My Reasons Why


I went to the climate protest yesterday and was in awe of all the young people standing together in solidarity. I watched as they physically supported each other when a wall was too high to climb but in a sea of adults needed to be climbed in order to see and be seen. Yes, Greta Thunberg was powerful and I am forever grateful for her mighty voice, but something also happened that shook me; that woke me up. Let me back up to paint a bigger picture- this protest was NOT the first climate protest organized by our youth, this was not their first time striking from school on a Friday, nor their first time demanding we change our ways. The climate crisis is a social justice issue and the platform they are speaking from and on behalf of, is long overdue. These protests hold space for all beings, but have encouraged the muted voices of our elders, woman, children, and people of color to come forward. We must overcome the forces that divide; we must rise together for the benefit of all beings, everywhere.

I showed up early and I stayed late, I was certainly not alone in this. I heard the prayer called out from our elders, I watched 6 young panelists speak from their heart, I heard Greta and then stayed to listen to the call-to-action, the closing ceremony and sacred songs. To my dismay, I witnessed many show up to see Greta and then flood out the moment she was done speaking. The hope I felt during the protest was diminished in that moment. However, one sweet speaker sent me home with fire in my soul. She stated loud and clear that we better know our reason WHY. (Why did we show up for the protest? and was it really to take a picture and post on Instagram? Why will we continue to show up after the protest is over? Why are we here?)

I couldn’t sleep last night. I was replaying Seane Corn in my head, “We must ignore the story and see the soul.” Then Douglas Brooks would chime in, “Why are you here and what are you going to do about it?” Next Amy Ippoliti, “Adikara (studentship) is about understanding your desires, cultivating your willpower, and demanding more of yourself.” I heard my teachers voices on a loop, lending themselves to my own clarity. 

Yoga is not my career or something I do, it is my entire life. Yoga is my path and I teach for three very specific reasons.

Community- I believe in strengths in numbers. I believe that we are all in this together and together we are stronger. I believe that we are each a snowflake but together we are an avalanche. My foundation of deeper thought came from the works of Plato. The original creation of the “city” was to showcase talents and accomplish more by only doing what we loved. The bread maker would make bread, the shoemaker would make shoes, the carpenter would build houses, et cetera. We are all here for a reason and we all have something different to offer the world.

Longevity- I believe good alignment is good therapy. I believe that when we cultivate the discipline to maintain good alignment in our asana practice, we cultivate that same discipline to maintain good alignment in our lives. I wish for myself and my students to move freely in their old age. I wish for the independence to make our green smoothies and to do our own laundry at 90. I believe that we must slow down and engage with our emotions, rather than use yoga to escape. How we do one thing is how we do everything. Life is a gift, life is meant for us to engage in, to participate in, not run away from.

Yes- I believe in saying, YES, to the fullness of life. I live from a life-affirming philosophy. Again, life is a gift and I believe I am here for a reason. I believe we are the physical embodiment of the Divine. That the Divine has come down from the many into our singular form as a way to experience life through all the human sensations. Life is an exploration and participation of the senses. What can we learn through this experience that we couldn’t learn any other way? I acknowledge both the light and dark, and I learning to integrate or dare I say, love, both the light and the dark. I honor the sanctity of my center, of our center, and I strive to reside there.

So the question that my musing begets: do you know your WHY? Are you truly showing up in your life, or are you running away? What would it take to make a change? 

May this practice always be of benefit.



Taylor Rose

*I belong to 90 Monkeys School under the guidance of my beloved teacher, Amy Ippoliti. This is her framework which I have adopted as my own.

The Three Malas: What Veils Your TRUE Self?


Your heart is a mirror, and so too, needs to be polished regularly. It wasn’t until I met my yoga community – my chosen family – that everything began to shift in my life. I had never experienced such love and familiarity among my peers. I had never been in a group that reflected back so clearly the divinity they saw in me.

I believe we all experience moments in our life where we feel completely connected; where we feel held and supported by something bigger than us; where we perceive a power and oneness that upholds all. More often though, we feel separate and different from one another. This experience of differentiation is the result of illusion, or Maya. Maya has three ways in which it operates, called The Three Malas.

The Three Malas is a special teaching which originated from Kashmir Shaivism, a major branch of Hinduism.  Unlike mala (garland) beads, the word mala refers to dirt, impurity, or stain in tantric yoga scripture. The malas are aspects of consciousness that act as cloaks or veils that prevent us from seeing and experiencing our true Self.

Anava Mala – (connected to the heart) is associated with feelings of insecurity and sadness. The veil of low self-esteem and the source of incompleteness we experience. This mala creates limited capacity to recognize the divine within.

My teacher, Amy Ippoliti, describes Anava Mala as the cloak of self-obsession. She refers to the girl with the eating disorder looking into the mirror and not seeing how emaciated she is. I can relate. It was this specific teaching that allowed me to heal.

Mayiya Mala – (connected to the mind) is associated with feelings of jealousy and anger.  The veil of comparison and the feeling of not enough. This mala creates the perception of difference, a separateness between us and the world.

My teacher describes Mayiya Mala as the cloak of too much object, of worrying what everyone else thinks of you. For years my life appeared to be perfect on the outside, I appeared to be perfect, but on the inside, I was breaking down and trying to escape.

Karma Mala – (connected to the body) is associated with feelings of worry and fear. The veil of feeling like one’s accomplishments are one’s true worth. This mala creates limited capacity for activity, resulting in the inability to act.

My teacher describes Karma Mala as the cloak of helplessness; it is the head-in-the-sand approach to life. Once again, I can relate – I spent my first few years of teaching calling in sick and hiding in bed with Netflix.

These malas are part of our existence, part of human nature. Yoga can teach us to become observant when these malas arise. We can learn to cultivate the power of discernment to help us see that even though we feel a certain way, it is not who we are.   With this increased awareness, we are able to look past the malas and we are able to see ourselves as we truly are: Pure Consciousness.

From the tantric yoga perspective, these malas are a gift. Every time we forget who we are, we have the pleasure of remembering. The key is to be vulnerable, to be seen, and to ask for help. So the question that my musing begets: do you recognize the divine within? I am here to help you remove all the unnecessary cloaks, so you may revel in your greatness.

May this practice always be of benefit.



Taylor Rose

My Weakest Power…Vulnerability


I feel as though my entire life I had been led to believe that my greatest strength is my greatest weakness; that being sensitive is a bad thing. I had not fully realized the power of empathy or that of vulnerability, because I had never trusted the gifts I had been given.

I am confused and angry and also relieved and comforted. I can feel my mission and my life purpose, and I need not to be afraid to go after it. I need to stop self-sabotaging out of fear of stepping into my highest self.  Being highly sensitive is hard enough, let alone the layers of societal shame compiled on top.

When I was a little girl, I was left to cry it out. I was abandoned when I felt the most. I needed a safe space to process. Throughout my teenage years I can remember my father yelling at me to “get myself together”. I was labeled the “drama queen” and was always perceived to be “over-exaggerative” by those closest to me. These labels caused me to feel a tremendous amount of shame. I didn’t know how to get myself together; I didn’t know how to alleviate the intensity of my emotions. Someone from my graduate program actually took the time to write me a letter asking for a refund for their college tuition because of my excessive crying. (Mind you, my program unveiled the rapid degradation of Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants – so I was feeling extra sensitive.)

I realize now in my 30’s that my experience was both valid and true. That I experience and feel things differently from others. It was through community (kula) that I discovered my power and my personal offering. It was through my physical and metaphysical practices of yoga that I learned to receive that which was being reflected back to me.

I am a healer. I have the ability to feel what others experience and then hold it as my own. I have the ability to tap into the energy of a room and simply transform it with my presence. I give others permission to feel because vulnerability is courageous and courage is contagious.

I learned how to turn what I believed to be my greatest liability into my greatest asset. I learned alchemy; turning my weakness into pure gold.  My second gift, in turn, is reminding others of their greatness. We are magical beings – embodied sacred source- and we all have something unique and different to offer.

It is with this held belief that I became a teacher of yoga. I want to co-create a world in which every being is happy, healthy, and free from suffering. With the way things are unfolding in this day and age, wishful thinking is not enough; we must truly combine our intention with our actions. So the question that my musing begets: will you let me hold up the mirror? I am here to reflect back that which I see in you. I am here to hold space while you process and untangled your held beliefs. And I am here to help you create a new path – a new way of participating in the world.

May this practice always be of benefit.



Taylor Rose

Taylor Rose and The Monkey God


I befriended my monkey mind…let me explain. Those who are familiar with Hinduism and the epic Ramayana know the monkey-headed deity, Hanuman, very well. Lord Hanuman symbolically stands for pure devotion, complete surrender and absence of unhealthy ego or the lower self. Although he possessed supernatural powers, because of a curse, he would not remember them, and act as a normal person until someone reminded him of his greatness and encouraged him to use his powers for a just cause. I believe Hanuman is a representation of the human embodied life. We have forgotten the divine within; we have forgotten our greatness and we need someone to remind us.

My Hanuman leap of faith was becoming a full-time teacher. I learned a valuable lesson in letting go of who I thought I had to be, and trusting who I am. I learned to be okay with not knowing everything and still trusting I had something worth sharing (my individual gifts of sensitivity, vulnerability, empathy, and joy).  With this blog space I am allowing my imperfections to be seen and hoping that the community I have built will love and accept all of me.

From the time I started grade school I was on the fast track. I was often pulled out of my regular classes to participate in “gifted classes”, such as Great Books and Math Masters. I received the highest honors in my 6th grade science fair and won every blue ribbon on the speech team. I took my course work very seriously and felt the need to be perfect in every area of my life. I graduated high school after 10th grade and began college at the age of sixteen. I believed that I had to accomplish x,y, and z in order to be successful, in order to be great. 

Meanwhile I developed an eating disorder by twelve and started dabbling in drugs and alcohol by fifteen. I lost my best friend at twenty because she could no longer take me seriously, and I continued to destroy many more relationships as I navigated my early adult life. I have spent years trying not to feel; trying to escape the intensity of never being a human-perfect. Throughout my teenage years and twenties I fell victim to one addictive behavior after the next because it was easier to numb myself rather than to do the work and to face myself. My teacher once told me that the problem with drugs is that they can’t get you high enough. I had to really sit with this notion and realize that which I was turning towards wasn’t working anymore. My yoga practice had far exceeded my drug and alcohol use. I had outgrown a life too small and my old coping mechanisms were no longer serving me. Honestly, they were never serving me. I knew my practice was powerful, but I didn’t quite understand why. I didn’t realize that I was connecting with source; that I was returning home to my divine nature and experiencing myself as pure consciousness.

Yoga is a pathway home; to the heart of the human-being. My practice revealed to me all the ways in which I am perfectly imperfect. And through my practice, I am continuously reminded that I do not need to strive to be anything better or different then who I am. I am a spiritual being trying to live a human-embodied life. I am, and you are, Hanuman. So the question that my musing begets: have you ever forgotten your greatness? I am devoted to creating a world in which every being loves themselves, loves each other, and loves the world. Can you even imagine what life would be like if every being knew their gifts, knew their greatness, and then offered it back whole-heartedly? I see you, and I am here to help you remember.

May this practice always be of benefit. 



Taylor Rose