I traveled last week to Coral Gables, Florida to take part in my friend’s event “Stress Less Sunday.” It was a long drive, but I was excited to be a part of her vision of offering donation-based self-care techniques and education to the community. Continue reading “Yoga for Kidney Health”
Mother’s Day is an excellent time to appreciate and connect with the Divine Feminine.
You’ll find this archetype throughout popular culture and in different religions.
The Goddess, the Queen, Wise Woman.
Mother Mary, Durga, Laksmi, Saraswati. Asherah, Astarte, Isis, Athena.
Each of these anthropomorphized archetypes offers an opportunity to connect with one aspect of the Divine Feminine: The Powerful, The Wise, The Strong, The Nurturing, The Compassionate, The Creative, and The Mother.
This Mother’s Day weekend, I encourage you to connect with the wisdom of the nurturer. Here are some ideas:
This has become so much of a buzz-word lately it’s almost lost it’s meaning. However, it bears repeating: with all of your responsibilities and all the ways that you serve others, it is necessary and important to make time to meet your own needs.
This means scheduling time just for you, and honouring that time as much as everything else on your calendar!
Private Yoga Class
Epsom Salt & Essential Oil Bath
In this always-on world, it’s easy to stop hearing the sound of your quiet inner voice. Carve some space out to turn off your phone and unplug.
Go to the Beach
Hike in the Forest
Connect with Community
If you have been feeling isolated, you might need some unstructured time with somebody you love, your family, friends, or even strangers united over a common interest!
Call a Friend
Group Yoga Class
A Night of Dancing/Music
Learn Something New!
Keep YOU at the Top of Your List
The amazing thing about self-care is the ripple-effect it has! When you implement these practices and begin to feel better, you find that you are more patient and kind with the people around you.
As you shed the hard layers of stress and soften the brittle fascia of your body, you’re better able to connect with your sacred self. When you shine from that space, you give others permission to live from their truth.
What more powerful gift can you offer the world than your conscious presence?
You’ve probably seen your local studio advertising a Beginner’s Series. They’re a popular way to for people to learn about a new practice, but you might be wondering what is so different between a Beginner Series and a public class?
1. Cumulative Classes
We’ll zero in on a small piece of the larger yoga puzzle, and each class will progressively build on previous classes, which leaves you with a strong foundation to walk into any yoga class you want.
2. Space for questions
Unlike a public class where everyone is silently moving from posture to posture following the teacher’s cues, inquisitive minds are encouraged to explore in this small-class format. Your wrists always hurt when you’re in Downward Facing Dog? Chances are, you’re not the only one, so we can pause as a class together to explore options that might benefit you and several other people in the room. Continue reading “5 Reasons a Beginner’s Series is Preferable to a Public Class”
What is the difference between unrolling your mat among friends and stepping onto your mat when it’s just you and your teacher? Traditionally, yoga was a cultivation of a relationship between one student and one teacher. It was never taught in a class, but instead was doled out over time as the teacher judged that the student was physically and mentally prepared to go deeper.
My first private yoga experience happened spontaneously. I was the only student who showed up for class with my favorite teacher. She turned that into an opportunity to share partner yoga, which is a mix of unique poses done with two bodies instead of one. What a cool experience!
The second time I worked privately was intentional. I found that I wasn’t getting the push I needed in public yoga classes, and wanted to explore how I could best practice inverted yoga poses. My teacher worked with me to create a custom sequence that addressed my specific mobility issues – very tight neck and shoulder muscles. I walked away with a group of poses I could practice at home, which over time led to more flexibility and stability in my shoulder girdle.
To Schedule Your Own Personal Session Today
I was surprised the evening after my private lesson to feel as though I had received a massage! I found the practice of working one-on-one to be nurturing, as my teacher constantly checked in with me and used her expert gaze to see things I was missing in my posture and alignment.
As a teacher, I often work with students who want to increase mobility and decrease stress. Sometimes, my students want a routine that will target specific muscles and compliment the activities they do outside of yoga, such as my client who is an experienced martial arts practitioner. Other clients prefer a custom practice to meet an ongoing issue, while still others prefer the one-on-one attention over moving in a group atmosphere.
Whatever your situation is, I believe that you can benefit from a personal experience. That’s why I want to offer a Spring Special that drastically discounts the cost of a single private class. In fact, this special offers the value of a free class when you commit to a 5 class package with me.
Together, we can create a sequence to meet your unique needs. I draw on my twenty years experience and offer up the tools of reiki, meditation, and yoga to help you meet mobility goals, release the stress of your responsibilities, and step away from energy that doesn’t serve you.
Contact me to schedule your session today! Virtual and In-Person Options are Available.
When I completed my 200 hour yoga training, my lead teachers kept talking about having a home practice. I would go home and roll my yoga mat out and try to recreate a sequence I learned in class. Often, I would get a few poses in and and just get stuck. I’d be hanging out in a high lunge trying to think of what comes next.
Or I would “forget” to roll my mat out at all. Living in Austin in my 20’s meant that there was always a farmer’s market, new band, or food truck to explore. It wasn’t rare that I would be too tired to come to my mat between social time, work, and all the yoga I was doing in my training and regular classes.
Once I received my certification and began teaching, I still struggled with creating time for a regular personal practice, despite one of my favorite teachers telling me that real teaching starts at home. It wasn’t until I signed up for an Anusara Immersion that required a regular home practice as a pre-requisite that I finally began to settle into a steady practice. Continue reading “7 Benefits of a Consistent Practice”
I first came to yoga in 1998, and I remain just as entranced with the practice today as I did twenty years ago. What keeps me coming back to my mat over and over again is the fact that the word yoga encompasses so much!
The sanskrit word yoga, or yuj, literally translates to the word yoke. Many interpret this to mean yoga is the yoking, or controlling, of the mind. It is also the yoking, or uniting, of breath and movement. You could say that yoga is the yoking, or union of yin and yang, of masculine and feminine, of strength and suppleness, of this and that…I could go on, but we’re all busy.
Suffice it to say that this balance of opposites is enough to intrigue, and the exploration that followed intrigue is still afoot.
Another aspect of yoga that keeps me hooked is the myriad forms and styles, kriyas and asanas, breath, mantra, mudra, and meditation that combine in endless forms to make up the physical and metaphysical practice of body and mind.
Whether it’s a new kriya from kundalini yoga, a favorite mantra I’m chanting, or the familiar Sivananda sequence of poses, there’s always a practice at my fingertips to challenge my mind and my body.
I am still shaking off the sleep from a 2 am flight out of Managua Nicaragua as I sit snuggling my daughter and reflecting on the past week in this surprisingly cool Florida afternoon.
When I was invited to participate in Yoga Fest Nicaragua, I was excited to contribute to an event dedicated to showcasing yoga from a variety of international teachers. I had few expectations, which gave me the freedom to experience and enjoy each moment fully. The impromptu dinners with new and old friends, the Reiki treatments and card readings Paty la Mariposa and I shared, and the many moments of free form dancing that overtook us all were moments of joy sin expectativas.
Some of the plans I set in motion for the week came to fruition and others didn’t, which allowed me the opportunity to open to grace and allow the universe to surprise me with a week that turned out far better than what I could have imagined!
I’m grateful to have lived long enough to have this perspective – rather than get frustrated if something I desire doesn’t come to pass, I trust that it is only to make space for something bigger.
For example, our Reiki Course at the Laguna de Apoyo was an incredible mix of women, both local to Nicaragua and long-term turistas, all visionaries offering something unique and brave to the world.
The trip was a healthy mix of work and play, which allowed us to serve people from all over the world with mini private yoga sessions, meditations and mantra offerings, chakra balancing, Reiki practice, and card readings.
And so the week turned out exactly as it was supposed to all along! I’m overtaken by gratitude for this practice that allows me to learn again and again, each time deeper, how to fully step into the present moment and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me.
Thank you for being a part of the journey.
I love the idea of pairing the Yamas and the Niyamas together as we explore the repurcussions of putting these concepts into imperfect practice in our daily lives.
It’s a powerful way to take your yoga practice beyond the mat and, if you’re like me, it’s something that you continually circle back to, refining and honing until the concepts crystallize and reverberate in your world.
The Yoga Sutras introduce us to these concepts of “right living,” or yamas, and “self-discipline,” or niyamas. There are 5 of each, and we began exploring two – Santosha and Aparigraha – in our last post.
The Yamas The Niyamas
Ahimsa – Non-Violence Saucha – Purification
Satya – Truthfullness Santosha – Contentment
Asteya – Not Stealing Tapas – Self-Discipline
Bramacharya – Conserving Vital Life Energy Svadyaya – Self Study
Aparigraha – Not Coveting Ishvara Pranidhana – Devotion
These concepts lay the groundwork of a yoga practice. Some even argue that their practice comes before your asana, or postural practice on the mat. I have found the yamas and the niyamas to contain layers of meaning, and when I perfect one, another reveals itself for me to work on.
Today we explore the twin concepts of Satya and Saucha –
Truthfullness and Cleanliness.
When you take your yoga off the mat and start digging into the philosophy (me, all day long…) we come up against several different concepts that boil down to this basic idea:
As the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s easy to see how hectic our lives are.
Even without the chaos of preparing for the perfect day, modern life tends to have a frenetic layer of haste. We find ourselves multi-tasking throughout the day. Add to that the layer of noise – from our children, friends, families, the news, your podcast, your playlist, the classic rock station playing while you shop.
With all of this hustle and bustle, it’s difficult to find the time to tune in to yourself. Each layer of distraction pulls you away from the present moment, from that constant serenity and peace, the infinite space and possibility imbued with Isha, the divine presence, that dwells within each of us.
It is with that in mind that my friend Paty and I set about creating a Retreat to Reconnect. We want to help you peel away the layers that are stopping you from connecting to your sacred self, so that when you step back into the beautiful whirr of your life, you step from a space of power and truth.
When we lose our connection to self, we might find ourselves reacting to small things with annoyance or frustration. Perhaps you’ve gone all day today without taking a full breath, or had a full conversation with somebody without really hearing a word.
If we spend weeks, months, or years in this state, it’s easy to lose track of your Dharma, the goal that is your life’s destiny.
Modern life is a constant distraction, and we all get sucked into the mundane. Continue reading “Peel Away the Layers – Modern Life and the 5 Koshas”