It’s been a while but don’t worry, I’ll NEVER leave!
Happy Halloween, friends! What are y’all planning to be? Or channeling the inner candy-giver, and calling it a night in? 🤔
As for me – As a teacher (and now RCYT – Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher … the icing on the cake for my path!) I just had to incorporate my love for yoga (and Lion’s pose/Lion’s Breath) for Halloween – that is, before I become Moana, and maybe Raya, and probably a dinosaur too. We’ll see. 😜 It’s up to my boss, you know the cute almost 4 year old appendage of mine? Yeah…she runs me. I’m cool with it!
I obviously chose some kind of cat – lol – but it was a LION/LIONNESS to channel that inner lionness inside. I mean I do this often, no costume needed. But here’s my makeshift LION costume for my oh-so-fun Halloween workshop! We had so much fun I had to do my own outtakes for the blog as we didn’t even THINK to break out our phones!
That being said, of course for this blog I never want anyone to miss a thing, and Lion’s pose/Lion’s breath are really downplayed in yoga. A lot of practitioners have never heard of it. It seems silly at first glance, and kind of requires some silliness. But the benefits are spectacular and it is NOT just for looks (the first time I saw it I thought the RYT was being fun with her tongue out during an asana).
As for even just the breath being beneficial – I mean I do this in bed. Open the throat chakra, release TMJ tension, stress, anxiety, and so much more – I’ll list below benefits. So while you don’t have to do both the pose/asana and the breath – when accessible, I like to. But it’s never a requirement. And the pose may be hard on your knees, so always trust those limitations. Remember – yoga is YOUR practice. And you do what is best for you.
As for the breath – yes it looks silly and just like fun…and while that may be true it has so many benefits like I said. It’s easy. Want the run down? Breathe in through the nostrils, deep expanding the rib cage as always, then open the mouth WIDE – yes tongue out not just to be silly, and loud H-A exhale. Eyes high – really try to gaze at the third eye. Boom. You’re a lion.
As for Lion’s Pose – First – check out the feet and the reel above of how I (hypermobile) turn my feet on top of my knees inward so this is a very rare asana (and not accessible for all, please don’t push the limits). If you do want to try or just know the pose – Look here as my feet are on the inside not behind me like the other asanas. I love this pose because it incorporates 2 healing techniques in one: (MY Halloween Version of Lion’s Pose/Lion’s Breath)- Sanskrit Simhasana (Sim=Lion Asana=Pose). And yes it differs from all others poses, and your tongue SHOULD be out as so! Different benefits include ⭐️ Releases Facial Tension/Stress ⭐️ Improves Circulation of Blood to the Face ⭐️ Keeps the eyes healthy (stimulates the nerves) ⭐️ Stimulates and forms the platysma (muscle in the collarbone to jaw areas) ⭐️ Helps prevent sore throat, asthma, respiratory stress/ailments ⭐️ IT IS SAID TO ERADICATE DISEASE. Remember – disease cannot survive in an oxygenated environment! So do the breath (Lions Breath – Simha Mudra) with the pose! 🦁
I hope you learned something new or had some fun. Happy Halloween, and until next time – Namaste, my friends!
Hello my friends! So I’ve been a busy girl lately. Not only do I have some AWESOME yoga-related news to share with you, but I’ve got a lot of other health-related information for those health-conscious people following along! So if you’ve wondered where I’ve been, I stepped up my game and am an official RYT-500 teacher through the Yoga Alliance, the gold standard for anything yoga.
As this is just a short update (overdue as I graduated over a month ago), I wanted to give y’all some info if you are interested in becoming an RYT, and confused as to schools, designations, pricing, etc.
First off – you’re welcome to do whatever your heart wants! And I’m not here to push for anything other than that! However, I do want to give some tips for those who are just lost like I was for years trying to figure out what to do.
In order to be successful – My personal belief is that you NEED to be with the Yoga Alliance. There are THOUSANDS of Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) through the Yoga Alliance. The YA holds their teachers and teacher trainers to a standard unlike any other yoga association. They offer digital events almost daily that count toward required Continuing Education which … is 1000% necessary. During the pandemic they are allowing for these CEU’s to be easily accessible to anyone and everyone. So – don’t let the price of a Yoga Alliance school sway you. Trust me, I’m a money conscious mama and it was hard but YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! And in this case, more! Think about it – would you want a Doctor or Physical Therapist who didn’t have to have continuing ongoing education to keep them up to date? Of course not! So although there are a lot of people who see yoga as slow, gentle (which it can be) practices, it can also be extremely hard on the body hence the difference between Yin and Yang styled classes. For instance, if you’ve ever done Bikram Hot Yoga, it doesn’t really feel like “yoga,” does it? And even with Yin-styled classes (which I’ll explain the two now that I’m back from my hiatus!) even the slightest movement can injure you for a long time. I mean a LONG time, like I’ve previously stated a guru of mine was hurt for a year after one bad move. So when you see the price tag on the certification for being a yoga teacher, understand there’s a reason why. If you see a school unregistered with the YA – they don’t have YA credentials for one, and for two I’d just say run. That’s like paying a couple hundred for a University degree (which I also have several of those as well).
I’m not here to sway anyone and we can all be successful yogis. BUT – don’t quit your day job when you get that first RYT-200. It takes a lot of work, time, effort, dedication, passion, and again it never just stops. The possibilities are endless and if your like-minded and have an entrepreneurial mindset and don’t want to get stuck in the rat-race, this is one of MANY avenues for you (if you don’t like yoga – this would be terrible advice to tell you to go for it). Whatever it is that you love, pour your heart and soul into it and you will reach potential you never thought possible.
That’s all for now as I’m working on even more (RCYT, and things related to my B.S. and Master’s, plus ya know – keeping a mini-me alive and thriving! 😉) – soooo “chat” soon – NAMASTE my friends!
Good day everyone! I hope this WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY blog post finds you well. I have had a pressing urge to tell a small story about how I became a yogi, why I became a registered yoga teacher, and how you can do it too!
For starters, I had no idea what I was in for when I first stepped foot in a yoga studio around my early 20’s. I had been an elite gymnast and runner my entire life, and figured I would give it a try, just for fun, no commitments, just something new.
After experimenting with different types, I ended up practicing yoga for about 10 years before I finally took the plunge to stop being a yoga student alone, and become a registered yoga teacher (RYT)! I had no idea where to start or what I was doing. The only thing I knew about becoming a teacher, was teacher trainings offered in the current studio I had practiced (WAY overpriced). So, I searched and searched until I found what I needed. I hope this blog post helps you decide if becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher is right for you, and also takes out a lot of the work and questions on how to get there.
Before I get started, I want to inform you (because many don’t know this….I didn’t!), there are MANY yoga teachers that are not even registered yoga teachers. They are practitioners and you’ll see the difference through this post. That is extremely scary to say the very least, knowing that a lot of gyms hire personal trainers or even just yogis to teach yoga, and this is a big no-no. There are so many different types of yoga, so many modifications, and yoga teachers require a lot of experience and training in order to prevent injury. The poses may seem minimal at first sight (especially beginner yoga), but everyone is different anatomically. An experienced certified trainer is able to offer modifications and really stay hands-on with their students. Even the best yoga teachers can make one small move and injure THEMSELVES! (One of my former teachers injured his groin for an entire year!) That is why becoming a registered yoga teacher, or taking classes only from a registeredyogateacher (RYT) with the proper credentials and experience is so important. I cannot stress that enough. Even more, yoga is not just a physical practice. Yoga is mind – body – soul. It may seem like an exercise of the body, but it is so much more. You reap benefits of the mind while practicing through the body. We have so many channels and sources of the subconscious, while we are doing everyday tasks. Yoga truly hones in on our subconscious, conscious, channels, vessels, and we really aren’t even aware. (Usually we just note that we “feel good,” and I always attributed that simply to endorphins.) You can let go of stress, ailments, dis-ease, clutter of the mind, and reach a new level of consciousness, selflessness, awareness, soulfulness (the list goes on) through the art of yoga.
One of the first things I want to press is that the Yoga Alliance is the GO TO. Please don’t be sucked in to getting certified if it’s not through a Yoga Alliance school. The protocols they adhere to are strict, in a good way – no one should be helf-certified through other means. I would never direct someone to take any type of training that is not with a designated, certified Yoga Alliance School. You can go to https://www.yogaalliance.org to search for schools, but I have a lot of experience and this post will lead you to the absolute best school out there! If you are ready and your schedule permits, start as soon as you can! You will not regret it.
It takes a lot of time, dedication, energy, passion, and effort to become a registered yoga teacher. Below I will outline the different main designations, as you have to start at step 1 and work your way up (if you want to, or you can stay there. The choice is all yours). The possibilities are endless.
RYT 200 – Registered Yoga Teacher 200 Hour – this is your starting point!
RYT 300 – Registered Yoga Teacher 300 Hour – I recommend this next, to go to:
RYT 500 – Registered Yoga Teacher 500 Hour
(I will add there are other designations, for example YACEP, and other certifications (such as prenatal yoga). I totally recommend, but for starters I outline the 3 above as my personal go-to.
Now, I will add in a side note, you can choose to be an E-RYT 200 instead of jumping to 300 and 500 hour. However, for my experience, the above is what I recommend. After you’ve completed those, you will then add up hours to becoming an E-RYT 500. The sky is the limit! YOU choose where you want to be!
What’s wonderful is that you will not just learn anatomy & physiology (like physical trainers), but also mindfulness, grounding, coping mechanisms, restoration, and so much more. If you’re choosing to be a student and not ready to take the plunge, just know that there are so many different types of yoga. If you don’t like your first class, that’s OKAY! Try another. I can say without a doubt that there is a yogic practice for everyone.
Now, let’s back up. I try to connect with my bloggers on a personal level. So, while I do give facts and recommendations, I also connect with you and allow you into my life, as I know someone will connect. I also want my personal experience to help you through whatever journey you choose. I always pray before I post anything, that someone who needs this will be led here.
So – when I decided to take that leap from student to teacher (I had been wanting to for YEARS), I was going through an arduous divorce (as a new mom – arduous is putting it lightly). I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was in a constant state of fight or flight. My mental health and my energy, my prana, my frequency was at an all time low (higher frequency = better health). I cannot explain to you how bad it was, and I can honestly say I didn’t even know how bad it was until I’ve looked back in retrospect.
I loved the practice of yoga, and how I felt energized after classes. I’d go in drained, and leave renewed. I felt SO HAPPY, even when I was SO LOW just an hour prior. I didn’t know until I took YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), why I felt the mental clarity and complete change in my mindset. It was a complete 180. All of the years I had been practicing, I thought I was simply working out. Not the case! As a yoga teacher, we learn not just anatomical safety, teaching, but we also learn the background of yoga. We learn the origins. We learn yin and yang. We learn duality, polarity, mindfulness, grounding. We learn why these poses affect us mentally and physically and how they connect to certain organs and systems of the body. We learn breathing exercises (try looking up alternate nostril breathing for brain hemispheres!), and how to connect the breath and the body. We understand fight or flight, anxiety, stress, root chakras, and so much more. This helps us as teachers to send that to our students, aid them in achieving their highest potential and awareness, and we learn the art of letting go. The timing of taking the training during my divorce, at my absolute lowest point ever, was a complete miracle. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if yoga was not integrated so deeply during that time.
I’ll add once more – I was able to handle things that I couldn’t handle before. (As you know, I am a single mom). So not only was I able to handle this tremendous anxiety, depression, fear…I was able to become a better mother. A better parent since I was playing both roles. I started noticing the way I spoke (not even just to my daughter, but to everyone), the way I was parenting, the way I handled myself, the way I carried myself…everything had shifted. I was always a kind and patient parent, but it was so difficult being a single mom (my daughter having an absent father almost her entire life). I had always made sure not to let that show to her, but prior to YTT, I would have intense meltdowns after she went to bed. Then, suddenly everything shifted. It became less and less tough and more and more fulfilling than it even was before. The way I handled the stress was different. No more meltdowns and panic attacks. (If they arose, I knew exactly what to do). I even noticed that I was talking to her in the same way I’d talk to a class (or teachers talked to me), and my energy plus my frequency was extending to her. I was extending the light and extending the love even more than I knew possible.
[Since this is also a parenting blog, side note to parents: Our children are so resilient, and they feed off of what is around them. When there is chaos in you, they will be in chaos in them. When there is tranquility, they will be in tranquility. So, again, the timing couldn’t have been better. The training served my daughter, just as it did me. (My daughter was 2 years of age).]
So, now that I’ve revealed my personal experience, perhaps you have more of an idea of what you may want to do! If you feel teacher training is good for you – I have great resources to share.
Disclaimer: this is not an ad. My blog is 100% not for profit. My blog contains nothing but my own experiences and thoughts.
There are many schools that you can find, but you definitely need to make sure that they are a registered yoga school (RYS) through the Yoga Alliance (you can do an easy, super user-friendly search to verify at www.yogaalliance.org). However, as I’ve said above, I have a lot of experience with different schools and teachings. For the purpose of this blog, I’d like to give you a straightforward path to get you where you need to be, if it is your desire (I’m cutting out a lot of work for you that I had done on my own for a long time!)
The best school that I have ever encountered is MyVinyasaPractice (www.myvinyasapractice.com) – https://www.myvinyasapractice.com/online-yoga-teacher-training/ . They are a registered yoga school (RYS) that offers an array of trainings, workshops, personal FAST support (and even phone lines for assistance), in person and ZOOM classes, recording libraries, book clubs, peer reviews, live peer review practice teachings, insurance, help for business growth and development, podcasts, and so much more (every week they are collaborating something new; this is the most IN DEPTH studio ever!), and you can still sign up online through 2021 – so no need to worry about location! They are fully accredited through the Yoga Alliance and AFFORDABLE. So to cut out all of the searching, if you are ready to take that plunge, I highly recommend heading straight there, they are a one stop shop for literally everything. See what they have to offer, as they have more offerings than any other school I’ve ever come across (and I’m talking YEARS of research and personal experience). Even if you’re already an RYT, but ready for other designations or just want to learn more or take a retreat, I highly suggest to check them out. (Again, this is not paid, not an advertisement, it’s simply me helping my readers with what I wish I would have read years ago!) It has been my delight and such an honor to have come across them. Also, you can search their Youtube for classes too! You can take it with you wherever you go with their live-stream as well!
Honestly, I could write forever, as this is such a passion and has changed my life tremendously, given me so much gratitude, but I’ll let you all soak in this WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY post! As always, the choice is yours, but now you have my personal, unbiased feedback on training, teaching, schooling, and more. I hope this has helped guide you, wherever you are at. I’ve listed the links below for reference in one place as well. May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be whole.
First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to all of our servicemen and women that make this , abundantly special. I want to take a moment to honor the servicemen and women who have given their lives for our National Pride. We seem to forget in our everyday lives the freedom we do have, and it certainly didn’t come without a price.
As I will expand on this post, because I want to celebrate it with loved ones, I couldn’t skip it.
This morning, I spent the dawn at the lake simply meditating. I lost my grandmother, who was as close to me as my mother, just on November. Her birthday is today, and she will always be our firecracker. It’s strange and doesn’t feel real, but that’s because I don’t believe she’s gone. She’s with me, and us, wherever we go.
I felt a range of emotions, while sitting by the lake, reminiscing on the mission trips I have taken, and the life I have lived, and the life I live now. There are not enough words, so I’ll sum it up with gratitude and blessed.
I meditated, practiced, prayed, and just set in serenity. I can’t wait to celebrate but I hope we can all remember this isn’t about partying and going crazy. We have this freedom at a price, and I hope this touches each and every one of you to thank a veteran, as I don’t think there’s anyone reading this who can’t think of one.
So, this post will be expanded later, and I’ll be adding pictures, especially of my morning (multiply the serenity times 100), but I wanted to post this before I get started with anything else.
Lastly, this day is so special because it is the day I announced that I was carrying my lil’ firecracker 9I was already 4.5 weeks – halfway there!) I remember that time with her dad like it was yesterday, and again, a barrage of emotions overcame me this morning. Never. Would. I . Ever. Think….And it’s still hard to believe and keep the tears at bay. But, I have her and that’s a blessing to say the least! She will always be my firecracker.
So again, please take some time out to meditate, pray, and be thankful before getting started with your festivities. We are beyond blessed my friends.
As you all know, I’m a single threenager mom and I could use the proceeds tremendously! All proceeds would go to my baby girl. AND – since I love to give back, I’m choosing one voter for a gift bag (male or female – your choice) of $200 of supplements and workout equipment, PLUS 2 FREE Zoom 1:1 Private Lessons with me, up to two hours each! (1 hour is $65, so that’s a total of $260 in training specifically for YOU! Any questions, or if you just want to train and up your level with a registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance, this is an amazing deal! I will never ask for something and NOT give back tenfold!
Voting is not only FREE, but today votes are 2 for 1!
When you hit the link to vote, there are two options! To vote for FREE, hit the “free daily vote,” rather than the first button in blue “Warrior Vote.” I am not asking for anyone to pay anything! (I’m a non-profit blogger). And it takes two seconds!
Lastly, I’ve chosen this competition because it is not only my niche and could help my daughter and I so much (we don’t receive child support or any aid), BUT this company GIVES BACK! They help Homes for Wounded Warriors, which is my main reason I have chosen Ms Health & Fitness! Homes For Wounded Warriors builds handicapped accessible homes for disabled veterans, and THAT’S what I’m about. I salute our vets to the fullest. Gratitude is far too short of a word for my feelings towards veterans.
The double promotion ends at midnight, so let’s do this my friends!
If you vote, please drop me a comment so I can enter you into my gifting!
This year, the Yoga Alliance Foundation is launching an International Day of Yoga, Matching Donation Campaign! It will match dollar for dollar contributions in support of COVID-19 aid for India! Please consider even just $1! Find the link below:
Father’s Day has turned from an amazing celebration, to a bittersweet day. I have an amazing familial unit, the best I could ask for. My father is my rock. He is my everything (and my daughter’s too!)
After I had my daughter, it was a long drawn out divorce. I want nothing more than for her to have exactly what I had – a traditional family unit.
Things don’t always go as planned, and I’ve accepted that. I trust the Lord and His ways are not always our ways. So, albeit not my wish – holding resentment/anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to hurt. The Lord says, love thy enemies as you love yourselves. Do not resent. If you have, repent. Forgive. My parenting style as a single mama may be different than others, but I will always tell her always how loved she is by her dad, show her photos from when she was a baby, but she doesn’t understand at her age. It breaks my heart. I even kept the ring that was given to me when we found out and were so ecstatic, that is going to still be given to her on her 16th birthday. I know many women would sell it but I’m just not an erase type of woman.
Before I get too mushy, I want to wish a Happy Father’s Day not just to the dad’s/father figures/step dads, but also the single mamas playing both roles. It is not easy, but we do what is best for them and that’s what matters. Although her father figure is amazing, to me it is not the same as her biological dad – In which you only have one blood father, other than our Father above, FATHER GOD, the greatest of all. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
I pray one day God’s will to be done. I pray for her dad, as I will always love him from afar. I hold no resentment, and if you’re in my position, I encourage you not to as well. Be kind, love anyway.
I know this is a short post, but this day is now a very emotional one as I’ve become a mother (3.5 years), and previously a step mother.
As an indigenous minority, June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, is near and dear to my heart and soul. I will expand later as this was emotional as an activist, philanthropist, social work warrior, humanitarian, minority, and so on (see one of my Bachelor’s degree’s transcripts above). It reminded me of the days I would go home and cry because people would ask me, verbatim, “What are you?” Out of negligence, meaning, what race/ethnicity I was. I am naturally extremely tan with black hair, until this last year I changed my look to be “twinning” with my daughter.
There is only one race: the human race. Be kind, love one another, love is blind. Beauty is only skin deep. We are simply souls with a body, not the other way around. I applaud the work that has been done and will continue to use my voice for activism and philanthropy. I invite you to as well.
One more time: folks. Remember: There is but ONE race. The human race. -Dara Singletary, RYT, B.S. Humanities, Social Sciences, & Community Studies, CPR/AED, activist, humanitarian, yogini, human, lover, philanthropist, fight for what’s right, above all – mama bear and BELIEVER
I wrote this in the wee hours of the morning yesterday, but was not prepared for the emotions it would bring.
I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Memorial Day. Remember it’s not about the day off, partying, (no judgment), but I hope we can all band together and see the meaning behind this federal holiday and all that it brings. I salute each and every one of you who has served and will be lighting a candle in memory of all who gave their lives for our freedom. I love you all. May we be the light. Thank you more than I could ever express. My hearts go out to those who hurt today. We celebrate in our household in a different manner than most modern day, honoring and cherishing those lives that gave their all, and those who have served and continue to do so. I come from a long line of military, and this isn’t a party and intoxication holiday. This is a THANK YOU SALUTATION! Stay blessed.
So for the last 2 weeks I have been on edge. Sleeplessness, irritability, impatience, resentments that I let go of arose, and I just thought I was going through the motions. Not so much. My body, mind, soul, spirit was preparing me for today and the weeks to come.
I generally go to bed around 7, (I know), but I couldn’t sleep or turn my mind off. I’m a mom and play the dad role, so I am exhausted at the end of the day, really by 4 or 5. However, I thought, are we in Mercury Retrograde? I figured we’d be somewhere in retrograde as I’ve felt such a shift lately (but didn’t think once about retrograde until tonight…), so I looked up to see. I was not one bit surprised to see the blasted that this is the “Biggest Mercury Retrograde of 2021” and that it started TODAY. (I don’t need a retrograde calendar, I have a built-in body/mind/soul retrograde alert system if you will!)
Again, I wasn’t alarmed to see that May 29 is the start of the biggest Mercury Retrograde of the year. No wonder my body has been so out of tune – when you are in sync with your mind, body, and soul, you just know. My being was preparing me for this.
This is going to be a short post, but there’s the reason why I’ve been so out of sorts and not posting like I have intended. For that I apologize because I have so much more to share!
Regarding Mercury retrograde, it is May 29-June 22. Trust me y’all, I haven’t looked up the dates in forever. I just knew.
What is Mercury retrograde? I will let you do your homework until I edit this, but it is when Mercury is in apparent retrograde motion. But what does that mean? Mercury retrograde is a time when there may be confusion, frustration, anger, feelings all over. “Coincidences” can be huge, although I’ll link a podcast on how this sentence is a catch 22 because I don’t believe in coincidence. However, the notice of “coincidence” will probably be extreme. Intuition is super high during this period, and if you’re already intuitive well … double whammy. However, I see the intuitive trait as a GIFT.
Lastly, since it’s past my bedtime and retrograde is going to be quite long, I have a few things to add (I will be editing when it’s not past my bedtime (😉)…I am the epitome of “wanderlust,” free-spirited, and a moon child. HOWEVER, I disagree with a LOT of astrology and there are things I won’t allow in my head. Retrograde has proven time and time again, I mean hello, how “coincidental” that I would think, maybe we are in retrograde, and BOOM it started TODAY, AND it’s the largest retrograde of the year!So for closing on this note, I want to say this: during retrograde, it’s great to note that you shouldn’t be quick to make commitments. You should look out for “coincidences” and make note of it! It will peak your interest. Stay flexible. Take extra measures to guard your heart and soul and to stay on the course of soulfulness, rather than to stray, which is what many people will end up doing. Most of all stay positive, don’t blame Mercury retrograde or use it as an excuse for poor behavior, communication, attitudes, etc. Stay authentic, stay true, stay you!
Until next time my friends, NAMASTE
P.S. Do NOT fear Mercury Retrograde, or (anything for that matter). Embrace it! Use it to become a stronger, patient, loving, soulful person, even more than you already are! This is the perfect opportunity.