Stand at the top of your mat….

That’s it. Just stand, but stand with everything you have. Stand intentionally. Stand in your own arwareness.

I’m putting out a challenge to us all: students, teachers, sometimes yogis and gee-I’ve-been-thinking-about-trying-that-at-home folks.

Once a day, roll out your mat (or, if you don’t have one, clear out a space in the living room or on the grass). Stand. In Tadasana (Ta-Da!) (mountain pose).  That’s it.

If you feel like bustin’ out  some moves from that last yoga class or video, knock yourself out. If you feel like putting on a podcast, look up Hillary’s or Elsie’s (they’re on wordpress).

http://hillarysyogapractice.wordpress.com/

http://elsieyogakula.wordpress.com/

Breathe, pay attention to bandhas, hug your muscles to your legs, center your rib cage over your pelvis. Connect to the floor through your feet. Notice and play with the position of your sternum relative to your shoulders. There’s so much to do right here.

I’m doing this to to encourage us all to meet ourselves on the mat regularly. Leave a comment & say how long you want to join the experiment. Leave comments on your experiences.

Unroll your mat, unfurl your heart, unleash your voice. I bow to you. Namaste.

Every Two Days

My husband said I should call this “If you don’t go to yoga class, you’ll probably die alone.” While you may meet someone at yoga class, I want to motivate you to get your yoga on every couple of days to build awareness, strength and connection. Now, I am a yoga teacher, so I don’t mind if you come to class every two days. But you can take Tree pose in the grocery line, do DownDog in the park and follow it up with Camel against a tree to bring your mind back into connection with the heart and body any time.

You create your muscles and your body and your body contributes to your consciousness which determines how you move and create your muscles. And your muscles are “remodelled” every two days.

The remodelling process happens first by breaking down the structure that you used and then by rebuilding it to meet the demand again. Each part takes about 24 hours. So, in 48 hours you have new muscle. But then if you don’t use it, yep, you guessed it, you start to loose it. In about 2 weeks significant loss will occur.

So, if you feel like you’re treading water in your practice, try busting out your favorite moves from class last week while your waiting for your coffee. You’ll notice a difference in the moment and    in a few days and  in class next week. And, hey, you might just meet someone who notices you  doing yoga!  (information drawn from Julie Gudmstead’s recent article for Yoga Journal Online)

Evolving

Change happens. But when we do something that later we regret, often we are drawn into a notion of radical change, wiping the slate clean, starting over. One of things I love about yoga is the subtlety of the underlying philosophy. T.K.V. Desikachar puts it best in The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice, I think, but I’ll sum it up: Keep up the things that give you lasting joy. They will overtake your life.

“The conditioning of the mind that lets it continually take the same driection is called samskara. Samskara is the sum total of all our actions that conditions us to behave in a certain way. … Through yoga we attempt to create new and positive samskara rather than reinforcing the old samskara that has been limiting us. When this new samskara is strong and powerful enough, then the old distressing samskara will no longer be able to affect us. You could say we then begin a completely new life. When the new behavior patterns become stronger the old ones become ineffectual. When we practice asanas we carry out actions that are not determined so much by our habits, and yet still lie within the range of our abilities. … [T]he mind clears a little. … This kind of reoirentation is called parivrtti. Vrtti means “movement” and pari translates as “around.””

Welcome!

Sunny Salutations! I’m new here at wordpress & so enjoying the thriving community. You are each and together so wonderful. I imported my blog from another site, so don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom if you got here searching for something that doesn’t appear in the first page. The blogs from a year ago have .jpgs templates of classes and the more recent ones are technique or asana based. Feel free to request a post on an idea or technique you find intriguing. May your life flow today!

Home Practice: Timing

So, you’re starting a home practice. Bravo! Brava!

It’s like bringing home your lover, a bit. There’s so much to be excited about, so much you know could change, so much you want to know… But then there are these little practical puzzles that can become obstacles.

 I remember when I first started practicing from a book. It would say to hold a pose for a minute or three or a half. Well, particularly when you’re doing something new, your whole relationship to time changes. And the sensations can be so intense! And it’s so easy to forget what the teacher’s always there to remind: Come back to your breath.

 So here’s what I did, and it remains a touchstone, like a grownup version of a blanket. I timed my breathing. Turns out that I usually breathe 15 times (thats one in, one out = one time) a minute. It doesn’t change much. Unless I’m straining or really relaxed. So now, when I want to hold a pose or pace myself, or make sure I hold one side as long as another, I count my breaths. It has the wonderful side effect of awareness and calming. Try it!

And kudos to you for doing yoga at home, at work, at the park, on your break! Remember, yoga IS love, truth, beauty; here, now. Claim it!

Hello world!

Change. Witness. Feel.

We’ve moved.  There will be growing pains, but this new home already feels more like ease. Welcome. Be welcome. Have welcome. Respond. Breathe. Relate. Move. Relax. Thanks for being here with us.