Category Archives: Yoga

What We Were Made For

We’re still alive.

We’ve been given another day


We have something to offer

The world desperately needs who we are and what we love

But, there’s no guarantee we’ll be here to see the sun set tonight

The delicate chaos of reality could just as easily swipe us away

A supernova, a calamity, a drive to the store

There’s no more time to waste

Worrying about what we want to be and how we might get there

There was never time for it to begin with

We are alive.



What do you love?

Sing to it all

Who do you love?

Tell them why and hold them close if you’re able

Sit in the grass and watch the trees sway




Our next breath isn’t guaranteed

You’ve heard this said a million times before, but have you felt it?

Have you seen it unfold into an experience of reality around you?

Can you feel the swirling delicacy of the universe that gives you form?

The impermanence of this world and the unbearable lightness of your anchor here

This has never been a call to fear, it’s always been a call to life

Your blazing soul will never be extinguished, but it has so much to share here, now, with us.

We need you today.

Stop wasting your time on things you don’t care about because they feel safe and understood

Burn with your deepest truth

and if it destroys you, so be it.

That’s what we were made for.

Reflections in the Light – Spooky Canyon

Long ago, a storm ripped a boy’s heart from his chest and shattered it against the Cliffs of Forgetting.

Spooky Canyon Light

The wind scattered the pieces across the multiverse, creating a scavenger hunt out of eternity.

He dove into lifetime after lifetime to find the pieces. Picking up a crystallized splinter here and a glimmering shard there.

He walked many lonely paths through the darkness to remember he must look for reflections in the light.

Dim or bright.

The pieces returned in unexpected moments. Revelations jumped out from around corners he believed to be walls.

Loves were found, acknowledged, and ignored.

The story of each world whispered his steps along the path.

He began to remember how to listen for and see them.

One day, he would hold every piece and ages after that, he’d begin his search anew.

And maybe, somewhere along the slipstream of eternity, he’d realize that nothing had ever been lost, that he had always been whole.

Non-Dual Sandwich Bliss

i love this sandwich more than i love people

As I sit here eating this sandwich, overflowing with happiness, I think about how I would like to eat this sandwich forever.

But it’s not the taste of the medium rare tuna, topped with the perfect mushrooms, and some divine mystery sauce that’s lighting me up.

It’s the flavor of awareness.

Eating this sandwich forever would quickly lead me to get tired of it.

It’s the temporary nature of experience that makes it so sweet. The unique configuration of this moment, and every other.

And, it arises from the inside, the joy comes from the awareness itself.

Why would I wish to always have the experience of the sandwich when that would make me sick of it?

Because I attribute the feeling to the external trigger, not the source of the feeling itself.

That’s the trap for us, confusing the triggers of the experience with the experience of awareness itself.

We want more triggers—more sandwiches—but if we take the time to look at what’s underneath, we don’t need so many triggers to remind us.

The Oasis Cafe in Salt Lake City was busy, and at first I felt assaulted by the experience—especially the loud girl at the next table talking about her business.

But I quickly reminded myself how blessed I was to have the opportunity to eat such a wonderful meal. I imagined myself surrounded by a bubble of light to contain my energy and keep from soaking up everyone else’s. The experience quickly changed from assaulting to wonderful and I started reading The Joyous Cosmology by Alan Watts while I was waiting for my food.

Reading deepened my awareness, helping me remember the truth that nothing is “right” or “wrong”, it’s all just awareness experiencing itself in different flavors.

That the girl talking incessantly about her new business was young and simply excited to be aware, not annoying and loud.

It’s all how I chose to label the experience. She was an expression of the whole and she had a great purpose to serve—even if either of us never knew what it was.

We spend most of our time at odds with the ever-changing nature of our own personal experiences; fighting the space between triggers of happiness, labeling them as painful, boring, or wrong. Fighting against external configurations that don’t have the ultimate say about how we feel.

We forget that eating the sandwich forever, to only do the things that make us happy or joyful all the time, would eventually lead to boredom or suffering. These triggers simply open us up to our full, unbounded experience in the moment. The bliss is already there, you’re just playing like it’s not because the game is more fun that way.

Seeing this and remembering it takes a ridiculous amount of practice because the whole world around us is doing its best to forget its true nature. That every moment is as full and perfect as any other.

That the sandwiches are doorways to an experience that’s always there. We act like it’s not because there would be no game to play if everyone was in on the secret.

So if you’re in on the secret, you really have to work not to be fooled. But the more you work at it, the space between being fooled and remembering gets shorter, because you start to realize that the space between isn’t actually there. That every moment is as full and perfect as the moments you label as the highest in your life.

No matter what you believe, you’re a creature made of particles and the elements of stars who’s dodging comets and global disasters without even knowing it. You’re a part of a civilization that for all of its horrors has also created great beauty. You get to experience a view that will never exist again, in every single moment, and you get to choose how you experience it.

The sandwiches only jog your memory.


Alan Watts—The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are—Book Review

book on the taboo alan watts

Alan Watts–The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are–Book Review

In this book Alan Watts explores the foundations of what it means to exist in disconnected  society and proposes a new viewpoint as part of the solution.

‘We do not need a new religion or a new bible. We need a new experience–a new feeling of what it is to be “I.”‘

So, who are you? What aren’t we supposed to know about who we are?

That you’re it. You’re what the word God tries to express and fails to do in myth and metaphor.

‘But this is because we think of God as the King of the Universe, the Absolute Technocrat who personally and consciously controls every detail of his cosmos–and that is not the kind of God in my story. In fact, it isn’t my story at all, for any student of the history of religions will know that it comes from ancient India, and is the mythical way of explaining the Vedanta philosophy…In the Vedanta philosophy, nothing exists except God. There seem to be other things than God, but only because she is dreaming them up and making them her disguises to play hide-and-seek with herself. The universe of seemingly separate things is therefore only real for a while, not eternally real, for it comes and goes as the Self hides and seeks itself.’

Your experience is simply the universe exploring what it means to be you and the whole of existence is in support of your exploration of free will.

You’re Joseph Campbell’s hero at the center of every journey ever taken—’And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.’

Deep down, you’re an expression of the whole universe; the unfathomable and eternal consciousnesses that lies at the center of every life form and object in existence. And so is everyone else. The people you love and the people you label as evil. We’re all it. You’re just playing that you’re not so that the universe can know what it’s like to wear your personality; to taste the unique flavor of your life and experience; to feel your loves, horrors, victories, defeats, and everything in between.

You’re TS Eliot’s ‘Still point of the turning world.’

You’re the essence that every religion ever imagined has tried to capture through metaphor.

You’re it.

And so is everyone else.

And why does shifting our view and changing our experience of “I” matter?

Because we’re distorting reality with our current view.

 ‘We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean, “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not always sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.

The first result of this illusion is that our attitude to the world “outside” us is largely hostile. We are forever “conquering” nature, space, mountains, deserts, bacteria, and insects instead of learning to cooperate with them in a harmonious order….The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events–that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies–and will end in destroying the very environment we from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends. ‘

At only 160 pages it’s a quick and fascinating read.

Yoga for Guys – Weekly Park City Class Starts Sept. 30th at The Shop

yoga tinman


Can’t touch your toes? Don’t worry about it. It’s actually a secret advantage to learning yoga.

After a series and some workshops, I’m starting a weekly yoga class for guys in Park City from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Shop  on Tuesday, September 30th.

These classes will teach you about yoga philosophy and your anatomy, help you manage stress, get stronger, and increase flexibility.

The class will be for all levels, from total beginners to regular practitioners.

My goal is to share the physical and mental benefits of yoga with you and to take steps into the power of the underlying philosophy and history of the practice (not a dogmatic religion).

Yes, we will Om. But, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. One of the biggest parts of yoga is discerning what works for you and what doesn’t.

The practice of yoga has improved my running, snowboarding, biking and general well-being/health  and I’m excited  to share what I’ve learned.

It’s not magic. It’s self-awareness, patience, hard work, and dedication with a healthy dose of not taking it or yourself too seriously (it’s fun too).

Sound good? Come check it out.


Classes every Tuesday night from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Starting September 30th)

Located at The Shop : 1167 Woodside Ave, Park City, UT 84060

No Membership Contract Required

Yoga Mats Provided

Voluntary Donation Class

  • Recommended $10-$20
  • Encouraged min. $7
  • If you are worried about adding another expense to your life, come to class anyway and talk to me about it afterward. There are opportunities to trade work maintaining the studio for your class fees.

Questions, thoughts, concerns? Click Here to Email Me.

Anusara Elements-250x250-web

The Shop Logo





How to Cure Yogi’s Block

how to cure yogi's block

Teaching yoga is a lot like writing. You write drafts of classes, they have driving themes and a climax. You easily find yourself with yogi’s block just like writer’s block.  The cure is the same.

Stop thinking and start moving. It doesn’t matter if it’s your pen or your right leg.

You want to create a new sequence for your next class on Ishvara Pranidhana, surrender to the divine, or whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

A page in your notebook is plastered with notes about what it means and how it could fit into a practice.

The element this theme associates with is water because surrender isn’t passive, it’s active and powerful. The second chakra and the hips are related to the movement and fluidity of water. Your third chakra relates to the powerful intention of the element in its flow. Ok, good.

Sitting on your mat, it all seems like it should be so simple, but nothing is happening.

You even know what poses and words could glue most of it together. Maybe you even have an apex pose picked out.

So what?

The thought of practicing all this just doesn’t have any glow. After 20 minutes of pranayama (fancy word for breathing), you abandon trying to create a class and focus on what would make you feel good.

Nothing seems remotely interesting.

Well, you’re still sitting there. You can’t think anything into perfection. You have to get started, even with gibberish. No, especially with gibberish.

Stop sitting there and start moving.

Get the mind unstuck by moving the body and the practice will start to unfold. It doesn’t matter what pose you start with and it doesn’t have to mean a damn thing, just move. That’s it. Now, do something else, anything else.

Keep moving.

All of a sudden, you catch yourself smiling. It feels good to move. Maybe, the beginning of your sequence comes to you. Maybe, the theme solidifies.

Maybe, you have to do this again tomorrow.

You won’t know what you’re teaching until you start moving; just like you won’t know what you’re writing until you start typing.

Breathe deeply. Start moving. Keep moving.

In severe cases, this isn’t enough.

When you feel like yoga is pointless and you don’t even know why you bother with it, you need to refresh your batteries.

Go outside and play. Hike up a mountain. Go see a concert. Dance. Read a book. Ride a bike. Watch a movie. Swim in the ocean. Learn something new. Catch up with an old friend. Make a new one.

Sometimes you need to find new inspiration.

No matter what, the cure is to get moving—on or off your mat.

Yoga For Guys in Park City – Flexibility Not Required

yoga tinman

Can’t touch your toes? Don’t worry about it. These yoga classes for guys in Park City will teach you about yoga, help you feel better, get stronger, and increase flexibility.

This 3-class intro series is on Saturdays in April from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  April 12th, 19th, 26th. Classes are at The Shop Yoga Studio, 1167 Woodside Ave, Park City, UT 84060. Each class is $15 (cash) and yoga mats will be provided. No registration required, just show up. Details are below.





Learn About Yoga 

    Feel Better                Get Stronger          Increase Flexibility 


Taught by Cole D. Lehman

Trail Runner                     Computer Jockey                 Snowboarder

Mountain Biker             XC Skier


@ The Shop in Park City

3 Saturdays in April

Sat. April 12 3:00-4:00 p.m.         Sat. April 19 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Sat. April 26 3:00-4:00 p.m.


Yoga Mats Provided

No Registration Required

Classes are $15 Each (Cash)

1167 Woodside Avenue, Park City 

Questions? Click Here to Email Me

The Shop Logo







Flexible Daily Template for an Optimal Life in 2014

Optimal is a flexible and helpful lens to view your life through in 2014.  When you look for formulas that deliver happiness, perfection, enlightenment, etc.  you’re attaching yourself to unattainable things.  They’re unattainable, because every day is different and your optimal state is always changing.  Some days you’re just not going to be happy or you could be sick, and that’s OK, because that’s reality.   Attach yourself to optimal, not perfect.

I have an appreciation for the power of templates and lists.  Not the  rigid, do-it-this-way-every-single-time-in-this-order-no-matter-what-happens-or-the-world-will-explode templates, but templates that outline essential components for success and allow for natural fluctuations.

I created this one for my daily life because I sometimes get caught up in activities and habits that are distracting me from what’s important and ultimately, this makes my life less than optimal.  These are things I can always do to move towards a more favorable state.

  • Drink more water
  • Meditate
  • Practice physical Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Complete work that you’re proud of
  • Interact socially, IRL
  • Learn something new
  • Create something – Write, draw, paint, etc.
  • Play – Read, watch a movie, dance, etc.
  • Take a moment to be grateful for/in awe of life (the fact that we exist at all is really quite amazing)

They don’t ALL have to happen in a single day and they can be combined.  Yoga could be my play and exercise one day, and the work that I’m proud of on another (when I finish a class I’m going to teach).

My favorite thing about templates or lists like these are that you can always add to them, and that practicing just one of these things every day can change your entire world.

Make your own list, and see if it helps you find your daily template for an optimal life.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

What I Learned from My First Bikram Yoga Class

My first and only Bikram Yoga class was an experience that proved invaluable to my practice.

I’d been practicing Anusara Yoga steadily for over a year and I wanted to check out the practice my friend was into.  Since it was such a popular form of Yoga, I was sure to learn something and excited to experience the class. I got there early to deal with the paperwork and get a feel for the space.  The person at the desk was really helpful.  They answered the questions that I had about the class and offered advice for my first experience.  If I could just stay in the room for the whole time, it’d be a success.  No problem.

I walked in to set up and my apprehension about the heat was immediately snuffed out by the smell.  It made me think I had entered the circle of hell where dirty gym clothes go to spend eternity being tortured by lost tube socks.  Why would you want to smell this when you’re breathing deeply?   Ok, fine.  Mind over matter, right?

The sequence started off and I followed along. Playing with the edge of overheating was actually fun and challenging. It was amazing to be able to increase or decrease effort in the body and feel the results so quickly. The main stance was closed down (feet hugging together) and the poses emphasized compression, where I was used to expansion. That wasn’t pleasant.  The teacher kept talking, and talking, and talking… She kept telling us to lock our knees.  That was infuriating.  Hyper-extension of the knees is damaging and students do what they hear, not what you mean.

The first hour went pretty well. I even made myself rest and didn’t do all of the poses.  Right after that, the peak of the class, I overheated, lost my breath, and my nervous system was tired of being poked with a sharp stick(the teacher’s voice).  I tried to get it back under control, but laying there was misery.  So I got up and left the room after 10 minutes of effort.   The suffering seemed unnecessary.  I was done.

There were a few people in the lobby who worked at the studio.  They encouraged me to go back in, and against my better judgement, I did after a few minutes.  I left the room again almost immediately. I bet people were pissed.  I spent the rest of the class talking to a practitioner about Yoga.  He had been an Iyengar student before and he understood some of my concerns with the class.  He explained that ‘lock your knees’ meant lock your knees into proper alignment and sympathized with my inability to maintain my ujjayi breath in class.  I explained my view of Yoga to him and how I didn’t see spending my time in that room as life-affirming and he was with it.  The lady at the desk wasn’t having it though. She told me I needed to ‘fix’  my practice.  I felt like I just received a ‘Come to Jesus’ lashing.

I apologized to the teacher after class and explained myself.  She was stoic and seemed understanding but I also sensed some disdain in her facial expressions as she listened.

I loved the experience even though I disliked a lot of the practice itself. I’m really happy that Bikram Yoga is here for the people that it works for. It’s a very powerful practice and it connects people with the ancient art.  My practice was enhanced by the experience and I don’t feel bad that I chose to feel good instead of continuing to suffer needlessly. What did I learn? A lot.  Most importantly, there is a form of Yoga for everyone and that makes the world a better place.


How to Teach Your First Yoga Class


First, don’t panic. You know how to teach your first Yoga class. You’ve been through enough classes to know the format and your teacher training has given you the skills for this moment.  Step into it.

Here are some of the things that helped me sequence, theme, and teach Vasisthasana for the first time instead of just melting into a puddle.

Remember, It’s Not All About You
You’re  creating this class to serve others. Why do they step onto their mats? What has helped you in the past that you would like to share with others? Connect with those things and use them to make a beautiful offering.

Invite People You Trust
Being comfortable with the people at your first class is vital. Knowing their personalities, levels of practice, and self-awareness lets you focus on the sequence and your language. People who are total x-factors could distract you, but if they show up with friends, don’t let it throw you off. Be happy you have more people to teach, then, find out about the level of their practice and any injuries they may have.

Practice Your Sequence
This is the most important part. Writing down a series of poses and practicing a few isn’t enough. You need to know how the sequence makes you feel and how to explain the basic form of the poses in a few different ways. Go through the whole practice yourself at least once, if not more, and make adjustments. Are the transitions smooth?  Are you working any part of the body too hard?  Does your head feel like it’s going to blow off at any point? Notice these things and make changes and take notes on opportunities to connect with your students.

Get There Early
Taking time to ground before a class is essential for all Yoga teachers. It’s extra-important for your first class.  Get to the space, get comfortable with it, and get grounded. If there is a screaming circular saw 50 yards away, you’ll get the chance to settle into your theme about how attitude defines reality before everyone gets there.

Let It Flow
You have a solid plan burned into your subconscious and your notes beside you. You know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Take a deep breath before starting the class and trust in that knowledge. Then, just let go of our expectations and see how it evolves. It’s not going to go perfectly according to plan, but you’ll be surprised how much more powerful that can be.

Remember that this is your first time teaching a Yoga class. The real learning is about to begin. Be yourself and don’t beat yourself up over being perfect.