Here’s a yoga photo for those that don’t read my captions 😊 (it’s not a handstand 🤷♂️) and a caption that I hope you all take a moment to read. .
It’s the most wonderful... it’s the most wasteful time of the year! In america, we throw away 25% more trash during the holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week! .
If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. .
There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year. There are close to 350 million Real Christmas Trees currently growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S. alone, all planted by farmers. What if we didn’t cut down all these trees, or used this land to grow something useful not wasteful. Fake trees are even worse. Just decorative garbage. The US uses more power for just Christmas lights then some small countries use in an entire year. This is a global problem! I encourage you to look up your countries excess waste during the holidays. Educate your friends and be a part of the solution. .
Simple solution. Don’t buy Christmas trees, don’t buy holiday decorations, don’t light up your house, wrap your gifts with used news paper, old magazines, other recyclable material or in something that won’t be thrown away. Don’t waste food. Give gifts that aren’t single use commodities. Make a phone call instead of sending a card. Spend time with loved ones rather than money. Play holiday music. (I won’t, Xmas songs drive me crazy) You can just as easily enjoy your holidays without all the holiday waste.
Please excuse the non-yoga photo. (backstory) I was a serious rock climber before I started yoga. The more I got into yoga, the less I climbed. It's been about eight years since I rock-climbed consistently. Now it's usually only a few times a month and almost always in a climbing gym. I have always been a boulderer. For those that don't climb, bouldering is where you climb close to the ground without ropes, and you use pads for safety. .
This kind of climbing is not what I'm used to or ever been used to. In this photo, I'm on the 4th pitch out of eight. I had been climbing or hanging off of the wall for about 4 hours and a few hundred feet off the ground. Although I know I was completely safe and well within my climbing skills (this part of the mountain was a 6c+) I was entirely out of my comfort zone and in the best place I could be. .
On the next pitch, my buddy that I was climbing with had a bad fall on a traverse and was hanging free away from the rock with nothing to grab to or pull himself up. (He only got mildly hurt.) It took an hour and a half to rescue him, hanging hundreds of feet up with nothing but the void underneath before we were able to continue climbing. For some reason, this really messed with my head. We had another three pitches to go, the sun was starting to get low, and I was ready to get off the mountain. Way out of my comfort zone, but it wasn't in the way that I like. After a few more hours of climbing and my buddy also frazzled from the experience and having difficulty climbing on, the 3 of us finally made it to the top and hiked out. .
I believe these experiences teach us more about ourselves than all the philosophy you can read. I am so grateful to learn about myself in these moments and to be able to grow from them. It's not a lesson that I could or would want to put into words. I can only hope that you too place yourself outside of your place of comfort (safely of course) so that you can learn the true lessons this life has to teach.
Arm balances have always been one of my favorite tools to build strength and balance. I put together a short 15 minute routine on @alo.moves that will help you up your arm balance game too, I also break down a few one arm balances. Click the link in my bio to check out my new class “Arm Balance Builder 2” to give it try. See if you can make it through all the exercises with me! (There’s an Arm Balance Builder 1 if you’re not ready for 2 yet!)
Are you happy or are you sad? These are the two most basic emotions, and as humans, we are subject to feeling both of them and essentially ruled by them. These two emotions control our lives, and every decision we make is based on the result of feeling good or feeling bad, either selfishly; we do something and it makes us feel happy, or altruistically; we do something for someone else that makes them feel good. .
Life becomes a roller coaster of looking for the highs of being happy to avoid the lows of being sad. We also direct our lives based on these outcomes with short-term versus long-term happiness. We will often sacrifice short-term happiness like struggling at a job or going to through schooling or training if we know that the outcome will bring us greater joy in the long run. Conversely, we do things for instant gratification, like eating something that's delicious but we know it is unhealthy or smoking even though we know that it could cause cancer and early death. .
When I feel happy, I might say happiness is a choice and for the most part, it is, based on how I choose to prescive life and the situations it gives me, yet sometimes I still find myself being sad no matter how much I want to choose to be happy. So is it really a choice like we like to say?
The best we can hope for in the sad times is clarity. For the top of every wave, there is a bottom. As we progress down this journey called life, there is a constant oscillation of change as we rise and fall with the passing waves. We work to live a life where we aren't on the bottom so often but when we are, if we can maintain a clear mind, and a clear heart, even the bottom of the waves will still reflect the light. . May we always see the light my friends. . 📷 @icreatelife_
The beauty of devotion lays in the hands of joy and dedication through the love of the practice, growth results. Effort alone will only go so far; but when love is behind the effort, effort ceases to be an effort. The need for progress becomes meaningless, and bliss manifests in all actions regardless of the need for a destination. It's how we decide to get there rather than where we think we are going.
To understand balance is to understand the opposites. If I take a thread and pull it in opposite directions I’ll find a point in the middle where it's not being pulled in either direction, it’s absolutely centered and absolutely balanced. This is the space that I look for, but I can only find this space if I pull in both directions. If I pull to the extremes, to the extreme of absolute surrender and the extreme of absolute effort, I come to the place where the two meet. I find truth. The truth that they both equally exist in this universe and the balance point is where you are pulled to both extremes and neither extreme equally.
Pike press and back bend press. Pike press to handstand can be a very challenging journey. Pressing from a back bend is even harder although many of the body mechanics are the same in both. Not only do you need a deep back bend but you also need to maintain a substantial amount of core tension to lift up into handstand. The majority of the work comes from the shoulders. In both presses you need to align the hips directly above the shoulders and work the shoulders back to center as soon as the feet lift. (Observe how my hips move in both presses) It can also be challenging to find straight handstand alignment after lifting up from a back bend. I don’t recommend trying this unless you feel really comfortable with backbends and you have a really strong core. . Wearing @aloyoga
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” .
Everyone loves a sale! And I love a sale that gives back! @Aloyoga ’s charity foundation “Alo Gives” is giving a portion of their Black Friday sale proceeds to bring mindfulness and yoga programs to 2 million school kids! I’m so grateful for companies like this, that are making a difference! Get early access to @aloyoga Black Friday sale and save 30% with the promo code INSTA30
Unless failure results in death or severe injury, why do we care about failure? We doubt ourselves, our self-worth, we worry about what others think. Doubt can be a debilitating factor that leads to fear of failure. But failure should never be something to fear. If I try and fail, I will only get better, and stronger, because unless it kills me, I'm going to try again. But if I fail to try then that is in itself a much greater failure.
This pose like all arm balances is about maintaining stability. The more bent arm stability you’re able to maintain, the easier the variations of this pose will be.
Key things that will make this arm balance dramatically easier. 1. Place your knee above the elbow rather than higher on the triceps or in the armpit. When your knee is on the elbow, it aligns the hips over the hands, stacks the thigh bone directly above the forearm and allows for an easier center of balance. 2. Squeeze the arms towards the midline. A common mistake is to let the elbows to open outwards. When this happens, you’ll lose stability. 3. Keep the shoulders the same height. Often when moving to single leg crow, people will lean towards the arm with the knee on it. This places all the weight on one side, and again you’ll lose stability. 4. Shift the weight forward towards the fingertips. If the pressure stays in the heel of the hands, the hips won’t be far enough forward to maintain balance. Bring the weight into the fingers and it will be effortless to lift the leg. Of course, now you have to confront the fear of falling on your face. A pillow makes a perfect prop to help with this fear. 5. Lift from the glute. If you’re having trouble lifting the leg, go back to step 4, bring one knee to the center, and raise the leg with a bent knee. Make sure to use the butt muscle to do the heavy lifting. . It takes awhile to develop the bent arm and core stability to make these transitions. If you notice, my hips stay roughly in the same place through all the transitions, and my arms and shoulders don’t move. . Play around with these variations. It can be challenging to incorporate all these new cues. Just changing the position of the knee can be super challenging if you’re used to having it higher but once you’re able to incorporate it, the more advanced variations will be so much easier.
I was recently asked what has been the most difficult obstacle and how did I overcome it? If I think of I think of an obstacle as something that hinders or prevents my progress, then I would say that I am my own biggest obstacle, and getting out of my way is really the challenge. This is something that I work on daily through my meditation practice. By seeing things objectively rather than through my "lens" or from my perspective, I can begin to see reality for what it is and not just how I look at it. This allows me to act from a place of truth rather than from my place of perception which is never the truth. Then I can see obstacles more as challenges that don't impede my growth but create the catalyst for change. Anything that holds us back is also there to push us to get better. If we didn't have obstacles, we wouldn't have the need to overcome and without that, how could we grow? . Photo by @icreatelife_ Wearing @aloyoga