Yes–this blog is late. I like running things like clockwork, but sometimes you gotta go off of schedule for a bit, no? We just finished up four days and nights of fun and friendship when my bestie and her three kids visited to kick off the summer together. I hope yours was what you wanted as well!
One thing that didn’t get bumped was this week’s Jess on the Mountain podcast episode 16: How to Live On Purpose. I really enjoyed reflecting on living on purpose, and what that looks like. I realized that, to me, it doesn’t only mean living your “life purpose,” as in that one special passionate thing for each of us. It’s lived out in everyday moments, and the more these everyday moments are done with purpose, the more it is that no matter what you are doing with your one precious life, the more it will align with the highest good for you and for those whose lives you touch.
I narrow this “life on...
Do you ever consider your fear, guilt, or shame as something to be thankful for? It's a weird question, I know, but sometimes I like to flip normal thinking and behavior on its head and consider those things in ourselves that we'd rather resist as, well, gifts.
Whenever I work with people one-on-one with their frustrating blocks, patterns, and shadows (like fear, guilt, and shame), I always encourage a gratitude practice. After all, this impediment, or way of being, somehow helped and protected them to get to this point. Their system believed it was necessary for survival or success. In some way, I’m sure it was. But has outlasted its expiration date–it’s time for them to let it go because it has become more of a hindrance than a help.
I like to think of unhelpful patterns and habits as dutiful soldiers. They are showing up to fight the good fight and protect you in a way that has worked in the past. But once you see the pattern, the war...
Have you ever thought about how much is required to keep these bodies going? There are so many doctors, trainers, therapists, and instructors out there ready to help us keep this "earth suit" in tip-top shape! And I'm so glad for all of them. (Are you a wellness professional? Please take this SURVEY--I'd love to know!)
Personally, I love to strike a balance between knowing what I need in order to fix it myself, and putting myself in the hands of a pro that's ready to guide me to feeling better and knowing more. I don't intend to learn acupuncture, but I sure love the way it makes me feel! So I outsource that for sure. I have big thoughts and questions about my relationship with God, so I have a spiritual director for that. I also don't do blood work and I can't reach the tightness between my shoulderblades, so I have a doctor and massage therapist I see when the need is there.
My expertise is in yoga, specifically the chakras. So if I have an issue that I...
I don’t know how much you think about your energy, but when you’re in my line of work it comes up a lot. Every Yoga Therapy session intake asks about it, every class considers it at the beginning, and engaging with the chakra system brings it into full focus. This past weekend was no exception–and it was SO FUN!
At the monthly Chakra Savvy Yoga Practice at Castle Hill Fitness we went through every chakra, charging, releasing, and energizing our way up to finally a very quiet, balanced mind. Quiet enough to listen to our inner wisdom. One woman even remarked it was the first time she had ever experienced true stillness in her mind. To me, that’s a HUGE win. I mean, that’s what it's all about, really! So fun.
During the Chakra 3 (power center) portion of the class we stopped and did some partner work that so beautifully demonstrated charging and releasing energy that I wanted to share it with you here, and...
After teaching yoga for 18 years and chakra yoga for much of that time, there is still one question that people ask me that gets me a little stymied:
What's a chakra?
You'd think I'd have a stock response by now, but I really don't. I might be so entrenched in the depth of that question that the simplicity evades me. I know the beauty and the complexity of the chakra system. But complexity is not useful to anyone who hasn't experienced this work or studied it in their own life.
Simply put, chakra (pronounced chaa - kruh) is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disc. These wheels or discs are vortexes of energy in your body. In the modern context, there are seven of them.
How's that for a clear and concise answer?
If you're like me, it leads to more questions, so if you'll allow me, I'll continue...
Chakras are part of your subtle body system, which is what controls your physical body. Your subtle body is what senses the...
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...
There's some good stuff happening in Chakra Savvy: Reset Your Life Game Plan right now, and I wanted to let you in a bit. We are focusing on the fifth chakra, or the area of the neck, throat, and upper shoulders. This is the energetic bottleneck between our ideas and manifesting them in the world. It's also the bottleneck between our feeling and emotions, felt in the lower chakras, and our ability to speak, them, understand them, and gain insight from them, which is the work of the upper chakras. No wonder we get tight! There can be quite an internal traffic jam. And with all the digital devices we use and driving we do, which tends to pull and tighten our necks and shoulders, we need to do some good stretches on the daily. (If you want to check out your work space ergonomics and make sure you're set up for success, try my YouTube video Work Space Healthy Habits.)
It doesn't even have to be a long or complicated yoga sequence.
“You have earned this spot. You are worthy. You are a great American.”
These are the words of Senator Cory Booker as he was addressing now Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on the third day of her confirmation hearings. His impassioned speech brought joy and tears to the hearts of many, including Justice Jackson. What he did was speak a truth into her that I imagine she needed to hear. And judging from her response, her whole being needed to hear it. She needed that truth to come in, settle in, and take the lead.
What he gave her were affirmations, or, in yoga terms, sankalpa. These short phrases speak against our negative or self-sabotaging thought patterns and replace them with thoughts that uplift, encourage, and affirm the truth of our life and who we are. They can feel like wishful thinking, but to the mind they are just as real as reality. (This is why you can cry at movies and have empathy with fictional...
I'm sitting at my little desk in my home yoga studio, and I'm thinking about the mind-body connection. Nick and I just talked for a couple hours about what chakras are and why I work with them, etc. And it's not because I was explaining things to him. He was doing most of the talking, and it's everything I needed to hear.
You see, I have been learning and thinking about the chakras for so long, I see the complicated interplay, I know the history, I know they're not something to "fix," and you can't poke them with a stick. And yet there they are. A beautiful map of...of what? I was having trouble getting to the basic idea of what's going on here and why it works.
Nick said it: mind-body connection.
If you've reached adulthood and have any amount of personal reflection and self awareness, you know you have patterns. You know you keep doing something that isn't helpful, and is possibly...
How tuned in are you to your energetic flow? Do you know when your cups are getting low and you need a refill? Do you know what I mean by that?
This blog is posting late because my cups got emptied...by poison ivy. Before last weekend I was rocking and rolling, so excited about our 5 Day Challenge and planning all the fun things I have in store for us. That same strong energy took me from weeding a small area in my back yard to clearing brush and weed trees on the edge of our property. I was KILLIN’ it! And I didn’t even notice our 3-leafed friend. But my body did. And it kinda overreacted.
I’ll spare you the journey, but it wiped me out. And I’ll tell you what I’ve learned after many years of pushing through--it’s not worth it. I’m happy to say as soon as the wave of fatigue hit, I went to the doctor, cancelled all my appointments, and went to bed. It’s what...