Since 2020 we have all been traumatized in one way or another as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. On the West Coast and in Lake Tahoe as well as the surrounding areas the trauma has extended beyond our homes to our businesses and community. In 2021 we were, again traumatized, by devastating fires. The effects of these events will not dissipate quickly. Through the practice of Yoga we can recognize them and learn how to move forward as changed people.
Stress Can Be Good
Every time we use our brains and move our bodies we are stressing ourselves out just a little bit. Those of us that live more athletic lifestyles or engage in thought-provoking work are activating a higher level of stress. Stock traders, body builders, professional athletes, and adrenaline junkies are on a whole other level. Stress that keeps our bodies active, our systems functioning healthily, and our minds engaged is good.
Trauma effects us all differently. While in the moment, there are some people who jump into action knowing what to do and getting it done. Others may move more slowly, dawdling and waiting to see if the moment will end until they are forced to act. After the traumatic event ends we are all effected differently.
Svadhyaya is the practice of self study: Identifying how you behave when faced with minor stresses like physical activity, problem solving, engaging with others, and when tasks have to be completed can help you to understand how you might respond to trauma.
It has been interesting having conversations with everyone as we've begun spending more time together. The way in which we all handled the lock-downs is not the same among my friends. I have found that there are a few general groups we can be sorted into.
One of my friends feeds off of social engagement. She travels constantly. Being stuck at home, alone, was a big challenge for her. She responded by reaching out with social media video conferencing. Groups of us would gather virtually to chat and hang out for as long as we, or she, needed.
It appeared that my introvert friends were happy to be at home and not having to deal with social engagements. It was a welcome shift for them. I recall seeing a variety of memes with images of happy introverts in their homes cozy on their sofas with their pets or a good book.
Luckily, I live in a place where the forest lies just feet from my front door and the population is small. I found that, as much as I enjoyed the video chat groups and time alone, getting outside is a necessity. A daily walk, run, or cross country ski outside was enough to help me feel myself.
Sadhana is your spiritual practice: What fills you up? Is it socializing with others? Peace, quiet and alone time? Or do you require connection to nature? Whatever helps you the most is one part of the remedy for reducing stress and calming the effects of trauma.
Tell Your Story
No one can take away the experience you've had or how you feel about it. Others can listen, sympathize, and some can empathize. The experiences you have are yours and no one else's will be exactly the same. There may be similarities, though, and that is what is most important.
While we were evacuated from our home the conversations we had with outsiders were mostly about what it looked like in Lake Tahoe and how bad the fire was. It was difficult to grasp how severe the situation was and even more of a struggle to imagine what those who had lost their homes were going through.
As we began getting back to life after repopulating it seemed like the only topic to discuss was where we went and what we did while we were evacuated. Everyone had their story. Some people had "evacucations;" they viewed their time away as a "forced vacation" and enjoyed every moment. Some of us never got a break and worked the entire time. Others couldn't wait to return because they had no where else to go.
Satsang is like minded conversation: Sharing our stories and experiences helped us to connect with each other and to recognize that we were not alone in our experiences. Even though none of had the exact same one, we are still able to relate to one another. Telling my story didn't take it away nor am I able to take anyone else's. It did help me to know that someone heard it and knows what I went through.
I know, this is what every Yoga teacher says all of the time. It's so true, though. Being present with the people, at the place, in the moment is incredibly valuable. Dwelling on what was and how things were traps us. Change is going to continue to happen and practicing Yoga helps us become more comfortable with this fact.
Dharana is mindful focus: Yoga is a practice of observation, awareness and intention. It's okay to experience joy while spending time doing something fun with people you love. If the moment is one of sadness, quiet, or reflection be there, fully. Just don't get stuck there. Just as you are always observing what happens physically, energetically, emotionally and mindfully during a Yoga asana practice so can you do so in every moment.
Be Your Self
Every experience we've had, all the things we've learned, the culture in which we were raised, the places we've lived, and the people with whom we live our lives shape us to become who we are and will be. I often refer back to my upbringing in New England to explain why I communicate directly, have little patience for lateness, and don't mind the cold. There is trauma in my life including my parent's divorce following the deaths of my grandparents and trauma related to alcoholism that I know continues to effect me and the way I live. I can't eliminate those aspects of myself, but I can own them.
Aum Tat Sat means "I am that:" Own who you are and practice observing when you act in a way that was shaped by trauma, experiences, upbringing, etc. If you don't like your own behavior then keep practicing to change it. You have control over yourself. Choose who you want to be and be your Self.
Join classes at Lake Tahoe Yoga to learn more about Yoga and to engage in practices that reduce stress and can help you manage the effects of trauma. For individualized support check out Jenay Aiksnoras, BS, MS, ERYT for Realignment Coaching: personalized life coaching and therapeutic Yoga.
At Lake Tahoe Yoga our motto is "Practice Yoga Everywhere." Yoga is what you do beyond your mat and while out in the world. Join us to learn more.
Yoga is Time with Loved Ones
Attending a scheduled class at a Yoga studio is a great way to be guided in movement and be around others who enjoy the same thing.
If you're looking to connect with family or friends a Private Yoga Session is the best option. It reduces the variety of aspects that make people uncomfortable. The teacher is there for you, there are no strangers to compare to, you get to choose when and where to practice.
1) You all know each other
2) You can share your private jokes, converse and enjoy each other's company
3) The session is catered to your wants and needs
Yoga is Body Fitness
We use the hashtag "more than poses" in just about every social post we create. This is because we know that Yoga is not limited to the postures you see people doing on mats, or on Instagram. Any physical activity that keeps your body fit and allows you to clear you head is Yoga.
Of course, combining the postures described by Yoga Asana practitioners to compliment whatever physical activities you enjoy can make a significant difference. Be sure to stretch before and after aerobic activities to keep your muscles happy and your body moving well.
Yoga is a Long Walk
There is beauty all around you. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy the space in which you live. The practice of Tantra Yoga includes feeling passionate about all things, including the mundane.
A slow walk around your apartment or home may reveal things to you that you typically ignore. Take a slow walk around your building or neighborhood. Cruise around the edge of your property. Do your best to view these areas as though they are unfamiliar. Enjoy a long walk.
Yoga is Self Care
Spa treatments are nice, but the best way to get to know yourself is to take care of your self. When we wash our hair, trim our own nails, apply a face mask, even brush our teeth we are spending time gazing upon our own bodies. The more we do so, the more familiar they become.
Treat yourself to a deeply moisturizing hair treatment. Soak your feet in essential oils. Apply your own paraffin to soften your hands. Paint your toe and finger nails in crazy colors. Do it for yourself and to get to know your self.
Yoga is Knowing Your Sign
tYou don't need to be an oracle to use cards, crystals, feathers and incense. Maybe you like to collect pretty rocks. Perhaps you're into plants. Some of us look to the stars for guidance.
You already have practices that you enjoy, make your day a little better, and even though they might be considered weird by others, they provide you with some comfort. From making your bed a certain way to having fresh flowers in the house, we all engage in practices that give us peace of mind. Stick with whatever it is that serves you. If you want to explore other practices, we can probably steer you in the right direction.
Guest Post: ConsumersAdvocate.org
We all want to do our best to not only help preserve Lake Tahoe and the beauty that surrounds us, but to keep everything as eco-friendly as possible. It all starts with us.
If we think about our daily life, there are so many different ways that we can do our part to keep Lake Tahoe not only beautiful and clean today but for the future. Below are 5 ways you can help:
1. Use Less Water
By using less water each day, it has a tremendous impact on the environment. It’s really simple. Take shorter showers. When you are cooking, don’t let the kitchen sink water run unless you need it. And, of course, if you own a home, make sure the sprinklers are on a timer with the minimum amount necessary to maintain your yard.
2. Buy Eco-Friendly
Whether you choose a yoga mat or a new piece of clothing, there are so many eco-friendly choices today. Look for brands with sustainable ingredients for your clothes, your pet’s items and everything you purchase. Bring your own canvas bags to the market and everywhere else to help use less plastic all around. Switch your light bulbs to LED lights that last longer and save energy.
3. Keep Your Car Repaired
It sounds simple enough, but we all see oil drippings under cars either in our parking lots or driveways. When the oil leaks from your car, it will eventually end up in a storm drain that will then turn up in some form of watershed. By keeping your car fixed, you can help avoid this. You should also be careful when adding oil and make sure the old used oil is recycled properly.
4. Household Chemicals Need to Disposed Of Properly
If you have toxic household chemicals, such as motor oil, paint or any type of solvent, go to your local garbage hauler, environmental health agency or even schedule a pick up so they can be disposed of properly. If you don’t know where to go, google it and you will find different receptacles and services. Also, don’t flush down your medicine, used or unused, in the toilet. Try to dispose of them somewhere locally that is equipped for that.
5. Go sustainable
While we can do our part to help keep our rivers and lakes clean and free of litter, some of the problems really start with agriculture. Go to neighborhood farmers market and try to find organic farmers. By doing business with local farmers, it can help keep the pesticides out of the environment. It also helps with limiting the need for to truck the food longer distances which helps reduce pollution.
Also, many areas will now allow us to buy their electricity from sustainable sources. If you can switch to a green energy supplier, that’s even better.
If we can all do our part each day to help keep the environment clean and our homes eco-friendly, it will only help preserve the beauty and cleanliness of Lake Tahoe.
Labor Day marks the end of the vacation season. For many, it is the last hurrah before heading back to school or returning to work. Over the last decade I have had to adjust to what this means for a Tahoe business owner. My schedule is completely different from what it was when I lived the “typical life” of going to school and working for someone else.
Moving to Tahoe and opening my own business has forced me to make significant changes to my lifestyle. Some of these changes are really great, some are a bit awkward, but all afford me the opportunity to enjoy everything the basin has to offer and more.
Summer is Great, Autumn is Better
I am originally from New England. The Autumn there is unbeatable. I love the smell of Fall flowers and the sound of the leaves as they crunch under your feet while you walk. I miss those Summers that last late into September and early October. What I don’t miss is humidity and mosquitos. This is where my love for Tahoe began.
I moved here in 2008. As we drove up Kingsbury Grade one early August evening towing all of our belongs upward to our new home we could smell the juniper and pine waft through the air. The crisp evening temperatures and warmth of the day made it easy to want to play outside all day and cozy up for a peaceful rest all night. I have fallen in love with this season that slowly drifts from Summer to Winter with surprising moments of Autumn in-between. I have decided to call it "Sumtumn." Although apple trees are far and few, the changing of the Aspen and slow trickle of the local creeks signals the shift from the hot Summer days and warm evenings to cooler mornings and chilly nights.
This season is perfect for a morning paddle, mid-day hike, afternoon of swimming and an evening around the fire. Tomorrow, how about a morning of coffee, mid-morning tee-time, afternoon bike ride and cocktails fireside? I might even spend some time before bed in the hot tub to recover.
Peace, Ease and Privacy
Since moving to Tahoe I have made it a priority to make the time, each day, to go to the beach. Whether I am out guiding a Paddle Yoga or Beach Yoga Class, or simply spending some time out on the sand, I have found that the time I spend close to the water always helps me to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.
During the time of year between Labor Day and when the snow finally falls, it is as though every beach has been reserved, just for me. I love it when there are hundreds of feet between me and whom ever else has discovered this secret out on the sand. Having gotten so used to having this space I sometimes forget, in the middle of Summertime, that not everyone, everywhere, enjoys the same experience on their home beaches.
If you’re planning a week or weekend of restoration or escape, this is the time to visit Lake Tahoe. Book a Private Yoga Practice, a ride with Tahoe Boat Rides, Cruise Tahoe or head out on the Golden Rose. Take a walk, a hike, a bike ride. You will feel as though you have the lake, the beach, the basin to yourself. You can literally get away from it all when you visit Tahoe during Sumtumn.
Taking a More Relaxed Attitude Toward Business
No longer am I responding to ten or fifteen booking requests each day. As soon as the Labor Day weekend ends, so do the many inquires that had been coming in. I take a deep breath and walk away from the computer, for just a few minutes. The best thing is, since I now have the time to breathe and relax as a business owner, I am also able to take a more relaxed approach as a teacher and in my interactions with clients.
Some business owners head out on their vacations. A deserved respite from the non-stop of the Summer Season. Some of us remain here, happy to continue to serve the residents and visitors who value what we do and this unique season in Tahoe. Now that things have quieted down it is worth it to check out some of the smaller, locally owned, businesses in the area. You might happen upon a spot you didn’t know existed or receive special treatment as a result of your patronage during a time when we are all a bit more relaxed.
Take the time to visit Tahoe during this unique time of year. Call it "Sumtumn," "Suall," or "Local's Summer." Whatever you name it, it is a magical time in the basin that all of us can enjoy.
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.
Tahoe Production House shoots Lake Tahoe Yoga Google Business View 360 Tour
Now you can visit our studio from your phone, tablet or computer. New practitioners can visit our space prior to joining the practice. Current practitioners can show off the studio to their friends and family. Join us and learn to practice yoga everywhere!
Tahoe Production House is the only certified Trusted Photographer for Google Business Photos in Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe. We are offering free walk through of your business to give you a quote for a 360* Virtual Tour of your business which goes on Google Maps and Google Searches, which increases your presence on the internet. Embrace emerging technology and really put your business literally on the Google Map – Integrated with Google Street View.
Easy to link the Virtual Tour into your own website and social media pages.
Enhanced Google Local Business page and Google Maps listing
Backed by one of the worlds most trusted brands – Google
Available 24/7 … 365 days per year
Displayed to customers / potential customers locally and worldwide
Clients can add their own reviews
Can add multiple locations
Hosting of images and tour is FREE
Copyright of images is owned by the client
Allow potential customers to virtually visit your business before they visit your business
Provides you with Professional “Point of Interest” photographs of your business
For more information or to request a quote, check out our Google Photos page!
Always Remember Where You Were
When I first moved to Tahoe my sister would call me up and say, "You live in a postcard, I bet you forget that it's beautiful out there."
Not for a moment.
Never have I forgotten to enjoy the beauty of our lake, the mountains and the freshness of each breath I take in. What I have done is the same thing that I did in Boston. I have forgotten to take the time to see my home in the way that the thousands of visitors do; as an outsider.
There are so many opportunities to experience the lake. Hiking Tallac or Freel, heading up to Eagle Falls, experiencing the views from the Gondola or riding the trolley are just a few. This spring, I went to Valhalla for the first time. We hit up the Renaissance Faire and I plan on going to the Gatsby Fest (who doesn't want to dress up like it's the 20's and dance with their knees?).
Yoga means Union. How can we find union if we aren't connecting with everyone, everything and every experience available? Get off your smart phone and look around. Enjoy the experience of hearing conversations and engaging in one. Connect with the people around you. Recognize the mirrors they provide. See yourself as an outsider. Don't just look around, be around. Be a part of this place we call home and show your support for all the hard working business owners who have made Tahoe what it is.
Take the time to practice Yoga everywhere.