Happy Healthy California Yoga

by Monica Øien

Det sies at Chakraene er yogaens musikalske søster. I min reise inn i chakraenes rike var jeg helt nødt til å ta fatt på yogaen igjen. Jeg hadde litt motstand og tenkte at den kunnskapen jeg hadde om yoga holdt – lenge. Men slik ble det altså ikke. Jeg bygger derfor på Teacher Trainingen. Forbausende nok (eller kanskje meant to be) var jeg så heldig å treffe en lærer som også er interessert i rygghelse, anatomi. og filosofi.  Ofte har jeg kjedet meg når jeg repeterer ørten solhilsener i yoga og jeg kan ikke melde inn en hjertefylt interesse om å ha funnet «utfordringen». Men sammen med Ryan Besler og med chakraskolen hos Lani Reagan åpnet det seg opp en ny forståelse av praksisen. Jeg tror jeg ofte har kjent meg forknytt og klønete og sett stiv og «feil» ut i yoga stillingene, og derfor ikke følt at jeg har kunnet overgi meg helt. Men nå altså. Håper du vil lese litt videre….


My mid back issues= serious business – Ryan has his issue

Så hva var det med Ryan? Det er litt vanskelig å sette ord på det, men en kombinasjon av å føle seg akseptert, til å bli oppmuntret, til at bøyde ben er helt ok, til variasjonen i yogaens språk og til at det har blitt spennende og lekent. hahaha jeg ler og har det gøy!!!!


Ryan just needed to play a bit… Now work!!.. and this pose always gave me angst, but here I am doing my best! It looks pretty OK…

Altså dere: Jeg kjeder meg ikke et sekund og svetten siler etter en klasse. Ryggen er mer fleksibel.

Som dedikert PilatesJente åpner jeg nå opp (hjerte-) dørene enda litt mer, til en verden der yin og yang visker sammen, der chakraene vibrerer energisk og der toleranse er målet. Jeg gleder meg over det nye prosjektet jeg jobber frem dette året i California, som jeg håper jeg skal få gjøre sammen med mange av dere der hjemme neste år.

Jeg har tatt en prat med Ryan, han forklarer også veien til mestring av et par øvelser lengre nede. Samtalen er på amerikansk, så for tiden er det litt sånn her på bloggen min. Jeg håper du blir inspirert over det du leser- og ikke oppgitt. For det gjør nemlig jeg!


Ryan Besler – teacher training master at Yasa Yoga California

Yoga has become some trend lately, why do you think people so much want to identify themselves through yoga?

The yoga that is mostly expressed has a perception of being healthy happy and in control of ones own well being.  It fits well as a complement to our daily lives, creating balance between work and play.  Ultimately it is skill in action, making us physically more capable, mentally sharper and emotionally more stable.  That prepares us for the Journey of life and overcoming of that which we don’t know.

What is yoga practice in your opinion?

I will try and keep this brief. The yoga practice is and should be individualized. There are lots of great examples from forms of yoga and styles of yoga.  Teachers Who mastered their craft, with great insights on how to approach the practice.  I think the application is just as important to think of as the practice itself. (Practice of Kriya yoga: tapas, heat or actions taken, svadhyaya, self study self observation, isvara pranidhana, the knowledge in which you devote oneself to. Knowledge it’s self).  Once you master your practice then the question should be, what is the application? That needs to be figured out as you choose what practice to implement. TKV desikachar was once asked how he judges his yoga practice and he said «by how he treats his wife and kids.»  I heard this prior to meeting my wife. But it resonated with me, so I adopted that as my objective in how and what I practiced toward.  That is when I met Stephanie and now we are raising our beautiful girls together.


What are the ground values in yoga?

This is an important question to ask!  Yoga has no dogma or spiritual belief system attached to it. But you could apply one.  The way in which you need to judge your belief system and practices are by meditating inward into the qualities of oneself. What is it like when you’re mind rests its focus in oneself?  It’s very still.  It’s peaceful.  Theres no one but you.  There’s no time so it’s timeless.  There’s no space and yet it’s endless. There’s nothing to know, so you know everything at the same time.  It is kaivalya,  freedom from suffering or literally allown-ness and beyond bliss.  There never has and never will be another you.  You are the quality of one.  This state of oneness should be from which you judge or test your value system, you attach yourself to in the duality.  If you are practicing a style of Hatha yoga then your value system is based off of Patanjali’s yoga sutra.  Ultimately you should already be proficient in the values express in the sutras.  The 8 limbed path, in which is in other views of yoga, you should reflect from the external you and the internal you.  Questions to ask yourself:  Are my actions and beliefs creating a cleaner, less violent, honest and more content environment in and around you?  Am I absorbed into the true me on the inside, past the delusions of my mind? Am I appropriately placing my energies and attentions, in the right direction?  This would be a start..

From a historical point of view, how is yoga different today from its origin?

I will probably get in trouble from the yoga police for this one, but I think it’s exactly the same!  No difference.  It’s still all about the battle of ideas.  This is best expressed in the mahabarata.  A story of good vs evil, to move toward the light or fall back toward the dark.  In one moment of the story call the Bhagavad Gita the righteous Warrior Arjuna stands on the battlefield, torn on wether to fight, knowing full well, that so many lives will be lost.  In that moment he has a conversation with his chariot driver, Krisna, who is represented as the «Big Is».  With all his worldly powers he could have forced him to fight, or destroyed the enemy, but in stead chose to convinced him of the ideas on the «mano maya kosa» mind layer, the value in fighting evil or that which stifles free will and free thought. Arjuna chooses to fight, for that which he holds most dear, truth and light.  You can have a battle of ideas on the anna maya kosa the physical layer, then it’s who can wield the sword the best wins, but has nothing to do with the idea behind it. You can have a battle of ideas on the prana maya kosa, the energetic Layer, then it’s who ever wields the most power and magic of words and influence wins, but has nothing to do with the ideas behind it. It has to be fought on the mano maya kosa, the mind layer, by convincing each other through civil discourse, reason and evidence, critical thinking and explaining defining principles.  Hundreds and thousands of years ago you had to contend with the brutalities of mother nature, oppressive monarchies and rulers of power, the class system, religious mysticism which if questioned would lead to death or being ostracized.  Determinism meaning that everything is already pre-determined so there’s no free will.  It is an amazing feet, a miracle that a select few discovered such incredible insights into life itself, in such a sea of current cultural mindset, the vrtti.  There are those throughout history, all over the world showing acts of bravery. So because of Warriors, like Arjuna, our ancestors created a world where personal freedoms, science and knowledge itself, can thrive in a very safe and honest environment, unmatched in history. In my humble opinion.

For me yoga has been boring because there has been so many repetitions and same cycles. Now I suddenly find inspiration because I am having fun? What do you focus on?

I try really hard to make it fun and what they paid for!  It retains students. Haha!  Truthfully I wish to be in service.  What I considered to be advanced asana is restorative yoga.  Its the most stable and the most comfortable.  But it can be one of the least attended classes on the schedule.  I don’t pretend to know what’s best for anyone.  So I work with students on what they think is important in there lives.  That way I’m developing a trusting relationship with them over time.  It would be almost ridiculous to try to do or add in all the intricacies of alignment and philosophies into a flow class.  Since yoga is the union of opposites when something seems impossible or beyond capabilities then you should approach it by having as much fun with it as you can! I still have a childlike way of learning things which is seeing patterns, reason and evidence. So I feel my classes can be childlike where we explore movements and patterns in fun entertaining ways. I focus on the 5 yamah, your outward personal controls and values.  Ones self governing of the affect we have on the world around us when instructing a class. I try not to hurt anyone, and be as honest as I can. You will always here me say in a flow class: this is dangerous! But you all signed a waiver.  I don’t steal!  I didn’t invent yoga!  I give credit to my teachers. I’m personally responsible for what energies I put out and tried to be more moderate and appropriate. Also I work not to be possessive.  I think everyone can figure these things out not just me and I share what I know.  Avidya, is not seeing clearly or ignorance, is the first klesa(afflictions) causing all of our suffering in life.  For example: If I new the curb was there I would not of tripped over it!  If I knew my daughters fingers were in the door I would not of smash them in the door!  So as much wisdom I wish to share also try to warn people Im sharing my ignorance as well.  So I express a humbled approach, always explaining I’m in preschool when it comes to yoga or knowing everything there is to know in life.  I don’t know what I don’t know.  One of the four pillars of any practice is viveka meaning Keen discernment and discrimination. Basically make really good choices for yourself and the fundamental principles you hold dear. The way my teachers Dave and Cheryl Oliver, taught me was to always question your teachers!  I choose to learn just as much from the people taking my class as I hope they are learning from me.  I am putting my ideas and those of my teachers to the test!

Personlig har jeg gjort en ganske interessant reise dette siste halvåret når det gjelder rygg. Men også når det gjelder selvtillit. Jeg vet det at på utsiden kan se ut som at vi som skriver og blogger om trening /helse ikke har noen issues. Men jeg lover deg at det har vi. Ihvertfall har jeg det. Så min klønete følelse av meg selv og hvordan jeg beveger meg har nå blitt bedre og mer aksepterende for meg selv i møte med Ryan Besler og YasaYoga. Ryan har 500 timer og 18 års praksis- hvilket i seg selv er en stor gave når man underviser på grunn av lang erfaring.

Her gir Ryan oss noen utfordringer:

Rule number one: Make sure you are fully warmed up

Ryans How to Get the pose right Workout: 

Janu sirsasana (knee head pose) 5 breaths isolating hamstring. Lengthen over leg without rounding thru spine.



Eka pada sirsasana prep (one leg head preparation pose) 5 breaths isolating hip.  Sit up tall.  You can rock leg to relax tension.


Krouncasana (heron pose) 5 breaths take hold of foot don’t slouch.  Bind is optional.  This can be where you stay until comfortable with the stretch.

dsc_4784Surya yantrasana (sun dial pose) 5 breaths getting knee placed behind shoulder and same hand as top leg plants next to hip, on ground.

dsc_4789Astavakrasana (name of a sage eight crooks pose) up to 5 breaths. Plant both hands next to hips, cross bottom foot over top ankle and lift reaching feet to sky, squeezing knees around shoulder. Then tilt forward.


Eka pada Koundinyasana (one legged koundinya sage one of the first disciples of the Buddha) lift to straighter arms and sweep bottom leg back.  Lean forward into it.  Step or float back and take your time going through vinyasa (make it therapeutic).

dsc_4802Og vet dere hva!! Ryan kommer til www.theroom.no neste år for å tilby Teacher Training sammen med sin kone Stephanie Besler. Send en mail om du er interessert til post@theroom.no  – og merk den med TTyoga.

About Ryan Besler:

Ryan began practicing at Hot House Yoga in Virginia Beach and found At One Yoga once moving to Phoenix in 2006. There, he studied under Dave Oliver and Cheryl Hall, as well as many other inspirational instructors. Throughout his yoga practice and in his life, he has found ‘mastering the breath’ to be a powerful tool for managing stress, breaking mental barriers and embracing change. Ryan’s challenging power, core, and flow classes embody his belief that it is only from a strong center, (mentally, physically and spiritually) that we can move effortlessly through life. He intends to create opportunities in his classes for students to explore, play and grow.


Ryan and Stephanie

Ryan Besler and his wife Stephanie Besler teach her at the Yasa Yoga centre:


Les mer om Ryan her:


Klem fra Monica

Photos by @maxbvisuals

Clothing/Monica by @casalltraining

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