Perception of Yoga

There’s Yoga studios then there’s more spiritual places like this with a more spiritual basis.  I come in here with a clear consciousness and I don’t plan anything, I let divine guidance take me.  That is a very powerful practice, to let divine energy love flowing through me.  I use a lot of practices, aromatherapy, he aling touch, and it’s very client focused.  Whereas at a gym, like Core Power, it’s just fitness, and it’s very competitive.  And that’s where I started, Core Power.  But it doesn’t matter where you start, if you really get into it, you’re going to find that soul level consciousness.  So I have pros and cons for places like Core Power and places like healing elements.  So there’s a lot more to the Yoga than just the poses.

We do this Yogic lifestyle, and it’s hard to do it here, where it is a lot more expensive to live here.  You can’t just hang out by the Ganges smoking marijuana here.  When you’re here you have to work, go to school, have to make money, you have different priorities.  But Yoga has a way of living that allows you to live with other people, no matter where you are, or who you are dealing with. You are able to be a lot more equanimous, you’re able to be enlightened.  They encourage you to go out in the world, to make a difference, not just to sit at home and meditate, to meditate with your life.  

There are a lot of Yoga students here, and I highly recommend taking Yoga teacher training, even if you are not going to have students because it will transform your life.

I started on base in the military, then Life time Fitness, then Core Power, then here.  I have learned not to have resistance, no cravings, no resistance.  I have learned not to judge. It’s such a simple way to live.  That’s beautiful

Yoga culture- we tend to move toward more vegetarian, huge self love, non-harming, we love animals.  So instead of a selfish, it looks like it’s selfish, oh I’m going to Yoga every day, no.  We are raising up the world with this consciousness.  We are Yoga warriors for peace.

The Midwest culture, I don’t know how it differs from CA.  I’ve done Yoga in CA and I’ve lived here, I lived in CA for four years.  I waited a long time before teaching so I could really relate to people, I could relate to advanced people, from experience.  I put in a lot of effort, almost daily practice for the last nine years, almost ten years.  Then I’ve also done the meditation, I did the ten day sitting meditation.  I did the three month stay at an ashram.

I won’t judge you.  It doesn’t matter what you look like.  You could come in here hung over, and I won’t give you a hard time.  Anybody could walk in the door and I would be able to teach them.  Just do the practice, and it works.  Come to the Yoga mat every day. Not to be judgmental, oh this practice was not as good as yesterday’s… Just do the practice and see things as they are without passing judgment.

They are teaching dharma in the gyms now.  You go to Core Power, and they think they are better than the gyms, but they are teaching dharma there now too.

You are quieting your mind.  I teach pranayama to focus, to quiet the monkey mind.  I love that focus.  And relax your body to let that prana flow to where it doesn’t normally flow if you’re tense.  You understand the chakras, the energy bodies, subtle bodies.  There’s a lot more to us than just the physical body. You go inward to tap into your spirit.

I don’t try to confuse my students talking about the koshas, I just say drop the ego layers of illusions and go into your pure soul, your self love.  I try to simplify the ancient teachings.  I don’t use a lot of Sanskrit, some classes here in Minneapolis you have to know the Sanskrit.  I like to use the Sanskrit, throw some Sanskrit around.  Michael Prodinger’s class, Iyengar, they won’t tell you the English, you have to know the Sanskrit.  Iyengar is totally specialized, I have total respect for those teachers.  If you go to an Iyengar class your’e going to get much better class.  At Core Power they teach the 8 fold path, Astanga.  Going to the teacher training can get you started on that journey.  

The break from tradition-yeah.  they go to Yoga and a lot of other people are more extreme in their Yoga practice.  After a while you’re going to commit to a Yoga practice, ahimsa, non-lying, non-cheating, non-stealing, to really live up to your ideals instead of being a hypocrite, getting drunk, if you’re a Yoga person you’ll avoid things that are toxic to you.

Practice the foundation, live that, to breathe that yoga, strive to be more like their students, ask questions, engage in their practice, learn about the chakras, detox, prana,  to engage the community, to read the books, practice meditation, study Ayurveda, Ayurveda is huge, get to know your nadis.  Meditation for sure, I would for sure teach that to all of my students.

Learn about diet.  I went to India and that was huge.  I ate a lot of vegetables, a sattvic diet.  No spice, no oil, lightly cooked, easily digestible, and fasting, cleansing rituals once a week.  Get into a schedule, every day in the morning, every day at night, get into a schedule and stick to it.

Yoga

Yoga is a method to stay mentally and physically fit and spiritually involved with the universe. Through years of yoga practice, I grew calm, at ease, more loving and accepting of myself and others than I ever fathomed. Yoga is a path of discovery for TRUTH and our true self. We are designed to feel so amazing the body is a miraculous vessel for God, and Yoga is a way to experience God to the max. It is the path to the true self. It is a means of self-transformation. A catalyst for positive change and spiritual growth.

At first I began Yoga because it was meditative, I had extreme stress and Yoga was able to calm my nerves, the increased flexibility sure is nice too. The body becomes supple, toned, graceful.

I thought Yoga to be very challenging, it took many years to grow my practice into what it is today. There is always much to learn from Yoga, it has opened my mind in so many ways. It is pure joy, love, and compassion I feel in the Yoga practice. Yoga is the practice that led me to unconditional bliss, consciousness, and love. Yoga can be a physical practice, but it is so much more.

Yoga teaches mindfulness. To me mindfulness is living simply, thoughtfully returning back to a state of equilibrium. Yoga keeps the body feeling so good, removing stagnant energy; taking with it years of stored energy, emotion, tension, or interference with the peace that can be felt when freed up from all that.

Yoga unifies and harmonizes the practitioner with the whole, we are one piece of the universe, changing the fate of the universe and the workings of the world one thought at a time.

Seeing through our own lens what is happening around us, may that lens be what you want it to be. When the mind, body, and spirit are in harmony; peace, calm, equanimity are the result. Love for the self and others. There is so much bliss to be felt and experienced with a Yoga practice and in daily life. When the mind becomes still you notice subtle vibrations within and without the body, it can be an amazing experience to merge with the infinite, the divine consciousness. Yoga brings consciousness to the forefront. I am blessed to be a Yoga teacher to share this enlightening practice with others.

In the world full of toxins, yoga detoxes you for a purified body to clear the energy channels for better mental and physical functioning and increased spiritual capacity. The goal is to find yourself perfect, whole, and complete. Yoga helps us get out of our own way, and to simply live in harmony with ourselves and others. Once the body is purified, it becomes natural to make only the healthy choices in life. It works magic when practiced regularly and performed properly.

Yoga enhances all areas of life, improving the ability to focus, especially if you’re into sports or higher education.  It can supplement your workout program, or practiced in addition to regular strength training and walking. Yoga is a resistance activity that builds strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and so on. I am in the process of  researching the benefits of Yoga while at St Kate’s holistic health studies program. Yoga also teaches positive psychology and Buddhist philosophy, such as nonjudgmental awareness, nonattachment, loving kindness, and gratitude. To me, Yoga is time well spent breathing life into all areas of my reality as I’ve created it. Yoga burns up ego, karma, desire, suffering. It brings contentment, acceptance, compassion, and so much more into my life. Every class we set an intention because the power of prayer is real. Ask and you shall receive, give and you shall receive. Patience in all things, no more entitlement or instant gratification, Yoga is a real solution to real problems and takes time and dedication. What you set your heart on is already on its way. Some things just take longer. The clearer the intention the more powerful the results will be. Yoga teaches us our power, and not to give our power away.

Metaphysics plays a part in Yoga. I practiced Traditional Hatha Yoga in India. I remember so much talk on philosophy and one takeaway Id like to share is simply, be the light. God is in everything and everyone of us. Yoga brings a bright light into people. It shines up a dull diamond, it’s a process of unravelling negative thought and habit patterns, unconditioning ourselves to be more present in the moment, wipes away worry, rumination, fear; what’s left is brilliance, pure gold. The body is a masterpiece with no two people exactly the same, there are no comparisons, competition, or judgments in Yoga. Come as you are, dress comfortably and ready to shed your old self, to begin again and again, everything different, through beginner’s eyes. There is no end or beginning, we are timeless and eternal spiritual beings living this human experience and Yoga is an essential component to living to your highest human potential.

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Sabertooth Crossfit Spot light on a member: Leslie Stangler

Hi, All! I have been training at Crossfit for past few weeks after offering to teach Yoga and do Crossfit in exchange for regular Yoga classes. I have taught a few classes here so far and I really love the dedication of the cross fitters, and the energy of the environment at Sabertooth. 

   Crossfit has changed my life for the better. It has given me motivation to participate in group fitness activities other than Yoga, and to try new things.

Crossfit is nice because it uses muscle confusion, not like doing the same workouts on the weight machines, free weights are the way to go!

I think my favorite Crossfit exercise so far has been learning proper technique when lifting heavy bars overhead. I’m happy to have learned the kettlebell swing. My least favorite activity was pull-ups for how sore I got afterwards, but I know that it’s the most beneficial especially for strengthening the rotator cuffs, which will help my Yoga practice tremendously. I’ve overcome some joint issues in the past so I’m cautious with Crossfit, but I know that strengthening the muscles is the best way to prevent further injury.

I like Crossfit and really get motivated seeing others workout and that inspires me to build more muscle for increased strength and focus; of course I want a chiseled body too! So my current goal is to make it to Crossfit and Yoga class regularly for fresh insight or inspiration. I think getting there is the toughest part but once you’re though the doors, that’s when the magic happens. I’m so grateful for getting myself there and I always feel so invigorated after the workout. Just show up is a great motivating motto, or just do it, or say yes to life.

  When I’m not working out I’m in nature, sipping on tea somewhere, practicing meditation, taking a sauna, at the farmers market, or enjoying a book while laying on the hammock in the sun. I’m deepening my spirituality by sitting in group meditations and going to Unity for church on Sundays.

Right now, I make a living by going to college classes, and teaching Yoga. Thanks to the military benefits I received from serving in Afghanistan and Japan while working as a Seabee Builder and stationed near Ventura, Ca. My education has been paid for because hard work pays off!  I studied Yoga in India for a few months, in Rishikesh, home of the gorgeous Himalayan foothills, birthplace of Yoga, and the where the Ganges River shimmers.  This is where my spirituality went much deeper, and I took on a whole other approach in my Yoga practice and teaching.

Something interesting about me is I’ve done headstands about anywhere, on frozen lake, on a plane, on top of a rock, you name it. I have yet to try a headstand on a paddle board.

   No matter what activity I am doing I give it my all, as if it’s a gift to the universe. What goes around comes around, I do believe in karma, and we are able to burn off past karmic debts.

 I have learned to embrace the restorative qualities of Yoga. Not for the fitness aspect, but for how calm my mind becomes when I’m focusing on my breath and to practice non judgmental present moment awareness. I love how relaxed I can remain even in the midst of chaos. I have continued my Yoga practice for going on 10 years.  I always figured, if I’m going to  be good at anything in life, I’m going to be good at mastering this body of mine, and staying dedicated to one practice, that being Yoga.

I feel I’m in a happy place in life right now and can attribute that to finding balance in all things in life. Eating healthy, living environmentally conscious,  taking time for rest, practicing mindfulness/Buddhism, and selfless service to help the greater good for all.

I aspire to help more people get fit and gain flexibility; so this is what my current goal is. My classes are very diverse, I teach some Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Restorative Yoga. I love Yoga and Crossfit for it’s an awesome way to better my life and meet like-minded people who also have passion and dedication to living a healthier life. It all starts by getting the body moving and Crossfit definitely helps me, but please do come to Yoga, no matter where you are on your Yoga journey. See you soon!