Life Inspiration from a Yogi


By Life Inspiration from a Yogi No Comments

I have to tell you guys I was a little nervous going into my first Turbokick class the other night at Backwards.  I didn’t know the instructor and I also didn’t know what “turbokick” entailed.  Walking into the studio it was FILLED with energy and a bunch of women who also didn’t know what they were doing… *sigh of relief*.  Our instructor Jess walked in who was all smiles and had so much energy- we were ready.  The class started with some pop music and basic punches, hits, and kicks… there were some skiing arms movements, running man move, and jumping jacks for good measure.


There’s not much I can say about the class other than it was totally out of my comfort zone and it rocked!  I didn’t know what I was doing but it was just as much fun (and a workout!) fumbling through as it was if I was a seasoned vet.  We’ve got some more of Jess’ classes coming up at the studio- like Buti Yoga (like tribal dance… it sounds amazing) and I can’t wait to let her take me from my safe comfort zone again!  Its a huge change from the calm of a yoga class, but sometimes you’ve got to let your wild side take over- where better to do that on a Friday night than Backwards Yoga?!


Namaste, Angela

New Years Resolutions *eye roll

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi No Comments

Well folks, its January 3rd and I’ve been accomplishing my “New Year’s Resolution” for a whopping 48 hours now.  I’m not usually one to post ahead of time what my goals are… maybe an internal fear of not being able to reach it, or maybe I don’t like admitting where I’ve been slipping up for a while… but here it is, I’m trying the Whole 30 for the month of January.

Whoa, let me rephrase, I’m DOING the Whole 30 for the WHOLE month of January.  No dairy, no legumes, no sugar, no alcohol… none of the fun stuff really.  This for me has little to do with “diet” but rather getting away from a huge problem I have with identifying myself by things I’m attached to.

How many of us wake up and “need” coffee?  Maybe we “need” a drink after work?  “Need” ranch on our salad?  “Need” cheese to survive?  I know I have fallen into these categories… and after spending some time reading about the Yoga Sutras (would HIGHLY recommend for all you yogis!) they mentioned this “vairagya”.  At first it seemed like some kind of pill you take, but turns out its actually the ability to stop identifying with our thoughts and see ourselves for who we really are.  Our body exists in the material world, but our soul goes far beyond what we can see and possess.  I want to feel what its like to be in control of what I eat.  I know that sounds silly- but if someone offers me a trip to Whitey’s… I will go, skip yoga, and pay for it!

Now I’m all about balance in life (being a yogi and all) but I’ve realized just how unbalanced my life has become.  Food for me has become a prison, I don’t know what to eat, what makes my body feels good, or even to try new things because I’m so concerned with eating right when I’m hungry.

This 30 day challenge I hope to learn what to eat, how it makes my body feel, any intolerances I might have to certain foods, the ability to control my cravings, and overall to get closer to the idea of vairagya.  I don’t want to be known as the ice cream addict… I want to be known for how kind and helpful I can be.  I want to build those traits and not spend my time, energy, and money off of quick treats that give me a false sense of self.  Any of this sound familiar?  Feel free to shoot me a message through my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/angelameyer23) if you’d be interested in trying to join me for your own Whole 30 or let me know your thoughts on this post!

Namaste, Angela

YIN THAI Yoga Workshop

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Last night I treated my boyfriend’s mom and myself to two hours of relaxation & massage at Backwards Yoga.  Sarah and Kela took over the room of 14 yogis and transformed it into a gentle class focused on movement that allowed gentle stretching and massaging.  When I first heard about this class I assumed it might be like a typical massage- but Thai massage is much different.  Sarah was certified in Thailand (how cool is that?!) to do thai massage and although it is hands on as well, it more focuses on the body moving itself rather than her digging into tissue with her hands.

We flowed through mini sequences including gentle twists, pigeon, down dog, seated, lizard, and more.  Each pose we held for 3-5 minutes (not breaths… MINUTES) which I’ll admit was a struggle for me.  Sometimes poses just aren’t comfortable, and moving with them helps me to keep my mind off of pushing myself to get deeper.  But when you’re holding pigeon pose for 3-5 minutes.. there’s not much else to think about than the burning in my hip!

But yoga is about challenging yourself, and not just physically!  This Yin Thai workshop was a great way to explore each pose with depth that you had to surrender to with your breath.  My mind wandered at times, but after a while I got more into what we were doing.  While in pigeon, Sarah massaged me by pressing what I would assume to be trigger points up my calf and hamstring of my back leg.  There were some spots that felt sore to the touch, but I also felt an instant release of relaxation by bringing awareness to that certain point.

Overall, I’m glad we took the two hours to relax and become more aware in such a calming way.  Sarah and Kela both have great energy and just being around good people made me feel relaxed and rejuvenated!  If you guys get the chance to try out Thai Massage or Yin yoga… I would encourage you to try it!  And be ready for that Savasana adjustment… its INCREDIBLE.

Namaste, Angela

What’s the “108 Sun Sal Challenge” really like?

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Every other time I’ve been invited to try out the infamous “108 Sun Salutations Challenge” I politely (or deliberately) have declined.  First of all, that is a lot of work.  Second of all, WHY?!  Well, I finally gave in after being guilt-tripped by fellow teacher trainee, Mike Kaney, who is always up for death-by-yoga challenges… and let me tell you folks- those are the friends you need to have!

I walked into the studio surrounded by four other brave souls ready to face the challenge with our only tool seeming to be a group of numbered popsicle sticks.  Okay, WAY less intimidating than having to remember how to count to 108 without losing your place.. all the work would be moving sticks all while flowing through the same movements over and over… and over and over… again.  Ready, set, start.

At first I felt really strong.  We did the first couple together and right away I connected with my breath and fell into the rhythm of the music.  Even as we took over to go at our own pace, I felt confident that I could do maybe at least half… then the mind games took over.  There were 14 popsicle sticks in front of me, numbered once at the top (1-14) and then again at the bottom (15-27)… we would each stick twice to complete one set… 4 sets of 27 and we would be at the magic number 108.

The first two sets went by fairly quickly, it was a little harder to lower down into chatarunga than it was to begin with, but I felt strong and like I was accomplishing something.  Not only is this a physical practice, but its emotionally and spiritually moving as you think about what you’re working through/working towards.  The winter solstice signifies the darkest day of the year and a turning point in the seasons so that we are now in “Winter”.  As someone who has long struggled with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) the sun not making much of an appearance is a real struggle.  The energy this challenge brought to me was awesome and a great time to reflect on the fact that wherever you’re at in life, good or bad, nothing stays this way.

The third set was certainly the most challenging.  I was sinking back into child’s pose every few sun sal’s to catch my breath and felt like I really wouldn’t be able to finish.  We were all having light hearted conversation during the time which helped keep our minds off the burning in our shoulders and legs… but 108 is a big number.  By the fourth set however I felt a sense of empowerment that can only come from the brink of certain death.  Kela reminded us of our modifications and to not sacrifice my form.. I quickly dropped to my knees for the “lower down Chatarunga” portion and utilized child’s pose when necessary.  I reminded myself that yoga is not only a physical workout, but a full body and mind experience.

the 108 Sun Saluatations Challenge is something I would recommend to anyone!  Its a CHALLENGE, but the more you’ve done your homework (aka practiced) the easier it will get, and I can’t wait until next time to see how different my body feels.  After completing the challenge I felt refocused and like I could conquer whatever life (or yoga) throws at me.  This is all so temporary- experience as much as you can and be in the moment– even if its a struggle at the time, its an amazing experience!  Merry Christmas!!




Foam-rolling, Backbending, and Bear Crawls… oh my!

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Last weekend was a great one at Backwards Yoga- I was lucky enough to attend two workshops with Clarissa and it was AWESOME.


First of all, if you’ve never attended another class (or not often) with a teacher other than your go-to… I HIGHLY recommend it!  No matter how much you enjoy one person’s classes, I can guarantee another person will say something differently that will resonate with you.  One example of this was Clarissa saying “you will feel feedback in your outer hip”.  Hearing feedback was the perfect way that my brain needed to register a more neutral approach towards the sensations that sometimes feel hard to breathe through.  The way she stated this so simply reminded me to be gentle and LISTEN to my body, something that has never clicked with me until she said it that way.


Friday night we worked on back-bending.  As someone with a spine injury, backbends have become scary to me and an area I haven’t worked on as much as I should.  Clarissa was so helpful in assisting us and giving us time to work through whatever we need to in order to get a little closer to our edge.  I think that’s my favorite thing about workshops- you get the time to play with someone there to help you.  At home, I have all the time in the world (sometimes) to work on things, but with no one there to tell me I’m not gonna injure myself.. its a little scary to experiment at times.


Sunday provided another opportunity to work through my body and listen.  Foam-rolling was something I thought I knew enough about to be able to do effectively.  I ran cross-country & track in high school and our coaches/teachers told us how you’d sit on this hard foam and just roll back & forth while you breathed through inevitable pain.  To make an understatement, majority of the class had been doing it incorrectly.  Its scary how many people are put in a position of power and able to “teach” people without them knowing what they’re doing!  That’s why certifications and courses and workshops with true professionals are so important.  ALWAYS question why you’re doing something and look to improve!  I probably could’ve seriously injured myself if I’d foam-rolled consistently the way I had been doing it, luckily I’d been too lazy & barely ever did it.  After taking Clarissa’s class I have such a better understanding and appreciation for the process.  Taking care of my muscles and building up my body properly has a whole new meaning to me!


Thank you, Clarissa for taking such great care of us at Backwards this weekend!  Keep an eye out on the schedule for her name folks, you don’t want to miss practicing with her.


Namaste, Angela

Breaking the Samskara Chain

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Over the last 18 days I have participated in “The Yogi Assignment” 30-day program book by Kino MacGregor.  It has been full of wonderful prompts to think about while practicing as well as challenges and assignments to better incorporate the yoga lifestyle into your everyday routine.  Day 18- “Breaking the Samskara Chain” really resonated with me so I wanted to share with all of you.  I highly encourage you to read this book (if you asked me I’d even lend it to you!) as it really does encourage deeper thinking to get to the heart of yoga.

Day 18 talks about students asking a guru about tightness and inflexibility within the body.  Instead of responding with suggestions of physical modifications, he would say, “Oh many samskaras there are”.  Samskaras refer to the past experiences and traumas that are kept within our bodies and minds, and the idea that those old patterns/habits are the source of physical stiffness through yoga.

There was a time when I would have seen this way of thinking as “out there” and not applicable to my life.  But the more I’ve gone through life and my practice, I know this to be true.  Not only do my physical traumas, like my scar tissue from a broken collar bone, affect my flexibility… but I know I hold other non-physical traumas within my body as well.

Samskaras are patterns imprinted in our consciousness that can be tough to change.  I like to think they’re difficult to change because we aren’t totally aware of their presence.  Instead of being drawn down in life by this “undertow” of that past baggage, yoga reveals even the deepest samskaras hidden within the body.  When I think of all the poses I am unable to even attempt, let alone do with ease, I now think about the samskaras those poses will release.  Not only that, but my journey of letting go of the past and creating new habits and fresh energy within me that will take me there.

Namaste, Angela

Strength & Weakness

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Its interesting as humans how a lot of the times we feel weakness while only seeing others’ strength.  We compare ourselves and tear ourselves down for what we cannot do.  I was making a video for this week’s “10 Days of Gratitude Challenge” which was supposed to include a flow with crow, headstand, back to crow, jumpback, lower down to chaturanga, up-dog, then down dog.  By the time I was ready to film I had been through almost two hours of yoga and was just… tired.  Trying to make the video I ended up having to switch my flow to exclude the headstand because my body just wasn’t there anymore in the strength department.


I was disappointed because I’ve never felt better in headstand than I have lately, but you really can’t fake a yoga flow video.  Then I thought about it more and realized I needed to appreciate the strength that I had put out already that day, even if it wasn’t recorded to show and inspire other people.  Over the course of my time with yoga I have felt the ideas of strength and weakness trade places for me in moments like these.  I could feel my mind and body leveling out to find quiet strength, but I’m now more aware of other’s weaknesses.  That would have used to make me feel stronger- that little vindictive part of me that felt better about myself because I could do something someone else couldn’t.  Yoga has showed me the truth in becoming humble.  Knowing each day is different and strength is a journey, not something defined in a pose or video.  Now instead of one-upping myself off someone’s weakness, I’m aware of it but want to help them find their own strength too.  I want to share my yoga journey with others and I know they will help me in my moments of weakness too.


Namaste, Angela

10 Days of Gratitude

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Today is day 5 of our 10 Days of Gratitude Challenge at Backwards Yoga.  Each year I participate in this challenge I feel like it genuinely changes me as a yogi and a person.  Every day we’re prompted to think deeply on a topic that we may give little attention to on a normal day.  Yesterday we reflected on other people supporting us… which led me to send out a number of texts to people that may not even know how much I’ve needed them… but prompting me to think about it made me want to reach out and tell them how much they mean to me.  I think that’s pretty normal in our everyday lives to walk around and take so much for granted.  Challenges like this 10 Days of Gratitude really help us all to slow down.


Sometimes this slowing down can mean that the days are dragging by… how many classes do I have to stay for today to make up for the fact I don’t want to get here at 5:30am when its cold out and my bed is warm?  But mostly this slowing down just gives a good time to reflect on our lives.  The last 5 days have also opened up seeing how other people interpret their world.  Its easy to come to class and not even interact with anyone- I prefer a quiet practice most of the time anyway.  But the Gratitude Challenge gives us a chance to know each other better and connect on a level that we may not get to even if we spoke every time we all came to class.  I’ve gained so much appreciation for each and every yogi at the studio through watching what they post throughout these 10 Days.


Its fun to see cute kids and pets- all of us getting out of our comfort zones- even beautiful selfies when we don’t have anyone to take the photo for us… but these 10 Days are short in the grand scheme of things.. I wish everyone would take advantage of it!  Good luck on the next 5 days fellow challenge-goers.  If you have not yet signed up to be a part of the challenge I highly encourage you to do so.  You definitely put yourself out there, but the love and embrace you feel back from our little family is so worth it!


Namaste, Angela

Kino MacGregor- my guided Ashtanga experience

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

On Thursday, November 2nd I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Ashtanga teacher Kino MacGregor.  She’s the youngest person ever to be certified in Ashtanga (at 26) and is a total social media queen.  If you don’t know who Kino is but you like looking at yoga posts on Instagram.. I’m sure you’ve seen her at some point.  For those of you who don’t know what Ashtanga is… let me tell you, it is intense. The practice takes place is an unheated room for the purpose of “building the fire within”.  For this same reason, the first direction Kino gave us was to put our water at the edge of the room and we could have it when we were done.  SCARY.

I was nervous going into the practice having very little prior experience with Ashtanga and knowing there would be a lot of people there with more flexibility and strength than me.  My worries were quickly put aside when Kino started giving her talk before we started practicing and her cough drop fell out of her mouth.  It was at that point I remembered we are indeed all human and to get the most out of the experience as I could. We flowed through sun salutations, triangle, warrior, wide folds, and seated postures with limitless amounts of jump-backs like we were as boss as Kino herself.  Her energy radiated throughout the room and brought out the best in every yogi that attended.

Moving forward from the experience, Ashtanga is something I will definitely be incorporating into my own practice around the full moon/new moon times as is tradition.  I have been wanting something cleansing to work in routinely and I think Ashtanga will be the perfect form of yoga for that purpose.  I’m grateful for our time spent with Kino and would definitely take another one of her classes or workshops again in the future.  For any of you out there who are curious about workshops but have been nervous to give one a try- DO IT.  It is so worth the time and money to get closer to the teacher and learn the little tips and tricks that make the flow- flow.

HINT: keep an eye on your MINDBODY app for our own studio’s upcoming workshops as well!  They’re a great way to break into workshops while still in a comfortable environment.  Still nervous?  Bring a friend!  But I guarantee every person there has insecurities about your practice- or they wouldn’t be there to improve!


Namaste, Angela

There’s this girl in my yoga class…

By Life Inspiration from a Yogi

Every time I go to class I notice the girl in front of me. Some days she’s wearing a t-shirt because facing me is too much to do in a tank top. Other times she has the confidence I could only dream of, and it has nothing to do with what she ate or didn’t.   There are windy yoga classes where her tree is spent swaying, her half moon crumbling, and her butterfly looking more like a flying squirrel. There are days she has the grace of the ballerina that she used to be, and a mind as grounded as all four corners of her feet to our mats.


Two years ago she didn’t know a foot had four corners. She went through life without ever self-reflecting. Only looking in the mirror that stays between us to paint a face on- who ever she needed to be that day. Now here we are- she faces me bravely, knowing the only way to be proud of a better version of me is to be a better version of her. She will never truly see herself- when the first light of the day hits her face, when she laughs uncontrollably, how wonderful other people can find her… she only sees me to see her.


We are identical. When she moves to the right, I am moving to the left. Her long blonde hair in the same sloppy bun. Same name, same face, same intention. She is all that matters. All I strive to be and all I strive to be better than. I vow to never be concerned with what’s going on beside me, but rather within me. Within all of us.


Namaste, Angela.