Photo credit: Ash Christensen

I practice yoga to keep discipline in my life and to keep my mind, body and spirit in good health. What I encounter on my mat is practice for everything else. Yoga is my way of life and the more I practice and learn; the more my viewpoint and my way of life shifts into balance. Yoga is a practice of balance and moderation. Yoga is a way to live with conciousness; focusing on the matters at hand and making choices with complete awareness. Yoga is an orderly way of living, allowing for one’s stream of conciousness to become crystal clear. A merging of the personal stream of consciousness into the collective consciousness of all that has ever existed, all that exists now and all that ever will exist. A merging into all space and time and beyond. A merging into the deepest nature of self and deeper into the deepest universal being. Yoga is Yin and Yang. All of space and time is yoga. Yoga is the mother of love and creativity and the father of efficiency and razor sharp awareness. Yoga is merging the solid and the ethereal and a melting away of what is not needed anymore. A melting into now. A constant cleansing and awakening, growing, dying and renewal. Yoga is life.

I have been studying and practicing Ashtanga Yoga philosophy and asana since 1998. After 10 years of practicing and studying I decided to help spread the love by teaching as well, but I still consider myself first and foremost a student. I have been teaching yoga at the Front Climbing Club in Salt Lake City since 2009 and have continued to study as much as possible with my favorite teachers.

I truly and deeply love Ashtanga Yoga. I want to share this amazing practice from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his teacher Sri Tiramulai Krishnamacharya, who walked for 2.5 months to a cave at the foot of Mount Kailash in Tibet to learn from his teacher, Yogeshwara Ramamohana Brahmachari. I am so grateful to be part of a lineage that has brought inner abundance and harmony, and outer discipline and health to my life and well as the lives of many others around the world. Experiencing a deeply rooted yoga practice can bring insight into the meaning of the experience of life; paraphrasing Richard Freeman.

Studies, accreditations and workshops:

I  am grateful to have learned from so many amazing Ashtanga teachers; Richard Freeman, Mary Taylor, Samuel Brown, Jeff Silverstein, David Miliotis, Devorah Sacks, Chad HerstVance Selover, Catherine Shaddix, Rolf and Marci Naujokat and Eddie Stern. 

Ganesha was created by Parvati using clay, to protect herself. Shiva beheaded him when Ganesha came between Shiva and Parvati. Shiva then replaced Ganesha’s original head with that of an elephant.[54] Details of the battle and where the replacement head came from varying from source to source.[55][56] Another story says that Ganesha was created directly by Shiva’s laughter. Because Shiva considered Ganesha too alluring, he gave him the head of an elephant and a protruding belly.[57]

Ganesha’s earliest name was Ekadanta (One Tusked), referring to his single whole tusk, the other being broken.[58] Some of the earliest images of Ganesha show him holding his broken tusk.

[59] Ganesha’s protruding belly appears as a distinctive attribute in his earliest statuary, which dates to the Gupta period (4th to 6th centuries).[61] This feature is so important that according to the Mudgala Purana, two different incarnations of Ganesha use names based on it: Lambodara (Pot Belly, or, literally, Hanging Belly) and Mahodara (Great Belly).[62] Both names are Sanskrit compounds describing his belly (IAST: udara).[63] The Brahmanda Purana says that Ganesha has the name Lambodara because all the universes (i.e., cosmic eggs; IAST: brahmāṇḍas) of the past, present, and future are present in him.[64] The number of Ganesha’s arms varies; his best-known forms have between two and sixteen arms.[65] Many depictions of Ganesha feature four arms, which is mentioned in Puranic sources and codified as a standard form in some iconographic texts.[66] His earliest images had two arms.[67] Forms with 14 and 20 arms appeared in Central India during the 9th and the 10th centuries.[68] The serpent is a common feature in Ganesha iconography and appears in many forms.[69] According to the Ganesha Purana, Ganesha wrapped the serpent Vasuki around his neck.[70] Other depictions of snakes include use as a sacred thread (IAST: yajñyopavīta)[71] wrapped around the stomach as a belt, held in a hand, coiled at the ankles, or as a throne. Upon Ganesha’s forehead may be a third eye or the sectarian mark (IAST: tilaka), which consists of three horizontal lines.[72] The Ganesha Purana prescribes a tilaka mark as well as a crescent moon on the forehead.[73]