This practice still surprises me

This practice still surprises me

Hi everyone!  Hope you are enjoying your August.  Have you signed up for my newsletter yet?  You get my awesome free ebook if you do!  I should be sending out the newsletter in a couple of days, which will also have a bit of bonus material. I’m sitting here in a cafe in between my two public yoga classes today thinking about how my yoga practice is constantly shifting and changing.  And why that’s a good thing.  For one thing, I suspect that’s at least partially why I’ve been able to stick with yoga for what seems to be forever (but really is about 12 years or so).  Practicing yoga can really be a long term relationship – with ups and downs.  The advantage, of course, is that no matter how much you neglect yoga, it’ll be there for you when you are ready to pick it up again.  That’s not necessarily true in our interpersonal relationships.  Like our interactions with our loved ones, the yoga practice is dynamic.  It never really stays the same from day to day.  Sometimes practicing feels wonderful, effortless and expansive.  Sometimes it feels like crap.  That certainly keeps things interesting.  And it’s usually worth it to stick out the not so awesome days, since the good days are so incredible and the benefits of practice pervade my life so fully. Despite knowing that the practice changes, it’s really easy for me to get into yoga habits (called samskaras in sanskrit).  Not all habits are bad – routines can be very beneficial.  Some yoga lineages are built around doing exactly the same thing day...
On making plans

On making plans

Humans plan, God laughs…I’ve been repeating that to myself a lot lately.  Whatever your own personal beliefs are about the divine, I think it’s a good mantra to have in your arsenal to remind yourself that no matter how much you can control in your life, there will always be some things that you can’t.  And no matter how many plans you make and closely you try to adhere to them, there are always variables. This huge life transition that I am embarking upon (moving cities, not being in school or working in an office for the first time…basically ever, leaving friends and loved ones) has been a sea of plans.  Plans I made months, even years ago as a maybe sometime in the future thing.  Plans I made a few months ago when it seemed like my distant future might be happening much sooner than I expected.  Plans I made a few short weeks ago when the future was finally here.   It takes a lot of logistics planning to separate a household into two, to navigate moving stuff across the state lines and to tie up loose ends when you have two jobs to wind down, many people you care about to see and a little more attachment to your current city than you probably would have acknowledged. To say the past few weeks has been overwhelming and stressful seems like a paltry description of what I’ve been feeling lately.  I’m excited, happy, sad, terrified, overwhelmed all that the same time.  In my classes lately, I’ve been talking about the old Peanuts comic strips where Snoopy tries...
Guest post: How to find and sustain a body affirming practice

Guest post: How to find and sustain a body affirming practice

Happy New Year!  I hope you had wonderful, relaxing holidays and are ready to take 2014 by storm!!  What better way to start off a brand new year than to be able to share with you a post by one of my favorite people, Emily Goodstein.  Emily has thrown herself into her practice with a dedication that is beyond admirable and I am so proud of her and excited that I have been part of her journey.  I asked her to do a guest post because I wanted to share her insights into finding and sustaining a body affirming yoga practice.  Her tips are insightful for all of us, whether you are an experienced yoga student or a beginner, with a larger body or not. In addition to being an awesome yogi, Emily is a fantastic photographer, who specializes in birth story photography.  She has an amazing blog of her own and is a social media marketing genius.  I’m so happy that Emily is a part of my life and I encourage you to check her stuff out!  Here’s her post: _________________________________________________________________________________ There was a time, not too long ago, that I loved yoga but couldn’t find the time to get myself to yoga classes.  I couldn’t find classes I enjoyed, didn’t have buddies to go with me, was unable to find the correct yoga outfit.  I was triggered by classes that were too difficult, didn’t feel comfortable being the only larger lady in the room, and had outgrown beginner classes… I did a few things to reclaim my practice.  I sent emails to listservs and friends, I posted on...
Yoga Selfies

Yoga Selfies

Lately (relatively speaking since this post has been floating around in my head for quite a while), there has been a lot of talk in the online yoga community about teachers, and other yogis, posting pictures of themselves in a cool looking asanas on various social media sites and whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  I’m sure I didn’t make it up but let’s call these pictures “yoga selfies”. These photos are everywhere and I have a lot of feelings about them…complicated feelings.  Spoiler alert, I’m not really anti or pro yoga selfie.  I’m somewhere mired in the grey area of yes, but no, but yes.  Also, since I take photos of myself in various asanas, and certaily hope I look cool doing them, you could definitely argue that I am an active participant in the yoga selfie culture. I have to admit that I love looking at yoga photos.  To me, bodies (all bodies!) are beautiful in asana.  Whether it’s the latest issue of Yoga Journal, an instragram challenge, or an old tapestry my friend’s mom has showing ancient Indians in shoulder stand, you can be sure that I’ll check them out if they’re put in front of me.  I find many of the photos gorgeous, and love to look at the more complicated poses and see if I can attempt them or adapt them to my body.  We are a very visual culture and I am certainly not immune to that.  I love yoga, so I love looking at it. Still, I can also understand the downside of yoga selfies.  These photos are dominated...
More teacher training and another schedule change coming

More teacher training and another schedule change coming

Hi everyone!  I haven’t posted in a while so I thought I’d check in.  I just got back from a week of teacher training with Tias and Surya Little of Prajna Yoga.  I finished my 200 hour training with them a couple of years ago and then recently got the itch to go back to Santa Fe.  The training this past week was my first 500 hour module!  I have no idea when (or if) I’ll ever finish my 500 hour training, but I was really excited about starting these modules because they are more practical than theoretical.  Practicums = tons of ideas that I can apply directly to may own practice and to my classes. This week was all about working therapeutically – either with beginners or students with injuries chronic or otherwise.  Perfect for my current schedule!  If you’re wondering where I get my adoration of props, a lot of it comes from Tias and Surya, and this week certainly did not disappoint in terms of nifty prop set ups.  Each day I learned something that made me go, “OMG, that’s so cool, and helpful, and I can’t wait to try it myself and then show it to my students!!!!”.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you don’t need to be a large yogi yourself to have something to offer to larger yogis, but you do have to know bodies (all types of bodies) and you have to be sensitive, caring and genuinely excited to work with whomever walks through your door. Teacher training isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, of course.  I still have...