march overview… listen

The studio theme for March is Listeningforest

As always, we leave the themes open to interpretation, as invitations to explore, open the senses, apply them to your life.

In Teacher Training we do a listening exercise that involves not responding to another person while they are speaking. It’s interesting how often we equate listening with responding. Yet to truly listen is to receive without needing to add or change anything. 

It is a challenging exercise for most, yet in every program, people comment on how powerful it is on one side to feel truly heard…and on the other side, how relieving it is to not have to come up with something brilliant to say!

Try it:

The next time you are having a conversation with a loved one, simply receive what he or she is saying. Give that person your full focus. Resist the urge to plan your response in your head. Resist the urge to finish their sentence. Resist the urge to comment immediately when they’re done speaking.

Can you communicate your empathy with your posture or your eyes? What is it like to sit, even for a few seconds, in the space of silence?

It’s amazing what happens when there’s room and time in an interaction. So much more is said, and most of it is not through words.

Let me know how goes

We’ll be listening,

Michelle and the IAY fam


Class Schedule Updates

A few additions and adjustments to the schedule:

Monday 9:30-11 am Gentle Flow with Althea (an extra 15 minutes of bliss)
*New* Monday 12-12:45 pm Monday Midday Movement with Gina
*New* Wednesday 4:30-5:40 pm Release & Restore with Yoga Nidra with Sethyne

Check out our full class schedule and plan your week.


alexis marbach - trauma sensitive yogaYoga Teacher Immersion

Bring Trauma-Informed Principles into your Teaching 
with Alexis Marbach

Saturday March 11, 1 – 7pm
Sunday March 12, 11am – 4pm

Alexis is coming in from Boston to offer her specialty training on how to create a more inviting class environment for trauma survivors.

This training will create a foundation for understanding trauma and the way it can be present in individuals, and explore the ways that we can heal trauma through yoga.

This experiential training is open for yoga teachers from all backgrounds, levels of experience, and teaching environments (even those currently in their 200 hour training programs).

Read the full curriculum for the weekend

pelvic bowl with bella driezlerThe Chakras…From the Ground Up! 
Seed & Soil with Mary Paffard

Sunday March 19, 12 – 3pm

As we move into the spring, in March, we will explore Seed and Soil, the intriguing relationship between 1st and 2nd chakras and the emergence of the individual spirit from the cultural morass.

Each session will have a long practice session and some discussion time around how we bring this work into the every day. There will be space for all of us to share our own reflections, questions and findings and in this way create a powerful and supportive sangha for our own chakra journey.

Mary’s teaching is a special gift. Get your spot.

meditation seriesThe Daily Craft :: Mindfulness Meditation

with Ellen Robinson-Haynes
Thursdays, 6 -7 pm, March 23 – April 27

Mindfulness meditation is a hot topic these days, but how do you create a meaningful and sustainable meditation practice that really works for you?

It’s worth finding out. Research is showing that meditation helps improve everything from brain function to high blood pressure. Do you have insomnia? Do you often feel frayed? Meditation can help. Find out how…

The Virtual Meditation Challenge (below) is included in The Daily Craft Meditation module.

meditation at It's All YogaVirtual Meditation Challenge

with Jeanne Munoz
March 23 – April 27
Every year, we dedicate April to the essential practice of meditation and offer you — wherever you are — the chance to build or grow a meditation practice through the Virtual Meditation Challenge.

This year, we’re upping our game. The Challenge will run for 6 weeks instead of 4 (better odds of building the habit), we’re including even MORE virtual, audio and written education, and you can sit (virtually) with actual people in the Challenge Monday through Friday each week using YouTube Live.

Read all about the Challenge and sign up here.

Bella DreizlerGrow Loose, Long & Strong

with Bella Dreizler
Saturdays March 25, April 8, May 6, 1 – 4pm

These three Saturday afternoons are dedicated to experience the benefit of:
  • loosening tight joints and fascia 
  • strengthening less than optimal core power
  • creating flexibility and a healthy long spine 
You can take the series or drop into any one. Video instructional support included so you can practice this movement medicine at home and feel the rewards continue on your mat and in your life.

Ready to roll?

restorative yogaRestorative Yoga to Ease Seasonal Transitions
with Alicia Patrice
Sunday March 26, 2 – 4pmThe body renews and restores when it is at rest and a perfect time to practice this is at the seasonal shifts. We’ll use Restorative Yoga to help us learn to live in harmony with the seasons and to balance the busy-ness of life with support, deep breathing and presence.In the transition from Winter to Spring, we have the opportunity to awaken to new possibilities.  That awakening sometimes brings a bit of Spring fever, so we’ll also look for balance in the frenzy that sometimes accompanies rebirth.  In this period of deep rest, figuring out what we really want for the season is possible.

Sign up here. Only 5 spots left.

moon series

Moon Series Special :: March New Moon 
with Carrie Meyer

Monday March 27, 7:30 – 9 pm

Celebrate the darkness and renewal of the New Moon with Carrie as she weaves an evening of new moon psychology, astrology, the chakras, the elements and your own personal intention. 

The Moon Series classes have been selling out. Grab your spot here. 

View our website | See the full class schedule | The Daily Craft


how your teachers got to be your teachers

The first step.

Are you thinking that there’s “more” to yoga?
Do you come to yoga class twice a week?
Do you have an interest in the philosophy that weaves throughout class?

Teacher training is an opportunity to invest in yourself.

In this five-month program we guide you through a deep process of reflection and contemplation. You do not need to know how to do all the poses. In this program we give you a rich foundation in anatomy and teach you how to use the poses for functional and structural health. This training program is open to Any Body who is willing to learn and be curious about themselves. You do not need to want to teach. Everyone is welcome.

Because people sign up for a yoga teacher training for all kinds of reasons, we thought it would be fun to share our reasons with you. Below, each teacher offers her reason for signing on for her very first YTT…

Alicia I knew how much Yoga had helped me physically, emotionally and spiritually and decided that I wanted to help other people feel what I felt… better. That desire, for both learning and helping others, has only grown since then.  

Althea I took my first yoga teacher training because I was wanted to learn about Yoga with the capital Y, the Yoga of life, beyond the postures and their exotic-sounding names.  I felt so much better with Yoga!  I wanted it to be more than a class I went to and more a part of everything I do in my life.  

Bella After many years of clinical work and teaching…so many moments of satisfying service to others…I simply wanted to be held in my own practice, quietly nourished, allowed to patiently experiment and explore. So much gratitude for the richness of this experience, the freedom it encouraged is still reverberating.  

Carrie It was a quite long time ago that I took my first teacher trainings, but it seems that what prompted me was a hunch that yoga was to have a relevant place in my life. I believe it was also suggested to me by someone whose perceptions I greatly respected that yoga was something that already existed in my consciousness and perhaps I was just going to remember it. An in-depth yoga teacher training provides a genuine opportunity to comprehensively learn–or remember–what yoga actually means.  

Catherine Yoga had such a profound impact on me and my life. After so many years of focusing on my own practice I felt so full from it that it seemed natural that the next step would be to share it with others. Why would I ever want to keep this to myself?!? :-))  

Denice The list of excuses didn’t get any shorter, but the knowing-that-won’t-leave-you-alone moved me into the transformational experience that is Teacher Training.  

Gina I wanted to be advanced in yoga. I wanted to be better at this practice and physically stronger at the poses. More importantly, I knew if I took this training I could share this practice that has been so good to me with others.  

Holly Yoga was the only physical movement (other than walking or rolling around in the grass as a kid) that ever felt “right” in my body. I wanted more of that “right.” And…Michelle helped me feel safe in my own body, to be curious about it, to love it. I just had to do YTT with her.  

Jeanne I took my first training because I had already fallen in love with yoga, but needed to find a local yoga community. I had recently moved to Sacramento and wanted to learn from and teach to the community, and share my love for the practice.  I also needed a training so that I could weave yoga into my “normal” life, without being confined to a studio practice.  

Michelle All I knew was I luuuuuuved yoga. I didn’t know what would come out of the training, but I wanted to learn everything I could about yoga, I wanted to be around “yoga people” and I wanted to develop my own practice. This was before yoga was cool, so finding a community with whom I shared a language and worldview was really important to me.  

Sethyne I wanted to share the feeling I experienced AFTER yoga class.  I had no idea what “it” was but I knew I was approaching an integrated state.  It didn’t seem right to keep it to myself.  

Tami When I found out Michelle was going to do a yoga teacher training – my first thought was, “I’m IN!” I had zero hesitation to go through the training because the way yoga was being taught at It’s All Yoga was so different than anywhere else I had ever taken a class. I was curious to learn how the teachers always knew what I needed to hear – sometimes before I even knew myself! In every class I felt I learned something way deeper about myself – way beyond where my arm is supposed to go in Warrior 2.  

I learned a new way of thinking about the world and my place in it. I didn’t go into ytt to become a yoga teacher – I was already a school teacher. I went in because I wanted to learn more about the philosophy shared in classes, I wanted to learn more about the books the teachers read and the ideas they studied. I wanted to learn to live in a more peaceful way and I got that and so much more!  

Wencke I took the teacher training to deepen my yoga practice. I was fairly new to It’s All Yoga but heard about the training and knew if I was going to do it I wanted to do it there.  

A few more resources:
What is asana? (an example of what we talk about in TT)
Past graduates talk about their TT experience at IAY.
The full download of info on our Teacher Training webpage.  

If you are at all curious, have questions, or just want to listen in, join us this Sunday at 11:30 am for the open house. Plus there will be cookies.  


what’s in store the rest of the year

michelle marlahan at it's all yogaLike many people I know, I’ve been doing some purging — cleaning out closets, cabinets, drawers. Simplifying. Getting things out in the open.

The theme for October is Slowing Down. In that spirit, take a moment to scroll the opportunities coming up this fall.

There’s a lot on the table for you to choose from, and like even the best buffet, it’s not meant for you to take everything. What suits you best this season? What speaks to your heart?

We have to slow down enough to hear those whispers. Urgency is loud; longing is often soft. We look forward to sharing this next season with you.

As always, stay in touch.

With gratitude, Michelle

Yoga Basics with Gina
Thursdays October 6 – November 10, 6pm

Read Gina’s love letter for Basics…and share it with your loved ones who could start something good before the end of the year. Get yourself in the series here.

Gut Feelings with Holly

Saturday October 8, 1 – 4pm THIS Saturday!

Explore the intimate relationship between our thoughts and emotions and digestion. Our tools for inquiry will be breath work, meditation, slow/gentle yoga poses, guided writing exercises and self-massage. Register for this special workshop.

Fitness based functional movement class with Sethyne Gavin and Jeanne MunozThe Chakras from the Ground Up with Mary Paffard

Saturday October 15, 1 – 4pm

The October session will lay the foundation for personal exploration and establishing a powerful root system through muladhara the first chakra, through the dark time of the year – Grounding into Groundlessness. Get all the details and register here.

A Workshop in Physical Alignment with Richard Rosen

Sunday October 16, 1 – 4pm

We are so fortunate to have Richard in the studio. In this three-hour workshop we’ll first investigate several simple exercises that embody basic alignment principles, then apply those principles to the practice of the main standing poses described/illustrated in BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. Not to be missed. Get your spot here.

Wise Woman–SOLD OUT

Saturday October 22, 1 – 5:30pm Email for waitlist.

Ladies Clothing Swapasana

Sunday October 23, 1 – 3pm

Signup not necessary Ladies, please bring your high-quality, no-longer-wanted, clothing, shoes, accessories to SWAP! $5 donation at the door, benefits WEAVE. *Volunteers welcome to help with setup (sneak peeks!), greeting and clean-up* Email us!

Thai MassageComing To: A 4-week Meditation Workshop with Ellen Robinson-Haynes

Wednesdays October 26 – November 16, 7:30-8:30 pm
Mindfulness meditation is a hot topic these days, but how do you create a meaningful and sustainable meditation practice that really works for you? Join veteran meditator Ellen Robinson-Haynes on this four-week exploration of meditation.

200 Hour Teacher Training Information Meeting

We are excited to announce our 200 Hour Teacher Training program beginning January 2017. Join us for an info meeting on Sunday, October 30 at 11:30am. Come ask questions of our TT teachers and past grads. Get the in-person scoop on what TT is and why to do it. Follow your curiosity! RSVP here.
Yoga for Scoliosis with Kim
Sunday, October 30, 1 – 4pm
A 3-hour class for yoga practitioners with scoliosis to support those who want to deepen their awareness and understanding of their bodies and refine the practice to meet their specific and unique needs. Read more and reserve your spot.

Becoming Whole with Catherine

Two Saturdays, November 5 & 12, 1 – 3pm

Becoming Whole is a unique opportunity to come together in an intimate group for a two-session exploration of Self. Based on Carl Jung’s theory of the Inner Shadow, we will be guided through a process that will expand our perception of ourselves and the world around us. Are you ready to explore?

Election Eve Spirit Circle

Monday November 7, 7:30 – 8:30pm FREE

Does this craziness have you longing for positivity? Join us for a round-robin, open mic style vibration-raising on the night before the election. Poetry, music, chanting, meditation, come and share your *peace*, while creating and umbrella of spirit to cover us and transform negativity. Come and co-create this with us!

Feet First with Bella

Sunday November 13, 1 – 4pm

Many foot problems can heal with dynamic intervention: loose, long and strong. Join Bella to learn this pro-active approach: consistent deep release of adhesions in the lower leg; specific fine-tuned stretching; and, eventually, building repetitions of eccentric strength. This is fundamental work that will have a lifetime payoff! Reserve your spot!

Deep & Quiet Yin Series with Alicia

Mondays November 14 – 28, 7:30 – 8:45pm

Yin Yoga is a meditative form of yoga that focuses on connective tissues, rather than muscles, to ease tension and tightness in the body. We can use the poses to investigate and enliven our bodies in ways that counteract modern living. Some experience with Yin is recommended; we will be seeking the Quiet with less instructions. Your spot is waiting here!

Kirtan with Radiant Friend

Thursday November 17, 7 – 8:30pm

Join Radiant Friend for Kirtan, call and response chanting, a practice that unites us with our highest, happiest selves. We will repeat mantras–words, phrases and syllables– to quiet our minds and allow the integration of the meaning of the mantras into our consciousness. No musical experience needed. Sing, listen, dance, recline or meditate to the chants. $10 at the door, no one turned away. Online signup not necessary.

Michelle Marlahan at It's All YogaYoga for Emotional Balance with Michelle

Sunday November 20, 11am – 2pm

We manage so much in a day, from the small transgressions of ordinary interactions to the difficult events and losses that show up in life. The pace and overload of day-to-day living doesn’t offer much time or space for these feelings. This workshop is a safe place to experience emotion in the body, increase awareness of your physical and emotional habits and patterns, and begin to free yourself of those restrictions. Read more about this workshop and sign up here.

Holiday Preview
Home Ec: Aromatherapy for the Holidays Join Jeanne for a FREE one-hour introduction to aromatherapy and leave with a delightful treat! November 27th, 2-4 pm
Contentment: A 3-week Holiday Yoga Series Join Denice for this series on maintaining harmony and contentment (aka your sanity) during the holidays. Thursdays, Dec 1-15, 6 pm
Restorative Yoga to Ease Seasonal Transitions: Fall to Winter Join Alicia for her much-loved seasonal restorative experience. This winter practice will support you in a time of year-end activity. December 10, 2-4 pm
Winter Solstice Special Practice: Restorative Yoga, Massage and Live Chanting Join Catherine and Jeanne for an evening of restorative yoga, massage for hands-on healing, aromatherapy and chanting to delight your senses.  December 21st, 6:30-8:30 pm

  View our website | See the full class schedule

from the vault: graduate interviews

  Why would *I* want to do a “teacher training?”
Yoga Teacher Training with Michelle Marlahan at It's All Yoga, SacramentoYou know when you want to tell a friend about yoga — what it’s done for your life and why you love it so much — and it’s really hard to find the right words that don’t sound trite or Hallmark-ish? (We have that challenge too.) It’s even harder to describe what Yoga Teacher Training is like and why someone might consider doing one — especially if they don’t want to teach. We could say that it’s powerful and enlightening and it will enrich your life beyond what you can imagine. But what does that really mean? If anyone can speak to the experience, it’s going to be a past graduate. See below for a sampling of recent quotes from IAY YTTers from over the years.  Or come to the It’s All Yoga Education Program open house this weekend. I’ll be there with some past grads to share a bit about the programs and answer any questions.
Information Open House 200 and 300 hour Yoga Education this Sunday at 11 am Whether you want to teach or deepen your practice, if you are at all curious, come and listen in

It’s All Yoga YTT Graduate Interviews
Why did you choose teacher training at It’s All Yoga? Tamara (2009):  I was interested in a holistic concept.  A program which would incorporate anatomy, philosophy, play, chanting, chakras, adjustments, alignment theory, and teaching to diverse populations.  It’s All Yoga has all of that. Bella (2013): Michelle’s vision is/was the closest match in Sacramento to my own personal practice style with its focus on alignment and anatomy, abiding curiosity and slow exploration.  All this AND an appreciation for the big picture of yoga…the world beyond asana. What did you expect to get out of the program? Gina (2012): Honestly, I wanted to be a better, stronger, wiser practitioner. I wanted to be better at my inversions and the “advanced” poses. Tami (2009): I expected to get a better understanding of the history and philosophy of yoga. I expected to get a better understanding of how the poses work. I expected to get an idea of how it all works together. Bob (2009): I recognized the spiritual value of yoga, and wanted to delve into its depths.  I wanted to fill a void that was in my life. What did you actually get? Jeanne (2013): My expectations were met, and then some. I gained a community of loving, intelligent, curious, spiritual, funny and inspirational people. I learned how to teach a yoga class that is suitable and fun for all bodies.  I learned what it feels like to speak authentically and from the heart. I honed my skill of listening and being present in relationship.  I learned to love myself more – all of my characters, my dark and my light.  I gained clarity on deep-seated fears, which have enabled great achievements, while limiting the expression of my Truth. Cara (2013): A deep understanding that most of the practice of Yoga is what happens off the mat but that it’s important to get on the mat, too. I learned that what happens internally while we’re on our mats is the actual practice of yoga–the energetic flow, the way we talk to ourselves, how we learn from our own bodies, how there are as many ways to make a shape with our bodies as there are bodies. I learned how to facilitate a class that could be accessible to anyone–props and instructions that are inclusive and molds the practice to the students rather than the students expected to contort into shapes that might not work for their bodies. That the real work is internal–asana, emotions, thoughts, sensations, beliefs. I learned more than I thought I’d learn about anatomy. I also made friends and learned immeasurably from my cohort. I had no idea about the potential for the community of learning that happens when we were all together. Oh, and we laughed a lot together. 🙂 Leili (2010): Deep change. It planted the seed for me to better connect with others, and myself. How did teacher training at IAY change your yoga? Your life? Gina: It made it a part of my everyday life. It made Yoga a part of my thoughts, decisions, actions. It shined a light on what makes sense to me in life and took away (well, still work in progress) the things that distract me from me. If you are speaking of asana, I think I did accomplish what I originally wanted…”better, stronger, wiser”. I think it is it hard not to be when you practice daily. In life? I think Yoga and life are one of the same to me now. I practice everyday on and off the mat. Constant learning in motion. Jeanne: While I had benefitted greatly from a yoga asana practice, I did not realize how many different ways I could “do yoga”: meditation, walking, singing, swimming, loving, being in community.  IAY TT opened my awareness around how accessible yoga can be for me and others in my life.  Before IAY TT I had difficulty maintaining a regular seated meditation and now it is a daily affair.  Through meditation I have been able to gain more clarity around my thought patterns, thereby reducing my anxious tendencies.  I have a greater awareness of my emotional states and am able to embrace the waves with more grace and acceptance. Candace (2010): IAY TT completely shifted my perspective on what a “yoga practice” is. It’s not just about showing up to class and moving my body through postures stated by a teacher, it’s about being present in the moment, in this body, in this breath, in this life really; in short it taught me presence.  TT has helped me to be a better mother, sister, friend, etc…I am more patient, more compassionate, a better listener and this happens both on and off the mat.  These qualities were not things that I had experienced under other teachers. Bob: More than just the YTT, Michelle has changed my life.  We each have a handful of people in our lives that have been a significant influence — parents, a favorite teacher, a coach, a boss, and close friends.  Without a doubt, Michelle has been one of the top five major influences in my life.  Even now, I am inspired.  I will eternally be grateful. Were there any unexpected effects of you IAY TT experience? Jeanne: I thought I had a strong grasp of anatomy and alignment of postures, but I realized that there is so much juicy information to glean.  It was like quenching the thirst of my fascination of the human body.  My  love of poetry was rekindled and I realized how it can be a meditation. Candace: I realized I was a much more spiritual person and had been missing that aspect in my life until I experienced TT. What did IAY TT help open the door for? Tamara: This training has allowed me to diversify my teaching into a prosperous career that includes teaching at a school, a mental health facility, private sessions, and studios. Without the scope of information offered by the It’s All Yoga training staff, I may have been limited to just teaching in studios or health clubs. Jeanne:  IAY TT blasted my life wide open – I had been asking for certain changes in my life but I did not know where to begin. I was crippled by fear of the unknown and fear of others’ and my own judgements. I was living a very “comfortable” lifestyle, and the thought of making a drastic change created a lot of internal friction. While the ultimate “BIG” change happened 2 years later, it was process of awakening to my Truth that started in TT, and now I have devoted my life totally to Yoga and its transformative healing capacity. What still stands out for you about your TT? Leili: There are so many themes and lessons from IAY TT that are ever present in my life: noticing patterns of duality; looking for ease; identifying my emotions; using dialogue techniques with others. Jeanne: Meditate daily.  Community support.  I am my own best teacher. Do you recommend It’s All Yoga’s Teacher Training? Jeanne: YES YES YES.  The experience changed my life.  Michelle’s experience and style of leadership and teaching is permissive, nurturing and enlightening.  The structure of the training allowed me to weave it into my life, which was so important because I did not want the experience to be separate. Cara: The time, money, and effort were 100% worth it! I would recommend this program to anyone. Maybe especially to people who have taken other teacher trainings before. After talking with a variety of yoga teachers about their own training, I think it’s rare to receive this kind of wholehearted and well-rounded training. This program is about YOU, and you are what you have to offer to your students. You are why people will come to class rather than watching a yoga video at home. An investment like this in you will benefit yourself and also anyone who learns from you. Gina: I recommend 110%. Words can’t describe the presence, warmth and education Michelle has. Her passion for Yoga is contagious and you want to learn more and more.  She is a diamond in the rough. Even if being a teacher isn’t your goal, TT is so much more than that. “Self discovery therapy session”, the kind you want to put your money towards. Was your time, money, effort “worth it”? Worth it?! It damn near created my life as I stand today! Worth every penny and minute. Um…I did start IAY 300 TT just 6 months after I completed IAY 200 TT. Excited to say the least. Thanks Michelle! Bella: Absolutely.

What is asana

An asana is a container for investigation, purification and play.

This past weekend in teacher training, we approached the question, What is asana?

The first answers covered the translation from Sanskrit: pose, posture, seat.

But as the conversation continued, the ideas got more interesting: mobility with breath, unravelling and putting back together, expansiveness of why, mindful movement (or non movement), self discovery.

These broader ideas challenged some to think beyond the tangible shape of the pose and brought up more questions — why do asana? what isn’t asana? is it asana without intention?

The discussion was rich like chocolate cake.

This is what we do in teacher training — we expose our assumptions, learn from one another and explore seeing life as practice. Oh, and yes, we talk about the poses (like in the photo where we’re looking at the underside of Sethyne’s dog), anatomy and philosophy, too! If you want to connect more deeply your practice or you hear the call to teach, join us this Sunday at 11 am for an information meeting about the 200 hour training that starts in January. If you’re at all curious, this is the time to talk to past grads and ask questions.

So what about you? You come to class or you do poses at home…and for what purpose? What does it mean to you? Does it go beyond the physical alignment? If so, how? What happens there? (I’d love to hear.)

And if you’re on board with asana being about more than structured shapes, check out Bella’s Tending Your Moving Body workshop on Saturday. You get a massage, a stretch, a dance and a free CD of tunes!

Thank you for being here!

ps – The leading quote about asana is my definition as of today… but ask me tomorrow, because it will be different!

Don’t Diagnose Me

We can use Yoga to know ourselves more deeply.

Have you ever had a yoga teacher diagnose you? Tell you you had a certain condition or injury…. or better yet, tell you what you need to do in order to be fixed? Unfortunately I see and hear this happen often. I personally got a dose of it last year when I injured my shoulder (not in yoga) and was told by different teachers that I had a labrum tear, a torn rotator cuff, an overly tight chest muscle, an overly tight back shoulder muscle, and frozen shoulder. Did I have any of those things? I don’t know. I chose to let it play out for a defined timeframe, I got the support I needed, took care of it in the ways that seemed best to me and it gradually healed.  All of those teachers were well meaning. But I could have chased my tail following protocol for any of those injuries. I also could have aggravated the condition I did have by acting on it as something else.  I left a workshop this afternoon with a well-known teacher who told the room of 31 yoga teachers, “Everyone in this room has deficient hamstrings and you all need to contract and lift them more for your practice to go anywhere.” Those are big, sweeping statements. Yoga teachers are required to have a certain number of hours of anatomy training, but there’s a lot to know about the body! Without specialized training, we are not qualified to give definitive medical advice. Look for your teacher to offer ideas or possibilities or their own experience with an issue, but avoid — and certainly don’t ask for — absolute answers. (There’s also something here about giving away our own experience and wanting someone else to give us solutions.) I speak for the 100+ years of cumulative teaching experience at IAY: Our teachers are among the most educated and skilled that I have practiced with anywhere. And we still won’t diagnose you. Yours in practice, Michelle   Upcoming workshops at It's All Yoga Teacher Training at It's All Yoga starts January 2015 Costa Rica Yoga Retreat with Michelle Marlahan in February 2015