I Heart Yoga

This beautiful video inspired me.  Entirely.  I adore this guy, and I love that he had the insight to document his process.

Then it inspired me to post a blog I wrote a year ago and never put up.  (I have a few of these that are waiting in the wings for the right time.)

Here it is:

I love yoga.  Yoga has saved my life (slight exaggeration, but only slight).  It’s my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balm.  It’s my community, my medicine, my thing-that-keeps-me-balanced.  In the past, when I’ve written gratitude lists, having access to good yoga definitely makes the top five.  If you have tried yoga, and you didn’t like it, try another teacher.  If you have never tried it, well, I guess you don’t know what you are missing out on.
Because I want to write about things that inspire me for The Sparklit, I must write about my friend, Heather “Radja” Duplex, who recently posted a video about being committed to yoga, mostly because, while what she said in the video was great, what had the most impact was how lovely and happy she seemed.  I haven’t seen Heather face to face in probably five years. 
Heather and I met in Los Angeles in 2002 through a mutual friend, an artist (hi Todd!), and the times I remember with Heather were full of laughter, girl talk, and a little bit of curiosity on my end.  After all, she was SO dedicated to yoga like nothing I’ve ever seen, and she cooked and ate things like kale and quinoa as if those foods were the most natural things to grab for in the grocery store, and she was a Reiki master, but really didn’t talk about that much.  At the time, I was still in the early years of being a yoga student (5 years in approximately, and I now know that is nothing), and I had recently taken my Reiki I training, and although I had been a vegetarian for a while, I had never made kale in my life. 
Heather and I would lose touch from time to time (I moved to Idaho, she was traveling a lot), but whenever we would see each other again, it was with joy and interest.  I watched as her life evolved beautifully – taking the yoga further and falling in love with Prem and eventually moving to Kauai (a favorite place of mine), and now Bali (where I am so wanting to go one day, soon please?).  She is truly an example of a person who walks her walk, talks her talk, and has followed her passion for yoga and her desire to live authentically to a place that few of us dare to tread. 
I was so happy to see the videos that she and Prem have posted for several reasons.  (Go to their website, www.ashtangaworld.com for those and more.)  First of all, I am excited for their dedication to yoga and to the yoga community.  Second, Heather looks gorgeous as usual, and I just have to say, I can guarantee this woman has never had botox!  (She would laugh heartily at that suggestion!) Her appearance is a result of clean living, my friends – dedication to yogic practice, including what she eats (and drinks).  That’s not to say she won’t have a piece of chocolate cake or a beer from time to time, but seriously, this woman keeps her system clean.  And it shows.  Look at her eyes!  Shimmery clear gorgeous.  A mermaid on land, I like to call her.  (I dare you to guess her age.)
So, if you are inclined to go to Bali, or take your yoga practice to new heights, these are the people to call.  I have never met Prem myself, but I trust Heather’s judgement.  Ha! And so should you. 
Looking forward to the next time our paths cross, Heather!  xoxo
Heather and Guruji back in the day
I encourage y’all to do/try yoga.  It will better your life in every way!  If you are a beginner and you’re nervous about not being flexible or falling down or anything, just chill out.  Stop with the excuses; you’re only cheating yourself.  We were all beginners at some time.  Trust me, we have all looked and felt dumb, and I think it’s probably part of the process of getting out of the ego!  Since yoga is so new to the West, I guarantee that many people in the class started as adults and know exactly where you are.  More than that, no one really cares what you look like.  Plus, you get as much benefit from being stiff as a board and MOVING than the gumby next to you.   Yoga has nothing to do about how “good” you are at it.  I know this is shocking to our Western brains, but it’s true.  A good teacher will make you feel welcome in class.  Please try several teachers as there is a ton of variety in yoga and the teacher affects your experience entirely!  My first yoga was Kundalini.  I have since added Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Sivananda, among others to the mix. 
If you need names of teachers in Birmingham, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Sun Valley, ID, I have personal experience in all places, and I’d be happy to recommend!  (Austin, TX and NYC and Mobile too!)
Doreen Virtue claims that the ancient yogis infused prayers into the poses.  I believe it.  And after watching the video at the top of the page, don’t you believe it too?  
BEST HOLIDAY GIFT:  Give someone a gift certificate to yoga!  
I found this floating around FaceBook.  This woman is 83 years old!!!

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