PRACTICE – TEACH – SHINE: a Yoga Retreat in Tulum, Mexico

Practice ~ Teach ~ Shine in Tulum, Mexico A personal account of a special yoga retreat by: Sarah Krawiec, Aparna Ravichander, and Brittany Zick, ILYS Class of 2013 Three amazing graduates from ILYS class of 2013 decided to venture out and create their own yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. Sarah Krawiec, Aparna Ravichander, and Brittany Zick traveled to the Amansala Resort in January of 2014 for four days of yoga, meditation, and relaxation. They decided to make the retreat part of their continued Yoga journey in the spirit of ILYS’s motto – Practice – Teach – Shine. From their experience, they crafted a three-part blog post (stay tuned for parts two and three) to share their exciting and trasformative experiences! PRACTICE – teach – shine (from Brittany) PART ONE: I could NOT WAIT for this trip. Between my full time job, teaching several yoga classes every week, and my volunteer jobs that take up the rest of my time, I was really looking forward to taking a little mental breather where my phone wouldn’t work and I could not multitask. I began teaching right after my yoga teacher training was complete in October of 2013, and I was starting to have trouble making time for my own practice. As I’m sure is a struggle for lots of yoga teachers, maintaining a home practice, or at least a practice that they are not personally leading is vital to staying fresh and in touch with what is best for you and your students. On this trip, Sarah, Aparna, and I had planned to teach each other different styles of yoga that we had been wanting to try in front of a safe, nonjudgmental, audience. I (selfishly) was mostly looking forward to taking their classes! I just wanted some time to really dedicate to myself… since I had been neglecting my own practice since I started teaching. All of my time had been dedicated to making myself a better teacher, but in the process I forgot that being a good student reminds you what you need to do as the teacher! On this trip, in those four days, I practiced yoga. Not just asana, but mindful awareness of the present moment. When you’re on a warm sunny beach in Mexico, if you’re not present in the moment, you’re missing out. This has got to be one of the easiest places in the world to live mindfully. We meditated on the beach, under the sun. We even did a sweet walking meditation coordinating breathing pranayama with steps – although I’ll admit it was hard to concentrate on counting my breath while such beauty was all around me! Practicing with these ladies and having them teach me was both a pleasure and an honor. They have styles completely different from mine and it was just lovely. I came back refreshed and ready to be a better teacher for my students. It was exactly what I needed! By: Brittany Zick Check back soon for part two and hear Aparna talk about how she thrived in the teaching role in Mexico!


Gratitude Now and Always

May Each Day Be Filled with Gratitude InnerLight Yoga School would like to extend its deepest gratitude to all of its students and supporters, past, present, and future.  Thanks to each of you for making this world a better place simply by being present and living your Yoga. Check out out some of our favorite Gratitude Quotes below and learn how to start a gratitude journal! “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie  “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” -Albert Schweitzer “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” -John F. Kennedy “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” -Denis Waitley The Gratitude Journal Cultivating positivity in our daily life is one of the keys to lasting hapiness.  While thinking about all that we have to be grateful for is wonderful, do not underestimate the power of the written word.  Learn how to begin and keep a gratitude journal.  It is easy and will be a lasting gift that you give to yourself each and every day.  Learn how by following the link below:  OM SHANTI

Student Spotlight-Jeff Krenrich

We are so thrilled to share our first installment of the Inner-spot-Light with you today.  Its purpose is to introduce you to InnerLight Yoga School Students and Teachers and to give these amazing Yogis an opportunity to share some of their Yoga with you. Prepare to be inspired! Today, InnerLight Yoga School is pleased to introduce Jeff Krenrich – father, brother, husband, Yogi (both Student and Teacher), and soon to be graduate of InnerLight Yoga School Class of 2013. Q:  What drives my voice? Jeff:  I want to empower people. I speak from a place of passion. I talk directly to you because I see IT in you and I want you to see IT for yourself. Yoga has given me the self confidence that I never had….rather it was there but yoga helped me see it and embrace it. Q:  Who am I as a teacher? Jeff:  I am the older brother, the father, the protective force that creates a safe place for you to express yourself as a student. I am here to allay your fears and to let you know that I am here for you. Q:  What do I want for my Students? Jeff:  To think of me as someone they can turn to for help. To leave with a feeling that they are better off than they were before. To walk away with a sense of confidence and acceptance, non judgement.   Q:  Most valuable lesson taught to me by a teacher. Jeff:  A few years ago a yoga teacher read a passage that has stuck with me ever since. The ending sums it up:  “When we are lost, when the way gets dark, sometimes we see things we never would have seen in the daylight. Sometimes, the lessons we learn in the darkness are breathtakingly beautiful.”  The teacher had no idea that I was in the midst of losing my father.  He had been suffering for a long time and we all knew that he was down to a matter of months if we were lucky. After practice that morning, after hearing and feeling that passage, I felt a shift. Turns out that we had 4 more months, and they were some of the sweetest and richest of my life – not just with my father but my entire family.  I looked at and felt joy in those moments. I didn’t look ahead to the eventual pain. For the first time in my life, I felt present – and I helped my family do the same.  The lesson was to take it all in, feel everything, its all a part of life. Embrace where you are now without judgement. Q:  How will I pay what I have learned in my life forward to others? Jeff:  Live by example. Help people find their path and accept where they are right now. Q:  One word to live by. Jeff:  Satya (Truth)

Yoga and Mindfulness Weekend for Women

We are pleased to announce that our very own Susan Jackson is going to be traveling to Augusta, Missouri in late September to host a yoga and mindfulness weekend for women in partnership with Kathy Kessler and Halcyon Days. For more information about the weekend, please read the flyer below or go to the event website.

Mindfulness Practice

Got 3 minutes?  Insert this mindfulness practice. Settle into your seat and allow yourself 10 breaths to experience your surroundings and present state of being. As you exhale, welcome in a sense of arrival. If it helps to use a mantra say silently to yourself: “Exhaling, I have arrived.” As you inhale, welcome in a sense of gratitude. If it helps to use a mantra, say silently to yourself: “Inhaling, I am grateful.” Close your eyes and repeat this mantra as many times as needed until you feel well rooted in gratitude. “Exhaling, I have arrived.” “Inhaling, I am grateful.” Now, in a single word, what you are grateful for? Write that word down and keep it where you can see it today. Look at it as often as you need to.