happen.”

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