Drop Back Tips



Above are tangible tips for dropping back by Certified Ashtanga yoga teacher David Garrigues. I prefer teaching the overhead position when dropping back as well. Take a look.



"I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude." - Bruce Lee   

My technique is daily practice. It's as simple as that. Easy, no, not always, but a straight forward, direct approach. I guess you can say, there are no magic bullets. At some point and probably not in this lifetime, the practice in itself will have to fall away. No longer needing to be identified with the tool, but able to sit in the state of yoga alone. Perfect oneness. Hmmmm. Sounds wonderful. Can't say I know what that is like in my everyday living. Though, I've tasted glimpses. Tiny little trickles that keep me hanging on - knowing somewhere deep within the spaces, filled with conscious breath, will reveal the light, moving stillness brings.

I've had an interesting past several months. I took the opportunity to practice with a number of guest teachers. Self-practice is my bread and butter in between trips to Mysore, but I guess you can say I'm always curious about well known teachers. From awesome, to decent, to down right bad, I've experienced it all, and everything in between, and what I've found is there is always something to be learned by various teachers. Always. It's inevitable, there will be those we just won't resonate with, while others we'll hang on to every word and instruction like a treasure. It's never one size fits all.

Sometimes I'm left wondering what is really being offered? Did I sign up for an experience of staged charisma and a bagful of techniques to buy into? What happened to the internal alignment? Is this only about perfecting asana or is it about entering into the places inside left unopened? I don't have the answers but the yoga industry more and more is sounding like some type of new age "please fix me because I'm broken" type of thing, that well, seems to work for some and keeps them feeling as if they are doing yoga.

"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."            - Bruce Lee

There will always be differing points of view and it takes time to filter through it all. Understanding what feels good in this moment for me has become an important factor. I had one teacher out of the blue tell me I'll break my knees doing Bhekasana (Intermediate series) in the manner I was doing it, which not to mention, was clearly instructed to me by another very well known teacher.  Huh?! Well, to date, my knees have felt really good, and I just don't seem to understand the fear based instruction being offered. The attitude didn't feel good, and in the process my knee was tweaked by being pushed into something that the teacher felt structurally I should have been doing, that in the process totally bypassed the energetic component. Which is often missed. One thing I have learned, through experimentation, if a teacher breaks me, at least I know the practice will heal me.

I've been around the bend enough to tell the difference between being adjusted from the core versus the periphery. What do I mean by this? Well, an adjustment that aligns the energy to the central axis of the body versus molding it into an external structure, hence a "yoga journal" pose - alignment that may look good in the magazines but is all wrong energetically and therapeutically. It is easily felt. It feels like connecting only to the periphery. No internal engagement. It's so interesting, and even though the experience didn't feel good and had my knee popping in and out of place for several days afterward, I really learned the difference, and felt it in my body clearly from the experience. At least for that I can be thankful. A light bulb moment, knowing that, hey, I'm on the right track here. After 15 years of yoga practice maybe I know at least little bit about the mechanics of my body.

As a teacher, I have learned to see where there is no energy flow. It goes much deeper than just looking at the structure. Is there a free flow of energy running through the circuits of the body? Where is there dead space? It's amazing how many of us carry dead space in our bodies, and it's beautiful when it begins to awaken. Through time, a sixth sense begins to develop in feeling/sensing where these areas arise in students. With much to still learn, the subtleties and unseen parts, the spaces, are what leave me fascinated, and undoubtedly knowing there is a vast amount to discover and realize.

"A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at." - Bruce Lee 

Ashtanga yoga is an energetic practice. On so many levels. The importance of getting the body circulating first is key to the development of practitioners starting out, hence the internal alignment. I've seen how time and time again when starting from this point, through consistency, the practice and the body start to take shape. Which we see externally. The by product.

Exceptional teachers will adjust the body in a manner which will further the engagement or alignment internally. I have felt it many a times with experienced teachers coming from this place. Where when moved, I feel the central axis of the body more pronounced through the adjustment. The interesting part is how it looks on the outside may be amply different from person to person depending on what stage they are in - the further beauty of the Mysore method of practicing and teaching - working individually while having the energy of the group to carry one through.

What I've also come to discover is the vast difference felt with those teachers who continue to work with a teacher themselves even if they have reached a certain apex in their work, especially in the tradition they are teaching in. It means a lot to me, and I seem to connect to those who continue working with teachers or go to the source so to speak or have done so long term. It is a different experience when practicing with those who use the name to further their reach as teachers but in the end don't really respect where it is coming from. Because in the end, what are we promoting?

“Zen is not “attained” by mirror-wiping mediation, but by “self-forgetfulness in the existential ‘present’ of life here and now.” We do not “come”, we “are.” Don’t strive to become, but be.” - Bruce Lee

Happy Thanksgiving!


There's much to be thankful for. A practice in gratitude.

Here in Sweden it is just any other day - any other snowy day to be exact - winter is in FULL affect right now! And so, I take time to count my blessings, big and small, and feel the beauty and grace that surrounds me like a warm, cozy blanket. Gratitude does exactly that - it warms me.

Have A Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! XOXOXO

A Tradition


For those who aren't familiar with my history, well, I'm a Buckeye. I graduated at The Ohio State University and was a cheerleader for all my years there. So, I guess you can say I was intimately involved with game day. The memories are still a part of me and somehow I have a feeling they always will. They were good times. Go Bucks! Beat Michigan!

Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation


Many of you have heard about my experiences with the liver and gallbladder cleanses. Following the guidelines of Andreas Moritz and totally blown away by the results of his recommendations I was then inspired to browse his other highly recommended book. A wealth of information, I especially appreciated the chapter on living in tune with the bio rhythms of the earth. It's fascinating, and a true testament to how our bodies naturally want to be healthy and in state of homeostasis.

No. He isn't a physician which in a way comforts me, especially when he has found his way to radiant health while previously suffering from ill health. When it comes to health I always look to the author as an example, and he truly is. It has to be an experiential experience. I've already been experimenting with some of his recommendations when comes to my daily routine and it's been wonderful. Prevention is key, and why not do little things to keep everything in check? It's like having my own health insurance in a way. It's really good stuff!!!

Maybe nothingness is to be without your presence,
without you moving, slicing the noon
like a blue flower, without you walking
later through the fog and the cobbles,
without the light you carry in your hand,
golden, which maybe others will not see,
which maybe no one knew was growing
like the red beginnings of a rose.
In short, without your presence: without your coming
suddenly, incitingly, to know my life,
gust of a rosebush, wheat of wind:
since then I am because you are,
since then you are, I am, we are,
and through love I will be, you will be, we will be.
Pablo Neruda

Lino Miele {Navasana}

"Give me, for my life,
all lives,
give me all the pain
of everyone,
I’m going to turn it into hope.
Give me
all the joys,
even the most secret,
because otherwise
how will these things be known?
I have to tell them,
give me
the labors
of everyday,
for that’s what I sing"
- Pablo Neruda



One of my dearest friends from across the pond sent me this poem. We always like to give each other anecdotes, inspirations, and support over cyberspace. Though not always as good as the real thing it's a testament to how important it is to continue to stay connected. I feel so much love and appreciation to those who have continued to encourage me even through all my faults, foibles, and periods of withdrawal. Yes, we are one. I love this.

"Called beyond the confines of this 
Chrysalis by a force I cannot see 
or name, I am compelled by pain 
And something bigger than myself
To leave the protection of all that I
have known. There is struggle, doubt, 
an awkward setting forth. Finally I 
Break free of the cocoon and find 
myself surrounded by air and light. 

I dare to act, still not knowing what
I am; instinct, or maybe faith bids me 
move forward, make the leap, explore
this mystery of change and fight. 

I find myself with wings that dwarf
my former world. Unfurled, they dry 
quickly in the sun. I who expected 
to spend my days crawling, now
teach myself to soar. Such a rush 
of wind and freedom - that first 
flight teaches me more than I had
learned a lifetime of crawling."

- Unknown


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