If you live in Los Angeles like me, you are no stranger to the freeway – the 10 to the 405 to the 101 can get you to your favorite yoga class across town… in over or under an hour depending on traffic. Driving is a part of most people’s lives in the city and at times practicing yoga, feeling blissed out then having to get into your car and navigate your way through the masses can feel a bit counterproductive to the wonderful yoga high you just treated yourself to. Let’s consider the benefits to a home yoga practice and The Udaya Yoga Commute – how long does it really take?

 

Benefit #1: Pants are Optional

When you begin to cultivate a morning yoga ritual at home you start to experience the time saving benefits right away. Yoga pants and other clothing items are completely optional, saving you lots of time trying to pick the perfect outfit for class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit #2: Anytime is Tea Time

 

While making the Udaya Commute from your bedroom to your living room, you can pass through the kitchen and steep your favorite tea. No long lines and no one telling you:

no shirt

no shoes

no service

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit #3: Take a Scenic Detour

 

Sip your tea as you swing by your window to see what the weather is like, without actually having to be in it. Take in the beauty of your neighborhood and have a moment of gratitude for where you live, your health and your loved ones.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit #4: Create your own schedule.

You’ve made it to the living room, but you’re not quite finished with your cup of tea. No problem. With Udaya classes, there is no teacher telling you to step to the front of your mat right at 8:00am. You get to press play at 8:12am or whenever you’re done reading your favorite passage from the book you keep by the couch.

 

 

 

Benefit #5: Your practice is your own.

 

There’s something special about the fact that you’ve chosen to practice yoga today. You do it because it helps you feel great in your body and calms your mind. You commuted all this way to take your favorite teacher’s class and you receive the gifts of your decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit #6: Your favorite breakfast spot is in the next room.

Let’s face it. When you cook at home you have so much more control about what ingredients you put in your body, especially the levels of sugar and salt, which can greatly impact our cravings and overall health. A home based yoga practice can also support you in preparing more of your own scrumptious food at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefit #7: Self-care is key

When flying they remind you to put your oxygen mask on first so you can help others. It’s the same with self-care. When we recharge our own batteries, we have more to give to others. Save yourself the regular commute across town and choose the Udaya Commute today. See how much time you save and how much unnecessary stress you avoid. You deserve to feel great.


“I’m not Flexible!”
Recently I went to a great London teacher named Stuart Goldcrest.
It was my second time in three years, and with him being a popular yoga teacher I was not
expecting him to remember me but then he singled me out as a beginner – which actually
bruised my ego.

I practice at least three times a week and have done so since I was 18.
I just have never been blessed with flexibility (being more of a sprinter and a jumper my
muscles are wound a little tighter than most). In fact I’ve often found the reverse effect at
times when I have practiced a lot of yoga, my speed and jumping height would actually get
worse!

“A Disservice” 
The yoga magazines do the beginner yoga classes the biggest disservice dissuading beginners
into walking into a practice by showing pictures of skinny white girls in impossible to get to
positions. This is what can lead you to say “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact the benefit of a practice lies in the journey not the destination, the way to touch your
toes is so much more beneficial than touching them.
Movement brings blood and nutrition to areas and muscles which promote the path of
healing. I have personal experience of this by healing my rickety knees through yoga.

“The curse and the gift of tight hamstrings”
Yoga has many other benefits besides flexibility, strength and length.
There is an unintended byproduct. In the yoga sutras it says “if you want to know your yoga is working take a look at your relationships”.

Trying that first class is probably the most intimidating step you take but trust me – lying in a
puddle of your own sweat in Savasana will answer any reservation you will have had before
walking in.

Flexibility will come over time, however even that is a by-product. Just like your sweat, the
nectar lies in the way you feel and how you interact in the environment.
Tight hamstrings are a blessing in yoga, not a curse.

 

by Yariv Lerner


I have good intentions; we all do. My intention is to practice yoga #everydamnday, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. How many times have you thought those exact same words…but then fallen short?

We’re human.

We get sidetracked.

We’re in demand.

And we’ve learned that we should be nice. We’ve learned that we should be giving, selfless, of service. But let’s get it straight. Often it’s just that niceness that derails us from keeping a solid consistency to our own practice.

Incorporate these 10 habits in your life today and end the day-to-day struggle of staying on point! The long-term benefits are well worth it.

1.Your Hour. The #1 reason why people don’t stay committed is they feel they don’t have the time. Waiting until that point in the day when the world stops and there is nothing to do (oh hey, I’ll do some yoga now!) is not a plan. Set aside 10 to 60 minutes at the same time every day. Treat this with the same mindset as a business meeting. You wouldn’t blow off a meeting to practice yoga and you shouldn’t blow off your yoga practice for a meeting.

2. Your Week. When you wake up on Monday morning you should already have your week planned. Whether your thing is to practicing 3 times, 5 times or 7 days a week, it doesn’t matter. But know what your thing is. Pick the days of the upcoming week that you are going to practice and stick with it.

3. Your Meals. Now that you’ve set the time of day to practice, don’t set yourself up for failure by being hungry when it’s time to practice. If you are practicing in your office at lunch time but you haven’t eaten yet today, this is obviously not a good plan. And if your time for practice is after lunch and lunch was ginormous burrito…then again, this is obviously not a good plan. Find that in between zone where your stomach is light but you are nourished. This may mean that you decline an invitation to lunch with your friends or you are forced to use will power and order light. Oh, the horror of it.

4. Your Practice. Whether self-practice is your groove, practicing online, or practicing at a studio, pre-plan your practice a week at a time. With great online streaming services like Udaya the choice is endless but sometimes overwhelming. The best plan is to have a plan. Pick from 100s of classes based on duration (10-60 minutes), style (from Ashtaga to Yin and everything in between) level (hey, every day isn’t a level 4 day). You can even choose by the type of pose you want to do and the type of muscles you want to engage. Save all your favorite classes so they are easy to find when you need them quickly.

5. Your Nice Factor. You will be tempted to break your plan. You will want to bend. The words, ‘Oh, just this once.’ ‘Oh, I’ll get right back on track tomorrow’ will start to float through your head. But know that this type of thinking is what got you where you are today…needing some inspiration to get back on track with a commitment to your practice. Invited to a late drink-up the night before your 7am practice session? Just say NO. Colleagues want you to join for a late lunch at the new Chinese joint before your 5pm practice? Just say NO. Boyfriend wants you to join him on the couch for a movie? Just say NO. Kids banging on the door and want your attention? Just say NO (and then get your partner in line- this is his/her hour to handle them).

And if you still have a burning desire to be nice, I suppose you could say NO, thank you.

 

by Patty Van de Bogart

 

 

 


Caley:

– What can your UDAYA followers expect from the new show?

They can expect to see yogis navigating the ever-changing landscape of teaching- while experiencing the challenges that social media, relationships, and everything in between present to them.

 

– The show’s presented as being about the meeting of worlds between “Instagirls” and “Yoga Traditionalists”. Do you feel you are breaking from traditional yoga via the evolution of your career, or was there a conscious decision to do so?

With ten years of teaching yoga under my belt, I can say that one of my most favorite things about the practice is that it meets us where we are. This means as individuals, and as a collective community. Our world is changing. Our environment is changing, so we must evolve as well. Social media is a part of that. This tool has unfolded naturally for me and has been extremely useful.

 

– Any interesting experiences in filming this show you’d like to share with us?
All of it! Turns out reality TV is not actually 100% reality…and I learned to actually act, too! Can’t wait to see how it all is cut together to make this show.

 

 

Vytas:

– What can your UDAYA followers expect from the new show?

Yoga Girls is a lighthearted take on the LA yoga scene. It does touch on some real themes that we all deal with, but mostly this is just entertainment… with a little yoga thrown in.

 

– The show’s presented as being about the meeting of worlds between “Instagirls” and “Yoga Traditionalists”. What is traditional yoga to you, what do you attempt to stay loyal to in the evolution of your yoga career?

Yoga is an umbrella term. There is no such thing as “traditional yoga” because it has always been a blend of influences from different disciplines, no matter how far back you go. What the show is actually addressing with this theme is how established teachers are reacting to the new social media platforms. As much as some people want the umbrella of yoga to not cover these new influences, it seems a bit myopic to me. Nobody is in charge of saying what yoga is and what it is not. As my career evolves, I hope to evolve with it and not get stuck in any old ideas or preconceived notions.

 

– Any interesting experiences in filming this show you’d like to share with us?

Filming the show was such a fun experience. Having been on Survivor before, I’d already experienced reality TV, but not in this way. Yoga Girls is more of a “scripted” show so it gave us more freedom to act out scenarios that we might not have normally taken part in.

 

Koya:

– What can your UDAYA followers expect from the new show?

Yoga Girls gives viewers a glimpse of a yoga teacher’s life outside of classes. They will see that we are not perfect and how we deal with challenges in our career, relationships and much more.

 

– The show’s presented as being about the meeting of worlds between “Instagirls” and “Yoga Traditionalists”. Do you feel you are breaking from traditional yoga via the evolution of your career, or was there a conscious decision to do so?

I feel like a traditional yogi because I’m a 500hr certified yoga teacher, and I continue that education yearly- learning more and more as the world changes and evolves. To me social media is a vehicle to reach more people around the world, and when I travel to teach I also learn about how different cultures practice yoga and spirituality. I believe in unity and oneness, so I use my platform to reach a diverse audience who want to live a healthy lifestyle. I don’t really let what people want to call that bother me. The love I experience from yoga transcends labels.

 

– Any interesting experiences in filming this show you’d like to share with us?

I’m not a huge fan of reality being edited. I have a ton of fear when I think about how someone can naturally take things the wrong way. That things can be totally edited to create a different reality is still something I’m not sure I like, but my desire to spread my message won. I think people will get to know me better, while I practice being more vulnerable and open with the daily struggles I face- trying to follow my dreams, and choosing love over fear.


Growing up I heard many times about how individuals are “products of their environment”. This seems pretty obvious. You put yourself in a kind and loving environment and you start to notice that you act more kind and loving. You put yourself in a mean and abusive environment and you notice that you start to act more mean and abusive. Of course there is a whole component of natural inclinations, though in general we can see that there is some truth to the statement that individuals are “products of their environment”.

What perks my ears up in warning about this is that in believing that individuals are only “products of their environment” we are calling individuals a “product”; an object, a thing that is defined like a car or a phone. Or a sum total of parts. This seems like a pretty narrow definition of who and what we are as individuals. While the truth that we are a product it is observable from one view point I would like for us to consider that we are also a process. A developing, moving, dynamic being that has possibility for change.

Being only a product of your environment is dependant on what Yoga calls, “being asleep” which basically translates to “operating one’s life on unconscious habit”. No longer being a product of your environment may be impossible in any total sense, though if you want to stop being a product of your environment to any degree, Yoga suggests that we must be present with and put attention on the process that is our life.

What adds up to “us” in this statement? What in our environment “produces” the individual?

  • Company
  • Food
  • Thought forms

When we look at these 3 aspects of our life we see that unless you live in a cave alone, meditate 18 hours a day, and eat air, these are at play in the process of life. If we live in the world, we need other people to talk to, to build relationship, to have touch in our life, to do business with, to practice compassion and acceptance, to have a sense of belonging. We also need food to keep us alive and physically healthy. We need thought forms to communicate and to solve problems – and that is pretty much it for the utility of thought forms. The rest of 95% of thought forms tend to be in the categories of judgment, distraction, fascination, fantasy = resistance to practice.

These three categories of human life are so prevalent and necessary to everyday existence that we might overlook their importance and impact on our identity and behavior. We might not notice how when we eat steak that our aggression level goes up. Or when we think about a particular song, the emotion of sadness arises in us. We might think, “oh this is just the person I go to tea with every week”, not seeing how their way of being affects us once we leave their company.

Yoga offers practices that address the processes of life. The aim of which is to bring harmony to the the centers of life (mind, body, heart).

 

Practices

Thought forms come to us from our environment through people, books, media, advertising, and entertainment. Thought forms can be healthy for us though very often they are toxic to our mental and emotional health. For the thought forms in our life, which is the mental center of our life, Yoga offers the practice of meditation. By sitting with and being in a non-judgemental state of observation of the mind, we can slowly over time, gain the skill in letting go of all the unnecessary thought forms that keep us distracted, confused, frustrated, and resistant to a life of practice.

In the category of food, Yoga suggests a mostly vegetarian diet. This is not a moral issue. This is a practice issue. To echo the old adage, “you are what you eat”. The food we eat fills our bodies with chemicals. These chemicals either aid in our bodily health, or tax it. So many studies today are showing the direct connection to animal based diets and disease and the importance of plant based nutrition on our gut flora, endocrine system, immune system. The foods we eat even affect our thought forms! You can test this out yourself. Look at your diet and find something that you eat everyday. Take that food away for a day or two and notice the repetitive thoughts in the mind. Then re add that food back and notice the thoughts again. If you try this experiment and are not adept at noticing your thoughts, attempt to do so in meditation.

For the Heart, Yoga suggests to be discerning with the company you keep. Now don’t get me wrong here. I am not equating the emotional situation of life with the heart! I do not suggest choosing your company based on emotions! I am not suggesting choosing anything in life based on emotions! I am saying that the Heart in Yoga represents your deepest desire for yourself in this life. Your purpose for being here. How you derive meaning in a world that makes little sense and collectively makes very few sane choices. The company you keep can influence you to live a life of compassion and acceptance and fulfill the basic need of belonging in a healthy way.

Recap

  • Put your attention on and be present with your life as process.

For the Mind – Watch the thought forms that influence you and practice meditation

For the Body – Move toward a mostly vegetarian diet and notice how food affects your mind and emotions

For the HeartKeep good company. Keep company that encourages you to live a life full of meaning and purpose. A life of practice.

 

By: Brent Kuecker – Yogi. Musician. Educator.


Udaya Spotlight

RUDY METTIA
Rudy often describes himself as “obsessed” with yoga and it is clearly evident in his teaching. Utilizing his experiences both on and off the mat, he inspires students to challenge their perceived boundaries while respecting their limitations. As he guides students within the class, he carefully breaks down each movement, finding myopic muscle and energetic actions to achieve the most.
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