Author Archives: yogagyrl

#notmyguru

I have been to 5 advanced seminars and 18 teacher trainings all over the world since I graduated from my own training in the spring of 2003. I have loved my Bikram yoga community and have loved teaching, mentoring and practicing with new trainees, hundreds of teachers and first time students alike in the “yoga bubble”. Yoga has been my life and love for 20 years, more specifically Bikram yoga, since my first class in June 2000. 

I long to be part of the nostalgia and excitement of practicing with hundreds of other passionate yogis. I miss the days of eating sleeping and dreaming yoga for days on end. Over the past few years of watching the behaviour and actions of Bikram, the lawsuits against him pile up, the complete lack of integrity and accountability he has displayed, my interest in him and his legacy has diminished. This morning I read the latest news about his arrest warrant, and I’m out. I will never go to another Bikram training with Bikram again.


For years I was a true believer in the Bikram method teacher training. Go to the source, learn from the top, don’t play broken telephone and be trained through other people’s interpretation of Bikram’s yoga. He is still alive, why not get the training right from the creator? I know now that Bikram is only a passageway, a stepping stone, a messenger, and his way is not the only way or perhaps even the truthful way. 
A couple months ago I read an article on a Bikram yoga studio website about Bikram’s involvement in a study in Japan on yoga. I found myself looking for information, documentation of some kind, to prove his accounts and claims. Turns out there aren’t any. His involvement and account was a story, an embellishment of an event that occurred in the world by people, and adopted by him as his own. Turns out there are many of these same cases of embellishments and enhancing events, some his own and some other peoples’, to make these stories and events suit him. Well, thanks to explorers and historians, we now know more information than the stories that Bikram has been spouting for years. We now have proof through a myriad of peoples’ accounts, stacks of historical documentation and pages of uncovered details of people and places of the actual history and lineage of “bikram’s” yoga. 

I love this yoga system. I have loved the path I have travelled to get here. I am even grateful for the time I have spent with Bikram and the things I have learned from him over the years. But that is all different now. Bikram has proven himself to be ruled by his ego, the opposite of everything I have learned and believed in about yoga. I feel equally excited and repulsed when I see my friends posting at the current BYTT in Acapulco. Regardless of my own personal experience with Bikram over the years and the opportunities I have received through my relationship with him, his actions show who he is. The berating language and abusive behaviours toward so many people that he has displayed on so many occasions are who he is. 
If Oprah Winfrey or Albert Einstein were a fugitive, had an arrest warrant, had been accused of the very things Bikram is accused of, would you still believe in their power to teach you? If you love the lessons you learn,  you can still live the lessons without following the person. If you learned that your pastor was abusing your church members for years and years, would you still blindly follow his or her words as your gospel, or would you separate yourself from the person even if you still believed the lessons you learned?

We have power through our choices. Our choices of how we spend our time and money has an impact on the people and companies around us. I won’t go to a specific car repair shop because there are several large game that were hunted and killed by the owner stuffed and on display in the head office. At least once a month I find myself saying to my husband, “ops, guess we can’t go there” when I find out about the associations and behaviours of certain establishments. We speak loudly through our actions and where we put our money and time. Studio owners educate their students to understand that the money they spend on yoga does not go to Bikram. But does it? By sending people to Bikram’s teacher training you are directly supporting Bikram himself. There are hundreds of people who have gone through Bikram’s training in the world. We were part of something as it was developing. A part of something unlike any other yoga system. But we have evolved now. Just like at one time we thought the earth was flat, at one time Bikram’s training was the only way to become a Bikram yoga teacher. We understand the cosmos now, we have the scientific proof of our existence in the universe, we know the earth isn’t flat. We have scientific proof of the benefits of Bikram’s yoga system. We have the proof to continue to share and spread this yoga worldwide. We have seen the truth. We’ve seen the truth about Bikram, the man, as well. 

As Bikram yogis we want to preserve this yoga, right? We have always been at the center of criticism about whether Bikram yoga is “real” yoga. Regardless of what people say, this is our yoga. The teachers and studio owners all over the world know the truth. The students who practice this system know the truth. It is the YOGA, not the man. 

This is our yoga. 

Teaching yoga is something to be learned and developed. We have many choices, do your homework. Find a training that will teach you to be a good teacher. To teach with humility, truth and integrity. To teach with knowledge, compassion and connection. Find a training to teach you to teach yoga. 

Sometimes learning the truth can be hard. Stepping away from something you believed in so absolutely can be confusing. With the passion and experience of so many amazing teachers in the community, we now have many choices for a teacher training all the way from months away from home to in house options. Just like in life, so is true for any (hot yoga) training…the best (teachers) are the ones who put in the work and effort to become the best. 

Love you, yogis. Keep it real. Thanks for reading. 

(I did not site the research results here. If you are interested in knowing more about the scientific research and studies going on of Bikram yoga, please visit Pure Action. For more information on Bikram, the lawsuits against him and his standing in the United States, please refer to an internet search engine, it’s easy to find.) 


For more information on the trainings and workshops Aaron and I offer, please visit our website RipT Workshops

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no B.S. only Be yoU, ok?

Hello my loves!!
We have many teachers along the way, but few mentors I think. To me, a mentor is someone who is more than just a teacher. A mentor leads us toward knowledge, not just teaches us a tool. A mentor inspires us, guides us, helps us hone in or open up. One of my early mentors is a woman named Paula Shaw. She is an actress from New York, transplanted to LA and then spent part of the year up in Vancouver. She is old school, Uta Hagen, theatre trained and not afraid to be REAL. There was no way of not being honest and real and true with Paula, she could see right through anything and everything. I worked with Paula for a few years. I took acting classes, self expression workshops, and later assisted her with weekend intensives. I spent a lot of time with her in emotionally charged and vulnerable situations. She taught me how to connect with my body, by recognizing emotions, thoughts and physical sensations, and how to differentiate between the three. It was one of my first formative experiences in truly getting to know myself.

One evening, in an acting class with Paula,  it was either the first or second class I had taken with her, I had a lesson in how to take something and make it my own. I was in the midst of my first couple of lines of the scene, sitting at a vanity doing my hair, putting on make up and talking to my sister. I was miming the hair brush and the make up, and I was making big facial gestures as I “put on my make up”. It was only one or two sentences of that and she stopped me. I remember hearing stories of studio owners taking classes of new teachers and stopping the teacher part way and taking over the class for whatever reason. I imagine Paula stopping me in my miming tracks is a similar experience. It was mortifying at the time. She stopped me mid scene with a “wtf are you doing”, and one or two lectures about pretending and make believe and acting before she had me begin again (with a real hairbrush and real make up, I will add). What happened next was this: I did the scene being myself but using someone else’s words to present another persona.

Now, on to B.S. vs. B.U.

In all the years I spent visiting Bikram’s Teacher Trainings (TT), I spent many many many hours in posture clinic…which means I heard so many people from all over the world say Bikram’s words. (Not to mention all the classes I took with teachers from all over the world).It does not take a genius to figure out who is saying the words as the yoga teacher part of themselves, and who is trying to be some kind of whoever they think a yoga teacher is. One is natural, and even though it might be nervous or what have you, it’s real and honest. It’s using a real hairbrush. The other, although might have good and insightful moments, ends up feeling weird and disconnected. Miming how they think a yoga teacher should be. I like to lovingly refer to option A (natural, real, honest) as “B.U.”, and option “B” (fun to start, then weird and disconnected), as “B.S.” It’s simple, be you, or bull shit. There are only those two options. Be you, be yourself, be honest, be truthful, act with integrity, and Be You. The other option, be entertaining, be interesting, be self centered, be disconnected and I call Bull Shit.

Of course we all love a fun class with a teacher who tells fun and entertaining stories. But how good do you feel when you leave a class and feel like you learned something new and useful to your body or practice and can’t wait to get back to class again? Feels different than when you leave class and all you learned was the latest dirt on the Kardashians.

So here we are. As I travel to different studios I am seeing them change. There is a sense in the yoga world that one product is not enough, that one yoga is limiting, that there must be many options. It seems that many studios feel there has to be a shorter class and an easier class and a flowing class and a not as hot class in order to be successful…or at least to keep up with the other guy down the road. As I am not a studio owner I can’t say what is right or what is wrong, of course, but I will say this: when you have two feet in two boats, you will inevitably end up split in the middle. Two feet in one boat. Call your studio whatever you want, whether it’s hot yoga or river yoga, this yoga or that yoga, but it seems to me when studios begin to scramble to change their name and take Bikram out of the equation, that’s when the culture gets foggy and the boats begin to drift in different directions. I get it, I get why everyone is changing their name…but what I don’t get is changing the yoga. Bikram yoga is authentic, it’s hard, it’s hot and it works. Works to do what, exactly, is up to you and the culture that you create. The authenticity you provide for your students is directly related to their success.

That’s all. Those are my thoughts for tonight. I believe in Bikram yoga and the benefits it provides. I believe we make adjustments to help our students, and I believe we change the way we teach to suit the students in front of us and the studio we are in, but that doesn’t mean we throw in a few down dogs and call it something new because that’s what we think real yoga is, or what a real yoga studio should be.

Be authentic. Be true to you. Be true to what you teach.  Use the real hairbrush.

Thanks for reading, lovelies. We are just leaving Montreal and headed for Ottawa. We’ve been on the road for a little over 2 months and have visited about 20 cities. I felt it was my duty as a Canadian to drive across my country at least once in my life…tick that one off the list.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. xox



Intention Leads us to Education (growing as a yoga teacher)

Hello sweet yogis!

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned that I have some kind of a physically-photographic memory for corrections and feedback. Does that make sense? I think I remember every single correction I have ever gotten in class since I started practicing. When I get a correction, I store it away, and it comes up every time I do the posture so that I use repetition to learn it until I do it without having to think about it. Sometimes this takes one class, sometimes it takes one year (you get where I’m going).

I have the same memory for teaching feedback. I am pretty sure I remember and recall every correction and “piece of feedback” (can I say that?) I have ever gotten since I started teaching in 2003. I remember it, store it away and, like so often in life, only use it when I am ready…when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Amongst us teachers, “feedback” can be traumatic, useful, mysterious and/or somewhat of a miracle!!! In any case, it’s usually nerve-wracking to get it. Feedback involves another teacher whom you respect taking your class and you knowing the whole time that they are listening intently to (ugh, and silently judging) you. Haha, right??!! I jest about the judging, but it can feel that way, can’t it? It has been very scary to have teachers whom I respect take my class. At every level we want to be peers, and yet we all have feelings of insecurity, doubt and being not good enough. I have been very fortunate over the years of my teaching career to teach at many schools around the world, and teach at teacher trainings and advanced seminars. I have been exposed to many esteemed teachers taking my class. It’s been great, I have learned from every single teacher who has given me feedback. Sometimes its hard to stomach or it’s hard to hear, because sometimes feedback is negative. Besides hearing something like you flap your arm weirdly or you are the worst teacher ever, we sometimes we have to get feedback that is EVEN WORSE (I am joking, of course, because how can someone tell you you are the worst teacher ever? Ha, ridiculous, and who cares if you flap your arm, you were probably nervous). Receiving news that a student complained about me has been some of my saddest times as a teacher. As my mother says, all information is good information, however, so when I have gotten feedback that a student felt somehow shamed or put down in my class, I know that not all factors led solely to me and my behaviour, but my actions or words created the space for someone to feel badly. Definitely not my goal, so has lead me to acknowledge and correct. However, getting POSITIVE feedback from a student that they learned something, that I was able to help them self-realise in some way is the best feedback ever. Over the years, I have had a great chance to see how my words land on other people because I have been watching it happen so closely for so long.

I used to give really specific feedback, because that is how I got it. I used to give long pages of feedback to teachers with everything from sequencing of dialogue within the postures to suggesting ways for them to work on body language and learning to stand still. It’s all important, right? In order to be good at something, you must understand and effectively execute each and every part of it…notice I did not say that you have to be the best at everything…? I said, in order to be good at something you must understand and effectively execute each and every part of that thing. So, in our case, in order to be good yoga teachers, we need to understand and be able to effectively execute not only the postures, but be in control of our teacher’s mind, body, emotions. You can’t teach your students to stand still when you can’t stand still yourself, and you can’t teach your students to keep pushing themselves to become a little stronger or a little more flexible or a try a little harder if you yourself are not doing that AS A TEACHER. Your yoga asana practice is important for you for however it’s important, and it shows up in your life however it shows up, but your TEACHING IS ALSO A PRACTICE. Your time on the podium is growing and changing just as much as your time spent on your yoga mat, and it deserves and needs just as much time pushing and exploring and learning as means to forward motion and evolution.

Fast-forward to now and the kind of feedback I get to talk about with teachers. I am blessed to work on a day to day basis with a group of gracious and wonderful yogis who have been doing yoga together for many many years! It’s family, isn’t it? I don’t often give nit-picky feedback regarding the words of the dialogue because instead, I get to have conversations about intention of us on a bigger level as teachers and how we are here to create big change in big ways, and how these postures are teaching us the mechanics of the human body as well as the power of our minds! Of COURSE, sometimes I still pull out my dialogue and we talk about that, because the dialogue is the best tool to BEGIN TO LEARN to speak directly to the physical body, in my opinion…I love to fit the body perfectly into the words and lines of the dialogue exactly like a puzzle, and it never ceases to warm my heart to see the relaxation someone feels when everything goes in the correct place and, voila, feels like perfection.

So how do we continue to learn and grow as teachers…where do we find “continuing education”? As Bikram yoga teachers we are handed very little information about what happens through the years AFTER teacher training, and how to stay fresh with what we do. (After post edit* I made a choice not to talk about going back to TT as our continuing education…I spent many years visiting TT and learned sooo much! The opportunity to learn and hang out with so many teachers, and Bikram, Raj, Emmy, Jim, Lynn, Diane…you know…was over the years so amazing for me. But it’s not always an option to travel around the world and take time off life etc to be able to spend a week doing posture clinics. What I wanted to talk about here was what ELSE can we do to keep learning and being inspired…5 years of teaching, 8 years of teaching, 10 years of teaching…). We are required to re-certify every three years, but for many the re-certification isn’t a priority…at least not after you’ve done one or two. So how do we keep learning? Do we go and take other styles of yoga teacher trainings to learn from other teachers, and then begin to teach something different? How about melding a little of this with a little of that and making something “Hot and Half the Time”? Some teachers fall away because they get bored, some because they can’t pay the bills…some keep doing it the same way everyday for years and years, and some find ways to further grow as a teacher and create freshness and inspiration for themselves. It’s challenging to stay excited and inspired as teachers, isn’t it?

Although I am not a big feedback session giver anymore (in the sense that I don’t often take someone’s class specifically with the intention that I will sit down and give them FEEDBACK), I L.O.V.E talking about yoga and teaching and think this is one of the best ways to be inspired as teachers.  I am always happy to talk to anyone about their class and I am happy to give feedback in the sense that I can tell you if I thought what you are doing is effective, and if not then give you some suggestions on what to try to be more effective. Because that is the goal, to be effective at what we do. Everyone has different goals for themselves, so effectiveness is relative in regards to our students being successful. Our goals and intentions as teachers need to be open and encompassing of each student’s goals for themselves, not what we think they need to accomplish in the class. People come to us to learn yoga, and we are there to teach them yoga. Whatever you believe is in the realm of yoga is up to you, but in my opinion, in a Bikram class our job is to teach the asanas, and through that they will learn their own self realization (but don’t tell your students that too soon, or it might scare the newbies off! 😉 ). To be more effective is to have people learn to connect with themselves through the postures, I think. The words and directions of the dialogue are the starting tool, and your strongest and most reliable bridge from you to your students in the yoga room. Through that connection, you learn to connect to their bodies, so they can connect to their bodies, so they can connect to their minds. As you teach, you learn that there are many ways to instruct and teach, and that there are many paths and lessons that we guide our students through…but it starts by bringing their toes and heels together and looking in the mirror, doesn’t it?

All that being said, education is everywhere! You might think that the only way to get more education is to take another training and become a teacher that has more openness and freedom to teach a variety of styles of yoga. Awesome if that works for you. The way that we are taught to teach Bikram Yoga specifically is very precise. It has to be. Bikram is teaching several hundred people in a short time to teach yoga…he developed a way to do it that has served him (and us) for many years. As Bikram Yoga teachers, we are taught to look at the bodies and say the words, to have a conversation with our students with only their bodies to respond. We are trained to be clear, concise, specific, detailed and direct. We are trained well, at a beginning level, as beginner teachers. What we do with our knowledge after we get it is up to us. Jump back to the teachers who fall away…boredom, finances, politics amongst yoga studios…what are they missing after training that causes them to lose the drive that brought them there in the first place? Connection. Inspiration. Knowledge. Deeper understanding of not only someone else’s journey, but also our own. We must be self driven and determined in our own ways to continue our learning and education. We are very lucky that if we want knowledge, we can get knowledge, it is everywhere and extremely available at our fingertips. There are no “Long Term Teaching of Bikram Yoga” books (hmmm…note to self), but there are rules and suggestions about teaching everywhere. Just because you aren’t taking a Bikram Yoga specific workshop, doesn’t mean that the rules about learning and teaching don’t apply to your job teaching. Just because you are taking a class or watching a video of a posture that you don’t teach in a class, it doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from the teachers’ pace, timing and tone of voice as they instruct. And, just because there isn’t anyone (is there?) that is on TED talks talking about Bikram yoga, it doesn’t mean that all the talks on leadership and teaching and connection aren’t helpful for you to learn ways to guide your students and help you gain confidence…it’s ALL HELPFUL and it’s ALL EDUCATION!

So…all that being said…here is what I would tell you as the first thing to think about in your teaching, I don’t even need to take your class. Before you even walk into the yoga room, ask yourself, “what is my intention?”. Through your intention you can plan your actions. With your intent clear, the tools that you have collected along your path are ready and available as needed because that is their job…you acquired these tid bits and tools through your own personal continuing education, and when you are clear why you are there, they will make themselves available…but you have to build your collection, don’t you?

Intention and plan can change at any given moment if things turn out that they aren’t going exactly as planned, but or the most part, my intention is always this; to have my students feel inspired by something they discovered or felt or thought or experienced that makes them want to come back and try it again tomorrow. Simple.

So, get on the internet, yogis! Get to the library, go take a class of ANY kind , listen to a lecture, read a book, talk to your friends, lie on the floor and start stretching…these are ALL effective ways of continuing your education as a yoga teacher, and are ALL available to us all…

I love you, puppies. Knowledge is life, go out and drink it down! I feel so blessed that after this many years, I still feel so excited to love my job and love my work and the people I get to do it with! What a ride.

Love,
Ida xxo


ch ch ch changes…

Good morning yogis!!! 

Change is afoot. Change is inevitable. Change is the one thing we can count on for sure….or can we? Yeah, totally we can.

Change comes. Sometimes we go to it, sometimes we run from it, sometimes we embrace it and sometimes we fear it. But change always comes.

Do you know the experience of your full life filling up your full days and not leaving time for much else? Do you also know the experience of getting INSPIRED, and SOMEHOW you seem to CREATE space in your life to ADD something that is IMPORTANT and you WANT to do…? Notice how you WORK REALLY HARD to put in all your time and effort, and you are run off your feet doing all the things you HAVE to do on a regular day to day basis, PLUS WHATEVER IT TAKES to accomplish the CHANGE your are NOW CREATING. Notice how inspired you are and how you don’t care about sleep, and how much you actually look forward to your lunch break spent working on the project, whatever it is…buying a new car, remodeling your house, getting your kids into college, building a business, preparing for a dinner party…you get the drift. We have all sorts of things in our lives that are obligatory, the things we HAVE to do like clean the toilet and get gas in the car…these things are not often inspiring or derivative of our passions, but we do them and make them happen and accept that they are part of daily living.

Change happens in our lives whether we are looking for it or not. Transition. Evolution. Doesn’t matter what you call it, there is no way you can keep everything the same in your life because that is not the nature of the world. 

I read an article the other day talking about mental attitude and how our thoughts dictate our emotions, physical sensations, etc. When you work out and your muscles are sore the next day, you feel excited that you did something, right? You take a “killer” yoga class and the next afternoon you are having trouble sitting down to pee or walking up and down stairs…but you love it!! Ha! You love it because you worked hard at it, you pushed yourself to create change and now you feel the results of your hard work. Reap the rewards. Now, imagine yourself waking up in the morning and rolling over and suddenly feeling a twang of muscle soreness in your back because you slipped and had to torque yourself suddenly so as not to crack your head on the ground…you slipped, not a big deal, you are fine…but the next day you feel it. You have to slowly sit up, slowly stand up, and it hurts to sit down and stand up too much. 

The emotional difference is that one is something that you created and one is something that was just handed to you. Same kind of physical sensations, right? Same kind of result in the physical body, but the emotional and mental difference is what makes all the difference…the sensations and results of doing full camel for the first time and slipping on the ice are almost identical, but one has you get out of bed, chuckle, bend, stretch, chuckle some more, grab your foam roller and tennis ball and get excited to go out and use your body!! The other, makes you not want to move, not want to get out of bed, feel sorry that it happened and reach for the Advil.

All change is the same, I think. Have you ever moved? Like a big move….how about a break-up? A big one. A new job? If you are the INSTIGATOR of change in your life, you move into it with excitement and forward energy, generally. If you are being “forced” to do something, like you got “dumped” or “fired” (such horrible meaning attached to these words!), then the resulting emotions, and physical sensations are laced with doubt, worry, anxiety, fear and overall blech energy…which is only forward moving because you can’t stay where you are anymore, they don’t want you!! Lol, we are such funny humans. If a relationship ends, it wasn’t the right fit anymore. If you lose your job, it’s not the right fit. If you choose that you want to lower your cost of living so as to have more money to raise your family, you choose to move to a different city where you can pay less rent and walk to work…it’s tough and difficult to make a move, to leave your home, to leave your friends and family and familiarity…but what is on the other side is so awesome too!! Thing is, with change, we never really know what is on the other side, so there isn’t that reward of knowing how the change is going to impact you…sometimes only an unknown, to which we can attach any kind of feeling or emotion. 

One of my mentors in my early adulthood used to say, “the only relationship you’ll ever have that ‘worked’ is the one that you’re in when you die”.

Be aware when you let your emotions dictate how you should feel…physically, mentally and spiritually…especially spiritually.

I love you, yogis!! I have been having a love affair with podcasts of a woman named Brene Brown…she has been studying shame (and other things), and is very inspiring!! More to come…

Have a great Saturday xox

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Who I am as a Teacher is…

Hello my loves!! Been gone so long! You know, I think about writing all the time, but when the inspiration doesn’t come, the inspiration doesn’t come. I often have all these lofty ideas for things I want to write about…and if they stay with me for longer than a few minutes, then chances are I am gearing up for something. 

So, here we are, Saturday afternoon, and I am inspired!! 

This morning I was in class, lying in Savasana, and I was reflecting on the teacher and the style of his teaching. All through my teaching, I have noticed how others teach and how effective it was. At times I have been more loving, generous, talky, picky, bitchy, loud, silent, strict, focussed, mean, nice, easy, carefree, specific, conscious, unconscious….the list goes on…in my teaching. I’ve been teaching almost 11 years, so I’ve been every type of teacher. I have tried on as many styles as I can think of on the path to teaching as me. I needed to borrow other people’s style and detail. I had to study how others teach, how students react to those teachers, what people say about them, how their tools worked for me…or not. I had to try it all on in order to see what fit!! I am the most at ease in my teaching now.  The way I teach is the closest to just me, Ida, teaching yoga…not “Ida The Yoga Teacher” teaching class.

Back to class. I was hearing the teacher and listening to how he used his words. I noticed how he paced his class, how he controlled the heat, the air, the doors, etc. It started me thinking…in the evolution of teaching (I am assuming this is in everything we do, but I am only referring to teaching yoga, as that is what I know 😉 ), we start by gathering as much information as we can (mostly in the form of taking other people’s classes), and start to use this information in our own teaching. We try styles of speaking, intonation, pace, timing, body language, etc. (well, I hope everyone does this…especially as a young teacher-figure out who YOU are as a teacher, try it ALL on!), and soon we start to figure out who we are as our own teacher. The goal, I understand now, is to teach from who I am and use tools that I’ve learned along the way to gain more knowledge and just keep growing my teaching with what I learn through the growth of my own practice, as well as what I learn through teaching…haha, and would not forget to mention what I learn through LIFE…forever and always evolving. 

All this made me think “who am I as a teacher?”…”who is he as a teacher?”…”who are we all as teachers?”….!?

I focus mostly on alignment and precision and eliminating the bull$#!t we all create in our own practice. Stand still, breathing normally, begin again. This morning who he was (at least how he was to me) is simple, concise, clean, easy (as in “at ease”, not that the class was not hard).

All the feedback I’ve gotten over the years, classes I’ve taken and all the different “techniques” I’ve tried and used over the years are all stepping stones and tools getting me to where I am now….I teach from who I am. I teach with the intention that everyone who leaves from my class feels INSPIRED to want to come back and try it again tomorrow. My intention is always to feel better…I want my students to always FEEL BETTER after class. Who I am as a teacher is precision. All those things work together because I tried it all on until the pieces came together. This is who I am now, it’s come together at this time like this and it feels complete and joyful. Some days I’m lower energy, and some days I’m higher…but always, who I am as a teacher is precision. My intention for ALL my students is to be INSPIRED to come back tomorrow and to FEEL BETTER. 

Try it…who are you as a teacher? Make your goal to seek out and find as many techniques as you can until you figure out who you are as a teacher. Keep your intention clean and concise and allow yourself to be you, teaching yoga, with all the tools you have learned along the way…and will continue to learn…forever and always evolving. 

That’s all I got this sunny Saturday, yogis!! Felix and I are gonna go head to meet our pack and get some exercise and vitamin D!! Have a wonderful weekend!

Lots of love,

Ida xx


Going home…

Hello my yogis!! Wow, I have missed you, but you know you can’t force anything, so if the time is not right to write, then the time is not right to write ;). I did, however, get a reminder about my blog (thanks Shirley!!), and amazingly, the inspiration arrived. 

I am on my way home from being home. You know, the home you come from and the home you create…(I suppose) they are the same sometimes for some people, but for me they are different. My HOME that I came from was not a house that I recall as my childhood house, we moved a LOT when I was growing up…my HOME is where my family is, where I came from, the people who know me and “get” me without me needing to introduce myself or try to “be” a certain way or have to watch myself for what I say (honestly, on the whole, I do not censor myself much, but there you know what I mean about having to be slightly guarded or particular with certain people/situations). My HOME is also where I CHOOSE to be. I have spent the past 10 years of my life travelling and exploring the planet and have come to know that my HOME is where I plant my feet and rest my head. 

My HOME is my country, my HOME is my family, and my HOME is my CHOICE. My HOME is my sanctuary and where I CHOOSE to be. My HOME is where I feel safe, relaxed, confident, at ease, welcomed, supported, cherished, excited, inspired and LOVED. My HOME is in many many many places, and I couldn’t be happier. 

However…what I realise more and more through my life and travels is that my HOME is ALSO my house and my community and my work and my LIFE. The place I lay my head has come to be the place I feel the most like ME! I am pretty sure I wrote about this a while back (forgive me for repeating myself, but I feel this needs repeating), but a few years ago a friend of mine talked to me about how the “right” place for me would be wherever I FELT right. No the place that I think is the best or  has one or two redeeming factors…but the place that I feel the BEST…the place that I feel “right” in. Once I stopped looking for my home, and started FEELING my home it all became clear. Each time I travel now, each time I go back HOME, I realise that my HOME is not where I am going, but it is where I already am.

Profound, no?

Find your home, yogis, and don’t be afraid if it changes and grows…but exist in the feeling of HOME and not the idea of it. 

K, gotta run, they just called my flight…can’t wait to get HOME.

Love you, 

Ida x

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How DID I lose weight?

Hello puppies!!

It has become quite apparent that I have “lost weight” in the recent months. I say it like that (“lost weight”) because don’t weight myself very often (couple times/year?), so I don’t have much concept of how much weight I have lost, but my body has definitely changed.

Bodies change over the years. My body used to always fluxuate up and down 10lbs or so, on a pretty regular basis. It really depended on what my lifestyle was like and how much consumption I was doing at the time. It wasn’t until I started competing in yoga competitions that my body started to actually CHANGE…not just FLUXTUATE. Fluxtuattion was really about weight. My weight would go up and down but my body was pretty well the same body all the time. When I started with the competitions is when I started with Raw Food and Veganism as well. It all went hand in hand for me, and my path was set (in stone) for several years…and it was like this new body emerged from underneath the old body.

Jump to the past couple years…I am no longer competing, I had been travelling more than ever, and still struggling to maintain a Raw Food diet…or at very least VEGAN diet…I relaxed about the cooking part. But I began feeling not quite right. In my last post, I wrote how I have been studying MY body for several years on a very serious level through my yoga practice, my teaching of others in a yoga practice as well as being (extremely) mindful of every single bite of food and drink of anything that went into my body. I knew exactly how things were going to feel in my body and then, in turn, knew how everything would treat me in the yoga room. 

Not gonna lie, it’s intense. It’s really really intense to think that deeply about every single thing that I ate or drank!! Whoa. For the years that I was competing, for the years that I was so committed to being vegan and raw, it was worth it to me. I was committed to the idea that this was the right thing for me at the time…and if someone is committed to it and believes it, then who are we to say it is wrong? It is through experience that we learn things…and what works at one time might not work forever (again, see last post…long live evolution!). 

OK, so again jump to the past few years….I was struggling to stay within the confines of something that I thought I needed. I felt like I was inside of someone else’s body, not my body. Not this body that I had gotten to know so well. The things I was eating and doing and the beliefs I had about food were creating the opposite results that I anticipated. I was gaining weight, I was feeling crappy, tired, low energy…etc. Jump now to a year ago and I went to see a naturopath. Bestest had gone to see her when things were going haywire in her body and everything turned around for her, so for my birthday, she bought me a slew of tests and bloodwork. Happy birthday to me!

I was not unhappy when I was doing all that raw food high maintenance thinking about my consumption every second of the day. (Haha, I make it sound so glamorous!) I enjoyed the time I took with my food. I enjoyed knowing what was in my food, where it came from, preparing it, making it pretty…etc. It was what I did. Just like you play with your kids or go golfing or like to garden…I liked to play with my food. There were definitely times that I didn’t really fit in (being out at restaurants was challenging at times), but I did always try to share my raw creations with my friends and family…so, I just made it work. 

Jump back to last year, I got my test results back. Turns out I spent the past several years creating this “perfect” working machine…my bloodwork for food allergies was….wait for it…..ZERO ZIP ZILCH. I have NO food allergies! Aye, here’s the rub…My adrenal glands were totally fucked up. Adrenal glands control your output of adreniline (flight or flight hormone) and cortisol (helps with blood sugar, immune system, metabolism and overall stress management). I was getting a hit of energy at about 6am and then again in the late afternoon. My body was out of whack, not sleeping, not able to handle the food I was bringing in and craving other things to try to balance it out. The stress on my body of my weird taxed adrenal glands was causing all the things I was experiencing…creating this body that was (seeming, at the time) out of my control…making me think that so many foods were bad for me and that I had such sensitivities. Ha! I spent several years thinking I couldn’t eat so many things and it turns out it’s completely the opposite!!

So, to make a long year of what I ate in my life story short, the catalysts were eating fish and garlic bread in Mexico in May, and then eating my way through Europe in September! Ever since then, I have been eating pretty well anything I like. 

And my body has changed. 

So…this am after class a couple women mentioned how I have lost weight and asked me what I had been doing. I said that I started taking a supplement at the beginning of last year because my adrenal glands were over worked and from there everything fell into place. The more I thought about it over the day I realised that it’s not fair to say it was just the supplement. It was the supplement that was the catalyst for my adrenal glands to start to function properly…which gave me more mental clarity, more energy, more oomph and more mental and physical gusto! From there I began making choices that fed my soul, not just what I thought my physical body needed. 

Now I only eat what tastes delicious. I don’t eat something just because I think I need to. 

That’s my not so secret, secret. Feed your soul with your life, yogis!! Food, yoga, family, friends, laughter, music, hiking, biking, walking, pets, kids….you get the idea. FILL YOUR BUCKET with every thing you do.

Love you, go eat something good!

~Ida xx