Yoga is a journey

Yoga is a journey


The yoga journey never ends.

This fall, I finally received my Baptiste Power Vinyasa certification after months of work fulfilling the requirements.  I realized that it was much more than the sequence that Baron Baptiste taught but it is the philosophy that I believed in.  I taught his Journey Into Power sequence ‘religiously’ for over 3 years and it had been engrained in me.  I breathed it, lived it, struggled to memorize it (haha, 56 poses is a lot for a 90 minutes class) and been with it.

Now, I create my own sequence in a lot of my classes, the Baptiste skeleton is still there.  I couldn’t have asked for a better foundation to build my career from.  I feel I am physically, mentally and emotionally stronger because I have the Baptiste building blocks. It had worked for me and I have seen it work for countless of people.

This past weekend, as I strolled through the Yoga Exhibit: Art of Transformation at the Sackler Gallery, I noticed I know every little about yoga.  The ancient history is over 5000 years old and had been totally reshaped over the centuries.  The yoga, the asana practice that the Western world calls “yoga” was developed quite recently.  What we have now is profoundly accessible to so many people on so many levels.  That is what I truly am grateful for and try to provide for my students.

I have expanded my teacher from Baptiste Power Vinyasa to non-heated Vinyasa, Beginner’s yoga, Yoga Nidra, Mommy and me yoga and soon Prenatal Yoga.  I never thought my journey would lead me in a circle that encompass such a wide range of ages from an unborn yogi to those who are in their 60s.

Over the summer, in my frustrations with the Baptiste certification process (it was mainly me being technologically challenged), that I questioned if I have wandered too far from my training.  One of my students who had went to an Immersion recently with Baron Baptiste, told me that she can see how my philosophy really aligns with my teacher.  I may not teach outright JIP much but it is the foundation of what I teach through the asanas and through yoga.

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OM Power Yoga Designs

OM Power Yoga Designs


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Fear can be a crippling disease that paralyzes and freezes a person.  Space and clarity bring about renewed hope and passion to drive a person to direct action to total fulfillment of the pursuit of their happiness.

My passion as I was growing up was design.  As a young girl, I wanted to be the next Vera Wang and my best friend thought for sure, I was going to design wedding gowns for a living.  That path changed as I went to high school and did an internship at a few architectural firms.  I graduated college in 4 years with a BA in Interior Design, I was pursuing what I thought was my passion.  My  career path was challenging during the recession of the early 2000s and I was laid-off a few times.  Raised as a tough immigrant, that didn’t phase me – I will get it and continue!  That was what I did for almost 10 years and I was so bored, unchallenged and depressed.

Lost and confused in a career that I thought was what I wanted to do when I grew up – I was scared to leave it until my manifestion came true.  I had been teaching yoga part-time and I counted the minutes to when I can teach my classes.  Then it happened – I was let go from a new position that paid really well.  It was time to make the tough decision of following my new passion or paying the bills…  Ah, the passion won again!

Within the last few weeks, I’ve blended my two passion of design and yoga into OM Power Yoga Designs.  I started creating Yoga Inspired Jewelry.  I had no idea that a new hobby would bring joy to people who have bought my bracelets and necklaces.  Even more, I already have repeat customers and my jewelry are showcased in two studios in Virginia and soon will be in California.  I am so blessed 🙂  Sometimes, just being with what is can create the momentum for inspiration and creation to happen through you!

I will be launching my jewelry on Etsy soon so please stop by my shop on August 1st and help a sista out!

 

Business Breakthrough

Business Breakthrough


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Barefoot Business Breakthrough weekend in Maui is one of the most brilliant ideas of Deborah Williamson and Kelli Lin Knott.  I have been hearing so many rave reviews from various yogis that I must meet Debbie for years now…in the chaos of my life – I got on the plane and here I am back in Hawaii.  The tranquility of the island of Maui and the Zen like atmosphere of this resort allows me to really look internally to determine who I am and what I can create.

Debbie and Kelli’s personalities are fun, creative and empowering.  They listen to what I had to say, my fears, my obstacles and my resistance.  With each conversations, they didn’t judge me but rather said ok, well – look at it this way, you can still do it and be successful.  I love Debbie’s words, “I can’t wait to see how success you will be – it will happen.  No doubts.”

I come from a family of entrepreneurs who took risks to build something great for their family.  I’m not afraid of working, actually I work too much because I don’t know how to relax.  But what sets me apart is I still buy into my fears of what I think is failure.

Failure of what?

I teach at 6 studios in the greater DC area.  SIX!  That’s a lot of managing where I am suppose to be WHEN, what day, etc.  Not to be cocky, but if I didn’t know what I was doing, these studios wouldn’t want me teaching there.  I am so blessed to have all of the opportunities – however, once the door opens and you walk through it, boy, you better deliver or there will be someone else ready and able to take over your classes.

So what is it?  Failure…

Today, in my session with Debbie, I realized it was my fear of commitment to myself.  As I was speaking, I left like a dumbass.  Why, can’t I commit to myself?  Why can’t I believe that I can be successful when so many people think I can do anything?  Am I a hypocrite because I teach my students to look within – love the person on their mat, believe that you can do the pose, FAKE IT til YOU MAKE IT!  I had all the excuses…but Debbie had all the contrary evidence…No, was not in her vocabulary.  It was all, JUST DO IT! (I’m not sure if she got this from Nike or Nike stole it from her.)  I had to take a look deep, deep inside.

This morning, I was informed that my grandmother passed away.  She had a stroke earlier in the week and her death was quick and painless.  My grandmother, a woman in her late 80s, was so witty, strong, smart and kind.  She survived the French invasion and the Vietnam War being illiterate.  She helped my grandfather with his various businesses in Vietnam before moving to the United States in the early 1990s.  I remember my cousins telling me she took the bus from their house in Orange County to Little Saigon to shop.  She didn’t let the fact that she couldn’t read or write or even know English stop her.  She was determined and she was going shopping!  My mom told me when she married my dad, my grandmother taught her how to cook and take care of me.  She reminded me that even if my grandmother’s demeanor seemed tough, she is full of love for her family.  She was that tigress who always took care of her cubs.

So what I am so afraid of?  God have given me this family who is so strong who withstand economic obstacles in Michigan to build striving businesses .  I came from a lineage of incredible strength, endurance and hard work.  I have all the tools to be successful.  It’s time to live YOGA off the MAT and live fully.Image

All Day Immersion


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This empowering all-day immersion will leave you inspired and take yoga from your mat into your life.  Whether you are brand new to yoga or a seasoned yogi, this all-day immersion will bring you more awareness to be more focused and powerful!

Students will be led through a fun Power Vinyasa class at the beginning of the day.  The healing art of Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) will be a treat after lunch to rejuvenate your energy for the afternoon portion of the immersion.  Yoga coaching will be introduced through two yoga philosophies so that you can take your practice off the mat.  We will close with an power hour practice.

Ha Nguyen is completing her Baptiste and E-RYT certifications.  She has been teaching yoga full-time since October 2011 in the greater DC metropolitan area.  She teaches at 6 studios, spreading the gift of yoga.  Her classes are challenging, empowering and fun.  You will leave feeling you can accomplish so much more than you think you could.  Take this opportunity to be immersed in a new way of thinking and living off your mat!

Venue

Clubhouse at the Gates of McLean

1510 Spring Gate DR

McLean, VA 22102

 

Date

Saturday May 4

9:00am CHECK IN

9:30am Program Begins

6pm Program Ends

 

What to Bring (may not be inclusive)

 

  • Journal & Pen
  • Yoga Mat and any props you typically use (strap, block)
  • Pillow, socks, 2 blankets for Yoga Nidra
  • Refillable water bottle, gatorade or other electrolyte replenisher
  • Plenty of yoga clothes for 2 practices and relaxed clothing for afternoon session (There are showers in the gym downstairs)
  • Backpack full of snacks, lunch and whatever you need to get you through a full day of program  (Kitchen is available to use)
  • Towels or yogi toes for sweaty asana practice
  • Please leave valuables in your car or bring only what you need. While we will provide a storage area for your bags, please note that we are not responsible for lost or stolen property.

 

Cost (Early Bird special before 5/1)

Full Immersion: $179, early bird: $149

A La Cart (Afternoon times are approximates):

Morning Practice 9:30-11:30am: $45, early bird: $35

Yoga Nidra 1:00-2:00pm: $25, early bird: $20

Yoga Coaching 2:15-4:30pm: $99, early bird: $79

Evening Practice 5-6pm: $25, early bird: $20

 

Faith


IMG_1571“Blessed are those who have faith and cannot see”

Faith is the belief in love.  Fear is the disbelief in love.

During the 4th day of a 7 day yoga bootcamp with Baron Bapiste, I was frustrated and angry at myself.  I think the pissed off me was pretty apparent because I was called up in front of over 120 people to SHARE.  Yup, I was up there telling my whole group of teachers that I didn’t feel I was, “Good enough to be loved” and I was angry at myself for spending so much time and energy believing in this lie.  But somehow, I couldn’t shake it.  I had expected a miracle after spending a huge chunk of change to come to this bootcamp and that miracle was NO WHERE in sight!  Yes, I was a drama queen.  I admit it.

The coaching Baron gave me went something like this…

Baron: So, you did ‘THE WORK’ and now you expect things to just be all perfect?  But you still are living with your lie…

Me: Yes.  I did the work.  It took me about a year but I did it and I came to terms with it.  Or so I thought.  Obviously, I thought wrong.

Baron:  Ok.  Well, let’s look at it this way.  You were created from parents who love each other right?

Me: Yes.  They got married in January and had me in October.  It was either love or lust for two young people….

Baron:  Let’s say it was love.  

Me:  Ok.  I like to believe that.

Baron:  You were created from love.  You came out as a bundle of love.  You are love.  Love that is able to give love, receive love and be loved.  

Me:  That’s it?

Baron:  Yes.  It’s not complicated.  We make our lives complicated.  You are love and you are good enough to be loved.

The coaching was simple and clear.  And it wasn’t something I haven’t heard before.  It came in a different context at a time when I needed to hear it as simply as it was delivered.  And it all comes from the believing that having faith that love is the truth and fear comes from the Ego that tries to run my life.

Faith in the truth.  The truth that love can and will overcome fear.  If we give into fears and scarcity, the Ego tricks the mind in believing that we are not enough.  Not enough to be loved, not beautiful enough, smart enough, sexy enough, rich enough.  The games that we allow the Ego to play.

What will happen if we give up the need to be perfect?  If we can quiet the Ego?  Not listen to the lies?

I think we will be able to see the truth and beauty in people, that there is good in everyone.  We are created in the image of God and that is more than good enough.  If we have faith that Love is the Truth and the Truth will set us free.  Free from the chains of the Ego that keeps on telling us lies about ourselves.  When we can stop listening to the Ego then we can eliminate the stresses in our lives so we can pursue our own happiness.

How do we do that?  Quiet the Ego?

For me, it’s an everyday process of self affirmation, acceptance, forgiveness and sharing of my own personal beliefs.  At times when I am not able to stay positive, I seek help from my greater spiritual God to help me.  We are not alone.

Yoga Nidra


The beauty of yoga is there is something for everyone.

This weekend, I was honored to be enlightened by another yoga teacher who shared her yoga experience with me.  She took my class and then told me she teaches yoga to veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  We shared with each other our story and I was so happy that she is helping others in such an amazing way.  I truly believe that if people are open to alternative ways of healing, the path to a healthier life is totally within their own grasp.

There is a study being done right now with the National Institute of Health on the healing benefits of Restorative Guided Meditation or Yoga Nidra.  I have taken a level one Teacher Training at East Meets West Yoga Center last year and I was fascinated at the science behind this ancient practice.  This guided meditation can lead a participant from their consciousness to subconsciousness to the unconsciousness, in order to remove the emotional scars that they may have.  The intention that one set, allows them to take a mindful commitment to themselves to achieve what they really want.

I walked into the training with no experience of ever having done Yoga Nidra before.  Two senior teachers I have worked with told me to take it whenever I had the opportunity.  So I was expecting a guided practice in Savasana.  I did get that but I wasn’t sure I was doing it right because I was drifting off to sleep.  I couldn’t remember everything the instructor was saying.  That evening after the practice, I was wide awake and alert.  I was not able to sleep until 2 am and I had to be back at the training at 9am.  Again, we did another practice and I felt myself restless.  I had to ask the instructor what is wrong with me!  Bless her heart, she told me, “There’s nothing wrong with you.  Your body needs rest.  Listen to it and it will guide you.  You did the practice right.”  I was confused, then happy that I could fall asleep in class and basically get an A for effort!  Where was this class when I was in high school and college?

I’ve practiced a few times on my own in the next few months and things from the past started to surface.  Rather than the usual way I deal with pain – stuffing it down, I talked about it.  I came to the realization that I have lived my life in a lot of fear.  My lie that I am not good enough to be loved comes from self-sabotage to a point where I create so much drama, that I force the people in my life out.  Sometimes, I don’t even know I am doing it.  From these experiences, I am now open to staying more committed in my own personal journey to a more open and healthier mental life.

So I’m sure some of you are asking, How long did it take you to come to this conclusion? In the span of 2 months and about 5 Yoga Nidra practices…as they say, I saw a light at the end of tunnel.

I have been teaching Yoga Nidra at the end of some of my 90 minutes classes.  A few of my students have came up to me a few days after and told me they were a lot more patient and calm for the rest of the day.  For me, I was able to focus a lot more on whatever tasks I was doing after a Yoga Nidra class.  In that same day, I also walked in to the studio to teach an evening class from a place of peace.  As an instructor, I have felt the benefit of leading classes because I am more accepting of my students and where they are in their practice.

I’ve just started a weekly class at Yoga Bliss in Gaithersburg on Sunday afternoons and I will be teaching a Monday night class at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City.  Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice that I believe can heal your deepest wounds.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at nguyenyoga@gmail.com.  I hope to see you on the mat soon.

 

Peace

Upcoming Workshops!


Assisting Maria Marin

Assisting Maria Marin

Power Vinyasa Yoga is a practice linking powerful breath with dynamic, flowing movements. Often referred to as meditation in motion, vinyasa yoga cultivates: strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, focus, and serenity.

In this Foundations workshop, you will learn the fundamentals in a Power Vinyasa Flow. Come to strengthen your practice, learn how to avoid injuries, work with the proper alignment of each pose, learn to use your breath to sustain your practice, and gain knowledge in the psychology of the sequence.

This workshop in highly recommended for those want to take their Vinyasa practice to the next level.

I will be teaching a Foundations of Power Yoga in both Vienna and Crystal City in February.

East Meets West Yoga Center

8227 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 310 | Vienna, Virginia 22182 | 703-356-9642

Saturday Feb. 16th from 2-4:30pm

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=13672

Mind Your Body Oasis

1750 Crystal Drive | Alexandria, Virginia 22202 | 703-567-1290

Saturday Feb. 23rd from 1:30-3:30pm

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=30850