Every year I share a list of holiday self care reminders. This year I want to add something to the list.
You are allowed to pause.
When you’re busy, emotions are running high, and you feel like you need to be in 10 places at the same time, it’s tempting and possibly even automatic to tune out your needs and your body’s signals. Sometimes you do really need to disconnect to put out fires and ensure that everyone is safe. But many times checking in with yourself can be don
If there’s one thing you remember the next time you get on your mat to practice yoga (or lace up your running shoes or get on a machine at the gym), let it be this: If it hurts, change it. You are welcome to challenge yourself to your comfort level in class, but please don’t connect suffering through painful movement with yoga. You can find suffering in plenty of other areas of life! During our first yoga lesson together recently, a client told me, “squats always hurt my knee
I often hear from folks who want to try yoga but are convinced that they don't have the right gear or the right body or the right lifestyle for it. It's no wonder! When we think of yoga in the West, we often think of thin, bendy, white ladies wearing Lululemon, and practicing arm balances on $80 yoga mats in a yoga studio. It makes yoga seem very exclusive.
There are lots of guides out there for the "essential" things you need to practice yoga, which are usually laundry li
I teach a pose in my yoga classes that I've been calling the “funky flamingo.”
Obviously the funky flamingo isn’t a sacred, ancient yoga pose! It’s just a fun shape with a silly name that can become part of your yoga practice when you bring your attention, breath, and compassion to it.
If you’re curious, here’s a version of it: There's a lot going on! Chair pose, a heel squeezing up to challenge the hamstrings, a twist, plus balance. If you're having a tough balance day
Something I often hear from clients after private yoga lessons is, “I wish I could do this right before bed. I would sleep so well!”
That’s where one of the best parts of private yoga comes in: the personalized “homework” between sessions. Yoga homework can be poses, breathing practices, meditations, and/or relaxation exercises that feel manageable for your schedule and intentional for your needs.
Sometimes that’s a few poses you can do in the office or a brief meditati
I'm not too worried about how yoga poses look. I'm interested in how they feel. During a yoga class some years ago, I was practicing a warrior pose and experimenting with how different it felt to shift my weight from the inside of my foot to the outside. Suddenly I noticed the teacher by my side. She looked me up and down for a moment and then asked me to, “Suck in your stomach.”
Even though she couldn’t see it, my core was active. But in an attempt to be a “good” y
The summer before I started yoga teacher training, I aggravated an old running injury and found myself with continuous knee pain. Most movement and even some sitting and lying positions hurt.
So nearly every evening that summer, I showed up to my yoga mat with the same intention: to be gentle. I chanted it to myself before every sun salutation, every forward bend, every hip opener, every last movement: “Be gentle.” If any hint of pain or tweaking arose, I would again finel
When I work with private yoga clients, we co-create homework assignments. These may include poses, breath work, and meditation. But there’s one pose that I recommend to everyone, since it always fits into at least one of the purposes that brought us to work together.
This pose is one I often teach in group classes, especially during the fall and winter months, when I know more people are experiencing seasonal affective disorder and missing the light.
It’s also one that
A yoga teacher friend and I were chatting recently about our mixed feelings about yoga on Instagram (a photo-sharing social media site/app). I'm excited about the diversity on Instagram! So many different bodies are now represented online, which is really great for expanding the view of who is practicing yoga. It's not just young, thin, white women; everyone is practicing yoga! But for as many people who are inspired by seeing photos of yoga poses, there are many who feel int
As much as I enjoy teaching them, I know that group yoga classes aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes you just want to spend time on your yoga mat on your own terms, away from a crowd. For those times, here’s a beginner-friendly yoga practice you can do in your living room. All you need is a mat and either a blanket or towel. If yoga away from a studio or gym feels like loving self care, here are 3 more ways we can practice together and even get to know each other a little