May there be peace on earth | Free practice (2015)

During the holidays we often hear the phrase "Let there be peace on earth." This a beautiful sentiment, one that I pray for everyday. Unfortunately, it's not a reality for many people. When I think about this, I often become overwhelmed. I'm unsure how to respond to all the needs within my family, my town, my country, my world. We are exposed to so much poverty, suffering, and terror on a daily basis. My prayers for peace feel inadequate. But prayers are powerful. I've been actively praying for the past 10-years. My personal understanding---and my theology---of prayer has changed radically ... (Continue Reading)

By |2019-10-08T15:20:26-07:00December 8th, 2015|Asana, Embodiment, Holidays, Meditation, Practice, Pranayama, Religion, Scripture, Spirituality, Yoga|0 Comments

Pancha Maya Koshas

July, 2015 The study of yoga takes a lifetime (or lifetimes). I have spent several years in full-time study of this ancient art and science and yet I'm constantly struck by how much more there is to study and understand. I have far to go (we always do it seems), but I'm encouraged and motivated by the very real ways that this practice has been integrated into my life. Yoga is the lens through which I look. My study and practice have slowly shifted my understanding, attitude, and actions. Life is change. And through yoga I have been able to ... (Continue Reading)

Internal Spring Cleaning – Prana, Apana, and Agni

A Practice for Internal Spring Cleaning: You've probably heard the term prana before. But have you heard of apana? Or udana? There are actually 5 pranas. They're called the vayus or the "forces of the air." They are: Prana vayu, which governs reception (eating, drinking, inhaling). Apana vayu, which governs elimination (going to the bathroom, giving birth, exhaling). Udana Vayu, which governs growth and transformation. Samana Vayu, which governs digestion (of anything... food, thoughts, etc.). Vyana Vayu, which governs circulation. Much could be said about the vayus, but for today, I want to focus on the forces of prana and ... (Continue Reading)

By |2020-05-18T14:31:09-07:00May 7th, 2015|Asana, Embodiment, Meditation, Practice, Pranayama, Spirituality, Spring, Yoga|0 Comments

Habits and Kleshas : Yoga Sutra 2.3-9

Now, the teachings of yoga [are presented]. Yoga is the stilling of the changing states of the mind. When that is accomplished, the seer abides in its own true nature. These are the first three aphorisms in the Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali. The goal of yoga practice is clear: to still the ever changing states of our mind. Once we have accomplished this goal, we will be able to rest in our own true nature (the tradition calls this nature Pure Awareness). Otherwise, at other times, [the seer] is absorbed in the changing states [of the mind]. There are five ... (Continue Reading)

By |2017-11-08T09:24:14-07:00January 31st, 2014|Asana, Embodiment, Meditation, Nature, Practice, Pranayama, Retreats, Spirituality, Yoga|2 Comments

A Yoga Practice to Welcome Fall (2013)

It's officially fall. It will be October next week and my body can feel the weather changing. I always try to mark the changing of seasons in some intentional way. A season change seems to provide an auspicious time for personal retreat. I have dreamt of offering seasonal retreats for years. Hopefully someday... When I think of fall, I think of the harvest, of scarves, of halloween and thanksgiving. I think of routines finally starting again and about making soup. I think about my skin losing its exposure to the world as I wrap myself in more and more layers. ... (Continue Reading)

The 8-Limb Path of Yoga: Asana, Pranayama & Pratyahara

The 3rd limb of yoga is easily the most well known. When you hear folks say "I practice yoga" or "I have yoga tonight" they're usually talking about asana. It's not surprising how popular asana is considering how disconnected we often are from our bodies in this culture. Asana, or the physical postures of yoga, are wonderful exercises that help keep our bodies strong, flexible and healthy. When practiced properly--with the breath and mental focus--they can also be tools that foster a deeper sense of mind/body integration. And when practiced within the larger context of yoga, the practice of asana ... (Continue Reading)

By |2012-11-12T11:26:21-07:00November 12th, 2012|Asana, Pranayama, Yoga|0 Comments

Finding Stability in Your Practice:

Last month I asked you to reflect on your practice and I was overwhelmed by all that I heard in response. I am so happy to be part of a reflective community that takes the practice of yoga seriously. I thought I would follow up last months newsletter with some thoughts on an important sutra about the physical postures of yoga. The practice of yoga has been handed down to us through the ancient text the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In the sutras we are told that yoga is an 8-limbed path. Asana, the postures of yoga, is the third ... (Continue Reading)

By |2012-04-01T09:46:50-07:00April 1st, 2012|Asana, Books, Embodiment, Yoga|0 Comments

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

As many of you know, I am a seminary graduate. I love to study sacred texts. I've spent years studying the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament and I have recently begun to study the Bhagavad Gita. For the past couple years, I have been studying from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Yoga Sutras provide us with the classic understanding of the practice of yoga. The sutras are 196 aphorisms spread over 4 chapters. Virtually all the sutras work to explain the 2nd one, which Mukunda Stiles interprets as: "Yoga is experienced in that mind which has ceased to ... (Continue Reading)

By |2011-09-01T09:22:59-07:00September 1st, 2011|Asana, Books, Pranayama, Spirituality, Yoga|0 Comments

My training to be a Viniyoga Teacher has begun!

I am a perpetual student. I love to study and learn and think. As soon as I finished my first teacher training, I knew I wanted more, but I wasn't sure which direction to take my studies. I was looking for a teacher and a tradition. I was looking for a path that I could follow deeply as both a practitioner and a teacher of yoga. I found this path through the American Viniyoga Institute (AVI) when I met Gary Kraftsow last March in a 5-day intensive called "Journey to Oneself." After the intensive I knew that Gary was my ... (Continue Reading)

By |2011-08-01T09:19:51-07:00August 1st, 2011|Asana, Embodiment, Nature, Pranayama, Spirituality, Training, Yoga|0 Comments

Opening to Insight: A Yoga Intensive with Donna Farhi

I've just returned home from a 5-day intensive with New Zealand yoga teacher and author Donna Farhi. I wish you could have joined me for this workshop of incredible depth. The experience has re-energized my personal practice and strengthened my love for sharing and teaching the beautiful tradition of yoga. Farhi believes that western culture has an inability to deal with fatigue. During one of her lectures, she and a student role-played the following conversation: Student: "I'm thirsty." Donna: "Would you like some salted peanuts?" Student, "I'm thirsty." Donna: "Would you like to lay out in the sun?" Student, "I'm ... (Continue Reading)

By |2011-07-01T09:09:01-07:00July 1st, 2011|Asana, Embodiment, Pranayama, Spirituality, Workshops, Yoga|0 Comments
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