Geoff Mackenzie

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Authorized Level 2

I’ve been doing yoga since 1996 when I was initiated into breath-body mindfulness on a forest floor in coastal France. In 1998, I went to my first formal class in Bali and stuck with it for four years, jumping on and off the Commitment Wagon, as you do in your Twenties. I got serious in 2003 and took a YTT 2004 at Moksana Yoga Centre in Victoria, BC. I began teaching classes almost immediately and have continued ever since.

In 2004, I took up Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as my primary practice, which remains to this day. I travelled to Mysore, India, in 2006 to study with the Jois family at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. I returned there regularly for ten years, completing nine extended study periods under R. Sharath Jois and receiving Teaching Authorization at Level 2 in 2012.

Ashtanga Yoga Structure meets Need

People thrive when [yoga is] adapted to fit their needs rather than strictly imposed.

I’m primarily self-taught, though, and go less by the book as the years go by. I appreciate the structure of the Ashtanga method but find that many people thrive when it’s adapted to fit their needs rather than strictly imposed.

The fundamental technique of Ashtanga Vinyasa practice is Trishtāna: steady attention applied to the breath, the body and a visual focal point simultaneously. It’s an excellent baseline technique for many of us and is a practical primer for formal pranayama and meditation. What’s most important, however, is cultivating Tristhāna as a self-practice: Yoga is a personal, inward journey we ultimately take alone.

Dynamic breath work, quiet sitting, mobility routines, and kettlebell training all influence my practice as much as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.

If you are interested in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Practice, join me at my Yoga Shala, First Light Yoga.

I look forward to supporting you with your practice. 

Geoff Mackenzie - Yoga Teacher Asana at Home
Sphinx Yoga Pose shown with blocks under the elbows and feet in the air
Yoga Poses
Sphinx and Seal Yoga Pose: Salamba Bhujangasana Guide

The Sphinx Pose, or Salamba Bhujangasana in Sanskrit, is a fundamental yoga posture renowned for its simplicity and profound benefits. This beginner-level asana is an excellent introduction to backbends and core strengthening exercises in yoga. Its close cousin, Seal Pose in Yin Yoga, offers advanced practitioners a deeper backbend.
The Sphinx Pose name comes from its resemblance to the mythical Sphinx, with its majestic and poised appearance. In Sanskrit, “Salamba” means supported, and “Bhujangasana” refers to a cobra. This pose is a gentler variant of the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), making it suitable for beginners or those with back sensitivity.

The seal yoga pose name comes from its animal’s name sake. The pose attempts to imitate a Seal on its front fins upright and proud

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woman doing Mandukasana a frog yin yoga pose in front of a swimming pool
Yoga Poses
Frog Pose Yin Yoga: Unlocking Flexibility and Strength

Frog Pose, known in Sanskrit as Mandukasana, is a significant asana in yin yoga with many benefits. This pose’s name comes from its resemblance to a frog’s stance focusing on the hips and groin.

Mandukasana can be invigorating and meditative when performed correctly, offering a unique combination of stretch and strength. It’s accessible to beginners yet offers depth for more experienced practitioners.

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side view comapring mewing to nabho mudra
Yoga Poses
Mewing versus Nabho Mudra: In Defense of Yoga

Nabho Mudra is a specific yogic tongue-and-mouth posture that enhances meditation and well-being. This ancient practice has roots in traditional yoga and is known for its calming and healing properties. On the other hand, mewing is a modern technique developed by Dr. Mike Mew and Dr. John Mew. It focuses on proper tongue posture to improve facial structure and breathing.

This article explores the connection between these two practices. We will delve into how mewing is rooted in the ancient practice of Nabho Mudra, highlighting the appropriation of traditional techniques for contemporary purposes, their respective benefits and practices, and their relevance in today’s health and wellness culture.

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