Wednesday, December 11, 2013


December 11, 2013 at 8:41am
I rarely get on a soapbox publicly but today I feel called to say this. Training people to go into the world and teach yoga I feel a responsibility to teach the ethics of what yoga stands for. I only work with teachers who I believe represent these same high ethical standards. Doing no harm and not stealing is a main component of who we are suppose to be and if under pressure to succeed we lose that we are then no longer yoga "teachers", we are people who teach asana and speak a bunch of words that we cannot authentically back up.
I hope that every person who walks out of the doors of (our) school has the character to be of substance not just surface words.

When you don't get your way be of good character.  Admit your wrongs. Be respectful when you disagree and focus your energy on your own business, not on seeking revenge. If you get ideas from others ask permission before you use their work, give them credit (Yes publicly) and if you gain from their ideas say "thank you". Don't try to gain by jumping over someones back and profiting from their hard work, ask them how they did it and to mentor you, chances are they will be flattered to do so. It's one thing to be inspired by someone it's another thing to copy and paste and claim it as your own. As my friend Elana says "good equals good". Everything catches up with you in the end so have good character.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A note for upcoming RYT and CYT trainings

Hello, A new school year arrives for yoga lovers!

Here is some basic info you will need before starting class: please find your training and read carefully.
Everyone please bring your mat, your books that required you to preread, and items listed below. You will need a notebook, pen and folder also.

 *One of your sweet teachers, Elana Johnson E.R.Y.T. 500, R.C.Y.T., R.P.Y.T.

RYT 200
Meets at Balance Yoga and Wellness, Hot Springs
Sept 14th  11:30 arrival -5:30  (see below for practice hour)
Sept 15th 10:00 a.m. arrival - 3:00(see below for practice hour)

Choose one class to take this weekend, either the 10:00 a.m. class on Saturday or the 3:30p.m. class on Sunday to attend.

Pre -work: Read Chapter 1 in Instructing Hatha Yoga  and answer questions (bring with you)and
Idiots Guide to Yoga Read Chapter 1
Take notes, highlighting what interest you so you can share in group discussions. 

Wear comfy clothes
Bring one of the following: a vegetarian dish to share,  side item, drink, or paper  or plastic goods (plates,cups, napkins, forks, spoons)
Bring your mat. 

Children (s)Teacher Training: CYT
Meets at Blue Yoga NYLA North Little Rock
Sat. Sept 28th
12 - 6 p.m.

Prework -
Yoga Kids Book by Marsha Wenig,read pages 1-17
Teaching Yoga for Life - Tummers , read Chapter 1
The Complete Idiots Guide to Yoga, Yoga with Kids, Komitor and Adamson, Read Chapter 1
On each chapter take a few notes, make highlights of things that interest you or stand out for sharing.

Wear comfy clothes
Bring one of the following: a vegetarian dish to share,  side item, drink, or paper  or plastic goods (plates,cups, napkins, forks, spoons)
Bring your mat. 

Thank you to everyone. If you need anything before class starts please call me or email me.
*Also I request if you need to make a payment please use the link online or write a check at training. 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Business & Yoga

It is the time of year when our teacher training starts to get full and people start booking the Seva Retreat. As with all things in life experience brings perspective. Lately the last five years has run through my mind many times, seventy students have been through the school, sixty five graduated with  the certification to register with Yoga Alliance as 200 hr teachers. Four of those same folks went through the Children's Teacher Training and became certified to register with YA for that training. The Seva Retreat has run for four years and each year we have forty to fifty people attend.
In that five years I have had many life changes as my children have all become teens, one moved out, and I got a divorce. I have now been with a man for over a year who has operated several  successful martial arts schools over a 40 year teaching career. What a gift he has been to me in operating such a business. A business that is blending business with an Asian Art form that has it's basis in integrity, honor, and ethics. So here is a list of what I have learned from teaching, running a brick and mortar business & learning from Jim, a World Champion 7th Degree Martial Artist (Tae Kwon Do). I have to give much credit to my teachers and friends also Robin Johnson and Elana Johnson, Stacey Faught, and the many female entrepreneur friends I have in my life.

1. Yoga & Martial Arts are not about a "goal" they are about a process. Becoming a "better" person is a process, a life long process.
2. History is important. It gives us a framework about where we come from. Learning about the history of yoga or martial arts gives your practice meaning and depth.
3. If you are in the business for the money or the fame.. you will always be searching. A few people become wealthy but I guarantee you that is not where their heart was when they set out on this journey.
4. When you start out becoming a teacher or getting certified to teach you need to have a heart for touching other peoples lives.
5. Running a yoga business or a martial arts business is still a business and should you move beyond teaching to opening a space your time will be dominated by administrative work, not teaching. You will end up teaching less & less very likely.
6. You will meet a diverse group of people and run into many view points, be open minded.
7. Always treat people with respect and honor, respect your seniors and instructors.
8. There is no substitute for experience, take your time and get experience. Don't be in such a hurry.
9. It is not necessarily good to try to teach in many places, it muddles the water when it comes to behaving with ethics. Business Ethics are not different from personal ethics. The Golden Rule applies everywhere. Again this is often why we shouldn't be so much about money. In Martial Arts it would never be acceptable to teach at one Dojo and then teach at another in the same town on regular basis. I am outspoken on this where others do not feel comfortable.
10. This business of being a free agent in yoga and everyone branding themselves is becoming very egotistical and is getting further & further away from yogic philosophy. I didn't become a studio school owner over night, I worked for many years and always respected my teachers and other teachers when doing so. That being said I made some mistakes and once realized them I faced them, made a mends and changed my way of doing things. Often we don't realize we may be behaving unethically until we are faced with a similar situation, then it's time to do the right thing.

The Connection with Martial Arts, Yoga and Business:

Tae Kwon Do exploded in the West in the 60's and 70's, Yoga has been growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. since the 80's & 90's. Both were introduced to the West in the early 1900's and both have had their growing pains. We can learn a lot from Tea Kwon Do by comparing our similar philosophies that originated in the same part of the world

Tae Kwon Do: Tenants and Student Oath

Explanation of Tenets

1. Courtesy (Ye Ui)

Taekwon-Do students should attempt to be polite to one another and to respect others. Students should address instructors as Sir and to bow to the instructors before and after classes. Turning up early or on time for classes is also an aspect of courtesy.

2. Integrity (Yom Chi)

One who has integrity is able to define what is right or wrong and have the conscience, if wrong, to feel guilt. Taekwon-Do students should strive to be honest and to live by moral principles.

3. Perseverance (In Nae)

Perseverance means having patience. One of the most important secrets of becoming a leader in Taekwon-Do is to overcome every difficulty by perseverance. Confucius said," One who is impatient in trivial matters can seldom achieve success in matters of great importance."

4. Self-Control (Guk Gi)

Without self-control, a Taekwon-Do student is just like any fighter in the street. Loss of self-control is disastrous both in sparring and personal affairs. "The term of stronger is the person who wins over oneself rather than someone else", Lao Tzu.

5. Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

A true student of Taekwon-Do will never give up, not even when faced with insurmountable odds. The most difficult goals can be achieved with indomitable spirit.

Student Oath

I shall observe the tenets of Taekwon-Do.I shall respect the instructor and seniors.
I shall never misuse Taekwon-Do.
I shall be a champion of freedom and justice.
I shall build a more peaceful world.

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

1. Laws of Yama - Abstentions
  • Ahimsa: Non-violence
  • Satya: Truthfulness
  • Asteya: Non-stealing
  • Brahmacharya: Sense Control
  • Aparigraha: Non-greed
2. Laws of Niyama - Observances
  • Saucha: Purity
  • Santosa: Contentment
  • Tapas: Austerity
  • Svadhyaya: Self-study
  • Ishwara pranidhana: Attunement to the Indwelling Reality
3. Asana - Posture
4. Pranayama - Breath Control
5. Pratyahara - Sense Withdrawal
6. Dharana - Concentration
7. Dhyana - Meditation
8. Samadhi - Enlightenment
According to the tradition, the eight limbs are interdependent and practiced simultaneously.
Om Shanti

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Show me a human that has no fear. It is said most of our motivation in life is based out of fear. I heard a wise yogi say once we are motivated by three things: Fear, hunger &  having to go the bathroom.
It's the time of the year that my students start practice teaching and inevitably I get lots of phone calls, which I am actually grateful for. I believe in fear we also have humility. To this day I get butterflies when I teach. That is right after 7000 hours or 12 yrs of teaching yoga I still get nervous.
How can be expect that we will ever gain anything in our life if we don't step through our fear and try something new. The hardest thing for many in trying yoga is walking in the door the first time. Once you have the big picture break it down into small steps, then take the first one. You will be scared and you will make mistakes and with time you will be so proud of yourself and have a great sense of accomplishment.