Bad Ash

Choosing Your Path

Choosing Your Path

Yoga has been a part of my life before I knew what yoga actually was.  And I’m not talking about being able to bend and twist your body into contortionist postures… I’m referring to a way of being.  Seeing the world with open eyes and an open heart, without holding judgment, and recognizing the connection that we all have to one another and to the earth.  As a young child I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but in what capacity I didn’t know.  Even when I went to my first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I did not think that teaching yoga was my calling. I just wanted to know more about the spiritual aspects of the practice.  Within the first few days of my program I was inspired, intrigued, and motivated. I knew that I was embarking on the path that I was meant to be on. From that moment forward I knew that I could never know it all, that I would forever be the student on this journey that we call life, and to me that was thrilling.

Vipassana: Meditation Course or Prison Camp?

Vipassana: Meditation Course or Prison Camp?

Recently, I attended a Vipassana Meditation course outside of Rockford, IL.  These meditation courses are offered all over the world & are free to any who would like to participate.  This course is 10 Days and asks you to observe Noble Silence, and to relinquish any of your regular activities (i.e. exercise, reading, journaling, etc.) to strictly focus on learning this meditation technique.  My experience is outlined is a revealing, candid, and really lengthy blog post titled, "Vipassana: Meditation Course or Prison Camp?" ... I hope you are intrigued.

Midwest Yoga Tales

Well I've been back in the Illinois for a month now, and I'm busy as a bee. My main purpose for my travels to Central Illinois; my sister is tying the knot, and I want to be a part of it. When you live the life I live, you tend to miss out on a lot of the family birthdays, parties, happenings, and I wasn't about to miss all of my sister's events leading up to her big day.  And of course, while I'm here I'm going to be teaching yoga classes around the area.

The bride to be, my sister Kiley, and me headed to her Bachelorette Party in St. Louis on a sunny Midwest day.

I'm so excited to be back at The Breathing Tree in Canton, IL for a guest teaching appearance. Fellow yoga instructor and childhood friend Nathan Taylor has opened this amazing space in the quaint square in my hometown, and I'm excited to be able to teach as many classes as he will let me. See my schedule here.

Along with my drop-in classes at The Breathing Tree, I also was able to do a speciality Yoga & the Voice class at Heading OM in Peoria, IL.  Thank you to the amazing students that were in attendance.  Yoga & The Voice is a speciality class based around the Vishuddha Chakra that I have working on and have taught several times.  Focusing on our point of purification and creativity, this class has been a wonderful chance for me to strengthen my own voice and join with others in harnessing this powerful energy.

I will be at Heading OM again on the evening of Monday, May 23rd to lead a guided Chakra Meditation.  I have been working with the chakras quite a bit in the last couple of years, and am excited to incorporate this into my speciality class repertoire.  After all, when you teach, you are able to better learn.  As a teacher of yoga, your job of learning and being the student never ends.

Also, while I've been in the Midwest, I was able to make a quick trip and venture to NYC with my friends and fellow yoga instructors, Mali Shields and Kat Wood, for a workshop with renowned yoga instructor Jason Crandell. I must admit that I haven't known much of Jason until my friend introduced him to me a year ago. The 3 day workshop was geared towards yoga instructors and coming back to your personal practice, which as an instructor you can easily lose touch with your personal practice as you are wrapped up in teaching.  Each day we were treated to a 3 hour asana practice, that I must admit kicked my butt, but I was grateful for it.  My personal practice easily goes off kilter when I'm traveling all the time to teach, and spending more time focusing on what I'm going to teach, how to make my classes more challenging and interesting, rather than coming back to the mat and focusing on myself.  Along with the personal practice, Jason has motivated me to get back to my blog, and adding content to my pages, as well as getting back to my steady e-mailing of my students, which seems to have fallen off a bit in the last year.  Needless to say... I think you'll be hearing more from me in the coming year.

Jason Crandell demonstrating an adjustment on revolve triangle pose, during his 3 day retreat in NYC.

Yogis & bad ass handstanders Kat Wood & Mali Shields really lit a fire under my bad ash to get my handstand going. :)

Drawing inspiration from my marvelous friend Kat Wood and Jason's course, I've decided to start conquering the handstand.  Yes, I practice the handstand and at some points can nail it, but it's not a consistent asana that I have in my practice.  I want it to be, and having a goal like this is a good motivation to have in general.  My friend Kat (follow her on Instagram) is near completing 365 days of handstands... She amazes me and I am inspired to do it myself.  So prepare yourself for a year of me trying to master being upside down.  So it begins... see my video below... 

Having some technical difficulties getting my video up... until I get it on my site, see it on Instagram!

Bad Ash ad made by Shoots Productions in Maui!

Recently I hosted the Down the Hatch Lahaina Local Showcase in Maui, Hawaii.  It was definitely one of my favorite events to spearhead & host, because working in fashion, so to speak, is something that I have never done before.  However, I was able to direct this entire event and then host it.  It was such an amazing evening in Lahaina with everyone dressed to the nines, and tons of beautiful women and men strutting the catwalk for some really amazing local vendors in Maui. As a vendor of the showcase (which I was), we were all given a promotional ad by the very talented Vini Pimenta of Shoots Productions in Maui. Above is my ad.  I have to admit, the first time I saw it I was a little embarrassed because it seemed very "me, me, me"... but then I realized... I am my brand, and that is me, and I shouldn't be embarrassed to sell myself.  Thank you to Vini for telling me that too. ;) All around I walked away from the showcase with a lot of new experience, new friends & colleagues, and this sick video.  Thanks again Vini, you da best brah!