New to Full Circle Yoga?

Been thinking about doing yoga for awhile? Maybe even passed by our studio in the past but never stopped in? We created this video for you…

If you would like a suggestion on which class is best for you – or if have any questions at all, just email us! christine@fullcircleyoga.com.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Namaste

Ten Ways to Improve Your Practice

1. Be Patient

Yogacharaya Shri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) said, “Practice and all is coming.” The benefits of yoga are just as limitless as the variation of asanas, so take comfort in knowing that there is no end or “final goal” in this practice. It’s not a race or competition, because thankfully, it’s YOGA.

2. Be Consistent

Plan yoga into your days and weeks. Pre-registering lets us know that you are coming and also gives you a sense of accountability. Create a realistic yoga schedule and do your best to make it to your mat.

3. Ask Questions

Our instructors LOVE getting questions before or after class because it helps us grow as teachers, as we learn what is challenging for you or what you have questions about. We are always happy to help you with a posture or yoga concept. Just let us know! We can also suggest online resources, upcoming workshops and ways of wryer to practice at home or on vacation.

4. Be Open to What Each Practice Holds

Every day you feel a little bit different on your mat. The time of day, what you ate, how you slept, your energy levels and stress levels change from day to day. Be open to whatever that day brings without judging yourself to your practice yesterday. Avoid thinking I “should haves” and “could haves” on your mat! Practice with truthfulness (satya) in each posture based on your capabilities that day.

5. Tailor Your Practice

Just like anything in life, don’t force it! We are just creating shapes on the mat. Don’t try too hard to “fit into” the postures but rather customize or tailor them to fit you. Listen to the modifications and variations your instructor offers. Practice non-harmfulness (ahimsa) by being mindful to your body’s need and healthy edge.

6. Make Yoga Friends – We Are All In This Together 

Get to know your yogi mat neighbors. The energy we share at Full Circle Yoga is positive and contagious. Be a part of it and you will discover so many friendships and a lifetime of support.

7. Remember You’re a Yogi Off Your Mat, Too

You know the importance of your breath control (pranayama) during your practice, but how about using it as a tool off your mat? Even just one conscious inhale and exhale counts as a meditation and has the power to calm you. When you are feeling tension or stress, take a few moments for big inhales and exhales and follow them with curiosity. Remember you can also take a calming forward fold, a rejuvenating twist or energizing sun salutation anytime of your day, not just in the studio.

8. Practice Postures You Like Least

We all know the feeling when our teacher says, “Now, Revolved Half Moon!” Ugh. But that’s when the yoga begins. We tend to avoid what we need most. Focus on your breath as you are transitioning and remember it’s only a few breaths out of your whole day. I find it helps to remember why the pose if good for me, i.e. building balancing, finding calm amidst chaos,

9. Develop a Circle of Teachers

Visit different classes with us and see which styles and instructors address your needs. Having a teacher or circle of teachers helps you get into a rhythm with your practice, so you don’t have to learn a new language with every class you take. It also allows you to grow more quickly because the teacher gets to know you and your practice.

10. Catch Yourself Becoming Too Serious

Your body was meant to move. Enjoy your practice, the breathe, the movements, the music and the positive vibes are all there to elevate you. Don’t get so caught up in the “posing” that you forget to relax and enjoy.

By Christine Northcote

Setting Intentions

balasanaWhy do we set intentions for our yoga class?

Often at the beginning of class, you will hear your Full Circle Yoga Instructor say, “Feel free to set an intention…”
Why is this? Can’t you just breathe and see what happens? Sure you can. It’s your practice. The option to set an intention is actually an invitation to check in with yourself on every level. Sometimes we don’t even really know how we feel until we make it to our yoga mat. So when setting an intention, you ask yourself how you feel, what you need, and how your practice can best serve you, so you leave your mat feeling like a fresh version of yourself and able to give the best of yourself to others.
According to yogic philosophy, an intention is a “sankalpa,” a vow or longing that comes from the core of your heart, your deepest truth. An intention is different than a goal… it’s not a desire for holding a handstand or losing weight. An intention is a higher self longing that can actually bring more fulfillment and help you work through tension and stress.

 

Benefits of Setting an Intention:

  • Attaching meaning or direction to your movement can lift you when you are challenged.
  • “Meaning” makes your practice bigger; moving beyond the movement. You can even turn it into a dedication to those or anyone in need to create a self-less act and reduce separation between yourself and others.
  • An intention can make you smile during (and embrace) the “peak” of your practice.
  • You can draw energy or inspiration from your intention.
  • You can customize your practice to your intuitive needs to make it more interesting.
  • Example: “Today, I am fidget free.” Catch yourself bouncing or fussing or looking around in a pose, and keep going back to COMPLETE stillness in your postures and keep emptying the mind of excess thoughts that creep up.
  • Intentions can become your mantra for an entire day.
  • Example: “This is good for me because…” And then when a challenge arises in your day, you might be able to think of one or two positive things that can come from it.
  • I recommend setting your intention in the present form, as if you already possess the quality you are seeking, because you do! We know from the law of attraction that thoughts lead to feelings, that lead to words, that lead to actions. So we start by changing our mind(set).

Examples of intentions:

“I am peaceful.”
“I am this strong.”
“I embrace this moment.”
“I choose this moment.”
“I am grateful for this day.”
“I am healthy and able.”
“I’m trying easy rather than trying hard.”
“I’m making it look easy.”
“I’m nourishing my body and soul.”
“I’m stress-free.”
“I invite peace.”
“This moment is all I have.”
“I am enough.”
“I love this practice
“I am stronger than my doubts.”

 

I hope this brings you a little bit of clarity and inspiration for your next practice. Remember that every time you step onto your mat, it’s an opportunity to discover who you are that day.

 

Love and Namaste,

Christine Northcote | Full Circle Yoga Yogini, Director and Owner

Aren’t you afraid of competition?

c northcote warrior 2Note From FCY Owner, Christine Northcote:

Knowing that Full Circle Yoga runs an annual (and popular!) yoga teacher training, many people in the local yogasphere have asked me, “Do you ever worry that training all those new yoga teachers is creating competition for you?”

My line of thought is the same as when I am practicing on my mat ~ I focus on what I want to happen. I focus on having an impact on the future of yoga, expanding the reach of yoga to more people that need it, and helping new teachers find out  who they are as a teacher, to find their own unique, awesome-ness as a yoga guide.

Has it ever crossed my mind that we are training teachers that could potentially open a studio down the street? Sure. Do I worry? No. This is because our training truly helps each trainee bring out their personal best, which is completely different from my personal best, or yours… so there is a niche for every teacher to find. We are not teaching the same cookie cutter class and sending people out there with a script. We spend nine awesome months together growing and sharing – we are a family of support, not a competition.

I have also experienced that it’s not your family of support that will try to be your “competition,” but typically someone that doesn’t follow the principles we teach in our training. We teach new instructors to try to create opportunities where they do not already exist, to follow the “yamas” that we study. Yama has to do with ethics, integrity and how we practice yoga off our mat; non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-hoarding.

And thus, we are not sending a replication of “Full Circle Yoga” out there to teach after graduation, we are sending individuals. The 200-hour program just scrapes the surface of what you need to know as a teacher. It’s at the end of our program, when you know enough to get started, then the work really begins.

“We can teach from experience, but we cannot teach experience.” – Sasha Azevedo

I’d like to congratulate the recent graduates of our 2014 program. See this awesome group, below.

I also welcome inquiries for our upcoming 2015 training, as registration has just begun. All applicants must meet with me personally and complete an application. See our Teacher Training page for more info.

Love and Namaste,

Christine Northcote