leighyogipilot leighyogipilot

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Leigh Coates  #ThePlayfulYogiPilot 🙋 • Commercial Helicopter Pilot Yoga Teacher RYT-200 Forever Student Working in Alaska Playing in Hawaii •

Hi Friends! I’ve been getting lots of questions about my life as a helicopter pilot, so I’ll try to answer some questions here for you!
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I started with airplanes when I was very young, but no, you don’t have to. And no, I wasn’t military. When I was 31, I simply walked into a helicopter school where I lived, took a demo flight, and fell in love. It’s all one on one instruction and you go at your own pace. I was very focused and finished in 13 months. It cost me $50K and I paid for it by waiting tables and got a bank loan.
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I did my training in 2004, got hired by my school as a flight instructor in 2005 and got my first job flying in Alaska in 2006. That first job paid $1500 per month and I lived in a pilot house with 12 guys and worked every bit of my 14 hour duty days, 6 days a week. I would equate it to being an intern...a great way to learn, and get trained in a bigger helicopter. With that experience I was able to go back to Hawaii and got a job flying tours. I made about $100K per year, paid off my loan, bought a condo, and settled into what I thought was my dream job. But after a year and a half, I was not only bored of flying the same route every day and seeing the same things 5 times a day....but I was also losing my skills...never landing off airport. The flying was not challenging. So I went back to Alaska....and here I still am.
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The flying here and the types of missions I do are always different...challenging winds, clouds, visibility, landings, loads, fuel planning, etc. You can watch my story highlights for some examples, but basically every day is different, and I absolutely love it!
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I’m now the Chief Pilot of my company. We have 4 helicopters and I hire and train all the pilots and oversee all the day to day operations. It’s not glamorous and it’s hard work, but most days it’s pretty damn awesome. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s what I was born to do! Oh and I get lots of time for mountain top yoga... #pilotPerks!
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Ask more questions! I love to share!
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#femalepilot #theplayfulyogipilot #helicopterpilot #ipullpitch #helicopter #pilot #pilotsofinstagram #flightinstructor #pilotlife

Yoga Challenge Announcement!🧘‍♀️
#ShapesWithGrace
September 23 - 30

Welcome! We hope you join us for these 8 days of getting gracefully creative with yoga poses! We encourage you to make each of these poses your own, adding your own graceful flair.

Here’s the line up:
1. Forwardfold
2. Compass
3. Lizard
4. Heart opener
5. Sugarcane
6. Toe stand
7. Lunge
8. Inversion of choice

Everyone is invited to join in, and to be eligible for a prize from our generous sponsor, just make sure you:
•Repost this flyer and tag some friends to help us spread the word.
•Follow each host and sponsor.
•Tag us in your pose, along with the hashtag #ShapesWithGrace.
•Check in with us each morning for our variations of each pose!

Graceful Hosts:
@yogaandchaigirl
@laraliam
@yoga_mami
@yogi.bree
@leighyogipilot

Graceful Sponsor:
@kiragraceyoga


#kiragraceyoga #kiragrace #houndstoothcollection #amazingkiragrace
#yogachallenge #yogi #igyogachallenge #makingshapes #septemberyogachallenge #yoga

Working on the stuff that’s hard for me...
#DancingIntoFall has been the most challenging #YogaChallenge I’ve ever participated in, let alone hosted! I want to thank you all so much for coming along on this journey with us. I know it hasn’t been easy, but you all have been bringin’ it every single day! And you have inspired me more than you will ever know...THANK YOU!

For the last day, your assignment is Yogis Choice! I chose to check in with my #flipgripdancerpose again and see if after all this hard work, I could find some more ease in this pose. I spent an hour with the lovely @talia_sutra on @alo.moves and her Backbending Method Flow (which I highly recommend,) and then worked on my two handed #flipgrip. And low and behold, I got both hands to my foot...though there wasn’t much ease...🤣 Some days it’s there and somedays not, but the more I practice and the more intention I put into lifting and filling my chest with joy, the more often the ease will come.
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One last note...it’s super important to practice both sides. This is about bettering ourselves, not about capturing the perfect picture. I challenge you to look at each of your posts for this challenge and see which side you favor...and then share the other side for tomorrow.😉
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Much love from your dancing hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves

#natarajasana #juevesdancingshiva @yogayely 💙#transformationtuesday #progress #yogaprogress #dancerpose #journeytoflipgripdancer #Yoga #yogi #yogachallenge #aloyoga #backbend #balance #heartopener #dancerspose

I’m just over here trying to look like a mountain peak...
I mean, can you even see me?! 🤣

Tomorrow’s #DancerVariation for #DancingIntoFall is opposite hand flip grip with hand on knee....which I couldn’t quite get two weeks ago when I made this video, so I’m sharing this variation which you’re welcome to try. Slide left to see how I got into it.

And guess what!? It’s also the pose for #BalanceThatAsana!
I’m gonna warm up really well right now and give it another try so I can go say Heeeyyyyy🙋‍♀️ to some of my favorite hosts. Wish me luck!!

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves

#natarajasana #yoga #yogi #outdooryoga #yogaoutside #theplayfulyogipilot #aloyoga #yogachallenge #backbend #heartopener #yogalove #yogapractice #yogainspiration

Happy #MagicAsanaMonday!
It’s about time I shared the actual glacier with you all! I’ve danced in front of the glacier and underneath the glacier, but today...I’m dancing ON the glacier! This is one of the very few blue pools left on the glacier...most of them have drained out by this time of year. It’s a color I can never quite get used to...so beautiful!
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Day 8 of #DancingIntoFall is tip toe, bent knee dancer.
This can be a fun, challenging and beautiful shape...but remember, you don’t need to do it with a flip grip, and/or you can use a strap like I am.
Use a wall if you like, and stay flat on you foot like I am here if you like too. I found it difficult to get on my tip toes with these boots...so hey, I made it my own. I encourage you to also.❤️
I’ll put some of my tip toe dancer practice in my Stories.☺️😘❤️ 💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves

#dancerpose #natarajasana #iceblue #bluepool #glacier #alaska #glaciertour #helicoptertour #heliyoga @vshelicopters
#yogaprops @yogahustle
#aloyoga #yogaphotography #yogachallenge #yogainspiration #theplayfulyogipilot #leighsMaM #magical

Backbends, otherwise known as heart openers, can bring about a wide range of emotions, but as I diver deeper into my practice, I’m experiencing mostly sheer and utter joy.❤️

My lovely friend @cupcakesandyoga wrote this in her caption today and I wanted to share it with you all:
“People romanticize their plans but dread the execution. The magic you’re looking for is in the work you’ve been avoiding. You have the tools. You’re just distracted.”

Backbends take a lot of WORK for most of us, but I promise they are WORTH IT and congratulations to all of you doing the hard work with us in this challenge!!!🙌

That being said, tomorrow’s pose for #DancingIntoFall is #KneelingDancer and it’s not an easy one!
Make sure to get good and warmed up and when you’re ready, set yourself up next to a wall and use some blocks or stool for balance. Use a strap if you don’t have a flip grip with ease, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Smile when you fall over, cuz you know you’re putting in the hard work to find the sheer and utter joy!❤️
I’ll share the video of this one in my Stories.💃

💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves

@yogahustle #yogaprops
#aloyoga #yogapants
#backbend #heartopener #natarajasana #dancerspose #dancerpose #yoga #yogachallenge #yogi #yogapose #yogaprogress #yogaeveryday

The #ColumbiaGlacier is truly my favorite place on this #magical planet and I feel so honored to be able to share it with you guys.
It is receding at an astronomical rate, and the ice that falls off the face and into the ocean gets washed up onto the beach and stranded during low tide.
The sounds of the ice cracking and popping is almost like a song and today I felt compelled to dance with these giants.💙❤️
We are still rejoicing with perfect fall weather here in #Alaska, and I’ve been taking full advantage of it!
I’ll share some of today’s #Glacier shenanigans in my Stories.

#DancingIntoFall
Day 6
#DancerPose with the WALL or Doorway, or #Iceberg, or...?

I put a video in my Stories for some great prep poses with the wall, as well as how to face the wall to work on your flip grip progress.
Make sure to work on BOTH SIDES!

💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves

#natarajasana #picoftheday #aloyoga #pilot #pilotlife #helicopterpilot #pilotperks #femalepilot #blueice #yogaprops #yogaphotography

This could have been the nicest day we’ve had all summer in the #ChugachMountains! There was no wind, it was clear as a bell, and my job today was to fly to the top of this mountain at 6400 feet, to retrieve a radio repeater for @blackopsvaldez, who uses it for communications during #heliskiing season. Without snow up there, I knew it was going to be a tricky landing spot, so I was planning on just doing a “toe in landing” while my passengers climbed out. Then I’d go land somewhere else nice and flat, wait till they radio me, and then go back for them when they were ready to load up the repeater.
This means they would climb out while I kept full flight power to keep the helicopter stable, and I wouldn’t need full skid contact with the ground.
But yay, I was actually able to get my skids on the ground and stable enough to shut down and wait with them. Check out my Stories for some fun video on this mountaintop!
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#DancingIntoFall
Day 5
#DancerPose with a chair, or a tree, or a helicopter, or a....???
I think you’ll enjoy the hip flexor opening by using a prop like this. Try chairs or benches or counters...varying heights and find what works for you. Feel free to use a strap to flip your grip, or even just reach your arm back for your foot without a flip grip. Enjoy the stretch and get creative with your props!
And DO BOTH SIDES!

💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves


@vshelicopters #helicopter
@knockaround #sunglasses #aviators
#pilot #helicopterpilot #natarajasana #flipgripdancerpose #yogaprop #as350 #femalepilot #womeninaviation #yogi #yoga #yogateacher #yogachallenge #yogawithaview #smile #flexible #aloyoga

Slide left for the video “behind the scenes”🤣

Well this one is a first for me! When my super bendy co hosts suggested this pose, Coral and I both referred to it as the #ScaryShitPose, and I immediately wrote it off and came up with a variation.😅

I had originally prepared a #halfbowpose to share with you guys (which you are totally welcome to do instead and check out @yoga_supqueen for an awesome variation)
But tonight I was feeling especially inspired, and I decided to give it a try for the first time ever.
And LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED!?
Holy Smokes, is that really me?!
😱😱😱👏👏👏
I still can’t believe it!

I encourage you all to give it a try...you never know what you’re capable of until you try...🤷‍♀️

Slide👈Left to see how I did this and the tips I learned along the way to share with you!

Get yourself good and warmed up first! I made a video for you guys on how to warm up for flip grip...make sure to check out my last post too.😘

#DancingIntoFall
Day 4
#FallenDancer

💃💃💃💃💃💃💃💃

Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves



#natarajasana #dancerspose #dancerpose #yogachallenge #aloyogachallenge #yoga #yogatutorial #leighstutorials #yogaprops @yogahustle #yogavideo #puppypose #flexible #yogainspiration #yogagirl #aloyoga

These prep poses and other tips helped me to get flip grip dancer pose. You can see the progress in my previous post, which is progress I shared from over a three year time span.
Always remember that our bodies are capable of big changes if we are consistent and perseverant, but also patient!
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I also recommend ditching the strap if you can reach your foot with the strap, even if just barely. Wear some @yogapaws for a better grip to hold the foot, or even just a shoe helps big time. But you want to learn to hold the foot during the flip process and that will come by opening the hip more than you think you need to and get the foot, hand and shoulder as close together as you can before you attempt the shoulder rotation. This was KEY for my journey. Good luck and lmk how it goes!❤️
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Listen very carefully to your body when you’re working at your edge like this.
Be careful when you do the shoulder rotation, and stop if you feel pain. Sometimes a little shake of my shoulder will help to get the rotation properly.
If I can do this, YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
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#DancingIntoFall
#flipgrip
#dancerspose

With Love from your Dancing Hosts:
@leighyogipilot
@yoga_supqueen
@elliegriffinyoga
@lightfulyogini

Prizes from our Sponsors:
@aloyoga
@alo.moves
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#juevesdancingshiva @yogayely #natarajasana #dancerpose #leighstutorials #flipgriptutorial #yogatutorial #howtovideo #howtoyoga #learnyoga #yogateacher #yogabeginner #flexibility #yoga #tutorial #journeytoflipgripdancer

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