All posts by chat-and-chai

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.


Alexandra Santos on Dhyana



In this episode of Chat & Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center, Alexandra Santos goes into the 7th limb of Ashtanga Yoga – Dhyana, or meditation. Her meditation practice of over 10 years has been a significant influence in her practice, She completed her meditation program under the guidance of Swami Brahmavidyananda Saraswati. Alex is our early morning mysore teacher. Her devotion to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga is an inspiration to her students on a daily basis.

Tune in as Alex breaks down this limb of Ashtanga Yoga in relation to the other limbs. Listen in as Miami Life Center students ask their questions and feel free to reach out and ask us any questions you might have!


Tim Feldmann on Dharana



Tim Feldmann is back again on Chat&Chai: Yoga Talks from Miami Life Center, to continue guiding us through this 8 limb journey we’ve been on together. This time to break down the limb of Dharana or concentration.

Learn how the tool of concentration can bring us deeper into the practice of yoga, why training the mind to concentrate in one point is a necessary step for every sincere yoga practitioner and how it can be useful in our daily life. In this episode, Tim even takes us through a quick seated practice of concentration to understand how this limb can be practically applied.

We’re almost through our series of 8 episodes on the 8 limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. We hope you’ve been following along with us or keeping these talks handy in case you ever want to come back for inspiration or a reminder of why we do this practice.

Hope you enjoy!


Chase Bossart on Pratyahara



In this episode of Chat & Chai, we have a very special guest. Chase Bossart coming from San Francisco, was in Miami this summer to teach our Ashtanga Practitioner’s Intensive students the Bhagavad Gita and an introduction to Sanskrit and Vedic Chanting. Chase has been teaching in our past 4 month-long intensive courses and each time we learn something new, each time gaining a fresh perspective on these ancient teachings.

This time he also shared with us his understanding of the Yoga Sutras in his talk on Pratyahara or ‘withdrawal of the senses’ and the 5th limb along the 8 limb path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Taking us into the ‘internal’ limbs, he breaks down the traditional interpretations and explains them to us in a way we can relate to our modern day world. As always, our MLC students chime in, sharing their ideas and finding ways to understand what pratyahara actually looks like in practice.

These last four limbs especially, are difficult concepts to grasp for their intangibility and experiential qualities, but with guidance from experienced and knowledgeable teachers like Chase, it becomes a bit more familiar. Listen in to keep going down this 8 limb journey with us, to become more intimate with the teachings of yoga and gain insight into why we get on the mat.

To learn more about Chase and Yoga Well Institute visit www.yogawell.com


Mark Linksman on Pranayama



In this episode of Chat & Chai, Mark Linksman leads a discussion and practice on Pranayama – the 4th limb along the 8 limb path of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. With special guests Anthony Hazin, who goes into a scientific perspective of the practice, and Natalia Vasquez, MLC’s restorative teacher, who leads us through a guided meditation to prepare us for the guided pranayama practice led by Mark. Join us for this part of the episode and practice along by finding a quiet and comfortable place to sit.

Mark leads our pranayama program a MLC. A student of Iyengar, 20 years under Richard Freeman and Tim Miller, and many years of a daily practice of asana, pranayama and meditation, it is truly an honor to have him guiding us. He has a sincere love for the breath and the power it has to bring us back to ourselves. In his pranayama classes, a group of us sit in a circle and breath together. Like Mark always says, the energy we bring into the room is powerful. It keeps him going and inspires all who cross his path. The pranayama practice in this episode is a shorter version of what we do during his MLC classes. To watch video version of it, check out Miami Life Center’s IGTV here:

Part 1 https://www.instagram.com/tv/BmHbBciFCuQ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=terou0ha9w6k

Part 2 https://www.instagram.com/tv/BmHd0dzFYtK/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=j69j5z2vba0k

We wrap up the episode with questions from our students and all three of our speakers chiming in with responses based on their areas of expertise.

This is part of a larger initiative we’ve had going on a Miami Life Center. This summer we took 8 weeks, to look at the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. We wanted to bring more attention to the teachings of yoga, to better understand why we get on the mat and what the path of a yogi is supposed to look like in practice not just in theory. We want to put into action all aspects of this practice not just the asanas.

Hope you enjoy!


Emilia Arenas on Asana



In this episode of Chat & Chai Emilia Arenas continues in our journey of the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – spiritual teachings every sincere yoga practitioner should be familiar with. Emilia teaches the late morning Mysore program at MLC. She has an infectious positivity and confidence that her students get a dose of everyday in the Mysore room. She guides her students with so much love, passing on to them the tools for asana but also the wisdom to not hold on too tight.

In this episode of Chat & Chai, Emilia talks to us about Asana– the 3rd limb along the 8 limb path. This is the limb that most of us are familiar with and the one most commonly practiced. The postural practice of yoga is important but its not the only one, and as a result there are ways we should practice this limb while keeping all the other limbs in mind. Listen in as Emilia reminds us of why we step on the mat to practice postures and the quality of effort we should apply. Tune in to the open discussion that takes place, as many of our student share their thoughts and experiences on the mat.

This is part of a larger initiative we’ve had going on a Miami Life Center. This summer we took 8 weeks, to look at the 8 limbs. We wanted to bring more attention to the teachings of yoga, to better understand why we get on the mat and what the path of a yogi is supposed to look like in practice not just in theory. So be sure to check out all the talks we’ll have coming out on the other limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.