heart openers

  • Go with the Flow

    “If you just go with the flow, no matter what weird things happen along the way, you always end up exactly where you belong.” ~Tom Upton

    The mat is an excellent realm to practice the art of going with the flow.

    go with the flow

    When I first started practicing yoga, I hit the mat with great expectations. And sure, sometimes I still do. In the beginning, I always had an idea of how I wanted my practice to flow. When it didn’t flow just right, I freaked out big time. Fortunately, the freak-outs manifested internally so I spared fellow yogis my mat moods and madness.

    But what exactly was I getting so worked up about?

    Oh...stupid stuff. Maybe there was a sub that day and the style was totally different. Maybe the music was too loud, or too soft, or too emo, or too distracting. Maybe my body resisted certain poses that it regularly performed fluidly. Maybe the energy in the room was off. It doesn’t really matter what it was. The point is, I let myself get completely wrapped up in discontent due to things - things beyond my control - panning out in unanticipated ways.

    The same phenomenon goes down off the mat.

    For example, when I hit up a local coffee shop in the morning to do my work, I often have great expectations. And sometimes, I freak out when my morning expectations aren’t met. Maybe someone else landed that comfy, secluded chair in the corner – my chair. Maybe there is a loud, impatient man yelling at some woman on the phone over his unpaid ticket fines. Maybe the line to a much-needed coffee refill is painfully long.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve allowed external distractions to totally get to me. I'm sure you have, too. I've blamed people and things because I’m human and that classic blame game is easy to play. I'm sure you've played it, too. Truth is, I know it’s not those people or those things. It’s me.

    Yoga has been my teacher in that way, constantly reminding me that it’s me. It’s not them. It’s not those things. It’s irrefutably me. I'm the source of my own dissatisfaction when I refuse to relax, be cool, and go with the flow.

    When you resist the flow, you’re bound to be disappointed, distraught, annoyed…whatever it is. That’s because you don’t belong outside the flow. Outside the flow, you become this crazy person attempting to control everything. And try, try as you might, you won’t get anywhere. You’ll just be on the outside with a headache and an accelerated heart rate wondering why the heck your life is so crappy, inconsistent, and confusing.

    So, get back inside. Go with the flow. Weird stuff will happen. But so what? Learn something. Laugh at something. Laugh at yourself. And relax. You’re right where you belong.

    To practice shedding your expectations in the yoga-sphere, I recommend you try mixing up your home practice with Michelle Johnson's newest online Vinyasa yoga class: Going with the Flow. Begin with some grounding exercises. Move through the Sun Salutations and lunges. Work into standing split variations and, then, headstand prep and headstand. End with a few blissful heart openers and hip openers. (60 mins.)

    vinyasa yoga videos


  • Fresh Vids & Vibes: Heart Healers, Heat Builders, Hanumanasana and More!

    What are the latest offerings on YogaVibes?

    Unlock the Locus of Intuition.

    heart openers

    • Heart Opening Flow with Alexa Lane // Focus on stretching the trunk of the body and expanding the chest in this mixed-levels online Vinyasa flow class. Explore intense side stretching poses, triangle, revolved triangle, dancer pose, and camel pose. End with a seated cool down followed by savasana. (29 mins.)
    • Restorative Heart Opening with Gigi Yogini // Enjoy an opportunity to deeply relax and open your heart to expand your lung capacity and increase blood flow in your body. Explore lots of variations to find what works for you in this restorative online yoga practice. (18 mins.)


    Crank UP the Heat.


    • Xen Strength Yoga with Weights Core Balance Challenge with Danielle Diamond // Build heat with a longer warm up, including Sun Salutations with a twist. A creative sequence of standing poses will test your balance. Added upper body work will tack on an extra challenge by forcing you to engage your core while balancing. Finish with a quick cardio shot before melting into pigeon. Have a pair of light hand weights available or do it without! (29 mins.)
    • Get Up & Go! with Sean Gray // Work in a full practice amidst a busy day. Open up some major areas of the body - spine, hips, and shoulders - while activating the core, restoring balance, focusing the mind, and building lots of energy through deep breathing and constant engagement. Get your heart pumping! (45 mins.)


    Slow Your Roll.


    • Vinyasa Slow Flow into Hanumanasana with Cristi Christensen at Exhale Spa // In this online yoga class, you will start reclining. Relax and find your center before moving into core work, reclining hip openers, and twists. Warm up the body with a series of free form movements. Continue to generate heat with slow Sun Salutation variations, twists, and standing balances before having the opportunity to practice hanumanasana and an arm balance. End with a series of seated hip openers before settling into savasana. (88 mins.)

    Delve into the newness, yogis. Unlock hidden potential. Elevate your vibe that much more.

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