Costa Rican Yoga Teacher Training – Jivani Yoga

I finally have some time to sit down and post about the recent Yoga Teacher Training I co-taught with Emma Warmington in Costa Rica, the Jivani Yoga Level 1 Training. In one word, it was: AMAZING! The location was incredible, El Sabanero Eco Lodge, located about 20 minutes outside of Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica. The staff and food was all wonderful. We had multiple locations to practice at, a pool to relax in during the day, and while we were close to town and other great locations, we were also far enough away that we were in our own quiet secluded space.


The group was amazing. All wonderful people, and I’m confident they are all going to make great teachers! With everyone attending the training living on sight, we had a wonderful family feel, with all of us interacting on a regular basis.




The Principle Teacher, and Founder of Jivani Yoga, Emma Warmington, was amazing as always, and totally in her element, sharing with the students her vast knowledge and understanding of yoga.


I think the greatest part for me personally, was being able to have my family there for two weeks. With my wife and daughter around, enjoying Costa Rica, I was felt super loved up and able to truly enjoy my experience.

Family Photo - Costa Rica

I also had a pretty proud Daddy moment during the training as well. When all the students were working hard and practicing their final practicums (teaching a full class to all the other students), Sequoia decided she wanted to teach a class too. She put a class together with my wife, Kristi, then taught it to the two of us in our room, before deciding that she wanted to teach it to everyone. All of the students showed up for her class. It was pretty special watching my four year old daughter teach her first yoga class… and of course she was a natural. Direct, clear language. Very polite. “Do side plank, please.” It was awesome and probably my most memorable experience from the training.


If you want to get a taste of some of the wonderful experiences we had, check out the slide show, below!


The Jivani Yoga Level 1 Training in Costa Rica was from November 8th until December 6th 2015. For more information check out the Jivani Yoga page for the Costa Rica Training at or visit Jivani Yoga.

Jivani Yoga Student Teachers

Nine Nights of Maha Navratri – Shailputri

durga_shailaputriFirst Night of Navratri –

Tuesday, October 13th 2015 marks day one of Maha Navratri. Day/night one starts with the worship of Shailputri, whose name means ‘daughter of the mountain’. The first form of the Goddess Durga worshiped during Navratri, she is considered to be one of the earliest forms of Shakti. She is also known as Parvati, wife to Lord Shiva and mother to Ganesha and Kartikeya.

When the goddess was born to King Daksha as Sati, she married Lord Shiva, who her father vehemently disapproved of. It was during a ritual sacrifice that Dhaksha insulted her husband Shiva so horribly that Sati sacrificed her own body and threw herself onto the sacrificial fire. She was eventually reborn as Shailputri, or Parvatri.

Shailputri is associated with Muladhara Chakra. It is said upon awakening this shakti, one begins their journey towards spiritual awakening and to their purpose in life.

As the story goes, after Sati sacrificed herself, Shiva was so devastated that he entered into eons of deep meditation and spiritual practice (sadhana). Even when she was reborn as Parvati and approached Shiva, he was unmoved from his deep sadhana. With immense devotion and effort, she demonstrated her love of Shiva and he eventually awoke from his meditation. She represents universal love and is glorified as the Goddess of Awareness.

She is also known as Paktriti, and looks after all living organisms.

Traditionally the color Yellow is worn on this day.

On a personal note, I’m not connected to any specific tradition or formal Navratri practices, and I don’t know the “proper” way to worship her. To me, these nine nights become an opportunity to celebrate life as the Goddess. Taking the small piece of knowledge I have of each goddess, I am most concerned with what those basic symbols represent for me in my life, even if it doesn’t fall in life with the traditional worship of a certain goddess. I invite everyone to see how these different energies come and go in their lives, and to take special care over the next nine nights to dive deeply into reflection and spiritual practice to explore their own relationship to the eminent Goddess in all her forms.

AUM Devi Shailputryai Namah!



Sunday Sadhana Samavesa

Sunday Sadhana Samavesa was amazing! As usual, time flew by as we dived into the stories and practices of the Goddess. Happening on a very auspicious day, Sunday September 27th, 2015, the day of the Blood Moon Eclipse, the day started with a brief asana practice, followed by some chanting, breath work, and meditation. We broke for lunch, and when we returned we dove into the stories and practices revolving around the Goddess. Using the Devi Mahatmyam as a backdrop, we dove into the stories of Kali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati to see how their stories relate to our lives and our personal psychology. It was a day of story, singing, breathing, meditation and reflection. It ended with 22 minutes of us chanting Lokah Samastah while each person gave offerings to the fire.


Thank you to Azul Fit in Vista, Ca for hosting the immersion, and to Brandi Daniels and Eat.Drink.Yoga for the amazing food she prepared for the event, and to everyone who took time out of their lives to join us that day!

Below is a short clip of our ending chant with a few photos of the day.

St. Louis Trip!

It’s official, the people of St. Louis are just awesome. Had another great trip to St. Louis, MO to teach anatomy for the Yoga Six Teacher Training. It was a pretty rapid fire trip, as I arrived Friday afternoon, co-taught an outdoor yoga class to raise money for Pedal the Cause, had dinner with some great folks, went to sleep, woke up the next day to teach anatomy all day, went to bed early, woke up early the next day, taught all day, then hopped right on a plane back to San Diego after I finished teaching!


In addition to all the great yogis that showed me such wonderful hospitality, on my way back to my AirBnB place, a guy was the first guy ever to recognize my tank top. “Dude, is that the shirt from Big Trouble in Little China?” And then went on to quote a bunch of lines from the movie. Yes…. yes it is. And you are awesome! I’ve had that shirt for over a year, and no one has recognized the reference. It kinnnnnda made my day.







This was a smaller group than usual for a Yoga Six YTT, which was actually pretty great as I got to spend more individual time with the students. I feel like everyone walked away with a greater understanding of the human body and the necessary inspiration to continue their journey with anatomy and kinesiology well after their training is complete!


I feel so blessed to be able to share my passion of the human body and of yoga with aspiring yoga teachers. I’m constantly learning, growing, and deepening my understanding of the material as well as how to teach and communicate it to others. I’ve recently been re-inspired to write more on the topic again, and to organize my thoughts into a manual. I’ll be putting together some advanced anatomy and kinesiology trainings for teachers in the coming months, with offerings in 2016 and beyond! So keep checking the website for announcements!


If you are a teacher or a studio owner looking for more anatomy training, contact me at to discuss possibilities! šŸ™‚


Another AUMazing Sunday Sadhana!

July Sunday Sadhana

Each one is special, and yet some how they seem to get better and better! So grateful for our yoga community in North County San Diego and all the amazing yogis wanting to dive deeper into the various practices of yoga! We don’t have another Sunday Sadhana scheduled at Y6 until November, BUT stay tuned, as I will soon announce the date for a full day (eight hour) Sunday Sadhana happening in September or early October, with the opportunity to spend a lot more time with each practice, enjoy an asana practice get some movement in our bodies, dive deeper into tantric philosophy, and enjoy some delicious healthy food!

Sunday Sadhana July '15

Post Sadhana with Stuart



Keeping it weird


Has it really been a year?

Wow, so apparently it’s been a full year since I’ve posted anything on my blog. Instead of planning some big long thing, I’m deciding to just get things going however I can get them going!

So here are a few pictures from this weekend’s Flight Club at Inhale Yoga and Fitness in Del Mar.Flight Club Flight Club Group Flight Club WallHope you can join us for our next Flight Club, August 9th 11am to 1pm at Inhale Yoga and Fitness in Del Mar, Ca!

Sunday Sadhana July 6th 2014

Another great Sunday Sadhana group! Thank you everyone for making it out during the holiday weekend!


It was an amazing exploration of postures (asana), breath work (pranayama), concentration (dharana), action (kriya), vibration (mantra) and meditation (dhyana)! Join us the first Sunday of every month at Yoga Six in Carlsbad!



New article on the Yoga Blog

Check out my latest article on the Yoga Blog (


Basic Principles Of Alignment ā€“ No Matter The Yoga Style

by Ashton Szabo

As both a yoga teacher and a anatomy/kinesiology teacher of other yoga teachers, Iā€™m often asked questions regarding alignment. Various schools have specific ways they encourage alignment in postures.

Some are quite rigid in their systems, others are more flexible. Regardless of style or specific methods, I find that the following four basic principles are applicable when it comes to assessing appropriate alignment in a pose.

They are important concepts to explore whether you are a teacher and/or a student. Together they create an organic process with one building on the other.

(Keep Reading…)

To continue reading, click on the link above, or cut and paste the address into your browser:

Songs of the Heart

I remember the first time I saw devotees of Krishna chanting Hare Krishna. I thought to myself.. why are they all smiling? They all look so happy. Something must be wrong with them. They must be crazy or something. So many times after, seeing people chanting and just looking so ecstatic… I mean they MUST be crazy. It wasn’t until many years later that I understood why they were so happy, why they were so blissed and joyous looking.

Sing… chant… use your voice! And it just feels soooo damn good. Good for the mind, good for the heart, good for the soul. Especially for someone like me who is naturally very intellectual, very caught up in the mind. I’ve never met anything that can so thoroughly annihilate the mind and take me straight into the heart. Again and again and again… I dry out in the worlds of the intellect, then dive back into the sea, over and over and over, into the depths of the heart. The words drench my soul, blow my mind and swell my heart.

Thank God for the Chant <3



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