New Growth in 2019

Busy Busy, Busy…

Lately, I have been consumed by starting a landscaping business, too busy to make music or work on my website. I started this new landscaping business and am working now as a designer landscaper in Sacramento. It’s hard work, but certainly pays the bills in a way that I don’t think yoga ever could. The only rich yogis that I’ve ever met are the Jois’ and they have an incredibly tightly run business in Mysore, India.

Landscaping is my Future

I love yoga and I might love making music even more. I am continuing to teach indefinitely, but as I said in my last article, I do have to scale back my yoga teaching from 8 times a week to 5. Teaching 5 yoga classes every week will still give me the opportunity to improve my teaching while doing a full time landscaping gig.

Creation is the Priority

I’ve always loved making stuff. These new planter beds that I have built in old Roseville are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. I am learning how to create high quality, long lasting landscapes. Learning is my priority and I’ve gotten good at using concrete and also at working with dirt and grading, plants, drains, and the whole process of putting together a nice backyard. But I also bought a guitar recently and have started playing, learning chords, and am going to start learning some songs soon. Even though I am busy, I am busy doing stuff that I love so I always have more energy! Until its time to fall asleep.

The Cost of Artistry

Honestly, life has been completely exhausting lately. I fell asleep at 9:30 on New Years. I had a couple beers, but man I can’t party worth a shit anymore! But I guess thats a good thing! I like waking up early anyways, so heading off to work at 5 or 6 isn’t a big deal at all. Only I have a really hard time staying up later, which is pretty weird for me. I’ve had mild insomnia for as long as I can remember. My New Years resolution is to work on staying up later, so I can have more social fun time! Also, to play a few shows in 2019, something I didn’t get a chance to do in 2018.

Finding Balance between Passions

My yoga practice has actually been revitalized in a big way by landscaping. I need it to take care of my joints and relax my muscles which get overworked on the daily from using power tools and you know, repetitive pounding motions. I think I have found a trifecta of things to do that I love!

Looking Forward to 2019

Expect more landscapes, different mediums of sharing my art and blog articles in 2019! Apologies for not writing in a while, but I’m excited to continue blogging. See you on the yoga mat…

Thanks for reading,

Elliot

Scaling Back Teaching Yoga

scaling back teaching yoga

Recently I have come to the revelation that I simply do not have enough time during the day to get the things done that I want to get done. This includes my recently started landscaping business, my music and this blog. So I have decided to do a little bit of scaling back teaching yoga and my yoga instruction schedule.

I want to spend more making things like EDM tracks and working on beautiful landscapes. My creativity is something that I feel I have to cultivate actively. I want to spend more time making things like this vector image below that is now my site logo. I also haven’t gotten as much time as I’d prefer to practice yoga on my own.

Elliots world logo
Elliot’s new blog logo

As much as I love teaching yoga full-time, it is an enormous time and energy commitment to teach even one class a week. Right now, I am teaching 7. So, I have decided to cut back on how much yoga I instruct namely my Friday evening class in Auburn.

Lately, I have gotten very focused on quality. I am producing less EDM tracks and spending more time with the tracks that I release. FlyBy, my most recent dubstep track, is a result of this. I have also felt the desire to teach fewer classes for quite a while, so that I can get deeper into music and landscaping. The same has happened with my writing.

This is the LAST WEEK I will be teaching the 5PM FLOW @ EW Auburn on Fridays.

We have a new teacher coming in to take over Friday night. I am excited to free up my schedule for more time to DJ and Landscape. Although scaling back teaching yoga is not easy; I am conflicted about it. However, I do think that the East Wind Auburn Community will be very happy with the new teacher. She will be an excellent addition to the studio.

Teaching Yoga is still my passion

Hopefully, I will continue to teach yoga for the rest of my life. But I don’t want to limit myself while I am young and able to do more physically. And let’s be honest, yoga is not the most lucrative endeavor on planet Earth. To survive comfortably as a yoga teacher, I need multiple jobs. That’s why I started landscaping.

Why I Love Landscaping

Back when I first started teaching yoga, I remember getting very discouraged with the state of the world. Most of my frustration stemmed from changes in the climate and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Landscaping seemed like a good way to create change in this area, and still does. I enjoy choosing plants that will thrive in environments. I try to create miniature sanctuaries for life within the yards that I design. Ideally, all the plants work in unison to support each other. The design and plant selection aspects of landscaping are my favorite!

I missed yoga today (10/24) because I was supposed to be working in the Bay Area

on a big landscaping project. I might have to work on it this Friday(10/26) instead, so if you are planning on coming to my classes on Friday this week, there may be a sub (they will be great, promise!). I don’t like getting subs, but it is unavoidable as I work on this job that requires a good amount of traveling.

Sorry to my students for scaling back yoga teaching, I hope you all understand why!

Journal Update: Finding ways to Create

Updates from the Thunderdome

This is going to be more of a personal update, I’m may just be probably almost about to go on a rant.

This week someone grabbed my phone from the back of the yoga studio I instruct at and trashed my phone. They didn’t even sell it or anything. Just ruined it. What a waste of an amazing piece of technology, humph.

So now I am blessed to have no phone enslavements and am just doing my best to simply continue onward. It’s just kind of disheartening to feel like my space was dishonored and some idiot who can’t even properly steal things trashed my stuff. I even think I know the person that stole the phone and I’m just disappointed in the whole situation. What a fucking waste of time! Nothing is more useless than some of these entitled, poor americans who feel like they deserve things and aren’t willing to work hard for anything.

The NFL is a great equivalent to this. What the fuck are those players doing? I don’t even think they really know what they are fighting for/against. I really feel like it is far more of an anti-establishment movement than an anti-cop movement. I mean, Obama is far more of a reason that minorities in this country are suffering than cops are; he basically tried to enslave the citizens of American to the corporate government allied banks. Worst president since Regan imho, and that is completely nuts, considering the Bushes were in office. The American media are huge liars, in so many aspects. What a bunch of idiots. But it’s probably this way simply because the banks & government own them. Watching the news has become so toxic, they literally just lie and embellish the entire time. So I only watch HBO now. WOOHOO WESTWORLD IS AMAZING!!! (just started yesterday) and I just watch a tiny, itsy bit of netflix here and there.

So here I am just spending all of my time creating yoga classes and music and writing and painting as much as I can, but I have also picked up some work trimming in GV to pay the bills. But now I have to figure out this whole phone thing, because I use it for all my music in yoga classes and I have been wanting/preparing to start a youtube channel for about 3 months so I need to camera. So yeah, money money money. BOO. I hate money :/

Always Working Hard on Yoga Instruction

I am still teaching 7 yoga classes a week, at East Wind Yoga in Auburn and Roseville and am constantly improving my delivery of cues and my dialogue. I am passionate, it is a calling, I love working with the yogis more than anything else. I am breaking through barriers, learning how to connect on deeper levels, and am teaching people how to use, honor, and appreciate their bodies as they learn to use them sustainably. I feel like it is part of what I am meant to do here. Maintaining my own practice while I teach is the most difficult part of this, but I am making it work. I could use another trip to India, honestly. The space that I had to practice there last time was nothing short of blissful.

I am writing a book that I am really excited about and am going to turn it into a beginner youtube tutorial series. It’s called, “Practice Yoga” and will be 25 chapter, or 25 days of practice. The idea is to “work up” to the final day, which is an advanced adaptation of the intermediate series of Ashtanga. I will also start a workshop for the primary series pretty soon here. Definitely excited for those things.

Exposing ‘the E.T.’ and the HAZE Album

Right now I am trying to use twitter and not getting any traction. Music is hard to submit to others because it is so unique and I really feel like people don’t give new, unique music a chance from people who are completely unknown.

I’m not playing any shows right now, which makes it kind of rough for me cause I spent the vast majority of my free time (whenever I’m not teaching yoga) to make music. I just wanna dance with the partiers!

For a few months I have been starting a youtube channel for ‘the E.T.’, and soon I will start live streaming out to all of my followers from my production sessions. I’m also considering making some sound design and mixing tutorials, which could be a really cool addition to what ‘the E.T.’ can bring to fans.

Oh and make sure you check out my HyperDrive music video, I think it’s the best one yet.

Letting go of what isn’t necessary

There’s no point in stressing out over my phone. At least something worse didn’t happen, but it is so damn annoying to have to spend my time on that, when I have so many other projects that I am working on. Oh yeah, I’m also finishing another painting! This one is super cool ūüėÄ

Lessons in Confidence and the Immediate Future

Right now, I am in the grind. Simply trying to get better at everything that I do, from teaching yoga, to writing music, to this blog, to creating new media for people to digest. I want to be able to offer the highest quality of service (because that is what I value) and want to be able to deliver before I start taking major leaps of faith, i.e. my first show as ‘the E.T.’.

When I step on stage, I want to have full confidence in my ability to deliver my message. If the audience doesn’t like it or appreciate it or whatever, that’s fine, but I want to appreciate it. Otherwise, what is the point? So I’m letting my confidence build and build as my skill level rises and can’t wait to see where all of these amazing projects take me.

Thanks for reading, happy Monday everybody! Tomorrow night’s yoga class is going to be fun, the class is going to be one of the most challenging ever!!

 

 

Teaching Yoga Full-Time (Stepping in)

Teaching Yoga Full-Time Elliot's Crow Pose in Mysore Palace

Teaching Yoga Full-Time in California

is simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life. I’ve had people walk out in the middle of class and ask for their money back. I’ve had people come up to me after class completely blown back by what I taught that day. I’ve also had people that I could tell didn’t enjoy my class or felt that something was missing in it, but don’t mention anything. I think a lot of people have really enjoyed themselves in my class, but think about the spectrum of reactions to different forms of art and you start to get a general idea of the types of response my yoga teaching gets.

At the end of the day, I realize that my class is valuable and that my particular subjective take on yoga is simply one subjective view; but that also gives me a lot of room to create my art. That is why I feel comfortable teaching yoga full-time; I’ve practiced enough to feel as though I should be a guide for others. I draw upon multiple teachers, a journey through India and into Southeast Asia, a journey through China, and my junior year of studying in Paris to create something that I consider invaluable; expressions of peace, love, and life. My yoga is definitely unique and constantly evolving. But, at the end of the day, letting go of “my yoga” is just as important as anyone else letting go of their ego while practicing yoga.

Full-Time Yoga Teaching

Over the last two weeks I have pushed myself pretty hard. I’ve taught 9 classes in 5 days and 10 classes in a four-day weekend, which is quite a bit. I’m also working other jobs to make ends meet, so after this last week I have been exhausted. I’m aching to create music, but yoga is taking priority right now, which I like. I enjoy sacrificing one form of art for another. And it’s nice to have an excuse to practice extra yoga.

Make no mistake, yoga teachers are absolutely undervalued by our society. I blame a lot of this on the overly religious assholes out there like the evangelical ministers who prey of people’s weak beliefs in god to make money (check out this episode of “Last Week Tonight“, its great!) and other types of people who try to make spirituality into a profitable enterprise at the cost of their consumers. We are considered more or less exercise coaches that might have some experiences with meditation and spirituality. But in reality, there is a ton of sacrifice that goes into teaching yoga full-time that the majority of Yogins never see. Every class takes more effort than the time in the studio and many times it is at least an¬†extra hour of work (not including driving). But at the end of a class, the reward of¬†having happy people around you far outweighs the costs of what it took to teach yoga that day.

Making Ends Meet

I have recently added a Friday night Yin class to my schedule at East Wind Yoga in Auburn, CA and that means I will be teaching 5 classes each week, not including substituting for other teachers, which I do as often as I can. It’s about enough to pay rent and eat extremely minimally, so I have to find other work on the side, tutoring, doing odd-jobs, and most recently I’ve started driving for Lyft, though it’s not an everyday opportunity for me. This site is just getting close to breaking even, though it’s not very expensive because I do most development myself.

So it’s pretty hard to make a living wage as simply a yoga teacher. I think it will be possible in the future, but right now it’s not. That means I don’t get to spend all of my time on my art, which is a shame, but I have high hopes that yoga will become more respected in the near future. Plus, who knows, I’ll probably open my own studio eventually. First, I want to become a better teacher and build-up to sustaining myself by teaching yoga. Music will always be happening as long as I have extra time to spend learning and creating in front of my computer. Music has become a single pointed obsession, perhaps even more than when I first started practicing yoga. It’s as if I’ve found something I’ve wanted to do my entire life, except I’m 26 and have graduated from college and neither yoga nor music were things that I studied or cared about then. I’ve always loved music, but began making music when I was 24 after I downloaded a trial of Ableton Live. I played clarinet in third grade and it made me despise music, honestly. I feel like I found my passions a little too late in the game.

But alas, always in my mind there is hope and self-confidence and I will pursue what I feel called to do, which right now means teaching yoga on a full-time schedule and doing work on the side. Ramping up more and more to create sustenance for myself, then using what I can to fuel my musical and artistic endeavors. Obviously, writing will be a large part of this as well, and I’m just finishing a new painting. I’m also going to put out a podcast on Sundays with my friend Kyle, but we haven’t quite gotten started on that yet so don’t hold your breathe. Honestly, I just want to create all kinds of things over the next 60 years or so until I have to stop because I’m an old man or dead. It’s all about the future generations and creating for them. The youngsters and the kids.

It’ll take a few more weeks to get truly comfortable in an apartment by myself, cooking a lot, driving, etc, but I am definitely happy where I am. I get to ride my bike to teach two yoga classes today, which will be a blast in less-than-crowded streets of Sacramento! I really enjoy cities, especially after spending a lot of time in Paris when I was 20. Moving back to Sacramento is really a cool feeling, now it’s as if I am trying to affect and support the people who I grew up with in the place that I am from. It feel right, whatever the fuck that means.

Following Passion

I am sure that I will be happy over the next few weeks, for the pure joy of following things I love to do. Struggling makes me feel alive, I’ll always¬†want a little bit of discomfort. I guess what is right feels good to me at this point, which means I am at least somewhat aligned with whatever it is that I am supposed to be doing here. Onwards and upwards I guess!

 

 

Teaching Yoga Full-Time in California

teaching yoga

A photo posted by Elliot | ET (@pada_yogi) on

Challenging My Self w/ Teaching Yoga

I am a yoga teacher. This past weekend I taught seven yoga classes. Nine if you include Thursday and three of them were on Saturday. By the end of the class I was a bit delirious; my mind blurred all three class sequences together and couldn’t even remember what we had done so far in the class. I did my best, no doubt, but I was definitely pushing my limits in a lot of ways. It felt great.

Since returning to the states I have been looking for as much work teaching yoga as I can find. Mostly this has amounted to substituting classes for other instructors that are busy or sick or whatever. I think its time to see how much I really like teaching yoga and to push my boundaries to be as flexible as possible.

Teaching Intense Yoga

I prefer teaching yoga at a high level of intensity in my yoga classes; I believe this lends itself to self-discovery and stress releases during the yoga class, especially in the integrative poses of inversions and savasana.

I am teaching all levels classes, which offers a particular set of challenges for an instructor, most notably making the stretches available to the vast majority of the room (sometimes it is inevitable that a stretch isn’t possible, especially with the elderly). So this requires explaining variations, giving people alternate stretches and being fully present in the room. Ideally, each person can spend the entire class finding their own personal focal areas to stretch. The outline comes from me.

Yoga was never meant to be really intense, but in today’s modern world I think we need the intensity. Yoga teachers have to structure their class to provide this, making teaching yoga at high-intensities taxing on the instructors. It helps to wake us up out of our delusions or the lies that we tell ourselves. It makes everything more real when you start to hit your limits. It helps us to realize our humanity.

Teaching Yin Yoga

Yin yoga has been particularly prominent in my practice and in the practice of the people at my studios. I really enjoy teaching yoga in the different yin and yang styles because it gives us an opportunity to balance our asana instruction between talking and stillness, intensity and softness, and helps to keep things dynamic. I wouldn’t like to always teach the exact same class; this is part of the reason I don’t practice Ashtanga or Bikram every day anymore.

Yin has been a sweet spot for me, because I do love silence when I teach. I am focused on creating stillness and meditation in each class for my students.

Appreciation for Yoga Instructors

Sometimes teaching yoga is a bit rough. The pay is not great. It is okay though. The amount of effort that the classes require is probably more than a lot of other¬†jobs, but that also makes it extraordinarily rewarding. I don’t think I need too much appreciation beyond the normal appreciation of being paid enough to make a living, which I am hoping to be able to do at this point. But there is a special kind of respect reserved for yoga instructors in the area for many people, coupled with a disregard and skepticism of others. It is somewhat of a conundrum to be honest.

Since beginning to teach¬†yoga, I’ve been extremely poor. I didn’t even make money for the first six months of teaching yoga. My trip to Asia was nothing short of a miracle and I wouldn’t be able to do a trip like that again. Making ends meet is difficult mostly because it is hard to find work, but I think that I have a good shot at filling up a weekly schedule with 12-15 classes, ideally. I am hoping that August is the month where I can make that happen!

No doubt the area is fairly saturated with yoga instructors because of the emphasis on fitness in California, but I think that differentiating myself from other teachers will be possible with my experience traveling and practicing yoga. I’ve also been teaching yoga for nearly two years now, which doesn’t hurt.

The Future of Teaching Yoga

Yoga is going to change drastically over the next 20 years, I would guess mostly in terms of customization and personalization. People want to feel personally attended to, personally connected to their instructors. We may very well see the rise of some very down to earth and high quality yoga teaching, but I really hope the emphasis on celebrity yoga fades away. Hopefully it will all be even more casual and playful in the next five years; I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see Tai Chi and Qui Gong techniques start to emerge in the yoga rooms across the country. Only time will reveal which direction the art is taken in.

As for me, I am setting down some roots in Sacramento. I have just moved to Northern Oak park and am hoping to find another studio on top of East Wind Yoga and Asha Yoga that I am teaching yoga at a few times a week. Here’s to the future! (If you want to see when I teach, check out my schedule)

Adjusting Ashtanga

Ashtanga_Advanced_Series

I am a huge fan of the Ashtanga practice. The intensity, the discipline, the mindlessness, and the routine of the sequential practice makes it like a second home for me. I always know that there are mornings where I can wake up and work without thinking, push myself without thinking of how, breathing without having to plan for a destination. But there are some problems with practicing the Ashtanga practice exclusively.

The Ashtanga¬†series were a prescription for Krishnamacharya’s Indian students, namely his most famous student Pattabhi Jois. Krishnamacharya made them specifically for 15-year-old Indian men that were training for hours each day and that didn’t have previous injuries, or probably a lot of other sports and exercise experience.

This means that Krishnamacharya had a specific purpose in creating this sequences for young and fit Indian men and that the sequence is optimized for the Indian skeleton and definitely not for the other types of human skeletons. This becomes especially apparent when westerners begin trying lotus pose, Kukkutasana, and the Marichyasanas.

So there comes a point when one starts to realize that certain poses simply aren’t good for their body. This is half-bound lotus pose for me. The reason is that my knees are simply not strong enough to stretch my hips as deeply as the stretch requires, even though my hips are very open and I have good alignment. At a certain point, we have to realize that the body is mechanical; it has very real limitations that you will sooner or later be coming into increased contact with.

In my first two weeks, I was injured in the Ashtanga sequence. Marichyasana B, I can remember the stress of feeling injured like it was yesterday, my lateral collateral ligament snapped and I heard a very audible pop while I was in the full pose with the bind. I quickly got out of the pose and finished my sequence, then went home to look up some rehab exercises for my knee. It took a couple of days of exercises and taking it easy to let my knee heal. Not a fun few days while I was healing.

I continued my full practice for the rest of the time in India, making adjustments and skipping poses when it felt right. I did some extra work to make sure my knee was stable and working properly and avoided walking too much to make sure that the joint was getting less stress. Slowly full lotus opened up for me while I was rehabilitating my knee, though there is still quite a bit of space left to create in my hips. The injury forced me to be more conscious of what I was doing, to not accept things as they were explained, in black and white.

What is the point of that story? Every body is unique, so how can one series work for everyone’s skeleton? It can’t.

I think that there are parts of the Ashtanga sequence that are almost perfect in their ideal succession, mainly the standing series of the primary series. There is something especially cleansing about doing the poses in that order, and the inversions at the end are simply magical.

Sunday, I taught my first class back in the states. It was great, it was easy to forget how much I love teaching yoga until I was in the room again with all the wheels turning. It was a hybrid style so we warmed up slowly, with a bit of flow including some low lunges complete with back-bends, and even an extended child’s pose. Then we moved into standing postures and the full Sun Salutation B sequence, holding warrior 1 for less and less time and getting into the full back-bend in upward dog. Then we moved into the entirety of the¬†Ashtanga¬†practice. Instead of doing floor stretches, we did a bunch of ab work and then moved into some final yin-type stretches. I loved teaching the sequence and it felt right for the class; music was slow and complimentary more than anything else.

So if you come to my classes, except a little flair of¬†Ashtanga. It’s evolving into something pretty cool and I think that someday soon I might help to develop a new series based on the Primary Series. It’s all an evolution ūüôā

Returning Home

A nice return sunset in #Sacramento #nature #sky #sunset #colorful

A photo posted by Elliot | ET (@pada_yogi) on

I’m back to teaching yoga again. Back home, in Sacramento, back to the westernized suburban life, back to clean water, fresh food, reliable transportation. It’s weird to think about the future, to plan, to be bombarded with advertising and Television regularly, to feel like I always need to be doing something.

Western life has more leisure time. But I want to work. I can be more focused now, especially on the daily life of teaching and maintaining a high level of fitness and mental capacity in making music, writing, and painting. I want to create. I just need to get into a groove in my own space.

Sacramento is a cool city. I’m drinking coffee occasionally, which has only happened once before, due to the great cafe joint across the street. The other time was 4 years ago in Paris. This place’s cappuccino’s are superb. I like quality coffee;¬†I don’t consider Starbucks to be quality, it just pretends to be. It’s not bad, which I dislike. There is also a¬†Thai place down the road that is quite literally better than most¬†of the Thai food I had in Thailand! America gets pretty much the best food in the world. Of course it’s better in Paris. I want to start performing downtown

Living on my own is a must at this point. So I’ll do what I need to do to find work, maybe I’ll get a part-time job as well as being an instructor. It all depends on what happens with yoga, really how many classes I can get per week. I think that teaching group exercise classes is a great way to get people happy enough to meet each other and be nice and all of that. Yoga tends to be very relaxing and helps people to acclimatize.

I’m hoping I can get near 15 classes a week. That’s pretty ambitious though, especially for the competition in the Sacramento area. I really want to see how I can do if I teach all the time, I want it to become second nature, like using my computer or driving a car. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Transcendence 2014 Recap

Transcendence Festival

Transcendence exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I was really doubtful that a new festival so close to the city could even be fun; man was I wrong. We got in a couple of days of yoga, dancing, partying, etc, until Saturday when the cops shut down the music. Most of the people will tell you the shutdown is when the true party began.

I was supposed to have a 7am meditation on Saturday morning. I was tired, but woke up at 6:40 to go to the space where I would teach and no one was there. I stuck around for about 45 minutes, but I don’t think anyone ever has said I wanna wake up early to meditate. Most would rather sleep.

I volunteered for about 5 hours on Wednesday and helped to set up a dome and the artsy stage, which turned out to be awesome. Then I headed down to Camp Pollock on Friday after I taught my morning yoga class. I bought a tent the night before to break in, there’s no where better than close to home for these things. I brought my friends and it was really a cool Friday afternoon. There was good music, but the stages weren’t very prepared and the festival itself was a bit disorganized. It kind of felt like festival boot camp.

Which is cool. Artists were learning how to be artists. It’s not too often that you get to see something great in its infancy.

Afternoon Dream Serum was a band that I am really excited about now; I got to see them Friday night, though not at full capacity because the electrical wiring on the stage was messing with the bass. The sounds they were making before the electrical problems were pretty amazing. These guys are going to be a big deal someday if they stick with it.

Friday night also came with some unexpected disturbance; the Dancetronauts are cool, but Transcendence was not the right festival for the type of party that they wanted to throw. EDM at a fast beat with little distortions and not too many effects is only good for so long; I put my limit at about 3 hours. Not these guys though, they were playing until 7am, for no reason! There wasn’t even anyone at the stage. So next year, I will be looking to see that they are not a collaborator. I like sleeping at 3am, not listening to EDM repeat beats reverberating in the valley.

Anyways, so Saturday morning comes and I’m exhausted and go to teach my class, but no one shows. Which is totally cool, I think of my role of a yoga teacher as holding space for people. Sometimes, people won’t be in my space and that’s totally fine. But I don’t think I am going to sign-up for a morning meditation next year. I think that during the day, yoga should be performed at the main stage in unison with whoever is making the music. That would be pretty awesome.

Anyways, so Saturday night we were planning on listening to some really rad bands, but the music got shut off at 8, so that didn’t really happen. I’m not sure why it got cut off, but it had something to do with permits and electricity. I’m not sure if the cops needed more permits than what the organizers got, or if they just wanted to shut down the festival. I think they shut it down because of the all night blaring EDM that the dancetronauts were playing. The band music was going to be good, but people started to congregate instead, taking out their own instruments and playing and dancing all together. It’s funny how much more important community is than the music; they compliment each other, but people care more about each other than the sounds that we make. Music is just one way we express our selves to each other. Arguably, it is¬†the most expressive. Community is what the festival scene is all about and Transcendence really helped to show us that. People are what make these things happen.

So Saturday night was a blast, every seemed to be able to breath and really enjoyed themselves. Sunday morning we had to leave by 8, so I got up and left. It was so great to see all of my friends and yoga people from the area though and I am definitely looking forward to going back next year.

I personally am grateful for the experience and big thanks to James Kapicka for putting on the show. Yes, I will be going next year and hopefully teaching more yoga there. Maybe I’ll even have some music made by then. If you’re going, get ready to see the raw scene of artists learning their craft as they go and the up and comers that are going to change music for the rest of us. There were definitely some amazing people who gathered to celebrate, maybe you can join next year.

Teaching 5 Days Straight

For the last five days I’ve taught an hour and a half class at the studio. It’s been a great experience, one where I’ve really gotten to know myself as a teacher in a new way.

I’ve realized that I like to practice before I teach. It puts me into my body so that I can journey with other people through theirs as they practice. When I teach every morning, its easy to wake up before 9 and start my practice. I can see myself waking up a lot earlier in the future to practice before I teach. Its important to me to respect the practice and teach from my own mat.

As a teacher, coming up with sequencing is something that is personal to you and no doubt driven by your own practice. I am getting better at sequencing classes because of the repetition; it forces me to think a lot about why we are doing what we are doing. A daily practice has always been what resonates with me. Honestly, I’m really excited to go to India because I love the practice so much. I could hide away in a mountain with other yogis and a teacher and practice for hours every day. No problem.

I think the part of yoga that I like the most is building the awareness of my body. That kind of awareness spreads far beyond the yoga mat; eventually it seems to creep into everything. Its interesting how awareness of yourself grows so much in the first stages of yoga. But then the awareness seems to branch out, to envelope everything. Spirituality is something that grows in harmony with the environment, in fact, it is the very definition of spirituality.

Anyways, it’s been fun putting together the playlists and seeing all the awesome yoga people. Getting into sequencing on a deeper level has been really rewarding as well; I’m really excited to continue getting better at moving people through their bodies.

Teaching is draining, more emotionally than physically in my opinion. Especially when you put a lot into preparing and being present during the entire class. But I’m happy to flex those brain muscles, I’m sure I’ll take it to new heights soon. But I am stoked that I got the opportunity to grow, big thanks to Marilyn and Usha for allowing me to hold the space. Still waiting on my response from Mysore, I sent my application in to the Ashtanga Institute on October 1st.

Now its time to relax and enjoy my weekend; you should do the same! ¬†(but remember we are at war right now, I’m reading the news on BBC because they seem to be the least biased. Its important not to forget!)