Downward Facing Blog. My boyfriend thought of that. Not me.
Oh, Downward Dog! Let me count the ways you have changed and continue to change. You are a shapeshifter and a magical mirror.
Straight up: The day I fell in love with downward facing dog is the day I truly fell in love with Yoga.
Cue: Stevie Wonder’s “For Once In My Life”
I will never forget those early dog days of yoga practice. I remind myself of them every time I welcome a new student onto the mat. Does it ever really get easier? Well, yes and no. It really doesn’t because the checklist just gets longer and the pose juicer. But, your time and energy in DD do pay off. Eventually, you begin to find ease. DD is a place to find ease. Maybe not at first but in addition to working on our [awesome] bodies we are here to practice life lessons. The lesson is that it may not be easy at first but practice and all is coming* and you will eventually find an honest way to marry the effort...
Reclined Twist is great for beginners! This reclined pose has many benefits! It is so YUMMY for the spine and digestion. It is also a lovely way to release stress, tension, and toxins from the body. This twist squeezes and stretches all the muscles and organs of the torso and even tones the core. Give it try and let me know what you think! This video is part of our Foundations of Yoga series.
Remember back when we used to go to the mall? Like to walk around and people watch? I would get a ride to the JC Penny entrance to meet friends, walk around, eat too much sugar and window shop. I remember when The Sharper Image came to town. It was always so much fun and restorative to go sit in those fancy massage chairs and take turns “chilling out” while avoiding eye contact with the employees. Even as a teenager I sought restorative moments. Time to take a chill pill and feel good. Now, I drop down and do a reclined twist. (My, how I have evolved??) Even since...
Corpse Pose (or Savasana) is often considered the MOST IMPORTANT asana in Hatha Yoga. I believe it and treasure this posture.
Here we relax and often cool down at the end of a practice but you can practice the actions of Corpse Pose anytime & anywhere!
Grab a blanket or a pillow and take a rest. Let the body be still and quiet. Turn your cell phone on airplane mode. (I know, it’s hard for me too.)
Relax! Renew! Rejuvenate! Breathe and reduce stress by quieting the mind and resting the body. You deserve it.
“Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings!!!”
Great movie. Great message. John Candy.
“Cooling Runnings” means “Peace Be The Journey.” I love that. That is what yoga is all about. It is not about mastering the poses but it is about getting there. I often hear the affirmation in yoga, “The journey is the reward.”
It is so true.
The practice of checking in and really being honest in the moment allows the journey to be so much richer and wrought with opportunity. Focusing on the journey rather than the outcome is the greatest gift yoga has to offer. By focusing on the process and the present moment we are really opening up a multitude of windows.
Imagine each beautiful window (you choose if its antique or modern- I’m a fan of shabby chic myself.) opening up into a new opportunity. Opening up to meet your heart's desire, your minds intention and the perfect version of your body that you...
Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let's go swimming.
Will you plunge into a metaphorical pool of water with me? Come on! It will be cool. Don’t be too cool for my metaphorical pool.
Whether you are going in for a quick dip or committed to some serious laps I would like you to consider what needs to be done to get in the water.
In Austin, TX we have a beautiful (really beautiful) spring-fed pool that is 68 degrees year round. Barton Springs pool- voted best swimming hole in Texas (hi mom!) and a place of great solace for me among many others I am sure.
Since I grew up in Austin I have had the privilege of meeting these cold waters since I was a child. Each time I walk my bare feet up to the edge I am flooded with possibilities, choices. I am distracted and...
The way you carry yourself really is everything. I can get behind that 110% now. The way you see yourself in the mirror, the way you walk into a room, the way your body responds to news. It takes time, but infusing the body with awareness is the best treatment for improving the quality of your life. Standing up tall, relieving pressure and weight in the body is something we crave, naturally. Stand up for yourself! At first, it might be difficult and even daunting, but soon you will adapt and find your ideal alignment, nourishing the internal organs and regulating cycles of the body.
Mountain Pose is not intimidating. No yoga pretzels here. It is an excellent foundational posture that will inform many other asanas. I believe that this pose can transform your body. Not only is it a fantastic container for tapping into the breath but daily practice with this pose will allow you to improve your posture, breathe easier and even boost your confidence. There really is more...
Cue music and LeVar!
“Butterfly in the Sky…” It’s true I had butterflies on the mind when I sat down to write this. (Better there than in my belly.) And, yes, it is true that I went to YouTube and listened to the Reading Rainbow theme song before I could settle in to write this. OKAY? IT'S GOOD! IT WARMS MY HEART AND REALLY DOES MAKE ME WANT TO READ OUTSIDE ON A BLANKET.
Whew, now to business! It’s a beautiful day here in Austin, TX. I woke up like a yogi today. At dawn. Such. A. Beautiful. Time of day. So quiet and still. I practiced our foundational pose for the week. It was a nice check in for me and my body. I noticed one of my butt cheeks was sore from rehearsal and that my hips were feeling tight. I checked in with my head and neck noticing that the cider I drank last night sure did give me a headache this morning. I dove into the pose to stretch out my back. It felt awesome. After that, I rocked back for just a few breaths reclined...
I once heard a teacher say, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”
I think it’s an old yoga adage and I think they are good words to live by. With the amount of dough, we spend on elixirs and anti-age this and age reducing that I am happy to say that this “anti-aging” posture is free and always available to you! Let's break it down…
In this video, we actually start with Table Top position. (2 for 1!)
The Cat-Cow Pose is often considered a “neutral” position in yoga but lately, I have been offering my students an opportunity to really play with opposition and sensation by using or connecting to an active table top pose as the warm-up for Cat-Cow. It is here that I offer students an opportunity to check in with their spine. Wake up spine! From the crown of the head to the tip of the tailbone lives a central energetic channel. From the ground to the crown as Shiva Rea calls it. Just by bringing our...
Take a deep breath. No seriously, take a big nice juicy breath in, right now. Okay, now let it out. Ahhh. It feels good, doesn’t it? When most people think of Yoga they think of pretzel bodies and expensive tight pants. But yoga is so much more than its postures and products. Yoga is an art and a science. It is the Dharma and the Greg. Yoga is for EVERYONE.
There are many branches of Yoga stemming from breath work to ethical guidelines that lead us to a fit, healthy and balanced lifestyle. Though we will start with a focus on the body and alignment, please note dear friends, that Yoga is a practice of living not just of postures. According to the yoga sutras, there are 8 limbs to Yoga and we will cover all 8, but let's start with posture. ASANA.
If you have ever stopped to take a deep breath or if you have ever stretched your arms up over your head in the morning -you have practiced yoga asana....