Overwhelm, aggravation, annoyance, frustration, irritation, unsettling. . .What other words can you think of to describe our current circumstances? Luckily, there is a cure for all of these feelings. You already know what I am going to say: Yoga.
The world of virtual meetings has expanded and many of us are forgetting to build in time for ourselves between them. Remember when you used to have to commute to work? You had to plan driving time? You got to listen to your favorite music, podcast, radio station, etc. while you traveled to your place of work? Do you remember how that time in the car gave you time to think, to plan, to ponder?
During the practice of Yoga asana we build in moments of stopping. Between postures we pause to breathe. At the end we stop moving and rest our bodies so that we can absorb all the benefits of the practice. When was the last time you just stopped? Maybe you should build in some opportunities to do so from now on.
What Will You Change?
When the pandemic began there was so much uncertainty. We sheltered in place to stay safe. We did our best to sort through the information that was rapidly being provided and did our best to follow the directives that seemed to change daily. Now, we’ve all develop our own practices based upon our understanding of the pandemic and our individual levels of risk aversion.
Throughout this time the weather has been fairly pleasant. During the Springtime many of us were able to go outside and play. During the Summer we took advantage of the outdoors. As we transition into Autumn and Winter what will you do to remain healthy and safe? How will you make sure that you are doing your part to keep others safe? Yoga includes the practice of Ahimsa: non-harming. As the seasons change and we are more likely to be indoors, consider how you can behave in a way that keeps everyone safe and healthy.
Stand Back & Observe
It can be easy to get stuck in our own bubbles. Social media algorithms show us what we want to see. We encircle ourselves with people who agree with us. We go to places that align with our beliefs.
Viprittakarani translates to mean “reverted process.” I often refer to this practice as “shift in perspective.” When practicing Paddle Yoga one of my favorite moments is when everyone moves into downward facing dog and gazes upon the lake with it appearing up-side-down. No photo can capture what you see in that position. It is a moment to enjoy viprittakarani. Consider how you can incorporate opportunities to stand back, observe, and shift your perspective.
By this time of year most of us in the service industry are at our wits end. We have answered the same questions thousands of times. We have been cleaning up after others. Our patience has been tested in every way possible. It can be easy to fall into a state of angry bitterness.
Every practice I teach ends with three statements of aum shanti (ah ooh mm shahn-tee): salutations to peace. I say these words throughout the day, as well. I use them as a reminder that there is peace in me, in you, in everyone and everywhere. Even though the behavior of others may stir up anger or frustration within you, remember that there is peace all around you. Feel free to practice as I do and apply aum shanti to remind yourself.
Let It Go
I am a Summer person. I like warm evenings, hot days, cooling off in the lake, the smell of barbeques, and all the sounds of Summer. One of my good friends is a Winter guy. He gets so excited when the weather begins to shift at the end of Summer he starts waxing his snowboards in anticipation.
In every season there is wonder. Behave as we Yoginis do and attempt to experience each new season with a beginner’s mind. Observe how this season is different from the last. Enjoy the moments as the daylight shifts and the leaves change. Take a deep breath and enjoy the smells of the season. Reflect upon Autumns past and Winters gone. Enjoy this one as another opportunity to shed the past and detach from that which was. Let it all go.
When a pandemic hits the best practice is one of consideration. Learn more about how Lake Tahoe Yoga is adjusting to the changes brought on by Covid-19.
As most of you know one of the best parts of sharing the practice at Lake Tahoe Yoga is receiving physical adjustments. All of the teachers trained at the Lake Tahoe Yoga School learn how to provide supportive and effective adjustments that help you to either deepen or develop awareness during your practice.
Well, we can't be doing that anymore. So, we're adjusting our approach. Rather than provide hands-on support we will be improving our verbal instruction while continuing to demonstrate every posture during the practice. As always, we ask that you ask questions for clarification. If you think you have misunderstood, the teacher misspoke, or you have just become confused feel free to speak up. We are here to teach. Help us to improve by letting us know what you need to know.
Keep It Clean
Yoga studios are notorious for sharing. We share space, tools, products, thoughts, philosophy and conversations. We can continue to share the latter, but spaces and tools have to change.
Now is the time to invest in the tools that you like to use when you practice. Lake Tahoe Yoga has access to wholesale pricing and discounts. Reach out with questions about the best mat for your practice, which blocks will last, the best strap, bolster, or blanket.
We have always used antimicrobial mats and regularly washed all blankets, blocks and straps. If you've ever met Jenay you know that she is just a little intense when it comes to cleanliness and tidiness. You can rest assured that when you practice with LTY everything will be up to the CDC cleanliness standards.
Yes, it is more difficult to breathe when something is covering your nose and mouth. Engaging in physical activity with a mask on is no one's preferred way of doing so. Getting sick is way bigger bummer. I like to breathe. I enjoy being healthy and active. I would rather wear a mask than get or give Covid-19.
Find a mask that is an expression of you, how you feel, what you're thinking, or spreads joy. Make it an additional accessory that expresses who you are. Work on making your eyes sparkle, stretch out your upper face muscles, and express your third eye.
Let's practice together while remaining considerate of the effect we could have on those around us. Stay and keep others safe by wearing a mask while in groups and classes.
Lake Tahoe Yoga remains open for businesses. We have been continuing to offer classes via Zoom. You can purchase access on our website.
We continue to accept and book live sessions for the future. Book now and we can practice together later. There are no cancellation or change fees. We are flexible and ready to adjust to any changes that have to happen.
Paddle Yoga and Beach Yoga plans are in the works. Our scheduled and privately booked sessions will be made available as soon as possible. We look forward to practicing with you, outdoors, safely.
Wishing for individualized treatment to address your specific needs? You can request private therapeutic sessions to be in-person or virtual. Don't put off returning to health, creating harmony and developing wellbeing. Now is the time.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.