Tag Archives: health

Yoga Alliance, A Peaceful Hustle

Yoga Alliance Has Received
$7,445,600 in Application Fees + Charges Teachers & Trainers an Additional $7,509,840 Every Year

In September 2019, Yoga Alliance had 7,748 registered yoga schools.

  • At $400 per school, Yoga Alliance has charged teacher trainers $3,099,200 for paper processing.
  • At $240 per year, Yoga Alliance receives $1,859,520 annually from teacher trainers.

Yoga Alliance has 86,928 registered yoga teachers.

  • Yoga Alliance charges teachers $50 in application fees and $50 in “upgrade” fees. Therefore, many teachers will have paid more than $50 in paper processing fees over their lifetime. But at only one charge of $50 each, that’s $4,346,400 paid by teachers for paper processing.
  • Yoga Alliance charges teachers $65 annual dues resulting in an additinal $5,650,320 in annual revenue from teachers.

Yoga Alliance has received $7,445,600 in application fees and charges teachers and trainers $7,509,840 every year. This does not includeany other ways the organization may make money off its list of teachers and trainers.

The following screenshots are from the Yoga Alliance web site search results for registered yoga schools and teachers, September 27th, 2019.

Basic Facts

  1. Yoga Alliance does not certify yoga teachers nor does it provide accreditation of trainers or training schools. Yoga Alliance does not assess or certify teaching competency. It provides a registry, which is a list.
  2. Neither teachers nor trainers are required to be registered with Yoga Alliance or any other organization.
  3. Teaching and studio insurance may be obtained without Yoga Alliance (or any other) registration.

Registration is Not Accreditation or Certification


  • Accreditation = the action of officially recognizing someone as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity, or the acknowledgement of a  person’s responsibility for or achievement of something
  • Certified = officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards
  • Registered = entered or recorded on an official list or directory

Yoga Alliance is a Registry

Yoga Alliance does not certify yoga teachers nor does it provide accreditation of trainers or training schools.

The YA registry amounts to a digital rubber stamp or paid advertising. – J. Brown

  • Yoga Alliance is a registration service.
  • A registration is an “official list or directory.” Registration does not mean “approved,” “certified” or “accredited.”
  • In the case of RYS (registered yoga school), a trainer completes an application and submits a fee. If the application is accepted, the trainer may use a YA logo, receive group discounts on some purchases, and access video workshops.
  • Trainers are required to pay $240 annually and re-apply every three years.


  1. Yoga Alliance has come to be known in the public eye as a standard bearer for yoga teachers in the United States – in effect, a stamp of legitimacy.
  2. However, from 1999 to 2019, Yoga Alliance registered teachers without actually requiring knowledge or competency standards.
  3. The new standards announced to take effect February 2020 will not be measured or enforced by Yoga Alliance. Rather, Yoga Alliance charges trainers with responsibility for teacher competency while offering little in the way of resources or support to do so. Instead, they require a burdensome application process with demanding documentation requirements, fees and processing time.


  1. It’s a verifiable fact that being on the Yoga Alliance registry has no relationship to teaching competency. Any value provided by the list must therefore be in perceived legitimacy and market value. We must presume that legitimacy and market value is based on a misperception that Yoga Alliance “certifies” teachers and that Yoga Alliance recognition has some relationship to teaching competency or professionalism.
  2. The Yoga Alliance registry categorizes all teachers by a few “levels” based entirely on hours accounted through Yoga Alliance bureaucracy. This hours-based model is a shameful misrepresentation of actual teaching competency which is unrelated to the bureaucratic requirements. As such, teachers with few skills are represented in the Yoga Alliance registry as being on par with far more capable, even elite, teachers.
  3. The knowledge of highly qualified teachers is unrecognized within the Yoga Alliance system. These teachers are instead burdened with an hours-based bureaucracy that depletes their time and finances that presumably could be used in legitimate pursuits of study and teaching.
  4. Teachers and continuing ed providers who have received such “credentials” as RYT and E-RYT have been less impacted by the Yoga Alliance burdens than those who apply to be on the trainer registry (RYS) which incurs much greater fees and paperwork requirements.

Moving Forward: Your Options

  1. Consider whether you wish to perpetuate the false narrative that Yoga Alliance registry is in any way related to competency or legitimacy. In other words, every time an organization states that they or their teachers are “certified by,” “accredited with” or “approved by” Yoga Alliance, they are perpetuating a myth.
  2. Be aware that you are not required to register with Yoga Alliance and that you have alternatives.

Alternatives to Yoga Alliance registration include:

  1. Participate in existing certification programs such as Iyengar, Ashtanga or International Association of Yoga Therapists.
  2. Highlight your roots and education such as the Krishnamacharya lineage, Kripalu or Para Yoga-trained and so on.
  3. Create your own certification process. In other words, if you teach ABC Method, you can certify that your teachers are qualified to teach the ABC Method.
  4. Develop or choose alternative registration services.
  5. A volunteer board is discussing ideas for moving forward. If you would like to participate, please email Coleman.
  6. Due to the advisement and request of trainers, Yoga Teacher Central will launch an accreditation service  on Nov 1st as one option for trainers to choose from.

For more information on Yoga Alliance alternatives, see:

Registration, Certification, Accreditation: Why You Don’t Need to Pay the Yoga Alliance Fees

Source – BYTA FB Group

Malcolm X Park x Bali Daisha

Washington DC … my friend Daisha made note that I’m in Dc quite often these days. It’s a nice in between place before getting to New York! In about a week Daisha will be flying off to Bali for a 6 month yoga teacher training. Im excited for her to start a brand new adventure. Traveling let’s us see life from a different space. We had to link up once more before she goes and it happened to be a drum circle popping off at Malcolm X park. The energy was high and the circle instantly brought back memories of Central Park drum circles I would go to years ago.

It was great to seeing those I rock with the most as usual! It took us 5 minutes to setup the camera for these lil shots so appreciate it! The people walking up the steps watched us fumbling around with iPhone cameras and negro rigged tripods had a laugh. We made plans to link up on that side of the world once our planets align!

Giant Golden Buddha

I’ve been thinking and getting more encouragement to begin sharing some of the good stories I have in the book of life. Many of them experiences everyone can relate to and some not so relatable one of a kind. I think I will be doing a podcast “Introducing the Cube” and I want to start the first episode talking about that one time my friend Jenny surprised me by bringing me inside a temple in China town that I’ve walked past every day after eating a handful of mushrooms. I like the way the audio sounds on iPhone so I may wing it from the good ol X for now but either way be on the look out for the cubes.

Digestion vs Metabolism

Written by Tamara Duker Freuman

One of the misperceptions I frequently encounter is a false assumption that the rate of one’s digestive processes implies something about the rate of one’s metabolism. In other words, we are inclined to assume that just because the corn we ate at lunch shows up in our poop before bed, we must have a “fast metabolism.”

In fact, however, digestion and metabolism are wholly separate processes, governed by multiple different—albeit sometimes overlapping—influences.

To start, some definitions: Digestion refers to how the body processes food in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and eliminates food waste via the intestines. Metabolism refers to how the cells utilize the energy we have absorbed from food during digestion.

The rate of one’s digestive process is generally measured in terms of “whole gut” transit time: how long it takes for food matter (or its residue) to make it from the mouth all the way to the end of the colon. There are some general ranges of what’s considered “normal” at each stage of the process. When food matter travels from the mouth to the colon faster than the norm—a phenomenon which tends to result in loose stools, diarrhea, or brightly-colored (green, yellow) poops—it can be said that one has “rapid transit.”

There are several factors that influence transit time: diet composition, exercise, functional disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and metabolic disorders like thyroid dysfunction or diabetes.

Diets high in insoluble fiber—found, for example, in bran, leafy veggies, seeds, and fruit and veggie skins—can speed up digestive transit. Diets that contain a relatively higher amount of soluble fiber—found in oats, barley, chia seeds, root veggies, and the flesh of pectin-rich fruits like apples—can slow down digestive transit.

The rate of one’s metabolism is measured in terms of calories (energy) expended over a specified period of time—usually a day—to conduct all of the body’s necessary functions while at rest. Your metabolic rate is similarly governed by a host of factors. Age, sex, height, weight, body composition (amount of fat mass vs. muscle mass), presence of fever, and levels of various hormone levels—including thyroid and stress hormones—are all factors in determining the resting metabolic rate.

Vigorous exercise can increase the resting metabolic rate for a window of time even after the physical activity has ceased. Starvation and malnutrition can dampen the metabolic rate. To date, very few dietary components have been shown to measurably speed up metabolism; among those that have been cited—like caffeine, green tea, and capsaicin—the effect has been miniscule and short-lived.

Fiber, a dietary component that speeds up transit time specifically in the colon, is often credited with speeding up the metabolism; in fact, it does no such thing. As described above, fiber only speeds up colonic transit time—it does not influence the rate at which our body’s cells utilize food energy. Similarly, taking laxatives to help you go to the bathroom does not speed up the metabolism such that you’d burn more calories than normal.

Why so much confusion between these two distinct bodily processes? There are at least two reasons:

First is the misunderstood phenomenon of the post-meal poop.

In response to the stimulus of your stomach stretching during a meal, an involuntary wave of motion (called peristalsis) happens in the colon to propel food waste forward, essentially to make room for whatever’s about to come down the pipeline. This normal phenomenon is called the “gastro-colic reflex,” and it can be particularly strong in the morning or after a large meal (or richer restaurant meal). It often results in a person having to go to the bathroom soon after a meal—and in some cases during the meal; this is particularly the case in the morning due to additional triggers like morning hormone levels and coffee intake. For some people, the resulting bowel movement can be loose or urgent, and this often leads them to believe that what they just ate “ran right through” them. In other words, the timing of the poop leads people to falsely conclude that the food they just ate was processed and metabolized within minutes—and expelled immediately. In reality, however, what’s coming out is not that same food that just went in! No one’s digestive process is that fast!

Second is the coincidence of certain metabolic disorders and GI symptoms.

One of the many symptoms of a metabolic disorder can be a change in transit time. For example, people with hyperthyroidism—an overactive thyroid gland—will have both an increased metabolic rate and be prone to hyper-motility of the gut. This is a fancy way of saying that they will poop a lot more often than normal, and the stool may be loose or watery as the result of too-speedy transit.

People with hypothyroidism—an underactive thyroid gland—may likewise be prone to constipation. People with diabetes—a metabolic condition that adversely affects how dietary sugar is absorbed by cells into usable energy—are prone to developing a sluggish rate of digestive transit as the result of damage to the nerves that control stomach emptying. In these cases, digestive transit time is indeed an indication of one’s metabolic state of affairs. But these cases are the exception, not the rule.

In the absence of such metabolic disorders, a healthy person with a so-called “fast metabolism”—who burns a lot of calories while at rest—could be constipated or have a slow digestive transit time. Conversely, someone with a so-called “slow metabolism”—who requires very few calories to maintain his or her body’s basic functioning at rest—can poop multiple times per day or suffer from chronic diarrhea as the result of poor diet or IBS.

Whether you’re grappling with your weight or struggling to normalize your bowel function (or both), it can be helpful to understand the different factors that influence each of these separate areas and avoid misinterpreting the clues your body offers.

If you’re concerned that a possible metabolic disorder could be causing you trouble in both departments, your doctor can evaluate that risk with simple blood tests and refer you to an endocrinologist if needed.

Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN, is a NYC-based registered dietitian whose clinical practice specializes in digestive disorders, Celiac Disease, and food intolerances. Her personal blog, www.tamaraduker.com, focuses on healthy eating and gluten-free living.

7 Conscious Altering Herbs

Herbs and plants are an integral part of the life that exists on our planet on every level.  Plants are our food, our medicine, and are also catalysts to the expansion of our consciousness.  Throughout our daily lives we are more likely to coast by using our automated behaviors and modes to experience our reality, but at night those boundaries are broken down and our spirits fly.  These 7 plant allies can stimulate our consciousness to expand opening us to alternate experiences of reality and new ways of perceiving our selves and surroundings;

ayurvedic plants that make you high


1- Xhosa Dream Root – Vivid and Prophetic Dreams
Silene Capensis, or Xhosa Dream root is most associated with the Xhosa people of South Africa who are knows to ingest this herb to induce vivid and prophetic dreams.  This herb is often used by the Xhosa in the initiation rites of shamans and is believed to open up pathways of communication to ones ancestors. It is believed that the ancestors are most likely to communicate in the dream state.  The root is ground into a powder which is mixed with water and drunk in the morning on an empty stomach.  The effects are apparently slow to be induced and will take effect by the nighttime.  According to entheology.com, “The effects of S. capensis usually manifest during sleep as prophetic lucid dream states that are rich with significance.  Individuals do not usually perceive any effects in the waking state, although one individual did report perceiving wavy lines of light in the air about twenty minutes after consuming the root.  The dream state is often compared to going under water by the Xhosa.  Interestingly enough, it is said that the plant has no effects on individuals who are not meant to be diviners.
(Image Source: Silene Capensis)
2- Celastrus Paniculatus – The Elixir of Life
This amazing herb is not only known to promote the incidence of lucid dreaming and dream recollection for those who take it, but has often been called the ‘intellect tree’ because of its long history of use in ayurvedic medicine as an herb to help with mental focus, longevity, and memory.  Users have reported that by adding 10-15 Celastrus paniculatus seeds into their daily regimen, they notice a marked improvement in cognitive function, ability to focus, and sharpness.
(Image Source: Celastrus-Paniculatus)
 3- Blue Lotus – Mind Body Spirit Herb
Blue Lotus was among the most sacred of plants to ancient Egyptins. It grew throughout Egypt where its consciousness-enhancing properties were well known and taken advantage of.  The Blue Lotus was associated with the origins of life and the divine perspective.  According to iamshaman.com the plant was used in Egypt to stimulate the sex drive and, “Egyptian medicinal practitioners also used this flower to stimulate blood flow, and as an anti-aging treatment.  The ancients worshipped Blue Lotus as a visionary plant and it was the symol for the origins of life.  When this flower was soaked in water or wine, and then ingested it acted as an intoxicant.”  Considered very sacred, the Blue Lotus was used to reach euphoric states of visionary consciousness.
(Image Source: Blue Lotus)
4- Wild Asparagus Root – Fly by Night
Wild Asparagus root, according to some old legends throughout Asia, allows the consciousness to fly during sleep.  Journeying into other dimensions and places while asleep are common associations with this adaptogenic herb.  Adaptogenic herbs help the body better adapt themselves to stresses that they face. This herb is also a respiratory and kidney tonic, helping to heal the body while letting the mind soar.
(Image Source: Asparagus Root)
5- African Dream Bean – Master Spirit Connections
Growing along the coasts of Madagascar, Southern Africa, Australia, and Asia, this common bean is used in a wide variety of ways by an array of people groups throughout the world.  Its uses vary from a skin treatment to a food given to teething babies to relieve pain.  However this bean’s most well-known and interesting use is its traditional use in South Africa to induce intense lucid-dreaming states in which a person is able to communicate with the spirit realm.  For its consciousness-altering properties, the meat inside the bean is eaten.
(Image Source: Dream Bean)
6- Mexican Tarragon – Grow a Garden of Herbs for Dreaming
Mexican Tarragon is commonly grown in gardens and used as an herb for flavoring in cooking. Also known as Mexican Marigold, its flowers are associated with Dia De Los Muertos celebrations and observances.  The herb can be used in a variety of ways to induce lucid dreaming from burning as incense, smoking before bedtime, or infused in water as a tea.
(Image Source:  Mexican Tarragon)
7- Mugwort – A Versatile Dreaming Herb
 Throughout the ages Mugwort has been a widely used herb in Europe associated with treating digestive or parasitic troubles and as a dream herb.  Mugwort, like Mexican Tarragon, can be smoked, burned as an incense, or drunk as a tea.  Mugwort is known to also stimulate lucid and meaningful dreams.  It can also cause things deep in the subconscious to be exposed during dream-time.
(Image Source: Mugwort Leaf)
Main Image Source: Juan Carlos Taminchi
This list originally appeared on quantumstones.com by Stephanie Lucas

Why chant Om?

Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. Coming from Hinduism and Yoga, the mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power but despite this, it is a mantra that can be recited by anyone. It’s both a sound and a symbol rich in meaning and depth and when pronounced correctly it is actually AUM.
Aum actually consists of four syllables: A, U, M, and the silent syllable.
The first syllable is A, pronounced as a prolonged “awe.” The sound starts at the back of your throat and you stretch it out. You will start feeling your solar plexus and chest vibrating.
The second syllable is U, pronounced as a prolonged “oo,” with the sound gradually rolling forward along your upper palate. You’ll feel your throat vibrate.
The third syllable is M, pronounced as a prolonged “mmmm” with your front teeth gently touching. You will now start to feel the top of your vibrate.
The last syllable is the deep silence of the Infinite. As intelligence rises from the deep silence, you have to merge your chant from the ‘M’ to the deep silence.
Symbolically the three letters embody the divine energy (Shakti) and it’s 3 main characteristics: (1) creation, (2) preservation and (3) liberation.
Why do we chant it?
Everything in the universe is pulsating and vibrating – nothing is really standing still! The sound Om, when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same vibrational frequency found throughout everything in nature.
As such AUM is the basic sound of the universe; so by chanting it we are symbolically and physically tuning in to that sound and acknowledging our connection to all other living beings, nature and the universe.
Read the full article at Mind Body Green 

Nutritional Value of Octopus

Octopus, like nearly all seafood, is lean and low in calories. A 3-ounce serving of octopus has less than 150 calories and more than 25 grams of protein. Octopus is naturally low in fat, but it is high in cholesterol, which can be harmful if you consume too much. This type of seafood is full of several key nutrients, including trace minerals and vitamin B-12. Keep your serving of octopus healthy by opting for healthy low-fat cooking methods to avoid adding excessive fat and calories.

Fat and Cholesterol

One 3-ounce serving of octopus provides less than 2 grams of total fat — including less than .5 gram from saturated fat. This harmful fat increases low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol in your blood, upping your overall risk of heart disease. Saturated fat should make up less than 7 percent of your total calories. Since fats have 9 calories per gram, you can have up to 22 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet. The remaining fat grams should come from good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats, also called MUFAs and PUFAs, regulate blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Octopus also contains cholesterol. While cholesterol is not a fat, it can boost your risk of heart disease, just like saturated fat, when you consume too much. Keep your total intake of cholesterol to under 200 milligrams per day to keep your heart healthy, explains the Cleveland Clinic. This serving of octopus has more than 80 milligrams of cholesterol.


Octopus is naturally high in iron, providing all of the necessary iron for men and nearly half of the recommended amount for women. Iron is a trace mineral, meaning you only need small amounts each day. This mineral is a carrier of oxygen and transports oxygen to cells, tissues and vital organs. Iron also plays a role in cell growth. Men need 8 milligrams of daily iron, while women require 18 milligrams. One 3-ounce portion of octopus offers more than 8 milligrams.


Octopus provides more than your daily recommended amount of selenium. This trace mineral plays a role in protein metabolism during digestion. Selenium also acts as an antioxidant by ridding your body of damaging free radicals. When free radicals scavenge through your system, they feed on healthy cells and increase your risk of chronic disease. Antioxidants, like selenium, protect cells by neutralizing free radicals. You need 55 micrograms of daily selenium, the Linus Pauling Institute reports. One 3-ounce serving of octopus contains about 75 micrograms.

Vitamin B-12

Octopus exceeds your daily requirement of vitamin B-12. This vitamin is essential for metabolism, creating new red blood cells and supporting everyday brain functions. You need 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 each day, says the Office of Dietary Supplements. Having a 3-ounce serving of octopus for dinner offers more than 30 micrograms. There are no adverse effects from consuming too much B-12, because your body excretes excess amounts through urine.

Cooking Tips

Thoroughly clean octopus before cooking it. Remove inedible parts such as eyes, beak, tentacles, intestines and ink sac. Thoroughly wash octopus to remove any sand particles. Your butcher can clean it for you if you are unsure about which parts to remove. Avoid unhealthy cooking methods, such as frying or sauteing in butter, to keep your fat and calorie intake to a minimum. Instead, use nonstick cooking spray to keep your cut of octopus from sticking to the grill or saute pan. Nonstick cooking spray does not have fat or calories. Grilling octopus adds a rich, smoky flavor that pairs well with grilled asparagus or squash. Another alternative is to saute octopus chunks and simmer them in seafood stock. Add onions, leeks and bay leaves to your pan and season the mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dish with fresh lemon juice before serving. These cooking methods keep your serving of octopus light and healthy.


Source: HealthyEating 

Why do we Yawn?

For that you’ll first have to understand what happens when we breathe. Normally, when you breathe in, you inhale oxygen and your body uses it up. The body makes a waste product called as carbon dioxide that is exhaled from the lungs when you breathe out. 

When you are sleepy, bored or tired, you breathe more slowly. Your body requires oxygen and needs to throw out the carbon dioxide. So, your brain makes you take an extra breath, which is deep and long called a yawn, so that you can take in more of oxygen and give out carbon dioxide fully. 

Why does alcohol work?

When you drink alcohol, roughly 20% is absorbed straight from your stomach into your bloodstream. The other 80% is taken up from your small intestine. This explains why eating before you drink can slow down the effects of alcohol, if your tummy is full of food, it’s harder for the alcohol to end up by the stomach walls, where it can be absorbed. It’s also why drinking on an empty stomach can have such a speedy effect, 20% of the alcohol gets STRAIGHT into your bloodstream, and straight to work.

And how DOES it work? Well, in short it tries to sloooooow your brain down. Nerve cells in your brain, and indeed in your arms and legs and everywhere else you’ve got nerves, pass messages along themselves via action potentials. However, action potentials can’t simply leap from one nerve cell to another, when they reach the end of a nerve cell they need a go-between. These go-betweens, these molecular messengers, are neurotransmitters.  When an action potential arrives at the end of the nerve, the synapse, this triggers a flood of neurotransmitter molecules to be released, like a hoard of tiny very very efficient postmen, delivering messages to the nearby nerve cells. 

When alcohol is in your brain, it sneakily PRETENDS to be a postman; it binds to the receptors that usually receive messages from neurotransmitters. Broadly speaking, if it binds to a receptor that usually receives exciting messages and gets motivated and gets things done, then it inhibits it; it blocks the getting-things-done messages. If it binds to a receptor that usually slows things down, however, it simply encourages it to slow things down even further. Alcohol just wants your brain to live life at a slower pace.

Read The Full Article  here How Alcohol Effects Work