Full Time Yoga!

Private Yoga Lessons

I am now teaching more yoga and had to drop my job at Whole Foods, so that I could open up even more time for teaching yoga. I am taking new private yoga clients or personal training clients. My yoga teaching is very influenced by my Crossfit training. I am interested in helping you find stable positions and teaching functional movement. I care about finding full range of motion, but not about extreme flexibility. I want to bring mindfulness to your movement patterns so that you begin to bring yoga into the way you stand up, sit down, walk, and pick up your cat.

Let me know if you would like to train with me! I am also looking to add about three more group yoga classes to my schedule per week, so if you are a studio owner needing a teacher, let me know.

Upcoming Workshops:

Let Your Feet Take Flight– July 30th – Inversion workshop at Be Love Jenks

Anti-Gravity Yoga – August 20th – Inversion workshop at Tulsa YogaQuest

I love teaching headstand & handstand and anything upside down! I’ve taught quite a few inversion workshops and seen many students safely perform inversions for the first time. I keep learning more from acro yoga teachers and my Crossfit gymnastics certification, so I’m excited to share with you.

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New yoga stuff woohoo :)

Be Love Yoga Studio is opening another studio in Broken Arrow! The new studio is on Garnett and 71st, and it opens the first week of September.  My new classes at Be Love BA will be on Tuesday at 530pm and 7pm, and also beginner acroyoga on Saturdays at 1:30.

I will sadly be leaving the Meltdown Fitness team in order to add classes at Be Love BA. It has been great at Meltdown, and I found a wonderful teacher to replace me there. Valerie Nilson is just moved to Tulsa from Colorado and I think she will be a great fit at Meltdown.

More new things: I teach yoga and coach crossfit at 918 Crossfit, and we are going to add acroyoga to the mix there! I’m going to teach acro on Thursdays at 7:30pm starting in September. Andrew Silks, acroyogi & professional ballet dancer will be teaching with me when available, and possibly other experienced acroyogis too sometimes.

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Competing for the Animals with PlantBuilt


I am a member of the PlantBuilt Vegan Muscle team. We are a group of athletes from around the world who meet up to compete at the Naturally Fit Games in Austin, Texas. I am on the team as a Crossfit athlete, and we also have bodybuilders, powerlifters, and kettlebell competitors. Our purpose is to spread the message that you can be a strong & competitive athlete on a compassionate, vegan diet. No animals need to be harmed for optimal health and fitness! We care about spreading compassionate & ethical treatment of animals, and we donate to animal sanctuaries and vegan outreach organizations. Check out the video about what we do and support our team by sharing the link and donating! igg.me/at/plantbuilt

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The Rhetoric and Poetics of Yoga: What it’s like to teach yoga as an English Major

I have a degree in English. Now I am a yoga teacher. And yes, I am using my degree.
Teaching yoga feels like verbal creation of shapes using the medium of peoples bodies.
That sounds weird, But that’s what it’s like. I speak and postures come into being.
At the beginning of the Bible, God created the world by speaking it into existence. The words of God create worlds. My words also have the power to create. I reflect the divine creator and express divine creativity every time I open my mouth to teach. Where there was no yoga postures in a person’s life, now they have yoga, they are yoga; they are manifesting it in their bodies and breath, and it’s because of my words. I have taught yoga classes with words alone, without demonstrating anything; the words of a yoga teacher can be more powerful than demonstration or adjustment. Putting the words together in the right sequence, rhythm, and energy takes practice. It’s an art.
My goal is to speak in such a way that my commands reach past the thinking mind and straight into the bodies, so that there is an immediate correspondence between speech and action. Our goal is to speak our knowledge of the potential asana into actuality. We as teachers know the asana, we can see it in our mind, we can feel it in our own bodies, but the hardest part of teaching is to create it with our words for other people. Imagine teaching a blind person. I approach language with appropriate attention to clarity and detail.
Though my role as teacher is important, a yoga class is not all about me or my powers of verbal creation; it’s a collaboration. The practice belongs to the students. My voice is a guide, an invitation, a force of creative prana, but the practice belongs to the students. I am a participant; I have a role in the room, and I must take up that space and fill it, but I also must remember that each asana I speak will be created by the body of my student, and each one will be their own expression. In a group yoga class there is space for both unity and individuality. The word “yoga” means “union” and we experience yoga as we practice together in a group, and my voice is a unifying guide, working to bring our breath and bodies into syc with each other. But also, no two people will look alike in an asana. My voice guides my students into alignment, but alignment is unique to each student. The union of yoga is not uniform, but diverse.
A yoga teacher is a poet, a guide, “who only has at heart your getting lost,” who can direct you “back out of all this now too much for us” (Frost, “Directive”). I studied in college the rules of poetry and practiced writing it and I think that has made me a better teacher of yoga. Poetry, when I write it, is not so much an emotional outlet, but more of an artful construction of sounds. The sounds, when arranged well, create words and rhythms and rhymes. The words form images, or perhaps ideas, and then suddenly, somehow, it means something more than its composite pieces. The rules and terminology of poetry improves my use of language in my yoga classes, and also, my experience writing poetry informs how I structure my posture sequences.
Simply knowing the rules and terminology surrounding the sounds of language improves my awareness of my speech and the effect it will produce in a class. I notice the accents and duration, the syntax and symmetry, the subtle rhymes, and the effect of different sounds. One of the main reasons I don’t often use Sanskrit, is because the rhythm is unfamiliar to me, and the sounds of the words are different, that it throws off the balance in the rest of my English phrasing. Some teachers use Sanskrit beautifully, but for me, I find that it cuts down on the other things I could say, and want to say, in English. Sometime, I want to write a yoga class in iambic pentameter or blank verse and teach it that way, and see how it goes, and what effect it has.
Onto how poetry helps me structure the actual posture sequences: When learning to write poetry, my teacher made us try all kinds of poems and rhyme schemes: the sonnet, the haiku, quatrain, couplets, etc. Only once we had practiced with syllabic restraints and rhyme schemes were we able to have any measurable success with breaking the rules creatively or writing free verse. You have to understand structure before you can make your own structure. I learned yoga teaching the same way. At Purple Yoga we learned one particular sequence, and practiced teaching that sequence over and over again. We studied the details of each posture in that sequence, and practiced identifying proper and improper alignment, and the appropriate adjustments. We learned the reasons for the order of the postures and how the pieces fit together. By learning this way we began to understand the underlying principles of creating a well balanced yoga class that leaves your body and mind feeling good. Studying that sequence was like studying a sonnet. It’s very structured. It has two main parts and a point it’s making. It has a rhyme scheme and syllabic restraints. It’s hard to write. But, if you know all the pieces really well, it gets easier every time you fill in that structure with words. Same thing with a yoga class. I understand the structure of a balanced class, so I fill it in with postures to fit. As I have progressed as a teacher, just like in poetry class, I make creative decisions to break the set structure or play around with the arrangement to create to make something new and different, but still balanced, still beautiful. Teaching the sequence I learned in teacher training is like reciting a sonnet. The Bikram sequence and the Ashtanga sequences are like sonnets. Vinyasa flow is more like free verse. It makes use of the rules and rhythms but there’s no syllabic restraint, no particular rhyme scheme. There is an artfulness and balance that comes from proficiency in the sonnet-yoga, and also freedom to make each class something new for that moment. Sometimes I make new sonnet yoga classes out of the structures I know, and sometimes I make free verse yoga classes that play on themes and principles that I’ve learned from the sonnet-yoga.
When it comes to language and teaching yoga, there’s one more thing I’ve got to mention: grammar! Clarity is key, and good grammar is the key to clarity. Well, good grammar combined with simplicity, is the key to clarity. It is much better to say, “reach your arms up,” than “reaching skyward through your fingertips,” which isn’t even a complete sentence. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of present participles mucking up a yoga class with adverbial phrases pretending to be complete sentences. Stop with the “ing” verbs, and give a simple, direct, commands. I make mistakes in class too, so I hope that with more practice I will get better at taking my own advice.
When I chose English as my major in college, I had no idea I would end up a yoga teacher. It feels weird telling people I studied English and now I am a yoga teacher. It feels like admitting all that money on college was wasted, or maybe my college educated brains are being wasted. But neither of those things are true. I studied English and it makes me good at what I do, and I love what I do, and that’s that!

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Updated schedule!

Now that I’ve moved to Tulsa, my schedule has changed again!

I now only teach one group class a week in Bartlesville: Mondays at 5:30 pm at Vibe Women’s Fitness.

I will continue to teach workshops in Bartlesville every now and then, so find me on facebook to keep up with the event invites. facebook.com/lindsay.g.morgan

Karen Taylor is now teaching the MW 11:30 am class at Tri County Technology Center.

Tulsa group Yoga class schedule:
Tuesday 8am at 918 Crossfit
Wednesday 5:30 pm at Be Love Yoga Studio
Thursday 7:30pm at 918 Crossfit (between 2/25 and 3/25 it will be on Weds at 730 instead due to the Crossfit Open)

I also teach private lessons in Bartlesville and Tulsa. Send me an email if you are interested in coming to class or taking private lessons! Thanks!

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Schedule Change!

I’m moving to Tulsa! I will be back in Bville to teach and do private lessons a couple times a week. My yoga schedule in Bartlesville is changing beginning on January 19th. Here’s my new class times:

Monday 5:30 pm at Vibe Women’s Fitness

Monday and Wednesday at 11:30 am at Tri County Tech

At Vibe, welcome Karen Taylor as a new yoga instructor! She will be taking over Tues/Thurs at 7:30 am, and Saturdays at 8am. Tues/Thurs night will be cancelled.

If you are interested in yoga and these times do not work for you, send me an email, and we can find a time for a private lesson. lindsay.g.morgan@gmail.com

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Yoga at DCC Cancelled!

I’m cancelling Thursday night 5pm yoga at Disciples Christian Church for the month of December. in January I will start that class up again, maybe at a different day/time.  This is a free beginner class open to the public, so if you are looking to start yoga in the new year, this will be a good one to come to! Check back with me in January for the new day and time. If you have been coming to my classes or would like to, give me suggestions for a class time that would be good for you!



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More on the Appetite: A Healthy Soul

More on the Appetite: A Healthy Soul

In a previous post I brought up the appetite, and I ended thinking that much more should be said. Well, really, much more has been said already, and not by me, but by really smart philosophers. So I am going to say again what other smarter people have already said. Because it’s important. Because before you can start changing your life/habits/waistline/health, you have to understand what you are. If you fail to observe and understand yourself, you will medicate your symptoms, but never change the root of the issue.

I am going to expand on what I mentioned about the soul in my other post. Plato wrote a dialogue called the Republic that asks the question, “What is Justice?” Yes this is a yoga blog, and yes I am talking about justice. It’s relevant, I promise. In the dialogue, characters discuss a just city and a just person; if we can understand justice on a large scale in a city, then that will help us understand justice in an individual. If you want to know what Plato writes about the city, go read it yourself; I am going to focus on the just soul. What makes a person just? Like I mentioned in my previous post, there are three main parts to the soul according to Plato’s dialogue: the appetitive, the will/heart, and the mind/spirit.

The appetitive part of the soul keeps us grounded in our physical needs. Just like any animal, we have to eat, protect ourselves from weather and predators, and reproduce. Our appetite is our desire for these basic animal needs. Our appetite for these things is good and necessary. But the thing is, we are not just any animal. Our soul is different. We have two more parts that the animals do not have.

The will or the heart sets us apart. It is this part of the soul that contains human emotion that moves us to act. We don’t just act out of basic needs like the animals do we? You can see this in yourself. We act and make choices because we love, because we hate, because something moves us with its beauty or goodness, or because we want to achieve something great and meaningful.

The third part of the soul is the mind or spirit. In Plato’s dialogue, the mind is not just the brain and firing synapses, the mind is spiritual. It reaches into the unseen realm of logic and God. We think, consider ideas, make judgements, we ask questions about existence, we can comprehend invisible things such as mathematics, we reason, discern truth and error, create metaphysics, and ponder the divine. The mind is our most elevated part, the most godlike part of our soul that is least tied to outward earthly things.

Now that we have the anatomy of the soul in mind, back to the question: what is Justice? Justice is a rightly ordered soul. A just person has all three parts of the soul working together in an orderly way. The mind is on top, ruling the other two. The heart moves us to action according to what the mind has ruled. The appetite desires its due needs in accordance with what the mind and heart have ruled. If the three parts are working together ruled by the mind, you have a just person who acts with wisdom, virtue and moderation.

Not many of us have the parts of our soul ordered rightly. Examine yourself and you will see. I am sure you have been or have met a person who seems to have only one of the three parts. In our culture the appetite usually takes front and center. We spend our lives wanting more and more material stuff, food, and sex, manipulated by advertising that perpetuates the feeling of need, need, need. We reach out our hands in every direction, grabbing for as much as possible as fast as possible. We become manipulative or violent so our appetite can be satisfied. We think we have to have it, whatever it is, because our appetite is ruling.

The appetitive life backfires on us. It’s not good for us to live like that. We all know it, our doctors tell us, religion tells us, our favorite health blogs tells us. Yet somehow we just can’t stop, we can’t control ourselves.

If you are looking to live a healthier life, start by learning how to live a just life. Cultivate your godlike reasoning mind, and your courageous sensitive heart. Explore and exercise those parts of your soul, and maybe your mind and will could become strong enough to control your appetite. A healthy soul lives a healthy life.

I promised earlier that this concept of the soul relates to yoga. Here’s how: the practice of yoga can be a tool for self reflection. Just like you look in a mirror and it shows you the truth of what you look like, we need to look in a mirror that tells us the truth of who we are. Yoga practice can be that mirror. Your time on the mat can reveal the order or disorder of your soul. It’s not just an exercise for the body, but an exercise for your mind and will too. During your yoga practice, pay attention to the thoughts, feelings and desires that go through your mind. As you are holding warrior two for what seems like forever, what does that challenge make you feel? Does your appetite cry out, “that’s enough, time for a rest and some pizza?” If it does, keep going anyway. Yoga class is the time to practice yoking the appetite into it’s proper place. Yoga class can strengthen your mind and your heart, if you pay attention. Build inner strength on the mat, and you can bring it to the rest of your life as well. As you practice, you may discover that getting your soul lined up justly is a daunting task; it may slip out of order every few seconds no matter how hard you try. The balance of the soul is more precarious than Downward Facing Tree pose (handstand), so the goal isn’t perfection, just insight and self-knowledge, and maybe the strength to cut back on pizza.

More on the goal of yoga here.

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The Meaning of Yoga: You are Not Alone on Your Mat

The word “yoga” comes from a sanskrit word meaning to yoke, bind, or find union. In my group classes I focus primarily on union of body and mind. Practicing yoga strengthens you, challenges your mental endurance, and improves your mind-body connection for better body awareness and coordination. Greater unity of mind and body is definitely a worthy reason to practice yoga, but there is also more to the meaning of the word. In Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar writes, “It also means union, or communion. It is the true union of our will with the will of God.” It’s not just a workout.

Yoga sometimes appears as a path to find spirituality or God; some people think of it as a set of guidelines and disciplines to follow in order to achieve oneness with God or enlightenment.

But that isn’t true.

No amount of meditation will bring you to God. No amount of asanas will bring you to God. Following the yamas and niyamas perfectly will not bring you to God.

Why? Because God is already here.

My yoga practice is a physical expression of a union that is already deeply true. It’s not that I must devote myself to yoga practice & virtuous living with the hopes of finding union with God. Union with God has found me. How did that happen? Jesus. The Jesus written about in the Bible. The embodied God who came to us, died for us, and rose from the dead. Jesus is called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” We don’t have to find a way to God. God came to us. My yoga practice is embodied worship in response to the reality that I have union with God through Jesus Christ. Yoga practice deepens my experience of my true state of being.

In other words, yoga keeps me from living lies.

Yoga cuts through the lie that I’m an autonomous individual ticking off the days til death competing for survival and success. There’s more to life than Darwinism. There are things more certain than death and taxes. Jesus rose from the dead and there’s no tax in his Kingdom. It sounds like a fairy tale, and it is. And it’s also true. God’s universe is more like a fairy tale than an essay on natural selection.

Yoga practice also dispels another lie, one I already mentioned: the lie that if only I am good enough I will find union with God. Every time I come to the mat, what do I face? Imperfection. Imbalance. Laziness. Lack of focus. Weakness. Pain. Mortality. Enlightenment? Ha! Enlightenment seems a long way off when you are toppling out of dancer’s pose and slinging your sweat on your neighbor. I’m reminded by experience not to think too highly of myself. Every day, I’m reminded that I’m no powerful divine goddess blessing the universe with my existence. And that’s okay! That would be a lot of pressure anyway. If I had to follow some code, achieve perfection, or master mindfulness to get to God, it would never happen. I practice yoga out of thankfulness that it doesn’t work that way. Unity with God is a relationship, not an achievement.

Some come to yoga for just a workout, and like it that way. That’s perfectly fine. It is a workout, but there’s more, if you look for it. I don’t always talk about the spiritual when I teach yoga, but I’m always operating within a universe where God is present. When you come honestly to the mat, and pay attention to truth of your being and body in the moment, you may find that God is right there too.

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More than Appetite: In Line for the Hunger Games


I originally wrote this post after the first Hunger Games movie, but since Catching Fire is still fresh in my mind, I came back to this and decided to share it here on my new blog. When the first Hunger Games movie came out I was visiting my friend Elizabeth in San Francisco and we went to see it together. Elizabeth is  the kind of friend who will dig with you into every question of life and the universe while you are waiting in line for tickets. Appropriately, while in line for the Hunger Games, we ended up discussing the Appetite. We delved into health, diet, vegetarians, vegans, yelp, and how you end up eating what you eat, and what makes you desire what you desire. Instead of writing up some thoughts in a linear point by point fashion, I give you the spirit of the dialogue between me (Lindsay) and my friend Elizabeth. I confess that it’s not actually about the Hunger Games; it’s about human Hunger.

Elizabeth: I was sick as hell puking for days because I listened to Yelp. Yelp is like a religion to guide  your life by in SF. Everybody’s into it. Everybody on Yelp told me I should eat at this place. It just goes to show that what is good for other people may not be good for you. You should follow what your gut tells you to eat, not what Yelp says you should eat. I am deleting my profile.

Lindsay: The only time I’ve used Yelp was when I was managing a business’ page at a former job. I mostly go to restaurants because I hear of good vegan ones from other vegan friends.

Elizabeth: I keep wondering if I will end up vegan. I have been vegetarian for a while just because not eating meat feels good for my body. I just love the way I feel. I keep wanting more and more fresh vegetables and fruits.

Lindsay: I became vegan over a process that lasted a few months. My appetite slowly changed. First I was vegetarian for about a year, then I started slowly phasing dairy products out. Oh yeah, that was after that one experimental vegan month which I called F— the Food Industry February. I tried veganism for a month, then went back to eating some dairy. Then I slowly removed dairy products out of my daily habits over the course of a few months. During that time I kept learning more and more about the abusive, exploitative, and insanitary practices of the current factory farm industry, and I lost my appetite for animal products. I can’t support that stuff with my grocery money. And I couldn’t take in that kind of poison once I knew.

Elizabeth: I am afraid of becoming vegan, because I might not be able to go back if I need to, like if I live in a different country with different food culture. I don’t want to lose my ability to digest lactose. But I just don’t find myself having an appetite for milk. It just doesn’t taste good. I know I feel better without it. Maybe I will just follow my gut eventually though.

Lindsay: For me it wasn’t just about what felt good, or what my appetite drove me toward. It was the fact that animals and people and the earth are being exploited. My appetite followed the conviction. I couldn’t choose what I knew was bad.

Elizabeth: The external- someone telling me that this is bad- is never very compelling to actually make me change. For me it has to be more internal. If we change our souls and our appetites, the external abuses in the world I think will also be changed.

Lindsay: That seems true, but I think its good to learn the truth of what is going in the food industry, at the same time that your own desires are changing for the good internally.

Elizabeth: I just want the good. Lindsay, I’m convicted now. I can’t just be driven by my appetite, even if my appetite happens to reach for the good at the moment. It might change, and then I might be driven by my appetite to what’s not good. A slave to the appetite. It has to be a choice, doesn’t it? I know what is good. I want the power to choose it. Not because my appetite drives me to it, but just because it is good.

Lindsay: Yeah, you don’t want to have the Raging Beast within, like Plato talks about in the Republic. Humans are more than just appetite. We have three parts to our soul: mind, heart, appetite. The appetite should be ruled by our heart and our mind. If the appetite rules instead we become the raging beast. Or, for another way to look at it, it’s like the 7 Chakra system. If you are ruled by the solar plexus chakra, you become a selfish violent person who uses power to get their base needs and sexual desires. If the chakras corresponding to the heart, voice, mind and spiritual union are lined up, you will be guided by love or spirituality or something instead of driven by food/sex/power lust.

Elizabeth: Yes, I don’t want to eat salad just because my appetite is naturally inclined to salad right now. I want to see the salad, know it is good, and choose it. And enjoy it. Because that’s what’s awesome: what is good, feels good and tastes good. If anyone ate healthy like I have been for a month, they wouldn’t want to go back to the Standard American Diet. The appetite will eventually be in alignment with the choice of the mind and will for the good.

Lindsay: Let’s write a dieting book on controlling the appetite, Elizabeth. We can call it, The Hunger Games Within.

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