Spring Reset

Recently, one of my good friends (Kellen Brandel ) began a 30-day detox. Or as he phrases it— “a 30-day journey of spiritual cleansing”. And it inspired me.

This reset is about replacing negative habits with positive practices for personal progression.

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Instagram: @theworld.is.a.book

 

It’s time for a mental, physical, and spiritual reset.

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Meditating via Lovingkindness Guided Meditation by Tara Brach

The reset is simple. Every single day for the next 30 days I’ll focus on hitting these three marks:

  • Drink a gallon of water
  • Sweat
  • Eat something green

Additionally I am going to follow a somewhat edited version of the tenants of Kellen’s detox:IMG_7054.JPG

  •  wake up with the sun
  • begin each day with at least 5 minute meditation and a few sun salutations
  • cook at least one meal per day
  • abstain from drinking alcohol
  • spend zero dollars per day (except on food/beverage)
  • practice yoga every day for at least an hour
  •  walk outside
  • keep a gratitude journal

I’ll chronicle the struggles and successes that I come across along the way.

Anyone want to join?

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Cherry Blossoms in Portland

Adventure Yoga with AirBnb

Want to take an adventure?

Need a release?

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a distant retreat.

Take a few hours for yourself, in your own beautiful backyard—

Nature is therapy. It’s time to take advantage of why we came to the Pacific Northwest.

Let’s get back to our roots. Unplug, reconnect.

Join Tatiana for Adventure Yoga PDX today.

 

Connect with Tatiana: 

tatianatomichyoga.com

tatiana.s.tomich@ gmail . com

Precision Wellness

A Look at Precision Medicine
and the Idea of Precision Wellness

BIO5 Institute and Collaboration

For the first few years following my college graduation, I have had the privilege of working for a notable bioscience research institute on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, AZ.

The BIO5 Institute  is collaborative (and that is what makes it special). There’s about 200+ researchers from fields ranging from five over-arching categories. General science, engineering, medicine, pharmacy, and agriculture. They all work in large lab areas where they are able to walk a few feet and talk with researchers who are working on completely different projects, often in a completely different field.

But that’s the magic. It’s something that isn’t often done. Usually researchers stay in their labs at their various respective corners of campus.

Not at the BIO5 Institute. It’s an open, colorful facility for the sole purpose of bringing researchers together. And, when you put them together, naturally information is shared. Ideas sprout. Projects develop. Research evolves.

I’ve given tours of the facility to scholars from all over the world and the one thing that they are amazed about is always the level of collaboration. The free flow of information. (The caliber of the research, technology, and the scientists is usually complimented as well.)

Working in this environment was inspiring to say the least. Sometimes I would walk into the office bathroom and find a toothbrush— evidence that a dedicated researcher had indeed been there all night. That level of passion is, if not infectious, certainly interesting.

There’s many members that I could go into a story about. Each one has an incredible cause and reason for why they are embarking on their particular endeavors in research.

However, there is one realm that I’ve found to be particularly fascinating:

Precision Medicine

I was able to personally meet our member Dr. Yves A. Lussier * when I was put on an assignment with our photographer to take head shots. Lussier was exceptionally warm and as we shot photos in his office, he gave us a glimpse into one of his current projects. He pointed to various highlighted areas on his computer depicting brightly colored DNA strands, and with his Canadian French accent, gently tried to explain to us the intricate and complex concept of precision medicine.

It was a glimpse, but that was all I needed. Since the visit, I have paid close attention to all research pertaining to the words, “precision medicine”.

pre·ci·sion med·i·cine
noun
 
  1. medical care designed to optimize efficiency or therapeutic benefit for particular groups of patients, especially by using genetic or molecular profiling.

Precision medicine is (relatively) new in the realm of health and science.

Rather than working off of a generalized health plan pertaining to the particular diagnoses for the patient—precision medicine is a very personalized health plan or prescription given to an individual or small specialized group of patients. By very personalized, I am not simply talking a detailed run through on the clipboard. I’m talking about genetics.

 

As part of the Precision Medicine Initiative announced by the President in 2015, there has been an influx of funding to projects classified under this umbrella. You can read more about the initiative here.

Or here: allofus-inforgraphic-20161117

The University of Arizona has benefitted from that funding. In my opinion, it’s a great thing and it’s important. To truly harness the power behind understanding genetics, genomes, etc. we must not only have the world-class researchers and physicians, but also the technology, data, access to large-scale data networks, AND collaboration with other researchers throughout the globe. (All of which takes big $$).

Through my own research, time, and understanding— precision medicine has become something that I truly support. With the amount of knowledge, technology, and brilliant minds that we have behind these initiatives, I can foresee an entirely different future of healthcare.

Someday a diagnosis of diabetes, cancer, or even Alzheimer’s may no longer be a life-altering or life-threatening news.

And that is pretty damn cool.

Precision and Personalized Wellness

As a yoga teacher, and someone who navigates the public health realm, I’ve been playing with the idea of precision wellness.

I am currently a huge proponent of holistic health and have been studying, experimenting, and practicing alternative, preventative, and curative natural therapies for years.

(If you’re interested in learning more about holistic wellness, I highly recommend the work of  Dr. Andrew Weil , who has been dubbed the “father of integrative medicine” of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He was my introduction to this realm, however there many, many wonderful pioneers working in integrative medicine.)

The idea of precision wellness is comparable to that of precision medicine. Every single individual can create a lifestyle that is conducive to their own precision wellness plan. This plan can be created by looking at genes, of course, understanding family history of disease—both physical and mental— and by looking at environmental factors affecting the individual.

(I have been experimenting with my own personalized precision wellness plan, which I will detail in a later blog.

I will be exploring precision wellness deeper in 2017, as I can see that the traditional techniques of the east will blend beautifully with the new technology of the west. If you or someone you know is a geneticist, or studying any discipline that could be applied, please reach out! (Again, it’s all about collaboration.))

In time, I can envision a society where we thrive in great health because each person is fully aware of their own intricately unique physical and mental attributes — strengths and limitations.

 I can envision a society where we thrive in great health because each person is fully aware of their own intricately unique physical and mental biological attributes.

With that self-awareness comes understanding. When we understand our own biology, (even if it isn’t to the genetic level) the ability to take our health and healthcare into our own hands becomes possible.

~

If you are interested in learning more about experimentation with my own personalized wellness plan, or if you would simply like more information on any of the topics discussed above—

please contact Tatiana. 

ttomich@bio5.org | tatiana.s.tomich@gmail.com

 

__________

*More Info on Dr. Lussier

Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI

(Associate Vice President for Health Sciences and Chief Knowledge Officer. Executive Director, Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics

University of Arizona Health Sciences)

If you’re interested in reading more about how precision medicine, genomics, and big data align and Dr. Lussier align click here.

“At the UA, he is leading efforts to fully develop novel programs in biomedical informatics, computational genomics and precision health. Dr. Lussier provides critical leadership in efforts to advance precision health approaches to health outcomes and healthcare delivery and in the development of big data analytical tools and resource services in support of the University’s clinical research and service missions.”

Twitter: @LussierY

tatiYoga

Why TatiYoga?

As a preface, one could read this article from the Himalayan Yoga Institute on modern yoga “styles”. If not, here’s an excerpt:

“The biggest misconception about (yoga styles) is the belief that any one style is authentic yoga. It is not.

Yoga styles are a rather modern invention and didn’t exist some 50 years ago.

In traditional yoga we only ever had lineages and schools of yoga, so a student or disciple would approach a teacher to learn from him/her and stick to that teacher for the rest of his/her life. It was a highly individualized approach in which a teacher would tailor the practices according to the student’s needs and abilities. Sometimes the teacher would refuse to accept a student and if the student was persistent s/he would have to undergo a series of tests before being accepted by the teacher. But those were different times. Those were the times when yoga styles didn’t exist.”

However today many people in America DO seek different “styles” of yoga. So, it was time to attempt to define my teaching “style”.

(Obviously my name is Tatiana, but I’m not so narcissistic that this is the only reason for calling my style tatiYoga!)

Tati is also a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is the language used by ancient yogis.

तति tati f. ceremony

(Sanscrit Dictionary)

As with all words from dead languages, “tati” can be translated in multiple ways. This is the translation that I’ve chosen because it best fits what I aim to provide for my students through yoga class.

The word “yoga” also has many translations, however, this is one of my favorites:

 

योग yoga m. union

 

So, tatiYoga is movement aimed to create ceremonious union between the practitioner and his or herself.

“It is like a great musician becoming one with his instrument and the music that comes from it. Then the yogi stands in his own nature and realizes his self, and the parts of the soul within himself.” (Iyengar, 22)

Lineage is also important to me. I did my first 200-hour teacher training with Darren Rhodes at YogaOasis (Tucson, Ariz.) and the style that was taught was mainly hatha. But, it was heavily inspired by YogaHour. Learn more about YogaHour here. It was the first style of yoga that helped me become healthy and fit during my college years. YogaHour is the foundation of all my current teaching methods.

tatiYoga is always changing and evolving, but the fundamentals remain the same.

Breath work, body awareness practices, and exercises all infused with intention and intuition.

 

…So  that’s why I call it tatiYoga. Don’t hesitate to contact you have any questions or are interested in a consultation with Tatiana

(… And yea. Also, my childhood nickname was Tati. 🙂 )

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Attempt at astavakrasana at YogaOasis, Tucson, Ariz.

 

Tucson, Ariz. > Portland, OR 2016

7:oo PM | December 9, 2016

Portland, OR — Once upon a time a Millennial, post-grad, yoga teacher moves to Portland…

It’s been difficult for me to write about my move without pulling out clichés. I know this story has likely been told a time or two before.

But, I remind myself that originality comes with every new moment. So onward:

We made it to Portland! After multiple weeks of being nomadic, we have settled into a treehouse in one of those “up-and-coming” neighborhoods in the city.

Portland is just as wild as when I left. (Good job, you’re all still “Keeping Portland Weird”)

I am constantly reminded of why I made this life-altering decision. This city is magic. Every person I’ve met thus far, I would consider a friend. Our home feels like ours. The rain feels needed. (The snow is another story.)

~

They say, “Ask, and you shall receive.” I believe it’s true. If I hadn’t asked for (most) of the help I received along this journey, then I am not sure we would’ve made it.

Really, thank you to every single soul that we came in contact with. Your warmth kept us going.

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

It's really happening. Tucson I love you. 💋❤️🌵☺️✨🙏🏼
Uhaul, Tucson, Arizona
Flagstaff dates today made my heart so happy.  Grateful for life long friendships with soul sisters #demiraeyoga @sastatham . If I missed you this time, don't worry I'll be back soon. #yoga #yogateacher #yogafam #igyoga #yogaeverydamnday #travel #yogagirls #flagstaff #az
Handstands in Flagstaff, Arizona
Hey guys. Look up. Beauty is all around us. #supermoon #supermoon2016 #love #coupleswhotravel #yoga #yogateacher #spreadlove #belove #monlight #nature #environment #fullmoon #moon #texas #yoga #happy
Full Moon, November, 2016
Everything is bigger in Texas. (Especially the L O V E ) Thanks to the entire Texas fam for such a perfect trip 🙏🏼🌵💋. #Texas #love #kisses #Cati #cactus #relationshipgoals #coupleswhotravel #green #barn #smile #spreadlove #lovebig #yogateacher #muscian
Kisses in Kerrville, Texas
I (try) to base all actions on one thing: Love. I am filled with so much gratitude this morning.  For my courageous counterpart, this partner who is everything I could dream for and more. A perfect complement for me. @blakewarr Grateful for every member of my incredible family. ✨🙏🏼. Grateful for all the friends, the members of my worldwide tribe of lovers ❤️❤️🌍🌏🕊✨. All you need is love, love is all you need. 🎶 #love #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #relationshipgoals #yogagirl #brogi #yogaeverywhere #friends #nature #sunshine #gratitude #attitudeofgratitude #spreadlove #belove #bethechange #health #happy #fit #strong #sunsalutations #suryanamaskar #tatiyoga #texas
Texas
I want to spread the love! West Coast tour starts today. Like my Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/TatianaTomichYoga/ Please connect or contact if you have a space you'd like for me to teach a public, donation-based mindful movement class. All major cities all along the West Coast.  #yoga teacher #yoga #tour #westcoast #speadlove #lovetrumpshate #belove #bethechange #move #strong #breathe #peace #dedication #travel #vegas #tatiyoga
Las Vegas, Nevada
"To me, you are ____ Light, sunshine, courage,  inspiration, loyalty, creativity,  joy, dreams. You are a warrior." - Words from my friend, (anonymous) desert goddess 🌵😉😘 . There is someone in Tucson who has been each one of those descriptive words for me at one point or another.  Tucson and Community are now synonymous to me.  Love is still alive. Keep this flame going.  It's time for me to go out into the world to learn more, spread this love.  But, you know I'll be back. 🙏🏼✨🌵🌏✌️❤️💋✨🙏🏼😌🌙☺️ To everyone here, I feel blessed to have met each and every one of you. Namasté🙏🏼🕊 #thisistucson #letters #art #dreams #inspiration #light #spreadlove #bethechange #bethelight #community #friends #yoga #frida #feathers #yogateacher #warmlove #tatiyoga  #fridakahlo #arizona #love #humbled #grateful #thankful PS ( I could only tag 20 people but I love ALL OF YOU) ☺️❤️
Love from Tucson
When all else fails, go back to the basics.  #bread #craft #market #foodie #real
Bread from Time Market, Tucson, Arizona

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Headstands in Boise, Idaho

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 tatiana_tomich Have you ever moved across the country with only love guiding you? (…welcome to my life…) This move from 🌵->🌲 has been a huge test of all the practices that I’ve been teaching over the last few years.

Guys, it’s been a true odyssey. A journey physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

  • But, as I’ve always been taught that it’s important to follow your heart. ❤️To be brave. 💫To live the life I imagined. 🦄
    So… here I go. 🙏🏼✨🕊🕊🕊

Happy Holidays everyone.

Do you have requests for what you’d like read to articles about? Email Tatiana

 

Dear America, From a HSP

Last week I broke down.

It was the morning after the election, and I was exhausted (to say the least). It was my last week in Tucson, a place I’ve lived for the last six+ years. I’d just said goodbye to a community of people who had been my family, my teachers, my students, my friends… my tribe. (Emotional to say the least).

When Mr. Donald J. Trump was elected as president, I was just as shocked as everyone else.

The morning after,  I sat on my yoga mat with my closest friend and my significant other and I cried. And yeah, that’s an understatement. I was pretty much hysterical. I was fearful. I was anxious. I was completely caught off guard and felt betrayed. I felt angry. I felt sad. I felt confused. I felt scared.

I have met and loved many people in this life. When Mr. Trump verbally attacked certain groups of people, he was attacking my friends. He was attacking me. And I took it personally. I do not support sexism, bigotry, racism, hate speech, fear mongering, or negativity of any kind. I believe that the words you speak are what you bring into your life. The more you speak words of hate, the more hate fills your heart.

To that end, I believe the opposite is true as well: When we speak words of love, love fills our hearts.

I sat on my yoga mat that morning, with tears on my face, worry in my heart, and anger in my bones. And I was not alone. There were many who were hurt and betrayed following Election 2016, and rightfully so. We were misled as a country on so many accounts. Both Right and Left have been manipulating us. Every single news source has been biased in some fashion. Trump has spoken words of hate. But, so has Hillary.

In honesty, what I’ve realized in the week that has passed is that everything is going to be okay.

Why? Because love still exists.

I still have faith in love. I have faith in us. In myself. In my friends. In my neighbors. In my community.

I shed tears the morning of November 9, 2016 for every single one of us who was manipulated by the people of power in this country.

Today you will not find tears on my face. You’ll find a smile.

Like so many others, I have been blessed with love. As I cried that morning, my tears were wiped away by my two best friends. Two strong men who remind me that GOOD men do exist. These men have showed me more compassion and love than I can even begin to comprehend. They did not belittle me for being sad. In fact, my significant other held me and told me that I was S T R O N G. And as he held me up in my moment of need, I thought, “We are strong.”

A few years ago I was diagnosed by a very smart doctor as a “Highly Sensitive Person”. I’ve had many labels placed on me my external voices, some true, some not—but this one made sense.

There was a protest at the University of Arizona last night in Tucson, Ariz. and it affected me. Negatively.

I know that there is hurt. I see that there is unrest in people’s hearts. I understand that you want to be heard.

It’s okay to be hurt.

It’s okay to feel.

But, it’s not okay to spread that sadness, fear, anger, hate (call it what you want) to others.

I was sitting a local pizza spot and I watched as they marched by yelling. Some were words of strength, some were words of hate. All of it was conflicted.

There was a child eating next to us with his mother. I listened as he asked his mother what they were saying.

They were saying, “F*** Trump.” And it was difficult for the mother to explain that to her small child.

America, please understand the weight that your words hold. The value of your actions. Every action you make is changing the direction of this country. We are in this together. My friends, my fellow Americans, love is alive. Please, think of our children. Love is infectious, but we can’t love one another if we don’t know how to accept love ourselves.

If you need someone to simple listen, feel free to write to me.

Love and light,

Tatiana

 

 

 

Goodbye Tucson: Continuing The Journey

Six months ago I asked myself a question:

What will become of my life in six months if I commit to practicing each and every premise of Yoga, every day?

Well, I can honestly say that I did NOT practice each premise of yoga every day.

But, I did attempt. And consistently. In truth, I have been on the eight-fold yogic path for quite some time now.

During that time I kept something at the forefront of my mind:

The Bhagavad Gita says:

“Work alone is your privilege, never the fruits thereof. Never let the fruits of action be your motive;and never cease to work. Work in the name of the Lord, abandoning selfish desires. Be not affected by success of failure. This equipoise is called Yoga.”

“Yoga is not for him who gorges too much, nor for him who starves himself. It is not for him who sleeps too much, nor for him who stays awake. By moderation in eating and drinking and in resting, by regulation in working and by concordance in sleeping and waking, Yoga destroys all pain and sorrow.

I learned the important lesson of not expecting anything from the work. And yet, the work speaks for itself.

(Despite the fact that I didn’t live exactly like an ancient yogini) My life has changed since I started making the conscious effort to incorporate these ancient commandments into my life.

One of the overarching gifts that I have received over the last few months is TRUST.

With trust comes courage. And with that courage, I am making a life-changing decision.

I’m moving to Portland, OR.

(I know, I know. Another yoga fanatic moves to Portland. How cliché.Bear with me.)

I have been spent 6+ years living in Tucson and have been a part of the Yoga community for the majority of that time. YogaOasis is my home studio, where I began practicing as an adult and where I was trained. 4th Avenue Yoga is where I developed as a teacher. The UA Campus Rec gave me the opportunity to give back to students at UA (& to teach SUP yoga in the desert!)

There have been countless mentors along the way. Friends who I have watched go from timid teacher-trainees to empowered and inspiring teachers. My own students who have proven to be the main reason why I want to delve deeper as a yoga teacher.

I am humbled by the amount of LOVE and pure support that I have received in this city. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Tucson.

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Bamboo Room, YogaOasis in Tucson

Why Portland?

(As if it needs explanation)

I went Portland in June and fell in love. I felt like my path was illuminated. I have been many places, but this one has been calling me for a very long time.

I’ve been told that Portland is “saturated” with yoga teachers and there is so much “competition”.

I believe that every person who has chosen to teach this practice is already my friend. I look forward to being in a place filled with potential teachers. Future mentors. Gurus. I will be focusing my attention. The aim is to grow and expand as a student, as a teacher, as a citizen of this earth.

Like a journeyman does in any craft, it’s time for me to experience something new.

Connect With Me

If you have come to my classes in Tucson and have yet to connect with me, PLEASE DO.

I want to see each and every one of you again. Think of it like this: Now you have a place to stay when you visit Portland.

Also, if you know someone in Portland who you think I’d vibe with: connect us!

That’s all this life is about folks. Connection.

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Blake and I in Portland

My last classes in Tucson will be in the second week of November.

Love & Light,

Tatiana

Savasana… Say What?

Why We End Yoga Class in Savasana

I used to leave before savasana.

Seriously, I would roll up my yoga mat and leave while everyone was getting comfy for that last, wonderfully therapeutic pose of class.

I was under the belief that savasana was a waste of time and that I needed to skip it in order to complete higher priority items on my to-do list.

How wrong I was.

At this time in my life I was a high-strung journalism student at the University of Arizona who found solace in the rigorous postures that yoga provided, but still hadn’t mastered my distracted, monkey mind. Especially when my body was in stillness.

Not surprisingly, it was during this time that I suffered my first earth-shattering anxiety attack. Not long after that came a full-on breakdown that led me to drop out of college.

I’m writing this now, a few years later, as an Alumna of the University of Arizona Journalism School, and a yoga teacher. Needless to say much has changed between then and now, especially my priorities. Now I wouldn’t dream of walking out before savasana. Here’s why:

What is Savasana? 

Sava: corpse ; asana: pose

Savasana literally translates to “corpse pose”, and is traditionally done at the end of the yoga practice to promote conscious relaxation in order to refresh the body and mind.

B.K.S. Iyengar says, “By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax… Therefore, this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.”

Savasana is a place to integrate the balancing and reviving effects of the previous yoga postures, or asanas. Iyengar advises 15 to 20 minutes spent in stillness to reap full benefits. It can also be used as a place to begin meditative work.

How To Relax In Savasana

Iyengar wasn’t lying—final stillness can truly be one of the most difficult parts of the practice to master.  Luckily, there are a few time tested ways to focus attention and fall into conscious observation of the body.

Mantra: “a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.”

  • The effects of mantra are much like those that come from counting sleep before we fall asleep. It’s an active technique to calm the mind. When you notice your mind wander away from the mantra, simply bring the attention back and begin again. Simple as that.
  • Many mantras are taught in sanskrit, but a mantra doesn’t have to be in sanskrit to work. My own mantra is in English and personalized to me. I often change the mantra that I come to depending on the day, how I’m feeling, and what I’m seeking to bring to fruition in my life. (More on Mantra to come).

Body Scan

  • Taking note of how the body feels—good or bad, sensation or numbness—from the tips of the toes, working up the legs, hips, stomach, to the fingertips, arms, shoulders, face, tongue, past the forehead and all the way up to the top of your head.

Conscious Release

  • This can be done in conjunction with the body scan, it is simply making the conscious effort to relax and release each muscle in the body.

Breath Work /Pranayama 

  • Keep your focused attention on the breath. Notice the place above your upper lip where you can feel your exhales. Acknowledge your chest as it rises and falls. Take these few moments to really feel the subtle effects that every new breath brings to the body.

Physical Effects Of Savasana

  • Decreases heart rate
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Decreases respiration
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Decreases general anxiety
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Increases  energy levels
  • Increases focus, concentration

Savasana And The Brain

When you first settle yourself onto the floor in savasana, your mind may whirl and run for a few minutes until changes begin to take place in your brain. Brain waves change from Beta Waves—or brain waves that are produced when you are conscious and thinking— to Theta and Delta waves—or those that are associated with dreaming, sleep, creativity, and the subconscious.

Savasana And The Nervous System

 

In savasana the nervous system stands to reap real benefits. While reclined and relaxed in savasana, your nervous system shifts to the parasympathetic state. This is the state in which your body can relax fully, opposite of the sympathetic state— in which anxiety levels are high and the body is alert.

During the practice your brain will be sent a host of new neuromuscular information, we take savasana as a reset, to help the brain integrate this new information to the nervous system.

 

A Final Test

 

One way to view savasana is as a final test to check if the asana practice has done its job.

Is your mind calm, quiet, and at rest?

 

… If not, that’s okay. It’s called yoga practice for a reason.  😉

 

(As always, if you have questions on savasana or on any part of this wonderful yoga practice (or anything else) feel free to message me or comment here.)

 

Love & Light,

~Tatiana

 

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Savasana Views at YogaOasis, Tucson, Ariz. 2016