Tim Miller workshop in Columbus, Ohio will give glimpses into primary, second and third series

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Tim Miller. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Yoga on High. And it’s no secret I’m a big fan of Columbus, Ohio, which is really pretty cool. Every April, when Tim pays his annual visit to Yoga on High, I get to enjoy all three together. This year, there’s a bonus — I get all three plus a rare glimpse of the first three series of Ashtanga vinyasa yoga as narrated by Tim, who is one of the best guides to this system I have ever met. Continue reading

How to lose a practice in 10 days (or, what Madonna can teach us all about maintaining a yoga practice during the most hectic travel time of year)

Between work, family, and just life, it’s hard enough for most of us to maintain a truly consistent yoga practice. But when you throw holidays and travel into the mix, it can seem damn near impossible not to lose the … Continue reading

[Mysore dispatch] Pink kurta

One week into my month-long stay here, it seems obvious to me that a big part of coming here is not about the practice at all — it’s about seeing where our areas of density are in our life. It’s easy to spot when a tight shoulder is the obstacle to steady comfort in a pose. For some of us, it’s harder to spot our areas of density in our daily lives. Continue reading

[Retreat dispatch] Flames, tapas and bandhas

Upping the ease in the practice by turning off my energy locks also took away the internal heat, and I was reminded that if I always practiced this way, it would be quite difficult to ever discover edges — physical, mental and otherwise. It also made me think more about mula bandha — and thankfully, Angela Jamison was there to discuss this elusive concept. Continue reading

[Retreat dispatch] Waves, vrittis and meditations

he first thing you notice about the Xinalani eco retreat center on Mexico’s Banderas Bay — about a 20-minute boat ride from Puerto Vallarta — are the waves. (Except for the times when they sneak up on you and knock you out of her headstand.) Continue reading

Tuesday morning to-do list: Ekam, practice. Dve, vote!

I’m impressed by the amount of in-your-face, get-off-your-asana, get-out-the-vote activism that yogis backing President Barack Obama have been demonstrating of late. Four quick examples out of a ton I could have chosen from: This weekend, when I was in Columbus, … Continue reading

Radiant sources, power lunches and the influence of all those wordy words

Dominic was wearing a T-shirt with “Shiva” written in a KISS font the first morning I met him, before the Mysore class got underway. He struck me as a down-to-earth ashtangi with a quiet punk rock vibe. Continue reading

Good day, moon

As I start my second year of trying to maintain a six-day-week Ashtanga home practice, I’ve noticed that I’ve become more and more intrigued by the idea of being more attuned to something other than manmade timetables or manmade inventions. Continue reading

[Version 2.0] Updated Ashtanga Yoga + Social Media Grid

Updates to the Ashtanga Yoga + Social Media Grid curated by YogaRose.net include a new blog from Guy Donahaye and inclusion of three shalas sharing low-fat content. Good stuff! Continue reading

An elevator pitch for a steady, consistent yoga practice? (Or, thank neuroplasticity for what happens when your brain is on yoga.)

An elevator pitch for the six-day-a-week Ashtanga yoga practice that fits into a little tweet! 😉 Continue reading

About this blog’s new header

I started this blog in the summer of 2010, when my life was in a more unsettled, frazzled and searching place. To the extent that I can, I’m sharing my own stories, as they come. You won’t find an enlightened yogi in these posts, because it’s two steps forward, three steps back for me. But if you follow the trajectory of the blog, you might see that the thread of the Ashtanga yoga method has been working wonders in slow and unpredictable ways. Continue reading

Unpacking my patterns of excess

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A pack rat by nature, and surrounded by stacks of slips of paper I should have slipped out of my life long ago, the ayurvedic observation about patterns of excess deeply resonated. At least moving forces you to go through piles and open boxes and make decisions about how many physical mementos linked to emotional baggage you want to carry on with you to the next space you occupy. Continue reading

‘Clear plastic in a place called Lahaina’: Maui and the early ashtangis

Well, here I am at LAX during a three-hour layover. We boarded a red eye from Maui around 10 p.m. last night, and we’re scheduled to land in Detroit around 5 p.m. today. What this means is that the honeymoon … Continue reading

Workshop dispatch: Primary series (Yoga Chikitsa)

Tim Miller was careful to note during the workshops that while we often think of the quality of being sattvic as being the most desirable of the gunas, we need all three for balance. “It’s easy to say tamas is bad, sattvic is good and rajas is mixed,” Tim said. “But you need all three. We are always trying to find balance between these qualities.” Continue reading

Workshop dispatch: ‘Bullet Train to Samadhi’

I’ve packed up my little red Corolla to be ready to leave Columbus, Ohio this evening. Today is the final of six days’ worth of workshops with Tim Miller held at Yoga on High, and people are chilling and reading … Continue reading

Workshop dispatch: Baby warrior escapes scrutiny while short-legged chicken spotlighted

Through the stories that Pattabhi Jois’ students tell of his teachings, it’s clear that humor was a key part of his beloved teaching style. I think what was true of Guruji is also true of Tim Miller. For me personally, … Continue reading

YogaRose.net Explainer: Help! I hate practicing on carpet, but I want a home practice. What can I do?

This post is for the yogi who wants to build a home practice but can’t stand practicing on carpet. So often in yoga, there’s no easy answer to the “how can I . . . ?” question. In this case, I think there is a relatively straightforward answer to the question, “How can I make practicing on carpet feel better?” Continue reading

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Keep reading, keep practicing

The Ashtanga Yoga Confluence is over, but the stream of knowledge and inspiration from this first-of-its-kind gathering doesn’t have to end for any of us. Continue reading

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Guided primary series with Nancy Gilgoff

After the class, we had a few minutes of discussion. Someone asked Nancy about alignment. “There is no formal alignment whatsoever,” she said. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: What about this whole enlightenment business?

There was a Q-and-A session during the last panel of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. One question, which had been submitted to conference organizers prior to the start of the gathering, seemed like an eight-part question about enlightenment. It was such … Continue reading

[VIDEO] Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: The making of the ‘confluence’ theme

Deborah Ifill, who is a graphic designer, was nice enough to talk about how the term “confluence” came to be the name of the gathering, and how she came up wit the popular designs of the Confluence T-shirts. Continue reading

Not discussed (thankfully!) at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Vanity Fair’s profile on the Ashtanga Yoga/Jois Yoga tension

(Correction noted below) As if on cue, Vanity Fair today has published an in-depth look at the Ashtanga vinyasa yoga system and growing tensions with Jois Yoga. I learned about it from Claudia Yoga and The Confluence Countdown this afternoon as Scott … Continue reading

[VIDEO] Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Eddie Stern suggests a high-stakes Vedic debate with ‘The Science of Yoga’ author William Broad

Better than a cage fight? Eddie Stern challenges William Broad to a high-stakes Vedic debate. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Last day (first set?)

There were 386 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence registrants hailing from across the United States and from countries as far away as Italy. Incredibly, 500 people were on the waiting list. There was so much enthusiasm for the event that, once it was announced last year, it only took 45 days for all the spots to fill. Continue reading

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: Backbending, and getting back together

For me, the second full day of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence was about backbending and getting back together. Mysore West? First, getting back together. As lots of people have noted, having 350 Ashtanga yoga practitioners all in one place to … Continue reading

Ashtanga Yoga Confluence: How inhaling and exhaling can wring us out

It’s past 11:30 p.m. of the end of the first full day of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence as I start to write this, and Scott and I just got back from an unplanned trip to Los Angeles, where we had … Continue reading

On cybershalas and old-school blogs

A researcher explores the cybershala, which makes “it possible for practitioners to learn a physically demanding, minutely codified repertoire without ever interacting with a physically-present teacher.” This surely won’t replace the Ashtanga lineage, but is it becoming a bigger part of some ashtangis’ practice? Or is it all illusory? Continue reading

Florence travel journal (part 4): Five romantic spots in Florence (and why I found Florence more romantic than Venice)

There were lots of places I could have chosen for the fifth romantic spot, including getting out of town and heading north to Fiesole or south to Siena for dinner. But consider this a placeholder for you to find your own unique, not-guidebook-driven romantic spot. Continue reading

Links on the benefits of yoga + add your favorite benefit for a chance to win a relaxing eye pillow

It’s always interesting to think about the Western science behind why yoga makes us feel the way it makes us feel, and the more Eastern yogic science of how this practice helps bring clarity to the question of how best to live our lives. Continue reading

Can I blame Mercury Retrograde for this evening #fail?

It has not been a banner evening. I got super angry at a local sushi restaurant over my takeout order. Leaving the restaurant, I got super angry at a guy who obnoxiously cut me off, and on impulse angrily honked my horn at him in protest (I never honk my car horn).
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Mystery meat: How my search for missing taste buds led me to a Chicago vegan diner

Last night at this time, I was in a diner in Chicago’s Boystown district, sitting across the table from my very talented, very funny and very fast (in that marathon/triathalon kind of way) friend Molly. We were having a blast catching up after not seeing each other for two years, but there was one undeniably strange thing about the situation. Continue reading

Whose drumbeat do you move to?

I started my last two practices with the sun salutations included in the final “practice” segment of Learn to Float, and then continued with the rest of my series trying to keep that same rhythm. It was so grounding, and a bit primal at the same time — just me, my breath and the steadiness of this external drumbeat that reflected the steadiness my internal heartbeat. Continue reading

Know thyself (bones, muscles, Golgi tendon organ and all)

The more I learn about anatomy, the more I think that one of the most sorely lacking aspects of the American education is what we don’t teach our kids about their own bodies. You can’t really fault a society that turns to quick-fixes — pills, surgeries and questionable products hocked on infomercials — if people aren’t taught how to assess the source of their pain and how to further investigate potential fixes. Continue reading

Ashtanga, NY/USA/World on this 9/11 anniversary

The 9/11 inclusion in the Ashtanga, NY documentary speaks to how this practice goes beyond one man or one family. It goes beyond being a deeply personal practice for celebrities who live in a particular city and millions of people around the world. This practice is ultimately about healing — whether it’s on an individual or community level.
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Mt. Shasta –>Work (Why is reentry so hard?)

It’s been way too long since my last blog post, which I wrote on the last day of my Mt. Shasta-based Ashtanga second series retreat. It was such a luxury to have the time to hike, take bubble baths (!), start … Continue reading

Feeding the body, mind and spirit: An exercise in less is more

On the first day of this Ashtanga yoga retreat held in the sacred space of California’s Mt. Shasta region, Tim Miller explained the itineraries for yoga practices, open discussions, hiking trips and — last but not least — meals. He … Continue reading

Economic bubbles, bubble baths and a breath of fresh air

This sounds ridiculous — because it is. But I just enjoyed a bubble bath in which I played my Radiohead channel on my iPhone Pandora app (great app for traveling, by the way) as I read about today’s major stock … Continue reading

The flexibility of fearlessness

Check out the roughly 40-foot (that’s a best guess) drop of Middle Falls, located in the McCloud River Loop, where our group hiked today, the second full day of this Mt. Shasta Ashtanga second series retreat. Now check out yoga … Continue reading

A girl, a volcano and a ring

I am headed to Mt. Shasta, located in the upper reaches of California and rising more than 14,000 feet. Tim Miller and his sweet wife, Carol, lead two trips each year to this mesmerizing place. They spend one week with … Continue reading

Need a yoga travel agent? Check out my itineraries. (Or take a yoga staycation right on your mat.)

I ran into two fellow yoga instructors the other evening when I was at the Michigan Athletic Club (MAC) to teach my weekly vinyasa yoga class, and both of the separate conversations somehow flowed toward fun discussions about visiting yoga … Continue reading

What took my breath away today: The schedule of the first annual Ashtanga Yoga Confluence

The fine folks organizing the first annual Ashtanga Yoga Confluence announced today that registration is now open. I just read the schedule. You should too, because it will take your breath away. Basically, you’re getting the chance to study with … Continue reading

Eight things to know about March 2012

Tim Miller’s latest Tuesdays with Timji update begins with the fact that May 18, 2011, is the second anniversary of the passing of K. Pattabhi Jois. The blog post then leads into the type of very honest ruminations that is the hallmark … Continue reading

Dancing with the Deities (A Not-So-Epic Overview)

How can stories of Hindu deities enrich a yoga practice? I wrote this blog post to accompany a two-hour workshop I gave to Hilltop Yoga teachers on May 15, 2011. But it’s meant to serve as a stand-alone post — so … Continue reading

Be the yoga teacher and adjust my warrior pose!

Ask anyone who seriously practices yoga, and it’s likely they have a nemesis posture — that posture that challenges and frustrates, defying all laws of physics and logic. If postures were ninjas, the nemesis would be the one you meet … Continue reading

When a tweet deserves to be a blog post too (when it has to do with a live webcast of a led primary class by Sharath)

What I tweeted tonight from my @rose101 account: Calling all #Ashtanga yoga practitioners! Live stream of a led primary by Sharath April 8 & 15 http://bit.ly/ga3Jot (via @claudiayoga) I just found out about this 20 minutes or so. So it’s … Continue reading

It’s a calendar. A datebook. A fundraiser. And it’s a…flip book?!

I recently wrote a post about a fundraising calendar put out by some artistic and generous yogis at the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Ashtanga Yoga Center. My calendar has arrived in the mail, and to my surprise, it’s much more than a … Continue reading

A 2011 yoga calendar that reminds us what this path is truly about

    I had the good fortune to study with study with Tim Miller at the Ashtanga Yoga Center (AYC), his studio in southern California, this summer. One of the very cool people I met during my two weeks in Encinitas, … Continue reading

Baseball’s most yogic figure (hint: it’s not Bud Selig)

During my drive to Chicago tonight (for a Tim Miller second series workshop at Yogaview — woo-hoo!), I was getting all upset again over the perfect game that was stolen from Armando Galarraga. True Detroit Tigers fan will wonder, “you … Continue reading