Monday, December 30, 2013

Digesting the Holidays

As we move through this winter holiday season, the abundance and excess of our culture can be even more apparent. I think first of the food, the food, the food! And then there are the gifts, (and sometimes gifts of food.) And for me and many there has also been an abundance of family and friends, for which I am thankful. But that can also bring a lot of emotion with it, both positive and sometimes negative.

From an Ayurvedic perspective, digestion is about assimilation and elimination. In with the good, out with the bad, (or out with the old, in with the new!) And this means not only food, but emotions and all that we experience.

Here is a short talk from one of my teachers - Scott Blossom - on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcdRqlS24Vs

Monday, August 19, 2013

Creating & cultivating your home practice - online classes

To continue my series on home practice, I'd like to share some of the resources that motivate me.

Sometimes it's hard to just get yourself to step onto the mat, much less tell yourself which poses to do and how. To get a little motivation and a lot of guidance, I have found many classes on-line that can be really fun! Below are some links to a few of my favorites:

Lulu Bandha's in Ojai, California has some free classes, and more you can see with a subscription, lead by some fantastic teachers: Lulu Bandha's

The Yoga Journal also has many videos to chose from: Yoga Journal Live Mag

and YouTube has countless videos - some good, some bad. But you can search for specific types of practices like this Full body yoga routine

Look for something gentle and restorative if it's one of those days, or challenge yourself. If' you've been to my classes you know how to modify and to be safe for your particular body. Care for yourself and have fun!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The cost of giving birth

Have you asked your health care providers and insurance what pregnancy, labor and delivery will cost? You might get sticker shock! See Elisabeth Rosenthal's article in the New York Times.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Violence - what we can do? - A meditation

Violent events today and recently, remind us of how we are inter-connected. How a harmful deed as well as good ones ripple through the human community.

What we don't always remember in the shadow of these big and dramatic events is that something as subtle and personal as a meditation can change our perspective, and thus ripple out from us to effect others in positive ways. So if you want to do something to counter these violent cries of isolation and fear we see in the world, start with yourself.

Here is a meditation to extend first toward yourself, then to others: Sylvia Boorstein's Lovingkindness Meditation. The change I saw in myself after practicing this meditation was a new and sustaining commitment toward my own and others' well being.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creating & cultivating your home practice - start the New Year!

My New Year's resolution for 2013 is to roll out my yoga mat every day.

I resolve to .......AT LEAST..... roll out my mat....... and sit down on it every day. And I have done it so far - which is big for me! 9 days down.....

This is big for me, because I am all about procrastination, I'm a master at it! For me, master procrastinator, it is so easy to find an excuse not to do my yoga today. My life is: "Why I Don't Have Enough Time", starring Carrie Mann. Anything is an excuse: my daughter needs something, and I'm off! Oh, no time today, I'm just a busy Mom.

But now in the second week of 2013, because I have made this commitment to roll out my mat, I just fit it in. It has become another one of the things I have to do like brushing my teeth, or feeding the kids. I begin to establish a habit. -(see December 10, ...First Steps).

And once I sit on my mat, I want to do some yoga. I resolved to roll out my mat and at least sit down on it. But so far the least I've done is much more than that: child's pose, down dog, plank, child's pose again, forward bend, cobbler's pose and a twist, is the shortest practice I've done, and that's when we were in a hurry to get out of the house! It only took about 10 minutes.

Having a place cleared, reserved, and the commitment to roll out the mat does more than just giving me an initial stretch in the morning. It's a ritual. And that ritual (as rituals tend to do) brings my mind to yoga, if only for a few minutes. Before I was a master at finding a good reason to bring myself away from my yoga practice. But now it is part of my day. I don't want to skip a day because I'm committed, (and now I've declared that commitment here).

This ritual is my practice. I slow down to do roll out the mat, and then I remember to take a breath, and then a few poses and before I know it, I've done my practice for the day. I may do more yoga later, or teach a class that day, but these moments each morning are for me, and I feel a small sense of pride, strength and accomplishment because today, for yet another day, I have honored my commitment to yoga, which is a commitment to myself and to my own well being. And that in turn helps me, so I can give more to others.

It's not only about moving so that my body feels good the rest of the day. That's a benefit of the practice. But the practice itself is about honoring a commitment. And it's about honoring a ritual that brings my body more in line with my mind, and my mind more in synch with my inner nature, and with all of nature itself.

I'll keep you posted on the next 356 days......