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
Americans are big fans of ambition and productivity. We work long hours, wear “busyness as a badge of honor,” and set New Year’s resolutions designed to take us from non-runners to marathoners in a flash.
This can lead to advances in science, humanitarian contributions that help the world become a better place, and professional success.
When it comes to lifestyle change, however, we can feel as though we’ve failed if we fall short of our high expectations.
You don't need to toil through the work week, just hoping to make it through till it's finally time for your weekly yoga class or private yoga session. Sneak in mindful movement and deep breath anytime you can throughout the day! This cat/cow flow can be done at your desk and will help you slow down and relax, especially on a stressful day. Give yourself at least 5 full breaths in and out and be sure to notice what happens. Check in with both the obvious and more subtle chang
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
Last February, I felt lost. There was a great deal of messiness and pain in my personal life and I wasn’t entirely sure what to do or how to cope. I felt as though, in the midst of stress and busy-ness, I was in the process of losing touch with myself. What I craved was a chance to slow down long enough to figure out what I truly needed to be grounded and purposeful again. I needed a deep breath. An interruption. Not just a few minutes of meditation or an hour of yoga here an
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
During every yoga class I leave space for students to guide themselves through any movement their body is requesting, even if it doesn't resemble a familiar yoga pose. We come back to this intuitive movement several times in class, and it's the last thing we do before relaxing in savasana, corpse pose. Every once in a while, an interesting thing happens when a new student comes to my class. When offered the opportunity to explore their body's needs with total freedom, they se
When you’re sick, overwhelmed, sleep deprived, or depressed, self care can feel really hard. When I’m feeling low, the draw to hole up in my house and watch a marathon of Parks and Recreation in the fetal position can feel all consuming. That can be helpful for a short-term escape from reality, but I know well that long stretches of TV and solitude aren’t restorative for me. In low energy times, activities that normally feel nourishing, like going for a long walk or getting t
Last month I shared with MindBodyGreen the story of how practicing hatha yoga in the comfort of my own home helped me learn to treat my body with kindness. But it didn't happen over night, not by a long shot. My first group yoga class as a student was a bit of a disfunctional mess and it took quite some time to undo that first impression! To be clear, the purpose of Yoga is not to heal our bodies or even our relationships with our bodies. But they sure are powerful side effec