Who is Carol and what does she Teach?

Carol teaches;
Energy Balancing
The energy balancing techniques assess specific body energies and how they relate to your current health. From the assessment, an individualized plan is developed to help address any physical or emotional issues that may be contributing to less than optimal health. The intervention plan will serve to facilitate your body energy flow in an overall balanced and harmonious manner. Once your energy systems become balanced, a simple ten minute daily maintenance routine will help you to maintain your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellness.
There is no California State License for the practice of energy balancing work; however, the Eden Energy Medicine Institute does certify EEM Practitioners with a two year certification program. Here is where you can read more about Eden Energy Medicine.

Moment to Moment Meditation MTM

Relax and Reduce Stress Starting Tuesdays 4PM It is FREE!med-heart For this winter, the Moment to Moment (MtM) Meditation meetings are moving from the Big Bear Discovery Center to Big Bear Yoga located in Big Bear City at 421 W Big Bear Blvd. The MtM Program will have ongoing meetings once a week on Tuesday evenings in 2017. This program is being offered free to Big Bear residents, ages from teenagers to seniors, and please no children – no pre-registration required.
  • MtM program is based on scientific neuroscience research
  • The MtM sessions use secular meditation techniques – non-religious, non-political, genderless, and no guru.
  • MtM program is led by two coaches: Mike Foley and Bill Treadwell.
  • More details about MtM program can be read at http://leafsfoundation.org/projects
4:00 pm – Introduction to MtM Meditation is provided for your first time attendance. This introductory session is offered every week for new attendees that want to attend MtM continuing sessions. 4:30-5:30pm – Moment to Moment Sessions is for continuing attendance. Leafs for Wellness Foundation is sponsoring the MtM Meditation Series. Leafs for Wellness Foundation’s vision is to participate in the growth of vibrant, prosperous, healthy communities. The foundation’s mission is to support wellness initiatives. Wellness extends beyond individual people to the interdependences of cultures, the world environment and the wisdom of nature’s way. For additional information contact Bill Treadwell (909) 667-1413 or email bill@leafsfoundation.org

Yoga Is still at work

Big Bear Yoga is still shining, weather and battle about signage has been with us since the new year, we're good to be where were are and happy that we are here.
421 w.big bear blvd 92314
421 w.big bear blvd 92314

IN all forms of yoga there is battle. In this day and age in the west yoga has become many ideas, all vying for your attention Big Bear Yoga can bringing the individual to personal intimacy, to do the right thing for your family, friends or for the people you don't even know, yoga can set the tone and be the self-care everyone is in need of.

So many words in Sanskrit that relate to the word “Battle” the one that caught my eye was “prTanA” so close to the word pRanA both seem to exhibit energy that can be used constructively, or for one’s demise.

In Ayurveda there is such a thing as Vata (wind) pushing Pitta (Fire) and we all know how a forest fire ends destruction, then growth.

Pull focus, figure out what is valuable in moving everyone forward, what can allow everyone connection? Yoga!

Maybe the idea is generosity, Yoga can connect you to be generous anywhere you are.

Last year I (Lisa Ann) came to overseen Big Bear yoga with the idea of business as not usual, I have found our society is geared NOT to be unusual about business. Everywhere you go profit an loss, maximizing time, and algorithms of what sells is still so important. I see P&O detached from money, MT is not possible to do because we all die, and an algorithm is a series of coincidences that you can't ignore. I'm always trying to find the unusual aspects to our busy days, I hope that you continue to visit Big Bear Yoga.

I hope you make the effort to give yourself time and space even if it's just once a week to come to Big Bear yoga and put inquiry into play in your life. I'm not saying the answer is around the corner, just remember make space to let an answer come to you just the way questions do, very mysteriously.

Moment to Moment (MtM) Meditation Jan 17 2017 Begins

med-heartFor this winter, the Moment to Moment (MtM) Meditation meetings are moving from the Big Bear Discovery Center to Big Bear Yoga located in Big Bear City at 421 W Big Bear Blvd. The MtM Program will have ongoing meetings once a week on Tuesday evenings starting January 17, 2017. This program is being offered free to Big Bear residents, ages from teenagers to seniors, and please no children - no pre-registration required.
  • MtM program is based on scientific neuroscience research
  • The MtM sessions use secular meditation techniques – non-religious, non-political, genderless, and no guru.
  • MtM program is led by two coaches: Mike Foley and Bill Treadwell.
  • More details about MtM program can be read at http://leafsfoundation.org/projects
4:00 pm - Introduction to MtM Meditation is provided for your first time attendance. This introductory session is offered every week for new attendees that want to attend MtM continuing sessions. 4:30-5:30pm - Moment to Moment Sessions is for continuing attendance. Leafs for Wellness Foundation is sponsoring the MtM Meditation Series. Leafs for Wellness Foundation's vision is to participate in the growth of vibrant, prosperous, healthy communities. The foundation's mission is to support wellness initiatives. Wellness extends beyond individual people to the interdependences of cultures, the world environment and the wisdom of nature's way. For additional information contact Bill Treadwell (909) 667-1413 or email bill@leafsfoundation.org

I am Here. My Open Relationship to Yoga. By ~ Shannon Cluff

I am Here. My Open Relationship to Yoga. September 8, 201654e7d9_84abbcc2337c4292ada7816bbafa5700 Shannon Cluff ~ Yoga has been my teacher, my lover, my best friend and my employer for the last twenty years. I passed through the years and styles of practice with such a keen exuberance for yoga, reaping it's psychological and physical benefits with gratitude and inquiring deeply into it as both a science and as an expression of art. I happily bowed to it's benefits by recruiting others to classes, by becoming a teacher in 2004, by opening a studio in 2006 and by leading teachers and students in 1000's of hours of instruction. I recall several debates with my soccer playing, weight lifting and yoga doing partner about my belief that yoga was the complete and perfect mental, physical and spiritual package for me and possibly for everyone. How my vinyasa practice had enough cardio vascular, strength and flexibility benefits to be the superfood of fitness. My conviction was deeply rooted in yoga's healing powers because after only 3 years of practice it had healed my old dance injuries, improved the symptoms of my scoliosis, it helped me to quit smoking and relieved me of a chronic eating disorder. I was convinced. So, by the age of 28 I had quit my day job and become a full time yoga teacher and by the age of 30 I owned a yoga studio. In order to succeed, yoga had to be my everything and it certainly was. Over time, we change. It's not always obvious how much we are changing but there are signs if we choose to see them. Six years ago I started to feel subtle pain all down the left side of my body through almost every joint including my shoulder, my lower back, my hip, and my knee. It progressed to almost every joint in my body feeling dry and crunchy, some clicked and others popped. I could also take a deep breath into my mid-spine and get a "good crack". I remember a few days where I would be in the middle of teaching a yoga class and the pain was so intense that I almost started crying. The pain in my joints would also wake me up in the night and I would start each day feeling achy and tired. But I kept up my yoga practice, 4 days on the mat of personal practice and teaching 7-10 hours of classes per week. During that same year of particularly deep Ashtanga and Hatha based practice, I tore my meniscus twice in an eight month span of time. After my knee joint healed I was left with a constant burning sensation up the back of my left leg and into my hip. So I stopped doing yoga, or to be clear I changed the way that I was approaching my yoga practice. I added Core Therapy classes to my yoga studio class schedule and started getting great feedback from my students with chronic pain. It was helping. To my personal practice I added a ton of lower body, core and upper body mobility work and I backed way off from any passive flexibility stretching. And it was helping. I had no idea that adding more strength to my practice would be so beneficial but within just a few months, I was pain free and within a year I was feeling fantastic. I started researching biomechanics, Pilates, functional movement and locomotion. I began to sit in meditation to stay clear and focussed on this new path and to help process all of the new information I was absorbing. I added running, light weights, jumping, hopping, rolling and body weight conditioning exercises to my practice. I shared my experience with physiotherapists and chiropractors, asked them questions about injuries and chronic pain and they helped to guide me in the right directions. I started working privately with other teachers and students with chronic pain and injury. I started teaching new yoga teachers in my trainings about the effects of over-stretching and the benefits of mobility work, how the body functions mechanically and how we can help our students out of their chronic pain and rehab injuries. This passion for inquiry brought me to other experienced yoga teachers in places all over the world that had come to similar places in their yoga practice, that after 5-10 years of yoga being their only form of exercise that they were seeing their bodies start to break down. They had also felt weak, tired, in pain or "over-stretched" with clicking, achy joints. A community of teachers was forming that encouraged yoga teachers to develop a new relationship to their yoga practice, to take a a more discerning approach, to maintain a diversity of movement in their practice including strength training and to stay up to date on the latest education and research into physical therapies and biomechanics. Fast forward to today. I am here. I have an "open relationship" to my yoga practice. I teach yoga, Core Therapy, FreeForm Movement and Pilates. Yoga may still be my primary practice but it is now balanced with my secondary relationships to running, Pilates and Functional Movement. My body is pain-free. My mind is more clear and calm then it has ever been. I am stronger and more physical now in my practice at the age of 41 then I was in those first few years of practising yoga at 25.  And the positive changes keep coming. The potential of what I can learn and train to do feels endless. I now believe that there is magic and medicine in the diversity of our physical endeavours. I now understand that expecting yoga to give me everything that I needed was what I needed to believe at that time. But it was also a romantic, micro-view of the big picture. What I am happiest about is that at the hardest, most painful time in my practice and my career that I found the right resources and people to help me to understand, change and grow. If this is where you are at as well, come visit me at Dharma Movement Company or Yoga at the Church. The possibilities for all of us are endless. Thanks for reading my story.

Yin Yoga and Hypermobility

Yin Yoga and Hypermobility by Jess’s practice blog In the small but growing conversation about yoga and hypermobility, there has been quite a bit of interest lately in yin yoga and its suitability – or not – for people with Hypermobility Syndrome / Ehlers Danlos (HMS / EDS).1 And if it is suitable, whether it needs to be modified. And if it does need to be modified, how. First off, let me say that I am neither a doctor, a physiotherapist, a nerd anatomist, a scientist nor any kind of expert. What I know about yoga and hypermobility is experiential. It arises from 35 years of practising yoga in a hypermobile body and a decade or so of working with hypermobile people as a yoga teacher. Among other things, I am a yin yoga teacher – I trained with Paul Grilley – though what I offer these days is mostly a restorative form of yin. I’ve come across some fairly dogmatic opinions about yin yoga and hypermobility, and I don’t want to add another one. I feel that it’s inappropriate and pointless to pronounce on what another person’s practice should or shouldn’t be. This is something that can be known only from the inside. An authentic practice emerges, resonates, informs, pleasures. It has the capacity to repattern and recalibrate on a whole-person level. It leads us into the centre of of our experiences and reveals increasingly subtle sensations, emotions, and mental and nervous system activities, so that over a period of time, the practising body becomes an ever more intelligent system. This is an intimate and personal process, and it remains the exclusive property of the person experiencing it. HMS / EDS is a group of – very many – genetic mutations, a few of which have been identified, the majority of which have not, all of them causing laxity and fragility in the connective tissue. When we think about connective tissue, we tend to imagine ligaments and fascia, but in fact connective tissue is a major component not only of the musculo-skeletal but of all body systems (vascular, reproductive, urinary and so on), and a person with HMS / EDS can experience the consequences of having ‘different’ connective tissue in some, all or many of these systems. It’s evident from reading forum posts on yin yoga and hypermobility that some people assume yin yoga to be a generic term for a gentle form of hatha yoga. No wonder, then, that they are puzzled as to why this kind of yoga might be inadvisable for a hypermobile body. So to clarify, the yin yoga that we are talking about is a specific form originated by martial arts master and yogi Paulie Zink,2 developed by Paul Grilley, and popularised by Paul along with second-generation teachers such as Sarah Powers. Bernie Clark, author of The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga, describes yin like this: Most forms of yoga today are dynamic, active practices designed to work only half of our body, the muscular half, the ‘yang’ tissues. Yin yoga allows us to work the other half, the deeper ‘yin’ tissues of our ligaments, joints, deep fascial networks, and even our bones. In yin yoga we do this by holding a passive extension for a long time (about five minutes on average, but sometimes less and sometimes more). Paul Grilley explains that the nature of fascia is contractile. If we don’t counteract the contractive process, as we age, the fascial wrappings around our joints, muscles, internal organs and whole body beneath the skin, become progressively tighter and more restricted, often along distorted planes that affect our capacity for functional movement. The theory is that fascia responds to long, slow stretching by lengthening and unkinking. Gentle stressing in this way, according to the yin yoga paradigm, also makes the fascial tissues stronger (in much the same way that doing repetitions with a bar bell strengthens the biceps by causing muscle fibres to break down and rebuild). If stressing / stretching connective tissue is central to yin yoga, and hypermobile connective tissue is delicate and already lax, it’s easy to see why there might be concerns about the suitability, helpfulness or even safety of this practice for a hypermobile body. But are these valid? In practice, I have taught hypermobile people who love yin yoga and find great benefit in practising it, and I have taught hypermobile people who have found they get overstretched and injured by yin and avoid it like the plague. Eva, Liz, Micky and Deborah say: In yin classes I was always told to let go, yield, etc. If I let go in paschimottanasana or a split, I go to the maximum of my flexibility and it will either increase my hypermobility or will give me an injury. I’ve tried different approaches to yin, such as strengthening some muscles or not letting go completely, but I don’t think this is really yin yoga and I don’t find these approaches relaxing. I think it’s important that we each find our own safest practice. For me, a mindful modified yin practice is very nourishing. But I do not dislocate and most of my [other] practice focuses on building strength. I find yin extremely beneficial. I like the fact that with yin you work passively. I’ve noticed that every time I practise yin, it alleviates the usual aches and pains that I get during my morning astanga self-practice. It helps with letting go of emotional and therefore physical tension, and it’s great for the parasympathetic nervous system. Often a practice like astanga can create an accumulation of tension, and yin has taught me to let go of the subtle tension, or at least to be aware of it. I love yin yoga, but I am getting to the opinion that yin doesn’t like me very much, especially when I have some damage somewhere. The stretching feels soooo good, but I’m pretty sure I over-stretch something that should be healing. And moving out of the posture can be really painful. Also, even on the good days, I do need to engage a few more muscles than classically you should do, particularly in my hips and core, to stop me collapsing as the ligaments relax. In my own experience it’s observable how my responses to yin practice have shifted across different phases of my life. I used to practise yin fairly regularly – for a while every other day, and then about once a week. A year or two ago, I stopped doing yin altogether. The practice itself usually felt fine, but on several occasions afterwards I had been in pain – probably as a result of some torn muscle fibres, or muscles spasming to protect a joint. Lately, though, I’ve noticed that the balance of flexibility in my body has changed as a result of not having yin in my movement repertoire. I wondered if this is contributing to issues in my hips and pelvis, and I have re-introduced some yin practice. In the meantime, I have also experienced some significant shifts in my somatic and proprioceptive understanding, and it seems as if now I may be able to re-encounter yin in a more creative and adaptive way. Our bodies change over time, as does our capacity to understand and integrate the subtleties of different practices. Some we outgrow, others we grow into, and sometimes a practice we thought we had outgrown may become available to us on a level that we hadn’t realised existed. Paradoxically, while too much yin can cause muscles to go into spasm, just enough yin can also help to release a spastic muscle. Most people assume that a hypermobile person will present as extremely flexible – and we often do – but where hypermobility has been accompanied by inactivity and deconditioning, and widespread muscle spasm has gone unchallenged, the person may be very, very ‘tight’ – although they will still often have tell-tale hyperextending joints, sometimes with subluxations and / or dislocations. In this scenario, a modified yin practice could be very useful, probably with shorter than the usually recommended hold times (over-stretching will cause muscles to go into even tighter spasm, remember) and with very carefully targeted work. An experienced teacher can help the person to avoid flopping into familiar and already overstretched areas, and instead to access areas that may have gone offline, so that more functional, less painful movement patterns can be established. This kind of specificity in where and for how long I work is crucial to me in practising yin in a beneficial way. It’s complex and it isn’t usually within the capacity of a beginning yoga practitioner, or a practitioner who is only just discovering and coming to terms with their hypermobility. I rely on a lot of knowledge that I’ve emerged from working with an exceptionally good physio. I also don’t completely relax in postures, but prefer to squeeze and release and press into certain muscles and to relax into others. This way I can stay selectively engaged. As an autistic person, I find this approach a lot more satisfying too.3 Like Eva, though, I think it’s questionable whether this way of working is really yin any more, since yin is essentlally defined as a passive form in which we follow the bones, follow the line of least resistance and let go into the joints. Although yin is a passive form, it’s not necessarily gentle. Most yin postures have fearsome potential as stretches, and if practised to an extreme in terms of range of movement and duration can be highly agressive to ligaments and tendons. And herein lies one of the gifts of yin. It has important lessons to offer about edge: where is too much, where is too little, where is the sweet spot that holds the potential for expansion into our experience in all dimensions – physical, emotional, mental, transpersonal? This is an especially important learning for a hypermobile person because a deficit in proprioception is part and parcel of HMS / EDS. While we are innately endowed with limited proprioceptive resources, we can work with what we’ve got to cultivate our capacity to feel into and differentiate between edges. If practised with sensitivity and appropriate intention, for some people yin yoga can be a fertile terrain for this exploration. One possibility for making yin yoga safer and more user-friendly for hypermobile people is to give it restorative slant. Micky described his yin practice to me as partly restorative. Eva and Ellen say: After years of practising yin yoga and not having a clue what I was supposed to do or feel with my body, I’ve come to the conclusion that we hypermobile people should do restorative yoga rather than yin. I am convinced that the only way to do it safely and really let go is with the use of props. The only yin that works for me is supported positions that don’t involve a stretch. Probably technically more restorative yoga than yin. In restorative yoga the emphasis is on comfort and ease rather than stretching. Soft props such as bolsters and blankets support the body, and we slow right down to access the parasympathetic nervous system, creating opportunities for rest, integration, and physical and emotional healing. Clearly the potential for traumatic injury to myofascia4 is far smaller in this scenario; however, even a restorative practice can go pear-shaped for a hypermobile practitioner if they are already biomechanically out of kilter. Bear in mind that for many hypermobile people, sleeping is a high-risk activity. Those most severely affected may need to wear splints and braces at night to keep their joints in a neutral position; most of us are accustomed to waking up with muscle pain. Restorative yoga can be counter-productive where fascial laxity is such that when the person lets go (allows postural muscles to switch off) they collapse into positions that distort the joints. Often in this scenario the resting position is further compromised by dysfunctional muscle patterns, in which some muscles are very tight and unable to release, whereas others are completely switched off and unable to fire, so that the person is biomechanically lopsided. In this situation, structural repatterning work (with a suitably skilled physiotherapist, yoga therapist or other structural bodyworker) may be of most benefit. There’s more to yin yoga than stretching, though. Yin is also a meridian system. Paul Grilley explains: Spiritual adepts from the earliest times have described an energy system of the body that is vital to its health. In India they called this energy prana and in China they called it chi. The Chinese Taoists founded the science of acupuncture, which described in detail the flow of chi through pathways they called ‘meridians’. It is chi, in all its forms, that keeps us alive. Central to Paul’s approach to yin is the work of Dr Hiroshi Motoyama, a yoga-practising shinto priest who is also a double PhD scientist with a long track record in researching the science of bodymind. Motoyama’s work suggests that the meridian system is located in fascial tissues. Another well-known researcher in the field, Dr James Oschman, explains: All movements, of the body as a whole, or of its smallest parts, are created by tensions carried through the connective tissue fabric. Each tension, each compression, each movement causes the crystalline lattices of the connective tissues to generate bio-electric signals that are precisely characteristic of those tensions, compressions and movements. The fabric is a semiconducting communication network that can convey the bioelectric signals between every part of the body and every other part. If this is indeed the case, the implications for hypermobile people – those of us who have a different sort of fascial tissue – may be immense, complex and wide-ranging. As far as I’m aware, these possibilities have been discussed little if at all. Maybe it’s still all a bit woo woo for the majority of people to contemplate. I’m often asked if I can give guidelines for working as a yoga teacher with hypermobile people. I can’t. While it’s possible to make some suggestions as a starting point (I already have – you can find them here), the way hypermobility presents is very individual, and it’s really necessary to encounter and be in collaboration with the particular hypermobile person in order to offer anything meaningful. Some people with HMS / EDS are almost unbelievably flexible and able to perform the most mind-bending contortions with no pain or other unwanted complications even into later life. Others may not have such breathtaking mobility but suffer from very debilitating fertility issues, digestive problems, chronic pain, sleep disruption, anxiety, prolapses, incontinence … Perhaps to some extent this diversity is due to the range of different gene mutations involved in HMS / EDS, although, of course, there are many factors that determine how our genes express. When I’m working with a hypermobile person, I do my best to let go of theories, pre-formed solutions and paradigms, and approach with beginners mind and waving antennae. I use my eyes, and I rely on the body of experience I’ve accumulated, but it’s also through my hands, my skin, my nerve endings and that intuitive sense that lives who-knows-where in my body that I feel into what might be this biomechanical system, this emotional experience, this nervous system response, this neurology. Yin yoga and hypermobility: good thing / bad thing? I don’t really know. It all depends. I do feel that that yin yoga as a practice is sufficiently rich, alive and malleable to be different things to different people, that there’s enough elasticity in it to allow for varying slants and approaches. If a practice attracts you, I’m all for wriggling through the wire and finding a way in. 10985422_841933065891529_3507373872044527570_n 1. The terminiology of hypermobility is complicated and disputed among hypermobility clinicians. For the purposes of this writing, I use ‘Hypermobility Syndrome’ and ‘Ehlers Danlos’ as two terms for pretty much the same thing. I also include Marfan Syndrome under this general umbrella. 2. I’ve never met Paulie, but he looks pretty damn hypermobile to me. Check out the pictures on his website. 3. It’s well recognised by autistic people and by those who work with us at grass roots level (especially with children) that there is a significant intersection between HMS / EDS and autism. However, there is a reluctance among medical professionals to acknowledge the relationship because there is little, if any, scientific research on the subject – and if there’s no research, it doesn’t exist, right? Autistic people generally don’t do well with physical stillness. We need to move in order to regulate our nervous system – after all, this is what stimming is all about. 4. The interwoven complex of fascia, ligaments, tendons and muscles. References The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The philosophy and practice of yin yoga, Bernie Clark, White Cloud Press, 2012. Yin Yoga: Outline of a quiet practice, Paul Grilley, White Cloud Press, 2002. ‘Being Flexible About Flexibility’ is a good article on hypermobility, flexibility and yin yoga by my friend and colleague Norman Blair. My exceptionally good physio is Darren Higgins at Vanbrugh Physiotherapy Clinic. If you have found this post useful, please consider making a donation to support my writing. At present, all donations are going towards further professional training in working with developmental trauma. For more information visit here.

8 Ways to get your man on the mat. (funny & sweet)

Although the face of yoga is rapidly expanding and changing, let’s face it: for the time being, yoga is predominantly still “a girl thing.” As someone who has truly experienced the transformative power of this practice, I (as I’m sure are many other yoginis) am desperate to get my man on the mat! So, after many hours of plotting, planning (and stealth operations) I have devised the following 8 ways to get your man on the mat.
All the GadgetsYoga for Pizza
Male EgoReward System
  Naked Yoga  
BenefitsMore Benefits
MORE Benefits  
Stealth YogaStealth Yoga
Stealth YogaStealth Yoga
Stealth YogaInfiltration
Let It Go
Non-attachment after all, right?
Ché Dyer
Ché DyerVinyasa Yoga teacher & freelance illustrator in Wimbledon

No excuses: Head to class ~ lol

There will be days when you simply don't want to get on your mat. You will search for every reason under the sun not to. Rest assured, most—if not all—yogis have found themselves in this place at one time or another. Below, some of the most common reasons that have kept me from my mat, and what I've learned from them.

1. Lack of Time or Pure Exhaustion

Stayed up till 2 a.m.? Booked solid with meetings all day? I've found that some of my best asana practices have happened after sleepless nights (and it has helped me sleep better that night). A sleep-exhausted savasana is the ultimate energizing boost. I've also noticed that meetings are more productive because I am grounded in my body and in the present moment. When I practice in the morning, I find that the yoga high makes for a calmer day and that I navigate my many obligations with more equanimity than when I haven't practiced.

2. Physical Ailments

I could write a book on this one. Whether it's my right knee, lower back, or flare-ups associated with ulcerative colitis, I am the master at finding reasons for not practicing. This one is tricky—at all times, you must honor your body. However, keep in mind that both injury and illness present you with an amazing gift during your asana practice. The intentionality of each movement and each breath becomes that much more crucial. Perhaps instead of your default "full steam ahead," you take the time to listen and feel your body, instead of pushing and conquering it. The beauty of asana is that you can customize each practice to what your body needs that day—some days more restorative, and others more active.

3. Social Commitments

Heaven forbid yoga get in the way of your social life! I always say: "There's no WE time if there is no ME time first." Invite your friends to yoga. They may decline, but that's okay. Keep in mind that your example shows them that self-love is a practice to which you are fully committed. You never know who you are inspiring with your daily decisions. Plus, you have an opportunity to make some yoga friends who are dedicated to their asana just like you.

4. Travel-Related Issues

Believe it or not, I have had the following stream of thought more than once: "I don't have enough time to get gas and fight traffic. Parking is always a mess and if I can't be there 15 minutes before the class starts, I am not going." If I'm honest, in those moments, I'm not prioritizing my practice. I'm letting silly things that can be avoided by planning get in the way of what really matters to me.

5. No Yoga Outfit or Mat

I've used this one once or twice. I've learned to keep my mat in the trunk of my car along with a change of clothes, yoga mat towel, and face towel for sweating. Again, don't let silly things that can be avoided by planning get in the way of what matters to you.

6. Weather

I lived in Houston for four years and I drive a Honda Fit. In Houston, an afternoon shower can turn into a full-fledged flood. Not good. Because of this, I am now overly sensitive to weather and have used it as an excuse many a time to not head to the shala. Exercise caution when it comes to the weather. Don't put your life in danger. But you can still practice: Perhaps it's an opportunity to check out online yoga offerings and practice at home.

7. No Money, No Honey

Lack of financial resources can keep us from paying membership fees at our favorite yoga studio. Well it's time to get creative yogi. Most yoga studios offer some form of volunteer exchange—you help out around the studio for a couple of hours a week in exchange for free yoga classes. If your studio doesn't currently offer it, suggest it. Are you a social media maven? Graphic designer? Perhaps offer your services in exchange for yoga lessons. Don't let money stop you from practicing. You can also check out the free online offerings from amazing yoga teachers across the world. Where there is a will, there is a way.

8. Pure Laziness

Let's face it: There are days when we simply don't feel like practicing. We are human, after all. Give yourself the gift of self-compassion. Learn to listen to your body and differentiate between the real need for rest and self-sabotage—it's a game changer. Asana is both a practice and a marathon. Don't beat yourself up for missing one day—just don't let one day turn into one month and then turn into one year. Recommit yourself to your practice and remember why you started in the first place. Let your values light you up and inspire you to begin again every single day. It's only when you start prioritizing your asana practice that you will start reaping the benefits of your practice. Life will always give you a million reasons not to get on your mat. Even if it's only 10 minutes of Sun Salutations a day, make the commitment to step on your mat, give the best you can that day, and surrender the outcome. You deserve to see what you are capable of, both on and off your mat.

How do you keep excuses from derailing your practice?