Since there are so many shades of yoga, it is worth stating my own.
This is my philosophy, my manifesto, my guiding principles for teaching and being.
1. Begin with the breath.
I open all of my classes with a simple refrain: tune in to your breath. In acknowledging the breath, we acknowledge the link between our physical body and conscious mind. We flood our cells with vital oxygen. And we signal the nervous system into balance.
If there is just one thing that you take out of your experience with yoga, let it be this.
2. There are no rules; only choices.
You don’t need to be a rebel to feel serious resistance against other people’s rules and regimens.
Diets, exercise protocols, prescriptions for success…these can be great guides on your journey.
But ultimately? Be your own ruler.
Make your own choices.
Decide your own destiny.
Do it because you want to, not because you were told to.
3. The effects of yoga (and all forms of self-care) are cumulative.
Every little bit, every minute, every practice counts.
Every time you choose to slow your racing thoughts and exchange them for a breath, that divine decision gets recorded in your consciousness.
Said another way: every moment spent in yoga, meditation, and self-care is time well spent.
4. Yoga is a gateway into a whole realm of healthy living.
People who practice yoga are statistically more likely to make healthier food and lifestyle choices than those who don’t practice yoga.
This isn’t a coincidence.
Yoga re-connects you with the beauty of your own body. And once you recognize how deeply gorgeous you are, it’s oh-so-much easier to choose foods, activities, and people that will support your wellbeing.
This is why a conversation about yoga can easily evolve into a conversation about the yoga lifestyle, which includes good sleep, a healthy relationship with food, time for relaxation, and exploration.