Dancer pose

  • Intention: Dance Through Life

    natarajasana

    “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~Wayne Dyer 

    When you yoga, your purpose is not to execute each pose on the mat with perfection. The purpose is to enjoy each pose and each breath along the way. The purpose is get so intimate with that breath and that pose that all else slips away and there you are: Fully in the moment.  

    Many people ask me what kind of yoga I do. I do Vinyasa. Then, they ask: "Well, what's that?" I usually give some loose description they probably don't understand, along with this: "Vinyasa means to place in a special way.” Thus, a part of the Vinyasa practice is, unquestionably, moving into and executing each pose with grace and intelligence. There's always gotta be some structure, right? Some of us, however, get so hung up on the structure and perfecting that structure that we forget to enjoy yoga. We forget to be present with it. Instead, we get all tanged up in an asana over-analysis. And there we are: Not fully the moment, but wrapped up in our heads. So not the point.

    For me, it's most important to enjoy the practice and be present with it. I mean if this isn't happening, then what's the freakin' point? Being graceful and intelligent is all secondary for me. As my practice has evolved, I've grown to see perfection as an illusion, clumsiness and falling as a part of the game, and mistakes as lessons and opportunities for growth. There's no end to learning in yoga. There's no one place to go with it. It's meant to be enjoyed. It's meant to help us live more fully in the moment.

    All of this goes for life too, right? We all wants things (goals, self-realization, love...) and by all means we gotta go get those things. But it’s not about the end result - the retrieval of those things. It’s about the journey to those things and finding joy and presence within that journey. That's the purpose.

    The practice is a dance. Life is a dance. It's all meant to be enjoyed and savored. So, stop over thinking. Stop getting caught up where you want to be. Instead, be here. Savor here.

    And for a little dancer action...

    Join Ashley Turner for her new Dancing Shiva Flow.Strengthen by softening in this online yoga class, exploring shoulder and heart openers that lead to one of the most celebrated backbends in yoga: Natarajasana or Dancer Pose. Enjoy a dynamic standing, balancing sequence and dive into the myth of Natarajasana. Learn how to dance through "the rings of fire" on the mat and in life in this energizing online yoga experience.

    vinyasa yoga videos

  • Top 10 Reasons to Practice Yoga at Home: Part II

    As promised, Part II is here. Let’s see...where did we leave off? Oh yes.

    6. Feel as Cool as a Cucumber

    So here I am in yet another yin class to, you know, chill out. Instead, I spent the entire class dodging the woman suffering a cold on the mat neighboring my own. She’d sneeze a most uninhibited, full-bodied sneeze and I’d imagine germ particles drifting over to my mat. I thought I’d be able to tolerate it until hacking attacks followed by incredibly loud and ferocious nose blowing sessions went down. Thoroughly grossed out and perturbed, my mind was far from cool and serene.

    At home, you don’t have to fall victim to the plague. Stay healthy. Stay cool.

    7. Silence the Jibber-Jabber

    I can’t tell you how many excruciatingly long yoga fables I’ve digested followed by some life lesson. Now, I can understand a 3-minute talk at the onset of class - a brief, accessible message. Sometimes, however, the teacher rants relentlessly, when sheesh, I want to get my yoga on! Seriously, this is a snippet, pretty much verbatim, of spiel I struggled through (imagine a very slow, lackadaisical delivery).

    “So, since spring is here I’ve found myself spending a lot of time outdoors in the forest...dancing...dancing in the forest...because I’m a dancer...and I’ve been looking around me in awe of all the abundance and beauty in the forest...and I’ve been so grateful for such abundance...this abundance everywhere...appreciate this abundance...”

    The only thing missing from this fable is fairies, talking butterflies, and cute little toads prancing around with crowns on their heads, and maybe a baby deer or two. Now, that’s abundance.

    Maybe it’s just me but I prefer a simple Namaste, one to three oms, and getting on with the show.

    We do yoga to make time for ourselves - to find some sort of peace from everyday jibber-jabber. Find that peace at home in your online yoga practice.

    8. Call the Tune

    I have a confession. I am a sucker for yoga practiced to 90’s pop music: Destiny’s Child, some Britney, Christina Aguilera, Spice Girls, Robin, Madonna, you name it. I indulge when the mood is right. What’s your musical indulgence? Try pairing your yoga with it. No shame!

    9. Set Your Own Vibe

    Sometimes I've walked into a studio and received a good vibe, and sometimes things felt just off. I’ve been in studios that are incredibly welcoming and I’ve been in studios where I was like, “Oh, well excuse me, I didn’t know this is where the cool kids of yoga hang out.” Who needs that pretentious crap? Not my bag.

    At home, create your own good vibrations.

    10. Express Yo’ Self

    When I’m doing yoga, I’m in a zone. And yeah, my game face is on. So sue me. I went to a hot yoga class to channel some intense energy. Over walks the teacher. I’m thinking, okay, he’s gonna help me with Dancer Pose. So, he’s coming at me with a smirk on his face and proceeds to help me not with the pose, but with my facial expression. “Smile!” he commanded. Suddenly he mutated into my middle school cheerleading coach. Smile? Really? I’m here to do yoga, I’m working my booty off, sweating like a motha, and you want me to smile? I was ready to smile my way out of there.

    At home, wear your game face. No one’s gonna interrupt your groove and force you to say "cheese" and shine those pearly whites.

    What are you waiting for? Set the temp. Set up shop in spaciousness. Grab your personal props. Create a cool and collected vibe with some seducing scents and your favorite tunes. Thank silence. Express yourself, game face and all. And if it happens, enjoy "getting off" on the effects of your home practice.

    ~TJ

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