Happy Healthy and Fit

Monday, April 30, 2012

Ready for True LOVE? Start Cracking Coconuts

What do coconuts have to do with true love??

I love coconut.  I love coconut milk, coconut cream, coconut ice cream, coconut cake, coconut frosting, coconut cream pie and of course, coconut dipped in chocolate.  Unfortunately, I must confess, I have always settled for these coconut byproducts, because I have been completely intimidated by coconuts.  Seems, I have also settled for love stories, romance novels, reading about love and writing about love.  Perhaps, the truth is, I was shelled from true love and happy to settle for these byproducts.

The heart is like a coconut.  The tough shell does a great job of protecting the juicy interior: the flesh, the meat, the delicious fruit.  As long as the shell stays on the coconut, it provides risk to those who come in contact with it.  After all, you are more apt to trip over one or get hit the head when one falls from a tree, then you are to ever taste it with the shell on.  A coconut in its shell, brings limited joy, except for the occasional imaging of the potential of the fruit inside.  Ultimately, if never cracked open, the coconut will dry out and fail to reach its greatest potential.  The same is true of the heart.

The fruit of the heart is the love that is contained deep inside.  Often hardened by pain, suffering, anger, doubt and fear, the ego creates a protective layer, much resembling that of a coconut.  A closed heart can lash out and cause great damage like a snake spewing poison.  True love is that selfless love that is hidden beneath the layers. Once the heart is cracked open, that love can flow freely and take infinite forms and bring great joy to many.

Recently, I decided that I didn't want the aftermarket, processed coconut products, I wanted to enjoy coconut in its truest form.  I decided to approach that hard nut and attempt to crack it.  There, I learned that the way to open a coconut is to find one of the three eyes located in the small side and feel for the soft one, essentially that tiny area of vulnerability.  Simply press into it and allow the juice inside to slowly drain from the small opening.  Once it is drained, gently tap on the side until it cracks open.  Then, crack it into smaller pieces and gently use a spoon to pull the flesh out.

To really connect to someone's heart, you must realize that it too may be hardened like a coconut.  The shell was created in an attempt to protect the heart from further hurt.  The shell is not personal and didn't develop overnight.  To tap into someone's heart, look for that small soft spot and connect.  Let them slowly pour out some of their pain, at their own pace and just listen.  Judgment will stop the flow and you will not be able to crack the coconut or open the heart.

Just as I could keep eating coconut byproducts and fearing the work to crack a real coconut, you can keep reading about love, writing about love, dreaming about love, watching movies and love stories on television, or you can learn to crack open your heart and the hearts of those you love so you can enjoy more than your imagination and tap into the most powerful vibration in the universe: true love.  If you want to bring more love into your heart, practice cracking coconuts.  Be willing to allow that small soft eye of vulnerability to be exposed.

Once you realize that your own heart has characteristics of a coconut, you will know that so do the hearts of others.  Don't be intimidated by the hard exterior of anyone or anything.  Trust the good stuff is buried deep inside somewhere.

Stop settling for byproducts.  The real thing is waiting!  Go ahead do the work.  True love is waiting inside of your toughened heart.  Let your pain out and love in.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Surfing Softens the Soul~ Becoming a Better Yoga Teacher

Teaching yoga on the beautiful yoga deck of Aqua Nicaragua Wellness Resort, I had a great awakening.  It became clear, as to why I was drawn to stay in Central America an extra week.  I needed to become a better yoga teacher.

Coordinating and facilitating the Gracious Living Yoga & Surf Empowerment retreat was an amazing experience.  Bringing together a group of openhearted and likeminded individuals from Canada and the United Stated was a powerful way to help others to see that the world is full of wonderful people with shared truths.  For me it was empowering to create space for others to heal and bond in a safe environment.

It wasn't until the group left that I embarked on my reflection and transformation journey.  What began as a surf lesson has become a life lesson.  With some instruction, I entered into the Pacific Ocean and was quickly humbled.  Years of training in the martial arts and yoga, put me at an advantage with balance, flexibility and agility.  However, rough water and riptides quickly overtook and I was thrashed about.  It became obvious that I was a first-timer.


As a yoga teacher, sometimes you forget that the simple act of a half sun salutation is foreign, awkward and even painful to a first time yoga student.  They feel off balance, tight and must deal with their ego, which is as powerful as the ocean waves. Being a good surfer is about finding your center, while respecting what is going on around you, tuning into the sounds of the ocean and surrendering.

Teaching yoga is about surrendering your own ego and connecting to your students.  Tune in with your heart and see if they are following.  If they are not, back off.  Yoga is not about the poses.  It is about the connection of mind and body, body and soul and then the individual consciousness to the collective consciousness.

This morning I was blessed with a wonderful teacher named Paul.  He may have appeared as the student, but by watching his movement, I could see where he was resisting the big 'waves' and flowing with the small ones.  When the poses became too challenging, he would greet them with anger and tense up.  If your students are tense, no one is practicing yoga and you are not teaching yoga.  The benefits come in releasing tension, not displacing it from hips to forehead.






Instead of seeing a man struggle with yoga poses, I saw myself struggling with the ocean waves.  Learn to teach with Compassion and you can open even the most locked up hearts.  Find compassion by constantly placing yourself in situations that are new, awkward and uncomfortable.  Humiliation keeps you humble and humility is where all hearts connect.

See humiliation, not as something to avoid, but something to embrace.  For me, surfing was an opportunity to reconnect to the beginner's mind, an opportunity to soften and remember what it feels like to move into the unknown.  When people stretch out of their comfort zone, it becomes uncomfortable.  A good teacher recognizes their is strength in softening and surrendering.

If you ever have the opportunity to take a surf lesson, I encourage you to have this experience.  It will certainly soften your soul and allow you to connect to other souls.  At the very least, keep your approach fresh by trying new things.  It will make you a better yoga teacher.  The more people you connect to through the practice of yoga, the more you elevate the consciousness of the planet!

Be Humble!  Be Happy Healthy and Fit!
Take your practice to a new level! Come to the Bahamas for a Yoga & Sport Course May 12-16th

Namaste~

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Adventure~ the Path to Adaptability and Expansion!

Somewhere between fear of death and fear of public speaking, I am certain lies fear of Change.  Ironically, there is nothing more natural than change.

Change happens every moment of every day.  Clouds move, the earth moves, one plant is blossoming while another is decaying, an egg is fertilized, a child is born, a loved one passes, an opportunity arises, another one disappears, it rains, it snows, the wind blows and waves crash.  Each occurrences thereby changing the planet in some way.  The only possible way for things to stay the same would be to freeze everything in a moment of time.  It seems ridiculous and unnatural to ask nature to stay the same.

Change is a part of growth and growth is a part of life.  Growth by definition requires you to leave something behind that is keeping you stuck or limited.  A seed must leave its shell behind in order to blossom into its potential.  You must leave your fear behind to blossom into your potential.  Fear of change in relationship, job or location is enough to keep you stuck in your less than magical life situation.  Everything is in a constant state of movement, so trying to hold onto to your situation is like a seedling hanging onto the seed covering.  You must let go to get in the flow.  Release what no longer serves you.

The best way to gain confidence in your ability to adapt to change is to move fearlessly into new opportunities when they arise and then to create opportunities where none exist.  Humans are designed to survive.  Embrace Adventure.  Moving into the unknown is tapping into creativity.  After 2 weeks in Nicaragua, I can see how what seemed foreign, strange and undesirable just a short time ago has quickly become the norm.

At home, you may not imagine eating something because it has fallen off your plate.  Here, in Nicaragua, the wind blows during the dry season and brings some dirt right to your food or drink.  You would not imagine, not eating or drinking it, it simply is the way it is.  By the third day, it is the way it has always been.  The same is true of any situation.  It only seems like change while it is happening.  Within 3 days, the new way will be the way it has always been.

If you fear change, I strongly encourage you to go on an adventure.  You will be amazed by just how adaptable you are.   The moment you have confidence in your adaptability, you may move fearlessly in the direction of your dreams.  Having just finished leading a group on a Yoga & Surf Adventure retreat, I feel forever richer in friendship, experience and wisdom.  For those, who I didn't even know just a few weeks ago have left an imprint on my heart.  Adventure is the path to Expansion!


If you are going to have fear, fear staying the same!  If you aren't growing, you are dying, not just in mind and body, but in spirit.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means embracing Adventure.  You don't have to leave the country or do anything crazy to test this out.  Perhaps your adventure can be going to a new restaurant or movie alone.  It can be starting a new business or joining the board of a non-profit organization.  It can be starting a conversation with a stranger.  Adventure is anything that takes you out of your comfort zone and into your Creative Zone!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are you a DREAMer or a Doer?


Surrounded by monkeys swinging from treetop to treetop, watching the waves crash in on the coastline of Nicaragua is an amazing time for reflection. Are you a dreamer or a doer?

It takes courage to bridge the gap between dreams and reality. Fear widens the gap. It has been a longtime dream of mine to bring likeminded people together at an amazing destination to experience growth, bonding and transformation. It has only taken this long, because of fear; fear no one would come, fear I would not be a good enough teacher and leader.

Inside each one of you is some kind of dream, some kind of desire to be happy, healthy and change the world in some way. Perhaps you dream of travel, starting a business, helping other people, cleaning up your neighborhood, having a loving relationship, peace in your heart, climbing a mountain, living sober, having children, adopting children, teaching yoga or leading a yoga retreat in a far away land.

Whatever your dream is, know that father time waits for no one. What better time than now? Dig into the recesses of your heart and remember a time when you were taught to believe in dreams and fairytales. Then close your eyes and ask what if dreams do come true? The only thing separating you from your dreams is Courage. Fear is like a deep, dark ravine that keeps you stuck in your current life situation. The ravine is an illusion. Simply find the courage to move forward and you will see it is not a hole, but a shadow. The closer you get, the more it disappears.

You don't need to make crazy rash moves, just find your voice and move slowly with courage in the direction of your dreams. Courage bridges the gap. Never stop being dreamer, just start being a doer.

Much and love gratitude to everyone who has been my friend and teacher encouraging me to encourage others. Being Happy Healthy and Fit means having Courage to turn your dreams into reality.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No Spanish? Know Smiles! Speak Fluent LOVE!


Being in Nicaragua has reminded me the importance of the Universal Language, the language of Love. Upon landing here, I realized that my Spanish is non-existent. For some reason, even the very basic word Hello or Ola has slipped my mind. The nighttime two and half hour taxi ride from airport to hotel was a sobering event

Instead of panicking at the idea of being in a 3rd world country with no understanding of the language, I embraced the opportunity to speak the truth. The truth is spoken without words anyway. The moment we add words into conversation, we digress and our thoughts lose their meaning. Thoughts are multi-dimensional. Words are limited by definition. Consider the word chair. Chair is used to describe something that you sit on, but chair has 10,000 faces. Chairs can be wood, metal, plastic, plush or cushioned. They can go outside, inside, at the dining room table, living room table, classroom or office. I use this example to show how one simple word can be interpreted infinite ways.

The power of smile is enough to bridge the gap and turn the unhelpful into the helpful. A smile from the heart means the same thing in every language. I am sightly sad to say that in over a week I have not learned any new Spanish words, but have really tuned the dialect of my heart language. My eyes sparkle, my spirit dances and my soul is connected to all of those I meet. Through gestures, intuition and warm smiles I have learned to fluently speak the language of LOVE.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means communicating to every one in every way with loving kindness. See language, not as a limitation, but as an opportunity to communicate in the highest possible way through universal Love.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ahimsa! The True Spirit of Yoga!


I love yoga because it makes me feel so good. I love teaching yoga, because it makes other people feel so good. If I feel good and someone else feels good, together we have just elevated our consciousness and thereby contributed to a more peaceful planet.

This idea comes from what yogis refer to as ahimsa or non-violence. It is easy to translate it as non-killing, but it is not non-killing. Himsa means pain and the 'a' negates it. Therefore, it is not to cause pain. Ahimsa is the first of the 5 yamas or things to abstain from to have a happy, healthy and peaceful life. Remember, a true yogi is not someone who can twist like a pretzel, but someone who exudes and exists in inner and outer peace.

Even before Truth, comes Non-Violence. It is the first conscious thought. By nature, violence is unconscious. When you take a vow of ahimsa, you will see that all enmity ceases to exist in your presence. You will actually emit harmonious vibrations. Even two people experiencing enmity will temporarily forget it in the presence of ahimsa.

Animals are also able to tap into these vibrations. You may notice a dog at peace with one and on guard with another. Violence is a vibration. It is known that even in the wild, animals forget their violent nature in the presence of one practicing ahimsa. In mythology, it is quite common to see people walking with tigers. They are not fighting the tigers, they are in conscious alignment thereby taming the ferocious.

Ahimsa or non-violence can easily be viewed outside of yourself, but the true practice is done by looking inward. Are you non-violent in your thoughts and actions toward yourself? The foods you eat and the habits you engage in can be simple and continuous acts of violence on your body. If you are ingesting chemicals, you are abusing your body, a simple act of violence. If you are in a toxic relationship or job, you are creating stress, which takes the body out of its rhythm and high vibrations. Stress is violence. Self-depracting thoughts inflict pain. Forcing yoga poses is an act of causing pain and violence to your body.

Peace, harmony and friendliness in thought word and deed is the path to ahimsa. Notice when you feel this in the presence of another and observe. This simple practice is enough to change yourself and change the world. Approach every difficult situation in your life as a ferocious tiger that is in the presence of ahimsa. You may not be able to eliminate it, but you can tame it peacefully.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means loving and accepting yourself and others exactly as you and they are. Trust that everyone is experiencing enough of their own pain and that by practicing ahimsa you can create an environment of non-pain and non-violence simply by being in harmony. Just as you must keep practicing arm balances to improve, you must keep practicing ahimsa to become it. Use you yoga to strengthen your body and your mind. Ahimsa!

May you be free of all pain and painful thoughts!
Namaste~

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Make Daily Yoga your Magic Pill!


As a yoga student, practitioner and teacher, I have observed many magical transformations over the years. Relief from physical pain, as well as emotional pain and other limiting vibrations like anger, fear, worry; doubt, shame, sadness and uncertainty seem to melt away.

Yoga provides all the amazing benefits that you secretly seek in a magic pill. Imagine being at peace with your body; loving the way you feel and look. Imagine an existence free from anxiety and regret. Imagine feeling fully energized and inspired, while relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Imagine seeing the whole world as new friends who have come to your party, you just haven’t met them all yet.

Sound crazy? For thousands of years, yoga, by definition has been a skillful means to attain all those magical results. Yoga is the yoking or union of mind and body to soul and the yoking or union of the individual soul to the universal soul. Yoga is the path to self-love and self-mastery and ultimately universal love.

Stop Imaging and start celebrating! Enjoy a daily yoga practice and you will you know daily magic!

Namaste~

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joyful Planting Today Reaps Blissful Blooms Tomorrow


Like a King's belly full of the richest foods in the land, my heart is content with joy and my spirit rich with possibilities. Resuscitating a plant that had been left for dead inspired me to get busy with spring planting. For with belief, attention, love and light thoughts and seeds will transform out of their sedentary state into their greatest potential. You too can feast on life's infinite possibilities.

With dirt deep under my fingernails and cuticles torn back from digging into soil, I am reminded that you reap what you sow in the garden and in life. Sowing requires some action. It is amazing how long you can spend thinking about something and then the actual minuscule amount of time required to perform the action of getting the process started to produce a desired result.

The directions on the packets of seeds I planted reveal, not just how to grow sunflowers, but the simple process of manifestation, to cultivation, to fruition and actualization. These seeds require 7-14 days to break ground and 70-75 days to reach full bloom. Seventy to seventy-five days seems like a long ways away. Upon hearing that it will take over 2 months to see any results from your efforts, impatience can be a strong deterrent.

Growing flowers is like growing a healthy habit. Start with a decision, clear away the debris, also known and negativity, doubt, uncertainty and fear. Plant the seeds 8 inches apart and water evenly. Trust in the spiritual laws and natural order of things. In seven to 14 days, you will begin to see a small result. Whether you call it Karma or Cause and Effect, planting seeds unleashes potential.

Ironically, if you leave the seeds confined in their package, they will never do anything. Each seed is the remnant of a life that preceded it and inside each seed exists infinite beautiful gardens. When you decide to take your life in a positive and pure direction, you bring light to your own potential. It doesn't matter what you did yesterday, last week or last year, from those experiences, you can pull one seed and infuse it with love and light. You can spend your whole life thinking and talking about losing weight, starting a business, quitting tobacco, getting your degree, mending strained relationships, taking a yoga class or planting a garden.

Getting started is 80% of success, but results require discipline and patience. Your thoughts are your seeds and your mind is your garden. You are rich with potential and can be satiated with contentment. Life is short. Feast on your dreams tomorrow by planting your seeds today. Seventy to seventy-five days are going to come and go with the blink of an eye. You can choose to remain the same or you can choose to transform and grow.

It doesn't matter how your life situation may appear. Could it be any smaller, more destitute or insignificant than a dying plant or dried seed? Plant the seeds to whatever you desire today. Apply constant and conscious intention and within 75 days you will be richly rewarded. Go ahead and get started!

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means creating the life of your dreams by joyfully planting seeds today for a blissful tomorrow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

What Do Yoga Splits and Spring have in Common?


Spring is a wonderful time to reflect on the cycle of nature and process of life.

As a yoga teacher, new students often ask about how to get into a certain pose. The Truth is they are trying to pull the flower out of the seed by force. No matter how hard you try, you will never find the flower in the seed until it is ready to appear organically. The same is true of yoga poses.

As I look outside and see signs of spring, I am reminded that they did not appear instantly. Anything blossoming now was planted seasons or years ago and has stayed true to its path. It through constant commitment and continuous effort that results are produced. Yoga is something that needs to be practiced regularly to really enjoy the results. You cannot stick a seed in the ground and then pull it out every few days dust it off and replant it and expect it to blossom.

The same is true of yoga. According to B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga teaches you to know your limitations and then to build from them. You are never too old and it is never too late to begin or resume a regular yoga practice. The beauty is not in doing the perfect pose, but in revealing your inner beauty.

Discipline and diligent practice are the only way to open the body to new yoga poses. To force a yoga pose destroys the process and potential. Forcing the body into a position it is not ready for is like tearing the seed apart. You will not enjoy the true essence and benefits.

Wherever you are today is the seed. Plant it and practice until you have developed firm roots. When it is cultivated skillfully and continuously for a long time, you will blossom organically. Spring has different characteristics all over the world, things may be blooming in Arizona or Florida right now, but in Utah or Canada, spring means the snow is beginning to melt. Either way, more light is being revealed each day and there is a great awakening.

What do yoga and spring have in common? You cannot rush a flower, but you can learn from it. Whether it is a specific yoga pose, a dream vacation, new home, college degree, loving relationship or business you desire, plant your seeds and nurture them lovingly. Have fun in the process and trust that infinite patience produces immediate results.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means understanding the measurable results require getting started and applying continuous and conscious effort. May your inner beauty radiate today and grow more powerful with each passing day. Happy Spring and Namaste~

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Who are Your People and Do you Truly Live Namaste?

Have you ever heard anyone refer to another person or group and say, "they are not my kind of people."

This inspires me to ask what exactly are kinds of people?

Last night just after dusk, I walked past a bus stop located in the midst of a strip mall. There must have been ten people gathered waiting for the bus. Most were over 50 and each one clutching a dollar in their hand waiting for the aluminum tube to pick them up and transport them to their next destination. My eyes met the gaze of an older woman and we exchanged smiles. I saw her light and she saw mine.

This moment triggered me to ask, do you ever wonder someone's story? What happens between birth, life and clutching that dollar as one waits for the city bus. When I smiled with that woman, a warm feeling came over my heart. Perhaps, she has had a full and happy life and is happy and content now.

There is no reason to pity another human. To pity another human is to judge them. The moment you pass judgment, you cut yourself off from their magic. As long as they are still breathing, there exists a light inside. To pity is to see no hope. To smile is to ignite the spirit of another. In that moment, she reminded me that at your very essence and core, you are all the same. Whether you are driving an expensive car or riding the city bus, you are all the same. You come into this world with an inhale and leave this world with an exhale.

True Happiness results when you can see all other beings as yourself. Instead of fearing those who seem different from you due to skin color, gender, height, weight, language, socio-economic class or any other illusionary boundary, can you see everyone as the same, as One.

In yoga, you say Namaste, which means the Light or Divine inside of me recognizes and honors the Light and Divine inside of you. This is not to be reserved for your relationship with you and your yoga teacher, but to be shared with all the people you are blessed to encounter.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means expanding your consciousness by releasing all judgments and allowing your heart to open and connect to all the hearts of the world. Namaste~

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Distracts You from Happiness, Love and Freedom?


Are you too distracted to be happy, in love and free? What if the only thing in the way of you is you?

Ask anyone what they really want and chances are you may hear a litany of material things. Dig deeper and you will find that ultimately at your core, or truest essence, you desire only happiness, love and freedom.

Perhaps, the focus on education, job, career or business is to make money so that you can buy things you believe will make you happy and attract a spouse or partner that you believe will bring you love in order to be able to live as your true self and know freedom.

The great news is that all you desire is already here. You have it. You don't need more of anything to know happiness, love and freedom. You actually need less, less distractions.

Happiness, Love and Freedom are vibrations. They are measurable elevations of consciousness. Simply stated, this means they are inside of you, not outside of you. Tune into what already exists. Consider how a receiver tunes into radio frequencies, it does not create the radio waves.

To be in the spirit or vibration of happiness, love and freedom, tune into the Now. It is where you will find the strongest frequency. If your favorite radio station is Q107 and you are slightly above it or slightly below it on the dial, you will be able to hear your favorite songs, but there will be an annoying distraction of interference. You are so close and yet so far from enjoying bliss. As little as point one decimals is all it takes to move from clarity to chaos and from chaos to clarity.

When you tune into Q'NOW' you are fully present. Your heart and head are in alignment. That slight movement above or below is the equivalent of moving into the past or the future. Regrets about the past and anxiety about the future are like trying to remember the song that just played or hoping the next one is one you like, all the while never realizing that you just missed the music of the moment. Neither one is truth. Truth is right here, right now. The moment your presence slips, so does your clarity. Happiness, Love and Freedom are right now.

If you are not experiencing Happiness, Love and Freedom, perhaps you have too many distractions. It is not to say that things are bad or jobs and careers interfere, they may be necessary, but the magic is in staying fully present. If you want to maintain and grow your relationships sprinkle them with appreciation and show up in the now. Even if your life situation is not perfect, you will never rise from chaos avoiding it. Tune into it completely by showing up with your heart. What is true will remain, what is not will fall away.

If you want to attract Happiness, Love and Freedom into your life, you do not need to flip through all the radio stations of life in search of the perfect person or situation. You simply need to tune into being fully present. There you will find perfection and the Law of Attraction will bring you more perfection.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means wherever you are and wherever you go, show up with all of your heart. When you are at work, be at work, when you are at home, be at home. When you are doing yoga be present. When you are in the company of another, show up. Nothing is more important than the moment you are in. May your day be brilliant and filled with Happiness, Love and Freedom.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Is Yoga a Competition?


After reading an article about the title winner of the second USA national asana championship, it has left me contemplating the paradox of seeing the words yoga and competition in the same sentence.

By definition, yoga means to yoke or create union. Yoking and union are about collaboration and connection. On a individual level, yoga can be understood as unifying mind and body or breath and movement. On a global level, yoga asana, which means the physical practice was designed to allow the practitioners to sit for long periods of time in a meditative state sending and receiving great love at a quantum level to unify the world.

Competition is about separation and ego; even when you compete with yourself.

It is not that I am for or against a yoga competition, just that it is important to understand that the physical practice of yoga comprises only 12.5% percent of true yoga. If you have been practicing yoga for a short or long period of time and not experiencing all the amazing benefits yet, do not be discouraged.

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patajanli, there are 8 components or 8 limbs of yoga. The physical practice is only one limb. Know that practicing yoga is the path to dwindling impurities of mind and body. Trust that the light of understanding will shine forth with disciplined practice and illuminate the way to self-awareness and truth. Even if your physical practice is not where you want to be, know that 87.5% percent of the practice exists in the other 7 limbs.

You may find inspiration in some of the physical poses that are demonstrated during a competition, but if you find them to be intimidating, then to me the event is a failure. Yoga is for everyone. Yoga is the path to a non-violent relationship with yourself, with others and with the world. Yoga is about sharing.

True yoga is about ascending ego and seeing yourself as pure consciousness. To turn this into a competition seems to poison the roots. Perhaps there is good intention in spreading the word about yoga, but the technique seems off. The fact that it has survived on its own for over 5000 years is evidence enough that it is the Truth.

Notice if you turn your own practice into a competition with yourself or others. Notice if you do not practice because you think you will never be able to 'move' like that. Yoga asana or movement is only one of eight limbs. May your yoga practice be a nice balance of all eight limbs and a means to collaboration, with yourself, others and the world.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means understanding yoga is not a competition or separation, but a yoking or union. May beings everywhere be Happy, Healthy Fit, Free and United!
Namaste~