Proper planning and preparation can reduce risk and improve the experience when you adventure.
Why do I practice Yoga? Because it prepares me for everything else I do. Sure, the poses are challenging and moving my body in ways that compliment my habitual posturing helps to relieve pain and discomfort, but ultimately, the benefits of Yoga are most noticeable when I am playing.
Stretch, Warm Up, Recover
There are many reasons to visit Lake Tahoe. The views are incredible, the mountains are amazing, the lake will steal your heart. And, there is a whole lot of outdoor fun to be had. Many people come to Tahoe to play. Mountain bikers can’t wait to get out on the dirt and improve their skills. Skiers wait for the perfect powder or bluebird day to make turns. We can golf, hike, paddle, trail run, cross country ski, I could go on and on.
When was the last time you stretched before you started skiing? How often do you warm up before a mountain bike ride? Did you take fifteen minutes to properly prepare your body for a hike? Most of us don’t and that’s where Yoga comes in. Even if you only join a couple of classes a week, it can help you to retain mobility and feel limber when you go out to bike, hike, run or play. Engaging in practices before and after your other activities help your body to prepare and recover. The movements we do during a Yoga asana practice are designed to keep your joints mobile and your muscles long.
Whether you are heading out for a leisurely hike or training for your next marathon it is important to consider more than your physical health when you are preparing to play. Sure, your body needs to be strong and mobile, but a clear and calm mind can be the difference between failing gracefully or becoming a disgrace. Have you ever noticed how you breathe while you’re skiing or rock climbing? It may be particularly evident when you’re visiting Lake Tahoe. At the lake you are standing at 6200 feet above sea level, that’s over a mile up. Climb a hill or ride the ski lift and the quantity of oxygen available decreases. Breathing slowly, deeply and calmly will help you to maintain focus.
Did you know that there are specific breathing techniques you can do to prepare your body for physical effort? Over time, many Yogic breathing techniques have been modified and renamed to help people feel more comfortable trying them. They have continued to be utilized for thousands of years because they work. Before you begin an activity or if you feel stressed or fearful while in it, your breath can help you to return to a state of calm. A simple two-part breath that allows you to completely fill and empty, slowly, will calm your nervous system, help you focus your thoughts, reduce anxiety and help you to return to a more calm state of being.
Mindset is everything. The thoughts you have about and during an activity can effect the experience you have. Practices that help us to focus upon the positive, when done regularly, can shift your perspective over time. If your day includes something that is going to challenge you in some way, perhaps because you will be engaging with crowds of people, trying something new or leveling up your skills, a positive mindset is incredibly important. A tool that can help you to establish a positive mindset is a journal. Making daily notes about the good stuff and re-reading what you’ve written will help you to keep these thoughts fresh in your mind. With these thoughts on the top of your mind, you’ll become better at seeing the “silver lining” when you feel challenged.
If you’d like to learn more about the practice of Yoga, breathwork, mindfulness and how these tools can help you to prepare for and recover from your play visit Bliss Experiences. Beyond traditional Yoga practices, sessions include healing sound, reiki and forest bathing and more. Beginning while you’re on vacation could help you to establish new practices that will prepare you for your next trip to Lake Tahoe.
Seeking serenity, peace, quite and self connection? Allow us to be your guides. Follow our suggestions for experiences that allow you to take your time and enjoy every moment during your stay in Lake Tahoe.
Listen to the Silent Trees
There is a difference between a hike, a walk and a Forest Bathing experience. Yoga is the practice of reestablishing union. You are so disconnected from your authentic self that you think that you are the stuff you have and the things you do. Spending time in nature reminds us that we are made up of the same qualities, particles and energy as the rest of the world.
Next time you travel be sure to get out and take a walk. A slow, mindful, engaged hike, that allows hear the sounds, smell the scents and touch the Earth. If your travels take you to Lake Tahoe reserve a Forest Bathing experience with Felix Brosch. He's trained in Shinrinyoku Forest Bathing. It has become a vital part of preventative healthcare in Japan. The results of Japanese studies have shown forest bathing improves sleep quality, mood, ability to focus, and stress levels. What a great way to slow down while you're in town.
Sink Into the Sand
Did you know that Tahoe's sand is made up of decomposing granite, DG for short? This unique sand allows you to sink in as you walk and rest on the beach. One of the best ways to experience this phenomena is to join a Beach Yoga practice. During the session you will get to experience the sand moving beneath your body. You'll identify imbalances while attempting to remain steady as the sand shifts.
The experienced guides at Lake Tahoe Yoga know how the sand moves and provide expert instruction to help you feel confident and develop awareness of your body as you attempt the postures during the practice. Tips and tricks are abundant during the classes to help you become stronger and more steady throughout the session. They also offer the second best savasana ever. The first best one? I'll tell you more about that later.
Take Small Sips
I like to drink gin and wine. Going to wine tastings is one of my favorite off-season activities. In my pursuit to find gin and wines that I enjoy I have befriended a distiller and a wine maker who have become good friends. I've noticed that each time we taste their libations we do so slowly; we take sips.
While you're visiting Tahoe instead of getting shots and chugging down drinks, take sips. Choose to join a wine tasting or cocktail event where you learn about the spirits you are tasting. You can even book private events at places like Bliss Experiences where a sommelier will guide you as you learn to taste wine and explore unique food pairings. Slow down, take sips, and truly experience that which you are tasting.
Let the Music Move You
www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/sound-bathThere are many branches of Yoga. The of practice of sound vibration is Mantra. Sounds are powerful. I'm sure you've felt the feeling of a deep drum beat or experienced the shrill of a high pitched whistle. Mantra Yoga is the practice of using sacred sound, intentionally, to effect shifts in energy and mindset. A group experience of mantra is called kirtan. These are hard to find in Lake Tahoe.
You can find live performances and will hear music being played throughout the basin. If you're seeking a "slow music" experience we recommend a sound bath or sound healing experience. Anne Roos offers live and virtual guided relaxation that incorporates the sound of harp music. You can join her while you're visiting or from the comfort of your home. Let the music slow you down.
Get to Lake Level
You probably came to Lake Tahoe to spend some time near or in the water. There are so many water-based experiences to discover. Power boats and jet skis are many. There are kayaks and paddle boards. You can waterski or wind surf. These high adrenalin activities draw a lot of attention not only because they are risky, but because they are fast and noisy.
Slow down, quiet down and truly experience the lake on a paddle board or kayak. These activities are low impact on the lake, the environment and on your body. The ultimate slow down experience on the lake is Paddle Yoga. Lake Tahoe Yoga offers scheduled classes and private bookings. Not only do you get to experience the lake at its most peaceful, you'll experience balance and restoration unlike ever before. You can also rent boards and kayaks or book tours at a variety of providers including South Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. Experience Tahoe at lake level and let the waters can help you to slow down.
As you plan your next trip to Tahoe consider including moments of slow travel. Allow time to get immersed in the forest, sink into the sand, sip in the scene, move with the music and float upon the waves. If you're seeking other suggestions or opportunities to slow down reach out or visit Bliss Experiences for recommendations and curated experiences.
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.
Becoming fit and flexible can help you to better manage stress in both body and mind.
What is Fitness?
I used to hear the word fitness and an image of Jane Fonda or Arnold Swarzenegger would pop into my head. After years of living a fit and healthy life as a yogini the images that come to mind are, now, very different. My perception of fitness includes more than physical appearance. I define fitness as: overall wellbeing. I strive to feel fit in body, energy, and mind.
My day begins with a mindful focus practice. Either the sun or my alarm wake me each morning. I prop myself up to a seated position and begin. I mindfully focus upon a mantra (sound vibration practice) while setting an intention for the day. I like to do this practice in the morning before I actively engage in the world because it is the time during which my mind is most clear and my body is naturally relaxed.
The rest of my day is driven by the intention I set. It is guiding me throughout my day as a reminder to keep practicing with care for myself and awareness. I think about it while I move around, sit at my desk, teach others, take a walk, eat, etc. Sometimes I forget, or get distracted, but as soon as I catch myself I get right back to my practice.
I've been known to call out practitioners who rely on mobility instead of strength to access postures. There is a delicate balance between flexibility and strength that, when found, provides us with deeper access to our selves. To be overly mobile can result in injury just as being overly strong can do the same.
Consider your parents. Possibly, one was very strict and the other less so. When my parents divorced my Dad became the strict one, while my Mom became more flexible with the rules. The imbalance allowed me the opportunity to break rules and push limits that I never would have had they remained together. In your body and mind the same imbalances are present. It's up to you to identify and address them.
As one of my clients recently said, "It's nice to take an hour to do something for myself and to get away from work." It's easy to become rigid in our work schedules, weaken our self care, and too flexible when it comes to indulging.
One way to engage in self care and create balance is Yoga. It helps to reduce rigidity, build strength, and manage mobility. Allowing an hour of time to engage in self care during a Yoga practice can have a significant impact. Embedded in that hour is more than movement. The combination of intentional posturing, directed breathing, mindful movement, and guided focus can transform your perception; it can shift the way you in which you engage in the rest of the day.
Fit & Flexible
If you could set one intention for the rest of your day, week, month, what would it be? Try beginning your day with this intention in mind - use it to help you feel fit. Allow it to lead you as you live, work, eat, engage, and experience the world.
Consider the things about which you are rigid/strict/stuck, etc. and, in compliment, in which ways are you are too willing to be flexible or "go with the flow." How can you bring these ideas into balance?
Engage in self care; practice, play outside, create, explore. An hour a day is more powerful than you think.
Simple changes create significant effects. Practice becoming fit and flexible to reduce stress and feel more balanced.
Jenay guides Private Therapeutic Yoga Practices that focus upon your specific needs. To learn more or to begin developing your fitness and flexibility visit: https://www.therealignmentcoach.com/
Should music be played during Yoga? The shift to virtual classes has us questioning the necessity of music as part of the practice.
The Sounds of Silence
Originally, there was no music played during Yoga practices. Search YouTube and you can find videos of B.K.S. Iyengar and Patabhi Jois as well as lesser known practitioners guiding others in silent rooms where the only sound is that of their breath.
Fast forward to 2019 and you would be hard fast to find a class that doesn't have music playing. It had become to so common that a silent practice felt uncomfortable. One of the few lineages that continued to offer classes without music were those who practiced in the Iyengar style.
From Mantra to Hip Hop
I began attending Yoga classes in 1999. I wore street clothes to class. There was no music played. As my interest in the practice grew and I began to explore lineages beyond svarupa (my first), I stepped onto the path and never looked back.
I learned that vinyasa simply means an interconnected series of movements done with grace. These classes almost always included recorded music being played in the background. It was most likely Krisna Das mantra. It wasn't until 2003 that I began hearing popular music played during class. At Gold's Gym, where I was introduced to my teacher, she and others would mix in popular music with the traditional chanting recordings.
Adding to the Distractions?
When I was given the chance to choose the music for my classes, I was excited to begin creating mix CDs that included my favorite combinations of mantra, pop, jam bands, and rock. I had cases of music that I would carry with me to every class I taught. Each mix was curated to shift the energy of the practice intentionally.
The longer I taught, the less excited I was about the music I used. Making mixes became tedious, my Ipod could only hold so many songs, and then streaming channels became available. This made my life so much easier.
Is It Free?
For years I had a collection of channels on my Pandora or Spotify that I could easily select and play knowing that the music playing would be just fine for whatever I chose to teach. The songs themselves became less important. The energy of the music needed to align with the energy of the class. As time passed, though, discussions over the legality of using music and requirements for licensing began to rise in the Yoga community.
Now, Yoga studio owners have to cover the cost of licensing to play music as part of their classes. It is a growing issue and the question of whether we are performing and choreographing to the music is the main reason this new issue has arisen.
Back to the Basics
I began using less music, at lower volumes. In my own practice, I do so in silence. When the pandemic hit and we could no longer practice together in groups my virtual classes naturally shifted to be guided by voice only. No one seemed to mind. Of course, if they want to, anyone can mute themselves and play music in their own home while they practice virtually. However, in many discussions among those who join me, they agree that the silence is quite nice.
Keep the Peace
You'll notice that there is music added to the recorded classes we offer on YouTube and On-Demand. However, when you join a live virtual session it will be in silence unless you choose to play music in your space. If you haven't tried a silent practice, perhaps now is the time. I find that it provides an opportunity to truly connect with your breath, remain aware of your body, and spend time with your thoughts.
Join a Live Virtual Practice with Lake Tahoe Yoga by becoming a member of Bliss Experiences. When you register your account will receive one (1) credit to join any scheduled Monday class.
Simple ways to practice Yoga without the guidance of a teacher.
1. Establish Consistency
When we don’t have the call of the alarm to wake us, or our schedule shifts unexpectedly, it can become difficult to retain a consistent schedule. Many of us take advantage of the lack of responsibility we have on the weekends or during vacation to sleep in, float through the day, and generally feel the freedom to avoid tasks.
Yoga teaches two practices; do not get lost in habit (karma), and remain consistent in your practices (tapas).
When we begin doing something without awareness it has become habit. Do you think about which hand you use to hold your toothbrush? When was the last time you had to think before picking up a pencil to write? When you get in the car do you think about where the key goes? I’m sure you can think of many other habits that you have developed over time.
Consistency requires consideration, awareness and intention. It is the constant practice of thinking about what you are doing and choosing to do that which serves yourself and others. Sometimes it is as simple as choosing to bag your own groceries. It can be the establishment of a time to go outside each day no matter where you are or what you are doing. The practice of consistency requires that you consciously choose to act rather than relying upon that which comes easily.
2. Breathe First
A long, deep inhale and exhale can be the difference between throwing something across the room and walking quietly out the door. Begin a practice of drawing in and releasing one or more deep breaths before entering a room, a conversation, or engaging in a new activity. Not only does a deep breath help to calm your mind and body, it also creates a shift in focus. It can give you to pause and a moment to consider and reflect upon what is happening so that you can address what’s to come next with a more calm and intentional approach.
Get S$!t Done
Creating a list of tasks to complete and checking off, disposing of, deleting, etc. that list as each is completed can be incredibly satisfying. Sometimes, when we feel like we have all the time in the world, we will fill in that time with busy-work or distractions. When a “to-do” list is available, it can help you to focus and address that which needs to get done. Rather than spend a half hour checking out your social feeds, you could be scheduling a dozen posts. Instead of watching videos on Youtube, you could be repairing that hole in your pants.
Enjoy The Little Things
I love that this is one of the Zomblieland rules. From the comfort of your sofa there are countless little things to value. First and foremost is the fact that you have a couch to sit on. I can remember when I moved into my first apartment and we had no couch. I can also recall when we moved into our house and we had no furniture at all. A couch is a wonderful thing!
For those of us who reside in Tahoe South we get to enjoy the magic of living in a forest. City dwellers get to enjoy the majesty of architecture. Whether you enjoy peace and quiet or hustle and bustle, the sounds of silence or the laughter of children, take a moment to enjoy that which you have chosen to have surrounding you.
The time you take to enjoy the things that bring you joy and peace pays off later. When you are in a stressful situation, dealing with negative energy, trying to problem solve, or being a friend when someone is in need you can reflect back upon these things. Recalling them can help you remain more calm and collected by providing your mind with a shift in perspective.
If you are interested in learning more about the philosophies and practices of Yoga as well as how to transition into a Yogic Lifestyle contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the studio at (775)580-7224.
There is a lot of “yoga” out there right now. A boom has occurred and every gym, fitness spot, grassy area, and beach is now offering “yoga.” There are live streams, videos, Youtube channels, memberships, subscriptions and more. Learn to differentiate between those that are Yoga and the rest.
What Is Yoga?
There are 8 specific aspects to the practice of Yoga. When all are included, you are practicing Yoga.
1) Yama: Restraint/Direction/Control
2) Niyama: Observation/Self Control
3) Pranayama: Directed Breathing
4) Asana: Intentional Movement
5) Pratyahara: Sense Withdrawal
6) Dharana: Focused Concentration
7) Dhyana: Meditation
8) Samadhi: Integration
To explain each of these in depth is a much deeper conversation. For those of you seeking a deeper understanding or wishing to learn more about the history and philosophies of Yoga, begin by joining a class. A high quality teacher will incorporate these terms and explain them as they apply to what happens on and off of your mat.
Technique is Important
Asana (Yoga poses) change the way we move. The technique behind each position is important because it forces us to think and focus upon the way in which we are habitually using our bodies. Your teacher should be cueing postures in very specific ways in order to encourage you to redirect your attention and consider your habits. The value lies in understanding how to execute the postures well. Once you have developed this skill, then you can begin to move more quickly and gracefully through them.
Did you know that Yoga has influenced most of the major spiritual practices in the world? Ancient Indians were seeking answers. They wanted to know why the world is the way it is. They were studying the stars, the Earth and human nature. During class you should be learning about the philosophies and history of Yoga as well as how to integrate the practices into your life. Learning about the history of Yoga and the various practices that stemmed from it will help you to develop a deeper understanding and discernment among the various styles that have branched from the roots of the practice.
Yoga is something that we do all of the time. It happens on your mat, in the lobby, in your car and as you travel through the world. Your teacher should be giving you homework. As they teach, they should be offering focus points and concepts to consider. After you complete your mat practice (Asana) you may feel calm, steady and at ease. In your mind, though, there should be something that you carry out with you. Something that you consider beyond the mat. You should feel as though you are ready to make a tiny change or shift in your life that might just make things better. If you leave sweaty, tired and feeling like you got a work out, then you did, but it wasn’t Yoga.
Include Yoga as Part of Your Next Event or Celebration
A Better Birthday Party
As each decade arrives we begin to value new things. In my 20's I wanted to experience all the things that I couldn't when I was in my teens. When I hit 30 I wanted to remain in my 20's. As I continue to move along the number line in age I have begun to value experience and time with those whom I can have fun and be myself.
When you book your next birthday celebration consider hiring a Private Yoga Teacher to provide a guided practice for you and your birthday buddies. An experienced guide will not only provide all of the necessary materials, but be able to vary the practice to honor the needs of everyone in your group regardless of the number of decades they have been living in their body. It's a great way to bring everyone together in celebration of another circle around the sun.
Fun with Friends
Even though we may think we are doing a good job of remaining connected with our friends nothing is better than spending a few days together. Experiences connect us. Travel, events, exploration and adventures provide us with stories that last a lifetime.
When planning your next friendship getaway consider adding in a Private Yoga class for you and your crew. Not only can it be a good way to limber up before you go out on a hike, mountain bike ride, kayak trip or winery tour, it can also help you to remember why you love each other. From partner postures to Tarot card readings your Private Yoga Teacher should be able to create an experience that honors your group and helps you reconnect as friends.
Pre-Party & Post-Party
Whether you are planning a Corporate Retreat or Bachelorette Party alcohol usually ends up on the grocery list. For those of you who enjoy dancing, gambling or going to a show you might find yourself out at one of the casinos. It can be easy to over-do it when drinking in Tahoe because the effects of being at 6000 feet of altitude can surprise you.
Be sure to add lip balm and water to your list as well as a Private Yoga Practice to prepare for and recover from your nights out in Tahoe. A knowledgeable Yoga teacher will know exactly what postures and how to apply them to get you ready for a night out or detoxify from the prior one. We want you to enjoy your stay. An hour of Yoga can be the difference between getting out and having fun or spending the day on the sofa.
Try It Out
I've been practicing living a lifestyle of Yoga since 2000. When I first began practicing it was because my friends were going, it was free and I liked the physical workout. The first practice I tried was in the style of Svarupa; a gentle practice which uses blankets and blocks and requires a lot of stretching. At the time, I was living in Boston and, once my wallet got a bit fuller, I was able to experience a variety of other styles simply by wandering the city and looking at posted schedules.
The Yoga Lifestyle
When I moved to Tahoe I couldn’t find a studio that aligned with my lifestyle. Living here afforded me many opportunities to explore, adventure and play, but I didn’t feel at home at the only studio in town.
I was the local school counselor and had been hired to teach a few Private Practices. As people got to know me, they asked me to begin offering classes locally. Soon, I had a following and I begun developing a small business. Now, I share my lifestyle with people in my studio, at various homes, on the beach, paddle board and am happy to practice with anyone, anywhere.
More Than Poses
When I’m not working, I play outside at any chance I get. During the Summer I ride my bike every day. I ski and hike, swim, paddle, and am always looking for a new experience to try.
I practice Yoga everyday and everywhere. This doesn’t mean I do Yoga poses every day. Nope. I've learned that Yoga is much more than poses. It's a way of living. Yoga is everywhere, all the time.
Every one of us can benefit from a little stretching, balance and strengthening. We can all benefit from peace of mind, and quiet time. Yoga is movement, breathing, mindfulness, wellbeing and contentment. You know that feeling you get when you're floating on three feet of powder? It's Yoga. How about when you’re cruising down the most perfect section of single track without a soul around? It's Yoga. When you’re the only one floating on the crystal clear lake. It’s Yoga. It's always there, even if you don’t consider yourself a Yogi(ni).
Practice Yoga Everywhere
Today take a moment to look at your own life and find those moments of Yoga; moments when you've reached out to others, enjoyed some time to yourself, found balance, strength and calm.
To learn more about finding those moments of peace in your life, join the practice at Lake Tahoe Yoga or book a Private Session with Jenay.
Considering attempting this 5000 year old practice that has somehow become a modern phenomenon? Nervous? Don’t be. Here are a few secrets to know before you jump in.
1) What To Wear
Back in 2000 when I first began exploring Yoga I would show up for classes in anything from whatever I had worn to class that day to my running shorts and a tank. "Active Wear" was not a thing. It wasn't until I started attending classes at a local gym that I began to seek out clothing that would better allow me to stretch out and bend my body.
There's no need to go shopping for the "right" clothing to wear to your first Yoga class. Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in. A little hint: before you choose those tights you ordered online, do a forward fold with a mirror behind you and make sure they aren't too revealing.
2) What to Bring
You don't need any special tools to do Yoga. In fact, Yoga mats are a modern phenomenon. It wasn't until B.K.S. Iyengar came onto the scene that things like blocks, straps and bolsters became synonymous with the practice of Asana. If you are in need of some extra support during the practice a good teacher will notice and provide you with assistance, a variation on the posture or improvise a tool.
Bring water and, if you have long hair, tie it back so that it is not a distraction during the class. How you look while you are doing Yoga is of little importance compared to how you feel.
3) What to Do
Observation is the key to learning anything. If you are just beginning practicing Yoga feel free to look at the teacher and around the room. This is not so you can compare yourself and attempt to be like everyone else, but more so to gather information and decide if this is the right place for you to be. We all get uncomfortable when outside of our elements, and a Yoga Asana class can certainly make you feel like you are on a different planet. The only way to learn more about what to do is to observe.
A good teacher will not only demonstrate the postures, but describe them well. Watch, listen and do your best to follow the instructions. The more you do, the more comfortable you will become.
4) What to Say
Personally, I like it when the studio is buzzing with conversation before I begin teaching. I think it is important to meet the people with whom you are sharing the room and the class. This helps everyone feel more comfortable practicing and helps to eliminate the "silent competition" that can be created when people do not talk to each other.
I also think it is important to ask questions. If the class you attend begins with a chant or invocation as what it means and why it is being done. If there is any sort of saying, expected practice or movements that everyone seems to know and join the only way you will learn is to ask why and how.