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Being Present with Suffering

When I'm wrestling with an idea I can sometimes (OK, often) be guilty of staying too high in the mountains, rather than down in the valleys---down in the mud. Lately I've been working with an especially tough subject though (did you read the title of this post?) and not getting very far. Mostly I've been writing and deleting, writing and deleting. Suffering and pain are in the mud. When one attempts to write about such things from a theoretical perspective, it can quickly sound hollow. Suffering and pain are real. They are aspects of life that can't be avoided. Last ... (Continue Reading)

By |2014-11-18T14:35:14-07:00December 10th, 2013|Embodiment, Meditation, Practice, Pranayama, Relationships, Yoga|10 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

Ujjayi

I love the presence of Ujjayi breath in my asana practice. Ujjayi can be translated to mean victorious. I also hear it referred to as the oceanic breath, because of the sound it makes. It is a powerful pranayama technique that can sustain and enrich your asana practice. Since you may not have explored Ujjayi breathing before, I thought I would offer a brief how to. Step 1: Take on an attitude of playfulness and be ready to feel a little silly! Step 2: Open your mouth and as you exhale pretend you're fogging up your glasses to clean them. ... (Continue Reading)

By |2012-05-01T09:53:27-07:00May 1st, 2012|Pranayama, 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

Anusara Yoga Workshop with Todd Norian

As someone who teaches a lot, it is a blessing to be a student.  This past weekend, I was the student of Todd Norian, an Anusara yoga teacher from Massachusetts.  He offered a workshop called “Creating a Radiant Heart, Sharp Mind, and Vibrant Body” at Cityoga in Indianapolis.  The workshop consisted of four 3-hour segments, each with their own focus.  Todd is a gifted and intelligent teacher, capable of sticking to his agenda, creating a balance between seriousness and laughter, and connecting personally with everyone in the room. It was a wonderful event and I wish I were able to ... (Continue Reading)

By |2010-11-18T09:25:15-07:00November 18th, 2010|Asana, Pranayama, Workshops, Yoga|1 Comment