“How Can I Get Into Yoga Online?”

online yoga

One of the top questions I get when I talk about teaching yoga is about getting into the practice with online classes. There are so many benefits to going to a yoga class at a studio, but taking a few classes online is a great way to get to know the poses and get used to different types of yoga. (Plus, most of the below recommendations are free.)  The flows and teachers below have helped me through my yoga journey, and I would love to share them with you!

Enjoy! Namaste!

This One Specific 15-Minute Flow 

For years, this was the only yoga flow I knew. This is a 15-minute practice that allows you to salute the sun and get a little flow in when you wake up. This flow actually helped me figure out I wanted to teach yoga; I was doing the flow in Poland with friends and the wifi gave out so I took over, taught the flow that I had memorized at that point, and realized that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

Jason Crandell also has a great set of poses for the evening, which you can find below.

best online yoga teachers
via jasonyoga.com

Do Yoga With Me

via doyogawithme.com

This is actually a recommendation that comes from my college therapist. (Shout out to Kate, the real MVP.) DoYogaWithMe has a lot of free classes that range from restorative to Kundalini to butt-kicking vinyasa. My favorite teachers are Fiji McAlpine, Tracey Noseworthy, and David Procyshyn.

Black Swan Yoga TV

good online yoga black swan yoga tv
via BSY.tv

Of course, I’ve got to give a shout out to the studio that sealed the deal for me in Austin. Black Swan Yoga has the kindest teachers I’ve ever met, but they can also kick your ass and get you into shape. All of the teachers are beautiful souls and are wonderful teachers and before I name favorites (as if I could choose one) I’ll just tell you to try it out and enjoy the meditations, flows, and pose breakdown available on the site.

Yoga with Adriene

Austin teachers rule the world! Yoga with Adriene is one of the top yoga teachers on YouTube. She has tons of challenges, explains poses, and is really approachable for new yogis.

Bad Yogi

Bad Yogi is a similar teacher, but a bit sassier. If you are very new to yoga and not into chakras or ‘om’-ing and all the spiritual stuff, Erin Motz is a good teacher to introduce you to yoga without any spiritual stuff. You can also find yoga challenges on her channel as well!

Okay, I Have a YouTube Channel Too

Also me. I have a blog and work in social media but cringe at promoting myself or my practice. I began filming yoga classes to document my trip, and I have one flow left to record in New Zealand. The classes are lighthearted vinyasa flows, recorded in Austin before my trip. My absolute favorite is my headstand prep one, recorded in Austin with a good friend who recorded an absolutely beautiful soundtrack to go with the flow. The one above was filmed in the first week of my backpacking trip in Thailand, after the infamous Full Moon Parties.

I am still new at this, and if you want to watch, I would love love love some feedback. You are wonderful!

What Yoga Teachers and Online Videos Have Helped You Through Your Journey? Let me know in the comments!

Travel Does Not Cure Anxiety.

travel anxiety

Backpacking is booking a flight to Bali on a whim, dreaming of The Yoga Barn and walking through the Monkey Forest. Everyone at the yoga retreat in Cambodia encouraged a trip to Bali. Your mom wants you to go. You haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love, but you know a thing about heartbreak and could use a chat with a monk and a juice cleanse. Your Instagram following could use a boost and what’s $3 a night for accommodation? Sigh. Shrug. Pleasant ‘mmm.’

Backpacking is uncontrollable sobbing in your hostel dorm, sending a flurry of contradictory messages to people who are on the other side of the world, who are ready to go to bed or go out for the night. Something, which you’ve been sure was ‘hormones’ the past two days, has a grip on each of your lungs and each of your eyes, relentless. You’re out of balance and out of control and wondering at what point you’re going to have to accept your personal definition of “failure” and book the flight back home.

Backpacking is both of these events happening at the same time.

Continue reading “Travel Does Not Cure Anxiety.”

I’m Leaving My Relationship To Travel, Which Oddly Made Our Relationship Even Better

An ex-boyfriend told me once that I shouldn’t see psychics because they communicated with the devil. I try and go to a psychic every year.

This year, I decided there was no better place to have my palms and tarot cards read than in New Orleans. I had been having pretty terrible luck with relationships, and just needed someone to point me in the right direction when it came to many areas of my life. The woman in Jackson Square flipped over a King of Swords, raised her eyebrow, and told me that in a few days I would meet an intellectually driven man who would have a big influence on the next year of my life. She neglected to tell me that I would meet him on Tinder.

Continue reading “I’m Leaving My Relationship To Travel, Which Oddly Made Our Relationship Even Better”

Yoga At The Dentist

I didn’t care how much the laughing gas would be, I simply requested it for three fillings that had to be replaced. I’m glad I have that kind of financial freedom.

Weekly, I write for a dentist in South Florida, and in that time I’ve learned that I’m not the only person to avoid making a dentist appointment. Most people would prefer to wait in long lines or accept a jury duty invitation than subject themselves to scrutiny over their flossing habits. But every time I would write for this dentist, my teeth would start to ache, so I made an appointment. My months (fine, years) of apprehension led to some tartar, and a few weeks later, I was crossing my eyes at the ceiling and praying that the anesthesia wouldn’t wear off.

To relax, I turned to yoga. I decided to focus on a breathing technique called Krama, or “Stair Step” breathing. This cooling breath allows you to count your breath and feel where your breath is moving through your body. Krama breath was one of five breathing techniques that we went over while I was in yoga teacher training, but the Krama breath always stood out to me because it just felt right.

Breathing through my nose when I had a wide-open mouth (and, due to unfortunate orthodontic flaws, live as a natural mouth-breather) wasn’t easy, but it took my focus away from whatever thin slice of metal was heading toward my teeth.

Pranayama, the practice of breath control, is the fourth limb of yoga. It prepares us for additional limbs: dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation.) Asana, the physical poses that we typically associate with the practice, is the third limb. There are eight limbs total, the eighth being samadhi, a state of ecstasy and union of the mind, body, and soul. I was nowhere near samadhi while I was trying to relax my tongue and take in as much laughing gas as possible, but, hey, we’re all on a journey.

The dentist’s chair is probably the least likely place one would think to practice yoga, but using Krama during the procedure reminded me that yoga isn’t just a physical practice. I’m as guilty as anyone of posting #yogachallenge photos and going to the studio in order to get a good sweat. While I pass no judgment on anyone who strictly does yoga for the physical benefits, yoga is more than just a workout. Yoga is a lifestyle, it’s way of being, its a guide that brings you closer to yourself, closer to the god(s) you worship, and closer to infinity.

Yoga is open to everyone, at any point in their life. You don’t need a mat to do yoga. You don’t need $100 yoga pants. You don’t need washboard abs or abstain from eating meat. You don’t need to know what Firefly Pose is or be able to pronounce anything in Sanskrit. You don’t need to feel comfortable with your body or touch your toes to do yoga. You don’t need to have a cute hairdo (once you see my yoga flow, you’ll understand what I mean.)

As a yoga teacher, my goal is to make my classes accessible and communicate them through love and compassion. If you have never taken a yoga class before, if you prefer ribs to kale, if you are physically disabled, if you just want to lay in Savasana or Child’s Pose for 40 minutes, you are welcome to my classes. And I will try my best to guide you through this beautiful practice and give you something you can take with you.

We may start practicing in a studio or through online videos, but the lessons that we collect through our flows follow us as we roll up our mat, walk out the door, and enter the spaces we may be trying to escape with yoga, meditation, or mindfulness.

Below is a flow I wrote to soothe anxious minds and bodies. In the flow, I guide you through Krama and Nodi Shodhan Pranayama. The flow is gentle, all of the poses are optional, and I recommend trying it before a good night’s sleep. This is the first flow I have posted online, and I would love any and all feedback that you have for me. Leave a comment, send me a message on Facebook, or shoot me an email. I teach for the benefit of students, so your opinion is very important to me! Enjoy this flow!