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!

New article on the Yoga Blog

Check out my latest article on the Yoga Blog (www.theyogablog.com).


Basic Principles Of Alignment – No Matter The Yoga Style

by Ashton Szabo

As both a yoga teacher and a anatomy/kinesiology teacher of other yoga teachers, I’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: http://www.theyogablog.com/alignment-principles-yoga-style/

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



New article up on the Yoga Blog!

My latest article: How to Get Rid of Knee Pain in Pigeon Pose is up on TheYogaBlog.

Here is a sample:

Eka pada raja kapotasana, aka. King Pigeon Pose

Pigeon: Most people either love it or hate it. I’ve found, however, that for the people that don’t like the pose, it’s not because they don’t need their hips stretched, or they want to avoid the stretch, it’s usually because the pose causes pain in the inner knee.

It’s this sharp, often crippling pain on the medial (inside) of the knee that keeps people from even attempting the pose. So what can we do about it?

First we want to discover why there is pain in the inner knee.

The pose requires a lot of external rotation of the front leg and hip. This range of motion can be limited because of the shapes of one’s bones, but the tension of the inner thigh muscles can also severely limit one’s range of motion.

So as the leg attempts to externally rotate, the muscles of the inner thigh resist the motion and want to pull the leg back into internal rotation. The problem is that with this pose, the front leg CAN’T internally rotate because the floor is in the way.

So what do most people do? They bring the knee close to the mid line and they take a bigger bend in the knee. If they are limited in their range of external rotation, they’ll also have the leg resting more on the shin and outside edge of the hamstring, instead of the side of the shin and side of the upper leg.

If you want to keep reading, follow this link to the article on the Yoga Blog!


February’s Reading List

It was a busy month, and I didn’t get as many chances to read as I would have liked, but here are the books from February.


February reading list

A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer

Another great book by Parker Palmer. If you are a teacher of any sort, I highly recommend reading his books. They are filled with inspiration and quotes, and helpful ideas and tips.  The particular book has a lot to do with how to hold space in community circles and gathers, but applies even to our one on one conversations with people. Great read.

Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton

Not as much of a cover to cover type read (although it could be, I guess) as it’s very information dense, it also covers a lot of areas that one might not be putting into place in the moment (mantras, visualizations, etc). Amazing content, though. If you want to learn about the goddesses of the tantric tradition, look no further than this book. It’s illustrated by Ekabhumi Ellik, who also did the logo for our yoga school (www.virajati.com), his images always blow me away with their beauty and clarity.

The Anatomy of Exercise and Movement: for the Study of Dance, Pilates, Sports and Yoga by Jo Ann Staugaard-Jones

While I don’t agree with everything put forth in this book, I still highly recommend it. It’s accessible yet thorough. Packed with useful information. I’m even considering using it as an anatomy manual for yoga teacher trainings. It’s clearly illustrated, and you don’t need a PhD to understand it. Definitely recommend it if you are a yoga teacher or on the path to become one.

Figured out this whole video thing!

Ok, so I’ve seemingly finally figured out the whole video “thing”. That is, the process of recording, editing, and getting videos up onto the web and YouTube. Which means you’ll finally start to see tutorial and other types of videos getting posted more regularly on this site. I’ll be filming some more tomorrow!

This is a high speed video of one of my Yoga for Surfers classes. Enjoy! And I hope to see you in class some time 🙂


January’s Reading List…

Jnana Yoda....

So it’s no secret that I love to read. I talk about books that I’m reading all the time in my classes and a lot of classes are themed from things I’m currently reading. Students have asked me about these books and often ask me for book recommendations as well, so I’ve decided to start posting the books that I read each month with a few words on each.

Here is my reading list from January:

Dancing in the Flames – Marion Woodman
This book rocked my world! One of those books that came in right at the perfect time. Marion Woodman is a Jungian psychiatrist and this book is all about images of the goddess in our lives and in our dreams and what it means to accept the energy of the goddess into our life.

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
A great book all about vulnerability and daring greatly. I recommend everyone read this book, and check out Brene Brown’s TED talks. They will change your life 🙂

Paths to God – Ram Dass
Wasn’t actually what I was expecting, but I still really enjoyed it.

The Courage to Teach & Teaching Guide – Parker Palmer
Great books even if you don’t teach. Tons of great motivational material for teachers. The books really tap into what it means to be a teacher and the role we serve to our students.

Cool Yoga Tricks – Miriam Austin
Actually a really bad name for the book, as there is some great info in here. Well illustrated and some great prop suggestions and pose variations.

January Reading List

Big news on its way!

Ok, so… things have been a little wild and crazy lately, but a lot of different projects have been in the works, and it’s been a process of getting everything in line. First off, I want to announce that I will no longer be teaching the Tuesday 6:30pm class at Bergamot. I want to thank Lauren Duke for the opportunity to share space there (and it really is an amazing space, if you haven’t checked it out before, I highly recommend it), but it wasn’t working out with my schedule.

Secondly, I have a few big announcements in the works that will be coming very soon. To give a little taste, minus specific details and dates, I’ll be offering a tele-seminar called “Why the World Needs You In It” which will be a two hour offering on the Bhagavad Gita. I’ll be teaching a 200 hour yoga teacher training through Black Sheep Yoga Studio, with the first 100-hour module, an immersive training designed for anyone wishing to deepen their practice, slated to begin at the beginning of March. My online Intro to Tantric Philosophy course will begin sometime shortly there after and will take us deep into the stories of Hanuman and Viveka. The Virajati Yoga School teacher training starts in May, and while I won’t be there physically this year, I will be teaching the philosophy components of the course via video.

So lots of great things coming up! Stay tuned for more info soon! 🙂



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