Blog Archives


February, 2020
Having a high quality of life; Chop Wood Carry Water

November, 2019
13 Days of Treats In Honor Of 13 Years of Yoga!

October, 2019
Like The Evening in The Seashore When the Water is Silent

September, 2019
Friends and Family Week! Share the YOGA LOVE, Bring a Friend

July 1, 2019
The Path of Liberation is
All Around Us

April 24, 2019
Forest Yoga Bathing

April 4, 2019
Sweet Darkness

March 8, 2019
Overheard At The Water Cooler & Yoga Teacher Training Q&A: Do I have the time?

January 21, 2019
Furlough Community Fund

May 5, 2018
The Sunday Sangha Circular
Look at ME!! Did you see?

In class the other day we were working on Tripod and I was reminded of my early days on the mat...

When I first started practicing yoga I used to think the asana didn't 'count' unless the teacher saw me do it.  Of course this was not my mindset around the 'boring', ' easy' asanas like Vira 1, Vira 2.. basically any of the foundational asanas; but, the 'tricky', 'hard' asanas needed the eyes of the teacher for me to feel as though I really 'did' the practice. 

For example  I REALLY wanted  (almost needed) the teacher  to see me when I got up into my first headstand, arm balance, 'complicated' bind or twist... It was kind of like the years old question... ...If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?
.... If I get up into Bakasana (Crow pose)  and the teacher doesn't see me does it count? 

I write this because students often say to me
"You walked away just as I..."
"Your back was turned, but I..."
"Oh shoot!  You missed it !I..."
"You didn't see but I..."

As a practitioner who has  gone through my own vortex of needing validation on the mat and, now as a teacher, I have a few thoughts...
First and foremost (you all know what I am going to say..) YES, it 'counts', YES it 'matters', YES you rock!!! YES it's amazing! Good for you for doing the work it takes to 'arrive' somewhere new.  

It's our outer conditioning that makes us think that validation is what creates truth; but in fact the truth, the nugget, the essence  of the asana, when practiced,  sinks deep inside of you, it moves energy around and creates greater vitality whether or not anyone sees you do it.  Its all about YOU realizing the  asana ( 'seat' ).

Now, I do have to add however, that as a teacher,  when you witness a student arriving somewhere new on the mat it is pretty thrilling...

We do very small new things all the time in life, but we don't often recognize them as firsts.

So when we, as teachers, witness a 'First' it is exciting... whether its s first yoga class, or a first handstand, its all exciting! 
BUT that excitement is about being a witness to the students experience, its NOT about validating the experience or taking credit for it ...or anything like that. Its simply about the honor of bearing witness.

So, the next time you have a 'First' on the Mat don't worry about who may have seen you ; instead know - that when you break new ground on the mat it ALWAYS leads to breaking new ground off  the mat .. and that is true whether or not there are witnesses.

Jai Jai!! Sophie