University City Yoga
"Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony."
-- Mahatma Gandhi


Stephen Fisher






Here are some of the musings that underly my practice and my teaching. I will be adding more musings over the next few weeks, so please check back.

  • My practice
  • My practice involves spiritual, emotional, and physical components spread across both Eastern and Western activities. One of my teachers wisely advised me not to attempt to mix my practices. "Do tai chi as tai chi and do yoga as yoga. Do not attempt to create some yoga-tai chi fusion. The practices will naturally mix themselves." This has been a guiding principle for me and has proven to be true for me. My practices have begun mixing and it was not through concerted efforts on my part.

      Meditation: My journey began with a mindfulness meditation course. While I still do some meditation these days, my meditation practice has largely been supplanted by my qi kung practice.

      Tai Chi: I was taught tai chi as a martial art and practiced it as such for about 10 years. I gained a lot from this practice spiritually and emotionally. While I would love to do more tai chi, I have drifted from this component of my practice in recent years.

      Qi Kung: Qi kung is perhaps the most fundamental component of my practice and in particular my spiritual practice.

      Yoga: My yoga practice has helped me to cultivate both physical and emotional growth. While I have practiced some pranayama, my pranayama practice does not have nearly the spiritual depth of my qi kung practice. Over time I have found myself engaging in qi kung exercises during my yoga practice. As my teacher said, they have begun to mix themselves.

      Running: Running is an essential component of my emotional and physical practice. This is my primary source of aerobic exercise, which I've found to be a key ingredient to my practice.

      Rock Climbing: While rock climbing obviously has a physical element, my fear of heights allows for me to gain a lot of emotional growth through rock climbing.

  • Sounds of silence
  • When I became a vegetarian I started reading food labels and was shocked by how much sugar is in our foods. In turn I started seeking out foods with less sugar. What I noticed is that as I reduced the sweetness of foods and drinks I began to appreciate other flavors that were masked by the sweetness. I've found the same to be true for me in terms of conversations and music. There's a sweetness to the silence I hear when the music and chatter stops. I find this particularly salient when I'm out for a run or bike ride. As the silence grows I feel as if my brain is relaxing and I become more at peace with myself and more tuned into my surroundings.

  • Embrace the chaos
  • When things turn chaotic it's much harder for me to stay present and my urge to seek distractions is stronger than ever. However this is also my most fruitful space for growth. It seems any efforts I make to stay present and maintain my practice are amplified in their effects. Once the chaos clears I've repeatedly found that my practice has grown significantly. So now when chaos hits I try to remember the positive inner benefits and attempt to use the chaos, the churning up of emotions, to grow my practice.

"My favorite parts about Stephen's class are his frequent corrections (by physical touch and verbal instruction) and his emphasis on getting the basics right. I was still doing several basic postures wrong (after 10 years of off and on yoga practice) and Stephen has helped me to do them more correctly.

One part of Stephen's class I don't like is that I can't be lazy. He pushes me to work hard which is actually something I need to do. Stephen also has a lot of experience practicing Tai Chi and Qigong. If you are curious about those disciplines, he is more than happy to discuss." -- Dan, Data Analyst at a local non-profit

"Stephen knows his stuff - and more importantly, he has an uncanny gift for knowing what *your* body is capable of. I've met many yogis who can dazzle with an array of impressive poses, but I have never encountered a better instructor. Stephen has been essential to my yoga journey. I know he can do the same for you!" -- Alex, Software Developer

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