Yoga found me when I was actively searching for a new career path. I wanted a job that helped me give back to the world and help make a difference in people’s lives. I had been searching for five years before yoga showed up, and before yoga asked me to show up.
I was on this search because I had spent more than 10 years working in the music industry and it had started taking a toll on me. I was becoming cynical, I was not a nice guy, my relationship was strained, and I was unhappy with who I was on the outside and on the inside. I felt a desperate need to throw it all away and become less self-centered.
And then yoga came crashing into my life.
My name is Stephen Ewashkiw and I have been teaching yoga for more than 10 years. My yoga journey began in 2006 when I moved to Los Angeles from London, England.
Yoga Comes Crashing In
Soon after arriving in LA, I was in a bad motorcycle accident. I shattered my collarbone and broke every rib on the left side of my body. There’s more but that’s the shortlist of injuries. If I hadn’t been wearing my helmet I would have almost certainly died.
Please, please, please always wear your helmet!
After spending months in rehab things still didn’t feel right. I kept saying that I felt misaligned and I had heard that yoga could help with alignment. So I decided that I would give it a try. This is how yoga found me 🙂
When I regained consciousness after the accident I was strapped to a backboard and the paramedics were cutting my clothes off. In the moment I didn’t think, “This is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.”
But in hindsight, because it brought me to yoga, it absolutely is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I felt like there couldn’t have been a better time or place for it to happen either. Los Angeles is a hotbed for yoga and in 2006 the yoga scene was particularly potent. Looking back now I realize how fortunate I was to have access to such amazing teachers.
I started practicing several times per week with some of the greatest yoga teachers in Los Angeles. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the practice was doing much more for me than helping me realign my body – it was helping me realign my life.
One of my first teachers encouraged me to dive deeper into the practice and it was in his classes, and in conversation with him, that I recognized the shift which was happening in my life. This opened my eyes to this new possibility where I could help guide others through this transformational process.
Before long I was taking my first 200-hour teacher training with two of the most incredible yoga teachers, Darren Rhodes and Christina Sell. At the same time world-renowned teacher-of-teachers Noah Mazé was leading weekly classes in LA and I soon became a regular in his classes, going on to study intensively with Noah over the past ten years.
Support Is The Key
I am so fortunate to have an incredibly supportive partner in my wife, Jane. While I was going through this shift she was working in corporate America and was able to support our life so that I was able to step back from my career in the music industry and focus full-time on being a student of yoga, and then transitioning into actually teaching yoga.
It was during the first teacher training that I began teaching yoga – first to friends and neighbors in the park, and then I soon landed my first teaching job in a yoga studio in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
I was also teaching in studios around LA by subbing classes. This gave me more experience, and let the studio test me out and get feedback from their students. Before long I was offered regularly scheduled classes. This is something I highly recommend for teachers looking for their first jobs, or if you move to a new city.
I loved teaching and jumped into the experience with both feet. I quickly became a sought after teacher at some of the best studios in the city and my schedule was packed with 15 – 18 classes per week, which is a great way for any teacher to jump right in and deepen their skills.
I have continued to study (maybe a little obsessively!), and during the past five years I completed Noah Mazé’s 300-hour teacher training, as well as Noah’s Mazé Method certification program, which is an additional 1000 hours of study and training that is sort of like a Ph.D. in yoga.
For the past 7 years, along with Jane, I have been a yoga nomad, traveling the world to teach yoga and share my passion for practice and study. When I stop and think about the numbers… it’s incredible. I have taught thousands of students over the past 10 years in more than 25 countries.
Yoga In Every Moment
As a traveling yoga teacher, it can be challenging to unroll my mat and practice asana every day. Fortunately, I don’t follow, or promote, a dogmatic approach to yoga.
It’s totally ok to not practice asana every day.
I don’t mean to say the asana practice shouldn’t be a priority to you, but – SPOILER ALERT – you are not a bad person if you don’t practice asana every day.
And you are not automatically a better person if you do.
Yoga is about so much more than the physical practice, and I work to practice yoga in every moment of my life. That’s a huge goal and while I don’t succeed in every moment, I do keep practicing.
Back to my asana practice. I aim to practice some asanas 5 – 6 days each week, but that can range from a 2-hour practice to 20 minutes before bed. I sit for meditation most days, but again it isn’t a dogmatic approach and I give myself permission to not sit every day (and not to feel guilty about it).
What do I recommend for you? Well, I don’t know you (unless I do, in which case, Hi!) so it would be presumptuous for me to tell you how much you should practice.
A good guideline though is to do it when you need it, do it when you want it, do it when you have time to set aside the rest of your life and spend some time with yourself. And do it as often as is realistic for your life.
Plus, practice the principles that underpin yoga as much as you can in your daily interactions at work, in your relationships, in your experiences, and in your life in general. How do you learn these principles? Study. Conversation. Experience.
Yoga has the power to help you find the truth about who you are and to inspire you to work every day to be your best self. But it does take effort.
You have to do the work of yoga in order for the yoga to work for you.
I created Adventure Yoga as my own personal brand in 2014. It arose not from a desire to create a massive yoga school but to create a brand that people could relate to and understand more than if I were to call it “Stephen Ewashkiw Yoga”.
My goal with Adventure Yoga is to help you uncover the courage and strength to make the most of your potential and to facilitate your own transformation — and also to have more fun in life and on the mat.
My aim is to give you the knowledge, courage, and empowerment to make your own choices and step outside your comfort zone. You will also learn how to skillfully refine your poses and improve your techniques. Together we will use biomechanics to help you find alignment in your practice and in your life.
Adventure Yoga is an alignment-infused Hatha & Vinyasa practice. Sometimes we flow, sometimes it’s slow — but it’s always an adventure!
Some people, at first glance, think that yoga is the opposite of adventure.
“Yoga is where you go to escape the exciting/stressful twists and turns of your life, isn’t it?”
Sure, it can start out that way — but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that yoga can transform your life. But, just like any transformation, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to go on an adventure.
Life is hard. So is yoga. No instant fixes here. Sorry.
But that’s kind of the point of yoga. And it is exactly the point of Adventure Yoga. Facing the challenges of the poses on the mat helps to prepare you for the challenges in your life.
Yoga is a great tool for exploring and expanding the possibilities in your life.
Rather than being stuck in someone else’s idea of what your life should be, yoga helps you live your own adventure. We should all do what we love and love what we do. Thankfully we have yoga to help.
Yoga helps you live your own adventure.
In my classes, I teach you to listen for your heart and to listen to it. From there we can increase your confidence and strength so you have the courage to take the next step towards your best life.
That’s why I say #AdventureBeginsatOM
Do You Want To Teach Yoga?
I get asked by students all the time which Yoga Teacher Training (TTC) they should pursue, and, “Should it be India or Bali?” My answer is always the same questions: Who is leading the training? And why do you want to study with them?
It is important to me that students learn to choose to study with a teacher who they resonate with, who they have experience studying with, and who is going to challenge them to grow beyond the boundaries their life had before yoga. I feel this is much more important than concerns like where the training is being held.
That said, you can join me in 2020 at Desa Seni in Canggu, Bali where I will be leading their teacher training in October and on training staff for their other TTCs next year. But before you come, check out some of my classes on YouTube of Facebook and practice with me to see if I resonate with you. Send me a message. I am easy to reach through my socials.
Not every teacher is right for every student.
Now For Your Adventure
Through practicing pranayama, meditation, and asana, I was able to move beyond all of the ideas I had placed on myself about who I was, and who I should be. I discovered that when I didn’t focus on who I thought I should be, but instead focused on what was true about me on the inside, when I focused on what made me happier, I was much happier.
I travel the world leading Adventure Yoga training and running the transformational travel blog My Five Acres with my amazing partner Jane. My goal is to empower you to decide who you want to be and what you want from life — and to help you cultivate the courage you need to go get it.
Do you want to change your life? Spend time studying with me and you will begin to look at the world differently and you’ll begin to look at yourself differently. Join me for an adventure in yoga!
Adventure Yoga Founder
Co-founder at My Five Acres, leading transformational travel blog