Jun

11

Just Show UP!

I held a Community Yoga event the other day.  It was in a public location and open to all!  We had 30 people there.  A guy comes walking in whom I've never met before.  I greeted him and asked him if he had ever practiced yoga before, to which he replied, "never."  I was immediately impressed.

I hear excuses all day long as to why people won't try yoga.  I can see how some people think it's intimidating, so I don't mean any judgement when I say it's an excuse.  I'm just calling it what it is.

BUT here's the good news:  There are so many different styles of yoga.  Not everyone loves dripping sweat and getting upside down every chance they can get.  Maybe yin or restorative yoga is more your pace.  Maybe attention to detail and alignment is more your thing.  There are so many types of yoga, there's a place for everyone!  

I told "the new guy", which is what we will affectionately call him, that so...

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May

06

T-Rex Hates Chaturanga!

T-Rex may hate chaturanga, but if you’ve ever taken a class from me, either online or in person, you know I LOVE em!

{If you’re accidentally stumbled upon this page and are wondering what a chaturanga is….it’s not Mexican food!}

Chaturanga is the pose that follows Plank and precedes UpDog in a typical vinyasa or Ashtanga class.  Still don’t get it?  Okay, think of a plank.  Now lower halfway to the floor, that’s a chaturanga.

Chaturanga is NOT a transition!  It is an actual pose.  If we call Chaturanga a transition then we have to consider every pose sandwiched between two other poses as transitions also.  And that’s not the case.  It’s a pose, so we STOP halfway between plank and Updog, where our elbows are beautifully stacked over the wrist and the shoulders and perfectly in line with the elbows.

Right now your chaturanga might be a transition…like a slow descent to the ground.  Treat...

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May

06

How To Create A Home Practice

Step 1: Have a home.

Step 2:  Practice.

If only it were that simple, right?

I began a home practice in the Fall of 2015.  It was a season birthed out of a necessity.  I needed a home practice for two reasons:

1.  Class times just weren’t conducive to my schedule.  I’m a wife and a mom and I’m a yoga teacher.  If I’m not teaching in the evenings, then I want to be home with my family.  My business was also growing so I needed to be able to get on my mat when I could and then use the rest of that time to plan, record video, create and do admin work.

2.  I wanted to learn more than what the teachers were offering.  Yoga isn’t on every corner in Augusta, GA like it is in other places.  We are, however, very fortunate to have some pretty amazing teachers, but they teach what they like and so far handstands and pressing and backbends aren’t it.

This blog isn’t about home practice being better than...

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May

06

New Year, More Refined You

Hey guys!  And HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I’ve never been a fan of the saying “New Year, New You.”  Even if you don’t like you very much right now, there doesn’t need to be a “new” you.  There might be some bad habits that you need to get rid of or good habits to pick up.  There might be some minor adjustments you need to make to your daily schedule or resolve some issues but a whole “new” you seems a little dramatic and like something only Jesus can do anyway so let’s leave that to him while we work within the personality, gifts and traits, He’s given us.

It reminds me of a story of a guy who could only concentrate for a few minutes at a time.  After years of being a solid C student, he finally decided to stop thinking he could change and work around it.  He would study for 5-10 minutes at a time and then for 5-10 minutes go shoot hoops or play a video game.  He would return to his studies...

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May

06

Deadly Thoughts

The mind: it can be a crazy, dark, beautiful, chaotic, place.  The mind is an amazingly complex organ that not only runs your body but can greatly affect your life and determine your future. Every action you take begins with a single thought.  I remember when the thought “you’re a lost cause”popped into my head after a week of bad decisions.  That’s the night I tried to take my own life. 
 
I genuinely trusted and loved God.  I was going to church, part of a small group and actively involved.  But something wasn’t quite right.  Why couldn’t I “be good”consistently?!?!  If you’ve read my previous blog, you know I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety (so that explained a lot).  In one of my weakest moments, Satan saw the perfect opportunity to attack.  I was mentally weak and felt absolutely nothing on the inside.  He didn’t come to me in a...
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May

06

My Favorite Yoga Stuff

Hey guys!  First off...This is not a #ad.

No one has given me anything in exchange for mentioning their brand.  I have, however, used a lot of brands over the years and I've been given A LOT of stuff, so I know what's out there and I know what I like and I know what's good.  People ask me all the time "what type of mat do you recommend?" or "what type of leggings are those?"  This blog is an answer to that.

I also see a ton of "yoga" stuff out there.  We've come a long way from needing just a crappy mat.  We've got everything from yoga mascara (yep, you heard that right!) to really prickly mats that swear relieve sore muscles and it can be overwhelming to decipher what is just hype and what is going to really help your practice.  I have found certain things, along the way, that enhance my practice.  Things worth mentioning.  And here they are:

  1.  Mandukamat.  Everything they say about their product is true.  I've had...
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May

06

5 Tips to Handstand

It's no secret that I love me some handstands.  But what I love even more is helping someone else get there.  To see their face when they get that one second of hang time is priceless.  But here’s the deal.  There’s only so many tips and cues that I can give you.  There’s only so many tutorials you can watch and workshops you can go to.  Your best bet to get you standing on your hands is to stand on your hands!  With a wall.  Without a wall.  It doesn’t matter.  There is no substitute for practice.  You have to feel it yourself.  And once you get that little taste of hang time….it’s all over.  You’ll be hand standing everywhere and throwing handstand hashtags around like confetti: #handstandjunkie #handstandseveryday

Here are some tips to help you get #upsidedown.

5 Tips to handstand:

  1. Strong hands AND flexible wrist.  This is probably the most important because your...
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May

06

Bandha Wha?!?!

By Bethany | bandha core yoga | No Comments

Your core is much more than the 6-pack we strive so hard (or not so hard) to get.  There’s a layer of muscles behind that called your Transverse Abdominals.  These muscles, along with your hip flexors, are deep core muscles that are needed to obtain that “effortless” float to and from the top of your mat or to press into a handstand.  So if these muscles are so deep, how do we engage them?!?!?  So glad you asked.  In yoga, we use a little thing we call bandhas.  Bandha literally translates to “lock” or to “hold”.  Essentially, we engage a part of the body that allows for a deeper core engagement and where we lock, or hold, energy in and up.  We have three bandhas in the body, but for the sake of core engagement, I am only going to discuss two: Uddiyana and Mula Bandha.

Mula Bandha is located at the base of your pelvis, the perineum.  Stay with me here!  You engage this area by lifting...

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May

06

What To REALLY Work On During Your Practice

By Bethany | practice yoga | No Comments

     Tonight was a very special night for me.  I had a client come to her first hot yoga class!!  I can't even tell you how proud I am that she even showed up.  And you know what? She did great....tight hamstrings and all!  I’m just beaming with pride, right?!  I looked over and asked several times if she was good and she smiled back.  There was a time when she dropped back into child’s pose, took a few deep breaths and then picked right back up.  Having had the opportunity to introduce her to yoga and then witness her first yoga practice in a group setting, I’m so excited I can’t even focus on my own practice!!!  Before I know it, we’re bringing it down to the mat for savasana.  We rise...Namaste....class over.  

     I excitedly walked up to her after class and said “Sooooo, how was that?!?!”  Her response threw me off guard.  “That was so...

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May

06

Lessons I learned in my 20s.

 From September 25, 2013

What I learned in my 20's & why I'm embracing my 30's

1.  Self-Development is key!  You have to want to be better...to do better.  Don’t think you already know it all!  So put the trashy novel down because you’re husband hasn’t given you enough affection and pick up a book on how to pray, how to be an effective leader; pick up a book on Dreaming BIG or how to learn Italian.  Never stop learning!

2.  Embrace your body and share it with your husband....often!  It will make you a happier couple, not just because he’ll be happy....but I promise, you’ll be happier too.

3.  Being emotional is OK!  Embrace it!  It means you have a big ole heart and you’re not afraid to let people see it.  So when someone says “You are so dramatic.”  Just say “Thank you.”  

4.  Do NOT be led my those emotions!  Be emotional, but know that...

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