Mirror Neurons on Yoganonymous

A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another.Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behaviour of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.

As most yoga teachers and students already know, our practice begins long before we ever step on the mat. My dear friend and fellow Yoga Tune Up® teacher Ariel Kiley gives a detailed insight as to just how much of our practice begins just by setting foot in the asana room…

“While each individual body may have unique needs, it is reassuring to know that the attitude you bring as a teacher will resonate across the board. As each student soaks up an alternative, positive attitude toward a student’s physical ailment, they immediately mirror it, and their energy begins to shift. As with Fran, they become more settled, relaxed, open and warm. The combined energy of the group can enhance this “vibe”, finding lightness and humor while experimenting with different techniques to facilitate healthy transformation in damaged or compromised tissue. Whether or not the individual symptoms subside, the experience of being in a space where the students feel safe and cared for can go a long way toward relieving their discomfort.” – Ariel Kiley in Yoganonymous

Read the full article here.


Yoga Tune Up® Level 1 Teacher Training – Irvine, CA 1/27 – 2/4

Are you ready to take your teaching to the next level?

Join Maura Barclay at Equinox Fitness in Irvine, CA for a Yoga Tune Up® level 1 teacher training January 27th – February 4th!

Maura Barclay has the trainees de-construct Warrior II using directions of movement

This training will change the way you teach and the way you look at the bodies that show up to your class. With yoga being a healing practice, it is our responsibility as the teacher to “do no harm. Yoga Tune Up® breaks down the nuts and bolts of human movement by using a yogic lens of awareness, conscious relaxation, and proper breathing techniques. This new lens of awareness sets you apart from the average 200 hour graduate. During the 70 hour training you will dive deeply into integrated anatomy and body mechanics while discovering a fresh approach to Asana. Go beyond formulaic instruction and truly learn how to think and teach creatively within your classroom.

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The Yogi vs. CrossFit

Lets go ahead and state the obvious – I LOVE YOGA!

With this love of the practice also comes a responsibility to keep my body safe. Something I often mention in classes (when we veer off from traditional flow to do some corrective exercise) is “I want us all to be able to practice yoga when we are 90 years old”! Since deciding to make my career all about yoga this is very important to me. In addition to using Yoga Tune Up® I have been looking for ways to keep from over-stretching with all of the yoga I do. Finally I had an epiphany…well actually I read an article about over-stretching  by Jill Miller, Creator of Yoga Tune Up®  YTU Takes You From Floppy To Fit

“Tissues are living; they can change and heal if given the right stimulation, a disciplined approach and the correct exercises to balance them. For some this could mean more stretching; for others it might mean more strengthening, but always a combination of the two.” -  Jill Miller

So many of us have come to accept that aches and pains and lack of mobility with aging as normal. Which brings another Jill Miller quote to mind – “we have to find a new normal”. Finding a new normal for me means how do I stay healthy enough to practice and teach yoga 10, 20, 30 years from now?

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Class Consciousness

“Look at what goes into a pose and honestly assess whether or not your body is ready to go there. Now apply that to your life – POW!”

Head on over to The Magazine of Yoga and check out my most recent post discussing how training with Jill Miller has changed the way I practice and teach.

Teaching my first yoga class was an out of body experience.

For sixty minutes I observed myself using phrases I had never uttered before, in an intonation having NO resemblance to my natural speaking voice. It was only about ten minutes into this process that I realized I was mimicking a yoga teacher, not teaching yoga. You see, I felt that I had to teach a certain way in order to call myself a teacher, that every class has to start with OM and you have to tell your students to shine their heart forward.

Read the full article here.



Finding my truth on and off the mat


A Little Bit of Anatomy Goes a Long Way…

Check out Yoga Tune Up® instructor Maura Barclay’s new monthly column for Yoga Tune Up® anatomy tips, updates, and information!

Did You Know that the Sciatic Nerve is as Thick as Your Thumb?

“Why do Yogi’s and Yoga instructors need to know this?”

“Often times sciatic pain, generally referred to as “sciatica” is actually caused by a tight piriformis muscle compressing this large bore sciatic nerve.  So putting these types of students in a nice Kapotasana (pigeon) for example, may actually relieve some or all of their discomfort.”

“Teaching any kind of movement without understanding how it impacts the joints and tissues is like driving with your eyes closed.”

For the full article head on over to Yoganonymous



New Class at Equinox

Starting this Sunday (April, 3rd) I will be teaching a weekly Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Ball class at Equinox in Santa Monica! To celebrate this awesomeness I would like YOU…yes YOU to be my guest in a class.Don’t have a membership to Equinox and want to see what it’s all about? Send me a message from the Contact page!
Give me your tired muscles, your poor hunched over shoulders, your huddled rhomboids yearning to breathe free! I’ve got 30 minutes of sheer bliss (10:30AM – 11:00AM) using the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls to excavate tension and relieve your aches and pains.

If you’d like a little preview, here is my favorite Tune Up Teacher Jill Miller doing an upper back sequence:

Self Massage for Upper Back Pain

Hope to see you soon!


Hurts So Good

Hilariously honest review of Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls: “Long story short, I am SHOCKED at how effective this was. I’ve never had a deep tissue massage, but I’d imagine this is what it feels like…I made it through the entire program, and by the end everything felt great. But more objectively, there was a significant difference in the tension in my back muscles”