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MacKenzie Kozlowski (Miller)  lover of life. email: info@mackenzieyoga.com ----- #MackenzieMondays Sale! 👇🏼👇🏼


As today is International Yoga Day I thought I'd share some thoughts that have been rattling around in my head lately about yoga. I take my responsibility as a yoga teacher quite seriously. I realize that I've contributed to a culture that, at large, thinks yoga is the performance of asana. It's so much more than that though... Don't get me wrong I love asana and it's where I started my yoga practice. I fell deeply in love with creating shapes with my body. I loved how the time on my mat allowed me to be introspective and watch my mind as it told me stories about what I could and couldn't do. I've slowly moved away from the extreme poses because I've realized that more flexibility and exploiting my natural mobility was dangerous for my health down the road. I would like to live as pain free as possible until my late years in life. This meant dialling back a bit. Building strength to support my mobility and a lot of that has been done off my mat. Am I trying to create more mobility in my hips or spine anymore? No. I've experienced the more I work towards those goals the more physical issues arise in my body, so I have allowed things to shift naturally. Maybe I'll write a post about the issues I experienced from practicing extreme asanas. Now the focus of my personal practice involves being the witness to my actions and reactions, doing things that promote harmony and ease for my mind and body, and practicing crazy amounts of compassion, empathy and kindness (to myself and others). The tools I've used are asana, meditation, pranayama but frankly being present in my daily life is one of my biggest teachers. After a weekend of discussing the Yoga Sutras I'm feeling inspired. Inspired to share more than just the physical stuff with you guys. Excited to explore and discuss a bit more philosophy, other life subjects and hot topics in the yoga community... Is there anything you'd love to discuss? What is your yoga? 📸: @fitflexjuli

Today’s #MackenzieMondays challenge is one of my favorite subtle but effective PT exercise called the deadbug. Thanks to @codyapp and @yogatuneup for sponsoring this week's challenge. This video was sped up 2x to show you three different variations. I highly suggest you try this as slow as possible because the slower you move the more challenging it is. Begin on your back. Don't worry about your low back touching the ground. Everyone's lumbar spine is different so your curve will vary. The legs begin at a 90, 90 position which means there is a 90 degree angle at your hips and knees. Once in that position you want to try to find your TVA (transversus abdominis). Think about how you'd brace yourself if someone was trying to tickle you. That bracing effect is what we are going for. From there you'll keep the shape of the legs and begin to lower one foot to the ground at a time alternating side to side. Repeat this 30 times total or if you fatigue earlier quit while your form is still intact. Take a short rest. For the second round if that felt doable and you felt no pain in your low back or SI joints think about exploring the second variation where you extend one leg straight parallel to the ground at a time. You may feel work in your abdomen, hip flexors or quadriceps. Just know the more your hip flexors grip the more likely you'll begin to feel this in your low back. If you happen to have tight or short hip flexors extending the leg low may back challenging to maintain form. I'm not concerned about how low you go. Remember form/function always is more important than depth. Same as the first round 30 reps total. For the last round you can repeat either of the previous variations or play with both legs being straight.
The prizes this week are a plan of your choosing from my online content on @codyapp and a Read & Knead kit from @yogatuneup.
To participate:
1️⃣ Follow myself, the sponsors @codyapp and @yogatuneup.
2️⃣ Post pictures/videos of yourself doing this exercise by Tuesday 9pm PST.
3️⃣ Use the hashtag #MackenzieMondays, tag the sponsors and myself.
4️⃣ Spread some love to your fellow participants by liking and commenting on their entries.

Did you hear that yesterday an EPIC 10-DAY CHALLENGE started?! I'm kicking off day 2 with Warrior II/Virabhadrasana II. The Alo Yoga family is offering 3 LUCKY winners the chance to get their hands (& feet) on the brand new Warrior Mat! 🙌
To enter to win:
1. Follow @aloyoga
2. Tag your friends to join in on the fun 🎉
3. Use the hashtag #AloWarriorChallenge on each daily post about the challenge
4. Head to the hosts' pages below on their challenge date & upload a photo of yourself in that day's warrior pose variation 👇👇👇👇
✨ June 14 // Day 1: Warrior 1 – Hosted by @andrew7sealy & @gypsetgoddess
✨ June 15 // Day 2: Warrior 2 – Hosted by @summerperez & @mackenzieyoga
✨ June 16 // Day 3: Warrior 3 with Prayer hands – Hosted by @seonia & @rivkayoga
✨ June 17 // Day 4: Warrior 3 with Airplane Arms – Hosted by @koyawebb & @hollybentley_yoga
✨ June 18 // Day 5: Warrior 3 with Arms Extended Above Head – Hosted by @move_yo_asana & @fitflexjuli
✨ June 19 // Day 6: Reverse Warrior – Hosted by @chintwins, @yogawithbriohny & @nwoy ✨ June 20 // Day 7: Humble Warrior – Hosted by @kaylala88 & @alissayoga
✨ June 21 // Day 8: Revolved Warrior – Hosted by @bohemian_heart & @rebekahletch ✨ June 22 // Day 9: Exalted Warrior – Hosted by @lamise, @robinmartinyoga & northcarolina_yogagirl
✨ June 23 // Day 10. Eagle Arm Reverse Warrior – Hosted by @mikiashyoga & @gabriella.dondero
I'm looking forward to seeing all of your beautiful Warrior poses ❤ Photo by @fitflexjuli for @zenrezfitness. #aloyoga #lifestyleathlete #zenrez #lifeseeker #beagoddess

So much changes in a year... 12 months... 52 weeks... 365 days.... as I scrolled back through my posts this past year I realized how much I've evolved and changed as a person. I think a lot has to do with environment... Since moving to Red Deer, AB there's a lot less chaos, distraction and noise in my day to day life. In many ways this is great, but it has forced me to sit with myself and ask the tough questions. It's allowed me to see what I really value in my life and how to cultivate a full life verses a busy life. This hasn't come easily because it means I've had to make some tough decisions. I've said no to many opportunities and had to re-evaluate relationships in my life. I can honestly say I've never been happier. I've received many messages about the frequency in which I'm posting and that it's a lot less frequent. Don't worry this is intentional. Much of my life is spent off my mat. This means less time on my phone and less photos to post. I've shed myself from the self imposed guilt and responsibility that having an account with a decent amount of followers means I "have to" do anything. I can't encourage you enough to take time - for me it's taken awhile and lots of courage - to slow down and be present to what your heart really desires. If you let go of the chatter that is telling you what you should do, how you should act or who you should be you might find you're not living in alignment with your heart. I did. I've made changes and still have lots more to make. Thank you to those who've been with me on this journey. Your support means the world. xoxo

Today’s #MackenzieMondays challenge is a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout sponsored by @codyapp and @puorilife.  For this workout we will do four exercises actively for 30 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between for a total of 4 rounds of each exercise.  Seems simple enough, right?  Wrong! Get ready for your heart to pound and sweat to roll down your face all in under 15 minutes.  Only 15 minutes for your workouts means no excuses! Spend a few minutes warming up your joints as needed and stretching after for a proper cooldown.  If you want to do this workout with me check out Day 4 of FitFlow on Cody. The exercises for today are:
💚  Burpees
💚  Tricep Presses 💚  High Knees
💚  Mountain Climbers
The prizes this week are a plan of your choosing from my online content on @codyapp and SB3 (great for gut health and a travel must for me), G3 (greens powder on the go), and PR3 (delicious chocolate rice protein powder) from @puorilife.
To participate:
1️⃣ Follow myself, the sponsors @codyapp and @puorilife .
2️⃣ Post pictures/videos of yourself doing this workout.
3️⃣ Use the hashtag #MackenzieMondays, tag the sponsors and myself.
4️⃣ Spread some love to your fellow participants by liking and commenting on their entries and have fun!! Remember even if you don’t win you can treat yourself to a few select plans of mine which are temporarily on sale. Link in my bio!  Outfit: @aloyoga. Fun green wall: @absolutefitnessrd (where I go to be tortured).

These women. They are my rocks. My go-to's in life when I need a shoulder to cry on, when I want a partner in crime to celebrate with and everything else in between. Apparently it's #nationalbestfriendday and any excuse to celebrate these women I'll take. @leah_lefever @yogawithbriohny @jennal83 @ninjalue thank you for all of the love and support you've provided me throughout the years. You inspire me as women, mothers, daughters and just overall badass humans. In many ways we are all so similar yet wildly different and that's what makes you a good friend when I need a healthy dose of (loving) perspective. I just can't get enough time with you. Although we are often cities, states or countries apart that distance has never changed our love for each other. Know that you hold an extremely special place in my heart and I love you to pieces. From plane notes to tea baggin' to couch vegging to pickle back chasers to clam slams and many more ridiculous inside jokes/memories to come...

What's for dinner? Tacos! Homemade sourdough tortillas (thanks to one of you guys for sending me the recipe), roasted cauliflower and cilantro slaw. This turned out great! So refreshing and tasty. Can you guys tell I love food and cooking? I find my meals and cooking adventures more exciting than my asana photos these days. When I'm in the kitchen I feel super creative and inspired. Mixing flavors, textures, etc. Anyone else love to cook? If so let's share recipes!! 😄

Ahhhhh home sweet home. It is so nice to be back at our little sanctuary surrounded by kitchen gadgets, my sourdough starter, and all the green things... When I get home from trips almost immediately I unpack, do laundry, get organized. I made the conscious decision not to bring my laptop with me to Austria, so I spent the morning emailing and catching up while simultaneously watching the Bachelorette (yes, it's my guilty pleasure. I watch all the Bachelor franchised shows...😳). As much as I love traveling the world I love my uncomplicated, quiet life in Canada with Mike even more. I'd have it no other way. Feeling grateful for the simple mundane tasks of life. Tomorrow I'll be teaching a regular studio yoga class at the @breathingroomrd. It's been years since I've taught consistently at one studio and this year that's changing. Watching the same people show up to class weekly fuels my heart. Thanks for reading my random Tuesday rambles. 💛 Photo by @fitflexjuli for @zenrezfitness. Outfit, as always, @aloyoga. And for those of you who comment every time I post one of these straight hair photos the reason my hair looks so good is that it was done at @spokeandweal with @aveda products hours before this photo was taken. I don't have the patience to straighten my hair myself... naturally I have a lions mane. 🦁

This week for #MackenzieMondays we are working on some of my favorite fundamental backbends! We will be playing with Cobra/Bhujangasana and Locust/Salabhasana. If it were up to me during vinyasas most people would do cobra instead of upward facing dog. There is nothing fancy about cobra, but there is something so beautiful about the activation in the upper back. Locust strengthens the whole posterior chain. These poses are perfect to do daily to counter all the sitting most of us do all day and can be done daily. Most crucial when trying both of the poses is that the shoulders roll open and the neck remains long. If you question whether or not that's happening film yourself and watch your form. Thank you to both @codyapp and @aloyoga for sponsoring this week.
My video has been sped up 2x to fit in all the different variations. First round moving through sync the poses with the breath. For prone backbends I like to inhale as I’m lifting and exhale as I’m lowering, but ultimately move with a breath that works for you. The second round hold each pose for 3 breaths. For the third and final round hold each pose for 7 breaths.
Variation 1:
Cobra on fingertips.
Variation 2:
Cobra looking side to side.
Variation 3:
Variation 4:
Locust with clasped hands.

The prizes this week are a $100 credit to @aloyoga and you'll also get to choose which plan of mine on @codyapp you’d like to receive for free. To participate in the challenge:
1️⃣ Follow myself, the sponsors @codyapp and @aloyoga.
2️⃣ Post a picture/video of yourself doing this exercise.
3️⃣ Use the hashtag #MackenzieMondays, tag the sponsors and myself.
4️⃣ Spread some love to your fellow participants by liking and commenting on their entries.
All submissions must be submitted by Tuesday 9pm PST. I will announce the winner Wednesday morning on my Instagram Story. Good luck and check out the link in my bio for a discount on select online programs of mine.

I had the most enjoyable weekend in Woerthersee, Austria teaching at the @woerthersee_yoga festival.
There was much laughter, tears and connections made. This town will always hold a special place in my heart. Don't miss your opportunity to join the festival next year! ❤ This moment was captured from my Happy Heart Flow class. Love it and all my little "frogs." Wearing my favorite pants from @aloyoga's summer line.

How can you wake up to this beauty and not be in a good mood?! Maybe it's the yoga high I'm on from the good vibes at the @woerthersee_yoga festival over the past two days. Today I get to teach FitFlow with @yogawithbriohny and an arm balance foundations class. Then I get to take class with @davidregelinyoga and @diceyoga. Always sad to leave this beautiful Lake, the sweet Austrian people, but always pleased to go home to the arms of my sweet adoring husband @steel_pony. 💚 To those of you asking about FitFlow certifications it is in the works... if you're interested send me a DM so that I make sure you get early access to sign up info, etc. xoxo

A high five, hug and/or smile can cure almost any funky mood. 2 out of 3 ain't bad. In fact even watching this boomerang lifts my spirit is. Sending everyone who needs it a virtual high five, hug or smile. 😄

Throwing it back to an early and snowy morning with @brynn.regan and @jeffreidphotography at the @codyapp offices.

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