Monday, November 5, 2018

Commit to your PRACTICE

I don't know about you, but for me November brings with it the stress and busyness of the the Holidays. I used to think when I got busy that my practice could become optional in order for me to "save time". What I found was that its especially when I don't think I have time for my practice, that is precisely when I need to MAKE time for my practice. We all have the same amount of time in the day and we get to CHOOSE what  we prioritize. I now know I must prioritize my practice, especially during the holidays so I can stay more sane, more calm, and more giving through this part of the year.

This doesn't mean I need to do the same two hour advanced practice every day, but for me I have found choosing a practice and doing it everyday helps me feel steady and calm.  

A yoga practice gives us the opportunity to PRACTICE being CONSISTENT and COMMITTED. If you need a little nudge to get more consistent in your practice, here it is: **nudge nudge wink wink**.

If you want to take it one step further, join me for a 40 day sadhna (personal practice).
I will be doing a 40 day practice starting November 11th (11/11 which an auspicious date with all those 1's and gives this day extra potential to shift our awareness) and ending on winter solstice (12/21).


To join me for this sadhna, all you have to do is pick a daily practice (list of suggestions below) and make a commitment to show up for your practice every day for 40 days. If you miss a day, that is OKAY. Use it as an opportunity to see how you feel when you do the practice and when you do not. A big suggestion is to pick something realistic, especially if this is your first 40 day practice. By completing a 40 day sadhna you build your practice muscles and you get a big self esteem boost. Pick something you can commit to doing everyday and then do it even when you do not want to (find out why below).

Here are some ideas:
5 sun salutation, 3 minutes of meditation
1 minute of meditation 2 x a day
11 rounds of a mantra (suggestions below)
108 rounds of a mantra (use mala beads to count)
Meditation 3 or 11 minutes
or your own thing

Suggestions:
Inhale: I love you, Exhale: Thank You
Inhale: Sat, Exhale: Nam
Exhale Breath Meditation: same count for inhale. retention, exhale for example: 5 count in, 5 count hold, 5 count out. Closed eyes gaze toward 3rd eye.

Mantra Suggestions:
The mantra: Om Shanti Shanti ShantiTranslation: Om Peace Peace Peace
May there be well-being for all,
May there be peace for all.
May there be wholeness for all,
May there be happiness for all.

The mantra: Sat Nam
*Sat is extended longer than Nam, radiate the mantra from the base of your spine to the center of your head
Translation:Truth is my identity

The mantra: (Siri Gaitri Mantra) Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung
Why chant it: It Sends healing energy to ourselves and others.

The mantra: Om Namah Shivaya Gurave
Translation: I bow down to all the teachers and teachings that lead me from the dark to the light

The mantra: (Lakshmi mantra) Om Shrim Maha Lakshmiyei Swaha
Why chant it: purifies and cleanses your heart, opening doors of opportunities that will transform your life. This mantra cultivates abundance and the connection to the abundance that is every present with in.

The mantra: (Gyrati mantra) Om Gam Gaņapateye Namaha
Translation: Om and Salutations to the remover and installer of obstacles.
Why chant it: helps you move through obstacles.
 
If you do this please let me know which one you are doing, I would love to know!. Feel free to message me for support or if you have any questions. There is something so powerful about being consistent for 40 days,  because at some point you are not going to want to show up for yourself. When you choose to show up, even though you don't feel like it over and over again...... That feels AWESOME!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Get on the toddler ride

Have you ever been on BIG the emotional roller coaster ride? Where you are going back and forth between being so happy and “high” to being so sad and “low”. Where the position of where you are on the ride is dependent on what is happening externally to you.
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It is said we have three aspects of our psyche:
1st. The negative mind
2nd. The positive mind
3rd. The neutral mind
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If we live mainly in the headspace of positive and negative we stay on the roller coaster ride.
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If we can ground into the neutral mind we can be both OBJECTIVE and COMPASSIONATE. The neutral mind is like a scale.  It can SLOW DOWN, weigh and balance the information from the positive mind and the negative mind to give a more neutral and compassionate determination of our best path.
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In Anusara terms. The neutral mind is great at finding our optimal blue print, our most harmonious alignment within any situation.
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The neutral mind takes you off the advanced roller coaster ride and puts you on the toddler ride, much more calm and steady.
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I think one of the greatest tools we have as humans is the ability to, at any time, choose to strengthen our meditative mind. The more we develop it, the more we will be able
To access it instead of being stuck on the roller coaster ride of positive and negative dependent of external stimuli.
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Join us tomorrow @centeredcityyoga at 9:05am as we practice coming back to again and again our neutral mind and into greater optimal alignment body, mind and heart!
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Physically working on inner and outer spiral of the legs leading up to #utthitapadangusthasana B.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is Rare.

Did you know we have 72,000 channels (Nadis) in our body that life force energy (prana/ chi) flows through🌊?!?!
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This is like saying we are an instrument with 72,000 strings πŸŽ».
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How the life force moves through us gives us our presence and the vibrations give rise to our thoughts and feelings. These vibrations also influences our ability to maintain contentment or how easily our clarity is disturbed.
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When we can MAINTAIN clarity we can recognize IN THE MOMENT that there are nutrients in the pain we experience and we have the clear mindedness to remember that if we grip on to pleasure it is a liability to our clarity.
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We can use the body to adjust how the life force moves through us and we can learn how to keep ourself in deeper clarity and harmony.
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However it is very hard to keep this consistent clarity, we will never hold onto it perfectly. However we can develop the AWARENESS to know when we are moving towards harmoney or away from it. This practice is one of ENDURANCE.
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Join us tomorrow 9am @InBody for Anusara Yoga as we slow and steady practice our ability to have long lasting endurance vs. quickly fading enthusiasm.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Let go

Through daily life and trama’s on every level we build up toxins in the mind, body and heart. Then we grip onto these toxins and build walls and layers of protection around our body, mind and heart in an attempt to avoid getting hurt again. We close ourself off.
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The problem is we can NOT selectively block out pain. In our attempt to protect ourself from the “bad” stuff we miss out on the “good” stuff.
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Let’s choose to OPEN. Instead of gripping on, let experiences move through you. This will help you expand and become more radiant, kind and useful!
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Tomorrow @Inbody 9am we will be doing twist postures (with alignment) and movement/focus/ and intention to help release the physical, emotional and mental toxins that cultivate dis-ease.
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Twist it out! 
Open up!!
Move toward ease!!
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Anything I cannot transform into something marvelous, I let go. – Anais Nin

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The gem within

Yoga is the process of unpeeling the layers we have build around our Self so we can experience the essence of our true nature. . In this human life we can fall for the chase of something outside ourself. Who has done that πŸ™‹‍♀️ .

However if we look deeper we can see what is under the chase. What our soul is actually SEEKING.

For example if we are wanting a relationship we could be seeking CONNECTION. If we are chasing some high we could be seeking COMFORT. If we are chasing some kind of validation we could be seeking WORTHINESS or PEACEFULNESS. . The beauty and magic of yoga is we REMEMBER that everything what we are seeking is always within us.

I believe It’s like I have a gem with all these qualities shining from my core. However through the process embodiment, beliefs, tension, fear, sadness, addiction, the stories I tell myself... I bury this gem. I forget. I chase after things for temporary relief and it adds a yet another layer.

Similar to the way water slowly erodes rock away. Yoga is the slow steady process of unpeeling the layers I have build around myself so I can bath in the light shinning out of this inner gem. . I look back and I can see the stages it took for me to get to this knowing. First I chased things outside of myself hoping they would get me the feeling I deeply craved, mindlessly.

Then I became aware of this process but couldn’t break it. . Then I thought I needed to gain these feeling. Bring these feelings into my body and hold it there. But it was like trying to float a boat on ocean with massive waves of anxiety and self doubt... the waves always destroyed the boat, and the emotions would dissipate.

Now my practice is one of allowing, softening, unpeeling and moving deeper. All those qualities I want are always inside of me. I do not need to create anything. Instead I need to trust it’s there and let the layers that cover it start to melt away. . I don’t need to float on top of waves I want to drop an anchor travel below the waves and get get grounded and reunited with this inner gem. . As you do this work to rediscover and uncover your gem also work to see the gem residing in every creature.
πŸ’Ž✨πŸ’Ž✨πŸ’Ž✨πŸ™ 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Face Everything And Rise

October is the month of we intentionally scare ourself and physically put on masks. I thought this would be a perfect time to focus on being fearless, taking off the masks, seeing yourself and letting yourself be seen.

Here are two acronyms of the word F.E.A.R:
F*ck
Everything
And
Run

Or

Face
Everything
And
Rise!

Which do you choose?

Usually when we get afraid, our nervous system kicks in and we fight, flee, or freeze. We put on our armor trying to protect ourselves from whatever we think is going to hurt us in fear of losing what we have or getting something we do not want. 

However, our attempts to protect ourselves do not lessen the fear. Rather than becoming free from fear, we harden ourself and become more set in our ways.

If fear hardens us. Fearlessness is about softening ourself. The best way I have found to do this is to develop a compassionate friendship with myself.

To develop a deep friendship with yourself you must do the scary work of STAYING with yourself instead of shutting down, or running away or putting on the armor (all the natural tendencies of fear). It means keeping your heart open when your feelings seem to overwhelming, unpleasant, or painful.

When we put our armor on to protect ourself we develop an “iron heart.” When we cultivate a friendship with ourself, the iron heart softens. It becomes a vulnerable heart, a tender heart. It becomes a genuine heart that is willing to stay present for all the experiences of life without shutting down.

Non-dual Tantric teachings that inform Anusara Yoga remind us that everything is one energy. Every experience internal or external, joy-filled or grief-filled can be an opportunity to learn, grow and connect on a deeper level IF you engage the experience SKILLFULLY. If you learn how to STAY.

The biggest lesson I have learned from practicing this is, if I can open up to staying with myself and not putting on my armor or distracting myself or numbing myself... I can allow myself to feel into these feelings, open and move through them enough to see that although fear is present (or anger, boredom, insecurities, sadness...) that COMFORT is also always within me too.

Another huge teaching in Tantra is that this one energy is at the core of our being, deeply peaceful and always present. Being able to connect to that part of myself while staying with the less pleasant feelings allows my fear to soften tremendously.

Learning to be with fear and not shutting down. Choosing to soften instead of harden. That is FEARLESSNESS. It is not the lack of fear. Instead it is not allowing my habitual reaction of fear to take over.

This isn’t a practice we do one time and then our heart becomes fearlessly open and genuine. It becomes a practice of returning to softness when we feel ourself harden. We go through it again and again. In this way, fear can become our teacher and a reminder to turn back to our practice.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Anusara Yoga Universal Principles of Alignment: Review Time

In August there was the first ever Anusara Instagram Challenge called #weareanusara. It lasted 5 days and focused on one universal principle of alignment (UPA) a day. I had a lot of fun coming up with my caption describing how I practice each UPA on and off my mat. Here they are, I hope they can help deepen your understanding of these vast and wonderful principles. 
#weareanusara! Day 1- Open to Grace.
Elements of Open to Grace:
✨Breath ✨Foundation ✨Side Bodies Long ✨Inner Body Bright- ✨Outer Body Soft

Opening to Grace, is not just something we should do at the beginning of our practice but is the foundation that we should carry throughout our practice and into all areas of our life. This principle asks us to soften, become more sensitive, feel and connect to our breath, body/ mind/ heart and the world around us with awareness and openness. It's from this place that we can respond optimally. We have the opportunity to begin our practice, and each new day humble, open, willing and hopefully excited!

Lately in my practice I have been thinking of Open to Grace as being Open to a Revelation. To opening myself up to an ah-ha moment that can remind me more deeply of my true essence and in that opening release limiting beliefs that hold me back. Opening up to the to truth that darkness is not a bad thing, challenges are not a bad thing. When I Open to Grace I am reminded that it’s the dark that nurtures growth and helps the light shine more brightly.

Open to Grace and see the light that surrounds you and that is you!!!
✨✨✨✨✨✨✨


The second universal principle of alignment in the Anusara method= Muscle Energy.
Muscular Energy literally pulls us into our center. It creates security, firmness and power.
On the mat creating this integration steadies us and sets us up to do refinements (inner spiral/ outer spiral) and then extend our (organic energy).

My favorite place to practice muscle energy is off my mat. Can I draw into myself, get steady in my intention? That is muscle energy the drawing in! This helps me make refinements if needed before extending out. It's my tendency on and off the mat to skip the getting steady part and go straight for the freedom of extending for example into a pose or into a conversation.

However I have found that more freedom and joy comes when I slow down, draw in and reconnect (muscle energy). The steadiness of muscle energy leads to much more freedom in organic energy.

On the mat there are three ways we can engage our muscles:
1. From the skin to the bone.
2. To the midline
3. From the periphery—hands, feet and head—along the core lines to the Focal Point.

The third universal principle of alignment in the Anusara method is Inner Spiral. This is a refinement principle that comes AFTER Opening to Grace (1st principle) and Muscle Energy (2nd principle).

Inner Spiral is an expanding energy that runs from the feet through the pelvis into the waistline area to rotate the legs IN, move the thighs BACK and WIDENS the pelvis.

Inner Spiral in the arms draws the head of the arm bones in to the shoulder sockets, back and widens the scapula's. (Inner spiral in the arms can be confusing because the rotation changes depending on what plane the arms are in but the expanding results in the scapula's is the aim).

Practicing inner spiral off the mat just like on the mat comes after I open myself up, then I draw IN, and BACK into myself to see what is going on inside. Looking to see what is working well, what isn’t working, if my actions are in alignment with my intention (attitude). I can NOT figure this out if I don’t deeply look within. For me this often includes journaling.

After this I can anchor down (outer spiral) and extend out (organic energy) from a more clear and aligned space.

The fourth UPA in the Anusara method is Outer Spiral. Like inner spiral, outer spiral is a refining principle that comes after opening to Grace and setting the foundation (1st UPA), engaging the muscles (2nd UPA), creating space (3rd UPA).

When you create space in the pelvis with inner spiral there is often a collapse in either the low back, knees, ankles or a combination of those. Outer Spiral starts above the back of the pelvis and travels down to the feet. This engages the glutes, lessens or stabilizes the lumbar curve, narrows the sit bones, widens the knees, and draws the shins in. (There is also outer spiral in the upper body that narrows the scapula tips together just like the sit bones of the pelvis. Balance inner spiral and outer spiral of the upper body also help to align the wrists and elbows).

Inner spiral and outer spiral go together and everyone will have a different amount of each spiral to help them move from a place of too much, or not enough and into a place of JUST RIGHT (sattva). It is from this just right place that we will extend our from with the next UPA, Organic Energy.

Off the mat for me outer spiral comes after I open, reconnect to my center and draw deep into myself and get clear on what actions I should take to move me in the direction of my intention.
Outer spiral is the fire πŸ”₯ that fuels the commitment to take these actions to grow my intention.

Organic Energy the 5th UPA!
To review:
1st principle Open to Grace- connect to your breath, ground into your foundation, expand your inner body
2nd principle Muscle Energy- Engage you muscles and feel stable
3rd principle Inner Spiral- create spaciousness, align the heads of the femurs in the hip sockets create an in and up lordotic curve above the scrum
4th principle Outer Spiral- engage the glutes hold or lesson your lordotic curve align the knees towards the 2-3 toe
And now 5th principle!
After all the refining of bringing the bones and the muscles into a place better function ability and healthy it’s time to extend out! Physically, you keep the integration of Muscular Energy, and then extend and stretch out from that place of feeling really plugged in along with the refinements of inner and outer spiral. The brightness of the inner body expands out in every direction with joy, playfulness, freedom and the full expression of the pose is honored.

3 kinds of Organic Energy:
1 away from the focal point
2 away from the midline
3 away from the core and out through the skin

I think one of the most magical things about a yoga practice is it can change the way we extend our Self out to the world.
When I practice yoga (on or off the mat). I am a more kind, more patient and more helpful human. When I interact with people from a centered place it creates a positive ripple into the world. This is organic energy it’s being intentional with the way you extend out.
Organic energy for me can look like smiling at a stranger, spontaneously dancing with my kids, taking a deep breath and expanding when I see the sunset, or being able to articulate my feelings in a kind way during a challenging conversation.
The universal principles of alignment help me to co participate in life and set my intention, choose optimal alignment to lead to my intention and a way of taking action from that place of alignment.
Anusara Yoga and the UPA’s have changed my Asana practice and my life!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Our Inner Critic

Are you aware of the inner critic voice within your mind that whispers or yells horrible things to yourself through out the day? 
For example:
“You suck” “your stupid” “nobody likes you” “your fat”

Now I want you to imagine a young child you love or maybe your child is grown but imagine them when they were young. Imagine that sweet sweet beautiful kind magical baby and ask... would you say the things that you are about to say to yourself to that child?

If the answer is no, do NOT say those words to yourself!!!!

The truth is we each have a little child within ourself. 
Speak to yourself, to the child within you with the same thoughtful kindness you would use when speaking to that child you love. .
“Stop trying to ‘fix’ yourself; you’re not broken! You are perfectly imperfect and powerful beyond measure.” ~Steve Maraboli

Wherever You Are...






Wherever you find yourself... riding a life high or low 🌊let it be an opportunity. An opportunity to soften the hard exterior we hold to protect ourself. However in this attempt to protect ourself we lessen our ability to love and be loved. And LOVE is Magic. It connects us and heals us. πŸŒˆπŸ’—

How can you move through your current situation in a way that will help you love more and receive love more? 

One of my current situations is a sinus infection😀. Instead of just complaining about it (which I admit I do). I am also practicing responding to life with kindness even though I am in pain. (This is not my tendency.) And letting myself feel love that other people have for me and let that give me some comfort even though I am in pain. 

What situation are you facing?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A letter to my body

A love note to my body: 
First of all,
I want to say
THANK YOU!

For the heart you keep beating,
The lungs you keep breathing. .
For being a playground for my children. .
For carrying my babies through pregnancy,
For bringing my babies earth side 
For my the ability to care and nourish my children. .
For all of the adventures we have experienced. .
For healing me when I have been sick and broken. .
For loving me back
Even when I didn’t know how to love you.

For never giving up on me. .
I promise I will continue to learn how to treat you better. .

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sankulpa

This is the sankulpa mudra (hand position). Sankalpa means "wish" and "intention".

This is the practice of joining mind, heart and body to create a resolve that is in alignment with your deepest core. It is the most heartfelt desire within that takes form as one's own dharma, divine life purpose. 

Sankalpa is a calling to the highest remembrance of Self and the solid ground from which you fly. . 
A seed must first root to blossom, just as the human soul must root to fly. Sankalpa is the internal vow we make to support our highest purpose in life and the creative unfolding of our soul journey to serve the greater whole. 

To create a deep, heartfelt intention or sankalpa, sit quietly and reflect:

quiet your mind and ask, what do you most deeply desire?

What is your sankulpa?

Use this intention to inspire your practice, teaching, and the whole of your life!

Mine is to never stop healing and growing into my best Self and helping others overcome their personal obstacles. 

"I deeply wish to grow no matter what. The essence of this effort lies in the ability to focus our attention in our hearts without becoming tense or contracted. Whatever words you use, it is not something that you think but rather something that emanates from your heart." ~ Swami Chetanananda

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

I have a theory on Teflon and Velcro.

I have a theory on Teflon and Velcro. 

Have you ever gotten a negative critique? What about a positive comment? 


Where do you put these two kinds on comments? on mental Teflon, letting it slide off of you, or on mental Velcro, sticking it in place for years to come back and reflect on it? 


For me it’s very obvious. I get told many kind things about my teaching almost daily. I soak these in for a moment and then quickly forget about them. On the other hand I can list of the negative comments I have received about my teaching over the last 14 years. 


One of my current practices when I receive a positive comment is to mentally place it on the Velcro and purposely choose to recall that comment. When I receive a negative comment I question if it is coming from a reliable source, if I need to learn + grow from this comment and if so I work to make those refinements. Then I mentally put it on the Teflon. I watch it slide off. The next time my mind wants to recall it I remind myself it’s on the Teflon.. it’s gone. 


This is true for parenting too, more challenging moments I stick to the Velcro and the bliss filled moments slide away on the Teflon. 


I use the same technique. Mentally placing the good moments on the Velcro, like this loving sibling play time post swimming, and the hard moments I work to let slide away. 


As with most mindfulness practices it’s easier said then done but with intention and repetition I see a huge difference in my self esteem and happiness levels. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April, turn in with inner spiral

April Alignment Focus: Inner Sprial, the third principle of alignment. This is to be done after Opening to Grace and setting the foundation (1st principle) and engaging the muscles with muscle energy (2nd principle).
Inner Spiral is an expanding energy that runs from the feet through the pelvis into the waistline area to rotate the legs inward, move the thighs backward and widen the pelvis. Inner Spiral in the arms draws the head of the arm bones into the shoulder sockets and widens the scapula's on the back. 
Inner spiral can be summed up in three words:
  1. In
  2. Back
  3. Wide
As we move into April a time of rain and nourishment for the blossoms to come we can be reminded to draw IN to our self, move deep BACK into ourself, see what areas of our self need tending to so we can grow more optimally (think pulling weeds and fertilizing the soil of your soul) through these inward practices we WIDEN and expand our possibilities. 

Intention and Testimonials

Testimonials & My Intention

My Intention It is my intention as a yoga teacher to help you bring more health and vibrancy to your body, ease and alertness to your mind...