More on the practicing yoga on a budget….

So here’s the deal,  as a teacher, I find it difficult to make my living entirely off of teaching yoga.  It’s a common misconception that yoga teachers make an enormous amount of money.  Trust me, I wouldn’t be waiting tables if that were the case.  I wouldn’t be doing accounting jobs either.  There are times that physically I need a break.  But if I am injured, sometimes I still have to teach.  Which is why I think Jennifer You is a rock star because from seated, she has been teaching with a torn achilles.  Pattabi Jois (founder of Ashtanga Yoga) taught from seated later in his life.  He no longer practiced the vigorous sequences.  Which brings me to my next misconception.  That we have to do a certain style of yoga each time or it’s not “right” for us.  That is a big misconception.  When I am venturing into a new class, there may be something that I don’t prefer or like about a class.  That doesn’t mean that the teacher is bad or that the class or style is bad, it’s just different.  It’s not wrong.  Some people respond to a teacher that yells at them or hits them.  That may be what they need.  It’s definitely not for me.  But it’s not my journey.  Which leads me to my last point or misconception.  That somehow if it’s donation, or inexpensive that it isn’t quite good enough.  That somehow that diminishes the value of the practice.  I have many friends that were not only introduced to yoga at their local YMCA, but practiced for years under a teacher that had DECADES of teaching experience.  So with those things to think about, I give you my latest recommendations for doing yoga all over San Diego on a budget:

Fitness Chains
They have locations everywhere and I teach for them.  Yes, their rooms are not the best for yoga.  No, they don’t have mats.  But with so many locations, variety of teachers to choose from, students come because they love the teacher and they practice wherever.  No, you’re not going to get the kind of instruction that you would at a studio.  You can get a monthly membership for around $39.  Sometimes cheaper. 

San Diego Yoga Collective Hopper Pass
This is available and the best deal in town for this kind of thing.  OB Namaste Yoga in Ocean Beach, Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla and Little Yoga Studio of San Diego teamed up and created this.  Most of these studios already offer a discount, first week or first class free to new students.  What the hopper pass enables you to do is go to each of these studios.  Three classes for $30 or 15 classes for $175.  So you can hopp around and get some of the best instruction, I’ve been to all three studios and thoroughly enjoyed each of them.

Stay tuned…

A Spiritual Choice

Elizabeth Lesser from the Omega Institute:
“….Everyone one of us longs for something more than just getting up and battling our way through life. We have a sense that there is something more, something more meaningful in our journey. This longing is spirituality. Religions formed to try to answer these questions, who am I, what am I here for, what does this all mean.”

We all have that inner tug which draws us to different belief systems that help us on our journey. Those belief systems, whether it’s Christianity or Buddhism or Atheism, are our individual choices to make.

In a yoga class, we aren’t actively participating in a religious practice. A goal in class may be to unify mind, body and spirit. There are many ways we do this. First by focusing on the breath or a mantra to help quite the mind from all of the mind chatter. Second, we bring ourselves into our bodies by focusing on anatomical alignment or stretching and strengthening areas that are holding a lot of physical and psychological tension. Third, we come to yoga because something in our spirit takes us there. We want something different. We want to feel different. And if you practice on the previous two things, you will be different at the end of a class. This is where your journey comes in. It’s your unique choice and expression. It’s your spiritual choice.

Often times, students come in and are afraid or refuse to go into savasana because it might contradict their religion. There are a few things to consider. One, the physiological benefits of a savasana for your body is what is most important. By lying down, closing the eyes and simply bringing awareness to the breath, a person is slowing down the flight-or-fight response in the body with their breath. They are also taking away all of the information that the central nervous system tries to process through the eyes. These are putting the body into a relaxed state, which reduces stress, relieves tension and may lower blood pressure. Secondly, taking time to put oneself into a relaxed state, whether it’s a nap or it’s a savasana, is a great demonstration of self-care. It’s been proven that people who take naps are more effective after taking a nap than those who don’t. By taking time out for yourself, you become more effective at caring for others. You can call savasana meditation or you can call it focused relaxation, it’s your choice with those few moments on the floor.