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Happy Holidays! A Year In Review

I hope you are well, snuggled up warm and cozy. This is an auspicious week for sure!  We are in the middle of Hannukah, the Winter Solstice is Wednesday, and Christmas arrives on Sunday. (It's also Crossoword Puzzle Day and Humbug Day, so if none of the others suit you there's still something to celebrate!) 

As I write here in my comfy overstuffed chair, I am feeling the brightness of these holidays a little extra this year.  I took a few minutes to turn back the pages of my calendar to remember where 2022 began and what yoga we have done since it’s beginning. 

Ya'll--we did a lot. 

  • We kicked off the New Year with a Reboot workshop, getting our energy flowing and chakras spinning with plans for 2022.
  • A second cohort of Chakra Savvy: Reset Your Life Game Plan yogis dove into their mind-body connection, changed patterns, and healed old wounds. 
  • We had fun with our Gal/Pal/Valentines at a Partner Yoga Workshop at Castle Hill Fitness.
  • Two ...
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What's in a name, anyway?

Something unexpected happened in this week's Monday Morning Yoga class, and it still has me thinking. Because we are an intimate group, we have time to share our name at the start of every class. I also usually ask a question, like favorite color or vacation place. Inevitably the answers weave themselves into the theme of our class, so it really is a custom made, one-of-a-kind experience. This week I suggested we share first names and whatever else you like! Our first yogini set us up for a great share and others quickly followed.

 

Her name is Rebecca, but her whole life, until age 38, everyone called her Becky. At 38 she decided she liked the name Rebecca much better, and made the switch. From there, we heard so many stories about names! Stephanie legally changed her middle name when she was 13. Sara still has problems traveling because a pesky "h" made it onto her birth certificate, but nowhere else. Agness as a middle name was the dismay of childhood but perfect in...

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Trouble in the sleep department

As I lay awake last night from 3am-6am I thought of you. (Is that weird?)  I'm normally pretty blessed with decent sleep, but every now and then it just doesn't happen. So as I sat with my mug of warm milk at 5am, I thought of a couple things that that might help us all.

Let's talk about vata.

 

In Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, there are three main energies at play within us and in our surroundings.  Like the humors, they are related to the elements and explain the experience and behavior of our body and mind. We are all made up of various amounts of these substances: wind and ether, fire, earth and water.  You might have come across the terms

 pitta (fire and water),

 kapha (water and earth),

 vata (wind and ether).

 

Now there is A LOT to learn about all this, and I can't go into everything right now.  For our purposes, we're going to focus on the wind element and time.

 

Vata blows through our...

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3 Ways to Expand Your Capacity to Be Around Other Humans

I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was delightful and fun, with a healthy dose of yum! Ours was lovely–a good balance of family, friends, and good conversation while eating the feast Nick prepared.  (I’m the prep cook and decorator/table setter, which suits me just fine.)  

 

Lucky for me I’m fairly extroverted, which gives me a broad bandwidth for chit chat and the high volume that comes with a room full of people. But I have to admit, my bandwidth has decreased post-Covid. I find myself daydreaming of my jammies way earlier than I did three years ago, and I know it’s not just a natural aging progression.  It’s a nervous system that’s out of shape for marathons of social engagement. 

 

Thankfully, we have tools for this.  I believe we can get back to pre-Covid party tolerance, if that is indeed what we want to do. Either way, I think these three things will help the most in navigating our way back to balance...

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Gratitude through the lens of the chakras

Happy Thanksgiving week!  My favorite holiday of the year is finally here.  In Online Yoga Membership (OYM) we have been practicing gratitude all month in a way I wanted to share with you today.

 

What does gratitude look like through the lens of the chakras?  Maybe you can take a moment and consider these for yourself, or share them with someone you celebrate with.

 

Looking over the last year, what are you thankful for in regards to:

 

Abundance.  How have you been blessed in your material world?

Release.  What is something you let go of this year that has been a relief to you?

Power. Is there a power or strength within you that you woke up to this year?

Relationships. Who has come into your life that you are so happy to have? 

Voice.  What meaningful conversations did you have this year that you hope to remember for years to come?

Connection: What is a connection you made this year, with someone else or within...

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Strong Butts = Happy Hip Flexors

glutes hip pain yoga poses Nov 15, 2022

Every now and then it seems like there is a trend of sorts. Not the fun kind that create an excuse to buy some new shoes, but one where several unrelated people have similar physical issues.  It's like when I used to bartend and everyone was ordering the same unusual drink on a Saturday night. There was no discernible reason, no commonality between the groups, no obvious connection across the bar, but every now and then it was Long Island Iced Teas for everyone! (And things often got messy on those nights!)

 

But I digress...

 

Lately I've been hearing a lot about hip flexors, psoas, and inner thigh pain.  Whether it comes and goes, is sharp or dull, often the culprit isn't the front body, but the back. Weak bums can make for tense hip flexors.  This naturally occurs with our sitting lifestyle, stress, and aging.  

 

So what can you do about it? 

 

Here are my 3 favorite antidotes to tired glutes:

1) On all fours, rear leg lifts.

2)...

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On Eclipses and Elections

Today is so full, is it not? Not only are we starting off with a big, beautiful Full Moon Lunar Eclipse, but it’s Election Day as well! This is finishing up our current “eclipse season,” which included last month’s partial solar eclipse on October 25. You can think back over these last few weeks and take note of things that have left your life, or cycled off, and what new ideas or projects have started to take shape. Once we’re on the other side of today, things that left will stay gone and things that arrived or continue will remain.  It’ll be new.  For better or worse.

 

But to have a national election on such a day! Well, shiver me timbers, ya’ll! Can’t you just feel the importance? We are the fortunate ones, living here and now, who are shaping the future with our little checked boxes and I VOTED stickers.  I feel so many things about these times we’re living in, and mostly it’s awe. 

 

To...

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Deep Dive or Quick Hit?

We have arrived in November! And we’re ready to enter the month of gratitude.  In Online Yoga Membership we will start a journey through the chakras, giving gratitude for each aspect of ourselves as laid out by the energetic centers within us.  Enjoy this yourself by thanking your body, emotions, will, heart, voice, intuition, and spirit! You can go in order, or consider where you don’t feel very in touch or a little out of balance and start there. (If you’re not sure, simply start with this Chakra Check-In Self Assessment.)

 

What I like about spending a whole month on one topic is that it has a chance to really sink in and change us.  Gratitude is one of the best examples of this.  Daily gratitude is a free and easy antidote to habitual negative thinking, insecurity, sadness, and anxiety.  And it’s a practice. Pushing back against a culture that entices you to want more and fuels your desire for a life beyond your reach can be...

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Conversations With a Spider

For the past couple of years I have spent two hours, one Friday per month, in a Spiritual Direction Group. There are four of us in this little band of contemplatives, led by Nancy, our Spiritual Director. Each month we have a short experience, followed by silence, reflection, response, prayer, and more silence. It is one of the most enriching aspects of my life, and it has brought me great joy and insights.  

 

On one of our first gatherings, Nancy gave us the instructions to head out into nature on her beautiful property, find a place that seems to be calling you to come sit, and do just that. Sit, look around, and see what is there for you.  Listen, without expectations. It’s called Wilderness Contemplation. 

 

I love an assignment like this because you can’t possibly do it wrong, and it leaves a lot open to interpretation.  I get to be as woo-woo and magical as I want, no judgment.  So on this day, naturally I had a conversation...

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Out of Your Head and Into Your Heart

heart meditation peace retreat Oct 18, 2022

I’ve been home from a wonderful trip to Tuscany for a few days now, and my memories are already nourishing me and giving me reasons to reflect.  If you were to ask me if the trip were for business or pleasure, I’d have to say, “Yes! Both!”  The first week I was there I had the extraordinary privilege of attending a NOVA Women’s Leadership retreat, followed by four days with Nick sightseeing and driving through some of the most breathtaking vistas on Earth.  

 

This retreat came at the perfect time.  I, like so many others, have been in a state of wondering, “What’s next?” As the world has opened up again, so have our options.  And now, rather than quick pivots and reactions to studios closing or pandemics forcing us online, we get to think about and plan whatever is to come.  

 

But when there’s all the options, it can be harder to narrow things down! 

 

Lately, this has...

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