5 Reasons a Beginner’s Series is Preferable to a Public Class

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”

7 Benefits of a Consistent Practice

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”

Surviving a Hot Pitta Summer

I have a tendency to seek out hot and humid places to call home, so for me, it’s summer all year long.  However, the months of June, July and August are hotter than most – for me and most other people in the Northern Hemisphere.

Ayurvedically speaking, summer is Pitta season.

That means the potential is there for frustration, overheating, anxiety, and fights over nothing.

Living in sync with the seasons means taking care of yourself when your environment changes.  Today, we’ll look at some self-care techniques you can put in place as the temperatures rise.

Continue reading “Surviving a Hot Pitta Summer”

A Moment of Gratitude

I have a confession to make, yogis and yoginis!  I am a bookworm, and I usually have at least one fiction or historical fiction book that I’m working through.  In that vein, I’ve spent the last few weeks steeped in the past – whether that be Russia’s Imperial Age as written in Anna Karenina or the times of slavery described by Octavia Butler in Kindred or Jewel Parker Rhodes in Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau or stories of true history as shared by the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast.

Add my studies of various translations of the Yoga Sutras and and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (expect some posts exploring these soon), and you have an idea of where my mind has been lately!

Along with all the valuable lessons I am reaping from my recreation and study, I am left with a sense of appreciation and awe for this time and place we are all lucky enough to occupy.

I know – there’s plenty of crazy to point to that’s happening in our current time – strange fads, worrisome country leaders, and tragic events, but there’s also just so much magnificence, right? Continue reading “A Moment of Gratitude”

Heartbreak

Please accept this as the first of several posts designed to illustrate seasons of life where your yoga and meditation practice will be helpful.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had your heart broken….

Crickets?  Probably not.  Unfortunately, this is one big, painful part of the human experience that we all must traverse.

What is even more heartbreaking than heartbreak is giving up on love

 

Here are some ways Yoga and Reiki can help you find your way through the wilderness a broken heart and back to living and loving from your fullest

Continue reading “Heartbreak”

Happiness is Already There

Perspective is everything.  It’s well known within the yoga world that five minutes in a headstand will shake up your bad day and improve your mood.  Yoga inversions move the physical body up side down, sending our feet reaching towards the sky and our heads rooting towards the earth.  This change in our physical bodies gets our blood flowing to the heart, drains the lymph system, and invigorates our energetic body.  It also uproots the emotional and thought bodies, subtly shifting persistent thought patterns to allow us to see through the illusion that is unhappiness and connect to shri, the true joy of the present moment.

EmYoga-headstand-200

Moving to Central America has created a change in how I define happiness.  Our Western culture often teaches us that happiness equates to acquisition.  Read:  get happy by chasing your desires.  I spoke here about how corporations launched a successful campaign on the public to convince them to buy what they don’t need.  The reason that campaign had so much impact is that jumping from desire to desire is part of the One Human Condition.   Continue reading “Happiness is Already There”

Working with an Inward Focus

Mercury went into Retrograde for the third time this year at the beginning of the month.  I felt the effects early enough in the forms of difficulties in communication with friends and family that sometimes led to hurt feelings or a breakdown of plans.  In case you’re not familiar with Mercury in Retrograde, it’s characterized by difficulties communicating, breakdowns of electronics used in communicating – phones, computers, fax machines, and a general ‘not working out’ of plans made.  It’s a poor time to make any big decisions such as changing jobs, buying a house or a car, or for signing contracts.

This does not bode well for the job search which I started in earnest in October and continues through this month with growing intensity as I see the ‘green energy’ in my bank account dwindle.  Continue reading “Working with an Inward Focus”

Wherever You Go, There You Are

I love noticing patterns in my life, and then noticing the way those patterns, or habits, affect the way I interact with other people, make healthy or unhealthy lifestyle choices, or even affect the way I breathe.  Patterns are the foundations of our lives, from clearly observable patterns in the physical world to the more subtle patterns of action that create our samskaras.  I welcome situations that put me face to face with my patterns and force me to recognize the effects they may be having on my life.  Making such a drastic change as moving to another country has allowed me a rare opportunity to see observe the patterns I use to fill my time.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Continue reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are”