I grew up around yoga. My mom helped open a couple of the early studios in Los Angeles in the ’90s and early 2000s. I played sports the entire time and genuinely thought yoga was just stretching. Then, after graduating college, I tried it. I was drawn to the physical challenge. I was a guy with stiff muscles and a lot of injuries, yet I found that I could do yoga.
As soon as I completed my initial yoga teacher training, I was doing trainings and workshops. Every year I’d do a 200- or a 300-hour training. I studied in India for a while. I explored different styles and teachers. Many of them were more movement forward, such as Dice Iida-Klein, and I picked up different ways of thinking about sequencing. I learned to interweave different elements into my classes.
Then in 2018, I took Functional Range Conditioning training, which is about understanding how certain exercises for flexibility and mobility can benefit your everyday life.
My teaching has evolved to include whatever I’m doing or studying at the time. I train in jiujitsu, I lift weights, I do resistance training, I run. It all works its way into my teaching. How I teach now is different than how I taught when I first began. My teaching style is always evolving.
At the moment, I teach a style of yoga that I think of as “modern vinyasa.” It pulls from a lot of different schools and modalities: dynamic movement, static postures, and breathing. Sometimes I make a small adjustment to the alignment of a traditional pose to decrease the chance of injury. Or I create dynamic movement within a pose. The concepts and movements I teach are geared toward helping any body open up instead of needing to have a bendy body to do the pose. If you can’t do a lot of the poses in the class, it’s discouraging. That’s why I want to teach people how to move their bodies in a way that helps them in everyday life.
My style is very much for everybody. At CAMP, where I teach in Los Angeles, I my regular students range in age from 20 to 60. A lot of my style is tricking the body to engage in different ways. After your practice, you should feel better than when you walked into my class.
I do yoga so that I can do the other things that I love. And I want to help others figure out how to engage their bodies so they can do the same.
A Sequence for Building Strength
This practice stretches your front, back, and side body as you cultivate strength. Warm up with Cat-Cow or Child’s Pose, and have a couple of blocks within reach.
1 OPEN TWIST
Start in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose). Step your right foot forward and a little to the right into Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge). Keep your left leg straight and your left arm down as you bring your right arm up and rotate your chest to the right. Place a block under your left hand if needed. Get really strong with your left leg. If your left hip is tight, play around with lowering it a little. Turn your chest a little more and maybe relift your left hip. Veer away from any temptation to press down through the outer edge of the right foot. Repeat on the other side, then come to Tabletop.
2 UTTANA SHISHOSANA (EXTENDED PUPPY POSE)
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