Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year

I learned two mantras from Adam Ballenger that I always come back when I am trying to let go of something and make room to cultivate something else.

Mantra to let go of: Om Pat Swaha Swaha Swaha

Mantra to cultivate (something specific): Namah Shivaya Namah Shivaya Namah Shivaya Namo Namaha

The changing of the year is always a time when I am reminded of this as everyone talk about setting resolutions. I have stopped making resolutions after so many years of making them and then breaking them or forgetting about them. Resolution can be defined as having a firm decision to do or not to do something. So when I break or forget about this firm decision that I resolved to do I am disappointed with myself. Now I set intentions. Intention can be defined as a course of action that one intends to follow; this gives me more flexibility and instead of having strict rules or guidelines that might be in set for a resolution an intention is more of intentional aim that guides my actions.   

Last year my intention was to work on the first principle of Anusara Yoga, Open to Grace. (I wrote a blog about this 12/31/11). My intention was to open up to something bigger then myself. To trust in this bigger source of energy and give up being in control all the time and courageously stepping into this flow of Grace. Ways I did this was with meditation, journaling, asana practice, exploring nature, and getting together with like-minded individuals to go deeper with this idea. As I look back over the year I didn’t mediate every day, I didn’t remember my intention every day, I didn’t practice yoga or journal everyday (which is probably what I would have wanted if I was doing a resolution). But over the year I continued to come back again and again to creating a better relationship with a power greater then myself and I made great effort to keep an open dialog with this higher power may it be through words, movement, silence…

Since last year my intention was first principle I think this year I will focus on second principle. Since the principles build upon each other I will continue to work this first principle as I begging to cultivate second principle more and more into my everyday life. Practicing first principle is this giving up and surrendering. Taking a big breath acknowledging that I am not in control and that by trying to be in control I create more chaos in my life, so instead I will let go of and trust in the universal. (When I do this in a yoga asana class I lengthen my side bodies after surrendering with new trust in the Universal) Building onto this the second principle, muscular energy, is the invitation of what I going to bind on to. After creating the space and willingness what am I going to attach myself  to in order to create more stability in my life. This can go 2 ways. I can bind onto things that will sink me and keep me feeling low and weigh me down (not what I want). Or I can choose to bind onto things that will stabilize and draw me more and more into my heart and into my truth (this is what I am after). Ways I plan to practice this is on my yoga mat binding onto the principles of alignment that keep my body feeling so well. In meditation being a little more bound to it and incorporating it into my daily life because binding to meditation ultiminately helps me stay much more calm, patient, and happy. I will also be binding onto goo interpersonal relationships, surrounding myself with people I respect, who inspire me, who share this heart longing of living in my fullest. I will continue to be bound to and support my loving husband and best friend. I will work hard at showing up for myself in my fullest and showing up for my students. I want to be bound to my own light through the choices I make and through skillful action. I want to practice the techniques, behaviors, attitudes that bind me closer to Grace. Christina Sell says when we use are discrimination and skill full action that “Grace carries us, Grace showers its blessings on us”.

“Yoga is not a path of Freedom. Yoga is a path of Exquisite Bondage” Douglas Brooks.
Douglas says this teaching on Exquisite Bondage is paradoxical. Once bound, we do experience a greater freedom but it’s often not what we imagined it would be nor is the cost quite as cheap as we might have hoped it would be.

Say "YES"

I wrote a blog yesterday about leaning into life relating it one of the brillant techniques of Anusara Yoga called shin loop. I just say this video one of my favorite teachers did, certified Anusara Teacher Tiffany Wood that reminded me about leaning into life. So wonderful, she just melt my heart and teaches me so much through sharing her truth.
if the video doesnt play click here

Optimal Blueprint

I know what my experience has been through practicing the system of Anusara Yoga, I love to hear others express their experience. I was teaching a private this morning to a regular private client. We have been practicing every week for five weeks. She is a beautiful creative yogi with a lot of flexibility and has been having pain in her joints from years of double jointedness. Today while in trikonasana pose she says "It's cool. The poses don't hurt me anymore like they use to!" she said"I have to work and exert effort but its not pain. I'm realizing that before when I did yoga I was always in pain." We continued to talk about this and she said that "When I use alignment and I get into the right place it feels REALLY good." I shared that when a pose is held with good alignment, when the muscles and bones are placed in a particular way all the energies of the body flow btter. On a grosser level the blood, lymph, hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and breath circulate through the body better. On a subtler level the prana, chakras, nadis, vayus all function and flow more optimally.

Oh this melted my heart. Its so nice have confirmed that this style of yoga that is so universal creates similar experiences to other people across the world offering the same gifts that I have learned through this practice of yoga.

Looking forward to another year 2013 of expanding my mind and melthing my heart through this sytem of yoga and learning from wonderful teachers that educate me, inspire me and make me laugh. Happy New Year

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ankle and Shin Loop

I have been going tele skiing once a week this winter and it has been such a treat to get out into the winter wanderland of winter here in Utah. One of the techniques I have been working on to improve my tele skills is lower leg work, manipulating my feet and shins so that I am physically and mentally more calm.

What my tendency to do while skiing is straighten my legs completely while leaning back puting my weight my calf muscles into the back of my boot. When I take this lower leg alignment I am a disaster. I throw arms and polls in the air trying to keep balance and my mind parasymethetic (flight or fight) responnse kicks on becuase I feel unsafe.

The "proper" leg work is to weight into the four cornors of your feet, bend the knees enough to weight the shins into the front of the boots. This is what the gracefull skiiers do, and as a result their legs can be doing so much twisting, turning and bouncing but the upper body looks poised and calm. This reminds me of yoga so much and how we do various alignment to support our inner body better.

So why dont I always bend my knees slightly and weight into the front of my boots and experience that gracefullness? Becuase it is scary! I start like this but then I gain more speed, have the deluded thought that ill shift my weight back to gain more control, which ultimitely leads to me being even more outof control. However when I am using the good skiers alignment not only does my torso stay lifted and calm but my mind is so content and relaxed.

This technique is something that I am reminded of everytime I go skiing and everytime I think about Anusara Yoga and how much this relates to the brilant primary and secondary principles that founder John Friend created. More specifically shin loop.

Shin loops starts at the base of the shin goes up and lifts up the claves, presses the top of the shins forward, and then flows down the front of the leg to the starting point and the base of the shin. This is the same action you do while skiing. It reminds me to take actively engage, participate and lean into my life, as oppsoed to leaning back, doing the minimal amount of work and in a way leaning back and away from life.

I taught a class with a focus on shin loop at Sugar Space on Saturday. We shin loop in conguncture with tons of ankle loop since ankle loop preseeds shin loop and we always start and the foundation and move up.

Uttanasana (with blanket)
Low L quad
Mod. Parsvak -> scandasana
Utthita Pada A Prep.
Tad. Quad Stretch- Natarajasana
Ardha Chandrasana
Ardha Chandrasana Chap.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Baby Craddle -> Angi Stambasana
Uptivista Konasana

I wrote a blog about this two years ago:


One place I see pulsation (spanda) of change is within inter-personal relationships. It is wonderful to watch them grow and expand when they are cared for and how they wither and contract through neglect.

I love gardening and I see the same sweetness and beauty with in the pulsation of the flowers. Its not all sunshine and unicorns for planted flowers. They have to withstand storms, drought, and neglect (at least in my garden). However when some attention, care, and nourishment is given to them they grow unfolding their petals and smelling of joy! I think the flowers might blossom with even more beautiful ferocity as a result of the hardship they had to endure.

This can also be compared to the body. Through over use, abuse, neglect, and misalignment the body can get in a lot of pain, dis-ease, discomfort and even loss of function. But with time, attention, alignment awareness and some work that hurt (fill in the ______) shoulder, back, knee... Can be filled with health, vitality, and function-ability.

I have bee seeing this within my family. When I was younger I didn't realize that things change. I thought the dynamic in interpersonal relationships were permanent. Now I can see that relationships are always changing and depending on the time, attention and care give them they will grow and blossom like the most beautiful flower or they won't. Just like the plants that grow stronger as a result of stress put upon it I believe that interpersonal relationships blossom with more beautiful ferocity as a result of the hardship it had to endure.

Wishing you all happy holidays spend with loved ones.

Sent from my iPhone

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...