Ten Books Every Yoga Practitioner Must Read

There are so many good Yoga books out there and most people who are serious about their practice, or who teach Yoga have quite a collection of books. Most Yoga teacher trainings also have a requirement of reading some books during the training but I have found as time goes on the collection grows into more personal choices.

These are the top ten books I believe anyone who practices or teaches Yoga needs to have on their bookshelf.

  1. The Inspired Yoga Teacher. This gem of a book is a must for all people who love to practice, even if you aren’t a teacher. It is packed with great suggestions for how to take Yoga off the mat (or the chair) and live the principles and philosophies that make this discipline so good.
  2. Polishing the Mirror-How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart. This book is not a “Yoga” book but instead of beautiful collection of wisdom that will help you live from the heart. It is just a must.
  3. The Yoga Mind. This is the book that I believe will change your mind the most that Yoga is not just a physical practice, or worse and exercise. This will help you see that Yoga is a way of living and is suitable for ALL people.
  4. Anatomy of the Spirit-The Seven Stages of Power and Healing. Another choice that is not per se a “Yoga” book but instead a book that can easily become a manual or guide for living your best life. This read will dive deep into parts of you that you may not even knew existed. The audio version is amazing, too.
  5. The Practice is the Path. This book will help anyone with the mind-body connection that Yoga helps to encourage. This book will depend your spirituality and learn how the practice plays a critical part in the journey of the spirit.
  6. Living the Sutras-A Guide to Yoga Wisdom beyond the Mat. Most books that attempt to make easy sense of the Sutras are still hard to apply to everyday life. This little book is the perfect tool for applying the Yoga principles to everyday life.
  7. Living Your Yoga-Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life. This book will stretche the meaning of yoga beyond its familiar poses and breathing techniques to include the events of daily life as ways to practice. A must for taking Yoga into every aspect of your life.
  8. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are. One of the hardest parts of personal growth is accepting who you are. When it comes to teaching, or even practicing Yoga, we tend to live in a space of comparison. This is such a great book to stop that and start living authentically.
  9. Wheels Of Life – A User’s Guide To The Chakra System. This in-depth book will help you understand the powerful energy that exists as part of every human being. Not only will you learn about yourself, you will be more aware others and develop a deeper understanding of differences.
  10. Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. This book brings readers this new and more complete understanding of the yogic journey. In reading this you may learn how to  integrate the different parts of the self (body, emotions, mind, and soul), the role that the yoga postures and how breathing techniques play in our search for wholeness.
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

About Stacie

Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.

With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is an experienced 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Trauma Informed Coach, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes.

Hip Replacement Surgery

I have learned so much since my hip replacement surgery eight weeks ago. Some of the things I learned would be expected and others have been complete surprises.

My hip replacement on February 5th was much harder than I anticipated and it has been a true test of my patience and resiliency, so seeing the little shoots of green make their way through the hard winter soil is a good lesson for me to just stay the course. Sadly the course has made a major detour and I am heading back into surgery for a revision and to remove a large hematoma. I will be working closely with a team of doctors, including infectious disease, to make sure I am healthy and healing.

It is a devastating setback.

The major takeaways that I have learned from hip replacement surgery are:

  • Listen to your body
  • Trust yourself
  • Be patient
  • Fill your days with joy
  • Advocate for yourself

I head back into the throws of recovery from hip revision surgery this week so if it’s in your heart to send me some well wishes, I will gratefully accept them. If you’re curious about the details and would like to hear how the invitation to practice my word for the year — equanimity — is being played out. Take a listen to this.

My YouTube channel has a dedicated playlist of my hip replacement tips and tricks. I will be adding to them as we move along this time. I hope you find them useful.

Follow and subscribe for more goodness!


Tips & Tricks for Mindful Healing

How can we maintain our strength and equilibrium in the face of our greatest challenge?

Each morning I sit and read something with the intent to be inspired or at the minimum give me something to ponder throughout the day. This morning I reached for my Yoga 365 book and today’s passage was so aligned with a video I created yesterday talking about the mindful ways we can bring an added element to our healing process. Finding tips and tricks for mindful healing has been my focus this last month.

For me specifically with my recent hip surgery, I am implementing a few strategies that doctors do not necessarily tell you when you are faced with a major surgery. While I greatly appreciate the practical things that a person needs, it is the nuances of daily living that I believe go quite far in the healing process.

Tips and Tricks for Mindful Healing:

Our mindset will greatly influence our mental health during any sort of healing process, whether it is a surgery, an illness or a major life upheaval. These six mindful healing tips are perfect for anyone:

  1. Keeping a daily routine. If you have always been a person who gets up and reads, or meditates, or journals, or prays, then keep doing that. Don’t sacrifice your spiritual practice because your physical body is working hard to improve. Also, if you are a person that gets up every day and puts a little makeup on, then keep doing that. Taking care of yourself and helping yourself to feel somewhat “normal” during this temporary healing time will do wonders for your happiness factor. Finally, getting dressed everyday and getting out of your pajamas (even if you wear comfy house clothes), the simple act of getting up and dressed everyday will send a message to your brain that you are in fact getting better. Plus, you’ll look better and when we look better, we have a tendency to feel better. I am a huge fan of lipstick and mascara and not a single day has passed that I don’t take the five minutes to make myself feel beautiful.
  2. Develop a mindset of gratitude. Each day I spend a few minutes in deep gratitude for the surgeon and for the implant in my body. Even though I still have a lot of pain and mobility is hard, I am mindful each day to thank my body for accepting this new joint and welcoming it into my body. I am grateful for my cells moving around my body to encourage healing. I am grateful for my strong muscles that are working hard to regain their strength to support the new joint. When we shift our mindset from a pain point to a gratitude point, our entire mental outlook can shift. Sure, it would be easy to sit in my 3 days worn pajamas and mope that my body hasn’t healed as fast as what others have, and I could complain that the surgery must have somehow gone wrong, and my immune system is overactive causing extra pain, OR I could embrace this new challenge through the lens of gratitude and be intentional about loving this new body part.
  3. Speak kindly to yourself and others. We have all heard that kindness is the path to a better world. Speaking kindly about yourself and to yourself during this time of vulnerability is so important. Falling into the trap of self-pity, or worse self-defeating language will only slow your progress. For the people who are helping you, they are doing their very best to make sure that you are healing and comfortable and if you are a person who is usually very self-sufficient, it can be emotionally draining on your family and friends to see you in a different way. Be kind and thank them for every small thing that they are now doing for you. We have a tendency to be hardest on ourselves and those closest to us so remembering to speak kindly will be a huge asset to you.
  4. Setting up your space. The doctor will likely give you a few tips to get your home ready for when you come home from surgery–things like remove loose area rugs, move items to waist level, get your medications refilled, have a grabber for picking up dropped items, etc. These are all great and much needed suggestions, however I found a few more things that have helped me feel better. I made sure that the items I use regularly like essential oils, diffusers, herbal teas, supplements, hand lotion, and other self care items are accessible. I created a space in my house specifically for this healing process where I have a comfy chair, a basket of healthy snacks, a stash of essential oils, a diffuser, my favorite electric tea pot, books, journals, fun pens, my iPad, beautiful plants, and plenty of chargers within one room. This eliminates the constant need for someone to run get something for me AND it gives my space the homey and comfortable feel that I like everyday. Imagine trying to heal in a cold, dark, sterile, or dingy environment. Yuck. Make your space pretty and just what YOU like because you are gonna be there a while.
  5. You have to have movement. Any type of movement to get circulation going is so imperative. If you have had hip surgery like me, move your upper body. If you have had shoulder surgery, move your lower body. At the minimum move your spine in all six directions once a day. It literally takes five minutes and will increase circulation, get your chi moving and make you feel good which are all good things when it comes to healing. Movement is medicine.
  6. Start a new hobby. You might be thinking that a new hobby right now is too overwhelming but I am telling you, it will shift your awareness from hurting and not feeling great to something productive and potentially fun. If you have never been a big reader, now is a great time to download your free library app and start borrowing books (yes, even on a small phone this can be enjoyable), or ask to borrow books from friends. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to knit or crochet…YouTube is filled with tutorials and Amazon delivers yarn and crochet hooks. Perhaps you have been wanting to take up writing your own blog on a topic you are passionate about. What a great time to put your brain on something other than pain. For me, I have enjoyed crocheting, jigsaw puzzles on my iPad, digital planning, and making sourdough anything. The joy factor is increases while I am doing those activities and my mind is less focused on hurting.

And there you have it! These are easy ways to maintain your strength and equilibrium while faced with one of the hardest things you may ever go through. By redirecting my thoughts, speaking kindly, wearing my favorite shade of lipstick and clean clothes everyday, easy movements, eating healthy organic cashews and sipping tea, AND feeding my brain with wholesome hobbies while being SO grateful, I am on my way!

Just Like That

It always marvels me just how adaptable we as humans can be. What initially may feel like a huge hurdle soon becomes a seamlessly easy routine.

I’ve experienced this so much over my adult life without ever really connecting the dots that I have indeed adapted to situations that initially felt so overwhelming. New jobs, divorce, selling a home, retirement, and illness are all examples of monstrous seeming hurdles and yet, somehow, most of us endure them. In fact, many times we come out better on the other side. I see it clearly now.

The covid pandemic was a perfect example for me personally at this resiliency to adapt that I now believe we are all wired with, if we are open to it, and have the capacity to be somewhat flexible.

As soon as the world shut down and the places I was teaching yoga at closed their doors to visitors, and the major health club I was a regular fixture at closed, I had to switch gears quickly. After just two days of wondering how I would earn a living, I started offering virtual yoga through recorded sessions that I sent out to my followers and on social media. Within a week I had a YouTube channel and life soon became one of virtual yoga sessions and staring at my face for hours a day on a computer. My business model was to accept donations by trusting that those who could pay would, and those who were also faced with uncertainty, would simply use the videos to get through, and pay it forward somehow when they could.

I had great success and brought in an extraordinary amount of abundance during the lockdown.

Just like that. I adapted to change.

Many yoga teachers were in the same boat and many opted for perfectly curated videos with platforms to offer memberships, on demand payment and pay-for access type features. It seemed every week another platform was being marketed to sell your offerings. I never really wanted to “sell”, but rather I opted to give with an extended hand to receive, if that was in the heart of the giver. Maybe a naive business model and one I return to thinking about from time to time, but never can seem to switch to a “pay for my content” business model.

Just like that. I adapted to the change.

Once the world opened back up and my daughter was back to in-person day programming, I started to rethink how I would get my feet back into teaching yoga to those with neurological conditions and those living in settings that prohibit them from easily accessing yoga. I knew I didn’t want to be an online sensation and I felt I needed to be back serving my people. I do still love giving my YouTube channel a weekly recording because I have some amazing followers there and I love my studio classes, but the majority of my work is my specialized yoga in assisted living settings.

The spring that the world reopened, I sat in a coffee shop doing a quick google search of “residential programming for adults with brain injuries near me”. I watched in awe as a modest list popped up. I emailed six agencies and by the end of the day, I had six contracts to begin teaching in their residential homes.

Just like that. I adapted to change.

I started the two days a week commute with sometimes 250 miles of driving round trip. At first, I felt this kind of driving would be grueling and perhaps even too much. I saw that much driving as crazy and wondered how I would do it, especially in the big city of Denver that I did not really know. People questioned my rational at driving so much for a 40 minute yoga session that I charged only $55 for. I let the naysayers say what they wanted but I forged on. Within a really short time the “long” commutes turned into enjoyable drives and it turned out to be really no big deal. I quickly learned the routes and found joy in not having to use my GPS as I remembered the streets. And within a short time I added another day and 26 more homes to the commute week, toppling out at over 50 different homes and teaching over 65 classes per month while sometimes driving anywhere from 800-1000 miles per week.

Just like that. I adapted to the change.

Two weeks ago I had total hip replacement and once again was faced with having to adapt to some major changes, although these are likely temporary as I continue heal. Through the healing process however I am keenly aware at this concept of adapting. The first few nights sleeping with the horrific stabilizing wedge was grueling and painful, and now I *almost* look forward to the cozy feeling of being secured in place. I walk around my block and it feels like my usual 20,000 steps per day and I am good with it. I have swapped out my crazy schedule and cooking amazing meals at the end of the day for icing my hip, laying down to read midday and allowing others to serve me. My days have gone from 8-9 hours of work and commuting to studying sourdough recipes and how to up-level my busines for passive income. I have watched zillions of webinars, listened to podcasts, scoured Pinterest for recipes, and have done more jigsaw puzzles on my iPad than I’d like to admit. The days fly by and here I go again.

Just like that. I have adapted to change.

When I am healed up and back in action, there will again be a chance to adapt. Will I return to the same schedule? Will I shift slightly to be more accessible online to the masses? Will I go from being a single person serving hundreds of people in-person to becoming a trainer of sorts for others to learn the method? Will it perhaps be a combination of all of that while still choosing time for sourdough and soulful hobbies?

Just like that. I know that I will adapt to change.

How many times in your life have you adapted to what seems like extremely hard changes? Take inventory of just how amazing you are as you reflect on the process you have demonstrated in some of your major life hurdles.

And just like that, you too have adapted to change.

October Inspiration

Change is one of our greatest teachers. It asks us everyday to prove our commitment to ourselves. It leads us into the dark places and allows us to fill them with light.It shows us things about ourselves that we never knew. And before we know it, it shows us how powerful and strong we are.

Autumn Goodness

Dear Friends,

My favorite season is here! I was remarking the other day the reason I love fall is the constant changes that I see outside. I think I love the movement and transformation that fall brings. Most of you know I don’t sit still well so this ever changing season is perfect for my personality.

Often this time of year we hear about the concept of embracing the change and ‘letting go’. One of my greatest teachers ever once told me that not all change can be embraced and that sometimes change is very hard and not easily welcomed. So true, right?

Though we may not always fully embrace changes, we might be able to lean into the process and see just how strong we really are. We know that as we move through what is showing up in our lives, we are often making space for something else.

The season for me is coming to a change as I feel and listen to the pull to welcome in something different. In fact, I have been feeling this nudge for a variety of reasons in the last few months. Part of it is the push to complete some big projects that I have been working on and the other part of me is listening to the interior landscape of my soul asking me to align my actions with its deepest truth. Add to that some reminders that the Universe is always putting in my path exactly what I need in order to pause, look and learn. And maybe even slow down a bit to refuel. I am hoping with a bit lighter load in my heart, I will find the space to shine even more. Isn’t that what we are here to do anyway?

I realize that there will be some disappointment, much like many of us feel as we watch summer come to and end and we pull out the snow shovels and warm sweaters for the coming months of cold. I ask you though to feel the disappointment, and then consider the curiosity that a new season can bring you. Sometimes the change is just what we need.

For the rest of the month, I encourage you to take in the glory of the changing leaves. Breathe in the fall air. Let go of something weighing on your heart. Shed an old belief. Release what doesn’t elevate you. And most importantly, know that all is well.

Much love,

Stacie

Yoga

Studio Classes

Monday Evening Classes

Each Monday evening at 5:15pm. Spaces fill very fast so if you want a spot, email or text me right away as I am almost full.

Wednesday Evening Restorative Yoga

This new offering is the perfect way to nurture your mind, body and spirit. This candlelit class is quiet and introspect. Coupled with aromatherapy designed to release and calm you will leave feeling restored, at peace and ready for a good night sleep. Spaces are limited and fill fast. Wednesday October 11th & 25th at 6:30pm. Reach out to me if you’d like a spot.

ALL STUDIO YOGA CLASSES ARE $20/class

October Series on Sundays on YouTube

Each Sunday of the month I publish a new YouTube yoga practice to help guide you into a new week. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and get a notification when it pops up.

YouTube Channel 

Pre-recorded Classes

Are you wanting to have access to a yoga or pilates practice at home that fits into your busy schedule? I offer chair yoga, sensation and intuition based guided gentle yoga, pilates and meditation without having to log in to a specific class time. All of my classes are offered at a donation. You can find ALL of my videos on my website!

Special Online Classes

Essential Yoga-Release

Did you know that you can get Essential Yoga online!? Just click on the link below and you’ll have access to the online class. Donations are appreciated. Also, I am happy to send you samples of the essential oils needed for the class so you can fully enjoy the practice.

Essential Yoga– Release

Online Chakra Series

I am SO excited to share with you an ENTIRE chakra series ONLINE. You can choose between investing in the entire series for a discounted bundle rate, or pick and choose which chakra you’d like to focus on. For each chakra we will focus on the aspects of that energy center and how to balance it through discussion, yoga session, a custom essential oil blend with gemstones, and a beautiful gemstone. Cost per chakra is $30, or the entire series/blends/gemstones is $175 (valued at $315)Also included is a free ebook. Once registered you will get an email from me with content and a package in the mail!

Online Chakra Series with Gemstones, Oils & Yoga

These beautiful blends are also for sale as a set!

Wellness Coaching

Why wait until January to focus on your health goals? How about closing out the year with a new mindset towards your physical and emotional health? I have space for a few new wellness coaching spots.

Learn more about this offer here.

You are Worth It

Intro to Crystals Free Download

Curious about crystals and why I love them? Enjoy this free download! I have lots of crystals for sale too, so if one calls you then reach out to me!

Intro to Crystals Free Download

Essential Oils & Wellness

Many of you know that I use and rely on essential oils to maintain the health of my mind, body, and spirit. I use them throughout my home from cleaning, for pain management, energy, sleep, mood and much more. One of my favorite things is helping others get started using natural remedies and plant medicine.

You will also get an awesome welcome package from me, access to my exclusive VIP community group, on going education and mentoring, and much more. It is easy to get started! I am also happy to chat personally with you to find the perfect options for your needs.

Get Started

I offer FREE wellness consultations to talk about your goals and desire for a healthier, mind, body and spirit. Together we will create a personalized plan. Schedule yours today!

Free Wellness Consult

Do you know someone who could benefit from my services? I offer an amazing referral program and would love to help your loved ones find health.

Referral Program

Promotions

This month brings a bunch of new products and fun new oils, like the new Forest Bathing Blend. Talk about bringing the woods and all the benefits of nature into your space. You can see all of the new products here or reach out to me personally! I am loving the new sleep system and the Blue Lotus essential oil is simply divine.

See All the New Stuff Here

ALIGNMENT BLEND

When we combine our thoughts, our bodies and our minds with the magical gifts of mother nature, we reveal wisdom.The wisdom of our true Selves.The wisdom of the Earth. The wisdom held in the vibration of every living cell.

This beautiful blend I perfectly crafted includes Frankincense–Oil of Truth, Rosemary–Oil of Knowledge, Lavender–Oil of Communication, Roman Chamomile–Oil of Spiritual Purpose, Sandalwood–Oil of Sacred Devotion, and Tiger Eye which is a stone of protection. Tiger Eye may also bring good luck to the wearer. It has the power to focus the mind, promoting mental clarity, assisting us to resolve problems objectively and unclouded by emotions.This blend is perfect for creating a sense of alignment with yourSelf and with others.

Purchase Alignment Blend

Recipes & DIY

Did you know you can use essential oils to make non-toxic, affordable and super effective cleaners? These great DIY’s will keep you and your family healthy this season with powerful immune boosting essential oils.

DIY Hand Soap

DIY Hand Sanitizing Gel

DIY Cleaning Wipes

DIY Bathroom Cleaner

PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Smoothie

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Pumpkin Spice “Latte” (healthy version)

Life Lessons from an Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a staple of fall. We go to the pumpkin patch and scour of the field full of pumpkins, searching for the perfect one. We use them to make pies, cakes, breads, pasta, and virtually any food imaginable. We carve them, put a candle inside, and set them on our doorsteps. We spend a season obsessed with pumpkins, and then they’re gone on to something.

However, as the cold winds begin to blow, we know we must hold on tight to our branches until it’s our time to fall. It’s interesting because none of us want to drop. We just want to stay in our spot, high above the ground and admire the magnificent atmosphere fall brings.

1. Your size and shape don’t matter. You are magnificent just as you are. Embrace all of you!

2. Sometimes we need to remove the yuck from inside. Doing the inner work is so rewarding. Take time to get rid of the negative.

3. People may only like you for a season. We all know that people are seasonal sometimes. Enjoy the people while you have them, but also know that some may not stay.

4. You can be anything you want to be. Believing in yourself is the first step at creating the life you want and deserve. Go for it!

5. You may look great on the outside, but it is what is on the inside that makes you shine. That light inside of you is what people are attracted to and admire..just keep shining.

Thank You

I am so blessed that I can continue to share my passion and touch your life. It means a lot to me that you know that you are very important to me, and I am incredibly grateful that our paths have crossed. I believe that now more than ever, we need to recognize the people and meaningful connections that we all have.

As always, it is my hope that you stay healthy and happy in your mind, body and spirit.

Much love and light to you!

xo, Stacie

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Embracing Wisdom Wellness Group

Embracing Spirit Yoga

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About Stacie

Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.

With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is a E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Certified Trauma Informed Coach, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes.

In addition to teaching classes at a variety of local centers and health clubs, Stacie also continues to offer Yoga and Wellness coaching individually to those seeking private sessions.

Was That Considered Yoga?

A year or so ago I reacted to the frustration I feel at times for the yoga culture we have seemed to create in the western world. I opened my mouth in a fit of grievance and spoke truthfully about this publicly. Some heard it with curiosity and grace, while others were dismayed at my seemingly arrogant stance on this.

In our western yoga culture there seem to be so much focus on the physical body, and it’s honestly so disheartening, especially since Yoga teacher trainings capture the philosophy and other aspects of Yoga over the course of the 200 or 300 hours of learning. At least they should.

Let me be clear, of course the sensations we feel while putting our body into a certain shape can be a stepping stone for awareness and so much more, BUT it is also so overly misguided and misunderstood that I find myself saddened that so many people are not having the access to the deep philosophy and way of being that the practice offers.

I am in a variety of social media forums for Yoga teachers and every single day there are questions on how to build a sequence, or how to create a “peak pose”, or how to teach an arm balance that is probably obtainable to 3% of the population. Why??

Let’s back up to simply defining Yoga.

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body.

Yoga is also a balanced state of the body and mind. Yoga is a balanced state of emotions. Yoga is a balanced state of thoughts and intellect. Yoga is a balanced state of behavior.

That is not touching your toes or being on the floor in contorted positions or standing on one leg.

Let me share with you the Yoga students I got to share Yoga with today and how they got to practice.

I entered into an assisted living setting to find a group of woman sitting in a living room. I scanned the area for what I was soon facing and “read the room” as we are trained to do.

Here is where the essence of Yoga was in this moment–I “united” with a woman suffering from confusing dementia and lack of word recall. She was agitated, angry, and utterly confused. I was able to get her to sit back down as I gently held her hands. I moved her arms in circles and gently pulled her into a soft forward bend. I rubbed her feet with lavender as I responded to every single irrational statement that she made that was her reality. I asked her questions about the incoherent story she was living and sharing with me. I heard her.

Within a few moments of receiving the lavender foot rub, her language became less erratic and she relaxed into her easy chair.

Was that considered Yoga? Was she experiencing a balanced state of emotions? Absolutely.

A lovely woman who was sitting across the room in a catatonic state, quietly asked for some of the “stuff that smelled good.”. A few minutes of a loving hand massage and she too softened into herself.

Was that considered Yoga? Was she experiencing a balanced state of thought? Absolutely.

As a Yoga teacher of 16+ years I am still astounded that our world doesn’t see that moments like this IS Yoga. It IS human connection. It IS a desire to help people experience balance of mind and emotions. It IS a desperate attempt to bring unity to their spirits.

I could care less about a sequence or a peak pose.

Perhaps that is why it has been impossible to find a Yoga teacher willing to get out of their physically focused way and truly share the entire essence Yoga, from the heart. This is about the greater good and a selfless offering that changes the lives of those in their final chapter of life. Some perhaps, in their final pages.

If I sound bitter and frustrated, I am. All I can do with this is walk it off, know that I served well today and the right person will come into my life to share this with.

Follow me for more goodness!

The Final Quarter

Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things…. then better yourself.

It’s been a little quiet on here since I have been swamped with teaching, gardening, and I also completed a 30 days of yoga series this month.

We are headed into the final quarter of the year and I find it’s a good time to reflect on your beginning of the year visions and see how they have evolved and what I can do in the final stretch to reach them.

I set out the year with a quest to be more vulnerable. Part of me starting an online yoga yea her forum group was to open my self up to not only questions and connection, but also to open myself up to criticism and accountability. My teaching style in assisted living settings, may be much different than what one might think of when we think of adaptive Yoga.

Just this week alone some of the time I spent in assisted living was holding hands with a lonely 92-year-old woman, and helping her take her hands down to her toes for a stretch. I also rubbed the feet of a 57-year-old man with a terminal disease.

Is that yoga? I believe with 100% certainty that it is.

This year I also opened to myself up to finding someone to partner with me and shadow me to learn how to apply the principles of yoga, without such a strong focus on asana, to those unique settings. As I wait for that person to arrive in my life, I continue to serve and love each day doing it.

What will you do in these final few months of 2023 to come closer to your vision?

How can I support you?

Are You Ready

This week I begin a 30 day accountability to myself and to many others who are ready to get back on the mat (or in the chair). I can’t wait to explore so many ways to get back into a daily practice, even if it is for just 15 minutes.

My hope is to show that it can be done and it doesn’t have to be a big deal; in a studio, with perfect clothes, perfect music and perfect bodies. It can be done anywhere, anytime for anyBODY.

Take just a few minutes to check out my mission and why I am ready for August 1st!

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With over sixteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is a E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

Mental Health Benefits of Yoga

Yoga’s mind-body basic premise seeks relaxation through breathing and meditation combined with stretching and strengthening poses. With its emphasis on breathing practices and medita­tion—both of which help calm and center the mind— it’s hardly surprising that yoga also brings mental benefits, such as reduced anxiety and depression.

Yoga has been shown to lower stress hormones in our bodies while simultaneously increasing beneficial brain chemicals like endorphins and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). These feel-good chemicals help decrease anxiety and improve mood. Yoga can help lower our fight, flight or freeze response by activating our parasympathetic nervous system and lowering negative emotions like depression, anxiety and anger. Research also shows that yoga and meditation may improve executive functions, such as reasoning, decision making, memory, learning, reac­tion time, and accuracy on tests of mental acuity. Meditation also reduces activity in the limbic system—the part of the brain dedicated to emotions. As your emotional reac­tivity diminishes, you have a more tempered response when faced with stressful situations.

Another wonderful thing about yoga is the invitation to accept yourself and your body just as you are today. This is the mindfulness aspect of yoga — simply appreciating your body for the things that it can do right now in the present moment. In our classes we are constantly adapting to the needs of our mind and our body at that given moment and the focus is not always on becoming more flexible in our body. Learning to be flexible in the mind can help us all handle the challenges that our daily life may face.

Breathe. Move. Connect. Gratitude. That is the foundation of the practice and with a steady consistency you will soon see the benefits. Just 15 minutes a day is enough to reap the many benefits that a Yoga practice can offer, whether it is on the mat or in a chair.

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With over fourteen years experience, Stacie Wyatt is a E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.

What is Your Intention?

As I have opened myself up in my quest for vulnerability this year and to take something I am passionate about and share it more openly in my adaptive yoga teacher mentoring program, I am asked to look at what I do through a different lens and be open to understanding and learning, while also being confident in myself and what I know to be effective.

Since yoga truly is a practice for daily life and not the ability to touch our toes, I find myself curious how other yoga teachers and/or practitioners view intention. Is having an intention and a plan for the class the same?

For everyone else, is an intention for your day the same as your plan for the day? I don’t think so. I believe we set an intention in our day, or our teaching (example to be present) and our plan may need to adjust according to what shows up in the day or in the yoga session.

I am fairly clear on my intention within a general sense when I am teaching yoga, however we all know that “reading the room” is key. This ability to switch gears in a yoga class is also helpful in life because let’s face it, how many times do we have a plan and we need to change it suddenly. Having this emotional resiliency and ability to be flexible in our minds is a useful tool for everyone.

Here is where my vulnerability was poked yesterday. I had someone observe me yesterday in one of my houses and she asked me afterwards something along the lines of is that all they ever “do” in class and could they “do” more? I knew when she said that she was referring to “doing” more of the physical stuff of yoga.

Hmmm….we chatted about it and as I reflected on it throughout the day I realized that not only have I overcome insecurities about myself, I have also found that the foundation in myself and my work is incredibly strong. This was not always the way I felt and it has taken me polishing myself over the years to remove the doubts and fears and step into being vulnerable enough to share what I do with others in a very real sense. This also allows an opening for me to learn and continue to polish.

This is my truth–When I enter a group home or assisted living setting to share yoga, I have an intention which is to always value them and see them.

As we entering the house, my plan for class had to shift once I was there a few minutes and we finished the check in.  I ALWAYS do a check in and this is so important to what I believe is a great method that I have developed over time.  In the check-in they get to answer how is their mind, body and spirit. This is something I believe we ALL need to do on a daily basis because it helps us to pause, assess ourselves so we know what we need.  By answering these questions in a simply one or two word answer, it also opens the door for vulnerability, connection, empathy and much more.

The group on this day had just three students. The most able bodied student was out and the three that gathered in the living room included one who is partially paralyzed with no movement in left arm and minimal in left leg, one who suffers from severe PTSD and pain, and one who has very little motor control and incredible low self esteem as a result. This is a group who are working very hard on acceptance, grief and how to integrate themselves into their current lives following their injuries.

During the check in I learned that one student was tired but good, and another answered like this:  mind-broken, body-broken, spirit-more broken. The tired student had a hard time sitting up straight and suffers from neck and back pain, so using the soft couch for support was where he was at.  The student who felt he was broken has very little control of his body and the moment he feels a sense of failure, he quits. His tremors and lack of coordination is embarrassing to him and if he struggles, he 99% of the time will stop movement and just listen. The one who is partially paralyzed needs hand over hand support for lifting his arm and leg.

Did I need to switch gears? Heck yes.

Why? Because my intention is to value them and to see them.

I saw that they were struggling physically and my sense was that they needed the connection and opportunity to be seen more than they they needed to be challenged physically or “do” more.  In my mind they were “doing” a lot by engaging, talking, sharing openly, and being present. For these guys, trust is HUGE and they chose to sit around the living and participate.

If I kept my class plan and/or asked them to do something new/hard/unfamiliar it is likely on this particular day, it would have caused them to bail. Since my intention is in valuing them, by adjusting my plan and giving them space to share and move easily in their bodies, they were able to feel successful in a world where they have little success. This touches on their past trauma, their present challenges and how connection and being seen can fuel confidence in them. 

Yes, we did some movement and we did some breathing. We learned a simple sequence that is heart based and tapped into a softer side. Yes, we learned about energy and reciprocity of giving and receiving.  We learned about faith in ourselves and something greater than ourselves.  We shared our gratitudes. 

While all of this magic was going on, dishes were being banged, conversations being loudly had, people in and out, distraction after distraction.  Hard?  Very.

For the yoga teachers out there, what is YOUR intention when teaching? Does your intention change based on your students in class and is your intention different than your class plan?

For everyone, what is your intention? How do you want to interact with the world today? Begin your day by setting an intention and then make choices to align with that.

xo, Stacie

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