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What Do You Say?

Teachers say this. Ancient texts say that. Modern researcher says the other. What do you say?

Open Minds Open Closed Minds

Cruelty and arrogance can be born from the best intentions. Moving back to America at this time in our country’s history is interesting. Recently I was chatting with my parents who had a falling out with some of their friends over political tensions. My father made the comment that it would be very difficult for him to befriend someone who is racist. Living abroad and having had the fortune of collecting many friends from all over the world I grew to know and love an eclectic mix of people, some of who also happen to have racist tendencies- a few of those tendencies were even directed at me. As a guest in these foreign counties I felt it wasn’t my place to be righteous. So, instead of sh

Happy Birthday Husband

John Do is so freaking awesome!! He is my inspiration. He is my rock. He is my personal comedian, therapist, tour guide, chef, photographer and stylist. He is my best friend and he is my lover. Before I met John everyday I would write in my journal about my husband. I liked to write as though he and I were already together even though I never met him. I’d write what it felt like to come home to this husband, to look at him and a whole lot more. I got clear about what I valued in a partner. Then I met John and he far surpassed anything I had dreamt up. It feels like he is always learning new ways to better himself and make me fall more in love with him. Loving John is effortless. Than

Something To Say

It’s not about being “liked” by all, I write because I have something to say. I think of Social Media as my own publication where I get to put out into the world what I think I can offer. I love sharing my thoughts about the postures and this crazy little trip we call life. And then of course I am happy when my message is well received. It’s a tool that I use to build community. Often I hear from teachers, especially the more senior ones, about their disappointment in modern yoga. And yes, many modern yogis are self-serving and insincere, but as my friend @minaflux often says: “everyone is on their own journey baby.” For me the best practice is to keep my head down and do my own thing.

When And How To Bend The Rules

As long as you are responsible first Then you can bend the rules To suit your needs. I have been known to take risks with my students i.e. for some students a chin stand is more of a face plant because their shoulders and upper back may be too tight to do the pose. Pictured is not a particularly healthy position for the neck to be in, but it was still fun to give chin stand a careful try! When I first moved to Asia I had students who were in their 80s doing so many of the things that my teachers said were “dangerous” and these students were perfectly fine! That was when I decided, after 10+ years of studying books and the things my teachers taught, to instead study my students. No one has

Set The Book Aside

As a yoga teacher it is so important to be able to set aside all the things that we think we know so that we can better see and serve the person(s) in front of us. When we objectively observe, we realize that EVERYONE is an exception to the rule. No one has a textbook body, mind or spirit. Our job is to support our student’s journey Not control it. 📷 https://www.sarafordphotography.com/home.html

No Bullshi*; Boundaries

I had a really valid and interesting response to my last post about tempering anger. There is a difference between putting some one in their place and shaming them. Sometimes people step out of line and it is our responsibility to have strong enough boundaries to protect our loved ones and ourselves. Super simple example: A couple weeks ago I was working a 9 hour day. During a 30 minute break I sat down in one of the private yoga rooms @pureyogaofficial and drank my coke while I watched #Blackish on my computer. I was chilling and happy. And then a student walked in. She was 10 minutes early for her lesson. She said: “Marysia?! Are you drinking coke? I look down at my hand. “Yes.” Woman

Temper Your Temper

Recently one of my students came to me angry about very wrongful treatment from her employer. At this point in the process the government was to get involved. She told me she was concerned about her temper at the government meeting. I told her she should be. Although her anger is justified losing her cool would only undermine her argument. The important thing to remember when we have been wronged is that we deserve to have our perspective respected. When we are reactive we lose our eloquence and undermine our intelligence. Frankly I try to use the same technique in all my disagreements, even with husband. I know that if react I will say things that I don’t mean. Then the validity of my feeli

Finding Your People

If you change yourself to make people like you, You'll never find your people. When I first moved to Singapore I was heavily pressured to change my teaching style. My classes were pretty empty. The most respected yoga teachers were Indian men. So who was this smily blonde with the handstands? I was asked to conform to a more traditional teaching style. I really thought about it and I almost lost my job... but I didn't feel comfortable teaching in a way that didn't resonate with my truth. I figured fuck it- if I lose my job someone else will hire me. But as my few students got really strong and wore bigger smiles more people grew interested in what I taught. Over time my teaching style did

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