By Alex founded localfreshies.com® in 2014 to be the #1 website providing the “local scoop” on where to eat, drink & play in mountain towns throughout North America. When he’s not writing and executing marketing strategies for small businesses & agencies, he’s in search of the deepest snow in the winter and tackiest dirt in the summer.
My First Experience Before Lake Tahoe Yoga
Since I’ve been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis I’ve been on a search to feel better and get healthier. I stopped smoking. I got into the gym doing exercises specifically geared towards my condition. My diet has changed. So, when I first did yoga, I chose to do a free introductory class years ago. It was ok, but it didn’t really help me.
Breaking Down The Barriers
I won’t lie Jenay and I are good friends and for many years she’s been trying to coax me into doing a personal session with her. The first (and only) class I did with someone else left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt like it was mumbo-jumbo. For those free-spirited individuals. I balked at the cost as well. Why the heck would I spend a $100 for one session?!?! With the help of my wife I reluctantly said “yes.”
Not Just Yoga… A Physical Therapy Session
Before we even had our 1st session she read up about my illness, looked at my x-rays, had me ask specific questions to have my doctor answer, and did a bunch of research on what things to do and not do. As we started the hour-long session… the type of yoga moves we began with warmed up the body. She explained each posture and why it was important to me. It felt less like a yoga class and more of a physical therapy session. I began to sweat. My muscles began to quiver.
My First Personal Course – Mind Altering
By the end, I was exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. As I woke up the next morning it felts as though every muscle had finally let go. A release of pent up tightness that I didn’t know existed. It was then that I realized what Yoga is. It isn’t just stretching. It is a way for those of us who have disabilities to get better slowly. It was worth EVERY penny and I now budget my life so that I can do it every other week.
The Difference Between Each Type Of Class
Over the course of the past few months there have been times when I couldn’t do the personal session and have done different levels and I’ve finally realized you get what you pay for. For those with physical issues the 1-on-1 is a MUST! You’ll get more than you’ll ever dream, but it isn’t cheap (and rightly so). The virtual 1-on-1 class is the second best, but not even close to as good as the in-person course. Last but not least, a group class with Jenay is a good substitute but it will never give you the results the other two sessions above will.
If you’re in pain, tweaked something in your body, or just feel tight I HIGHLY recommend you scheduling a personal session with Jenay. You won’t regret it.
What I've learned over a decade of Yoga studio ownership.
Trust is a Tricky Thing
I don't always trust myself.
I love being up high and looking down. I like to climb mountains, ride the gondola, bungee jump, fly in planes, etc. On stable ground, I feel great. If I have to balance on the edge or jump down, I get scared. I have a fear of falling; of failure. For some reason, I keep climbing, though. I keep going even though I know I may eventually have to balance, jump, or fall off in failure.
This is the life of an entrepreneur. I keep trying, climbing, struggling, reaching, and growing. Sometimes I get to stand on top, feeling proud of my accomplishments, and look down upon where I was. Sometimes, I fail. In the moments when I am succeeding, I trust myself. I follow my gut and my dreams. When I fail, I doubt myself. I worry that I'm no good. I consider quitting. . .I never do, though.
It's All Yoga
I'm no Yoga master. I'm doing the best I can and learning as I go. I keep practicing. As I do, I keep learning more about myself. Then, I share what I have learned with those who share the practice. I do my best to articulate how the practices of Yoga help me as an individual, a teacher, and a business owner.
I remember when I first began developing strength and skill in Asana. It was very exciting because I was attending classes at the gym and my teachers seemed to like me. They were encouraging and supportive as I developed my skills. I recall practicing sirsasana. I would try it everywhere I could; at first with a wall and then on soft surfaces. Once I was able to access the posture I started performing it everywhere. I felt strong, balanced and trusting in my own body.
I could have stopped with sirsasana, but I didn't. I kept wanting to learn more, to be better. I continued to practice and develop new skills both physical and deeper. Over time, I have moved more and more inward in both study and practice. As I do so, I have learned more about myself and my interactions with the world. I have learned to be a better person and business owner.
Taking the Leap
Fear is a very strong force. It can freeze you in your tracks or force you into movement. I like to think that I am one of those people that is forced into movement. I used to allow this movement to propel me without paying attention to where I was headed. I was reactive and protective. My practice has given me the skills of observation, reflection and intentional action. Now, I realize when the movement begins and am able to choose in which direction do go.
During periods of transition, rather than becoming anxious, agitated or aggressive I try, instead to take pause and be more reflective, patient and informed. Sure, I am still afraid, sometimes don't trust myself and I know that I still stand the chance of failure. Now, instead of feeling out of control, at least I know that I am the one who chose to balance or jump down.
More Than Poses
Yoga provides us with so much more than physical prowess. The strength, balance and self awareness we develop through the practice can be generalized to every aspect of life. We can connect Vinyasa with the flow of events and learn to make better decisions. We can apply the practice of mindful focus when interacting with others and choosing to commit to something.
To practice Yoga is to change the way you feel, think and live. You may already have noticed the effects that the practice has. Beyond feeling physically healthy, you might also begin to experience your wellbeing expressing. Yoga gives us the tools to see, know and be. It applies to every aspect of life.
If you're ready to balance on the edge or take the jump. If you would like to learn to trust yourself. If you are finished being frozen by fear. Try Yoga. It might help you discover your Self. It might help you be a better person, partner, business owner, teacher, you name it.
I invite you to join me in the practice and to share how it has changed your perception of the world.
Receive a Private Evaluative Yoga Session before you join a scheduled practice.
I Don't Need No Stinking Props!
I have been guiding Yoga Practices since 2006. My practice and teaching style began as Vinyasa. I had no desire to appear as though I didn't know what I was doing or that I needed a prop to access a posture. I was young, fit, strong and (kind of) flexible.
Experience Leads to Wisdom
My teacher, guide and friend, Amy Pearce-Hayden, strongly suggested that I teach an alignment practice. It changed my entire perspective. I had to practice with tools in order to be able to teach with them. I had to focus upon what I was doing accurately, inaccurately and also what I saw my practitioners doing with their bodies. I would practice creating with my body the postures that I saw my practitioners doing. I became skilled at seeing, feeling and doing postures with both accuracy and misalignment.
Begin Where You Are
Rather than attempting to force me into shifting my perspective, Amy gave me the opportunity to experience what I wasn't willing to see. I was allowed to work from my practice of Vinyasa and develop a deeper understanding of the postures through my own practice and desire to be a better teacher.
This is what an Evaluative Session can do for you. Before jumping into one of the practices at LTY give yourself the opportunity to get to know Jenay and the Rajahatha lineage. Give us the opportunity to learn about your practice, understanding and experiences. Then, we can work together to help you choose the practices that most align with your needs and desires.
Are you ready to begin the practice at LTY? Request an Evaluative Session to identify the best sessions with which to start.
The First Yoga Studio to. . .
In 2008, Lake Tahoe Yoga opened as Svadhyaya Yoga (have fun pronouncing that one). Svadhyaya (svah-dee-yah-yah) means Self study and this is the focus of everything that happens at Lake Tahoe Yoga. Studio owner Jenay is consistently learning, growing and creating . . .and failing.
In 2008, there was only one other studio in Tahoe South located out in the Tahoe Keys. There was no place to practice Yoga in the Stateline area. When she opened Svadhyaya Yoga, it was the first studio available for Nevada-side practitioners to join in and learn the practice.
In 2009, Jenay brought the practice outdoors, combining two of her favorite things: Yoga and the beach! Svadhyaya Yoga Studio became the first Yoga Studio in Tahoe South to offer both studio and beach classes.
From late May/Early June through October, you can join Beach Asana classes that are held both in the mornings and evenings. The instructors, trained by Jenay are skilled at varying the practices and know all the tricks for making movement on the beach accessible or challenging.
You can find our practice spot by turning right at the end of the Nevada Beach driveway and heading to the North End of the beach. Then, keep your eyes open for our rainbow-colored flags.
Introducing New Practices
In 2010, one of the practitioners at LTY brought a news article into the studio about Paddle Yoga in San Diego. This sparked an idea and Jenay did the footwork to find a location with which LTY could collaborate and offer the practice.
A little experimentation, a lot of practice, and years of devotion & consistency has resulted in the best Paddle Yoga classes on Lake Tahoe. South Tahoe Stand Up Paddle is the best connection LTY could ever have. Not only is it easy to access the water from their boathouse, they store, maintain and provide boards for use. In addition, we get to use Riviera Paddle Boards every season. The lack of boat traffic results in crystal clear, calm waters that create incredible images in the photos that are taken during every single class.
Focusing Upon Authenticity of Practice
You can't be everything for everyone. Jenay is a Rajahatha Yoga Teacher which means that every class includes a focus upon traditional Yoga philosophy and practices. She does her best to adapt these practices to our modern times and make them accessible for all.
Her team includes instructors whom she has trained and continues to guide and support as they learn to meld the practices that they enjoy with their training in Rajahatha. LTY offers a variety of practices that vary from gentle to active. It is important to read the class descriptions or speak with one of the instructors prior to attending.
No two classes are ever the same as our teachers are adept at varying the sequencing and the practice in order to make sure everyone joining gets what they need. Raja is the practice of internal awareness and mindfulness while Hatha is the practice of effort. Every class includes both.
We believe that we are the Best Yoga Studio because we are the best at doing what we do. Jenay and the team at LTY will continue to learn, to grow, to create. . .and to fail. While we do so, we hope that you will join us for the practice.