How to Optimize your Morning (when you aren't an early morning person!)

I know better than anyone how hard it is to have a successful morning. I am a morning person, yes. But I am more of a 7am morning person, not a 5am in the morning person. So teaching Mysore in the wee hours of the morning goes against my natural rhythm.

When you have to be someplace at 6am every minute counts in the morning. Here are my tips for optimizing my morning and maximizing how late I can sleep.

  1. These are the things I do every night before bed so that I have the best possible chance of getting out the door and to the studio on time in the morning. These tips are helpful for anyone, not just if you are going to Mysore.
  2. I prepare my beverages the night before. I like to drink water with lemon in it while I am teaching in the morning. I fill up my water bottle with lemon the night before. I use a hydroflask so that the water will stay cold for 24 hours. And then I put it in my bag the night before so that I don’t have to think about it at all in the morning!
  3. I take my...
Continue Reading...

My Worst Case Scenario

For every situation in life we can imagine a worst case scenario - sometimes a conversation goes drastically different than you’d hoped; sometimes workplace drama turns ugly; sometimes you break a bone or a window or a heart (or your own); sometimes you find yourself stuck with all your worldly possessions on the side of the 101 freeway in the rain because your movers showed up a week early with too big a truck to fit down your street.

Or maybe that one’s just me. But, either way, the story of rebooting my life started with what was basically my worst-case scenario. My movers, who had already been somewhat less than professional moving me out of DC, were more than a week ahead of schedule for the delivery to California. So, I changed my flight, packed my bags, and left without the chance to say many goodbyes or to let anyone in Encinitas know that I would be arriving early.

It was 7pm when they called to let me know that they’d sent a bigger truck than...

Continue Reading...

Karandavasana: Step by Step

 

Karandavasana is a challenging pose. Don't let yourself feel overwhelmed. Instead break it down into a series of doable steps.

  • The first step is a solid pincha mayurasana. I'm pretty strict about this in my mysore room - if you can't hold pincha, you won't be able to do karandavasana. So be patient here and use it as an opportunity to get strong. Need more help in pincha? Check out my online class Advanced Core for Yogis.

  • In order to do karandavasana you have to be able to do lotus with no hands. This is tricky. You can learn more about lotus in my online class Be Hippy. I do occasionally let students do karandavasana by lowering into a bakasana with the forearms on the mat. So if a student has a knee injury or ankle injury or just can't do lotus then I give them this alternative.

  • Next I typically have students practice lotus with no hands and lowering the lotus from a tripod headstand. It's easier for most people to balance in headstand than it is pincha. If a student doesn't have...
Continue Reading...

My Big Step

This is a blog post about change. In Buddhism, change is pretty much at the core of everything - grappling with change and impermanence is crucial to working toward the alleviation of one’s suffering. Well, after many years, the time has come for me to grow in new ways, and I will be making the big change of moving from DC to Encinitas, CA. 

I’ve spent my entire adult life as a yoga teacher. I’ve created and built a Mysore program I am proud of. I’ve invested in studying and spent hours and days and months traveling to study in India, Boulder, and Encinitas. I’ve woken exhausted, practiced alone in the dark, and learned more from my students than I could ever have taught them. I’ve rejoiced in the breakthroughs of others more, I think, than I have in my own. I’ve strategized and deliberated on how to build community and inspire others. And most importantly, I’ve shown up. Again, and again, and again, In my teaching, in my...

Continue Reading...

How to Create a Home Yoga Practice

If you’re trying to start a home yoga practice, you might have noticed something - practicing yoga at home is hard. Then again, just like any other disciplined practice, yoga is always hard. But I think, like with so many other of life’s challenges, the biggest strategic change you can make is to your own mindset. 

 Consciously decide that you are going to create an awesome yoga space for yourself, and that you are going to have a transformative home practice, and you will. But if you tell yourself that you can’t practice at home because of any of the million distractions that can keep us from practicing, then guess what? You won’t. Our thoughts create our reality - don’t limit your practice potential with limiting beliefs.

 That said, I know it’s easier said than done, and I know how “out there” this all might sound, so here are my practical tips from seven years of practicing mostly by myself. I’ve had my ups and...

Continue Reading...

We Get to Be Selective

With all that is going on in the world right now, and specifically the ashtanga community, it’s hard for me not to feel saddened and frustrated. I suspect anyone who has practiced yoga for any length of time has probably seen on their news feeds a lot of the same things that I have. Trending incidents like the sexual abuse allegations against Guruji and the removal of dedicated teachers from the KPJAYI list are hard to ignore. But truly, these are just the most recent and high profile incidents.

I don’t have direct experience with either of these things, so I can’t address them specifically, but for me it does bring up memories of numerous other incidents in my career as a yoga practitioner and teacher when I have seen or heard things that felt ethically wrong to me. Some of them I addressed, some of them I didn’t, but I now wish I had. 

Incidents like a student dropping in as a visitor in a different program and being started on a new series,...

Continue Reading...

Nakrasana - Find the Line

 
Continue Reading...

Keep the Energy Flowing in Purvattanasana

 

Purvattanasana is a full body integration pose in Primary Series. It's strengthens the backside of the body and opens the front side of your body.

It opens shoulders and chest, tones hamstrings and glutes, and works our entire body.

  • Start with elbows bent
  • Pull low belly in and scoop pelvis
  • Extend arms as you lift up
  • Push toes down, lift butt up
  • Bend elbows and pull hips back to lower down

Entering and exiting purvttansana in this way gives you the chance to work your entire body safely.

Want more full body integration tips? Check out my free online course on your central axis.

Continue Reading...

Your Central Axis

 

The more I teach the more I realize the importance of finding where each person's body can balance the best.

The body is divided into front and back AND left and right. The midline, or central axis runs down our body, it is commonly thought of as the spine. I believe that in our yoga practice we can feel the midline all the way from our arches to the crown of our heads. Or - we want to be able to feel it so that we can move from it!

The midline will change depending on what we are doing. If we are able to find and hug the midline in various yoga asanas we will find stability, strength, and ultimately balance. 

I love the visualization of a rolling pin rolling you down from a seated position to a lying position. Give it a try at home and feel the deep core engagement as well as the spinal articulation.

Now - try to use these same principles but turned around - in ubhya padangusthasana and other poses at the end of primary. 

And be sure to check out my new online course -...

Continue Reading...

Discernment

Uncategorized Jan 15, 2018
 
Continue Reading...