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Who Am I To Question Jois…?

I know I will be burned at the stake for saying this, but I find the classic Ashtanga Primary Series video led by Sri Pattabhi Jois to some of his most prominent students……well…….sort of cringy. From the tense-shouldered Urdhva Mukha Svanasana to the Chaturanga Dandasanas that are an inch off the floor, from the splayed…

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Ah! The Naïveté of Youth!

When I was but a wee lass in my pre-yoga 20s, I used to wake up at 4am every day to go to the gym before work. Every day, it was the same group of worker-outers. Always the usual suspects. Among us was a man in his early 90s, who not only did an hour…

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You’re Getting Sleepy…Sleeeeeepy….

One thing (if I can possibly name one thing) that everyone is talking about these days is how hard is has been to get a good night’s sleep during the pandemic. A year-and-a-half into all this craziness, that’s a long time to go sleep deprived. Sleep is such an incredibly important part of not just…

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now, that's the yoga spirit!

By Shana | February 20, 2014

so…here’s a challenge…find the spirituality in a yoga class…in los angeles. i’ll wait… waiting… still waiting… sort of hard to find, huh? lodged somewhere deep between the guy with the turban who molests women and the naked girl who does a really nice split…it’s there…i promise you. and it’s there in every class. preposterous, i…

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the one yoga pose you never suspected would revolutionize your handstands forever!

By Shana | February 15, 2014

okay, i’m about to share a deep, dark secret with you about handstands. so, brace yourself. when i ask people what part of their body they think affects their ability to handstand the most, the #1 response i get is arms–or shoulders. and, yes, without arms and shoulders, handstands would be a bitch. pardonnez mon…

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how to go vegan in three easy steps

By Shana | November 22, 2013

there are some very hard things about being a vegan. for one, you can’t be a party to hurting, killing, or maiming any animals. (sorry!) like, you can’t trade the pain of an animal for the satisfaction of your sweet tooth, for example. it took me 21 years of being a strict vegetarian to finally…

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sagging upwards: the yoga inversion secret you need to know!

By Shana | September 11, 2013

ever see one of those REALLY OLD yogis or yoginis and wondered how on earth they stay so young? if the answer is no, it’s probably because you did see one but didn’t even realize it because s/he seemed so strong and vibrant. there is a secret, you know. the yoga fountain of youth, if…

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the party’s over

By Shana | August 16, 2013

so, i was leading this fabulous handstand workshop. everyone was having a great time. it was like the best party you’ve ever been to, minus the sex, drugs, and alcohol. rock stars everywhere, legs flying hither and nigh. fun! fun! smile! smile! fun! yay! and then, out of nowhere, the whole world came crashing down.…

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pump up the volume! somewhere else…

By Shana | June 11, 2013

let me preface this post by saying that i love music. from classical to classic rock, and even country, i love it all. you would be hard-pressed to find any genre on earth missing from my ipod, and music keeps me company pretty much every moment that i’m awake…except while i’m practicing yoga. kill me…

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are your goals holding you back???

By Shana | June 6, 2013

when i was just a wee lass of maybe 14, my father handed me a dumbbell. it was some random dumbbell, whatever weight, and he asked me how many times i thought i could curl it. sporty spice that i was, i picked a high number–say, 50–and he handed me the weight and told me…

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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

(disclosure: i was neither paid nor asked to write this blog post, but wrote it entirely because of how much i believe in this product. i do, however, receive commission on sales related to my links.) for more than ten years, i have practiced on, loved, and clung to my beloved manduka black mat pro, whom i affectionately call…

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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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shhhhhhhvasanaaaaaaaah!

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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