On days like today, I’m glad for the practice of yoga. When I first started, it was to keep my body limber and my mind at ease. Over time it became a wonderful source of community and divine connection. My thirst for knowledge in all things yoga led me to study with some of the world’s premier yoga teachers, like John Friend, Chase Bossart, Christina Sell, Leslie Kaminoff, and Anodea Judith.
It was studying with them that I realized that life and yoga are not separate, and yoga is not always an escape. In fact, it's where I choose to walk straight into whatever fire is burning and try to understand it from the inside out. In doing this, I learn about myself from the inside out. And that's the only way to live more consciously and be able to take right action and surrender the results.
You voted. Your work is done. The rest you cannot control. So breathe and have a little faith because this too shall pass. The Universe is working for...
I’ve been thinking a lot about things that haunt--not just tech goblins or spooky ghosts, but haunts from the past. Old experiences, relationships, and patterns that appear from time to time to hijack our present happiness.
Last week I met a dear friend for a walk in our local park. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful week for me. I’m a big fan of October--the flowers are jewel-toned, the weather cools down, it’s my birthday... ;)
But for my friend, it’s full of anxiety. She shared with me that deep in her bones there is a fear. This fear comes from a traumatic memory of last Halloween--an event that had her on the edge for months afterward. Although she and her family are now on the other side of it, the anticipation of the one-year anniversary was causing great suffering. She wanted to skip the whole holiday. They all wanted to avoid it. I totally got that.
But after chatting a bit, we...
If you’ve taken any yoga classes with me in the past, you probably know I love good alignment cues. I love finding tiny little adjustments to a posture that have big benefits and “aha moments.” I love it when one principle applies to a broad range of postures and their accessibility. So today I’m going to share with you the
3 yoga asana cues that I believe are the most valuable in any pose or class.
You don’t have to be an experienced yogi to benefit from what I’m going to share with you today. In fact, these three cues are helpful even if you never step on a yoga mat!
The first one is soften.
Are you surprised? This is the first thing I always say when we are beginning a new pose. (It’s also a great thing to do when you enter a new conversation with yourself or someone else.) We begin by taking a breath and softening.
This softening trickles down on your...
“Where your attention goes, so goes your prana.”
This is a line of wisdom from my teacher Chase Bossart that I think of almost daily, and it’s meaning continues to have greater depth and influence in my thinking. Did you realize you can affect your whole life by being purposeful about where or on what you are placing your attention? Today I’m talking about a third type of meditation: object meditation.
This is the practice I'm most familiar and comfortable with, and it's the kind I use in Yoga Therapy.
Meditating on an object comes from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient text on the theory and practice of yoga. Patanjali lists many things on which to concentrate that will have different results. In Sutra 1.39 he even says you can meditate on anything that is elevating to you. In my practices with my teachers and the practices that I offer to my students, we use different objects to move us towards an...
Have you every had someone tell you to "lighten up?" Did it help, or was it infuriating?
Do you ever feel like that space between when something happens to you and when you react is very, very thin?
I think what a lot of us are craving right now is some SPACE to LIGHTEN UP. The burdens of living in a pandemic and all that goes with it have a lot of us on edge. This is totally understandable! And I'm here to help you create some space for your mind to relax and your spirit to breathe.
Today I recalled a time when things were quite hard for me. Nick and I were starting our restaurant, our kids were very small, and everything was on the line. Nick had to work long hours every day for several months to get the business going, and my troubles and stress felt BIG.
For my birthday, my mom gave me a little sign to hang on my bathroom wall that said,
"Put on a little lipstick. You'll feel...
Let me ask you something:
How's your breath?
No, I'm not suggesting you go grab a mint. I'm wondering if you've played with the first part of Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation yet: "Be with your breath as it goes out?"
My last blog and podcast episode launched us into this exploration of three different meditation techniques I'm learning right now. This first one I'm learning through the book Start Where You Are, A Guide to Compassionate Living, by Pema Chödrön.
Call me dense, but it was only this week that I realized this is the first kind of meditation I ever tried! My first meditation teacher, Sally Kempton, taught my teacher training group back in 2004 to label our thoughts, "thinking." This is the second part of the Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation.
You can try it right now:
Something I've had fun doing this season is reading and trying new things. I've pulled books off my shelf that I hadn't gotten around to yet, ordered some new ones, and signed up for a couple online classes. And now they're making their way into my teaching, which is the way it is supposed to be :)
I'm currently practicing three different types of meditation, and I wanted to share them a little more in depth with you here. If you've tried meditation and didn't care for it, I encourage you to try again! Try a different method or have another crack at a style you've done before--you are in a different place now, and that can make all the difference.
Over the next few weeks I will describe or explain three different types of meditation. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it's a good start.
First, I'm trying the Buddhist practice of Shamatha-Vipashyana Meditation. My resource is Pema Chödrön's...