Yoga’s potency is no joke. There is good reason it has survived thousands of years and traveled the globe to serve us. It unblocks dis-ease and helps us work back to our true state of health and wholeness. Once we get a taste of that high and it’s uplifting sensations, we’re thirsty for more. So how do we deepen our practice? Let’s explore some ways you can branch outward and reap even more benefit from your discipline.
Thousands of years ago, a sage named Patanjali outlined a simple path for attaining yoga. The first step, he says, is consistency. As basic as it sounds, many students expect their yoga practice to progress without firm and steady commitment. Just like a laze-faire attitude at work or in your personal relationships yield mediocre results, making it to your mat half-heartedly a couple of times a month won’t move you forward in yoga. If we want to master any arena, we must put in the time. Then, Patanjali says, we trust the process and stay unattached to outcome. This attitude helps us enjoy the experience and also notice the lessons along the yogic path instead of focusing on the end result.
These days, most yoga students begin their journey through the physical practice, also known as asana. But did you know there are 7 other limbs to explore? Meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques) are natural next steps for those already addicted to their mats. We learn a smorgasbord of these exercises in yoga teacher training, and discern which is helpful and when. Many students mistakenly believe teacher trainings are only for those yogis looking to actually teach. But many curious students delve into teacher training to deepen their personal yoga journeys. For those looking for a smaller commitment, guided meditation classes are an easy way to practice controlling the wild mind, and soak in the many benefits of meditation that science has recently uncovered.
Whenever I travel, I slink into random yoga classes to collect bits of wisdom from teachers I’ve never experienced. But I don’t always have to travel to new places or studios to find new teachers. Guest teachers often sail through town, offering workshop-style classes that can broaden our perspectives. Moreover, there are probably teachers you’ve never taken class with at your home studio who can positively inform your practice! Venture out of your comfort zone and be open to different styles of teaching. Every teacher has a unique perspective worth visiting at least once.
Just as a new teacher can help us evolve, so can a different style of yoga class. For years I stayed steady with more active, yang styles of yoga. However, the slower, meditative pace of a yin yoga class won me over when I realized how much it changed my mental state and connective tissues. I now use both, and let my needs dictate which practice serves me best that day. More style options also mean I have little excuse left for skipping yoga based on energy level.
Your yoga teacher is here to serve you! Make good use of their experience and training by asking about areas where you’d like to grow. Not sure how to hold a handstand? Having trouble focusing during savasana? A good teacher will guide you to your goals, either with their own expertise, or by referring you to someone who is better suited to illuminate your path.
One of the most economical and mind-expanding ways to deepen your practice? Reading! Ancient yogic texts, yoga for specific populations, current research findings and so much more are available according to your interest. Two favorites of mine are The Yoga Sutras translated by Swami Satchitananda and The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad. Swap recommendations with other yoga students and see if your practice doesn’t profit.
Yoga is not just an act that happens within the walls of our studios. Try taking your intentions off of your mat each day! Be mindful of what each moment teaches you about yourself, whether it’s an interaction with a bank teller, what you choose to buy, or how you spend your time. Notice how you talk to yourself and what thoughts occupy your mind space. Take the seat of the higher self and observe without judgement. This is the lens of the learning yogi, and will help expand your awareness, bringing yoga and its transformative power into every moment of your life.
About the author, Linsey Birusingh:
I am an E-RYT 500 YACEP called to teach yoga after it helped anchor my anxiety and heal my body! I currently teach trauma-sensitive yoga and work with private clients on mental wellness, cross training and trauma recovery. I also teach workshops around the world and coach the 200 hour Power Life yoga program. Always a student, I am pursuing my 1000 hour RYT yoga certification with Yoga Medicine. I am an active philanthropist with a background in journalism, tv, print and women’s studies. Please connect with me at yogathrill.com or www.instagram.com/yogini_linsey for informational videos and upcoming events.
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Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life.
Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.
Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters.
Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.
Did you know that we validate parking for TWO garages?!
For the Two Light garage, please bring your ticket inside for validation. For the Power & Light garage, please ask for a parking pass at the front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)
If you find that you are running a little late, please call the studio to let the instructor know to keep an eye out for you.
We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:
Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.
Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).
Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.
Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!
The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!
This option is valid once per day per license plate.
There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.
Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max
Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.
All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.