Aesthetic vs. Functional Yoga: Finding Your Path on the Mat

Colynn teaching several people yoga, them all in downward facing dog

Hello, Yoga Friends!

In our colorful world of yoga, there are many paths to explore. Today, let's chat about two distinct approaches: aesthetic yoga and functional yoga. As a middle-aged, queer, alignment-focused yoga teacher, I see beauty in both but also recognize their unique differences. So, grab your mat, and let's dive into what sets these two apart.

Aesthetic Yoga: The Art of the Pose

Aesthetic yoga is like the yoga you often see in magazines or on social media. It's visually stunning, with perfect poses and picturesque backgrounds.

Focus on Form:

Aesthetic yoga emphasizes the external appearance of yoga poses. It’s about achieving that picture-perfect pose that looks like a work of art.

Challenges and Considerations:

While it's beautiful to look at, this approach can sometimes lead us to push our bodies beyond their comfortable limits. It might also lead to comparing ourselves with others, which isn’t what yoga is truly about.

Who Might Enjoy It:

If you’re someone who loves the challenge of mastering complex poses and enjoys the visual aspect of yoga, aesthetic yoga might resonate with you.

Functional Yoga: The Body’s Wisdom

Functional yoga, on the other hand, is all about how your body feels in a pose rather than how it looks.

Alignment and Sensation:

This approach focuses on alignment and the internal experience of yoga. It’s about understanding and respecting your body’s unique structure and needs.

Benefits and Safety:

Functional yoga reduces the risk of injury and is incredibly inclusive. Whether you’re young, old, athletic, or new to exercise, functional yoga adapts to you.

Who Might Enjoy It:

If you're more interested in the health benefits of yoga, how it feels in your body, and personal growth, functional yoga might be your path.

The Middle Ground

The beauty of yoga is that it's not a one-size-fits-all practice. You might find yourself drawn to the artistic expression of aesthetic yoga one day and the body-awareness focus of functional yoga the next.

Listening to Your Body:

The key is to listen to your body. It’s okay to admire the beauty of a perfect pose, but it’s also important to honor your body’s limits and needs.

A Personal Journey:

Yoga is a personal journey, and your practice can be as unique as you are. Whether you lean towards aesthetic, functional, or a mix of both, what matters most is that your practice brings you joy, health, and peace.

Conclusion:

In the end, whether you choose aesthetic yoga, functional yoga, or a little bit of both, remember that the heart of yoga is self-discovery and self-care. It’s a practice that invites us to explore and embrace our unique selves, on and off the mat.

So, dear yogis, I encourage you to explore, experiment, and find the style (or styles) that resonate with you. And most importantly, have fun with your practice!

**

Happy Exploring,**

Your Yoga Guide on this Journey

Meditation: Letting It Happen, One Breath at a Time

Hey Lovely People,

Today, let's chat about something near and dear to my heart: meditation. I often hear folks say, "I'm doing meditation," but here's a little secret – meditation isn't really something you 'do'. It's more like something that 'happens' to you, like falling asleep. You set the stage, get comfy, and let it happen. As a middle-aged, queer yoga teacher, I've seen so many people, from all walks of life, discover the magic of just letting meditation happen. And guess what? You can too!

Meditation: More Than Just Sitting Still

First off, let’s bust a myth: meditation isn't just sitting in silence with your legs crossed and trying to empty your mind. It's about being present, noticing your thoughts (they're totally normal, by the way), and then bringing your attention back to something like your breath or a sound.

The cool thing about meditation is that it’s like giving your brain a little vacation. All day, our minds are like busy bees, buzzing from one thought to another. Meditation is the time when we tell our busy bees to take a break and just chill.

Benefits: Why Meditation is Your Friend

  1. Stress? Bye-Bye!
    • Meditation is amazing at helping to lower stress. It’s like telling your body, “Hey, it’s okay to relax now.”
  2. Hello, Good Sleep!
    • Having trouble sleeping? Meditation can be like a gentle lullaby for your mind, helping you drift off to dreamland more easily.
  3. Focus Like a Laser Beam
    • Regular meditation can help you focus better in your day-to-day life. It’s like training your brain to stay on one channel instead of flipping through a hundred!
  4. Emotional Rollercoaster? Not Anymore!
    • Meditation can help smooth out those emotional ups and downs. It’s like having an inner cushion that softens life’s bumpy rides.

“But I’m Bad at Meditation!” – Nope, You’re Not!

I hear this a lot: “I tried meditating, but I’m just bad at it.” Here’s a little truth bomb – there’s no such thing as being bad at meditation. If your mind wanders (which it will, trust me), that's not failing. That’s just your brain doing brain stuff. The magic is in noticing that and bringing your focus back. It’s like a bicep curl for your brain.

Consistency is Key: Keep Showing Up

Meditation is a practice, and like anything else, it gets more familiar the more you do it. It's not about having a perfect, thought-free session every time. It’s about showing up, again and again, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Think of it like watering a plant. A little bit every day goes a long way.

Creating Your Meditation Space

Find a comfy spot where you can sit or lie down without too many distractions. You don’t need anything fancy – a chair, cushion, or even your bed works. Set a timer for however long you want to meditate. Even five minutes is a great start!

Then, just focus on your breath, a word, or a sound. When your mind wanders (and it will – that’s okay!), gently bring your attention back. That's it! You're meditating!

Remember: It’s a Journey

Meditation is a journey, not a destination. It’s about the experience, not the outcome. Each time you meditate, you’re taking a step towards a calmer, more centered you. And the best part? Everyone can meditate – it's totally inclusive.

Join Our Meditation Circle

If you’re curious about meditation or looking for some friendly guidance, come join one of our meditation sessions. We’re all about creating a kind, caring, and chill space where everyone can explore meditation at their own pace. I have lots of sessions on YouTube or try an immersive experience with Frik-Shuhn's 50 hour Meditation & Pranayama Training.

Until Next Time, Keep breathing and smiling, and remember, meditation is about letting it happen, one breath at a time.

Your Chill Meditation Guide, Colynn

Yoga's Not Just for Show: Why Feeling Beats Looking Good

Hey Friends,

Let's chat about something near and dear to my heart (and my yoga mat): the difference between making yoga look good and making it feel good. You've probably seen those picture-perfect yoga poses on Instagram, right? That's aesthetic yoga for you. But here in our cozy yoga corner, we're all about functional yoga. It's less about impressing others and more about connecting with yourself.

Aesthetic Yoga: Looks Good on Camera, But...

  1. Picture-Perfect Pressure:
    • Aesthetic yoga is like those glossy magazine photos – stunning, but not always real. It's about hitting poses that look great, sure, but they might not feel great. And that's a problem.
    • Ever felt like you're not 'doing yoga right' because you can't twist yourself into a pretzel? Yeah, that's the downside of chasing those picture-perfect poses.
  2. When Your Body Says 'Nope':
    • Pushing your body into a pose it's screaming 'no' to? Ouch. That's when yoga stops being yoga and starts being a competition – and not the fun kind.

Functional Yoga: Where Feeling Good is the New Looking Good

  1. Alignment Over Appearance:
    • Here’s the deal with functional yoga – it’s all about how you feel in a pose, not how you look. It's about listening to your body, finding your alignment, and saying, “Hey, body, you’re the boss.”
    • And guess what? It's for every body. Tall, short, big, small – if you've got a body, you're good to go.
  2. No Injuries, Just Bliss:
    • By focusing on how poses feel, we're taking care of our bodies, reducing injury risks, and actually enjoying our practice. It's like giving your body a high-five.

Real Talk from Your Yoga Buddy:

  1. Been There, Felt That:
    • Ever been in a class, trying a pose, and it just feels plain wrong? But everyone else is doing it, so you grit your teeth and bear it? Been there, done that. Not fun.
    • In our world, if a pose feels off, we change it. We adapt. Because yoga is about feeling good, not just looking good.
  2. Feeling It, Not Forcing It:
    • In our classes, it’s all about tuning in to what your body’s saying. We make poses work for us, not the other way around. It’s pretty liberating, actually.

Wrapping Up: So, there you have it. Yoga doesn’t have to be a fashion show. It's about feeling grounded, connected, and, honestly, just not giving a hoot about what others think. It's your practice, your rules.

Come Feel Good with Us: If you’re into feeling great and taking care of your body (while having a bit of fun), drop by for a class. Let’s focus on what feels right, together.

Stay Bendy (Or Not), Your Yoga Pal

Rolling Out the Welcome Mat: Yoga for Every Body

Hey There, Yoga Family,

Let's chat about something that's been on my mind a lot lately. You know, yoga is supposed to be about balance, acceptance, and peace. But, let's be real – sometimes, it feels like you've got to be a thin, flexible, young, and typically white gal to fit in. I'm here to shake that up a bit.

Why Yoga Needs a Reality Check

You've seen it, right? Those picture-perfect yoga studios with their Instagram-worthy poses. It's like yoga turned into a competition for who can be the most zen while rocking Lululemon. Here's the thing – I'm a queer, bigger-bodied person, and I've been in those rooms where I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Not cool.

Talking the Talk, But Not Walking the Walk

Ever been to a class where the instructor's words felt more like a script for a fitness model shoot than a real-life yoga session? Yeah, me too. Sometimes it feels like they're teaching from a place of ego rather than empathy. I've heard instructions and comments that made me think, "Who are you actually talking to?" Because it sure wasn't me or half of the folks in the room.

Flipping the Script on Yoga Spaces

So, here's my approach – let's make yoga chill again. In my classes and retreats, everyone's welcome. I mean it. Queer, straight, big, small, young, old, injured, Olympian – you get the picture. Yoga is about connecting with yourself, and how can you do that if you don't feel welcome in the first place?

Keeping It Real

In my world, yoga is less about hitting that perfect pose and more about feeling good in your skin. I use language that's for everyone, offer modifications for every body type, and keep things light. A little humor goes a long way, especially when you're trying to twist your body like a pretzel (which, by the way, is totally optional).

The Proof Is in the Pudding

I've seen what happens when you open the doors wide. People come in, they relax, they smile, and they connect – not just with yoga but with each other. That's the magic. That's the yoga I fell in love with, and that's what I'm here to share.

Join the Fam

If you're tired of feeling like you don't belong in the yoga world, I've got you. Come to my class, hit up one of my retreats, or just drop me a message. Let's make yoga what it was always meant to be – a place for every one of us.

Stay Bendy (Or Not),

Colynn

Exploring the Depths of the Soul: The Transformative Power of Past Life Regressions

Exploring the Depths of the Soul: The Transformative Power of Past Life Regressions

In the realm of spiritual exploration and personal development, past life regression emerges as a profound technique that delves into the mysterious corridors of the human soul. This practice, often enveloped in mysticism and curiosity, seeks to unveil the hidden narratives of our past incarnations, offering a unique perspective on our current life's journey.

The Essence of Past Life Regression

Past life regression is rooted in the concept of reincarnation, an ancient belief prevalent in numerous cultures and religions. It posits that the soul is eternal, transcending time and physical form, and undergoes a cycle of rebirths. This process of reincarnation allows the soul to evolve through diverse experiences across different lifetimes.

The technique of past life regression typically involves a therapist guiding an individual into a hypnotic state. In this relaxed and focused state of consciousness, the individual is able to access memories and experiences believed to be from past lives. These recollections can be vivid and detailed, often evoking strong emotional responses.

The Therapeutic Potential

The transformative power of past life regression lies in its potential to unearth the deep-seated origins of present-day challenges. Emotional blockages, unexplained fears, and recurring patterns of behavior may find their roots in experiences from past lives. By bringing these to light, individuals can gain profound insights into their current life's struggles, fostering a deeper understanding of their personality, relationships, and life purpose.

Moreover, past life regression can offer a sense of closure or healing. Reliving past experiences and understanding their impact can lead to emotional release and resolution, allowing individuals to move forward with greater clarity and peace.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Past life regression is not just about uncovering past traumas or resolving present issues. It's a journey of self-discovery, providing a unique opportunity to explore the soul's journey across time. Individuals often discover strengths, talents, and qualities they possessed in past lives, which can be incredibly empowering. This revelation can instill a sense of continuity and purpose, reinforcing the belief in the soul's enduring nature.

The Skeptic's Viewpoint

Despite its popularity, past life regression is not without its critics. Skeptics argue that the memories retrieved during regression are not genuine recollections but rather constructs of the imagination, influenced by cultural and psychological factors. Critics also point out the lack of scientific evidence supporting the existence of past lives.

However, proponents of past life regression argue that the therapeutic benefits and personal transformations experienced by individuals cannot be disregarded. Whether these memories are real or symbolic, they contend, the healing and insights they facilitate are what truly matter.

A Path to Spiritual Enlightenment

For those on a spiritual path, past life regression offers more than just psychological benefits; it's a gateway to spiritual enlightenment. By understanding the soul's journey over multiple lifetimes, individuals can cultivate a deeper sense of compassion, empathy, and interconnectedness with the universe. It encourages a broader perspective on life's challenges, promoting acceptance and a sense of harmony with the natural cycle of life and death.

Conclusion

Past life regression remains a fascinating and polarizing topic in the realms of psychology and spirituality. Its transformative power, however, is indisputable for many who have undergone the experience. Whether viewed as a therapeutic tool, a means for self-discovery, or a path to spiritual enlightenment, past life regression continues to intrigue and inspire, offering a unique lens through which we can explore the depths of the soul.

Certainly! Here's an additional excerpt to include in the blog post, incorporating information about Frik-Shuhn Yoga's Past Life Regression Facilitator Training:


Frik-Shuhn Yoga's Past Life Regression Facilitator Training

For those intrigued by the transformative power of past life regression and interested in exploring this practice both personally and professionally, Frik-Shuhn Yoga offers an exceptional Past Life Regression Facilitator Training program. This comprehensive course is designed to equip individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to guide others through past life regression sessions effectively and compassionately.

Frik-Shuhn Yoga, known for their holistic approach to wellness and spiritual development, has developed a curriculum that blends theoretical understanding with practical application. The training delves deep into the principles of reincarnation, techniques of hypnotic regression, and methods for facilitating a safe and supportive environment for clients. Participants will learn how to help others access past life memories, interpret these experiences, and integrate the insights gained into their current life for healing and growth.

What sets Frik-Shuhn Yoga's program apart is its commitment to ensuring that facilitators are not just technically proficient but also emotionally and spiritually prepared to handle the profound experiences that often emerge during past life regressions. The training emphasizes the development of empathy, intuition, and ethical responsibility, ensuring that facilitators are equipped to offer a deeply transformative experience for their clients.

The program is suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners in the field of spiritual and therapeutic work. Upon completion, participants will be certified as Past Life Regression Facilitators, enabling them to offer this powerful service in their professional practice.

For those feeling called to embark on this path, either for personal exploration or to assist others in their journey of self-discovery and healing, Frik-Shuhn Yoga's Past Life Regression Facilitator Training is an excellent opportunity. To learn more about the program and to register, you can visit their website through the following link: Frik-Shuhn Yoga's Past Life Regression Training.

This training not only offers a chance to deepen your understanding of the soul's journey but also opens the door to becoming a guide for others in their quest for self-awareness and spiritual enlightenment. It's an invitation to be part of a transformative process that can have a profound impact on the lives of those you work with, fostering healing, growth, and a deeper connection with the timeless journey of the soul.

Ownership

Mar. 26 - Journal Entry

OWNERSHIP

Up until recently, every relationship I have been in has been about ownership. Being together means property. This means I get to tell you what to do and I have to listen or not, to what you tell me to do. We can fight if either doesn’t “listen”, etc. I have been that way but not to an extreme & have been shifting for the last few years, but have maintained some control over my significant other.

I have thought lots about old patterns of jealousy & upset and not speaking up & not being honest and now in this moment recognize that I was manipulative & could claim the victim if things didn’t work out. On this journey I have been introduced to a lot of ways of being that I didn’t even know existed. A lot of labels as well.

Is a relationship two individual people that come together to explore this life or part of this life together and what are the rules around that? With open relationships, polyamory, fluidity, sapiosexuals, and a million other LABELS the evolution of relationship sure looks differentthan what my parents and grandparents partook in. As of late, my idea of the only boundaries being open, honest & transparent communication seems to be what I am seeking. Being a serial monogamous, I am not sure how all the other things would fly with me, but I can imagine that with constant communication anything can either be worked through or explored without ownership or rules by rather with mutual respect and love.

Retreat Ponderings

March 24 Journal Entry

Thoughts while spending contemplation time during the retreat.

For the last few years I have been super into manifesting and finding clarity around what one wants in order to attain it. More recently I made a list about what/who I want my next partner to be/be like. It’s a great list.  Back home, the more I interacted and dated, the clearer I became about what I want and don’t want, so the list grows. As I continue to meet people more recently, I have started to question this list. Not all of it, just some parts. For example, previously I dated someone super tall, I have never really hung out with someonethat tall before, and I thought it was awesome, so I put it on the list. Through my travels (and life in general), I have met a significant amount of not tall people (we are talking 6’6”) and they have a lot of the qualities that I am seeking and this has had me question my list and therefore, my advice to others. So the questions flow - how much of this is superficial? Like why tall? What am I looking for? How important are physical aspects as compared to the deeper stuff? Is deviating from the list a cop out and fear that stems from being alone? OR am I closer to discovering who is right for me, even if they don’t completely fit the list? Is the list person out there?

Which brings me back to a lesson in patience. In slowing down. In knowing. AND yet brings up more question… Trust. Go with the flow. Be in the present. Enjoy. Faith. How fucking hard is it to do those things… lol? Depends on my vocabulary, I guess.

Integrity

Feb. 27 - Integrity

More conversations with Denise, bringing me closer to my true essence. At this moment, the conversation revolves around integrity. To be honest and admit to something that I don't love admitting to, I have cheated on almost every person I have ever been in relationship with. I know. Harsh.

I pride myself on saying I don't lie & again, when it comes down to being honest with myself, I must say that I have really discovered a way to push the boundaries in pretty much everything that I do. When it comes to honesty, what I have done all my life is basically tell the person the answer to the question that they asked and nothing more. So basically, if you don't ask theright question, you may not get the full answer. I will leave parts out so I don't  have to listen to bitching or say some pieces of the story (unless asked) that would upset the other. And as I grow and learn, I am realizing it is dishonest to live that way and therefore, I am out of Integrity.

Even further on this growth journey, I am starting to recognize the ways I have been skirting the boundaries of integrity with other people and my relationships. For example, if I choose to date someone and have an idea that they might be involved with someone else - I have seriously just thought that it is on them... but as conversations have shown me lately, that is not true. It is a cop out and I am out of Integrity.

And so this week has brought me to recognize and finally admit it. I am out of Integrity. I have lied. I have cheated. I have done so many things that are considered sins and I no longer want to be who I am. I want a foundation of integrity in which I build my life, my business, my relationships, my life - Built on Integrity. Considering my recent visit to rock bottom, the most stable ground to build on. Integrity is the foundation, the base I pour as I continue to build.

Funny How Things Go...

Funny how things go... Envision Yoga Festival was the first plan I made post decision to sell everything I own after a Clarity Breathwork Session. Kylie Judge & Leah Barsher ran a special session for my clients and invited me to join them at Envision & Forest Dance here in Costa Rica.... without really knowing what they were, I was quick to say yes. They invited me to stay with them in a hostel, my first hostel and I was a bit apprehensive about it, so Kylie introduced me to Denise. Funny enough, Denise MacDonald and I chose to hang out prior to the festival, without ever considering we wouldn't get along.

Today (Feb.25) I was sitting with Denise at my fave little spot in Dominical, where I was breathed back to life. Denise coached me back to reality, thank God. She gave me 2 different analogies that I will share:

#1 was what happened to me. She said it was like the loonie tunes moment when the coyote runs off the cliff and the Road Runner makes him aware that he can't fly... then he looks down and falls hard. From that experience breeds fear and moving forward is halted. WOW!!! That is exactly what happened!!!

#2 was her bungee jumping story. We are so alike. So she tells me about how she was with a group and they decide to get avideo of them jumping. She was afraid, so she went first. She jumped and kind of jumped in a way that when she hit the bottom of the rope it kind of whiplashed her and it didn't feel super great, but she had gone and was all good. At the end, after everyone had jumped, they said, well only one more to go - Denise, it is your turn. Denise was like, no I went first. They apologized, said they didn't get her jump on video and that she needed to jump again (free jump). Because she didn't jump head first, her experience had been jarring and she didn't want to do it again. The second time knowing what to expect... She got all hooked up and then refused to jump, said it was too scary. It became a thing, the line up was getting long and she didn't want to jump, so they called in the calvary. A guy came and sat on theplatform with her and explained that the longer she sat there the stronger the fear in the pit of her stomach would grow and that it would just get worse and that her only option was to jump. So she did. She said the second time was 10x harder to jump than the first time, BUT if she didn't jump, she would be letting fear win & that would seep into her life.

The next lesson that fit in here at this moment was my roommate in the sacred valley. She had been left with debt and worked her ass off for 2 years, working 2 jobs until she paid it off and got to zero.

Denise said usually what gets in people's way are 2 things, #1 not knowing how to start & #2 nerves around going live, being seen, etc. And neither of those are issues for me, so... on top   of that I have more ideas and material, so time to go for it.

What came to me in that moment was not leaving Costa Rica, not going back to the jungle and staying here and getting to work. This for me took the focus off of finding a connection with someone and gave me a goal. Work, pay cheap bills, and get that student loan gone. And now I am pumped.

The connection must wait. The connection is just a distraction, I need to be me. To find me. To clean up my biz. To dedicate my time to a consistent routine. To get a schedule. To stop having excuses and yet stop being so hard on myself.