I’ve seen hip-hop yoga studios, hip-hop classes, Namasdrake, Yoncé Yoga, etc. And you know what? I love it. Sure, if you’re going to a yoga class to clear your mind and you want peace and quiet, by all means, hip hop yoga doesn’t sound appealing. But if a little Drake puts you in a good mood and keeps you in your Warrior 2 a little longer, go for it.
I’ve finally got a new yoga flow for you! I recorded the audio for this flow in Austin, and filmed the video in Australia! I originally called this flow the Uber Driver flow (it starts out by gently stretching legs that have been sitting all day), but hey, anyone who’s sitting or standing around at work could use these gentle stretches and backbends. So it’s now the Yoga Flow for After Work!
All you need is your mat and your lovely soul…so enjoy!
FREE YOGA / NOMAD MEET UPS IN BRISBANE:
I will be hanging out in Brisbane for the next two months or so, and I want to teach a few donation-based classes at my new flat! I was thinking it would be a great opportunity for fellow yogis, Couchsurfers, and nomads to meet up, have a free fitness class, and hang out with like-minded people. If you would like more information, respond to this Couchsurfing event or head on over to my Facebook page!
That’s all for now! Cheers!
Hello hello! I thought I’d do a fun post with some affirmations that I’ve been using throughout my travel. I post sometimes about anxiety and fear while traveling, so let’s bring some positivity to the blog, hey? This is a blog about yoga, travel, and sustainable happiness. I enjoyed making these posts and I hope they will bring a smile or a sigh of relief to your day, whether you’re traveling or not!
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.
Okay. Back to chronological posts that don’t talk about American politics. I won’t mention T**** ever again.
So let’s chat about the Full Moon Party, yeah?
Koh Phangan was at the top of our bucket list. Why? Three words: Full Moon Party. We didn’t know much about it, but we heard it was a big ol’ party on the beach and we weren’t going to turn that down. The overnight bus and ferry from Bangkok to Koh Phangan was an exhausting journey, so we gave ourselves four days on the island before heading back and continuing to Siem Reap. We went to the Full Moon Party. But then we had the question: what else is there to do on Koh Phangan?
Getting down to the wire! Soon you’ll be bombarded with gorgeous photos of Thailand, Cambodia, and Australia.
But for this post, I’m gonna switch the spotlight over to some amazing people in my life who are making some cool stuff. Y’all, it’s so important to support your friends who are making some cool stuff. Coming from someone who briefly had an Etsy shop, the support of friends and friends-of-friends is more touching and beautiful than I can accurately describe. This support creates a connection and a validation that is hard to find as a small business owner or artist, especially when we are constantly being bombarded with products and brands and ads and algorithms fueled by corporations who have more money, reach, and resources than small business owners have when they start out.
Hello hello! I am excited to share my latest yoga flow with you! This is a very gentle flow and can all be done sitting down in a chair. Around 23 minutes in, I start a meditation for relaxation. This flow can be done in the morning or at night, for an exciting day or sweet dreams.
Ok, but who else can relate? I tell this story to entertain more than to rant, because no harm no foul, but come on y’all….
My headstand prep flow is now on YouTube! This flow activates your shoulders, core, and butt to help you practice this advanced inversion. I wrote and recorded this flow after a friend asked my advice for getting into a headstand.
Headstands are still a pose that drum up nerves and dread. Sure, I’ve hit the pose a dozen or so times, and flying up after a flow class is really fun. But as I mention in the video, inversions aren’t just a test of physical strength. There is a moment during a headstand when you align your hips over your shoulders and feel really light. This is a make-or-break moment. Without a wall behind me, I can’t always guarantee that I will get there, even after two or three tries (or two or three friends around to cheer me on.)
We recorded this flow earlier than I anticipated, but I continued to reassure myself that the video would look “legit,” …meaning I would have a full headstand in the video. I sheepishly tried to position my mat next to a wall (and when we moved the shoot outdoors, next to a tree) in order to guarantee a headstand for the shot. And you may have already guessed (or saw while watching the video.) I didn’t get there while we were shooting. I didn’t reach the full expression of the pose while we were shooting after the flow either. (Okay, I did, but the sun had already set, and my camera had pooped out.)
After my first failed attempts to hit a headstand, I was extremely disappointed in myself. How could I teach someone else to do a headstand if I couldn’t get there on demand? What was I doing wrong? Would I ever get to the point in my practice where I could do a headstand?
As I moved on through the recording and through the flow, a favorite nugget of yoga wisdom crawled its way into my consciousness: let go of what happened or didn’t happen during the flow. Sure, I didn’t hit a headstand a minute ago, but in the present moment, I wasn’t trying to get into a headstand. I was cooling my body down – while still recording the flow. In the present moment, I had to be present for the video. After all, what was the whole point of the video…to prove that I could do a headstand? No. I wanted to help others as they navigated the world of inversions. Getting upset for not being able to hit a pose is not going to help anyone.
I don’t want to share or teach my yoga perfect. I want to share my yoga practice. If I want to be an authentic and accessible teacher, I have to share an authentic practice. Sometimes “practice” consists of falling on your face trying to transition out of a crow pose. Sometimes practice is hitting your first plow. In between every “milestone” are dozens of classes and flows where you just go to practice. (And by the way, milestones aren’t just hitting a new inversion; milestones could include making contact between two parts of your body, or simply discovering something new about your body and the space that it inhabits.)
The reality is that I could have spent hours and hours to make it appear that I flew up into a headstand with the 30 minute flow that I gave you. But let’s be honest. I’m not expecting anyone who hasn’t tried inversions before to soar up into a headstand just because they watched my flow. That’s ridiculous. I guarantee nothing. I’m not a Pinterest pin that advertising “30 days to splits” or “lose 8 inches in 8 days.” I get so upset at posts and pins and clickbait articles that guarantee reaching goals that aren’t physically, monetarily, or mentally possible for everyone reading. Each human experience is different. We are all navigating a different reality that presents limits and possibilities that aren’t always available to others. So why should we pretend that any diet, flow, or routine is guaranteed to work for anyone?
The most that I can do is offer my experiences with inversions and offer tools to help navigate the body and how it’s used during practice. So let’s be real here. Let’s get rid of expectations, of goals, of “perfect poses” and Instagram-worthy photos. Let’s focus on the present moment, whatever it brings. Let’s just practice.
I am so excited to show you guys my latest video, How To Prep for Headstand! The video activates the shoulders, core, and butt to help you prep for this inversion. One of the best parts of this video is the background music. My friend Elliot (aka Many Voices) is super talented and was able to whip up some tunes that went perfectly with the flow. You’ll see him in the back while I’m flowing because that jawn was live. I felt super empowered throughout the flow.
Behind the cameras were my boyfriend Jeremy, Elliot’s girlfriend Liza, and Liza and Jeremy’s roommate Julia. Add on the help of Jeremy’s bandmates Austin and Jack for letting us use their space, and you’ve got one hell of a team producing one video.
My first online flow (check it out here if you haven’t already) also involved Jeremy, Jack, and Austin. As I looked around the backyard where we shot the flow, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “How the hell am I going to record more flows on my own?” (If you’re curious, I have four more recordings that I will add video to during my travels, and I plan on recording a few more before I move. If you have any requests for flows, leave a comment below.) When I first started “freelancing” a little over a year ago, I thought that blogging, writing, and even teaching yoga would be independent gigs that didn’t require correspondence outside of a few emails. I was really wrong.
I wanted to write this post just to recognize and appreciate the people involved in my teaching journey. Of course, all I’m doing is chipping away at the tip of the iceberg; everyone who I’ve practiced with in class, flowed with, gathered strength and inspiration from…anything I present, write, or teach is the cumulation of everything and everyone I have ever met. Even though I enjoy yoga for the solo journey it offers, sometimes yoga feels like a team sport…especially when you’re sharing that yoga with others and would like it to sound and look professional.
Another reason I wanted to write this post is to give a behind-the-scenes look at the world of yoga on Instagram. There are many discussions to be had about the authenticity of yoga and social media, yogis and brand ambassadors, hashtags, blogs, content marketing, sponsored posts, etc. As I begin to explore this world (out of pure curiosity but also to expand my budget while I’m traveling,) I’m seeing firsthand how much work is behind one photo or post. What looks like one person just hanging out in the park with cute clothes may actually be three people, fancy gear, a contract with a leggings brand, etc. This isn’t to bash anyone who is a brand ambassador at all; but it is a reminder that hitting the perfect pose or looking like a million bucks isn’t as easy as many influencers make it seem.
I will be editing this video while working my final week at my full-time job (!!!) preparing for the launch of Our Future Footprint, and managing the stress of packing up my life and moving across the world. So it’ll be done in a few days. Sign up to subscribe to the blog and you’ll be the first to see it! Until then, namaste!