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

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.

Best Date Ever

Today fate put me in a car from the farm to Jaco to meet my babies with yet another interesting and beautiful creature so full of lessons. My drive to Jaco with Pat was yet another, super clear sign from the universe.

The farm was so amazing and healing. On my last day I was taken on a beautiful jungle date to a river confluence and was shown enlightenment with a different medicine. Love & nature. The conversation that took place on the big rock on the bank of the river was the most powerful and insightful conversation I may have ever partaken in. What I heard was that I am so perfectly imperfect just the way I am and that my expectations around self love will continue to leave me disappointed. That the more I keep searching, the more I will discover I don't have and therefore will continue to search and not find and nothing, no one, especially me, will ever be good enough. That the intention to search outward is enough to say that I don't know, I don't have the answers and therefore will forever quest for the right answer. I cried and I truly saw nature and myself for what we truly are. I also saw another person as they truly are. Divine & beautiful & authentic and real 

Back to my drive... I was attached to what my next direction would be and the conversation on our drive really showed me that I am going in a different direction. What I recognized was that I am unattaching from material things and really starting to attach to the feelings & experiences and then want to make or stay in the moment. But the truth I need to see is that the experience happens and I try to hold on and make that the thing. And unattachment is the practice, as well as trusting and allowing. So... how can I take the lessons & experiences & let them go, holding the experience & memories & continuing to take what comes to me as it comes to me?  

Today I Ate an Ant

Mar.6 - Journal Entry

Summer Vosburgh is travelling today. My thoughts go to her. Sitting here with no internet, I just trust. Funny how it happened, seems perfect. AND scary. Denise is gone and my neighbours leave tonight. Some nerves happening for me about being alone. Again, more of what I need. 

Mar.10 - Journal Entry

Forest dance. Hmmmm. What can I say about ceremonial fire dancing in the forest from midnight until sun rise? Can I not get into it because I invited someone in? Hmmmm.

I think back to when I said yes to this, to forest dance. I had no idea what it was or what would happen. When I got here, my initial thought was, what the fuck did I sign up for? I tried to blame Kylie Judge & Leah Barsher, but they wouldn't let me get away with that. I was like, what did you get me into & Kylie was like, dude - I remember suggesting it and you said yes before I even finished my sentence... so what did you get yourself into. LOL.

What this brings up for me is this interesting relationship we hold with fear and with trying to make everything perfect. If Iknew what Forest Dance was, I would not have gone AND even in going, I was uncomfortable and can't quite tell you if I loved it, but the experience was one of the best experiences of my life. I am so glad I said yes. Big lessons.

The people and community are amazing and the lessons rich in every person I experienced. Some insight: What would it be like to be in a body that doesn't really reflect who you are, but yet still does so fully? Like on a big level? When I think of stretch marks or the things I have hated on my body, it feels like it has become something I have just grasped onto to hate myself. The insights so beautiful, this place incredibly healing, conversations so deep.

Such a contrast with the connections placed in front of me thus far. Ben, Sean Webb, Doug, Heather A LongwayBeth N Brandon SteeleChris OlsenEvan RenaertsAngel Ricardo Quiñones, Sara & Jon, Harry JudgeDenise MacDonaldJohn JudgeKylie JudgeLeah BarsherShaneward WilingtonCher BearEsperanza YennieTerry TomeiMollie ButlerOlivia BlueJason CohenJason BlissBodhi MichaelJessica Lee FilkinsKaren GordonRudy PilaHollis TaylorBright HawkBaba St. AubinLuke DeStefanoSarah BistaUlt MundaneAshley BerryTish Natashia SteenkampWhitney Salvador LmtMelodie FallonAna NephilimAllison WaggenerSarah Marie EchsnerIya SoroJoy Massicotte, and anyone else that is not my FB friend... and was in those two retreats... The lessons have been so rich and conversations so deep and I am left integrating, processing and a completely different person, yet still the same.

What comes up so fully for me is expectation, appreciation, gratefulness, faith, and love. My interactions with others are showing me more about people and the the types of people I am currently attracting, which is so great in addition to those already in my life  I hold the intention to continue to attract more in this mindset, more that hold deep lessons and connection, more that can help me to guide myself even further.

PS - Today I ate an ant.

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.

❤️????

The Sweat aka Temazcal

The SWEAT The TEMAZCAL

MY intention : to find the strength to carry on and finish the 2 hour ceremony and carry that strength into my life.

Analogy : I was shown me walking through an abyss of dark just r eaching out to grab whatever I can hold onto. BUT in the SWEAT it represents the same and I didn't grab out for anything. I stayed close to the fire. I didn't drink water. I made it. It did feel like a rebirth. I can only do what I can do. And go as far as I can go. I am so strong. Not sure why I forget that. From childhood all the way to now. And I just keep trying to do better, not seeing all that I have already done.

I was reborn.

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.