New Zealand & Australia were awesome for many reasons. One of the things I liked most though was experiencing yoga in a different culture.

To be fair, I only took 3 yoga classes while I was there. In each of those classes though we focused on moving slowly, with a sense of creative control about how long and how much in each of the poses. We focused on the breath (not just for 5 minutes) and we sat… and we meditated… and we sang, or chanted, or harmonized… It wasn’t a workout. I wasn’t sore or sweaty afterwards.

I felt peaceful, and connected, and like I had been a part of something important.

Perhaps its because in that part of the world they are geographically closer to India, or because the NZ/AU lifestyle is more active, or maybe its actually just about me and the classes I chose. Whatever the reason, the classes I went to were slower, more meditative, and more open to personal expression than any class I have ever taken in the US. They were the best classes I have taken outside of a training since doing yoga in Mexico with Lal!

Regardless of my personal views on yoga and what I like to practice, as a teacher I must consider what my students want. And like the ideological prince charming on his white stallion, it feels that yoga has taken on the impossible role of being everything that we need to stay healthy. We want to go to yoga and get stronger, skinnier, more flexible and focused, less stressed, better balance, and more… Even if yoga can do all those things for you, it is a lot to ask to get that many benefits from an hour class once or twice a week.

Historically, yoga poses were used to prepare the body to sit and meditate comfortably for extended periods of time.

While I don’t think its wrong to try and get more out of your yoga practice and I know that in a busy world function stacking is a great way to get things done, it was nice to be reminded that Yoga doesn’t have to do it all. At least in my personal practice, yoga doesn’t have to be an hour of really challenging yoga, and 30 minutes of pranayama, and 20 minutes of meditation. It can be whatever I want it to be, for 5 minutes or 50 minutes, and if I never stand up, it doesn’t mean I didn’t have a great practice.

Were you actually just hoping to see photos from the trip? Check out some highlights and the Ashley Flowers Picture Face here>>>