Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga Practice


It’s finally ready! This is what I’ve been working on the last few months. I’ve poured so much heart (also blood, sweat, and tears) into it and I’m very excited to share it with you.

YOGA UPLOAD PLUS is my new membership site that will take your practice to the next level! So how is it different from my YouTube channel? It’s so much better!

1) Unlike YouTube, you can FILTER videos to easily find what you’re looking for. Filter by duration, intensity, purpose, and focus.

2) The site has exclusive content like Yoga Programs and Daily Yoga Challenges and members-only videos.

3) You can download an unlimited number of videos for offline viewing.

4) No more waiting to skip YouTube ads.

So for you, my dear YouTube yogis I have a special Early Bird offer: Sign up within this week and get 30% OFF your first month of membership. This offer expires next Wednesday Feb 2, 2022.

Here’s how it works:

1) Go to https://yogauploadplus.com/

2) Select Monthly Plan and create your account.

3) Use Coupon Code YOGAUPLOADEARLY30

You will get a FREE 14-DAY TRIAL like everyone else. After that trial ends, you get 30% off your first month of membership. You should get an email to confirm that your trial has started.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know. The best way to know if this is right for you is to check it out. There is also an FAQ page there to help you out.

Here’s the link: https://yogauploadplus.com/

Make sure you sign up before Feb 2, 2022!

Thank you so much yogis!





14 days of yoga. 30 minutes a day. All free. Take the guesswork out of practicing and try out this FLOW & STRETCH yoga challenge!

Hello yogis! Many of you have requested for a yoga challenge or calendar. Here’s a 14-day yoga program that I curated for you. It’s a total body program that’s suitable for intermediate and strong beginner yogis.

All these individual videos are already posted on my YouTube channel but I put them in one playlist in a specific order. Each class is 30 minutes so this is good for those who don’t have a lot of time.

We alternate between flowing vinyasa style classes and slower relaxing yoga stretch classes so you feel completely balanced. This way, it is not too taxing to do 14 days in a row. You don’t have to do the challenge everyday if you need some days off but the order of the videos matters (for example, a power flow for upper body class is followed by an upper body stretch class the next day).

Hope you try this one out. Let me know what you think!

Here’s the link to the playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCt_FzY6JsJ4XdYgcWDM0k_s0k0ycewBJ

Inspiration, Personal, Yoga, Yoga Practice

Yoga and Body Image – Part 1

*** I wrote this short article to start a conversation about yoga and its effects on body image. This is simply an introduction to the topic.  There will be more! When I muster the courage, I will share my own journey through body image issues with you. 🙂 Stay tuned, yogis!***


The beginning of the year is a time for setting new goals and making significant changes. Getting fit and losing weight are probably the most common New Year’s resolutions. Being surrounded by media images of seemingly perfect bodies makes a lot of us feel inadequate, and we feel the need to improve our appearance in some way. Why then, do we fail to sustain this healthy lifestyle that we embark on with much enthusiasm every January? It’s because we set our goals from a place of lack, insecurity, and negativity. When most of us look in the mirror, we are discouraged by what we perceive as physical imperfections. We feel we need to look a certain way in order to be happy and confident. Instead of focusing on moving towards true health and wellness, we pay attention to only the most superficial aspects of ourselves.

What we must do, if we truly want lasting change, is to come from a place of self-care and compassion. This is where a yoga practice can become the perfect complement to your exercise regimen and nutrition plan. Yoga is healing to a lot of people with body image issues because your internal experience is more important than your outward appearance when you’re on your mat. When practicing, you are encouraged to attend to your body’s real needs instead of forcing yourself to look good doing poses that might not be right for you. Every pose is done with the intention of being kind to your body instead of rejecting it or wishing for it to be different. A consistent and skillful yoga practice teaches us to truly love ourselves, no matter what we look like.

There’s another reason yoga is helpful when dealing with physical insecurities. It is a very welcoming and inclusive practice. Your age, looks, race, background, and experience level do not matter. Yoga is not exclusive to certain body types; even though social media might give off that impression. The reality is there are many styles of yoga to accommodate anyone who is willing to try it. Even in a group yoga class, there are ways to modify the poses to suit individual needs.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look better. It becomes a problem when we prioritize appearance at the expense of our physical health and emotional well-being. Only when we are acting out of true love and acceptance of ourselves can we make sustainable changes in our lifestyle that are actually beneficial for our health in the long run. Yoga will provide you with the tools you need to care for yourself while working towards your goals.

Note: I wrote this article for the Front Door Fitness website where it was first published. FDF is a wonderful personal training company in Kansas City; and I am proud to be part of the team. Check out the FDF blog for more free articles on fitness, nutrition, and healthy living.

For Yoga Teachers, Yoga, Yoga Q & A, Yoga Tips

Should You Become a Yoga Teacher? 3 Key Issues to Consider

Are you considering becoming a yoga teacher? Do you look at your instructor and think what an amazing life they must lead? Has yoga changed your life and now you want to share this practice with the world?

Teaching yoga is a big commitment. Before you invest your time, money, and energy in yoga teacher training; make sure you ask yourself these 3 questions:

(Note: Watch the 7-minute video below for a more in depth discussion. I dive deeply into these 3 issues and share my own experience. OR, read my short summary in this post. :))


Do you like TEACHING?

Teaching yoga is an entirely different experience from practicing yoga. Just because you enjoy doing something doesn’t mean you will enjoy teaching it. Also, just because you are good at something doesn’t mean you will be good at teaching it. Not everyone has a natural talent for teaching but teaching skills can be learned and developed. Are you willing to do what it takes to become an effective teacher? Are you willing to learn how to communicate better? Will you have the patience and dedication to guide your students no matter how difficult it gets? What’s simple and self-explanatory to you may not be so for your students, especially if they’re beginners. Ask yourself if you truly want to TEACH others or if you just want to have more yoga in your life. Maybe a yoga retreat to deepen your practice is what you need, and not necessarily a yoga teacher training.

Can you get up in front of people to teach yoga?

Even if you have a sincere desire to teach, you still might have some sort of “stage fright.” I know a few people who were in yoga teacher training with me who ended up never teaching because they were deathly afraid of being in front of people and actually doing it! Ask yourself if you are willing to develop the necessary confidence and presentation skills to teach a public class. There are ways to learn this: workshops on acting/theater, presentation skills seminars, etc.  As a yoga teacher, you must also confront your anxiety about making mistakes and getting criticized. Have courage and keep practicing!

Will teaching yoga be a side gig or a full-time career?

This is a complex issue that deserves its own blog and video! In a nutshell, ask yourself: Is teaching yoga merely a hobby that you do for fun and not for money? Is teaching yoga a side job that helps supplement income you already make from a steady job? Is teaching yoga going to be your full-time profession after you transition out of your current career? Whichever one you choose, you must know that working as a yoga teacher can be financially challenging, especially in the beginning. Are you sure you are being realistic with your expectations when it comes to money? Have you dealt with any money issues you might have? Do you feel guilty about making money because you view yoga as a spiritual practice? Do you dislike the business and marketing side of yoga? You must look into your conflicting thoughts and feelings about money if you are to be happy and fulfilled as a yoga teacher. Also, burning out is a very common issue with yoga teachers. Ask yourself how much yoga you actually want in your professional life. (note: I will make separate post about this. It’s too complicated!)

These are just few of the issues you must consider before making that commitment to become a yoga teacher. Go ahead and talk to the yoga teachers you know to get a better idea of what their lives are truly like. It is a truly challenging and rewarding journey if it’s right for you. Good luck!


Yoga, Yoga Practice, Yoga Q & A, Yoga Tips

How Do I Get My Partner To Do Yoga With Me?

Note: The entire video has captions/subtitles so you can watch it without sound if you need to. It’s only 5 1/2 minutes 🙂

The question for today’s Yoga Q & A is:

“How do I get my partner/loved one/significant other to practice yoga with me?”

When you fell in love with yoga and became consistent in your practice, you probably felt so good and noticed positive changes in your life. It’s natural for us to want the people we care about to experience the same benefits we’ve received from yoga. Here, I share my thoughts on the most effective way to encourage those around us to start practicing or at least begin exploring the idea of practicing. Also, what do you do when you finally get what you want? If you’re successful in getting your loved to go to yoga class with you, I have an important tip for you! 🙂


Yoga, Yoga Practice

Benefits of Yoga at the Workplace

Note: This is an article I wrote for Front Door Fitness this week. I teach yoga for the company and help out with marketing and social media management. If you work in a corporate setting and would like to integrate a wellness program in your office, this is a good post for you to read! This photo was taken at Barkley – an advertising agency in downtown Kansas City – where I teach a 45-minute lunchtime yoga class every week. 🙂


In January 2017, TIME magazine published “Yoga Is Officially Sweeping the Workplace,” an article on the growing popularity of office yoga. The article mentions how employees benefit from mindfulness-based activities like yoga and meditation.

I’ve been teaching yoga in corporate settings for a few years now and have seen firsthand how even a short, 45-minute yoga practice affects office workers in a positive way. Here are a few of the benefits I’ve witnessed among corporate employees who attend office yoga classes regularly.

Physical Benefits: Improved Posture and Flexibility

Most office workers spend long hours sitting and hunched over their desks. Moving and stretching the body mindfully in a well-designed yoga routine helps employees manage aches and pains caused by stress, physical tension, and bad posture. They learn proper spinal alignment and basic stretches to relieve stiffness and tightness caused by sitting all day. My students feel better and stand taller as they walk back to their cubicles after our session.

Mental and Emotional Benefits: Relaxation and Positive Mood

The corporate world can be extremely stressful to employees. They need a break from the demands of their work. Yoga, with its emphasis on slowing down and deep breathing, helps improve mood and reduce burnout. After our yoga practice, workers go back to their cubicle happier and more relaxed. Most of them have also expressed that yoga in the office is one of their favorite things about working for their company!

Workplace Benefits: Increased Focus and Productivity

Good employers know how to encourage excellence while keeping work satisfaction high. Yoga’s effects on workers’ focus and productivity are immediate! Right after class, my students emerge refreshed and they say they’re ready to face the rest of the day. They feel rejuvenated and more able to accomplish challenging tasks.

Front Door Fitness is proud to offer yoga and other group classes to various companies and organizations. We have seen with our own eyes the significant impact of workplace fitness and wellness. As a yoga teacher, providing yoga in the workplace and improving employees’ lives is truly fulfilling work for me.

Inspiration, Personal, Yoga, Yoga Practice, Yoga Q & A

Real vs Fake Yoga? How to Tell the Difference

I was talking with an acquaintance recently and she was saying that she preferred “studio yoga” over “gym yoga.” My interpretation is that she thinks the gym version is somehow inferior or it’s not the real thing. I understand where this preconceived notion comes from. Some people imagine yoga in a gym setting means an instructor barking cues at sweaty and stressed out participants. It’s not exactly the serene and graceful picture you often have of yoga.

So, what is real yoga? Is there even such a thing? Or are they all the same, wherever and however you practice it? There is always some new and emerging yoga trend: acro yoga, standup paddleboard yoga, dog yoga, and yes – beer yoga! Surely, we need to draw the line and decide that some of these so-called styles shouldn’t be attaching  the word yoga to their names, right? How can you tell which class is truly yoga and which one is just marketing hype?

I think it all boils down to the essence of yoga. Before we get into that, let’s look at two important words that will help us in our assessment – distill vs. dilute. To distill means “to extract the essential meaning or most important aspects of.” A distilled version of something is very powerful because it contains the pure essence or most important elements. Essential oils, for example, are very potent! This brings us to our next word – dilute – which means “to make (something) weaker in force, content, or value by modifying it or adding other elements to it.” For most essential oils to be usable, we often need to add other ingredients to it. The essence is still there but the potency is greatly reduced. It’s a slightly “watered down” version of the original. You might need to use more of it to get the same effect.

How does this relate to yoga? When looking at a yoga offering, we need to look beyond its outer packaging and investigate what’s inside. Is the essence of yoga present? I frequent yoga teacher online groups on Facebook and other sites. Every now and then someone will see a post about a yoga workshop and immediately condemn it as “not yoga,” without bothering to know what it really is, as if they are the arbiter of what’s real and what’s not. (Side note: In almost any gathering of yoga teachers, you will find the kindest and most compassionate souls but also the most most judgmental and yogier-than-thou individuals! Sorry, just calling it as I see it.). It’s good to be discerning about yoga but we should find out more about what we aim to critique, instead of harshly dismissing it just because it doesn’t look like what we want it to look like. I’ve seen people look their noses down on 45-minute office yoga because they don’t think it’s “authentic.” Is real yoga 2 hours long and can only be found in incense-burning studios? Is it only taught by turban-wearing teachers dressed in all white? Is it not real if there is some sort of physical fitness involved?

For me, the essence of yoga is not about the length of time you practice or the venue of the class. It’s not about viewing physical exercise as an inferior activity. It’s not about looking like a hippie or having an Indian guru. Based on my own experience, when distilled to its purest form, yoga is the practice of training and refining our attention. Yoga is about uniting body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is being fully present as much as possible. Yoga is about being compassionate to others and oneself. Yoga teaches us to honor the present moment and to be grateful for whatever it brings. I’m sure you have your own definition of what yoga means to you, based on your own practice.

When someone says to me that the power yoga offered at their gym is not “real” yoga because it’s just exercise (as if exercise is somehow a bad thing), I would ask them to try it first before they judge. What if in that power yoga class, you experience being fully present in your body? What if after yoga at the office, you gain more clarity and focus? What if after your fun acroyoga practice, you come home and treat your family better? What if all you did today was pause and take five conscious breaths, and you were able to respond to a difficult conversation with more kindness? If you know how to distill the essence of yoga, you can take that essence with you wherever you go and infuse it into whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s yoga in an ashram or in your office cubicle, you have the ability to make it an authentic experience.

What about yoga that’s been diluted, yoga that’s mixed with something else? I’ve seen yoga fused with dance, hiking, martial arts, etc. For me, as long as the essence is there, it’s still yoga. Just like with essential oils mixed with other substances, you still get the benefits when you use it. The first yoga class I ever took was at a gym. There was loud music playing outside and it was very physically challenging; but I fell in love with it because it taught me how to slow down and truly observe my breath and the sensations in my body. The class was “packaged” or “branded” as a fitness class but in it I experienced the essence of yoga. However, I do think there are yoga styles and brands out there that take it too far. They dilute or water it down so much that it becomes unrecognizable and the essence is lost.  This is where we need to exercise critical thinking and be clear on what we value about yoga. I’ve been seeing ads for beer yoga and wine yoga making the rounds on social media. My first impulse, to be honest, is to write it off as marketing gimmicks. However, I should take my own advice (haha) and try it first before judging.  (I love both yoga AND wine; but I’m not sure that’s a great combo.) I’ll let you know if I do try it. 🙂

In the end, the difference between what we label as real and fake yoga, lies not in the outer packaging but in the actual contents. Real yoga exists wherever we are able to experience its essence, no matter what external form it takes.

Yoga, Yoga Practice, Yoga Q & A

Do I have to be VEGETARIAN or VEGAN to practice YOGA?

Is there a proper diet for yoga students and teachers? Are yogis supposed to be vegetarians or vegans? Is it OK to consume meat and dairy products?

This is probably one of the most controversial and divisive topics in the yoga world. On one end of the spectrum, there are yoga practitioners who insist that you must be vegan if you are to call yourself a true yogi.  The other camp believes that it is not necessary to avoid animal products when you practice yoga.

In another blog post and Q & A video, I will share with you my own journey through different ways of eating. For now, I will dive into some yoga philosophy and its different interpretations when it comes to a so-called “yogic diet.” (Note: Scroll below to watch my 6-minute Q & A video on this topic.)

In yoga, there is an ethical principle called AHIMSA. It is a Sanskrit term that is often translated as non-violence or non-harming. In his book The Path of the Yoga Sutras, author and Sanskrit teacher Nicolai Bachman writes, Ahimsa, which is the first of the five yamas, is the ethical practice of nonhurtfulness toward others and ourselves. It involves abstaining from intentionally inflicting pain on or killing other creatures in thought, word, or deed…..Ahimsa also implies an attitude that strives to reduce harm.”

Vegans and vegetarians often cite ahimsa as the basis for their commitment to refrain from eating meat or using any animal-derived products. They believe that we must not kill or harm ALL creatures – both human and animal. Jivamukti Yoga, a style/brand of yoga founded by David Life and Sharon Gannon in New York, promotes veganism to its students. Teachers of this style often include discussion of the vegan lifestyle in their asana classes. Many yogis from different traditions also make changes in their diet as they deepen their practice and explore yoga philosophy. Others feel that a vegetarian or vegan diet actually supports their physical practice and optimizes its benefits.

On the other hand, other yogis do not agree that one must abstain from meat in order to practice yoga. They do not think a vegetarian/vegan diet and lifestyle is right for everyone. Some people do not thrive when they adopt this way of eating. For these yogis, insisting on a vegan diet at the expense of your own health is not ahimsa either because you are harming yourself. True, we must do our best to reduce the harm caused by our actions; but we must also nurture ourselves and do what is right for our well-being.

This is a rather complex issue because it involves the intersection of many areas – health and nutrition, yoga philosophy and ethics, environmental impact of food production, animal rights vs. personal choice and freedom, etc. What I hope to accomplish with this post is to start a conversation about yoga and diet. I have gone through many radical changes in lifestyle and way of eating. I have changed my mind about certain things, after thorough research and investigation of the different perspectives. In the next posts and videos, I will be sharing my personal journey and how I’ve arrived at my current eating plan.

What do you think, yogis? What diet do you follow? Does your yoga practice affect your lifestyle choices?





Yoga, Yoga Practice, Yoga Tips

How Yoga Keeps You Happy and Healthy while Traveling

For most people, summertime often involves a lot of travel and outdoor activities. It’s easy to neglect our fitness routine and healthy diet when we are visiting new places. The practice of yoga can help us maintain good habits while traveling and it can even enhance our enjoyment of our vacation.

How does yoga do this?

Yoga is a mind-body discipline that improves our physical, mental and emotional well-being. The physical postures develop our strength, flexibility and balance. Breathing and meditation techniques aid in relaxation and stress relief. An intelligent yoga practice keeps us calm, focused and emotionally balanced even in unfamiliar or difficult situations.

On a practical level, the strength and flexibility you gain from yoga makes the physical aspect of traveling much easier. You can carry your own luggage at airports, take long walking tours in museums and historical sites, and participate in physically demanding activities. Yoga teaches you how to move and stretch your body properly so you can combat the negative effects of long hours of sitting in cars or airplanes.

Unexpected events are sure to happen when we go on holiday. Delayed flights, language barriers, and unfamiliar surroundings all contribute to the stress of traveling. In yoga, we develop skills that help us deal with challenges and disappointments. You know how to take a break and breathe deeply for a few moments so you can calm down and respond to the situation with more clarity. Your yoga practice also helps you get into a more relaxed state so you can sleep better and make good food choices.

Most of all, yoga teaches us how to be present and how to be grateful. Before the vacation, we spend a lot of time and energy anticipating the trip. When we’re actually on the trip, however, we’re too busy either taking pictures or thinking of home to fully appreciate what’s happening in the here and now. Yoga gives us the gift of presence and gratitude so we can fully immerse ourselves in the experience of traveling.

These are some of the wonderful benefits of yoga. Taking the time to practice, even for just a few minutes, can make a big difference in keeping us happy and healthy during our summer vacation.


Note: I wrote this article for the Front Door Fitness website where it was first published.

For Yoga Teachers, Inspiration, Personal, Yoga

Why I Teach Yoga: My Mission Statement

The first thing you see on the home page of my website is my mission statement. In one sentence, I tried to capture 3 things:

  • Intention – why I teach yoga
  • Method – how I achieve my intention
  • Benefit – what I want my students to experience

“My mission is to help students nurture their body, mind, and spirit by clearly and compassionately guiding them through a yoga practice that is skillful, intelligent, and enjoyable.” 

It took a lot of time and effort to come up with this! I had to reflect on the last six years of teaching and distill all my experience into one statement that can clearly express who I am as a yoga teacher. My style is not for everyone. I needed to define my yoga offering so students can decide if I am the right teacher for them or not. More importantly, this was an exercise in self-knowledge and self-evaluation. I needed the clarity for myself. I had to put into words why I teach yoga in the first place and how I intend to share this practice to benefit others.

So, let’s break it down:

Intention – “…to help students nurture their body, mind, and spirit…”

I teach yoga because I want others to experience the gift that my yoga practice has given me – SELF-CARE. In a previous article, I wrote about how yoga taught me the importance of self-care and made me see my tendencies towards over-giving and self-neglect. “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” has been a helpful reminder to me that I need to take care of myself first before I can serve others. My yoga practice is my way of filling up that cup so I have something of value to offer others. This self-nourishment is what I want for my students when they’re on their yoga mat.

Method“…by clearly and compassionately guiding them…”

Being a clear and compassionate guide means expressing myself in a way that makes students feel safe, confident and accepted. I do my best to give precise instructions and effective cues. In my classes, all levels are welcome and I provide many options for poses to allow students to work at their own pace. I encourage people to let go of competitiveness and harsh judgment as they breathe and move mindfully. There is no need to force ourselves into shapes that are not right for us. In yoga, we cultivate kindness to ourselves and honesty about what we need in the moment.

Benefit – “…a yoga practice that is skillful, intelligent, and enjoyable…”

Most people come to yoga to take a break from mental activity but the practice can also be a place of learning and discovery. I want my students to master skills that will enable them to practice for a long time while staying free of pain and injury. I also want them to learn beneficial techniques for relaxation and stress relief.  Intelligent exploration in yoga means having a practice that is not only physically sound but is also conducive to emotional and psychological growth. Most of all, I want my students to have fun! I want them to look forward to their time on their mat. Your yoga can be a way of expressing creativity and playfulness. Enjoying your practice is also about being comfortable in your own skin and being grateful for everything your body is able to do.

This is my mission. If you teach yoga or any other mind-body discipline, I highly recommend writing down your mission statement. This exercise will give you clear direction as you navigate life as a teacher in a constantly shifting yoga landscape. The words in my statement might change as my own personal life evolves, but one thing will stay the same – I will continue to share the wonderful practice of yoga with as many people as possible for as long as I can.