Thursday, June 11, 2015


You Should Drop Out

I had this horrible sensation in my stomach when I came to terms with my circumstances recently. It was the most powerful realization I've had in recent years. All of my energy and momentum was moving very rapidly in one direction. It seemed like I was making the right decisions and like everything was on track.

I was acting from the past! I was not taking into consideration my experience and the reality of my present. Much of my time in the last year has been spent discerning what I want and how I need to be to get there. It is pretty obvious that if you want something there are contributions you can make to have the scales tip in the favor of that which you would like to create. There I was; working, toiling, late nights, early mornings; invested in my future or so I thought.

Alas it wasn't my future I was working on; someone else's future, someone else's dream had infiltrated my consciousness and taken over. How did I find myself here? How did I choose this for myself? Why did my teacher let me down? Where to go from here? What the FUCK am I doing with my life?

The questions weighed heavy on my mind for several weeks. Push came to shove and for a variety of reasons I left the studio in the middle of asana class; I came back that evening to gather my belongings and have not been back since. My teacher didn't want me back anyway... I'm too challenging of a student never taking the teachings at face value and holding them accountable. This training wasn't for me and neither was the co-dependent relationship I had created there. Here is the crux of the issue; I was still reliving the past identifying myself with the plight of another. This is positive, you say, and it can be when in the right circumstances and mental framework. I had just completely dumped my life and my ideals and everything I stood for to follow another. This proved to be unhealthy for me as time went on I found myself trying more and more to please this person. I started noticing that no matter what I did it wasn't enough to please the high demands and low output I was experiencing. I found myself with limited financial resources and no promise of any betterment of the situation in the future meanwhile the person I was working for always seems to have everything they needed although constantly crying to me about their financial situation.

I WORKED FOR OVER FOUR MONTHS and in the end the teacher DENIED me my training!!!
Power games and mind control games were used to manipulate me. I was being paid less than the minimum wage and the work I needed to do for the training had been completed; the teacher denied me my training and has still refused to have proper written communication with me even after I sent them several written letters seeking resolution. I chose to put myself in this situation; unknowingly but I have to take responsibility for not drawing out correct boundaries and setting limits with a taker. I was given all these insinuations that I would be part of something greater but in the end it wasn't my studio and its obvious that the owner's intention was to take advantage of my 'volunteering' / low cost work which included redesigning their website, newsletter, managing their mindbody system and generally doing anything online for the business and running errands all over town. I can't keep this shit to myself!!!! In the end its all been worth it because I learned some VERY valuable lessons in this situation! DO NOT DO TRADES WITHOUT CONTRACTS KIDS! 90% of the time you will be taken advantage of!!!! Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing! They are all over! Since leaving the studio every sign of me has been removed and everything has continued as though I was never there. I sure feel appreciated; NOT.

So there it is in black and white. No one should be expected to perform when the energy they are investing is in no way reciprocated. I immediately set out to correct the deviation from my chosen path and let go of the old chords that were holding my progress back.

As soon as I decided to follow my own light I got a serving job right away and other opportunities have been coming out of the woodwork. My relationships are improving and life is swell. My new job pays over three times what I was receiving for my contribution to the Yoga studio and I am resetting my whole life. Considering many different paths.

It feels good! I AM STILL ON THE RIGHT PATH FOLLOWING MY DHARMA!! I am still studying and practicing Yoga!

It is good to fine tune and sharpen one's resolve. I am now creating this great routine that will facilitate my goals reaching fruition. I jumped off the right track and sped into someone else's track. It has been simple to reboot this time. I have a better employment situation, my family is happier because I see them more often and I am happy because I am training by myself again.

I learned a valuable lesson recently. I am my own best teacher. Gut feelings are there for a reason. We are here to have the best time. Anything that does not feel good should be re-analyzed, re-worked and created anew.

I am now finishing my NASM Personal Training Certification. I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week weight training. I do Yoga erry day... really I get on my mat for serious practice 5+ times a week. I am building MY vessel and opening to my truth. I am liberating myself from my EGO and releasing myself into the flow of the world instead of trying to orchestrate everything. I am not sure where I will go. I am sure that the world is my oyster and know that awesome things are happening right now.

We are getting our nursery growers licence today and will have our greenhouse erected by the end of the year at which time I will be launching my private personal training business and if all goes to plan I will be starting the teacher training of my choice in October; still iffy on that. So working on our nursery business growing edible and ornamental plants, personal training and more Yoga Teacher Training! AND I am going to relaunch my blogs this year with the help of a super cool Yoga marketing sister! YAY!!!!!

Life goes on!
Beware of false prophets.

If there is any advice I can offer to aspiring teachers like myself is to see right through the HYPE. Just because someone says Namaste 5 times a day and wears the coolest Yoga pants does not mean they are made of peace or enlightened. At the end of the day there is no evidence of your integrity greater than your actions NO MATTER HOW LONG YOU HAVE PRACTICED. No certification can make you a better person. Realize that we are all human and choose your teacher's well. Just because someone has been in business forever does not mean their heart and soul is in it.

I contacted several people I really respect in the industry after I had this unfold and they all told me about similar experiences that they had in their own journeys. It seems all of them had to leave something similar behind in order to come to their full truth. Sometimes our teachers are here to teach us about our shadow side. Things we are not comfortable with that create disharmony within ourselves manifesting into our 'real' world to teach us. It is important to take responsibility and not act through victim consciousness when you find yourself in a disharmonious situation. Look at what you created and then simply correct it. Take ownership of your contribution. The best thing to do is always to take a step back and reset yourself so that you may see your chosen path more clearly without the influence of others who might lead you astray for their own goals.

At the end of the day I am forever grateful for the experience despite the negativity attached to this situation. You might think its crazy; I send this person blessings daily so that they might come to terms with the reality they create and correct their part of the equation otherwise they will continue to make the same mistakes with other students. You do what you can! I am now going into my future with my eyes WIDE open! I am now even more motivated to do my own thing! I feel capable and fulfilled, I am in love with my life and everything in it.

As always thanks for reading!

Be at peace!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sva Dharma Project - Its about to get REAL real up in here!

Digging Deep

Your 'sva dharma' is your self-duty. Sva is you essential self and dharma means inherent purpose, in other words, your specific purpose. Part of my teacher training is to develop a project to connect with my most authentic and highest self. We are encouraged to serve as in Karma Yoga, find meaning and purpose by working with our Yoga, and developing our classes and/or by getting out of your comfort zone and trying new and exciting things. Everyone's Sva Dharma is different.

It was a no brainier for me.

You see my friends, my life, it was different in the past. I walked around for years carrying weight from past pain. I was made fun of and our family life was pretty awesome as I was growing up; but as all families we had our own specific levels of dysfunction. I have always felt like and outsider living a double life in a way.

I was born in Mass but went to Puerto Rico when I was 1yr old. I grew up around the Puertorican police force, US Customs, the Coast Guard and all divisions of the US military. My mom worked for Customs and I saw more guns, drugs, and drug traffickers by the time I was 15 than most people ever see in their entire lifetimes. It was the norm. Puerto Rico is beautiful but it has some VERY intense aspects with drug trafficking, gun and gang related crime. I experienced many sad moments growing up such as when my best friend's cousin was gunned down, one of the many unfortunate assassinations that occur in Puerto Rico and many parts of the world daily. Seeing my friends family grieve at her funeral was the saddest moment. Life lost for no reason my best friend hysterically crying wondering why her best friend (cousin) had been taken from her. This particular friend also lost her father when she was an infant also due to gang and gun violence. This deep sadness accompanies many on our island when these things occur.

My mother and father grew tired of the violence and wanted to give me an experience that was different. When I turned 14 we packed all our belongings and moved to London, England; where I lived for 9 years until I moved to the continental US in 2005. My parents worked at the Embassy and I went to high school in London. When I left high school I got deeply involved in the London underground party scene to escape the rigid, in my eyes, absurd government environment I grew up in. You could call me the 'black sheep' of the family along with my cousin.

What exactly is the point of all this?

I was LOST. I was depressed. I didn't feel like I fit in. I felt misunderstood. I felt ugly. Many people abused me on many levels and I was so sensitive I would retreat into my own inner world of fantasy reading and entertaining myself with simple pursuits during my youth. Due to the different types of abuse I experienced during my childhood I was left feeling worthless and without purpose. During my coming of age in my teenage years I experimented with a variety of negative practices; drugs, bad relationships, alcohol, promiscuity and a general lack of mindfulness. I pursued these unhealthy habits trying to escape my deep feelings of pain and inadequacy for not feeling able to deal with my struggles.

It wore me down until I found myself in a deep state of depression for the majority of my 20s. I was stuck in pain, resistance, scarcity and a mentality that would not take me anywhere but further into a hole. Fortunately in all this process I was able to expand my consciousness on many levels. I met many people during my work in the party scene that gave me hope for a brighter future. I saw the ultimate goal and knew that one day with faith and persistence I could remove the resistance from my path and build the life of my dreams.

Flash forward to Dec 2011; when I found out I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter. I quit smoking cigarettes at 8 weeks and kept that up until she was about 8 months old. Once I started smoking again my demons resurfaced and were exacerbated by my negative/co-dependent relationship with my daughter's father. We were miserable; boy does misery love company! Overtime our relationship deteriorated with the alcohol abuse and we parted ways about two months after beginning my Yoga journey in April of 2014.

I was so lost and in emotional pain that I felt I needed to make a change. I figured putting healthy habits in my life was a great way to begin eliminating past behavioral patterns. I joined the local YMCA and with the help of their childcare facility I began practicing Yoga 3-4 times per week with an amazing teacher; Tracy Trambauer from Still Lake Yoga in Clermont, FL.


As I began to feel better my desire to continue with my negative thinking and action patterns was eliminated and instead I found a new lease on life. I have become a creator NOT a victim.



In Sept of 2013 I put down my pack of cigarettes. I have occasionally smoked since then, yes. BUT nothing like the pack to pack and a half a day I smoked for 15 yrs.

March 22, 2015 was the last time I consumed alcohol. I had a pretty serious drinking problem despite my fitness and diet. I went back and forth quitting for a week here and a month there in the last year until I finally, with the help of a dear friend (I hope you are reading this), stopped associating myself with it in its totality. I am no longer my addiction!

I have done this all by the grace of universal energy. I have done it mostly on my own although the support of my family and close friends has been invaluable in this sensitive period of my life.

I have casually walked the path of faith and devotion to my practice carefully releasing the past and welcoming my future.

I am free now.

I now entertain positive and fruitful relationships. I have totally transformed my path and it is continuously evolving into something beyond my wildest dreams.

My life is AMAZING now.

Through this transformation I found my Yoga teacher and spiritual mentor, Shata Ben-Avari. I looked for a teacher training program after realizing I wanted to follow this as my life path. She is an extremely amazing warrior goddess. She spreads light in the dark and treats all god's children as her own. My teacher has given me the space to develop my practice by offering me a work trade scholarship to complete my Yoga Teacher Training. She has supported my efforts and has been a friend in times of need. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to be a role model and example to her students, customers, friends and family. I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done and continues to do for me and the local community. May we all be blessed with the same grace you show.

I am now the main manager for the studio and we are expanding soon. I am developing amazing friendships along this path. I feel righteous. I am pure light and the divine will of the collective conscious moves through me effortlessly on most days.

I would like to invite you to share in my journey. As part of my teacher training I am making a commitments to writing about my journey to health and unlimited abunDANCE. Discovering myself through the clarity of sobriety and releasing the experience by sharing it with others I can support those who find themselves where I was not long ago. This project wont stop when my training stops. It is a lifetime project to share my experience of Yoga so that I introduce others to the power of this ancient tradition. I work everyday to become the best instructor I can be and have no doubts that these changes will stick. I am working towards being Vegan 100% of the time. Currently my diet is about 70% raw vegan. It is healthy for me and makes me feel good. I am also going to transition my daughter to this diet teaching her the concept of Ahmisa (अहिंसा) or non-violence. I am also committing fully to the studio so that I may help to keep Yoga alive in this small community so that others may enjoy the healing aspects of Yoga. I am here to share. I am here to inspire. I am here to LIVE fully and passionately as I draw a new life full of LIGHT and the divine energy of unconditional LOVE.


With all my love! May we all be happy and free!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Year New Me New Blah Blah Blah

Do not let the title discourage you I'm not knocking the New Year's resolution thang.

You see, 2014, was a game changing year for me. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Found my inner voice through yoga.
  • Discovered the untapped well of my personal power; through yoga.
  • Realized that I can rely on myself to provide the support and attention my daughter needs.
  • Enjoyed the continued support of my loving family; they are always there through thick and thin. I am blessed.
  • I have learned to move forward no matter how unfortunate or desperate my circumstances have seemed in my minds eye.
  • I overcame my addiction to tobacco products after 15 years of abuse.
  • I realized that money is but an energy we trade and not something that deserves all the negative associations I had put on it.

There are many more highlights that I could share but these are the most relevant to the New Year.

The main thing I have gathered from 2014 is that perseverance is the key to pushing through the blockages and obstacles. I have prayed and done asana. I have chanted and danced my way to peace. I feel the force of change coursing through every fiber of my being in one big new age realization that I AM ONE with everything that exists.

What am I looking for in 2015?

Well I am not looking for anything. I am quite happy to report that I am found in every sense of the word. I decided to sign up to become a Certified Personal Trainer and am working my way towards that. I will be sitting my certification exam sometime during March or April and will have a new career to look forward to. In March I start my Yoga Teacher Training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you tell how excited I am about that???

Over the moon in fact.


As if that wasn't enough I will be driving a new to me car in the coming months which is a physical manifestation of all the blood sweat and tears I have shed in 2014 working towards a better future for myself and my loved ones. 2015 is going to see me unfold my wings and FLY!

What is the point here?

For you, dear reader, the point is to never give up. I have been challenged to the very core the last few years and had all but a shred of hope pushing me through to the next part of the process. I discovered Yoga and it wasn't a miracle cure. In fact practicing Yoga is one of the main reasons things got so crazy. The transformation that occurs when you study and apply the principles of the path are astounding. I have laughed and cried harder than ever before. I have been weeping on my mat after many powerful classes. I have found teachers and students interested in my process and my path. I have developed friendships and lost some connections. Most of all I have cultivated a solid relationship with myself through the practice of Yoga. My guiding light is ever present as I work every day to improve my mind and body to allow the spiritual awakening to unfold at its own pace.

one more thing:

I CAN DO FOREARM STANDS!!!! (well at the wall.... but its a start)

I invite you to develop your daily practice or ritual; whatever it is that brings you peace, realization and harmony. It is time to develop the highest parts of ourselves so that we may live in an integrated fashion with all of our parts working equally towards the same goal. Peace is found in balance of all the opposites. Its that gray area many of us fail to recognize among the black and white.

The one resolution I do have this year is to share more on my blogs. I have a hard time sitting down to do this but once I do the words flow through me. I really enjoy sharing these parts of my journey and will be working towards becoming more active in the blogosphere during this year.

I write these words with love, light, and healing to all beings with all their parts in all their walks of life and into death and rebirth. I wish you all the best 2015!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yoga And The Waves of Life

I have been taking Yoga more seriously for the last seven or eight months.

Sure; I was exposed to it long ago and have practiced many postures since I was a child. Lotus, wheel, and shoulder stand were all part of my childhood. I didn't know what it was I just knew it felt good and thought it was 'cool.'

In all of this practice I have been searching for the perfect course and the right teacher.


I have found something far different than I expected. Several well known teachers have not responded, promised things they later did not deliver and generally gave me a whole different impression of the practice and the 'scene'. I have looked and looked and can't seem to find the right fit. Recently I found another school I thought might be right for me. I found it odd that they more than respect their Guruji; they treat their spiritual master like an idol or god. Something does not feel right. It is like we are all equal but Guruji is more equal; this seems contrary to the concepts of yoga.

I already have a great teacher. This beautiful and graceful person has not done all the hoop jumping and paying and requirements to be certified to train instructors. YET... She is one of the best teachers I have found. There is a genuine concern for the student's progress, attention to detail in the instruction, breath  work (pranayama) in almost every class and the understanding that the postures are just a vehicle for mental and spiritual transformation. I have grown amazingly with this teacher and look forward to more.

What has lead to this new way of thinking is excessive pushing. One day my teacher said 'if you find that you are always pushing yourself to the maximum limit in every class; you must ask yourself why you are doing that.' I'm paraphrasing here but that was the gist of it; AND then it dawned on me: I am overachieving physically and missing the point spiritually.

I found myself with many questions inside especially after participating in one of the 'great' challenges on Instagram. There are many monthly challenges with postures each day.... You take a picture, post it and have a chance at 'winning' some mat, leggings, jewelry or other material thing. At first I thought this was a great way to stay motivated and participate in something 'larger' than myself. Connecting with this MASSIVE community on the interweb through my energy consuming hunk of tech.  
As I experienced the challenge firsthand I realized... The postures are thrown out with a short instruction and text. This is no replacement for a face to face encounter with an experienced teacher. There is little understanding of the meanings and philosophy behind each posture and a lack of respect for the discipline. For most its a glorified popularity contest to see who has the best photo. Login, see if you have won, take another picture, namaste and see you tomorrow. I am not participating in these challenges. Sometimes I need rest, some days the postures are not right for me, I can never find someone to photograph me and the whole point of yoga is missed in this competitive situation where $80 leggings and $90 mats are dangled in front of devotees like prizes for their dedications to these challenges.

Is this what yoga is all about?

We must open this discussion and ask these strong questions~!

How is it possible that you can go on a retreat, meditate with some people for a few months, pay some money and all of a sudden you can make humble devotees teachers. Do not confuse this exploration for bitterness or anger. This is a genuine concern for what is going on in this growing fad throughout the world. How is it possible that someone who has studied relatively little can suddenly call themselves a teacher and be looked up to as a master? By charging large quantities of money for these teachings does that mean that the poor do not have a right to yoga? Is it right to just go pay $2,000-4,000 to get a certificate saying you know much about this ancient and little understood discipline? 

Lets talk about this. I invite you readers to become participants. This is our blog. Lets explore what this really means.

With love light and healing vibrations for all.

Kelly Ann

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Eight Angle Pose - Astavakrasana

'Go do some of that yoga stuff!'

Many individuals laugh at the very thought of practicing yoga; it can be seen as a 'soft' discipline by those who are unaware of the potential the postures have for strengthening their muscles. It is always good to remember that a healthy body will help to produce a healthy mental state. As I have mentioned in previous posts it is important to remember that this is not the only part of yoga and it is beneficial to learn about the spiritual aspects of the discipline.

Since I began recently (in the last month or so) taking yoga much more seriously I can see that my strength, stamina and general well being have greatly increased. I can now do several poses I only dreamed of previously and I can balance for far longer than I have ever been able to. In only a month!

Lets look at yesterday's yoga practice. Once the teacher explained that we were about to do our 'challenge pose' I was wondering how far I could get. Frequently these poses tell me where I am and what needs work. The teacher usually shares at least one challenging pose that requires some practice before mastery. That is probably the main reason our teacher shares these with us; although that is just my assumption. The challenge pose shows some students that they are further than they first thought they were and shows other students what they can work up to with gentle persistence and dedication. The cool thing also is that it brings a bit of laughter as many of us think... Hmmm can I really do that? Then we enjoy trying it! Sometimes we are caught in some laughter as we try and have a small break from the seriousness of the practice.

In comes Astavakasana (dont ask me how to pronounce this) or the Eight - Angle Pose! Surely you have seen it! Here is a description from Yoga Journal on the pose and how they propose you do it.

I was shocked to find that with all the gentle exercises I have been practicing that I am now able to get my knee right the way above the back of my shoulder on each side! Now that I am doing my research I am finding that our teacher carefully works our bodies and chooses different poses to strengthen and stretch certain muscles.

So if you would like to build up to a pose you can do some online research or look to your books to see which simple exercises will slowly tone your body so that you can do the poses you have been looking at in awe. We can all train our bodies!

In order to achieve the eight - angle pose you need to practice the following poses suggested in this Yoga Journal article (check them out) I really enjoy all the information that site provides!

Here are the poses that will build you up to the Eight Angle pose and provide you with strength that will benefit other areas of your practice too:

  • Marichyasana I (Marichi's Pose)
  • Paripurna and Ardha Navasana (Full and Half Boat Pose)
  • Jatara Parivartanasana (Stomach-Revolving Pose).
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward-Facing Tree, a.k.a Handstand)
  • Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
  • Lolasana (Pendant Pose)
  • Eka Hasta Bhujasana (One Hand Arm Pose)
The truth is that many of these poses are difficult within themselves. This is why it is important to have a daily practice and have some form of goals although the point is not to focus on those goals but to gradually progress through your practice.

I am going to work on my upper body strength! Many of the poses I would like to work on involve a great deal of upper body strength! So after I publish and share this I will be practicing: plank, dolphin, dolphin plank, and the boat... One day I will be able to do handstands with ease and one day I will get to the Scorpion! You will see them happen!

I wish you the best in your practice. Don't forget the importance of breathing exercises and a relaxation before and after your practice to deepen the effects and let your energy flow.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

The birth of my yoga practice.

One of my favorite aspects of yoga is that it teaches us balance. Between the light and dark, excess and lack, movement and stillness; in this respect I find it is very similar to Taoism. I was introduced to Taoism and Tai Chi when I was in high school by my theater arts teacher. I remember, like it happened today, we would start many of our practical classes with a meditation where we all were lying on the floor and our teacher would guide us through some breathing exercises and mental visualizations. We also practiced several Tai Chi poses in class. The whole idea was that we needed a calm and focused demeanor to be good actors and theater professionals.

I cannot recall my first yoga class. I am not sure when it was. I went to a few here and there during high school or perhaps I just read about it. The memory of my first studio experiences is not clear. Since I spent over five years taking juggling and circus arts pretty seriously many of the people were either yoga teachers or acrobats so I guess that is where my love for yoga began.

I had some incredibly difficult experiences in 2005 that challenged me to the very core of my being. I found a true friend and soul brother who was nice enough to bring me to his dad's house and they let me stay in his sister's room for a few weeks while I was waiting to go back to London after this vacation turned nightmare. I felt so lost and confused. So many testing circumstances had occurred; I had faced some major demons from my childhood. For the first time ever I stood up for myself. Once my friend and his father graced me with the space, I found an incredible Craniosacral therapist to exchange services with me: I painted her kitchen and got 2 full treatments out of it. This was a very deep healing time from traumatic wounds I was only vaguely aware of up to that point. I began doing yoga for at least 45 mins a day in the morning and the evening. I spent two weeks in that habit.

This was my birth into yoga.

Since then I have done yoga on and off in studios and on my own with friends and teachers. I had never taken it seriously until recently another set of incredibly trying circumstances has lead me full circle back to yoga. This time it has been different. I have walked so many miles since my last experience of connection to yoga that I know now this is my true path.

I just started reading 'Light on Yoga' by B.K.S. Iyengar recently and am taken by the way my mind has instinctively worked into the ideologies of yoga without having formally studied it.

Every day my practice deepens and I am slowly leaving behind all that does not serve my purpose. I have found a new form of strength within the practice and a determination to persist with my physical, mental and spiritual purging of all that separates me from the true guiding light of my soul.

I hope that within my writings you will be able to find inspiration and information that could lead you to select a spiritual discipline that will help you do the same.

Tonight is our weekly Sivananda practice. There is a possibility I might not be able to attend but I am committed to doing the practice even if I am not physically present in the class with my fellow students and our gifted teacher.

Every day there is a new birth. Every day there is a new person I see. This person has always been inside of me. I am at peace and know everything will be exactly the way it is supposed to be.

May the light shine deep within your soul!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What exactly is this stuff they call yoga?

Most people in the 'West' think that yoga is a bunch of crazy looking poses that a bunch of very flexible people do. Unfortunately; that is one of the many misconceptions which leads many non-westerners and traditionalists to shun the new and modern interpretation of these ancient disciplines. I really hope that we all learn acceptance of each other no matter how challenging it might be.

It is much easier for me to explain yoga as I see it currently. A discussion of the depth and scope that I enjoy of what yoga really is and its origins would take far longer to read than a short blog post. It will take years of study for me to be able to succinctly express what yoga really is; if there is any way it can just be summed up!

To me yoga is very simply a variety of techniques that are designed to work the mind, body and spirit. Within the teachings the seeker will learn about breath control, body control and mental focus. These different aspects are achieved though a variety of means. I like looking at the concept of the eight limbs; Ashtanga means eight limbs. Most modern interpretations of yoga in the west do not really focus on the eight limbs and really just put emphasis on the postures for the well-being of the body.This of course depends on the teacher and the student. If you do not see anything other than the body then you are limited in what your practice will provide for you. If you are just looking for a good workout then just practicing postures will help to strengthen your body and will provide peace and serenity but in my experience the postures are just one small aspect of what yoga can do for those who choose to delve into the depths of their practice.

I found an excellent synopsis of the eight limbs of yoga in a Yoga Journal post and a more thorough explanation can be found at Expressions of Spirit. Both are excellent introductions to the eight limbs and can give you an idea of how deep some aspects of yogic philosophy go.

This is by no means the only way to see yoga. It simply is the way I have been looking at it recently. Again I cannot stress enough how vast the practice of yoga is and how many different interpretations there are of these ancient arts.

In summary yoga is a series of different codes and practices designed to train the mind to surrender to the ultimate source of peace and unconditional love that resides within each and every human being and pervades all consciousness.

By practicing yoga you learn to stop depending on archaic forms of self-limitation and connect to your highest good. It is a tool for evolution of the mind and tranquility of the soul. Through practice and dedication we can all be connected to our highest states of being.

As always thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and share your experiences and thoughts.