How Fast Are You Aging?

Do you remember the first time you realized your body was “aging”?

Maybe it started in your thirties with a few more aches and pains in the morning. A tendency to get tired earlier in the day. The first signs of wrinkles around your eyes. A memory not quite as sharp as it used to be.

As the years have progressed, those little twinges have probably gotten more frequent. And if you’re like most people, you brushed it off as a “normal” part of the aging process… just something that happens when we get older.

The thing is, you don’t have to give in to the frailty, disease, and memory issues associated with aging. These symptoms are not “inevitable.” They are signals that your body needs something.

When it comes to aging, we’ve been fed a load of unsubstantiated assumptions our entire lives. But emerging research from top experts suggests that we can have all the advantages of youth, well into our later years.

That means a lean, strong, flexible body….supple, smooth skin….. a brain that is sharp… energy to last all day… and an immune system that provides powerful protection against illness.

We are a body-oriented culture. We judge ourselves by our appearance and our body’s ability to perform. When our bodies change—as they inevitably do—our self-worth goes with them, for better or for worse.

In Siddhartha, a novel about enlightenment and self-discovery the prince, Siddhartha, ventured out of his palace for the first time, he was shaken by his first glimpses of a person bent with age, a person wracked with illness and the body of a person who had died. Seeing the inevitable path of all our bodies to our final demise caused him to inquire into how he might transcend the suffering he had witnessed. This led him to realize that in order to transcend suffering, he had to transcend his attachment to and identification with the body. He had to look deeper, beyond the pleasures and suffering of the body, for lasting happiness.

This is what our yoga practice teaches us. Any person in a body who is practicing Yoga is living in a yoga body, regardless of age, build, gender or flexibility. And the deeper practices at the heart of Yoga—meditation—require a body simply as an anchor for awareness. 

I think most people when coming upon my age may scour, but I’m truly looking forward to the unfolding lessons, increasing self awareness and growing self love that comes with aging. I’m reminded that this is the start of a brand new year- and that there are still infinite opportunities for growth along my journey. Within every moment lies a miracle. And within every burden lies a blessing. 

Namaste~

Failing is a Good Thing

Failing is a Good Thing…..Deep Practice

In his fascinating book, The Talent Code Daniel Coyle describes how the brain reacts when a person develops a new skill. Performing an action involves firing an electrical signal through a neural pathway; each time this happens, it thickens the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers like the rubber coating on electrical wires. The thicker the myelin sheath around a neural pathway, the more easily & effectively we use it. Heavily myelinated pathways equal mad skills.

So how do you build up myelin sheaths around new skill circuits? According to Coyle, you need deep practice.

Deep practice is the same no matter what the skill. Read more

5 sure fire-giveaways that you’re a dedicated Yogi

Recently I was taking a class in LA and I watched the most focused yogi ever:

This yogi was sitting in padmasana against a wall

waiting for class to begin.

A few feet away from this yogi, is a very Famous and Attractive

Actress (F.A.A.) trying to get his attention.

Not only does he NOT EVEN LOOK

at F.A.A.,… He doesn’t even appear

to physically HEAR F.A.A.

He’s so immersed in the moment… Focused

on his breath… That not even one of the

worlds most beautiful women can distract him.

Watching this got me thinking…

It never takes longer than 60 seconds

to tell the difference between a Dedicated Yogi (D.Y.)

and a fly by night yogi (F.B.N.)

And having taught thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers,

I’ve noticed a few sure fire giveaways between the

students who get it – and the students who

fall off the mat entirely.

Here’s 5:

#1:

A F.B.N. Yogi will complain that she doesn’t have

a studio or the props to train.

 

A Dedicated Yogi will find a place to practice at all costs… Even when it means

practicing with chaos around you  –

Or using no equipment except your body and your breath.

 

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“I had my first baby and I tried to go to a yoga class, but my baby was too young to attend childcare at the studio. I don’t have any yoga props at home, but I turned the phone off and put in your Busy Mom Yoga DVD with my newborn nearby. Still the best Yoga practice I’ve ever done, even now that my newborn is a toddler!!!”

Jennifer Davidson

Dedicated Yogi and Peaceful Mom

– —————————————–

#2:

F.B.N. Yogi’s will complain they need to be in a hot room, not to be in a hot room, have music playing, not have music playing, have a teacher, have only a particular teacher.

 

A Dedicated Yogi will not make excuses of why they can’t practice, no matter

what the reason is. They will be okay with life’s ebbs and flow. They will accept life’s ups and downs and do their practice anyway.

 

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“I started practicing with you back at the beginning of January. As I followed you from Hot Yoga studios, to College Yoga Classes to Ashtanga Classes at a Sports Resort I learned to maintain the ritual and cultivation of a regular practice without the attachment to one environment. I’ve learned to work towards my goals but view my practice everyday with new eyes.

–       Justine Lu

Yogi cultivating a regular practice

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#3:

F.B.N. Yogi’s will blame their injuries on yoga poses.

…And give up entirely. They’ll say that “chatarunga hurt their shoulder or

padmasana (lotus pose) hurt their knee”. They’ll demonize the pose instead of admitting…

It is you doing yoga postures wrong or pushing yourself into poses you are not ready for that is the problem.

 

A Dedicated Yogi will look at their injury, and say this:

“I need to let my ego go and modify my practice. I may not be able to do everything I use to, but I have a bigger picture I’m working towards and this set back is temporary”.

 

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“I have a group of friends that I started yoga with several years ago, now only a couple of us still have a regular yoga practice. The excuses were many, they wanted  to try the latest exercise craze or they were to hyper for yoga or they kept getting injured. I’ve heard you say there is always someone out there with a disciplined yoga practice, transforming from the inside out when others are jumping from the latest exercise craze searching for something outside themselves, searching to change their physical shell. I am that person staying committed to my yoga practice through all the highs and lows of physical and mental discomfort.

The transformation for me continues to evolve physically, mentally and spiritually and I’ve never felt so grounded and content in my life.

Jesica Murphy

Yogi calming a monkey mind

—————————————–

 

#4:

F.B.N. Yogi’s will claim they don’t have

enough TIME to get their practice in, read inspiring texts

daily, and stay on top of their responsibilities.

 

A Dedicated Yogi will say that she doesn’t have enough time either.

Then she’ll just get up earlier.

 

—————————————–

“Since I’m in college and work on

the weekends, it’s tough to get my yoga practice in

– especially with exams almost every week.

 

So I wake up at 5:45 am to get on my mat

and although it’s tough, I persevere

because I can feel and see the difference.

It’s this discipline that has given me a

Powerful Body and a Peaceful Mind”

 

– Tracy McFarland

Dedicated Yogi

—————————————–

 

And finally, #5:

 

F.B.N. Yogi’s will push themselves for a couple months,

and say that it’s “too hard.”

 

Dedicated Yogi’s will challenge themselves but will

work at a rate that’s safe and say it’s challenging.

And then continue to practice & modify as needed

until the practice becomes easy.

 

Dedicated Yogis will get results like this:

 

—————————————–

“Stacy I struggled with my stomach for years after having four children.  Your teaching physically changed my body.  My stomach is finally flat and strong, my back is muscular, and overall my body is firm and toned. I have a greater awareness of my body, how I carry myself, and my posture outside of yoga. And I’m more present with my children and loving to my husband.”

–       Patti Lorne

Dedicated Yogi, Wife and Mom

—————————————–

Now it’s up to you to decide which results

YOU want.

Fly By Night Yogi…

Or Dedicated Yogi.

The choice is yours.

 https://www.yoganamastacy.com

Stacy

 

“The Payoff of Discipline in your Yoga Practice”

August tends to be the month when I see a drop in the number of students attending classes & slacking off on the discipline that it takes to get the desired results they want.
You may have notice how quickly the body becomes stiff or weak from a lack of balanced movement that you benefit from in your yoga practie. When you become stiff or weak from a lack of balanced movement the long term result can be a body that starts to store fear & no longer moves freely & without pain.  An unbalanced body can create a cascade of problems from weight gain to no longer having the confidence to do the things you once did.
Read more

Order ~ Flow ~Heat

During my years as Program Director of a chain of Southern California health clubs, I’d seen literally hundreds of so called stretching programs, exercise devices and slick promises to increase range of motion, strength, flexibility and lung capacity. Yet I have never found any of these to come close to being as effective, thorough or well rounded as Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga.

First of all, the sequence of postures in the system is extremely well balanced. Successive postures within the system are uniquely complementary developing strength and flexibility both concurrently and alternatively. Second, the concept of uninterrupted flow (Vinyasa) tied to an empowering breath sets the practice apart from every other form of yoga.

The traditional series of Ashtanga Vinyasa is the most physically challenging of all styles of Hatha Yoga. It’s equal emphasis on strength, balance and stamina can prove to be difficult for many students who do not have the time to keep up with a consistent practice schedule or who have physical challenges.

An experienced teacher in Ashtanga can translate the unseen fundamentals of this system into yoga sequencing that is adaptable to any level. By integrating the Breath(Ujayi), Bandhas (locks), Focus (drishti), proper sequencing, order and flow the power of yoga can be experienced by those who may feel that Ashtanga is too challenging.

Many of the classes seen on yoga schedules across the country today, such as Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Flow Yoga and more are hybrids of Ashtanga Yoga. It’s nice to see the different styles that have evolved from Ashtanga, however it is important to know & understand the root source before embarking on your own style. An artist who did not study the masters, may not have the same depth of experience of knowing the history of the Masterpieces before them, just as a teacher who does not thoroughly understand the source of their style may miss the most valuable part of the teaching