Tag Archives: yoga teacher

2011’s greatest hits from Cafe Ganesha

A quick wrap up of this past year’s favorite posts…you know, just in case you missed one πŸ˜‰ Continue reading

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Advanced Backbending at Blue Point

Bonus segment for the holiday Y.A.T (Yoga Around the Triangle) Series 2011

Check out this amazing bonus segment for the Heart Opening for the Holidays (HOHO) flow seen here. Warm up with the HOHO flow and then dive in to these prana building shapes with pure awareness. Please exercise caution and connectivity when doing this sequence. There is a reason the segment is 16 minutes long….in fact slow it down if you like! Β Let the Shakti flow… Continue reading

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Put some *Glitter* on it!

If that title didn’t make you smile then imagine it in pink sparkly letters dancing across the screen and there ya’ go…

So….shoot me….it’s been a long time. LIKE OVER A MONTH since these fingers have done the walkin’ and this blog has done any talkin’.

Β‘Ay,Β caramba!

Any-hoo i’m back and ready to sparkle.

The holidays… ‘Nuff said right? Well not really. Continue reading

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The littlest yogini…AKA. big things from a very small package

Teacher Spotlight: Leilani Walker

Today I had the privilege of taking this lovely yogini’s first class at Blue Lotus in Raleigh. It was a freedom style yoga based on the teachings of her teacher, Erich Schiffman. When I heard that this tiny little woman was a student of the largest, most teddy bear/santa claus-esque guru I know of I couldn’t stop smiling. Just the physical comparison was enough to draw me to her class. I had to see if someone so tiny could project the larger than life teachings of Mr. S.

I was NOT disappointed my friends. Despite the tiny package, Leilani has an overflowing and endearing personality both on and off the mat. She invites you in with a big genuine grin and a twinkle in her eye and you’re hooked from there!

This is what I was greeted by walking in today πŸ™‚ …

Leilani with the Blue's own love bunny- Nicole

I arrived early to set up my mat as the community strolled in, chit-chatting and energizing the space…

The Sanctuary

And promptly at 9:30 the lovely Leilani sat down to begin her first class with us. She giggled and clasped her hands together with joy and I could tell from that point on, something I already guessed, she is just as beautiful as her name, this one, inside and out.

The class was fantastic. An all levels vinyasa with a self guided edge. As she guided us she continually reminded us to move from an intuitive place. After a few breaths this became natural, and then more natural, and then we let loose for a full song moving full freedom style. No guidance. No instruction. Just open up and let it out, or don’t, your choice. The embodiment of listening to your inner guide, your own best teacher in a safe and sacred space. Ahhhh lovely.

Class ended with a sweet deep stretch and a lovely savasana complete with essential oils and a wonderful head massage (yes please!). We all walked out refreshed and glowing and ready for next week πŸ™‚

I see BIG things in this little yogini’s future…

Come roll out your mat next Tuesday for round two of Freedom Style yoga or Wednesday (Yoga and meditation at 11:30). I hope to be there!

Namaste ya’ll
Jennifer

Like this? Check out other teacher spotlights:

Jen Bluestone

Carrington Jackson

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You can’t trick the universe…

You can’t trick the universe into giving you what you want by pretending to be at peace with how things are, by imitating what you think it would look like to be fully present where you are, all the while looking over your shoulder to see if some higher power has noticed and is about to deliver you from where you are and put you where you really want to be. ~~Oriah Mountain Dreamer β™₯

Thank you to another lovely Raleigh yogi/teacher, Leilani Walker, for bringing my attention to this quote. It sums up a lot of what i’ve been feeling, pondering, percolating on lately.

As a teacher of “the yoga” I often feel that students see me in the light of someone who is enlightened, self-actualized, ethereal, living up in the happy clouds with the gods and the carebears πŸ˜‰ …and when I see this I do my very best to kindly express gratitude for the viewpoint while letting them know just how far from reality that little assumption is. Why do I teach? Because I love it. Does that mean i’m perfect? Hell-to-the-NO. In fact, being a teacher i’m faced with my imperfections more than the average bear (get it “Yogi”? oh never mind…) because i’m constantly meditating, flowing, and chanting my way to more and more acceptance of these little reminders of my humanity. Baby steps forward, toddler steps back…and the like. So when students see me with the proverbial halo over my head, it can both boost the ego (not good) or make me feel fraudulent (also not good) because i’m feeling like i’ve tricked the universe into seeing me the way I want to be, not the way I am quite yet. Lessons to be learned? Oh so many…but lets start here.

Who am I?

your mirror, your teacher

Who are you?

my mirror, my teacher

Who are we?

reflections of each other, each others teachers, each others students

What is inside of us…you know way underneath all of the shoulds/shouldn’ts, and to-dos, and self judgements?

Beauty, grace, little bits of God

Have I fooled anyone?

NOPE

Have you fooled anyone?

Most likely not

Is there room to grow, explore, observe, and let go?

Always, Always, ALWAYS…that’s the beauty of life πŸ™‚

Peace be with you. Namaste Ya’ll

Jennifer

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Never trust a teacher without a teacher.

My teacher has said many things that have influenced my path on this crazy path to surrender. One that truly sticks with me is this statement “never trust a teacher without a teacher.” Essentially we are all students of life. We are all students of experience. We are all learning (whether we know it or not) from the forces around us. It is the human condition. When a “teacher” denies this and goes rogue…proclaiming themselves a guru outright or under the radar…they are disconnecting themselves from the essence of yoga–> union. After all teachers are simply students brave enough to give back a little of their experience. We teachers aren’t gods, we are PEOPLE and we go through just as much hoopla and shenanigans as our students. The difference is we have learned, or are in the process of learning, how to wrap the $h1t in grace and compassion rather than judgement and shame. We can giggle and let go of that which is truly secondary and breathe in to the beauty of life, and when we start to furrow the brow in an all too serious attempt at reaching “the goal” we eventually soften and smile, realizing that we have no control anyway so why stress?! To get clarity we should probably take our stretchy butts back to the drawing board, commune with our yoga community and get that perspective from someone maybe a little further on the journey.

Maybe I should change the title to “Never trust a teacher that takes themselves too seriously.”

That being said, I should probably bring a little balance into the equation…being a yogi and all.

I’m not saying that yoga is all giggles and smiles and that any yogi, teacher or otherwise, that experiences turmoil in life is not trustworthy. If that is what you got from the last paragraph I guess I’ve got some s’plainin’ to do :-0

Here is the thang. Life is full of bumps. Some of them are gravel in the road and some of them are the mountain. Yoga teaches us that pain is inevitable. We all experience it (mental, physical, emotional)…what is optional is suffering. Coming to the mat brings us back to the essence as we ground ourselves down and lift our hearts high. Recognizing, observing the obstacle and breathing space around it. All yogis will eventually do this and teachers will go to their teachers to deepen that awareness on the mat and off. Teachers help us to connect with our light and see the barriers to balance. So if a teacher doesn’t have a teacher then they have no one to guide them yogically through the hard times, no one to bring their minds and hearts back to the union and out of the suffering of seperation. These folks inevitably dump their junk enegetically and otherwise on their students, often without even knowing it. It’s pretty hard to hold space for a group of practitioners if you don’t have your own two feet on the floor.Β Back to point A. Never trust a teacher without a teacher.

In the end it’s all about finding balance. The balance of work to ease on the mat (sukha and sthira) and life. Experiencing the joy along with the pain. The duality. Not seperate but side by side.

Breathe in, Breathe out ya’ll

Jennifer

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