No Shave Yoga Event – #yogabeardsunite ~ Ascending the Mountain with David Miliotis

Day 8 – No Shave Yoga Event – #yogabeardsunite ~ Ascending the Mountain with David Miliotis  
Today David Miliotis taught a workshop at Native Yoga called Ascending the Mountain. In essence we took a detailed exploration of back bending by practicing some of the asana of the Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga combined with sanskrit mantra recitation and pranayama practice.

David presents the application of breath, movement and visual attention in a way that you feel like you are not just practicing some random sequence of movement. He encourages you to bring every ounce of your attention into the precision of total awareness. Yet at the same time it felt very fluid and it helped to shake off some of the apprehension that appears when the body struggles with the challenge of the practice. I feel that I noticed how much my mind gets in the way of staying present and that somehow through the practice session I was able to chip away at that agitation and replace it with focussed care.

The analogy of Ascending the Mountain feels very apropos for this type of work. Symbolically speaking the mountain we are all ascending is an internal adventure that requires diligence and consistency. I remember the first time I went on a relatively serious mountain climbing expedition with some friends in Northern California. They were all very experienced and I was a novice, being from Florida and all, and I went into not even realizing how demanding it was going to be physically and mentally. What a humbling experience to say the least. When we finally reached the top the view was so spectacular and the senses seemed so clean and clear that the sense of accomplishment overrode the pain my body was feeling from carrying a way to heavy pack high up into thin air. What came as an even greater shock was that coming down seemed more challenging than going up. I came away from that experience thoroughly transformed and quite a bit more careful about agreeing to go mountain climbing without proper preparation.

Deep back bending is very much a similar experience. Proper preparation is absolutely necessary to ensure the safety of the practitioner. Through serious work, attention toward the goal, and persistent application over a long period of time we gradually make our way toward the vista of feeling freedom in our body and mind. Like the old adage says, its about the journey, not the destination. 

As we make our way into the second week of the No Shave Yoga Event it is important not to loose focus on our goal. Our goal is to help raise awareness about our plight, to help inspire a greater sense of health in the community. An additional application of this goal is to help raise funds for those suffering through cancer now. Please help us achieve our goal and donate today.

 No Shave Yoga Event is a group of yoga teachers who have banded together to help spread the word, grow hairy, raise money and inspire health through the practice of yoga. Our fundraising team is called Yoga Beards Unite and we aim to raise at least $1500 by the end of November. Please help us achieve our goal by donating to our team page at When you post on social media please tag us to show your support and share your story to help us in our endeavor. Together we can make a difference! @adampolhemusyoga @brianmilleryoga @davidmiliotis @gregnardi @juankgalan @nativeyoga @willduprey

Day 7 – No Shave Yoga Event – Yoga with David Miliotis

Yoga with David Miliotis

This weekend Native Yoga is hosting Ashtanga Yogi, David Miliotis, for a series of workshops and practice sessions. David is originally from coastal Los Angeles and he now resides in Orange County, California. He flew here for a return visit to Native Yoga Center and we feel really lucky to have him here.
I originally met David in Mysore, India practicing at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Center in 2004. I was set up next to him one morning and I was so inspired by his practice that I immediately afterward introduced myself to him. I learned then that he was living in Santa Barbara and that he was teaching Mysore practice there. I remember thinking that he seemed really down to earth and I appreciated the time he took to speak with me. 

Fast forward 10 years and a friend in South Florida reintroduced us and we invited him to come and teach here at Native last year. It was such a treat to have his perspective and skill at our studio that we are honored to have him return this weekend. 
During last nights class he took us through the Primary Series in a really fun and engaging manner. One thing that is obvious when practicing with David is that he has cultivated an impeccable connection with breath, bandha and drishti. He has the ability to verbally communicate the elements of internal anatomy in a practical fashion which produces a deep sense of connection between the breath and the perception of the mind. He also has a great ability to connect with the students and give pointers for all levels to help the engagement process. I really enjoyed the practice immensely.

Today we return for a session at 12-3pm titled Setting the Foundation: Breathing, Bandhas & the Niyamas and tomorrow, Sunday at 12-3pm for a workshop called Ascending the Mountain: Backbends from Primary into Intermediate.
David is a member of our team #yogabeardsunite and we are working together to raise money for during the month of November. Get inspiration from David by checking out website at and on Facebook at 

David Swenson coming to Native Yoga Center


David Swenson coming to Native Yoga Center

Come and practice with Ashtanga Yoga legend, David Swenson, at Native Yoga Center in Juno Beach, Florida during the weekend of February 14-16, 2014. Visit for details. There are still just a few spaces left.

David is an incredible Yogi! My first introduction to Ashtanga yoga was with his Primary Series VHS some 14 years ago. I will never forget my reaction to seeing his opening demonstration on that video for the first time. My mind was completely boggled as I had never seen someone demonstrate so much talent in yoga before. That moment completely altered my yoga practice and I began to practice at home while watching his instruction. I can hardly believe he is now going to be at our studio! This is sure to be a memorable experience. We can’t wait!!!!