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

Exploring the Diverse World of Yoga: A Style for Every Soul

Picture of someone in savasana

Hey Yoga Enthusiasts,

As someone who's spent years breathing, stretching, and living the yoga life, I've come to appreciate the rich tapestry of styles that yoga offers. Each style is like a different color, adding depth and beauty to the yoga world. Today, I want to take you on a tour of these various styles, especially through the lens of someone who loves alignment and anatomy. So, grab your mat, and let's explore together!

1. Hatha Yoga: The Foundation Stone

What It Is: Hatha is often considered the mother of modern yoga. It's a slow-paced practice focusing on basic postures and breathing.

Why It's Great: Perfect for beginners, Hatha is a fantastic way to get acquainted with yoga poses and breathing techniques. It’s also a wonderful way to understand alignment and how your body moves in each pose.

2. Vinyasa Yoga: Flow and Let Go

What It Is: Vinyasa means “to place in a special way.” It's about flowing from one pose to another, synchronized with your breath.

Why It's Great: If you're someone who loves a little rhythm and dynamic movement in your practice, Vinyasa is your go-to. It's also a great way to understand how the body moves in a sequence and how poses can seamlessly transition into one another.

3. Ashtanga Yoga: The Power Player

What It Is: Ashtanga is a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is linked by breath.

Why It's Great: It’s challenging and requires discipline, making it perfect for those who enjoy a more structured practice. As an alignment and anatomy enthusiast, I love how Ashtanga teaches precision in poses.

4. Iyengar Yoga: The Detail Detective

What It Is: Iyengar is all about precision and detail in alignment. Props like yoga blocks and straps are often used to perfect poses.

Why It's Great: If you’re like me and geek out on getting every little alignment detail just right, Iyengar will be your playground. It’s also fantastic for understanding the anatomy behind each pose.

5. Bikram Yoga (Now referred to as Hot 26): The Hotshot

What It Is: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, practiced in a room heated to about 105°F.

Why It's Great: For those who love a good sweat and a consistent routine, Bikram can be quite rewarding. It’s also a good way to explore how heat affects muscle flexibility and alignment.

6. Yin Yoga: The Deep Diver

What It Is: Yin focuses on passive stretches, with poses held for longer periods.

Why It's Great: If you’re looking to dive deep into the connective tissues and joints, Yin is a beautiful practice. It’s also a perfect style to complement the anatomy knowledge as it gives you time to feel and understand each stretch deeply.

7. Restorative Yoga: The Gentle Embrace

What It Is: Restorative yoga is all about relaxation. Poses are held for several minutes, often with the support of props.

Why It's Great: Perfect for winding down and letting go, Restorative yoga is also an excellent opportunity to understand the body’s relaxation response and how alignment can aid in releasing tension.

8. Kundalini Yoga: The Energy Alchemist

What It Is: Kundalini focuses on awakening and channeling the kundalini energy through the body. It involves dynamic movements, breathwork, and chanting.

Why It's Great: For those interested in the energetic and spiritual aspect of yoga, Kundalini can be a transformative experience. It’s also fascinating to see how energy flow interacts with physical alignment and anatomy.

9. Power Yoga: The Strength Builder

What It Is: An offshoot of Ashtanga, Power Yoga is a vigorous, fitness-based approach to Vinyasa-style yoga.

Why It's Great: If building strength and endurance is your goal, Power Yoga is your ally. It’s also a brilliant way to explore how muscle groups work together in dynamic movements and poses.

10. Chair Yoga: The Accessible Friend

What It Is: Chair yoga modifies traditional yoga poses so that they can be done while seated, making yoga accessible to everyone.

Why It's Great: Chair Yoga is wonderful for those with mobility issues or for practicing yoga at the office. It teaches us how alignment can be adapted to different body types and abilities.

Conclusion:

The beauty of yoga lies in its diversity. Each style offers something unique, and yet, they all share the common thread of connecting mind, body, and spirit. As someone who loves the nitty-gritty details of alignment and anatomy, I find every style has its way of revealing more about our incredible bodies.

No matter which style you choose, remember, it's all about your personal journey. Explore, experiment, and most importantly, have fun with it!

Until Next Time,

Keep exploring, keep learning, and stay aligned with your yoga practice.

Colynn

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.

Aya Camp Entry #7?

Ceremony #7
A perfect end. After the usual terrifying piece, all calmed. I built a world under blankets and felt all the sensations - Visual, auditory & physical. Overwhelming sensations. Why does it have to be so terrible? I talk myself through it. What comes to me now is this trouble I have with control. My need to know who, what, why, where & when & most of all - HOW?

She takes away my control & takes me to the 5th dimension. A place where you can feel the inside of your body, where you are not separate from anything. Being so significance driven & so control & outcome focused, this world would be terrifying.

Last night was the first time I asked for help. Assistance to the bathroom, where I was able to find this world. The present. Then back to my mat for love. My reflections on my sapo experience & this feeling of overwhelming gratitude. Gratitude, firstly for my family - the Frik-Shuhn family. The people that give a shit, that read my posts and support and loveme, just as I am. Then I moved to the people in the room. The group. Such immense love for everyone in their processes. So beautiful, so much love. Then to Sean & Ben & Doug. So in love with these men. Words I needed to hear post Sapo. That they give a shit. That they love me. Broken, collecting all the pieces off the floor, ready to put them all back together one day soon.

Enlightenment

Before enlightenment - chop the wood, carry the wood, stack the wood. After enlightenment - chop the wood, carry the wood, stack the wood.

It feels weird to say, but today I hit enlightenment. Years of being so hard on myself, I cried for. Years. Like all of my years. All the pressure I have put on myself. Dissolved. Trust. I haveto trust. The flow of everything. I had a taste of it.

We walk in, get santoed and then get comfy. Angel my guide. He says trust. I do. And he sends me to a place where nothing matters anymore, last of all my judgements of myself or anyone else. Years of baggage released. Years of harshness and making meaning and playing games. Am I here forever? Did I pass through and leave my body? I wish LOL.

I have never cried so hard. Not only this week, but in this ceremony. I felt it. Complete andunconditional love for myself, for the perfection I am. Completely broke through. Deserving. Worthy. Open. Loved. Loving. Nothing matters, least of all the constraints I have put on myself. So much hatred released.

One more aya ceremony.....

*** it felt amazing to hit enlightenment. It is a state I have only dreamed about. Itwas beautiful and I thought I hi   t samadhi and was never to return. And that was not the truth here's the thing: after hitting that reality, one must come back to this reality. So quickly the veil is returned. Slowly added back. Skinny. Beauty. Finances. That place is beautiful and perfect but the real work takes place here.

❤️????

Aya Camp - Big breakthrough!

Wow. Travelled all night to get here. Cusco and then the Sacred Valley. Had a massive breakdown today. Sat in the shower and cried. Had a nap, cried somemore. Total fucking breakdown. I didn't know what to do, under the effects of Medicine and then 8 hours of travelling with the biggest breakdown ever, I literally thought I wouldn't stop crying and would also maybe die (this emotion thing new to me). I started reaching out, trying to distract myself instead of just let it out. Istarted missing the boys from the jungle, started hating it here. Then I reached out to Sarah (a girl that came from the jungle with me). Best move ever. Went to her room and broke the fuck down while she held me. Shared some of my story with her and had the biggest breakthrough!

Just to add to the story, last night I went to see my friends and say goodbye. I ended up in conversation with one that went deep. I talked about wondering if I was addicted to sex, why did I always have this insatiable appetite for it and based all my relationship success in the quantity and quality of relations? B    en told me I was more of a love addict than anything. I disagreed. Lol. I don't want love. We talked about meaningless sex being meaningless and a waste of time. He said, trust me darlin, you like the connection.

Back to the breakdown..... I was sharing with Sarah all of the this while she rubbed me and lovedme and held me and I was telling her stories of my past and I could feel a release at my core. My body let go of years and years of holding back, 39 years of tears. At first it felt like death. I was trying to do whatever I could to get away from it and when I listened to my intuition and leaned into it, it was amazing. Deep release. Complete let go.

What came through was the need I don't want to see. The need for touch, love, connection. This is why I have sex. It has been the only time I have allowed others to touch me or me touch others and I crave it, but don't want to admit it. I spend so much time not cuddling, not hugging, not showing affection, not holding hands or even kissing. And I feel deep apologies to all for that - friends, family and partners.

The barriers have been broken. I am open. No need to ever hold back tears again. No need to tense up when someone touches me. No need to not touch. And ask for help! Deep work today.