creating ripples: the work of the yogi — thoughts from yogini Nikki Estrada September 28 2016, 0 Comments

As a yogi, I feel immense dedication to the art and science of yoga. For thousands of years, the ancient seers have described karma and the law of cause and effect:  how we behave, the actions we choose, the words we speak, all carry energy. That energy has a ripple effect.  As the renowned yogi TKV Desikachar put it: “actions leave traces.”  The longer I practice yoga, the more I know this powerful truth and the more I know I have a duty and a responsibility to send out positive, inspiring ripples.  It’s a two-step process.

Step One: The Work of the Yogi

To begin, I must examine myself. Yep. I must take a look at myself, the good, the bad and the ugly. I must be willing to admit to myself when I am wrong in my thinking, unkind in my actions or words, or triggered into jealousy or judgement. I have to be willing to see the parts of myself that are not helpful.  And I need to be willing to make change. It is not always fun or easy, but it is the work of the yogi and it is rewarding.  Personally, I’ve found meditation the best tool to realize quiet, giving me the best space for taking a good look — I even integrate a mantra asking the universe to support me in making positive waves of energy.

Step Two: Take Kind Action

But is meditation or asana enough?  Taking action, kind action, is what creates a ripple and leaves a trace.  It might be as simple as allowing a car to merge in traffic. It might be extending kindness to a coworker who is edgy and cranky. Or it could be as big as volunteering your time regularly to help people.  Whatever your action, take it with a desire to “do good.”

These two steps is how yoga creates positive change. This is how our yoga practice has real and lasting value. This is what it means to me to say “do good.”


About Nikki Estrada

Nikki Estrada has been in the yoga scene for more than twenty years.  She leads workshops, teacher trainings and immersions nationwide. Nikki began her formal training in India, focusing on Ashtanga. She is currently a senior yoga teacher and educator in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nikki's Vinyasa-based classes are a synthesis of her years of yogic and Ayurveda study and personal experience, with an emphasis on spirituality, intelligent alignment, meditation, and living life more joyfully. Her videos can be found on More information about Nikki can be found at   She resides in northern California with her husband and two daughters.