Yoga History Flowchart

I love myself a good flowchart, and was thrilled to come across this one! Titled “An Overly Brief and Incomplete Yoga History”, I found it on a lovely yoga blog called Yoga Dork, and they got it from Alison Hinks Yoga. What fun!

Yoga Flowchart

Chart by Alison Hinks

If you’re not already familiar with these names and philosophies it’s going to be a little confusing. Here’s an equally brief and incomplete glossary of terms:

The Bhagavad Ghita: A spiritual text describing several different aspects of yoga, revolutionary for its time (as well as the current time) as it made yoga available to everyone.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: One of the first texts describing the practice of yoga – this predates the physical practice of yoga and the only reference to an asana (yoga pose) is that you should find a “sturdy, comfortable seat” in order to meditate.

Krishnamacharya: An influential yoga teacher who is often credited as the grandfather of yoga in the west as his students brought the practice to England and North America, spawning many sub-practices including power yoga, restorative yoga, anusara, and more.

Workshop: Dances (with)(in) Nature

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to teach some yoga classes at the wonderful Northern Voice 2011 Conference. It’s a social media conference, but I was lucky enough to meet a fellow yoga instructor there, Clarity Jones! She has a yoga studio, Moonhill Studio, on Cortes Island and is hosting a dance workshop that sounds kind of incredible.

DANCES (with)(in) NATURE
An experiential workshop to physically embody the archetypal flow and form of the natural environment.
July 11-16

This workshop is for dancers, actors, writers, psychonauts, and those whose curiosity hungers for visceral connection between the landscape and the senses. A fun hands-on experience suitable for people fo all levels of dance experience.

Using elements of physical theatre, Butoh dance and contact improvisation we investigate the capacity of the landscape as a point of departure. Through dance, movement and interaction we will make our bodies receptive to our inner and outer nature. Our laboratory will include the studio and the natural spaces of beautiful Cortes Island, BC.

Cost: $350 before June 1/$425 after
Accomodation and camping options are available

Contact: / 604-838-2342

Neti Pots – weird or wonderful?

Most people these days have at least heard of a neti pot. I learned about these strange devices at yoga teacher training. Basically, it’s a tiny, adorable teapot that you fill with lukewarm water and a little non-iodized salt to clean your sinuses with. I know, right? Sounds weird and terrifying.

I considered getting one right away and trying it out (I think being in yoga teacher training automatically makes you game for trying new things), but since trying neti pot meant going out and buying things first, I never got around to it. Well, I’m here today to announce that a post on the online women’s magazine The Hairpin has inspired me to give the neti pot another level of consideration.

A snippet of their blog post:

So what exactly is a neti pot? It is a cute little pitcher that’s usually shaped like what I imagine a genie’s lamp looks like. You fill it with salt water, and then pour the water into one nostril, which is easier and less terrifying than it sounds. Gravity then pulls the water through your sinuses and it comes pouring out of your other nostril, along with a bunch of goop it’s collected along the way. Yes, it may sound a little unpleasant, but I promise it doesn’t hurt, and once you get the hang of it, it actually feels good! It’s a practice that has been used for centuries in India and has become ever more popular in the United States. (Dr. Oz even talked about it on Oprah, so you know it’s legit.)

Why would you want to flush your sinuses out with salt water? Lots of reasons: it helps clear congestion during a cold (and can make them go away faster), it can prevent and treat sinus infections, reduce allergies, help you breathe more easily, and just generally keep your respiratory system in better health. Neti pots work because they remove the dirt and bacteria and the dried mucousy clumps which like to hang out in your precious nasal caves and cause problems. The water can reach places you can’t get clear simply by blowing your nose or reaching in with your finger (which you would never do, of course). So even if the idea of pouring water into your sinuses sounds icky, just remind yourself that tiny bacteria making a nice home in your face is even ickier. Hey, you clean your mouth and your ears out, why not treat your sinuses with the same respect?

This external validation of the neti pot has inspired me to give it another go. So this is my promise to you: I will try the neti pot and give you a report from the front lines.

Yoga for Geeks – Northern Voice 2011

I’ll be teaching two yoga classes for Northern Voice 2011 this year! Here is their blog post about it:

Your body, bend it, you will. Get in touch with your inner spiritual self, you must. Oh, wait. I’m confusing Yoga and Yoda.

Have fun with Yoga For Geeks each morning of the conference. Bend, twist and move in a way that’s going to get your blood flowing, your lungs breathing and your soul thriving.

Just one more way we’re bending the definition of conference. Ooooommmmm…

Update: This is the second time a yoga session will be held at Northern Voice. This time around, it’s the wonderful Andrea Loewen who will be leading the attack on inflexibility and tension.

Go to the actual post to watch an awesome video with their past yoga teacher, Sarah Pullman.

13 Things Your Yoga Teacher Won’t Tell You (via Shine)

A great post on Shine (some kind of conglomerate of Yahoo!) about some yogic secrets… I don’t necessarily agree with all of them, but it’s a good perspective. Thanks to Ryan Chaddick for sending it to me.

1. I don’t have all the answers—about yoga or anything else—and I get irritated when I witness other yoga teachers putting themselves out there as gurus, therapists, or doctors.

2. Clean your mat. When you sweat on it and then roll it up and then sweat on it again, it becomes a petri dish.

3. I love teaching yoga, but teaching is torture if I haven’t been able to do my own practice in awhile.

4. Yoga is not a magic bullet or a pill you can take to solve your bad attitude if you’re not prepared to put in the work yourself.

5. Wear deodorant. Look up the Sanskrit word “saucha.” It means “cleanliness.” No one wants to smell you; it’s off-putting.

6. I may be smiling at you when you walk in late and loudly slam your mat on the floor next to your meditating classmates but that doesn’t mean I approve. We all have busy lives but if you arrive late please try to be respectful of me and your fellow students. Start thinking yoga BEFORE you come in.

7. I am not doing this for the money. I could barely make a living teaching you this class, as I receive little financial reward for the effort I am putting into this. So please respect that.

8. I have poses I dread and avoid practicing and teaching.

9. I hate yoga sometimes.

10. When people have matchy-matchy yoga outfits and every single prop, designer yoga mat and accessory on the market, I question what their practice is really about. People, seriously, all you need is a heartbeat, willingness and a little space.

11. It’s one thing to modify a posture if you’re having trouble with it. But don’t just ignore the teacher and freestyle your way through class. That’s rude.

12. I am not a doctor. I ask you about your injuries because they affect your practice. But I am not a qualified cardiologist, neurologist, psychiatrist or podiatrist. So don’t expect me to be able to solve your heart murmur, figure out the source of your mysterious neck pain, or provide counseling between down dog and savasana. You need a doctor.

13. Yoga is HARD. It’s meant to be. Didn’t you get the memo?!


Welcome to the blog portion of my website, chalk-full of musings on yoga, theatre, and life.

Read on!

Dare You – to try yoga?

Want to try out yoga in a non-intimidating setting and support two amazing local theatre companies? Then check out Dare You – a fundraising initiative by Vancouver Theatre Sports League and Pi Theatre.

It’s a pretty cool idea to begin with – you can sign up to be a “Dare-ee” or a “Dare-er”, Dare-ees will perform dares assigned by Dare-ers in one night that promises to be a bucket of fun. Topping it off, they’re holding a silent auction throughout the night with a whole variety of prizes, including (drumroll please…) a private yoga class with yours truly!

Check out the companies and the kind of work that they do, check out the Dare You page, and then consider making a dare, taking a dare, or coming out to watch the pieces fall where they may (and maybe bid on a silent auction item or two).