Category Archives: Mindfulness

The Art of Yoga Adjustments

Hello yogis! I had a fabulous yoga workshopping opportunity last weekend that I haven’t had time to share with you until now. The workshop consisted of yoga teachers coming together to learn how to adjust their students under the guidance of Sarah Faircloth. The workshop ran Saturday night and all day Sunday and it was AWESOME. As a yoga teacher you should know how to TALK your students through yoga poses first and foremost, but sometimes words aren’t enough and at that point you must know how to use TOUCH. We started by looking at the SSA method:

Sensitivity: Before you ever adjust your students  you observe and then step in with sensitivity. Observe the energy of the pose first and ask, “how can I unlock energy for this student and help enhance the posture”? Have a vision of the assist you want to perform and good intention.

Stabilize: Before you manually adjust someone in a posture, make sure your student is stable. You never want your fellow yogi to take fall over so make sure you’re close to your student when you adjust. You can place your foot to the outside of their back foot and that in itself is stabilizing. Not only should your student be stable, but you should be too!

Adjust: After you have stepped in with sensitivity and stabilized your student, THEN you can adjust. There are adjustments that will deepen OR enhance the posture.

Speaking of adjustments, I’ve been doing ALOT of them! Recently I taught yoga avec Katheryn Harlan and I got to practice all kinds of yummy assists on some beautiful yogis and yoginis. Check it out!

I really love floating around the room helping people to feel lighter and brighter in their yoga positions. We’ll be having another class in the same space on August 18th and its FREE! :) I hope to see you there! I also wanted to share a video from the breast cancer survivor class I’ve been interning with the past month. They are beautiful women inside and out! Enjoy…namaste!

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Filed under Mindfulness, Teaching, Yoga poses

3 Daily Tricks to Unleash Your Yogi

Hello darlings! I’ve been thinking about how we can all connect with our inner yogi even when we’re not on the mat. Getting connected with the part of yourself that you always seem to meet when you’re in a yoga class can be so grounding and HEALTHY! So, I came up with 3 simple ways of doing this when you’re at work, standing in line, on an airplane…just about anywhere!

One: Pick up all ten yogi toes! Lifting your toes off the floor, no matter how high you can get them, instantly helps connect you with the four corners of your feet. Our feet have corners too ya know!? The pad below your big toe, the pad below your pinky toe, and then either side of your heel form the points which make up the sole of our foot. One way to physically ground yourself is to lift those tootsies and connect with your corners. So slip your shoes off at the office today and try it out!

Two: Shimmy your shoulders back in their sockets! This past weekend I went to a yoga teacher workshop all about adjustments. And I think almost every single adjustment involved bringing these long wavy appendages that we call arms and legs back into the core of our being. Plugging back into the torso. One way to do this is by taking the shoulders, shrugging them up to the ears, and then rolling them back onto the back. WOW! Your heart is instantly more open and tension is released. So now you’re grounded AND you have an open heart.

Three: Permit yourself perfect posture! If you’ve completed the two tasks above then you are well on your way to action three! Taking a moment to tuck the tailbone and lengthen through the spine allows you to check in with your body language. What are you telling yourself just in the way your carrying yourself right now? Is your weight shifted more toward one side or the other? Body reading tells you ALOT about what energy you have at the moment and guess what!? We can control our own energy just by adjusting our posture. Check out Kimberly Wilson’s six movements of the spine video to get the idea!

So open up those channels for some nourishing energy and stand tall, roll the shoulders up and back, and bring all ten toes off the Earth. Witness how this  helps you connect to the divine energy within you…It’s always there and you don’t have to be on a yoga mat to find it! Voila! Namaste lovelies! See you soon xo.

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness, Yoga poses

Happy Independence Day!

Hello yogis and yoginis! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend full of good food, family, friends, and rest! Not only can we all celebrate the independence of America, but I vote we also make today a day to declare our own independence from negative self-talk. Have you ever stopped to listen to the negative tapes we play in our heads over and over again? Make today the day you hit stop on the negative tapes and press play on the tapes labeled “I am loved” “I am strong” “I am good enough”! Self-love is an imperative step to health and wellness of mind and body. Don’t fill your muscles, blood, and lymph with negativity, send yourself some compassion this day and onward. Remember, you are what you think! The mind is a powerful tool on your journey to wellness.
And in the spirit of Celebration…here’s my recommendation on the beer you should bring to your next event! Did you know that having 1-2 beers a night helps to raise your HDL (good cholesterol)? It totally does! And the best beer for a yogi is:

Lucky Beer! An Asian-style lager, its brewed and bottled in China before embarking on its global good-will journey. It features the seated laughing Buddha holding a large gold ingot above his head. Many believe this figure of Buddha to be a symbol of wealth, happiness, and life fulfillment. I love this bottle so much that I often hold on to it and use it as a vase!  Have a great fourth everyone! Namaste.

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Filed under Ahimsa, Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness

Have a Daily Ritual

Seriously. If you don’t have one…find one! It could change your entire day, even your life! My definition of a daily ritual is:

A. Something you do everyday without question.

B. Whatever “it” is, you do it mindfully! Key word: Mindfully!

  • The ritual doesn’t have to be the same for the rest of your life. Choose what your ritual will be, commit to it for a certain amount of time, and then let the journey be a fluid experience.
  • There are two ways to go about picking your daily mindful moment. You can choose something you ALREADY have in your daily routine and choose to do it mindfully. Examples of this are brushing your teeth, washing your hair, making tea, petting your dog/cat, etc. Or! You can come up with something you really want to add to your life and commit to that. Examples: Getting on the meditation cushion every morning, eating a meal without TV, or Taking a walk around the neighborhood.
  • If you choose to add a new ritual to your life, please know that there will be days you won’t want to do it at all! Do it anyway. Sit with your thoughts asking yourself, “What am I feeling right now?”, accept the feelings, and just do it! I promise it will make your journey so fulfilling in the end. PROMISE.
  • Your mindful moment should not have a cut-off time. Allow yourself the freedom to end your mindfulness when it feels right each day.

So how will having a ritual enrich your life? So many ways…lets talk about em’.

  • Connection – to the Earth, your spirit, nature’s cycles, and your own cycles. In today’s fast-paced world with media overload and constant noise its nice to reconnect.
  • Quiet the Mind – Being quiet and turning inward daily will help manage the monkeys in your mind. They need lots of managing! When your mind is still you are more balanced and can think more clearly about what really matters.
  • Home Base – Pretty soon your moment will become your rock. It’s always there to help ground you and bring you back to center.
  • The Physiological  Simply observing the breath and turning inward helps manage our nervous system. This in turn helps with heart rate, anxiety, and tension. It’s all about you baby!

Ground yourself, feed your soul, get some closure, and connect with the divine. Have a daily mindful moment. Namaste.

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness, The Journey, Transition

A Promising New Book

Listening to NPR this afternoon I caught the tail end of an interview with the author of the new book Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. Ellen J. Langer was responding to questions about how being mindful and paying attention can help reduce the effects of disease, aging, and open up new possibilities. When I came home from school I jumped on NPR to listen to the full interview and found an exert from the book. In the first chapter I found several quotes to get excited about. Langer’s philosophy is all about being mindful of one’s health, a sort-of cognitive-behavioral approach, and changing one’s thinking to then inevitably change actions and outcomes. Langer calls this the psychology of possibility writing:

When faced with disease or infirmity, we may find a way to adjust to what is. In the psychology of possibility, we search for the answer to how to improve, not merely to adjust.

She also breaks down what mindful health is by writing:

Mindful health is not about how we should eat right, exercise, or follow medical recommendations, nor is it about abandoning these things. It is not about New Age medicine nor traditional understandings of illness. It is about the need to free ourselves from constricting mindsets and the limits they place on our health and well- being, and to appreciate the importance of becoming the guardians of our own health. Learning how to change requires understanding how we go astray. The goal of this book is to convince you to open your mind and take back what is rightfully, sensibly, and importantly yours.

If you’re interested in reading about the counterclockwise study you can check out the exert and the NPR interview at this link. It seems to be a wonderful new book with scientific evidence indicating that our minds and our bodies are one. But we already knew that right?  When we change our mindset we can change our world…even our health or our “age”! Can’t wait to get a copy of this and dig deeper into her research.

Hope all is well with you and you’re empowering yourself to better health! xo

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Filed under Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness