Holiday Special!

Happy December! All of us at The Yoga Room hope you're doing well!

I can't believe it's been a month since I've returned from India! In case you didn't know, I spent the month of October attending the second of three modules of the 500 hour teacher training program at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai. I learn so, so much during each module, and frankly, it takes me some time to regain my bearings as a yoga teacher when I get back home.

Over the past month I've been trying to figure out how to share my new knowledge in my teaching here at The Yoga Room, and I have to say, it's not simple or straightforward. I feel like yoga in India is one culture, and yoga in the US is a different culture. I can't simply drop Indian yoga on people who are accustomed to American yoga.

For example, in the American yoga culture we typically practice in a group class setting. Students typically attend one or more classes per week. The teacher leads the practice session for many students, providing modifications and variations as needed. There are many benefits associated with this type of practice.

The style of practice at KYM is very different. The vast majority of instruction is taught 1-on-1 in Individual Sessions. The teacher conducts a thorough intake to understand the student's needs and goals. Then the teacher designs and documents a customized practice specifically suited to the student. The teacher teaches the student the practice, then the student practices their customized practice on their own, daily. After 2 - 4 weeks the student has their next session, where they provide an update to the teacher, the teacher adjusts the practice, and so the learning process goes.

This is the way I've been practicing for the past 18 months or so, and I think it's a great teaching/learning model for a number of reasons. For me, it has helped me get my back pain under control and it's helped me deepen my yoga practice in ways I'd never imagined.

But Individual Instruction is also perfect for:

  • beginners
  • people who have any type of special issue they're working with (joint issues, balance issues, health issues, injury, pregnancy, etc.)
  • athletes who need a customized practice for sports training
  • people who have an erratic schedule that makes it difficult to get to the studio for classes
  • people who want to understand more deeply something they learned in group classes
  • people who want to learn something specific that's not offered in group classes (meditation, chanting, breathing techniques, philosophy, etc.)

We've been offering Individual Instruction all along, but in 2018 we'll place a new focus on it and the many benefits it offers.

Throughout December, TYR is offering 10% off all Individual Instruction, with session to be booked anytime in 2018. This discount is applicable for single sessions as well as packages of 5 or 10 sessions.

You can purchase your Individual Instruction sessions in person at the studio or onlineusing the discount code yoga2018.

Whenever you're ready to schedule your session(s), please email us:

  • a short description of what you'd like to work on
  • your availability in 2018 (days of the week and times)

We recommend letting us propose a teacher who will best suit your needs, but if you have a teacher preference please do let us know that as well and we'll accommodate your request if at all possible.

To read more about Individual Instruction, click here. And if you have any questions, please send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

I look forward to seeing you!

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P.S. Please note that your favorite classes are not going away! Our Group Class Schedule will continue pretty much as-is in 2018 (with small tweaks as needed to accommodate the teachers' needs). Please stay tuned - the schedule will come out in next week's newsletter!

☀ EveryBody Yoga! ☀

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I'm still in India for my 500 Hour Teacher Training, but I wanted to share with you another way to keep in touch. :)

In July, Emily and I created the EveryBody Yoga Podcast. We wanted to be able to share The Yoga Room's "Yoga for EveryBody" philosophy with a broader audience.

Last week we released our 10th episode, which is the first in our "Yoga Around the World" series. I'm interviewing some of my new friends from this training program to learn how yoga in other countries may be different (or the same) compared to how we practice in the U.S.

In Episode 10 I interviewed my friend Nadine, from Luxembourg, which is a tiny country in Europe. You can check out the episode here!


Our previous EveryBody Yoga Podcast episodes include everything from etiquette tips to guided practices you can do at home!

You may be wondering, "What is a podcast, anyway?" Here are some frequently asked questions about podcasts:

Q. What is a podcast?
A. A podcast is an audio file made available for downloading, or streaming, on iTunes (now Apple Podcasts), Stitcher, etc., or via a website.

Q. How do I listen?
A. Most people listen to them on their smart phone or tablet, but you can also listen on your computer or laptop. If you plan on being away from Internet access, you can even download the episodes to listen offline.

Q. Is it free?
A. Yes! Our podcast (and most all podcasts) is completely free! 

Q. Do I need to subscribe?
A. Subscribing isn't necessary to listen to a podcast, but doing so ensures you'll never miss an episode, so we'd love you to subscribe! (Subscribing is also free!)

That's it! Oh! We also have an EveryBody Yoga Facebook page. We post videos, tips, and of course, new podcast episodes, so you'll always be in the loop!

Looking forward to connecting with you soon,

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P.S. If you're already listening, please consider leaving us a review! It only takes a few minutes, and we'd love the feedback. <3

En Route to India (Again)

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Today I’m traveling to India for the second session of the 500 hour teacher training program at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. It was a teary scene at 5:00 this morning when I climbed into the Uber in the pouring rain, leaving behind my kids and husband. Luckily my driver was really chatty and told me stories about her children, providing just the distraction I needed. As I write this, I’m sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my connecting flight to Singapore. 

The past several months have been kind of rough for me. As I’ve probably mentioned, this summer my family moved across town to a new house *and* I unexpectedly had to manage the renovation of our rental house after our tenants moved out.

But now that I look back, those weren’t the real challenges I faced.

I learned two important and life changing lessons at the first teacher training session back in January. As we all know, change is hard. And implementing these two lessons has turned my life upside down.

The first lesson I learned is that we humans need routine in order to be healthy. And being a mom to two young boys and also a small business owner, my schedule the past few years has been anything but routine.

The kids’ activities were randomly scheduled throughout the week. We ate dinner at whatever time my husband or I could pick up takeout. Or we ate at a restaurant. We tried to do a little homework every evening, but honestly, more often than not we crammed to finish it on the weekends. The kids’ target bedtime was 8:30, but sometimes they actually went to bed at 9:00, 9:30, or even 10:00. Which meant that I was going to bed at midnight most of the time.

On top of this, my own work schedule was very inconsistent. Over the past several years, I added classes to my teaching schedule whenever an opportunity presented itself. Because of this, I was teaching an oddball combination of Monday/Thursday mornings, Wednesday/Friday mornings, Saturdaymornings, and Thursday evenings. No consistency at all. My work schedule was similarly inconsistent; I’d work whenever I had a couple of free hours.

The second lesson I learned is about dharma, our life’s purpose. Indian philosophy teaches about the 4 stages of life: childhood/student, householder/parent, retired, and preparing for the end of life. I’m currently in the householder/parent stage, so I should theoretically be prioritizing the responsibilities specific to this stage of life.

My mentor at KYM explained to me that if we don’t take care of our dharma-related responsibilities, the lessons keep resurfacing until we do. And this absolutely makes sense to me. For example, if I don’t take the time now to make sure my children learn independence, study skills, hygiene, self-care, etc., we’ll all be struggling and suffering until they finally learn. It makes sense to invest the time now so that we can all be happier in the long run.

Trying to incorporate these two important lessons has created a time of chaos for me. Over the past several months, I’ve been working on creating a consistent routine not just for me, but also for my kids, and also for my husband to a smaller extent. And I’ve also been working on shifting my focus from teaching and running the studio toward more actively parenting my kids.

This shift has not been easy, and it’s still not easy, but I am slowly starting to see hints of change in my kids and in our relationships. They listen a little better, they’re more capable of doing their homework and violin practice independently, they know their morning and evening routines and I don’t have to repeat instructions 20 times anymore. This part is getting better.

Creating a routine for myself has also gotten better - I’ve gradually shifted my teaching schedule and now I teach MWF at 8:30 a.m. at the studio, TT at 9:00 a.m. at RRISD, and Saturday morning at the studio, which has created more consistent work hours and freed me up to parent in the evenings.

But the part I haven’t quite figured out yet is how to balance it all. Yes, I now prioritize parenting my kids. Yes, I’ve created consistency of schedule. But the problem is that my consistent schedule starts at 6:30in the morning and doesn’t end until 10:00 at night. And even with the help of my awesome management team, teaching staff, and reception staff, some of my responsibilities still fall through the cracks. For example, this newsletter. I haven’t sent out this “weekly” newsletter in probably a couple of months. And in light of all the change happening in other areas of my life, I’m ok with that, for now.

I’m really looking forward to this second session of training. Not only will I have a break from my regular routine (which always helps me gain some perspective), I’ll learn more anatomy, chanting, āsana, and philosophy (my favorite!), and I’ll also get some face-to-face time with my wise mentor. And all the while I’ll be looking out for new lessons to help me balance the sthira (effort) and sukha (ease) in my life.

Throughout October I’ll be posting/sharing a video diary about my experience in India on our social media pages:

And speaking of, please let me take a minute to explain where these new brands came from and what content we’re sharing where.

The Yoga Room’s pages feature content related to our brick and mortar studio location in Round Rock, like in-person workshops, classes, etc.

The EveryBody Yoga Podcast and its social media pages are how we share yoga with a broader, worldwide community.

And Professional Yoga Teachers Podcast and its social media pages are how we share our teaching with like-minded yoga teachers and people interested in becoming yoga teachers.

We welcome you to follow us on any of those pages that are interesting to you and to share our pages with your friends!

Looking forward to connecting with you soon,