Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Will I Get Good at this?

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A question I often hear in yoga class is “When will I get good at this?” We are referring to the physical postures here. Here is my response:

Getting ‘good’ at yoga is something to NOT strive for. Being present is. The most impressive yogi or yogini is one who is fully aware of their body and being fully present within it.

Flexibility will come with time. We need to remember that yoga is about balance and has nothing to do with being flexible. The flexibility is simply a by-product of the practice. As they say in the Sutras “Practice with steadi-ness and with ease.”

Release the need to struggle with your practice. Release the struggle with your body. That truly is key.

Those who are less flexible are made to be more present. A profound statement, isn’t it? Some would very likely to disagree, however here is the reasoning behind it….

Those who are very flexible are less likely to listen to the body. Why? They can always go deeper into the postures. This isn’t always necessarily a good thing as injury can result.

Those who are inflexible have no choice but to listen. Their bodies tell them as they spill forward into janu sirasana (seated forward bend) there is a limit to what they can do. Hamstrings probably scream-ing, “NOOOOO!” In this way they are forced to be more present. They have no choice but to listen to what their body has to say.

Even looking at Savasana (corpse pose) can show us many of the issues we face on a daily basis. How often have you came to savasana and not been able to relax? It hap-pens. The conscious relaxation process takes time to learn. And you will have good days and bad days. It is the ebb and flow of the practice. This is key to keep in mind during your personal or public yoga classes…. It is a practice.

So to sum things up when will you get good at it? When the time is right. When you are able to fully ‘be’ on the mat with yourself and not get drawn into distraction.

Public classes are places where distraction can be everywhere; traffic noises from the street, people coughing (or emitting other bodily noises… yes this happens in every yoga class); even the music can be distracting.

Remember you are a spiritual being having a physical experience and cut yourself some slack.

Be fully with your body and connect with the breath.

Remember as Rodney Yee says, “If we are not focusing on the breath and simply moving we may as well be doing gymnastics.”

To sum up….

Breathe, be and enjoy the gift of your presence.

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Listen to your body (*Yoga)

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I teach many seniors yoga.  Most of them I don’t consider to be seniors and you wouldn’t believe how well their bodies move.

One of my students is an 87 year old male.  He found yoga a year ago and has been practicing with me weekly and on his own several times a week.  He asked me what CD’s he could purchase to continue as he doesn’t want to come to class for the winter months.  He’s concerned he’ll risk a fall on the ice.

Here’s the thing, there are a lot of books, CD’s, DVD’s etc., on the market.  And some of them are accessible for all.

Yet some of them I can’t even do.  If you purchase any of these products be sure to review it before you practice it.

And most importantly listen to your body first and foremost and never push it to any extreme!

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December 16, 2011 · 6:05 pm

Yoga Bags

Yoga Bags

I adore yoga bags. In fact I have about 10 of them which I used to trade up per season. They make carrying your mat around much, much easier. Especially if they have an adjustable shoulder strap.

I have a pvc free mat that I use all the time. The trouble with the thicker mats is you do have to find a bag that fits it.

Many times the thicker mats will get stuck and will not slide down into the bag. Or if you get it into the bag it may be too long to squeeze it in so it won’t close.

Some bags offer a little zipper pouch that allow you to carry other things with you.

They truly are a matter of preference.

Some tips when choosing a bag:

1) Find one that is aesthetically pleasing; it will make you want to carry it and therefore encourage you to GO to class!

2) Be sure you know the dimensions of the bag so you aren’t disappointed if you’re mat won’t fit.

3) You may have to spend a bit more money to find a good quality bag so it doesn’t fall apart.

4) I’d suggest finding one with an adjustable shoulder strap so you can be comfortable while carrying it around.

5) Consider if you wish to have spots on your bag for additional storage; do you want it to hold your water bottle, keys, membership cards?

Remember to wash your bag occassionally and hang it to dry to so it won’t shrink on you.

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December 14, 2011 · 2:42 pm

Wii Fit Yoga Review

I tried the Wii Fit yoga on my nephews player.  I must say I was surprised.

The program is actually pretty good considering its a gaming system.  The balance board is fun to see where you’re center of gravity is.  Some of the poses however aren’t shown correctly or thoroughly enough… for example:

Warrior 2 the front foot is on the balance board, but what about the back foot.  It’s important to place even amounts of pressure on the feet and often students forget about their hind leg.

Downward dog is done with the hands on the board and again many students try to force down the heels rather than focus on the length of the back body.  You can fully sacrifice the length of the spine by not focusing on the back body.

Saying this, and keeping in mind it is a gaming system, I’d say its a good way to begin.  However, remember even teachers need to take classes.  Not only to stay current, but also because you can’t see you’re own body.

This is pretty much where yoga videos, books and devices like Wii …hmmm… how can I say this… not necessarily fail persay ….however you can still be doing the asanas (poses) incorrectly or a tiny adjustment could shift and change everything for you.

Is that a nice way of saying come to class!  LOL

Many Mom’s and Grandma’s often tell me their tween or early teen wishes to take a class.  Yet all of my classes are offered for 18+ simply because of the locations.

So this would be a great gift for anyone wishing to get themselves started.  Again it doesn’t replace the need for a physical teacher.

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Yoga Mats

Most yogini’s and yogis love their mats.  And hopefully get a lot of use out of them.  I’m often asked where people can buy yoga mats.  They are available at many retailers but they are not all rated the same.
You can spend a little on a $10-$20 mat which are made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and are therefore toxic.  A PVC free mat may cost you more in the beginning however its worth it in the end.  Without having your face next to plastics you can enjoy your pranayama (breathing) practice knowing you are taking in fresh, clean air and not vinyl.  A PVC-free mat can be upwards of $75

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Regardless of the mat you buy be sure to wash it before you use it.  Put a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle.  Spray and wipe the mat.  Be sure to hang it to dry (I toss mine over the shower curtain rail).  Never place a yoga mat into a washing machine or dryer.

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December 12, 2011 · 5:46 pm

Neck Pain and sleeping

I hear so many students talk to me about neck pain. This is something that I can fully relate to. One of worst things you can do for yourself is to sleep on your stomach. This causes undue stressors on the cervical spine.

After you retrain yourself to not sleep on your belly finding and using a cervical pillow is another way to help your neck.  There is a lot of personal preferences as far a pillows go.

It’s like T.Harv Eker says…. “Over time the uncomfortable will slowly become comfortable. “

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December 9, 2011 · 4:37 pm

Obusform Seat Cushion review

If you have ever had any low back problems you can appreciate having a comfortable place to sit.  Oddly enough many Chiropractors will tell you to sit on a hard chair; not a soft and cushy one.  However if you are having back problems the last place you want to sit is on something hard.

Especially if you, like me, have ever had Sciatica.  If you haven’t before, you are so lucky.  I don’t even like to talk about it quite honestly for fear that I may attract it somehow.  If you have never experienced it, it feels like a hot knife in your seat or running down the back of your leg.  Not that I’ve ever had a hot knife there… so maybe that’s not the right way to explain it, but hopefully you’ll know what I mean.

I didn’t think this seat cushion would help

Not specifically only with Sciatica I’ve also had other low back issues.  And I couldn’t believe how comfortable this thing is.  Some of the benefits include:

-inflatable lumbar support

-heat (ice is better for a new injury, but if you’ve been struggling with pain for years heat is the way to go)

-massages low back (everyone with low back discomfort should seek a massage therapist!), seat and thighs

But I was wrong.  This thing is so comfortable and portable, so you can take it in the car, place it on your office chair or slide it onto the chair you are watching TV in.  It’s great.

Here’s the thing, if you have a major subluxation you should go and see a chiropractor.  Now I know some of you don’t like chiropractic care; however I would recommend you see one.  If not at least look into taking a yoga class so you can take action and not fall into simply taking meds which will be a bandaid remedy; most meds have side-effects.  Now I’m getting off track here….

Wondering what a subluxation is?

Loosely described its a misalignment of the spine.  If one of the vertabrae are said to be in subluxation it simply means the vertabrae is not where its supposed to be (tipped forward, back or to one side).

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