Beauty is an Inside Job & Story Alert I Almost Broke my Nose

“You do not understand your features. Your features are not your beautiful nose, your beautiful cheeks, beautiful lips, and so on. These are not your features. Your features are your beautiful behavior, your beautiful character, your beautiful health, your beautiful spirit, your beautiful advice.” #YogiBhajan
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June 16 I almost broke my nose while exploring an underwater cave in the Tyrrhenian Sea. That’s part of the experience when making new adventures 🙂 Anyhow, I’ve had to wear huge hats to protect my face as it healed. And also try to avoid the sun.
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I went to a pharmacy here in Florence today and spoke to the owner and in true Italian style….as I explained to him as best I could in Italian that I was scared of scarring and my Mom was coming in a few days, he told me small imperfections make us the most beautiful. And that I was beautiful, not to worry so much. It touched my heart that he heard me, really connected to my concern and made me feel better all at the same time.
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Our external features are all temporary. #Yoga teaches us life itself is impermanent so to practice #nonattachment. They way we look on the outside will change but our features truly are our beautiful behavior, character, health and spirit. Beauty is indeed an inside job.
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Invoking Green Tara today the goddess of #compassion.
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Photo #tuscany San Gimignano June 28 a rare moment without a hat on 🙂#warrior1 #virabhadrasana

What I do to Prepare to Teach my 27th Yoga Teacher Training

2 words: Fast-twitch Muscles.

I offered my first Yoga Teacher Training in 2005. This is my fourteenth year living out my dharma in this beautiful way. And tonight I am editing the 27th version of our alchemy of yoga teacher training manual. I’ve not spent this much time enhancing, evolving, growing, improving anything else as much as I have this program. It is the culmination of my life’s work.
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Behind the scenes in preparation for our April 1-22, 2018 Bali Teacher Training is a team of amazing Soul Sisters on line every day creating, answering emails, clarifying, discussing, deciding every single part of what is an incredibly curated experience of Sacred Learning. Without @emilyperryyoga and @ferrahchinoyoga along with what feels like life long support from Christina Russo, and contributions for years from Laura Hand and Sarah Erter none of this is possible. As well as the technical upgrade on our NEW www.alchemyofyoga.com website developed by #alchemyofyoga alumni Greg Love owner, founder of www.anydev.com
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What you may not know is before every teacher training I take a look at how old everybody is that’s attending, which this time ranges from 23 years old to 58 years old, pretty typical for our program. And every year as the 23 year old or even twenty year old engages their personal hero’s journey in this program I get a year older. Therefore I have to personally work harder to go through what I call “Yoga Teacher Conditioning”. Each year for the last 13 years I have to do more to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I am right now in training to give my all as a Teacher Trainer.
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I love it because I want to give my best to everyone that has put their trust in me to fly across the world for this is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in places like Bali and #CostaRica. I take this responsibility very seriously. And it is the greatest honor of my life. Each student I have the joy of spending 200 hours with I hold in my heart forever.
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In these days of corporate #yoga and Yoga Influencers with 1 million instagram followers and big budget sponsorships I don’t have any of that.
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What I have is experience, 26 graduated classes of Love Alchemists endeavoring to live out our Mission to #teachpeace to a world that needs it more than ever. This teacher training/mystery school is an offering of love from my heart to your heart to the heart of the universe.
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And yes this is my #Yogi #Spin bike with two #malas and some OM energy as I get stronger and stronger to be the crucible and hold space for 24 beloved members of our kula in 10 days.
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I love my #dharma and I love this life!

My Christmas Wish Help Someone

For me on this peaceful Christmas Eve 2017 I have many friends who are not feeling peace & safety.
I’ve been where they are. And maybe you have too.
✨Life is so fragile. ✨
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I have friends suffering with loneliness, illness, crisis and uncertainty. Maybe you do too?
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My #ChristmasWish is that we ALL reach out to one person we know who is suffering. And even more than this, please consider forgiving just 1 human.
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Life is short. Please don’t waste a moment.
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Be a lighthouse person, be a forklift person says #YogiBhajan. Make this night easier for another.
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And to my soul brother who tried to end his life a month ago and is battling to find reasons to live and is by himself in Seattle tonight, excluded by All Friends that were his family, know you are loved. Our Creator is looking over you and is the only one that can judge you, no one else can. We all deserve a second chance. I’ll keep you in my prayers as I know how hard tonight is after such a lonely birthday earlier this week. I love you. 🙏

I Vow to Remain Empowered by the Light of my Soul

On the cusp of the Winter #solstice I renew my vow to remain empowered by the light of my soul and stay true to myself. I know the relationship I’m having with myself is mirrored back by the relationships I attract. If I honor my heart then I am modeling how I should be treated. Here’s to ☀️Growing the light! ☀️
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“May the light within you guide your way on. Because when you look to the outside for light, there is a possibility that you may be blinded and exploited. But one thing shall never betray a woman: her own light and her own radiance as a woman. If the light within you can guide you, you will definitely excel. The time has come when this exploitation must stop. The time has come when a daughter should be treated as a daughter, a mother should be treated as a mother, a wife should be treated as a wife, and over and above all, woman should be treated as a woman.” -Yogi Bhajan
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I bow to the longtime SUN.
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#divinefeminine #sacredfeminine #respect #kundalini #yoga


Photo credit Greg Love @iamgreglove

Looking for Peace? Here’s the Answer

When I was in the corporate world I both loved and strongly disliked Performance Appraisals. I enjoyed the feedback knowing how I was doing but at the same time it would make it harder for next time. The point came where the pressure just went up and up.

We do that in our life. We start giving ourselves a grade on everything when the reality is that it is all just pass/fail. We are passing if we learn to balance positive expectations with acceptance. “Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.” (Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth) Acceptance brings about inner peace, joy and love. Otherwise we find ourselves in a state of fighting what life is offering and it can feel like we are failing at life.

Yoga has without a doubt made me more patient. It helps me move from that state of having too heavy of expectations and grading everything to allowing and accepting.  Don’t get me wrong sometimes it’s still hard not to grade myself at life but for sure I’m better at seeing the whole thing as simply pass/fail.  What’s changed? Well I don’t want to feel that TUG-O-WAR with myself or with anyone else.  Impatience doesn’t feel good and yoga teaches the antidote to impatience is, yes you can guess, patience.  Patience feels good.  It feels like a return to center no matter the chaos or what other people do or don’t do. It feels like compassion, peacefulness and a constant return to balance. When I am patient I feel like I can attempt anything without attachment to the result.

When Patient our minds stop playing the old games of pushing, pulling, creating anxiety, distrust, stress or simple heavy expectations.

It is a simply formula:
Over Expectations = Impatience
Accepting = Patience

Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth writes “To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly.”  Try it for a week or even a day where you try living in a way where you relieve the heavy expectations of yourself and others and live with less resistance to this isness of now. Instead follow the guidance of the Yoga Sutras which advise “enjoyment is the sweetness of noticing your life right now: smell, taste, feeling, sensation.” This type of enjoyment allows us to receive what life is offering regardless of whether it looks like what we expected.

“You can’t run after contentment it has to find you, all you can do is try to create the space for it.”  (Judith Lasater) We are through yoga really meeting ourselves with no further resistance or pre-qualifications. It is like what Derek Walcott writes about in his poem: So join me feast on your life! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

In Yoga School, what poses do you learn to practice, embody and teach? 

In Yoga School, what poses do you learn to practice, embody and teach?
During RYT200 Hours #AlchemyofYoga School we focus on these 60 fundamental poses.
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Summary Poses To Know And Be Able To Teach:
• Urdhva Hastasana – Upward Salute from Tadasana
• Ardha Chandrasana A – Half Moon Pose from Tadasana
• Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold
• Urdhva (Mukha) Uttanasana – Monkey or Upward Facing Forward Fold
• Chatarunga Dandasana – Four-Limb Staff Pose
• Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog (Up Dog)
• Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog (Down Dog)
• Utkatasana – Fierce/Difficult Pose (aka chair)
• Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1
• Bhujangasana – cobra
• Anjaneyasana – lunge (high/low)
• Parsvottanasana – pyramid
• Prasarita Padottanasana – wide angle foot spreading posture
• Virabhadrasana III – Warrior 3
• Virabhadrasana II – warrior 2
• Trikonasana – triangle
• Parsvakonasana – side angle
• Parivritta Trikonasana – revolving triangle
• Parivritta Parsvakonasana – revolving side angle
• Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana – revolving half moon
• Vrksasana – tree
• Garudasana – eagle
• Ardha Chandrasana II – half moon 2
• Hasta Padangusthasana – hand to big toe
• Natarajasana – dancer’s pose
• Shoulder openers
• Purvottanasana – incline plane
• Vasisthasana – side plank
• Salabhasana – locust
• Bhujangasana – cobra
• Dhanurasana – bow
• Ustrasana – camel
• Setu Bandhasana – bridge
• Urdhva Dhanurasana – upward facing bow
• Malasana – garland (aka squat)
• Raja Kapotasana
• Supta Padanghustasana – supine hand to big toe 1, 2
• Janu Sirsasana – head to knee pose
• Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana – half bound lotus forward bend
• Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana – three-limb one-foot forward bend
• Marichyasana A – a folding pose named after the sage Marichy
• Dandasana – stick or staff pose (prep for paschimottanasana)
• Paschimottanasana – seated forward bend
• Baddha Konasana – bound angle
• Upavista Konasana – seated angle pose
• Navasana – boat
• Ardha Matsyendrasana – half Lord of the Fish pose
• Marichyasana C – a twisting pose named after the sage Marichy
• Bharadvajasana – a twisting pose named after the sage Bharadvaja
• Supta Parivartanasana – reclining twist
• Bhujapidasana – shoulder squeeze
• Bakasana – crow
• Parsva Bakasana – side crow
• Astavakrasana – eight figure pose
• Koundinyasana A & B – pose named after a sage
• Galavasana – pose named after a sage
• Adho Mukha Vrksasana – handstand (lit. downward facing tree)
• Pinca Mayurasana – tail feather of the peacock (aka forearm balance)
• Sirsasana – headstand

How You Treat Yourself is How You Treat Others

#HappinessRx: The we treat ourselves will be the way we treat others.
“We would never purchase a can of red paint and expect it to be the color blue when we apply it to our walls. The “color” of how we treat ourselves is the “color” of how we treat others. If we can’t be safe with ourselves, others can never be safe with us, and the world can never be a safe place to be.” – Yamas & Niyamas, Deborah Adele
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#shoulderstand is a great practice of #ahimsa towards ourselves. As a teacher how you treat yourself, staying safe in your own body, is an indicator of how you’ll help keep others safe in your classes.
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Practice of shoulderstand takes time. This variation took me ten years to lovingly create in my body.
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www.alchemyofyoga.com
Lens Kubu Bali Baik Villa, Ubud. #bali

I Let Go of Struggle

“Begin today. Declare out loud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” -Sarah Ban Breathnach
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How? Reboot! Go to #Bali April 2-9. Let me teach you to let go of what holds back your happiness, and have FUN, laugh, explore, and come back with a new way to live your best life. 😀

Book today! Doesn’t get any better. $1,008 for 8 days luxury!
www.alchemytours.com

Also get tan, eat high vibe food, make adventures!
-airfare around $700 roundtrip

4 Benefit of Backbends

So what are the benefits of practicing backbends? Here are some of the major reasons to incorporate backbends into your practice.

  1. Improves posture

We don’t even realize how rounded over we’ve become until we bring attention to our fundamental spinal alignment. As a result, we start to stand taller and improve our posture. There is a blue print to the best way the body should be aligned, stacking shoulders over hips, over ankles from top to bottom, and bottom to top. What pose helps? Savasana first and foremost to get a base line. Then practice bridge with or without a block under your sacrum to support longer time spent in the pose.

  1. Increase mobility of spine

We spend the majority of our day bending forward in one way or another – sitting, driving, texting, picking things up, even sleeping. Statistically they say up to 80% is rounded over. But our spines are meant to be mobile. They move in 6 directions: flexion, extension, lateral flexion (right and left), rotation (right and left). By practicing backbends, we can improve flexibility and balance the mobility of the spine. From bridge take an easy supine twist then turn over to your belly and practice belly down backbends like low cobra or locust variations. And every day do some cat/cow too.

  1. Relieve Shoulder Pain

During the day we all start to slowly slump forward at our desks and our shoulders round forward. Backbends stretch the front of your chest and help you to draw your shoulders back and shoulder blades together, counteracting the shoulder slump.

  1. Natural mood elevator and energizer

The action of opening your heart and stretching the whole front line of the body stimulates the nervous system, waking you up and improving your mood. It can be invigorating and that boost of energy can help to alleviate stress. 


Why and How do Backbends Work?

There are three sections of the spine

Lumbar – Thoracic – Cervical

Be careful: The lumbar and cervical spine are the most mobile while the thoracic spine is the least mobile. In a backbanding practice, we need to stabilize both the lumbar and cervical region in order to mobilize the upper back.

How to prepare:

  • Move your spine in all 6 different directions.
  • Do belly down backbends for the front of your shoulders and to stretch the front of your chest. Practice sphinx, locust with yoga mudra, low cobra pushups.
  • Don’t forget to open your quads and psoas. Backbends require strong and open quads and psoas.

splitskingpigeon

Yoga at the Airport

I am an admitted travel junkie. I spend up to 70% of my time making adventures around this work connecting to the beauty of the people and nature all around. In order to get where I’m going I have to get on an airplane.

I make the most of the time I have at airports like this one shown here in SouthEast Asia by practicing #yoga that doesn’t require a mat or special yoga clothes.

If you look at my www.alchemyofyoga.com website you’ll find all sorts of sequences that do not require touching the ground with your hands. This is built upon a “no downdogs allowed” concept so one doesn’t have to be wary of germs or not having the right equipment.

The types of flows I offer are: 1) Standing (like shown here) 2) seated in airport chair 3) using a wall. Enjoy and make the most of the opportunities for Yoga at the Airport. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia