kripalu yoga

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


3 things you need to know about yoga!

The following is an excerpt from an article I guest wrote for a friend and colleague's blog on   Castanet.net

Today I feature one of the many inspirational fitness leaders with whom has played a huge role in many people's journey of finding fitness, health and balance, including mine!  Meet Laura Martini of Martini Yoga. I have asked Laura what she feels everyone should know and understand about yoga!
 

  • Saying that I'm too tight/stiff to go to yoga is like saying that you are too hungry to eat.

As a yoga teacher, I understand that you are embarrassed by your tight hamstrings and don't think you'll be "good" at yoga; I've heard it all.  But it is the people like you who need yoga the most.  If you feel as though your muscles are tight, chances are they will continue to get tighter unless you take the time to stretch them.  It is as simple as that! A consistent yoga practice will not only stretch your muscles, it will help you build strength, it will increase your coordination and balance, and it will help to calm your mind.  

  • Yoga is the practice of compassion. Please understand that yoga was not designed to be a "workout", it is a system of self-love.

In a world where we are constantly being told that we are never enough, yoga teaches us to be gentle with our bodies and minds.  Through yoga we learn to recognize that we already have everything we need.  The physical practice of yoga gives us the opportunity to go deeper into our bodies and really take the time to understand where we should be placing our attention.  The ancient system of yoga recognized that when we take the time to love ourselves, only then will our love be able to translate to others.

  • Yoga is accepting of all.

It doesn't matter if you are Christian or Buddhist, small or large, bendy like Gumby or stiff as a board, yoga can work for you.  Yoga teachers are surprisingly skilled at modifying classes to ensure they work for everyone in the room.  That being said, please ensure you read the class description before entering the class.  You will never be judged in a yoga class so know that so long as you are mindful in how you feel in each posture, you can get a lot out of any yoga practice, no matter the teacher or style.
 

Namaste,

l.e. martini