Joseph Armstrong on The Ashtanga Yoga Method, Recovery and the Role of a Teacher



On this episode of Chat & Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center we have a very special guest. Joseph Armstrong was a dedicated and long time student at MLC, transitioning into our month long intensive course and then into our most in depth curriculum, a 2 year apprenticeship program. After successfully completing the 2 years, he move to Antigua, Guatemala to start up his own Mysore program.

Joseph’s story is one of inspiring will power and self-awareness. He found his way through addiction into the healing practice of Ashtanga Yoga. Listen in as he talks about how yoga served as a tool for him through recovery, and even further in becoming the successful teacher he is today. His respect for the tradition, passing on what he has learned from his teachers, and his sincere devotion inform the role he takes on in the Mysore room. Tune in to learn more about Joseph’s thoughts on the role of a teacher and what keeps him getting on the mat.

An opportunity coming up at the end of the month to learn and practice with Joseph! He’ll share the tools and methods that have been integral on his path of healing. A 1 day workshop, Yoga Truly: Tools for Recovery. Sign up here http://miamilifecenter.com/workshop-events/


Tim on Obstacles to Practice



In this episode of Chat & Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center, our Director Tim Feldmann touches upon the distractions that so many of us come up against in our practice. At the beginning, the practice seems exciting and easy to commit to, but what happens when we stick it out for the long run, through the ups and downs? It’s common for distractions and disturbances to be present, which make it difficult to continue returning to the mat. Luckily for us, Patanjali knew this might happen to any spiritual seeker, so he gave us guidelines for recognizing them and overcoming them.

Join Tim as he goes through the specific obstacles to practice as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, going into an explanation for each. He uses a modern day application to help us understand what they look like in our lives and on the mat. He then goes into how to determine when these distractions have become a problem and what we can do continue moving forward with a clear mind.


Kino on The Notion of I Am: Talk and Meditation



Last month, Kino started off her class at Miami Life Center with a talk investigating this notion of I am we all seem to come up against. In order to understand the effect identifying with certain roles or stories has on us, Kino first touches upon why we have an inclination towards this grasping.

Then going deeper into what this grasping to identify looks like, and how we allow certain identifies to define us and ultimately limit us. We become attached to this false sense of self, allowing it to define so much of our existence.

If we are not these notions of what I am telling myself I am, then what am I? Tune in as Kino explains the spiritual practice of yoga as a path to break this bondage of I, in order to tune into our true nature. Since it is only through the experience of the practice that these lessons can begin to take root, Kino ends with a guided meditation focusing on how we can ‘soften the edges of the I’. How can we crack open the ego of I am, to find more freedom, peace, and empathy towards one another.

 

 


Full Moon Yoga Nidra with Natalia



Join our restorative, yin and nidra teacher Natalia Vasquez as she guides you through another 1 hour yoga nidra practice, a guided meditation in savasana. This class was from a special class she gave during last month’s full moon. Use this practice during the next full moon, or anytime to reflect on where you presently are, and gain insight into what you need to move forward. This is a great practice to do on its own, or after an asana practice for deep relaxation. It is thought that 30 minutes of a yoga nidra practice is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep.

In the practice of yoga nidra it is possible to enter a state between wakefulness and sleep. As your body settles into stillness for the duration of the practice you can tap into the realms of your mind and your emotions and begin to non-judgmentally observe what’s happening in your inner world.

Before you begin:

Find a quiet and comfortable space you can lie down on your back. Take a moment to settle into savasana. You can place a bolster below your knees but make sure your feet are touching the ground.

You can cover yourself with a blanket in case you get cold, or to place under your head. Make sure your neck is neutral and that your body feels completely supported.

If you do not want to fall asleep completely, maybe it’s a good idea to set an alarm.

Happy practicing! Namaste.


Pregnancy & Ashtanga Yoga with Alexandra Santos



Alexandra Santos is our early morning mysore teacher. She has experienced the practice during 3 pregnancies and has developed a keen sense for guiding mothers through their yoga practice. The beginning of motherhood aka ‘the 7th series of Ashtanga Yoga’ can be a tricky transition to navigate through. But with the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced teachers, it can become a bit less overwhelming.

Alex gets into questions like “When is it ok, and not ok to practice Ashtanga Yoga while Pregnant?” She points out some important things to be especially attentive to during your pregnancy.

Alex shares her personal experiences and how each pregnancy brought its own unique conditions. She needed to listen to her body and feel what she personally needed in the practice during those 9 months as well as after giving birth. Tune in to begin to understand how the practice can be accommodated to fit the needs of what your body, mind and spirit needs during these life changing experiences.


Kino on Embodiment through the Breath



Kino is back on Chat & Chai with one of her monthly classes at Miami Life Center. This time were sharing with you an inspiring talk she gave to introduce the class and a seated guided meditation on the breath.

She touches upon what embodiment means in the practice and how we can experience it through the body and breath, and move away from it through the mind. Shedding light on the reasons we step on our mat – to return to wholeness. The breath is a powerful tool to guide us down this path. Every emotion can be expressed through the breath and the practice gives us a way to determine where we are in every moment.

Listen in as Kino explains these concepts in detail and how they can easily be applied to our everyday life.

Then, find a quiet and comfortable place to sit so you can join us in a meditative and calming guided breathing practice to come back to the feeling of wholeness.

Our next class and talk with Kino is November 23 at 12pm – the day after Thanksgiving. Join us to give thanks for the practice and all the positive transformation it’s brought to our lives. To give thanks to all those who have helped us find our way to this practice.

 


Tim on The Importance of Having a Teacher



Tim Feldmann is back again for another episode of Chat & Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center. Tim in one of MLCs owners and founders and teaches regular workshops in our South Beach Shala

This recording was taken from a talk he gave to our students. He touches upon the role and importance of having a teacher as you walk down the yogic path. He draws from classical Indian philosophy as well as his own personal experience to give us a better understanding of how to navigate through the powerful teacher-student relationship

Side note… we apologize for the not so great audio quality! We figured the content was so good it was better to share than keep it to ourselves. Hope you enjoy!

 


Yoga Nidra Practice with Natalia Vasquez



Join our restorative, yin and nidra teacher Natalia Vasquez as she’ll lead you through a 1 hour yoga nidra practice, a guided meditation in savasana. This is a great practice to do on its own, or after an asana practice for deep relaxation. It is thought that 30 minutes of a yoga nidra practice is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep.

In the practice of yoga nidra it is possible to enter a state between wakefulness and sleep. As your body settles into stillness for the duration of the practice you can tap into the realms of your mind and your emotions and begin to non-judgmentally observe what’s happening in your inner world.

Before you begin:

Find a quiet and comfortable space you can lie down on your back. Take a moment to settle into savasana. You can place a bolster below your knees but make sure your feet are touching the ground.

You can cover yourself with a blanket in case you get cold, or to place under your head. Make sure your neck is neutral and that your body feels completely supported.

If you do not want to fall asleep completely, maybe it’s a good idea to set an alarm.

Happy practicing! Namaste.


Kino on The Difficulty in Consistent Practice



Kino is back on Chat & Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center for a talk she gave our students on the difficulty in maintaining a daily practice.

In Ashtanga Yoga we are asked to practice 6 times a week, except moon days. Why is it so hard? What type of foundation must we establish to make this possible and allow our intentions to manifest in a real way?

Maintaining a daily practice over a long period of time becomes possible when we approach the practice as a ritual of compassion towards ourselves.

Coming on to the path of yoga, as Kino explains in this episode, is like making a U-turn in our lives. It’s a sort of paradigm shift. How do we know this U-turn moment is something were yearning for, or ready for? Being on the path can look different for everyone, but this U-turn is a defining moment for every sincere yoga practitioner.

Once we’ve made this U-turn, what are we after in the practice? How does it change our relationship with the world around us and the world inside us? Listen in to learn why consistent practice over time, and the difficulties that come with it are necessary for these changes to take root in our lives and extend beyond the mat.

 


Natalia Vasquez on Samadhi



For this last episode in our series on the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Natalia Vasquez talks to us about the last limb of Samadhi, or liberation. It is the final state in meditation or complete absorption. The eightfold path we’ve gone through is one of the paths prescribed for reaching this liberated state. Patanjali has provided us with a detailed map to this higher consciousness, by looking into the nature of the mind and how the mind can be transformed. This stage of Samadh is especially difficult to put into words and explain, since it’s through experience that true understanding comes. Listen in as Natalia expresses her understanding of the theory of Samadhi presented in The Yoga Sutras.

Natalia leads our Yin, Nidra and Restorative program at Miami Life Center. Her self-studying and self-loving approach to healing is carried through to her students. Her classes have become an integral part of MLC, serving as a beautiful compliment to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

This wraps up our talks on the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, taken from talks we had going on this past summer where we took a closer look at some of the key teachings of yoga, to gain a deeper understand of why we step on our mat.

Stay tuned for more podcast episodes coming soon! With Kino, Tim, MLC teachers and special guests.