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How Tasha Eichenseher Embraces Constant Change

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Sometimes surrendering to the constant and inevitable changes of life leads to a happier, more peaceful existence

In my life, the only constant has been change—jobs, apartments, scenery, relationships, health, opinions, and so on. Accepting change is hard for someone like me who is drawn to structure, organization, and clear goals and expectations, but I can honestly say that I’m always happier when I let go of rigidity and control and surrender to the natural ebb and flow of things.

When I trust that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be—instead of trying to force an outcome—teamwork improves; creativity flourishes; and my life feels more interesting, rich, and full of opportunity.

Rosie Acosta

How Rosie Acosta Is Open to Constant Change

In the December issue of Yoga Journal, teacher Rosie Acosta’s story, is the perfect example of how life can point you in the right direction if you are open to reading the signs.

Depressed, anxious, and on probation after growing up in a violent neighborhood in East Los Angeles, Acosta visited a meditation center at the suggestion of her mother. Totally out of her realm, the high school senior was skeptical but curious. Once there, she found herself attracted to talks about being responsible for your own happiness.

Fast-forward 17 years, and Acosta has studied with some of the country’s most influential asana and meditation teachers, and she inspires thousands of people every day through her own teachings and wellness podcast.

Sahara Rose Ketabi Finds Transformation Through Ayurveda 

Sahara Rose Ketabi

Another powerful story of transformation in the December issue is from author and Ayurvedic practitioner Sahara Rose Ketabi. Plagued by maladies that were taking both a physical and mental toll, Ketabi was able to turn her health around only after finding Ayurveda. The seven chakra-inspired soups she shares from her new cookbook, Eat Feel Fresh, can help you, too—whether you’re feeling unbalanced or just want something fun to serve as the seasons change and the holidays pull our attention toward family, friends, and festivities.

See also An Ayurvedic Office Makeover: 6 Essentials to Take to Work

Alison West

Transform Your Body + Pain

Want to take self-care a step further? Alison West, founder of the Yoga Union Backcare & Scoliosis Center in New York City, teaches a sequence for dealing with back pain and poor posture. West’s innovative use of a dowel— a prop you won’t want to live without after trying—is truly transformational. 

Rosie Acosta

Changes At Yoga Journal

And while we are talking about change, it seems appropriate to acknowledge shifts here at Yoga Journal. What started in 1975 as essentially the technical newsletter of the California Yoga Teachers Association has morphed into a national media brand reaching millions of people every month in print, online, and via social media. The content we share has shifted depending on our editors, trends in yoga and wellness, and the pulse of the magazine industry.

We’re constantly trying to respond to reader needs and provide valuable service in the form of yoga practices, philosophy, and teaching tips that will help you find harmony on and off the mat. As we move into a new phase, we aim to be more inclusive, representative, and real. And we hope you will continue to reach out and share with us what is (or isn’t) working for you—via social media or at editor@yogajournal.com—so that we can evolve together. 

See also 4 Simple But Powerful Practices to Change the Way You Handle Stress

About the Author
Tasha Eichenseher is the brand director of Yoga Journal.



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Yoga Helped Clare Cui Find Peace In Her Body

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Weightlifting was wreaking havoc on my body and spirit—until I found yoga.

Clare Cui

I couldn’t see much in the darkness, but I could smell the tanning oil that covered the toned bodies of women who were nervously clustered together in lines waiting to take the stage. As I stood there in my group, my number pinned to my bikini, I looked down at my body, which I had beat into peak physical condition, and I still didn’t like what I saw. I’m sure I looked confident in my own skin, but what I really wanted to do was to crawl out of it.

I know there are countless women who feel self-conscious about a little squish on their belly or thighs—wondering what new workout or crash diet to try—constantly worrying about making “healthy” decisions around food and exercise. For a long time, I was no different. I was insecure and constantly pursuing the “perfect” body. It was a race that I was never going to win. I was inundated by negative messages in a culture where validation, praise, and value relied on placing in competition. I couldn’t get out of the get-up-and-grind mentality. This chiseled body that kept garnering praise became an addiction.

That is exactly why—despite the three first-place fitness titles I had earned that year—I was left waging a secret war against myself and my body. In that moment in the darkness backstage, my soul was sending out an SOS. I knew something was wrong.

See also Is Social Media Wrecking Your Body Image?

I left that competition and tried to go back to my life as the head strength and conditioning coach at a Denver public high school. I vowed to let go of superficial goals, obsessive negative self-talk, counting calories, incessant workouts, and all-consuming anxiety about what I looked like on stage. This spaciousness in my thoughts was a welcome breath of fresh air, but it also felt strange and empty. Without competition, I craved focus, so I threw myself into fostering strength in others, helping students to rid themselves of pain and reach their physical goals. 

My students had restricted movement from ailments such as torn ACLs and back problems. I grew fascinated by how the body moves and how rigidity causes all sorts of problems. Health wasn’t just about strength. I was discovering another piece of the puzzle: Flexibility—both physically and mentally—was critical. Bulldozing my way through competitions on shear strength and willpower like I had been was killing me because I didn’t have the flexibility of mind to take days off and let my body recover.

I could see that my clients’ mindsets were determining their recoveries. Some of them were stubborn, stuck on one way of doing things, forcing the same approach over and over again with few results. I saw them like a mirror, exposing my own flaws. Rigidity wasn’t working, for them or for me. We need strength to overcome our challenges, but also flexibility to pivot when things aren’t working the way we want them to.

See also Kat Fowler on Embracing Yoga and Conquering Self-Doubt

Fueled by a desire to learn more about increasing flexibility, I walked into a power yoga teacher training having never taken a yoga class. Halfway through class, covered in sweat, I was falling on my face attempting Bakasana. My inner strength coach had been beaten into submission by how much I had underestimated the whole “yoga thing,” and something unexpected happened: I found myself deeply in love with asana practice.

I’d huff and puff my way through vinyasa classes, where each pose got me closer to answering the aching question: How do I stop fighting with my body? I had long approached my fitness routine as a tool to punish myself into a better body—one that mirrored the standardized images I saw in the media. Through yoga, this armor slowly started to come off. Each time I attempted to slow down and soften into a pose, using my strength to support my body rather than demand a result from it, I could feel myself deeply listening to what was going to heal instead of hurt me. I began to witness the compassion and kindness toward myself that I had been missing for years.

Yes, the intelligent placement of my bones and muscles in space supported my strength. But this magical organization of my walking meat sack got me in tune with so much more than any fad diet ever had. Instead of regarding my body as an obstacle in the way of a shiny new trophy, through yoga I realized that this awareness in my body meant that I was the trophy.

See also The Avoidance Mechanisms We Have to Face In Order To Heal

I no longer saw my shoulders as something that needed more shaping, but a beloved elevator to lift me higher in Handstands and inspire courage and confidence. Now, I absolutely won’t deny that yoga and strength training have toned my backside. But what I flex (no pun intended) regularly with my yoga tools is not a physical muscle, but an internal one. The skills of softening, deep listening, and presence were dormant and weak before I found yoga. These mind muscles allow me to see the shapes my body makes without focusing on what it looks like externally. I can now focus on what it feels like from the inside of the pose.

I’ve become more in tune with a source of joy and wholeness that doesn’t come from a judge or a medal. It comes from deep within. Real confidence comes from an internal knowing that we are worthy, beautiful, and whole—no matter what shape we take. 

See also Jessamyn Stanley on Moving Beyond Body Positivity

About the author

Clare Cui is a Denver-based yoga teacher with more than 12 years of experience in strength training. Her passion is supporting career women and business leaders to create the strength in their bodies and minds to show up confidently in their own skin. Find her at theyogathlete.com and @clare_cui on Instagram.



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Life

10 Trendy Bike Shorts We're Obsessed With

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We are 100 percent into the bike short trend spreading throughout yoga studios. These shorts will keep you comfortable and offer great coverage.

Free People Seamless Bike Shorts

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Beyond Yoga Spacedye High Waisted Biker Yoga Shorts

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Spiritual Gangster Biker Shorts

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Hard Tail High Rise Yoga Booty Shorts

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Lululemon Fast and Free Short

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Lululemon Align Short

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Free People Prajna Short

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Outdoor Voices TechSweat Shorts

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BALEAF Women’s 8″ Workout Yoga Running Compression Shorts

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Alo Elevate Short

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These 10 Yoga Bolsters Are Perfect for a Restorative Home Practice

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Let these yoga bolsters set you up for your most peaceful state.

$93.95

Hugger Mugger

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$104.00

Chattra

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$35.00

My Zen Home

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$39.00

Earth Lite

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$20.99

Yoga Direct

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$39.99

Incline

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$33.99

Yoga Accessories

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$34.95

Kakaos Yoga

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$79.00

Brentwood Home

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$35.00

Bheka

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