Monday, July 25, 2016

Become a Registered Yoga Teacher®

Over the past 15 years, UpDog Yoga has helped trained hundreds of Michigan’s strongest, most successful Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT®).  And now it’s your turn!

Applications are now being accepted for the Fall Semester, beginning Friday, October 7, 2016.  After our Friday welcome session, training takes place every Sunday for 15 sessions (along with an amazing New Year’s retreat in Washington, MI).  All you need is a desire to teach the change you want to see!
\  UpDog is a State-Licensed Teaching Curriculum.
\  UpDog is one of our area’s ONLY 200-hour AND 500-hour Yoga Alliance-Certified Schools.
\  Our 600+ grads have taught, or are teaching, at virtually every studio in Southeast Michigan; many graduates own their own studios!
\  UpDog’s curriculum is both “heart” and “spirit” based, helping each student learn the skills necessary to teach mindful, therapeutic yoga for every body!

\  Based on post-graduate surveys, 98% of our graduates report being “very satisfied” with their training and an amazing 99% said they would recommend UpDog Teacher Training to a friend (check out our reviews at Yoga!
\  Our student-to-teacher ratio averages no more than 5-to-1.  We use three “core teachers” and a host of guest instructors throughout the program.
\  Unlimited Yoga for FOUR MONTHS at THREE STUDIOS (UpDog Yoga (Rochester), Happy Dog (Port Huron) and In2Yoga (Lapeer)) is INCLUDED.
\  All Workshops are INCLUDED with your tuition.
\  A New Year’s Retreat is INCLUDED with your tuition.
\  Our FIXED price of $3,000 makes UpDog’s training remarkably affordable; students save as much as 20% ($600!) by pre-paying on or before September 19!

Are you ready to start teaching the change you want to see in the world?

For more information, contact:

Or visit our website to download your application:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day is over...but meditation is the key to continued JOY

A mindful mom is a joyous mom.  As we allow the bliss of meditation and peace to wash over and engulf our present moment, the mother in all of us becomes more caring, more compassionate, more truly present and alive to the wondrous nature of parenting.

Over the past two+ decades, it has been my great good fortune to introduce many hundreds of moms to the wonderful joy of mindfulness meditation.  This began with my own mom, when we meditated together every Saturday morning, and continues to this day as more and more moms (or those who have ever been, or ever had, a mom) find themselves drawn to the liberating wonder of what lies within us. 

As the old zen saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day, unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.”  We all say we want to spend more time with ourselves, or become better, more intelligent parents, and spouses, and friends – yet, whenever we find ourselves alone, we choose to occupy the mind with chores, with pastimes, with hobbies, with anything BUT sitting and watching the flow of our conscious minds.  Not only do we deprive ourselves of deep insights into our true natures, we take away the precious gift of the only thing that truly exists – this moment, right here, right now.

Learn to take time to meditate, to become more mindful, and you unlock the greatest treasure of all – knowledge of you.  With that knowledge, you cannot help but to become a better parent, a better person, a better mom, a better you!

Meditate.  Because some questions can’t be answered by Google.

Baba G

Monday, February 15, 2016

A beginner's perspective on HOT Vinyasa

I walked into the class - I often do not even know which class I am entering. I simply look at the schedule, see if there is a class when I can make it and GO if there is. I know. I know. This is not how it should be done. You need to schedule it in. You need to make it a priority. You need to be sure to take care of yourself first....I am slowly getting there. But right now I am simply "being real."

I find my spot in the room, see a familiar face of a teacher and she acknowledges me and says "you have never done this class before, have you?" I simply respond with "what is this class?" Oh boy. Hot Vinyasa.

Most people at this point would shut their mouths and think "oh no. I hate heat. I can't do this class. I will throw up. This is not my thing." But not me. I say it out loud. I apologize in advance for leaving the class early, if that happens to be what happens and I start my journey with my first HOT class. (with a very un-positive approach)

A veteran (that's what I call people that have been doing yoga for years that can do things like hand stands and balancing on one arm) that is next to me smiles and says, you will love it - I promise. Whatever. Are you kidding me. Hot and trying to exercise? Let's get this started so I can move on with me day.

We start the class, and my brain starts. "Why would anyone want to to this? Why does someone want to be hot on purpose while they do yoga? This class has quite a few people in it? I wonder if they come every week?" Breathing. Quiet. Rest. "It isn't too hot." My hip isn't really hurting. My mind is starting to empty. There are many options to try something new or simply just be. I meet somewhere in the middle. And I find I am not looking at anyone....well once I looked at that veteran who was balanced on one arm! But I bring myself back to center again quickly. Yes, I am sweating but I do not feel sick at all. This actually feels good. I am peaceful. I am not thinking about work. I am enjoying "me" time.
Crazy chic that can arm balance!

The instructors voice brings me back to my breath....I suddenly am feeling a bit cooler now. We end the class. I look around in disbelief and the instructor announces (after the class has had their time to finish..."And you made it through the whole class and we hit 92!"

Really? It never felt that hot? It wasn't bad at all. Wow, I am impressed with myself - I never would have chose this class on my own. So what are the benefits of this Hot Vinyasa? -Now I have to know.

  1. Heat and sweating helps to remove toxins from your body, plus it really does feel good to sweat.
  2. Sweating my A#5 off, I felt like I was more focused and my mind became empty quicker.
  3. You can make gains cardiovascular, almost equal to running (which I do not like) and build muscle in a heated room. It is more intense.
  4. It helps with flexibility, and if you have an injury (which I do) it makes the stretch and strengthening less painful and actually feel better.
  5. If you want to loose weight, a hot room will intensify your workout and help with weight-loss. Warm muscles can burn fat more quickly (or at least that is what I read somewhere.)
  6. Again, good for injuries and even with prevention of future injuries. And it is great for arthritis.
  7. It is a natural way to rid yourself of toxins that could be causing skin issues. Who doesn't want that natural "yoga glow!"
I am not an expert...far from it. But if I can do it, so can anyone. So I am challenging you to take a Hot Vinyasa class. Let the instructor know you are new and trying it out. Drink LOTS of water before and after (maybe even bring a towel) and go in with an open mind (not the Negative Nelly Tude I had) and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I cannot wait to hear!

A Thankful Heart

As most of you know, this has been an interesting start for our family in 2016. 

While I have always considered myself reasonably fit, I have also been aware (yet chosen to largely ignore) the power of genetics in my family – specifically, our tendency toward ridiculously high cholesterol.  This ignorance finally caught up with me on January 15, 2016, as I underwent an emergency triple bypass.

The good news is, I appear to be well on the road to recovery – thanks to God, and to the gifted team of Crittenton/Genesys Surgeons, and to the powerful prayers and metta of hundreds of friends who have reached out and shared their love, and their time, and their amazing cooking. 

The better news is, I believe I have learned the most important lesson I could learn from this:  to relax, and to enjoy the amazing bounty that life has presented me, and to not let a single day go by where I am not deeply, profoundly thankful for my UpDog Family.

As we move into the “Year of the Monkey” (ironically, but not coincidentally, “my year”), I hope that each of you will take seriously all that life has given you, and will see the blessing in every act, in every event, and in every circumstance that presents itself to you. 

From the bottom of my heart, my deepest thanks.  Can’t wait to practice with you soon.

The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the book.

Baba G

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Updog Blog - Mind-Full-Ness

Many Decembers ago, when I was taking one of my first yoga classes (with my mom, Babsee, and at her insistence), our teacher (Brij Chabbra) said something that has resonated with me to this day.  Since they’re both now doing yoga in that Great Shala in the Sky, I hope they don’t mind if I mess up the verbatim.

Before and after every class, Brij had a habit of inviting us to “set an intention.”  He called it planting your “Sankulpa,” or dream seed, and said that the greatest gift of yoga was that you got to plant a seed every time you practiced.  He said that if you practiced, say, every day, you got to plant 365 dream seeds a year.  It was like celebrating New Year’s and Christmas and Rosh Hashanah every day.   (Side Note:  I suppose, looking back, that this helped inspire many years of three-a-day yoga sessions.  I have the MRI’s to prove it).

We know, empirically and intuitively, that the physical body’s dream resonates in the heart of the head, and that, what the head believes, the body signs up for (think “psychosomatics,” vs. “soma psychosis”). 

Brij put it a simpler way:

“Whatever you really, really, really want with all your heart and soul, you will get.  And whatever you really, really, really DO NOT want with all your heart and soul, you will get.  You are what you resonate, so resonate good thoughts and actions always.” 

As we start to awaken from “Yule Tide,” and begin thinking and dreaming about the canvas garden ahead, I would suggest leaving a small corner (or a big chunk) to sketch, draw, visualize and mindfully vibrate your heart’s desire.  Then, as you practice, or walk, or run, or just sit, take time to sit and practice mind-full-ness:  watching the breath, calming the soil, and planting the seeds you want to grow.

As my mom would have said, if nothing ever changed, we wouldn’t have corn.

With our deepest wishes for a vibrant 2016,
Baba G