Lessons from the Mat

Love Letter to Meditation

Love Letter to Meditation

17 August, 2016 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Meditation + Philosophy, Workshops + Retreats

In a few weeks, I leave to sit in silence for a 3-month meditation retreat. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little anxious at the thought of being away from everything I know that brings me comfort. Something that helps ease my anxiety is reminding myself why I signed up for this retreat in the first place. It doesn't take me long to remember how much I love this practice, and so this is is my love letter to meditation.

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From white rice and Coca-Cola to kale and kombucha

From white rice and Coca-Cola to kale and kombucha

28 June, 2016 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Meditation + Philosophy

As a yoga and meditation teacher, from the outside I may look like I have this health thing all figured out. In reality, it is a constant practice for me which sometimes can be challenging.

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Daily Intention Meditation

Daily Intention Meditation

04 January, 2016 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Meditation + Philosophy

This is a great reflection you can do every morning so that each day you can live the life you want, not just on January 1st.

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S.T.O.P. To Cultivate Better Proprioception

S.T.O.P. To Cultivate Better Proprioception

29 July, 2015 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Anatomy, Yoga Tune Up®

In my last post, I talked about how my meditation practice and anatomy studies have deepened my understanding of the body and mind in ways I didn’t anticipate. One of many ways the two practices complement each other is through the body-sense of proprioception. Regardless of how coordinated or uncoordinated you already are, proprioception is a skill that can be cultivated. Things like practicing yoga regularly help, but even if you’re lucky enough to get to a 90-minute class on a daily basis that still only makes up 6% of your entire day.

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Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Tune Up®: Match Made in Heaven

Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga Tune Up®: Match Made in Heaven

27 July, 2015 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat, Meditation + Philosophy, Anatomy, Yoga Tune Up®

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Gang Up On Your Ganglion Wrist Cyst

23 July, 2015 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

My yoga practice has changed a lot since my early days. I’m no longer a sensation junkie and I find deep satisfaction exploring the subtleties in conscious movement. My ability to tune into my body’s subtleties has allowed me to catch any tightness in my wrists and forearms caused by prolonged computer use or a vigorous yoga practice.

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Keep Calm and Don't Plank On

Keep Calm and Don't Plank On

22 July, 2015 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

When I first began practicing yoga 15 years ago, I was a young, enthusiastic, ex-athlete looking for a practice that could replace the hours spent running up and down a basketball court. It may come as no surprise that I found satisfaction in a dynamic Vinyasa style practice. After a few years of happily flowing through countless planks and chaturangas, I started feeling a stiffness in my left wrist. Since it didn’t hurt, I ignored it and continued planking on. It wasn’t long before my left wrist would be sore for days after a particularly vigorous practice. Despite the symptoms, I did not attempt to treat the source of my discomfort other than resting my wrist for a few days until I was once again able to put pressure on it.

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Restabilizing an Unstable Spine

Restabilizing an Unstable Spine

12 December, 2014 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

In my previous post, I talk about my desire to strengthen my core as a way to bring stability to my back. The instability in my lumbar spine was caused by a handful of years of consistent spine cracking for relief. In addition to vowing to not crack my spine anymore, I started integrating Yoga Tune Up® exercises such as Salabhasana, Cobra at the Wall and Revolved Abdominal Pose to strengthen, in particular, the small yet mighty spinal muscles, the multifidi.

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The Mighty Multifidi Save My Cracking Spine

The Mighty Multifidi Save My Cracking Spine

09 December, 2014 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

For a handful of years in my late 20?s and early 30?s I was addicted to cracking my spine. Several times each day I would strongly twist my body to the right and try to crack and pop as many vertebrae as possible. The more cracks and pops I felt, the merrier I was.

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All is Love

All is Love

24 February, 2014 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

The yogic teaching of ishvara pranidhana (Patanjali Yoga Sutra II.44) is often translated as surrender to and love for God or the divinity. In this day and age the word God can stir a lot of emotions up, negative and positive, so in class I use the interpretation surrendering to something bigger or outside of yourself.

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Expand Your Life Force

Expand Your Life Force

29 January, 2014 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that is often translated as breath control or the restriction of breath (prana = life force, vital energy, breath; yama = restrain, control). However, when combining two words in Sanskrit in which the last letter of the first word (prana) and the first letter of the second word (ayama) are the same (in this case, the “a”), one of them gets dropped. Given this, pranayama is often misinterpreted; in contrast, ayama means to extend, expand, or draw out, and pranayama really means the expansion of breath or life force.

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Sutra II.46: Sthira sukham asanam

Sutra II.46: Sthira sukham asanam

22 January, 2014 | Posted in Lessons from the Mat

This particular Patanjali’s sutra is an easy favorite of many yogis, myself included, as it encourages comfort and ease on a yoga journey that can be sometimes challenging. This sutra, however, teaches us that one (sukham) is not better than the other (sthira), but rather our connection to the earth (asanam) resembles a dance, even a balancing act, between the two.

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