“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra
Some big changes to my schedule! After a rough year of driving from the valley to west LA, I finally surrendered and let all of my Santa Monica, Culver City, and Marina del Rey classes go. Well, actually they let ME go (be sure to check out my next post on The Magazine of Yoga for the details). I spent the last year trying to fill my schedule with classes and now I feel as though I am starting all over again.
So often we hold onto things that do not serve us. Eventually the universe will pull you away for your own good. It is our responsibility to find the lesson in the loss. As crazy as it sounds, 2011 taught me to appreciate, even celebrate loss. It really all comes down to perspective, have we lost something when people, jobs, or material items are no longer a part of our lives? Or, have we gained clarity by stripping away some of life’s distractions? When people are no longer in our lives due to conflict, distance, or death this is also an opportunity for growth and clarity, but only if we see it as such. Starting over again with finding new places to teach is much easier due to the lessons I learned the first time around.
The realities of teaching to who shows up and honoring them in their current state…
I am under 30, have never been injured and naturally very thin – I don’t think these facts make me a better yogi (or a better person).
So often I hear that “yoga is for every body” and I even toss this phrase around myself; proudly explaining to anyone who is curious about starting a yoga practice that they will feel welcome and be accommodated in class. Honestly it’s something I never gave much thought to – just sounds good to say that yoga is all inclusive.
The reality is I had not personally experienced creating a safe space that was indeed for every body. I was incredibly naïve when it came to what kind of bodies would be in front of me as a teacher. Click here for full article
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?
“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.
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.”
My journey from Corporate America to Yogini was filled with more than a few mishaps, misfortunes and good old misunderstandings. Let me share a cautionary tale.
When The Magazine of Yoga sent me an invitation to share my story – I was both honored and terrified! See, I love yoga and more importantly I love teaching yoga, so naturally a part of me jumped at being a part of such an amazing magazine. The terror came in the form of self doubt – an old friend of mine that loves to drop by at the most inopportune times. As a teacher I constantly remind students to “relax, its just yoga” or how we have to learn how to tune out those negative voices in our head. Well, it was time to take my own advice.
Thank you to the team at The Magazine of Yoga for the invite (and helping me push past the self doubt).
I came across the Tumblr account of one of my favorite spoken word artist Thea Monyee and saw this beautiful post on setting an intention. In many yoga classes we are asked to set an intention for our practice, Leila Easa (contributor for Yoga Journal Newsletter) gives an eloquent explanation of why we do this:
Approaching our practice with thoughtful intention is one way to receive the benefits of yoga that go beyond the physical. I’ve often heard intention identified as part of what separates yoga from pure exercise. It’s also a way to practice being more conscious and aware of our actions—a lesson we can take beyond the mat.
Incredible visual evidence showing the profound effects of inactivity in the body. The content is somewhat graphic (you may want to wait till after lunch).
Fascia (pronounced făsh′ · ē · ə,) is a layer of fibrous tissue that permeates the human body. Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding those structures together in much the same manner as plastic wrap can be used to hold the contents of sandwiches together. It consists of several layers: a superficial fascia, a deep fascia, and a subserous (or visceral) fascia and extends uninterrupted from the head to the tip of the toes.
“Gil Hedley, Ph.D., of http://www.gilhedley.com gives a lesson on the importance of movement and stretching to maintain the sliding properties of tissues in the body, as well as the value of bodywork modalities and yoga when movement potential has become inhibited.”
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:
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”