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.
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.
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.
You know, Yoga isn’t just about poses. It also includes practices of mindfulness. The first two limbs; Yama and Niyama describe practices for how to treat others and ourselves. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own wants we forget that our behaviors have an effect on others. These are few practices to show your love for Lake Tahoe with consideration and mindfulness.
I think that many of us who have chosen to live in Lake Tahoe have done so because we enjoy a little distance between ourselves and others. Some of us have given up the city, large homes or expansive properties in exchange for the wide open lake, mountains and valleys of the basin. When we return to our humble abodes we do so with memories of how wide open the word can be.
While in your home, wherever it may be, try a mindful distancing practice. Imagine yourself in your favorite spot at Lake Tahoe. Envision everything about it from sights to smells and touch to sounds. Spend a little time in your own “Virtual Tahoe.”
Tahoe In Your Home
There are so many things that make Lake Tahoe special. One of my favorite quips is about people who try to bring the various shades of the lake home in jars. One of my least favorite behaviors is people taking Sugar Pine cones home.
Rather than take from Tahoe, create your own Lake Tahoe at home. Use the colors of Tahoe’s water to decorate your living room. When you cut down a tree in your yard have it carved like those in the yards at the lake. Hang photos of your favorite spots in Tahoe on your walls as reminders.
Follow Your Favorites
I think that the best businesses in Tahoe are the ones that are owned by residents. There is something a bit more special about a place that is owned by someone who lives in and loves Tahoe.
You can find many Tahoe small businesses on your favorite social media apps. By following and liking their posts you will not only be “in the know” regarding what is happening, you will also be helping small businesses and owners boost their optimization.
Plan For The Future
You might not be able to get to Lake Tahoe today, but it’s fun to plan on a trip in the future. Create a vision board, list of “want-to’s,” or journal about the places and things you hope to see and do during your next trip.
It doesn’t hurt to reach out to get information and to learn more about the places you hope to visit or the businesses you want to check out. Remember that most of the experience providers and event vendors book early. Contacting them early might just get you an “in.”
We Want To Want You
I grew up visiting Cape Cod, and now that I live in Tahoe, I realize what a challenge it is to live there. There are visitors who are generous, polite, kind, respectful and considerate. These mindful people do everything they can to let others know how much they appreciate where they are. Then, there are those who forget or lose their manners on the way across the bridge, or in our case, over the pass.
Returning to the mindful distancing practice from before, while you enjoy “Virtual Tahoe,” envision how you can make Tahoe a better place now, or during your next visit. Perhaps you’re going to donate to one of the local organizations. Maybe you’ll bring an extra trash bag to clean up as you walk or hike. Imagine yourself pulling over in a safe place, out of the way of traffic, to take in the views. Whatever you choose to do to make Lake Tahoe a better place, we look forward to seeing you during your next visit.
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.
Ancestry Means Something
It's nice to know where you came from. Your individual ancestry can help you to identify who you are. In the same way, the line of teachers that provided knowledge and guidance to the one you practice with can provide you with a better understanding of why they teach the way they do. Lineage in Yoga is a valuable bit of information.
Did you know that Raja is the root of all Yoga? Hatha is the seed of modern Yoga. All Yoga began at the time of the Vedas during which traditions and practices were shared orally. It wasn't until people began to write (The Vedas and Upanishads) that the practices were codified.
Knowing who your teachers are can make a difference in your understanding of the practice. If your teacher can trace their training back to a teacher who is trained in the traditional and authentic practice (Raja and Hatha) they probably have a stronger grasp on what Yoga is.
If your teacher cannot identify the lineage in which they were trained they may not be a teacher at all. Instructors can tell you to move, to breath and to focus. Teachers give you the tools to access Yoga. Those who continue to study, observe and deepen their own practice become guides who can show you the way to practice Yoga authentically.
Religion, Culture, Wisdom
LIfestyle practices including Hinduism and Buddhism influenced the way in which Yoga was described. As the stories of the Vedas were written, they were transformed by the way in which people were living at the time. Each new translation of the stories; from Sanskrit to Persion, then to Latin and eventually English, that which was written was changed. Beliefs, religion, culture and more effected the way in which the ancient texts were translated.
Even today there are new books, insights, perspectives and thoughts on how to practice Yoga. Every instructor has their own ideas they want to share. It can be challenging to find a guide with whom you connect. Keep practicing and searching for the right one.
Yoga In Everything, Everywhere
Every time we read the writings as they are translated by a new story teller, we are given a new perspective. The explanations change as a result of current culture, influence, experiences and individual meta-cognition.
Although the practices remain consistent; Asta-anga (eight limbs) must be practiced in order for Yoga to occur, the approach changes. Dependent upon where you were raised, your beliefs, teachers, guides and circumstances effect your practice.
One thing remains true for all of us: Yoga exists in everything, everywhere. We just need to reveal it. Stick with it. Practice Yoga Everywhere. Discover your Self.
If you would like to discuss or learn more about the history of Yoga and the practices of Raja and Hatha book a Realignment Coaching Session with Jenay or begin deepening your practice through the Lake Tahoe Yoga School 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program.
Authenticity is Important
The boom of Yoga Asana teachers and locations that offer classes in the nation is incredible. In the Tahoe South area, alone, there are at least eight locations within a 5 mile radius that offer some sort of Yoga Asana class. Awareness and interest in Yoga is at an all time high. There are thousands of places to go to try out and join others to do Asana.
As with anything we have to be careful when choosing a place to begin, continue and deepen our practices of Yoga. Just as Amazon has become the go-to for everything, but not everything is what it claims to be; so can "Yoga Studios" claim one thing, but offer something different. Be careful when choosing the place where you would like to practice.
Like so many good things Yoga Asana classes have become the basis of a business model. A "Yoga Studio" is now also a juice bar, retail shop, classroom and training room. The focus has shifted from practicing Yoga to physical prowess and appearance. Think about the place where you go to practice. What is the first thing you notice?
Now, business is business and we all have to sell something if we are going to survive in this culture and climate. However, the practice of Yoga focuses upon so much more than appearances. A smaller studio is the owner, the teachers they include and their energy. Every penny that is earned goes back into the business to make it survive. Remember, that the money you pay to practice in a small studio goes directly to those who are actively teaching, working and making the business what it is. At those larger, corporate or franchised businesses you never know where your money goes.
Refine Your Vision
Yoga teaches us to see the big picture while focusing upon the smaller pieces that make the whole. We easily become blinded by the big, noisy and most noticeable stuff. The more we practice, the more we refine our vision and see that which is important.
You might find yourself blinded by Yoga Tree, Core Power, Hot Yoga, etc. The franchises are everywhere, they have money to advertise and seem to draw in everyone. Keep practicing Yoga and look for the studios that are offering Yoga rather than just Yoga Asana. See beyond the fancy ads and flashy decor of the franchises. Find a place that teaches more than poses.
More Than Meets the Eye
A smaller, locally, often individually owned and run studio offers so much more than you might initially notice. Typically, the owner is also one of the few teachers offering guided practices. They likely practice on their own, regularly and consistently. They probably have deep beliefs and strong practices. If you spend enough time with them, you are likely to learn far more than you do in the hour long Asana class at that big studio you used to visit.
As a teacher, studio owner and practitioner of Yoga I seek out these studios and teachers. Honestly, when I attend a class that is full of people with a teacher who clearly has pre-planned the class I leave frustrated. I am always hoping the attendance will be low and the teacher will be prepared to share in the practice with us. When this happens I always end up leaving with something I didn't know I needed.
Every Day Is Small Business Day
Instead of thinking about small businesses for just one day: Small Business Saturday. Consider seeking out small businesses and, in particular, small Yoga Studios every time you feel the need to join a class. Try new places, new teachers and explore locations, styles and lineages you might not have previously considered. Arrive early and stay after class. Get to know the teacher. Keep practicing. You might even discover your Self.
Our Small Part
As a solo-preneur and micro-business owner I do everything I can to teach authentically, support the community and create practices that honor those who wish to be guided. If you're ready to begin, wish to continue or want to deepen your practice. Join me. I hope we can travel together on the path toward Yoga.