Several months ago I was introduced by a friend to yoga photographer Alina Hokanson. She is also a talented and skilled yoga teacher, and I admire what she does in her work and in her life. One thing led to another, and at the drop of a hat, we had decided to collaborate. Our first “yoga shoot” took place in downtown Denver in the area adjacent to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art.

The photos published on this post were taken by Alina and I enjoyed every moment of the process. Because she teaches yoga, she has the knowledge to correct my alignment as much as possible for a photo. We have plans to meet monthly for photos and fun! This is another glorious example of the connections that are made possible through blogging and instagramming. Thanks to Alina, I have the opportunity to grow in my practice and create yoga ensembles while doing so.

I’ve published several yoga posts in the past, and I continue to appreciate the benefits and gifts that yoga provides.

Yoga offers a continual challenge in all areas of my inner self: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  It has been a lifeline for me during difficult times. And an addition to my well-being when life soars.

Every class is different, but intriguing.  Teachers vary.  The background music is diverse and enhancing to movement.  The class may be crowded and mat to mat.  Or small with unlimited space.  Yogis practice at every level, but competition does not reign.  Rather, there is a vision of what’s possible, based on experience and factors having little to do with age.

Yoga is an analogy to life off the mat.  I strive for balance and mindful flow.  I am motivated to stretch and grow, with attention to the power of the breath and the profound opening of the heart.  If I enter a zone of pain, it’s time to draw back and assess, but then try again with a renewed focus on correcting my position or making a small meditative change in my approach.

My poses are far from perfect, as compared to the masters that I have observed.  But yoga and life are not about perfection or comparison. Rather, a space for experimentation and exploration, at times losing my balance and making mistakes, always moving forward with intention.

As in life, even the smallest shift can produce significant change. And when holding a pose becomes difficult, that is when the position has just begun, with the knowing that it will not last forever.  It comes down to me, my mat and a knowledgeable guide.  And a respect for limitations related to injury prevention, knowing what’s best for my body.

All of this is why I keep coming back day after day, month after month, and year after year.

Photos by Alina Hokanson

Photo of Alina Hokanson

Alina began her journey with yoga in 2007 and has been teaching yoga since 2010.  She creates a nurturing and supportive environment in her classes and workshops. She assists students in becoming more courageous and balanced, not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Alina’s classes are melodic, inspiring and accessible.  She thinks that when one can come into a space where they think less and feel more that clarity in intention and movement is amplified not only on the mat but in everyday life.

She is a forever student, not only of yoga but of life. There is a constant ebb and flow between the peaks and valleys in life and the journey between the two are what make this human experience inspiring and worthwhile.  Alina has found yoga empowers us to live with more gratitude, joy and ease and ultimately is an essential tool for being more fully present in both life’s challenging and enjoyable moments….From Alina Hokanson’s website


  1. Beautiful photos! I would like to start doing yoga as I think it would benefit me both physically and mentally. I get very stiff hip flexors from running which causes back pain. I’m also aware that my posture isn’t great, so now’s the time to tackle it before it causes long term problems. I definitely won’t look as graceful as you though!

    Emma xxx

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