What Does a Yogi Look Like?

What Does a Yogi Look Like?

What Does a Yogi Look Like?

Our minds may be filled with images of Yoga, Yogis, and Yoginis. When you think “Yoga”, what comes to your mind?? It could be a fit, thin muscled, man or woman standing on hands, accomplishing shapes and incredible feats while making it look as simple and graceful as can be. Is this yoga?? Well, in some ways… yes.

Yoga makes us strong, AND more balanced and graceful. Being in a “state” of yoga one may recognize their limitless potential. In addition, moment to moment awareness in process, paves the way to accomplishing things that at first may seem impossible.

But still…this is NOT what yoga looks like.

Yogi sitting on a cliff

Yoga looks like the real you and me

Yoga is the successes and setbacks of everyday living. Yoga is not a pose or a body type. Yoga is a lifelong journey, practice, and pathway to greater understanding.

I am going out on a limb here….

I want to bust the myth of yoga perfection!

I once had a student of mine in the parking lot of White’s, overhear me reprimanding (ok…yelling) at my child for running away from me in the lot.

She said, “You shouldn’t be yelling….You are a yoga teacher”! Another time, I had someone tell me that because I was a yoga teacher, I shouldn’t wear colored lip gloss…. Hmmmm… Obviously, there are some pretty strong ideas about what a yogi should or shouldn’t do!

Here is what I think:

You don’t have to be flawless and thin and flexible. You can be a yogi AND
Have the tendency to overeat occasionally, drink some alcohol, be imperfect, get sick, have a messy house, have cellulite, loose your temper, have a melt down, and basically BE HUMAN.

Yoga is what we strive for right in the middle of living. Sometimes life can be messy, look imperfect, and have LOTS of room for refinement (I know mine does)!

Yoga invites us to better discernment. With the objectivity we cultivate through awareness, practice, and meditation, we start to see the power and creative energy in our choices. We make CONNECTIONS. Yoga allows us to break free from the habitual grooves of our thinking and acting to align with true authentic power (your Divine birthright) In yoga we evolve from victim mentality to accountability and Self Empowerment.

Does this mean we need to be perfect? No, BUT, we want to love who we are.

What allows you to live the life you want to live?

What supports that?

What do you need to feel good in body and mind and offer the BEST you can to this world?

What is your motivation?

In the traditions of Tantra Yoga, we practice not to attain” perfection” but to be able to fully celebrate, express, and exalt in who we are!

woman yoga poseIt is possible that a yogi could appear perfect and fit the “picture” of a yogi just right, on the outside with everything from the fashionable messy “yoga bun” on top, to the sleek leggings and expensive mat on the bottom, BUT still, have no connection to the joy and freedom inside themselves. Is this still yoga?

A yogi might have every advanced pose under their belt along with tongue scraping and Ayurvedic rhythms BUT does this make a person invulnerable to injury or sickness? NO… Does it mean they have complete control over their lives and what happens? No. Does it mean they have no fear in performing their brave feats? NO. Does it mean that they don’t struggle with their children or argue with their partners? NO.

Being a Yogi REQUIRES the following:

A willingness and desire to “see” yourself. To be imperfect, on the outside…Loose the mask of control. But, simultaneously, and from a deep and authentic place, know your own inner perfection and wholeness.

An ability and desire to see through outer form, and not excuse, but recognize perfection, wholeness and essence in others, no matter who they are.

When we find ourselves drawing conclusions about ourselves or others Stop. CHOOSE not to waste your time in contracted energy. Bless and release (say a prayer for their best life)

Notice habits and limited thoughts. Investigate. Sit with all that you are, even the undesirable aspects. Come back to what is most real.

A willingness to deconstruct the conditioning that we have been exposed to from very early on. A seeker of Truth has to be willing to recognize and release the stories (good or bad) that we become very attached to.

A willingness to ACT. Take baby steps to shift what blocks and limits us. Learn to engineer your life for greatness. You are WORTHY. Failure is key to your success. Recognize but refuse to let doubt and fear stop you.

Know what you need to be as healthy as you can body, mind, and spirit. When your body is healthy, you will be happier, and able to take the bold steps toward personal growth and freedom.

Get help when you need it!!

We must not look at another and assume they have it easy or they are “all together” simply not true. We are all here to learn. We are all in the flow of a LIFE that is bigger than we are. Life will present changes, and challenges -for Anybody!

An understanding that to grow often means to be perpetually “thrown” from the comfortable nest, and discarded from our comfort zones. Remember it is here you are truly alive! Breathe, be brave, and keep on going!

You are a yogi when:

woman doing yoga on the beachYou are living the best life you know how! (Every breath is a new beginning.) We do the best with what we have, from where we are in an intentional way.

You can be radically and unapologetically yourself (most of the time).

You do not need outer approval to feel validated.

You know that you have what you need already inside of you. Your wisdom waits to be revealed. Your power wants you, just like you want it. As a yogi, your job is to find the connection, the pathway into this wisdom. (The heroine’s journey).

It just DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT to blame others and hold resentment.

You know your practice is working when:

  • You feel happier
  • Experience more joy
  • You can experience the “ups” AND the “downs” with less attachment and reactivity
  • You are less afraid “to fail”.
  • Comfortable in your skin whether its smooth and youthful or lumpy and older. Because you know the beauty of what’s BENEATH the surface as changeless.
  • You notice when you are off track, study that. Be accountable. Find strategies to track your triggers. And choose to grow.
  • You feel greater love for yourself and all of humanity.
  • Keep trying.
  • Forgive yourself.

Be a yogi on YOUR OWN TERMS. We can be REAL and perfectly imperfect. Surround yourself with people who want the same things you do! Let go of what you think you know, and START WHEREVER YOU ARE. Find the support you need. Sometimes you have to “leave the pack” to find your own WAY!

Find out more about how you can Live Like a Yogi at my new website:


With blessings of Love, Light, and infinite possibility,


Andrea with kids

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The dictionary offers this definition: “The process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want to do, or to affect what happens to you. OR the process of giving a group of people more freedom and rights.” One of the first concepts that drew me to...




The dictionary offers this definition:

“The process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want to do, or to affect what happens to you. OR the process of giving a group of people more freedom and rights.”

One of the first concepts that drew me to yoga was the idea that Power was within me… I did not have to earn it, I did not have to get it from someone else, but that it WAS me…stored in there somewhere…Even when I couldn’t feel it at all.


Yoga teaches us we have this FREEDOM. In fact it’s not something we have, but WHO we are. Pure, creative, limitless, Divine Intelligence. This freedom at the Source of who we are, is never absent, and ALWAYS full of Grace. This Power and creative energy does not just exist for a lucky few, but innately resides as an essence in each and every one regardless of age, color, gender, or race.

Sometimes we “feel” so stuck in our lives that the concept of freedom is unimajinable. How can this possibly be true when we are struggling on so many levels and some struggling just to survive?! Some individuals/groups of people also have the challenge of collective consciousness and repression (such as racism, prejudism or sexism) which makes it even more difficult to break free. It is extra hard to believe in who you are when you have the rest of the world telling you different.

The truth is, that we consist of vibratory energy and awareness. Energy can never truly be “Stuck”. It may feel this way sometimes, but there is ALWAYS a way into a deeper reality, because, YOU ARE THAT.

Our true power is most often hidden. It exists in the subtle Truth of your energy body and breath. It is the Formless reality of who you are, your birthright, and the creative source within. This formless awareness IS what gives birth and possibility to all form. The source of all manifestation. (You had to be that twinkle in your Mama’s eye right? You have to think it before you do it right??

hypnosis spirals

We see patterns spiral from Formless to Form and from Form to Formlessness again and again in all of nature. When we are blocked from our inner power, it is because we become overly invested in this world of form. With 95% of our available energy locked into what we can taste, touch, see, and feel, we become convinced by the outer “reality” we focus on. This “hard evidence”, along with loosing connection to our inner selves, is what causes us to forget who we are. We become the limitations we focus on (what we’ve been told, what our bank account looks like, what we’ve seen our parents do etc).

We have been trained to put our focus on this external reality and have even adopted phrases like “you have to see it to believe it”. Some people hold the perspective that if you believe in anything you can’t see, you are a “dreamer” or you have your “head in the clouds” etc.

To believe in only what we see, is a very dangerous and limited view, and one that is based in FEAR. When one is totally absorbed and invested in only the outer world of form, life becomes highly vulnerable. Suddenly, it is necessary to protect and preserve outer circumstances at all costs. We define ourselves by what we look like, what we have, and what we do.

You probably know by now, that “the only constant is CHANGE”. This observance is true, but exclusively relates to the outer world of form alone. This is why it is so important to know what is beneath the surface of change and form. TO KNOW YOUR DEEPER Self, beneath the form, which is the FREE, changeless, limitless, PRESENCE and creative Source.

HEREIN lies the invitation of yoga. To uncover, and connect with the inner power of awareness. To KNOW it, To VALUE it . To see it as Divine. WE can use this inner power of awareness to uplift others and serve the world. What a joy. This is the Bliss of recognition, You have the power to do what you want to do, and to affect change. All people have this freedom and right.

The laws of karma (cause and effect) direct how we experience life, as well as how we feel while we are living it. We can’t control everything that happens, but we can control what we do with what happens. There is always a way to live skillfully. We can avoid so much unnecessary suffering for ourselves and others when we know we have CHOICE and greater possibility.

YOU have a unique purpose. You change the world, just by being in it.

Do you feel connected to your power?

Are you consciously creating your life?

In Patanjali’s Kriya Yoga, he outlines some important steps to engage possibility and evolve your personal power.

Sankalpa (Intention) is the first step. This is sourced in the UNSEEN reality of inner desire, or the longing of heart.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM LIFE? Who do you want to be? What is your deepest desire?

The Yogi’s of yesterday dared to ask themselves these big, important questions, and so can you. If you are unclear about what you really want, it is impossible to move in that direction. You have the right and creative freedom to CHOOSE.

The next outlined steps are as follows:

  • Vivek (discernment) To see clearly (Vivek) what is actually happening. Sometimes we need to undergo a certain amount of cleansing to even get close to a clear reflection. (this is what yoga and Ayurveda are about by clearing the muck and blockages that obscure clear sight, and open up energy flow and perspective.
  • Ishvara Pranidhana To accept what is: Cultivate compassion and surrender to Love.
  • REMEMBER (recommit) to your Intention -What you want (Sankalpa)
  • Kriya – Action. Take a step from where you are. -Any small step will do as long as you take the step. Wanting isnt enough. We must activate our desires with action. Work toward your goal, yet release the outcome.


To effect change in your life and redirect toward empowerment, a yogic “prescription” is to cycle through these stages of noticing, accepting, planning, and acting.

Every time you criticize yourself you weaken your resolve and build stronger patterns around your limitations. Self criticism weakens your power and keeps you blocked in your potential.

We tend to cycle through deeply ingrained patterns over and over again. Everytime we do, we have the opportunity to observe and recognize these places we are stuck, access what is real / what is the Truth, and refine how we align with our deeper Truth. Like the rings of a tree, we keep expanding. A teacher of mine once said “The highest aspiration of life is to GROW”. In this way we remember who we are.

To step into your light, to see its power, to know it’s worth, and to shine brightly within yourself is the REAL work, and it is work! Then, you can use your light to uplift and ADD to the world around you in every way.

Whe we know the beauty of who we are, we can recognize this same light and beauty in others, but not until then. Love, magic, wholeness and freedom exists within each one of us RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. Namaste! When we forget, and we will…We need to remind each other. This is why to truly evolve, we MUST keep good company. Connect yourself with people who are moving in the same direction.

May all Beings be FREE
May all Beings know LOVE
May all Beings know the light of their True Self

Peace, Peace, Peace

Hari Om Tat Sat.

With Much love,

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Pancha Mahabhutas: The 5 Elemental Building Blocks of Nature

Pancha Mahabhutas: The 5 Elemental Building Blocks of Nature

Pancha Mahabhutas: The 5 Elemental Building Blocks of Nature

Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth

Ayurveda Chart symbolsThese are THE Elements that make up absolutely EVERYTHING we know.  There is NO THING that is not comprised of these elements.

According to Ayurveda, these elements manifested sequentially in Krama -which means a Supremely intelligent order.  Similar recognitions have been made with our modern science and the “Big Bang” theory.

The origin of the Universe

Here I have condensed for you my understanding of the yogic theory of creation, passed down from the very early lineages of yoga.  Obviously, I am not a scientist, or PHD Sanskrit scholar, BUT I am a SEEKER, who has deeply pondered and studied yogic philosophy for a long time now.  This outline is informed and inspired by Dr. Vasant Lad (Ayurvedic specialist and leading author on this topic) as well as other teachers I have had the privilege to learn from.

Here we go…

At first there was Silence.  Oneness. Pure, undifferentiated awareness.

SPACE  -empty, light, all pervading, limitless, omnipresent, unmanifest

From this stillness, limitless Space of infinite ground and potential (Shiva)  OMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM………………………………………………..

From this sound and from this source of came a stirring, a pulsation, subtle vibration….The ONE,  out of it’s own love and desire to know and to create, (Shakti) became the many…and ultimately infinite diversity.

From this pulsation, Space stated to stir.  This movement of Space became AIR
AIR – dry, light, clear, mobile, formless, cold, variable

Movement of air particles produced friction.  Friction produces heat and light.
FIRE  – Active, hot, sharp, penetrating, transformative, linear yet mobile, creates light

Particles heated, then cooled to created condensation or WATER
WATER  – Fluid, soft, accommodating, cool, dense, heavy, moist, flowing, cohesive

Water and particles froze and condensed to create EARTH.  Earth contains ALL the elements.
EARTH  – Solid, structured, stable, heavy, hard, dense, slow, supportive, holding

It is important to know, ALL FIVE ELEMENTS ARE PRESENT on every level of our physiology, all the way down to a cellular level.  We all come from the same stardust…..the same origin, yet as individuals, we have a different set of circumstances, birth parents, conditions, birthdays, etc.  There are infinite variations like snowflakes…no two are the same.

DISCOVER YOUR DOSHA QUIZEvery person is unique in their elemental composition.  For example, some of us have more air to our nature, some people are more fiery, some grounded and stable like the earth. These elemental characteristics have been categorized into what we call THE DOSHAS.

Dosha means energy. Knowing yourself through the Doshas will gives you deeper insight into personal patterns.   When we are in balance, we can THRIVE in who we are. When we are out of balance we might feel STUCK and struggling, without power or potential to change. These elements (doshas) are the essence of our “earth vehicle” and they shape the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of who we are.

A PRAKRITI – is a mind-body type created from the doshic energies…. like an archetype, or a bit like an astrological sign…..  This is how you remember “being” from the earliest age. This is your innate natural physiology, temperament, and tendencies.  Our prakriti remains somewhat constant throughout the course of our lives. It is the deep underlying qualities that make you, YOU!

A VIKRUTI – are the elements (or doshas) are most alive for you, in your body right now -in this set of circumstances and life changes. Our VIKRUTI is variable and related to our stress levels, daily habits and lifestyle, age, and other factors.


Vata Dosha – is predominantly a combination of AIR and SPACE
Pitta Dosha – Is predominantly a combination of FIRE, with a little splash of WATER
Kapha Dosha – is a combination of EARTH and WATER

Discover Your Primary Dosha by taking my quiz!

[wp_quiz id="1775"]

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The dictionary offers this definition: “The process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want to do, or to affect what happens to you. OR the process of giving a group of people more freedom and rights.” One of the first concepts that drew me to...

Ayurveda and Me… And Perhaps You Too!

Ayurveda and Me… And Perhaps You Too!

Ayurveda and Me… And Perhaps You Too!

woman yogaI have been a practitioner of yoga since the late 80’s and a full time teacher since 2000.  There is no mistake. Yoga changed my life, my body, and even my relationships. Yoga, gave me access to a deeper understanding and connection with the TRUTH of who I am, and what I am capable of.  Years into my practice, and teaching, even though my health was better, I would notice the same old issues popping up. My tendency for joint pain, nervousness and depletion left me vulnerable. I had to face it, I could not work through my challenges using the physical practice of asana and meditation alone.

It was not until I reached out to one of my first yoga teachers, and asked her what I should do.  This was the start. She was (and is) an Ayurvedic Life Coach and already way down the rabbit hole of Ayurvedic living.  It’s awesome that here she was again, opening another door of healing for me. This was the start of a HUGE shift on so many levels!  Long story short, I healed my body, changed many habits, and gained incredibly valuable, yet simple tools to understand what my body needs for balance.

Ayurveda means The Science of Life.  It is the Sister Science of Yoga and its counterpart in this process of balance, and natural healing.  Without Ayurveda, yoga is still an awesome practice, it just depends on what you are looking for. When you want to go deeper into the issues and  tissues of the physical body, there is just more involved than yoga postures alone.

Fast forward five years.  I too am now a certified Ayurvedic Yoga Health Coach after indepth study and practice.  This is NOT the same as an Ayurvedic Dr., or practitioner.  I teach people about Ayurveda, and Dinacharya and how this system can heal body and mind.  What motivates me THE MOST, about this is that, when we are balanced in our lives and physiology, we begin to line up with our true potential and greater purpose (Dharma).  This is a pathway to BRIDGE THE GAP between our physical body, and spiritual awakening.

I teach both ancient, and practical methods of daily living that restore the body from chaos.  When we align to the rhythms of nature and to our biological needs, we optimise our physiology and body chemistry for maximum power, freedom, and joy.

DISCOVER YOUR DOSHA QUIZOur common culture has separated and fragmented our daily living practices from our pathological disorders.  We live however we want, notice something wrong, go to a doctor, doctor hands out prescriptions which sometimes fix the “symptoms” but bypass the cause and in the meantime create other symptoms and imbalances, and on and on until we find ourselves totally dependent on outside sources, completely disconnected from our innate body wisdom and capacity to heal.  I know you know this. One thing leads to another! Does this make sense to you? In current times with the circumstances of our “healthcare system”, it PAYS to learn how to care for yourself and be PROACTIVE in CREATING YOUR HEALTH to prevent this vicious cycle.

Find out what YOU can do to support and cooperate with your body, and the living intelligence that flows through you.  Learn what YOU need for balance and take an active role in your own Self care.   If you are interested in EMPOWERING YOURSELF TO HEAL, Look Into it! Contact me if you want to reach out to a live person you know.  I am here to help. I teach a TRANSFORMATIVE 10 Week Course in Ayurvedic Living -both live at Heart Space Yoga Studio, and soon to be online.  Sign up for a FREE 20 minute phone call strategy session to help you discover how Ayurveda can help you with your unique health challenges.  Together we can discover what it is you need, to take a step forward on your path of highest healing.  You can contact me through my website www.heartspaceyoga.com or sign click HERE to schedule your 20 Min. Strategy Session and get started on your journey toward balance and vibrant living!


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The dictionary offers this definition: “The process of gaining freedom and power to do what you want to do, or to affect what happens to you. OR the process of giving a group of people more freedom and rights.” One of the first concepts that drew me to...

Spring Cleanse: Are You IN?

Spring Cleanse: Are You IN?

I’ve noticed a shift…..Have you? Even though it’s still a cold, my craving for heavier dense foods has shifted and I am starting to crave the green bitters of Spring! I also sense that familiar urge to purge the clutter and create order. Spring cleaning will soon commence.

This time of year is perfect for cleaning both our inner and outer environments! With the growing daylight, energy is restored and a new beginning is under way! April the Aries month, is a trail blazer of initiation and change!

The energy and freshness of Springtime can support us in making changes that help to clean and clear our systems. Seasonal cleanses are KEY to regulating our health and resetting toward balance.


Cleansing Vegetable Soup

If you have never tried a cleanse before, imagine this…

What would your house look like if you did not periodically dig in and clean beyond the surface..

You know, like windows, and carpets, and cobwebs!

Believe me, I am NOT a neat freak but how WONDERFUL does it feel when you dig in, get your hands dirty, and spruce things up?

Have you ever felt the energy shift even after a quick vacuum?

It can be felt! It’s real.


You’re body can feel that way too. Orderly, spacious, clear, energized, all of these are the results of detox. It can be so simple too….You do NOT have to fast for weeks or starve yourself. It can be just as easy as shifting to a whole foods plant based diet for a week, cutting back on the toxic intake of unhealthy food, sweets, alcohol, stimulants, stress, and a little less screen time. In general, and we make a shift toward simple and clean in our inner, and outer environments. In general now is a great time to catch up on a bit of rest and rejuvenate before the sun returns full force. Seasonal cleanses will make you a stronger healthier YOU.

These welcomed refuges in Spring and Fall help slow down the aging process and give us time to reflect. Life has the tendency to speed by so fast -especially in this modern age! Without these windows of retreat it’s quite possible we just wake up one day and wonder…What happened? Where has the time gone? A cleanse not only clears the Ama (toxic build up /residue in body mind), but allows us time to slow down and sense into the trajectory we are headed. Is it where you want to go? If not, what a perfect time to make a shift toward true accountability and conscious living.

And best yet, you are NOT alone!

Heart Space Yoga Center’s
7th bi-annual
Spring Time Cleanse!


Heart Space Yoga Studio


Mondays April 23rd, 30th & May 7th 10-12:00 pm

How much?

$97 -BUT… If you can grab a friend…It’s B.O.G.O FREE (Two for the cost of ONE!
We need at LEAST 10 people in our group to make it GO!


One hour information packed lecture and personal support
Private Facebook Group connection
Accountability partners -if interested
Weekly cleanse recordings
One hour detox yoga classes when we meet
Tips / Talk on Spring organization & How to CLEAR IT OUT -from expert coach & guest teacher Rebecca Hill-Larson

3 Bowls of Soup


Here’s what the process looks like:

WEEK ONE: April 23rd 10-12:00 pm

Take Inventory. Evaluate Your Starting Point. What are your goals?
Where is there toxic accumulation? How do you feel physically, mentally, emotionally? What habits are you repeating you KNOW aren’t serving you? Where is there imbalance or excess?

Practical ways to take baby steps to reduce toxic intake and begin to clear the gunk. Modern habit change science and brain plasticity research will support us with effective ways to create a new grooves in our behaviors ONE STEP AT A TIME!

One hour Detox Yoga Class -ALL LEVELS


WEEK TWO: April 30th 10-12:00 pm

Choose your cleanse. Begin to go deep.

Based on your current conditions, you can choose either a mild, rejuvenating cleanse, or full Detox, or some where in between There are many options. I will help you discover what your body is ready for. This second week is the main body of the cleanse.

You will learn what to eat, when, and how to effectively cleanse with techniques from yoga and Ayurveda.

If your are new to cleansing, often it’s best to start small. Let’s face it… huge goals are great and all that, but sometimes, those humongous goals are the very thing that sabotage and derail our success.

Aries NEW MOON Ritual. Set your intentions and dreams ablaze. The manifesting current of the Aries New Moon on this day will be a perfect way to end our cleanse and plant the seeds for the next sun cycle.

One Hour Detox Yoga Class -ALL LEVELS


WEEK THREE: May 7th 10-12:00 pm


The new YOU!! Now we reevaluate. What is it that you can now (once your inner and outer space are more clear) live without? Chances are, that chocolate or third piece of pizza might not taste as good to you Once your taste buds have been cleansed and your digestive tract restored, there is greater clarity and communication happening in your body. You may even find you start to crave what is GOOD for you instead of those “quick fixes”. You may be SURPRISED!!

One Hour Detox Yoga Class -ALL LEVELS


MEETING TIMES: Every Monday for THREE WEEKS, 10-12:30

What is included?

One weekly cleanse recording. Your “home study” inspiration when you need it.
Private Facebook Page for better connection, accountability, and support.
Accountability partner if you want one!
One hour Cleanse talk and interactive studies
One hour Detox Yoga Class
Lecture from Rebecca Hill Larson Organizational Coach!