spiritual but not religious

if social media is any indication, most “yogis” under about 50 years old consider themselves “spiritual but not religious”. i find this equal parts depressing and hilarious. depressing, because it seems like there is no place for God (however you like to identify and name him, her, it…) in today’s world. even in the yoga…

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Why Me? 10 Great Reasons.

So, you’re considering YOGAthletica Teacher Training. Awesome! Oh…and you’re considering a bunch of others, too. Okay. Here is why YOGAthletica 200-Hour Teacher Training Intensive is your best training option: 1. Shana has been teaching yoga full-time since March 2002. Her extensive experience and proficiency with the practice is almost unparalleled in the industry. 2. Shana…

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the truth hurts

i’m 47. i know it’s generally not smiled upon for a woman to shout her age to the hilltops, but smile away. there are things i can control in this life–my attitude, my diet, my practice–and there are things i can’t. aging is way up there with the things i can’t. honestly, i wear my…

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you complete me yoga-ly

By Shana | January 17, 2013

here in america, we say “hi” and we say “bye” and, so far as i can tell, those words in their deepest, most profound translations mean “hello” and “goodbye”.  it’s really nice that we wish that the “bye” is a good one…that’s how thoughtful we americans are! 🙂 in india, they say “namaste”. it’s sort…

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how you know you've arrived

By Shana | December 14, 2012

what level are you? surely, you’ve been asked that before. so, what do you answer? level one? two? three? (that’s clever yoga-speak for beginner, intermediate, or advanced). how do you know? because you can do a handstand? because you can’t do a handstand? actually…neither factor matters one bit. and if you think it does, you’re…

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how you know you’ve arrived

By Shana | December 14, 2012

what level are you? surely, you’ve been asked that before. so, what do you answer? level one? two? three? (that’s clever yoga-speak for beginner, intermediate, or advanced). how do you know? because you can do a handstand? because you can’t do a handstand? actually…neither factor matters one bit. and if you think it does, you’re…

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p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face!

By Shana | November 28, 2012

staring contest! no smiling! (but you can blink!) and what does this have to do with yoga at all??? well, a big part of yoga is practicing non-reactivity. and… we all know that when we feel emotions, our facial muscles tell our story. we’re happy, we smile. sad, we frown. did you know, however, that…

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go manduka or go home!

By Shana | October 26, 2012

for more than ten years, i have practiced on, loved, and clung to my beloved manduka black mat pro, whom i affectionately call “matty.” truth is, i won’t practice without matty. if, for some reason, he forgot to jump in my car on the way to a class, there will be no class that day.…

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i’d rather be…

By Shana | October 1, 2012

So I’m driving down Wilshire Boulevard today and I see this license plate holder that says “I’d rather be doing yoga.” And it really gets me thinking. For two reasons. One, is that yoga is not something you do (at least not in the sense that most Angelenos think it’s done). Yoga is something you…

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the more i know…

By Shana | August 12, 2012

when i took my first teacher training, i was sure i already knew everything coming in…and at least as much as my teachers. i was merely taking the course to get my certification, as a formality. i mean, i already had almost a year of experience. i was teaching. i could do inversions in the…

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playing with peanut butter

By Shana | August 3, 2012

thomas edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, didn’t just pop a lightbulb out of his ass and become famous. in fact, it took edison a purported 10,000 trials before he came up with the bulb. first, he tried everything he could think of. he even went so far as to try to…

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a yogi’s lesson in grammar

By Shana | July 5, 2012

so, a friend of mine was telling me about this party he went to. of course there was a ton of alcohol and basically everyone was smoking pot. there were people doing coke–maybe harder stuff. married people were making out with other people…who didn’t happen to be their spouses. general debauchery, you could say. i…

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wow! this yoga thing really #%@$#$%@# calms me down!

By Shana | June 4, 2012

so, my yogathletica classes are, admittedly, really hard. and the other day one of my regular (and quite strong) students was struggling through a challenging posture when she suddenly just stopped trying and with tears in her eyes and a choke in her throat implored me “i thought yoga wasn’t supposed to be stressful! i…

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you can probably ignore this one…

By Shana | May 29, 2012

poor cobra. poor updog. these guys are like the tragically neglected stepchildren of the vinyasa family. there are a lot of poses that you can watch and fake, but these ain’t two of them. taken in broad strokes, you get a whole bunch of hyperextended elbows, collapsed lumbar spines, and clenched shoulders and necks that…

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By Shana | May 15, 2012

savasana. you love it or you hate it. (and if you love it, it’s impossible to understand how anyone could possibly hate it.) ultimately, this posture of complete relaxation is the actually the most challenging pose of all, as the mind is the hardest of all the muscles to control. throughout your entire asana practice…

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fire! fire!

By Shana | May 7, 2012

so you’re in this yoga class, in some lunge for an extraordinary amount of time, and your leg is burning off. if you don’t get out of this pose, you’re just going to die…but the teacher is rambling, pontificating about some sutra or guna or something and the pose has no end in sight. your…

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guru shmuru

By Shana | April 26, 2012

when i was a kid, i was obsessed with john stamos. my bedroom was wallpapered with every teen beat poster of him i could find. to me, he was a god. why? i guess because i thought he was cute…i mean isn’t god cute? enter high school…my fabulous drama teacher happened to have also been…

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flip that switch!

By Shana | April 25, 2012

for my first year or two of yoga, i had no real introduction to arm balances or inversions. i had seen them in photos, but that’s it. they looked freaky and scary and there is nothing you could have done to convince me that i could actually do one. this stuff was for people who…

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the end.

By Shana | April 23, 2012

a few years ago i was in a workshop where the instructor was trying to teach us how to press up into handstand. all around the room, desperate yogis were jumping, hopping, kicking up…anything they could do to get into that handstand. then there was me. the only person in the room stuck in uttanasana…

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yoga and addiction

By Shana | March 25, 2012

it’s no secret by now that yoga is a fabulous tool for overcoming addiction. in fact, you can find “yoga for addiction” or “12-step yoga” in studios all across the globe. a large part of any dedicated yoga practice, in fact, is the overcoming of our habits and addictions (no matter how big or small),…

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i admit it! i’m guilty! guilty! :(…

By Shana | March 9, 2012

i love asana. inversion asana. standing asana. twisting asana. balancing asana. any kind of asana asana. and i love alignment. knees bending, arms straightening, heart lifting. the whole thing just gives me purpose. but i’ve been in class lately, listening to teachers, taking themselves way too seriously, preaching fire and brimstone about the “traditional” way…

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is john friend just being a good yogi…?

By Shana | February 29, 2012

Brahmacharya—literally, under the tutelage of Brahma1—is the one of the Yama, or codes of Universal Conduct, found in Patanjali’s “Yoga Sutra”. As BKS Iyengar defines it, Brahmacharya “means the life of celibacy, religious study and self-restraint.”2 When examining the true meaning of Brahmacharya, it is interesting how divergent the published interpretations of this precept really…

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wait! don’t go!

By Shana | February 28, 2012

i can pretend it doesn’t bother me, but it does. i hate it when someone leaves my yoga class early (unless, of course, they warn me before class). okay, maybe it’s my ego getting in the way…i promise i’ll work on that…if you promise not to leave my class early. here’s the thing. i’ve taken…

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the best yogi alive!

By Shana | January 20, 2012

think of who you perceive as the best yogi/ni alive. and then let me guess. is it that guy who can stand on his head without any hands? or that girl who can press up to handstand…even in her underwear? ooh! ooh! i know! it’s that guy who can stand on one hand, with one…

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