bali yoga retreat

Martini Yoga Philosophy

Namaste!  I recently returned from the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014 and unfortunately, the 11 hour flight home did not include a television and I had already finished reading all my books!!  No entertainment?  I was left to be present to my own devices for an entire 11 hours!  Thus, in between meals I sketched out the defining philosophies that sum up everything I've learned (and am still learning) from my experience in yoga practice.  These key mantras are what motivate the growth of my teachings; they are what inspire and keep me happy and healthy.  I can teach you how to do an anatomically accurate downward dog, but it is the philosophical stuff that has to do with your life off the mat that really gets me fired up!  So here it is, the Martini Yoga Manifesto.  If we've ever been in class together or retreated together, you will probably recognize some of these teachings as I tend to like to preach them til the cows come home (that happens around Thanksgiving on my parents' farm in case you were wondering…which you probably weren't). 

Learning how to drop back to Wheel Pose during the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014

Learning how to drop back to Wheel Pose during the Jungle Spirit Yoga Retreat BALI 2014

Truth.

Truth.

  1. JUNGLE SPIRIT:  The innate wisdom that we, as living beings, come from the earth and are thus happiest when we spend time cultivating a deep connection to Mother Nature.
  2. ROCK ON:  Be proud of your efforts, surrender the fruits of your labour, and continuously remind yourself that it's all good.
  3. TRANSFORM YOUR PERSPECTIVE:  Always remember that you have the power to control the way you perceive reality.  Your concept of reality is different from everyone else's.  Never judge anyone for viewing the world differently than you do.
  4. RETREAT:  In order to stay inspired and healthy, you must never forget to take time off for yourself to completely relax, do yoga, eat well, laugh, and love the living being that houses your mental and spiritual body.
  5. NEVER STOP LEARNING: Honour that you can never master anything as the world changes on a daily basis.  Always focus on bettering yourself and the world around you.  Trust that on your dying day, you will be proud of your capacity for growth and the good that you created with the wisdom you have developed.
  6. IT'S ALL YOGA: Yoga occurs everywhere, in every decision you make, in every reaction you take, and in who you choose to be both on and off your mat.  Everything you do is a practice in yoga.
  7. YOU ARE PERFECT.  Let your yoga practice not be about getting somewhere, but about being comfortable with where you are right now.  Everything about this moment is innately perfect.
Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.

Please understand if you don't agree with these mantras, that's okay!  Different philosophies work for different people with different beliefs.  These work for me because they inspire me to be a better and more loving person.  In our culture, I feel like this is something I need to be reminded of on a daily basis!  Anyways, happy spring everyone, and, as always...

rock on

l.e. martini


Yoga For Immunity

Yoga For Immunity

Yoga For Immunity

When I started teaching yoga 6 years ago, I ran into a wee bit of a stumbling block; I was constantly trying to find subs because I was ALWAYS sick.  Why?  Well lets think about it...

I AM CONSTANTLY TOUCHING MY STUDENTS (not like that!  No lawsuits, please!).  Every class I teach, I touch everyone at least once.  I do so in order to provide a physical adjustment, or to help a student relax further or breathe deeper.  It's no wonder I contracted every virus within a 30 mile radius.

So then 18 months ago I went to this little island called Bali.

Shameless Plug: come to the bali JUNGLE SPIRIT YOGA RETREAT April 2014

Shameless Plug: come to the bali JUNGLE SPIRIT YOGA RETREAT April 2014

While in Bali, my hubby and I took a private yoga class on the remote Eastern Coast with a woman who did not appear to speak a word of English.  The class was basically like a game of "Simon Says" lol.  At the end of the class, we were supposed to do a headstand which was not in either of our practices yet.  We looked at each other and telepathically communicated the following sentence:  "shit, do we just sit here like fools?".  Well, the tiny Balinese yogini proceeded to pick up each of our legs in turn to help us into headstand.  It was awkward, but certainly kind of her to put that effort in.  After class, she pulled me aside and said:

You do headstand. It like medicine for you.

Well I went home to Canada and practiced every day in my kitchen until Sirsasana became like second nature.  And since that day, I have never been sick.  

Students at my 2013 Costa Rica Yoga Retreat learning how to do headstands in the sand.

Students at my 2013 Costa Rica Yoga Retreat learning how to do headstands in the sand.

True story.

Rock on my friends,

l.e. martini