New Year, Same me

New year, new me…right?


Much like the beginning of 2022, this year is all about going back to the beginning. Returning to the start of my yoga practice has been tough. Unlearning a lot of asana focused aspects of western yoga while still trying to get some movement into my body has been a real struggle in 2022. The movement focused health mentality has really become deeply ingrained in my mind. Luckily, with so many programs focusing on rest, I’m reminded that rest is also a self-care, healthy habit.

So here I am, starting 2023 relearning ancient yogic practices not related exclusively to movement. I’m also trying to start each day by doing something for myself. Lately it’s been doing some mild stretches and making sure I make breakfast before starting work. During the days, I walk as much as I can, slowly building up to a daily mileage goal that is realistic and achievable.

Small steps…it’s all about small steps back to wellness.

National Yoga Month

As National Yoga Month in the U.S. comes to an end, I can’t help but think of all the visual representations I see which are generally, stereotypically associated with yoga. Yes, I’m talking about yoga asana or postures.

Think about it. How often do you see someone living their yoga on Instagram or Facebook? How often do you see someone meditating or being mindful on Instagram or Facebook? Now, how often do you see someone in a headstand or handstand…or another “advanced” yoga posture?

As much work as we do to disassociate yoga solely with yoga asana, it seems the Western world is prevailing. I still more often than not see white bodies in what are considered “advanced” yoga postures all over social media, doing what they consider “advanced” yoga asana sequences on YouTube or other social media channels.

So what are some ways we can represent yoga without centering asana?

I’m glad you asked!

Here are some ways I have represented the yoga I practice and live without centering asana:

  1. Journaling
  2. Mantra Meditation
  3. Mindful Meals
  4. Drinking Water
  5. Reading Yoga Philosophy

Now clearly this isn’t an exhaustive list in the least. However, it might give you some ideas on how to practice and live yoga in the fullest expression of yoga…not just focus on asana! (And yes, I do like doing headstands and asana sometimes too! There is nothing wrong with asana.)

Back to the Beginning…

2021 was not my year for yoga. I thought it would be, I thought it would be the year I soared in the yoga world, maybe even made it better.

But I crashed. Hard. I flew too close to the sun and my wings melted and I felt back to Mother Earth.

Some would term this an existential crisis in yoga and they would be right. I gave in. I stopped teaching regularly and I stopped practicing regularly. I lost my practice. I tried to come back to it, time after time, yet something just wasn’t right. So I gave in to figure out what was going on with me and my yoga practice.

So I started doing other things. I grew a garden, I baked, I baked with ingredients from my garden. I traveled to see family and friends. I did a lot of things that nourished me and made me start to feel whole again. As I started to feel whole, I started to feel called to yoga once again. I started to miss the meditations and the asana practices. I started to miss the person I was when I practiced regularly.

So, here we are in 2022 and I’ve rededicated myself to my yoga practice. I have begun to wake up early and take classes. I’m back to being a student again, back to finding my love of yoga. I’m glad you’re still here for the ride!


Detachment is not that you own nothing, but that nothing should own you. {Alī}

Fear, anxiety, sadness…these are all emotions I’ve felt so deeply. It’s often felt as if they’ve owned me, they were how I defined myself.

Practicing detachment and grounding myself to the present has helped me release the hold these feelings have had on me. This doesn’t mean I don’t feel them. I do. Often. But they no longer own me. They no longer permeate my being. I am able to let these feelings go, using my yoga. And my Sangha.

How can we continue to practice detachment throughout our lives?

Here are some tips on how to embrace detachment:

  1. First and foremost, understand and accept that you can not control everything. This will take some time, but continue to remind yourself of this. Daily if necessary.
  2. Try to stop making your happiness or gratitude conditional on something outside of yourself. Don’t just say you’re happy because you’ve hit a goal, got a promotion, or got the thing you’ve been after. Express gratitude for the daily things in your life. Express happiness and joy for moments you’re experiencing daily.
  3. Recognize the difference between a need and a want. You need water. You want a fancy car.
  4. Try to reframe your experiences, your work responsibilities, everything you do as blessings.
  5. Try to practice compassion and empathy. Try to see the world from another’s point of view. Observe your surroundings rather than trying to constantly experience or control them.
  6. Don’t focus on the outcome or goal of a situation, focus on the experience of getting there. Whether it’s a trip or a project. Try to embrace the experience of it rather than just getting to the end of it.
  7. Before doing anything, pause. Take a deep breath. Proceed with clarity of mind and thought as much as possible.

New Year, New You? Maybe not…

The new year is here. So many of us may feel such a sense of relief that 2020 is over. All the pain, all the frustration, all the wrong. It has to be over, right? A new year brings opportunity for growth, for change. As the old saying goes, new year, new me!

Maybe not…

2020 brought on a great deal of pain. COVID-19 came and spread with such voracity, no one saw it coming. So in this new year, do we think it will just go away? Does making our traditional resolutions make COVID gone? Does the existence of multiple vaccines make it possible to go back to the way things were?

I think not. Time, like many things, is a man-made construct. This idea that a new year will bring immense change is a large burden to place on ourselves. Yes, 2021 is going to provide changes and opportunities. We’ll have a new president. We will hopefully have greater access to the COVID vaccine making herd immunity a real possibility. We may have some realistic resolutions in place.

But let’s look back at 2020 and think of some of the good that may have come out of it. We saw social justice in action. Some of you may have joined your first protest. Some of you may have voted for the first time. We developed a vaccine in ground-breaking time. We used our voices to make changes that might ultimately improve our communities.

For me, here are a few intentions that I started in 2020 that I plan to carry into and throughout 2021:

1) continue taking care of myself through good foods, meditation, and yoga
2) spend more time with folks who empower, support, and unconditionally love me
3) take more screen breaks
4) spend more time outside
5) watch less tv

What are some intentions you want to carry through 2021?

Rest is Revolution

It has been 280 days since my community has been under COVID related orders. The orders have shifted, the regulations have changed. Somehow, the entire time, it has felt like some form of quarantine. Whether I’m able to only see my partner, the one who lives with me. Or maybe I can grow my germ pod to up to ten people. Either way, I am restricted. My movements feel watched. And yet, I am okay. I am safe. I am healthy.

Through the last 280 days, I have learned one thing, above all else. Rest is Revolution. In 2020, rest has become my priority. Separating work and life. Focusing less on the mediocre idea of progress and productivity and actually putting my efforts and passions into what I do. It feels right. It feels real. My work is something for me to be proud of. It isn’t just for a paycheck. It isn’t to show that I’m using my paid hours productively. It’s to show that I am worthy of this title that I hold. It is to show that the work I say I do, I actually do. The changes I wish to make, I am making.

As 2020 comes to an end, my work has slowed. Sending in my last timesheets for the year, my last reports. I find myself looking forward to actual time off, time where I don’t have to hear my phone pinging me with emails unread, needing to be answered. I’m looking forward to time where I don’t have to log into zoom for hours at a time. I’m looking forward to the quiet, small holidays that I will be spending at home. No flights, no guest rooms, no living out of suitcases. As much as I miss travel, I am looking forward to this rest. This real, rooted, rest.

I hope you find rest this holiday season. See you in 2021!

Return of the Yogi

Six months and two days ago my city went into quarantine.

Six month and five days ago, cops killed Breonna Taylor.

These two events have triggered a great deal of emotion in me. As we shut our doors and windows, turning inside rather than outside for entertainment and hobbies to pass the time, my thoughts continually turn to Breonna and what her last night was like. It probably felt normal, like most other nights in her life. Maybe it didn’t. I guess we’ll never know.

Every night over the last six months, I have gone to bed with a sense of heaviness. No matter how much joy I’ve found throughout the day, no matter how much I’ve been able to distract myself from the realities of what is happening, I’ve constantly felt that heaviness at the end of the day. I find myself not wanting to go to bed because that means drifting into an unknown, an unknown I’m not sure I’ll wake up from.

The reality, however, is that I will most likely wake up. The reality is that I probably won’t have my house by police using a no-knock warrant. The reality is, I am probably safe.

Over the last six months I’ve really come to understand my advantage in society. While I have and still find myself facing discrimination to some level, I can’t say I know the constant fear that the Black community faces. I am working to unlearn all the prejudices I have been taught and try to use my advantage to life up these suppressed voices. I am working to do what I can to make this world a better place.

This has been my yoga for the past six months and two days. What has your yoga looked like?

Connection in the Time of Coronavirus

As the world slowly closes its doors and we all hunker down in our homes, I find myself seeking more and more external connection. I haven’t posted for a while, taking time to ponder what my next post would  be about. I thought about writing about love in February and women in March, yet I find myself drawn to this idea of connection.With mandatory lockdowns in place and travel only allowed for “essential” reasons, whatever that means, it seems like the idea of connection is more and more unclear and inaccessible. In these times, the natural, default tendency seems to be isolation or alienation. We stock up on essential items, apparently toilet paper, and bring up our Netflix queue to watch. We find activities to do to kill the time we now have, maybe working from home, maybe finding a new yoga practice. Whatever it is, it seems like we’re drawn more and more to solitude and less to connection.

Social distancing does not mean we have to isolate ourselves and alienate others. We have so much technology at our fingertips, technology created to foster connection between people across vast distances. So why aren’t we using it in that way? I see posts about what people are reading, what food we’re making, and what movies we’re watching, but why am I not seeing more posts reaching out to others to have online dance parties, online game nights, maybe even online movie streaming?

My natural tendency is to be introverted. I like my time to myself and I’d rather be by myself most of the time. Given the amount of time I’m locked in, though, I find myself seeking connection. So I’m reaching out. I’m finding ways to stay connected to people through online mediums like Facebook, Instagram, and even Zoom.

If you want to connect, please reach out. Stranger or friend, we’re in this together. The only way we’ll get through this, is together.

Be well.

Yoga & Social Media

It took me a great deal of time and thought to decide on what I wanted to write about for my first 2020 post. Usually I try to start the year off with intention setting or invite you all as readers to join in on a new year reset yoga challenge. While these things are still happening in the background of my own personal life (Adrienne came out with another 30 day yoga playlist, if you haven’t checked it out, here it is: Home) I thought I would start this year with a different intention. I want to write about more challenging topics. Similar to my recent post about cultural appropriation, I was to discuss issues that matter to me that readers might relate to. Of course, I will keep bringing in posts about specific poses or yoga props, but I also want to dig a little deeper.

So for my first post in 2020, I want to discuss yoga and social media…

Image result for yoga and social media

Many of you might scroll through your favorite social media feed and find someone doing a yoga pose. Maybe it’s a celebrity sponsor of a yoga clothing company, maybe it’s your favorite yoga celebrity, or maybe it’s simply a local yoga instructor. Maybe you yourself have posted photos of yourself in yoga poses.

That is great!

Let me state very clearly, I’m not here to judge anyone for anything you have or will do on social media. If you post pictures of yourself regularly in yoga poses…great. If you don’t, that’s great too. What I want to discuss is what the intention is behind these posts.

I have noticed a trend in yoga instructors and yoga celebrities posting photos of themselves in advanced poses. I find accounts online called “Yoga Inspiration” highlighting a very specific type of yoga student or teacher showing off their skills in handstands, scorpion pose, and other advanced poses. So again, I ask, what’s the intention behind these? Is it truly to send inspiration to students around the social media world that they too can get there? If so, that’s great! If it’s to show off a skill you’ve worked hard to achieve, that’s great too! More often than not, I get the sense that this type of imagery creates an unrealistic idea of what yoga is. I also think that these images might actually discourage students because they may not be able to achieve certain advanced poses yet or at the same time as their peers and they may give up. Unlike many other activities, yoga isn’t just about achievement in the physical sense, it’s more (to me) about achieving alignment with yourself, mind, body and spirit. So I think to myself, what is the point of posting these images to show others what poses you can get into when the practice itself is about getting more in tune with yourself? I worry about the long term impact on yoga students as well as the yoga practice itself. I believe that yoga in the western society has already become warped and appropriated in certain ways and I don’t think social media is really helping.

Image result for yoga and social media

Now, don’t get me wrong, I myself have posted many pictures in yoga poses. My true intention is not only to inspire students and friends, but also to educate on what yoga might be good for or help with. Part of my recent journey has been to create more awareness and intention around my words and actions. So I’ve toned down on my yoga pose photos and tried to highlight life, the reality of it. I don’t want to promote myself and only my achievements. I want to promote the world and it’s beauty. Especially in these times.

So, I challenge you…the next time you want to post a picture of yourself in a yoga pose, pause. Ask yourself why…then decide whether you want to or not. The choice is yours and yours alone. No judgement, no foul.

Be well!

Bringing Yoga to Diverse Populations

A lot of folks hold strong stereotypes when they hear I’m a yoga instructor. They assume I work at a studio and teach asana based yoga classes. When I clarify, saying I’m a trauma-sensitive yoga instructor, many people are confused. The conversation usually goes one of two ways, I describe what trauma-sensitive yoga is in detail or I’m asked what the difference is between what I do and what “mainstream” yoga is. When I further describe sites I work at, such as addiction treatment programs and jail programs, it seems even more confusing for some. I get asked why these populations need yoga, why people who have “done something wrong” need it.

Instead of typing out a clarifying blog post, I’m going to let me own words speak for themselves. Here’s a recent interview I did for the Beyond Theory podcast, a podcast for The Meadows Behavioral Health.

Beyond Theory Podcast | S1 E12: Aditi Desai on Bringing Yoga to Diverse Populations

Check it out and let me know what you think! I hope this clarifies a lot of what I do and also what yoga can do for the world.