I started regularly practicing yoga in late 2010, right after my mother died. I had no idea how it would change my life. For nearly six years I practiced at The Yoga Room in Round Rock, TX. Their slogan is, "Yoga for Every Body." I love that. Regardless of skill level, the unifying element of all yoga practice is the breath, being aware of it, following it, letting it center and ground us. I wish I could say that I always breathe freely and deeply with ease. But the truth is I still often find myself holding my breath, as though that could somehow influence any outcome.
I moved away from Round Rock about two months ago and haven't found a studio nearby (I kind of live out in the country.) For now, I just signed up on the Gaia site, where there are a lot of different videos I can use at home.
Though no one ever specifically taught me this, one of the biggest things I've learned practicing yoga is how to let each body part do its job, and not try and take over the work of other functions. For example, I've learned how to bend over and get up without using my back muscles. It makes a huge difference in the long run.
Over the years I've done several photo shoots for my studio. Here are a few of my favorites.
A total aside that has nothing to do with breathing: About a year ago, the owner of the studio, Zelinda, got in touch with me and told me that the photo below had gone viral, and that there were studios all over the world using my image without permission! There were places from Thailand to Colombia (and lots of countries in between) who'd grabbed the photo and made it part of their marketing strategies. There were more than 300 places that were using it, and I felt helpless to do anything about it.
And then I heard about Pixsy.
Pixsy is a licensing company that will go after those who owe photographers compensation for use of their work. Of course they take a cut, but that's fine by me because they handle every single bit of the practical and legal aspects of copyright infringement.
There are plenty of places that, for whatever reason, didn't pay me and still have the photo up. I need to send them a takedown notice at some point. But I'm happy to say that Pixsy has gotten me several settlements, resulting in money I never would've seen without them. For all the photographers out there, check em out. They do a reverse image search and troll the Internet regularly, looking for your images. When they find matches they end up in your in-box and you can go through them and file claims. Just recently a very large builder grabbed one of my photos from a trip I took, and I just filed a claim on that. I'm grateful to Pixsy for helping put an end to image theft.
*** Back to the subject of breathing, check out this song by Alexi Murdoch.***