Author Archives: cheyenneyoga

About cheyenneyoga

Yoga teacher. I've studied Power vinyasa, restorative, and yoga for pregnant woman with Tamal Dodge in Los Angeles, I was attracted by the movement so I went studying with Shiva Rea for 300 hours her Prana Flow style, but after a yoga for scoliosis workshop and after focusing on what I want in my practice and for my students, I've decided to focus on a more alignment based yoga, and started studying with the great Annie Carpenter, and after 200h with her my teaching skills had changed for the best. The more I learn the more I have to share with my students. I'm now teaching a flowy vinyasa alignment focus, yin yoga, restorative yoga and chair yoga (for people with less range of motion) in Monaco, most of the time but also in some magical events such as Burning Man in Nevada. http://instagram.com/cheyenneyoga/ Ambassador of a great yoga brand that preserves the planet by using recycled plastic bottle to make their yoga pants: http://www.myinnerfire.com/ (Use the code Cheyenne on their website or on amazon for 15% off) Lululemon ambassador Yoga inspired jewelry designer: Pepper Kreation

1 year of daily meditation

Today is the first anniversary of my daily meditation practice. I’ve been meditating for more than 3 years now, but not every day. 
1 year ago I stepped out of a toxic relationship that left me drained out emotionnaly, because I’ve invested so much in it when the other person was just selfishly  waiting for me to make all the efforts. I’ve decided that meditation will help me heal. And it did.

I’ve learned so many things!

 First, I’ve learned that i will not stop the flow of all my thoughts, no.. but I will learn to observe them in peace.

I’ve learned that we are NOT our emotions, and I manage now to sit and observe those emotions without being carried away by them (ok not all the time yet, but quiet often)

I’ve strangely developped some weird skills like feeling the energy around me,  or having this weird feeling of energy in my hands (I still need to figure this out).

I’ve learned patience, and that was a first. I also learned acceptance and forgiveness with some amazing guided meditations on the app “insight timer” I’ve understood that when people hurt you it’s sad about them because they can’t do better than hurting you, you are not the problem, it’s them.

Of course I didn’t become perfect or THAT wise lol. But I have improved! For the best. Strangely enough I’ve also learned to say no, quietly (I used to wait to say no until I was so angry I was about to explode lol), or to put on hold some relationships where I didn’t feel respected (that is also probably a consequence and a lesson learned from the toxic relationship).

I meditate to the sound of relaxing music, gongs, crystal bowls, in silent, or most of the time I use the guided meditations on  Insight timer (wich I recommand warmly and I promise I have no interest doing so), the app also helps me keeping tracks of my meditations! (The stats option is super cool, since for example I know that since I’m using that app I’ve meditated 103 hours and 30 minutes lol).

My favorite place to meditate is half seated in my bed or when I travel, in a plane.

I’m so looking forwart to this second year of magical power!

You should give it a try! 

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Yoga and Burning Man

I taught yoga at Burning man again this year. 4 classes. Why would I work during my time off some people asked me. Well first of all it’s a pleasure to give back to that amazing community, not only through my camp who was offering many different activities (Pepperland is a great camp, check it out next year!) but also, by giving my personnal touch. I was super lucky to teach in two big legit camps:  Heebeegeebees and Red lightning. Such a treat.

Teaching at Burning Man, (and probably in yoga festival too) is an amazing opportunity to share your energy with people who are fully opened to receive. They are not running in between work and and supermarket, they are in the present moment. Fully commited to their practice. It’s a differrent experience.

Back home I teach in small studios, so when I taught my first class at Red Lightning in a huge space with a microphone and in front of 100 students, I had goosebumps, and I could feel this energy shared by all of us, it was so different, so empowering. And when at the end, people come to thank you and to tell you the class was amazing and how they feel great, you just want to stay in that moment forever.

Can’t wait for next year.

Namaste

A glimpse on a yama: Aparigraha

I’m starting here a serie on the yoga sutras, with one of my two favorites yama: Aparigraha. 

Yoga sutra 2-39 : aparigrahasthairye janma kathanta sambodhah

 Freedom from wanting unlocks the real purpose of existence.

 It would be smart to stop trying to possess something desperatly. In a society

 That is based on consumption, most of us believe that things can make us

 Happy. This way of life prevents us to live in the present moment and prevent

 us to seek the true source of happiness. Aparigraha doesn’t necessarly means

 possessing stuff it could also be fame or even may be mastering a hard asana.

 In my practice I’ve learned the hard way to let go if I can’t do a specific asana. I

 remember I was obsessed with visvamitrasana and tried so much that I ended

 up hurting myself. (ahimsa anyone ?), now I know how to let go. I don’t hold a

 handstand more than 2 seconds ? it’s ok I will try another day, and may be it

 will never happen in this life but does it really matter ? Is it a real source of

 happiness ? We tend to complicate our lives with things we don’t really need,

 and we suffer with the loss or lack of something. B !K !S Iyengar wrote : « By

 the observance of aparigraha, the yogi makes his life as simple as possible and

 trains his mind not to feel the loss or the lack of anything. Then everything he

 really needs will come to him by itself at the proper time. » I live in a country  

) where rich people comes to live in for security and tax reason, I

 witness people with a lot of possession, are they happier ? Not at all ! They

 focus (we all do) on what they don’t have (yet..) and forget about all they have.

 Being grateful for what we already have and not suffer for all the thing we

 don’t have is the fist step to happiness ! Keep it simple!

 

Ubuntu and yoga

The concept of Unbuntu is often resumed by the words : « i am because we

are » Yoga means yoke which can be translated by many words like, connection  

or union. Those two philosophical concepts have similarities but some  

differences as well. 

Similarities : Yoga teaches us compassion and compassion is definitely a major 

point of Ubuntu. In the yoga sutras Patanjali explains the concept of ahimsa,  

non harming other people or purself, in Ubuntu if you harm someone else it’s  

like harming yourself. You have to get rid of your ego to embrace ubuntu and  

yoga clearly helps you with that, ego tends to diminish and connectivity rises. In            

yoga we have to look at when ego limits our possibility. , ego is neutral. Ego is  

simply a sense of “self” or personality, the thoughts and reactions of a mind  

shaped by experiences, preferences, habits, and fantasies. As humans, we  

share this phenomenon, and ego-identification creates boundaties hat keep us 

separate from each other as well as from recognizing 

the pure gold of our own true nature. As we learn to recognize the  

mental patterns and defenses that Patanjali describes, we become 

more comfortable in the role of witness. We gain perspective that allows us to  

detach from the ego self. I would say here that somehow, yoga gives the tool to 

accomplish ubuntu. Also the idea of karma, what we give is what we receive 

it can be related to ubuntu but lay be in a more global level as it includes the  

idea of reincarnation. 

Differences :  

Ubuntu is a concept that is only philosophical in a way, yoga covers more field,  

than that. Yoga takes care of the body too, so we can have an healthy mind in  

an healthy body. Yoga has also a spiritual dimension, it helps controlling an  

individual’s mind, body and soul. I am a soul, a spirit, living in a body. The idea 

of Ubuntu is that we depend on human connection, i don’t think it’s  

totally true in yoga. Some yogi tends to love being isolated to meditate 

and try to attain enlightment. The connection we talk about in yoga is more  

the connection between mind body and soul, which will lead to a control of the  

ego and that’s where yoga and ubuntu have the same ideas. 

A must read for yoga teachers, or devoted practicionners

Spirituality

  • The Bhagavad gita
  • The yoga sutras (Patanjali)
  • The Upanishads

Practice

  • Light on Yoga (B.K.S Iyengar)
  • The heart of yoga (T.K.V Desikachar)
  • Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha (Satyananda Saraswati)
  • Yin yoga: Outline of a quiet practice (Paul Grilley)
  • Jivamukti yoga: practice for liberating body and soul (Sharon Gannon)
  • Yoga mind body and spirit (Donna Farhi)
  • Dancing the body of light (Dona Holleman)

Anatomy

  • The key muscles of Hatha yoga (Ray long)
  • The key poses of Hatha yoga (Ray Long)
  • Anatomy for vinyasa flow and standing poses (Ray long)
  • Yoga anatomy (Leslie Kaminoff)

 

Enjoy your reading; Namaste.

BE the change….

The past week has been intense emotionally for a lot of people in the world and for myself including in my personal life. It makes me wonder: Why the hell most of human beings don’t take warnings seriously?

Let’s take an example with the Earth, many many studies, and many changes we actually can observe in the weather, show us that global warming is on its way with all its terrible consequences; And what the majority of humans are doing about it? Nothing. They just hope for the best. That’s what human beings do best. Am I the only person who’s annoyed, to say the least, by this kind of attitude?

Are we still those kids that you warn constantly: “be cautious with your toys otherwise they will end up broken…” and they still act like you say nothing and then the toy is broken and then they are sad about it? wtf people?

We can say the same thing about how people treats each other, they don’t care about hurting their feelings, they don’t listen when you warn them and then when you take some actions, they’re like: “omg I don’t understand, I was hoping everything will be fine and it’s not”.

Warnings are a serious matter people. Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of what people tells you, be aware of what scientists tell you, and just don’t sit there hoping for the best! I always wondered, is that arrogance? “I know better, global warming is an urban legend and there won’t be any consequences anyway”, is that a problem of understanding? “when my mom says my toy will be broken, what does she mean exactly?” is it because people are numb? “I live on a beautiful pink cloud, everything looks so pretty I can’t hear you, global what?”

The famous quote says: “BE the change you want to see in the world”, it doesn’t say think in a positive way about that change that will happen while you sit there doing nothing!!!

May be something to think about on this beautiful day?
  

The benefits of chair yoga

People who don’t practice have two different kind of ideas about yoga:

Those who think that we stay in Padmasana and meditate for hours, and those who think that we spend our days with the feet behind the head standing on one hand. But there are so many options between those two  ideas, and one of those options is practicing yoga sitting on a chair.

In fact, if you think about it, not everyone can practice standing, for many different reasons. The chair becomes a yoga prop, it becomes the yoga mat. This kind of practice is not only (as you could think) for the elder people, it’s also for people with health issues, or people that can’t use their legs for some reasons, but also for people at the office that don’t have the time, neither the space for a more traditional practice. By practicing on a chair they can still relax, release the tensions, and move their body. It’s beneficial for the body and the mind.

1. Benefits on the body

Practicing on a chair allows to modify a lot of traditionnal postures by making them more accessible for any kind of people/bodies. There are many postures you can do seated, a lot of twist that allows you to stretch your back and massage your internal organs, some hip openers, shoulder openers… There is also the possiblity of using the chair as a support for a standing posture, such as triangle pose or tree pose for example. Some people with balance issues might find it very helpful. 

In fact, this practice benefits to every part of the body, it allows a better bloodstream, improves balance in a significative way, detoxifies the body, ameliorates the posture and the flexibility. Moving makes the mucles more active so they get stronger, and we can say the same about the bones too.

But the body is not the only one that benefits from this practice:

2. Benefits on the mind

The simple fact of moving a little,  can give a person whith a disability or a health isuue,  new hopes, and a better self esteem. Simple things like a better balance or a bigger range of movements, even the releasing of tensions, allow inner peace. Someone stressed by a long day at the office can easily make this observation. Like in a more traditionnal yoga practice, the relation between the body and the mind is better, even the spiritual aspect of yoga can be shared. The practitioner learns how to breath in a better way too. All of this increase the well being and can even offer a better health.

Chair yoga is definitely an amazing option that should be more offered.

Stay tuned for other thoughts about my experience as a yoga teacher! Namaste.

 picture courtesy of JLC