Give Yourself a Time Out

Source:  Charlotta on Pinterest

A friend of mine recently posted on her Facebook wall that she was giving herself a “timeout” and I loved it.  What a novel concept.  I talk a lot about presence and dedication to your yoga practice, but sometimes that means recognizing when you need a break.  As Westerners, we are inherently goal oriented.  Despite our best efforts, even as yogis, we rarely give ourselves a break. Continue reading

Yoga with Intent by the Supermoon

There are a few schools of thought on whether or not to practice yoga during the full moon and what kind of yoga to practice during different phases of the moon.  So, in honor of tonight’s Supermoon, the largest of the year, I thought I’d provide some insight.

We know that the sea level of earth’s oceans rise and fall twice a day — high & low tide — due to the gravitational forces exerted by the sun and the moon.   The full moon occurs when it is directly opposite the sun, with the earth in between. During a full moon, tides are high.  During a Supermoon in which the moon is at it’s perigee (closest to the earth), tides will be exceptionally high — including the tides within ourselves.

We are the Tide

The human body is more than 60 percent water. Blood is 92 percent water, the brain and muscles are 75 percent water, and bones are about 22 percent water.  So, as water makes up such a large portion of our being, it’s no surprise we’re affected by the moon’s gravitational pull as forces of nature.  Legends have existed for centuries about the moon’s effect on human behavior in stories of werewolves and ‘luna’ tics, but if you observe the synergy between the lunar cycle of the moon to the cycle of breath, you’ll better understand the universal symbiosis as something that can be harnessed, and not as something that “happens to us”.

The full, bright moon beams with energy and life, just as your fullest inhalation.  Alive with prana, you are in sync.   And just as the beginning of an exhale brings release and purification, so does the waning moon.   Continue reading

Today is Yoga Play Day

a yoga dance

Ok, there’s no nationally declared day…yet. So, I’m unofficially declaring Fridays, Yoga Play Day! We often take yoga WAY too seriously, so take a step back, and then a step forward, and make it fun. Clear out the dharmic cob … Continue reading

Seize the Moment: Let Your Yoga Pants Get Furry


For those of you under the age of 40 (yea, I can say that now), you may not know who Erma Bombeck is. She was a humorist and newspaper columnist from the 1960s through the 1990s. She wrote a column after she found out that she had cancer entitled, “If I Had My Life to Live Over.”

In the piece, she talks about all of the little things that she took for granted that she would embrace if she had to do it over. Two of my favorite lines are, “I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage,” and, “I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.” Well, my children have four legs and fur, but I still love how she articulates “seizing the moment.”

I think about this piece very often when I catch myself becoming overly concerned about the superficial at the expense of the deeply meaningful. When I come home from work, I’m greeted with the unconditional love of my two dogs, Hattie & Ivy — 120 lbs. of unconditional love that is. As soon as I walk in the door, they’re bursting with so much excitement to see me that they just about knock me down. Continue reading

It’s about the Journey, my friends…

I speak about embracing the journey of life often. During my classes, I’ll ask my students to set their intention to let go of expectation and enjoy the process of yoga — the poses between poses.

The Calm Monkey

ocean viewThink of your life as a journey, as a story with many chapters.  We all have a beginning, a middle and will have an end.  Through our journeys we will have many life experiences, make many decisions, and see our lives through our personal lenses.

We cannot have ‘good’ times without experiencing ‘bad’ times, ‘fun’ times without experiencing ‘boring’ times, or ‘energetic’ times without experiencing ‘stuck’ times.  Everything is relative, and we judge things based on past experiences and how we see life.

So my question to you is this:  How do you want to live your journey of life?  

Unfortunately I know so many people who are going against the flow of life, see most things as ‘bad’, and overall just appear to be fighting through life.  They are usually in a state of wanting things to be different, which causes stress and suffering.  They are usually blaming others…

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Light a fire under your asana & transform

fireball

Photo Credit: Amarha58 Flickr

Fire is transformative.  As a bolt of lightning, it has the power to turn sand into glass.  As the sun, it has the power to bring life through it’s warmth, and illuminate the darkness with its light.  As passion, and dedication to yoga practice, fire has the power to transform the body, mind and soul.

In Sanskrit the root of the word tapas is “tap”, meaning to heat, burn, purify.  In yoga, Tapas is one of the Niyamas, or observances of self-control, in the Yoga Sutras that refers to an austerity or strict discipline of practice.  Tapas is the burning zeal in practice that comes from the desire to purify the body and seek spiritual enlightenment.  A desire to transform. Continue reading

40 Sun Salutations to Celebrate 40 Years

Sun SalutationI woke up this morning with 39 years on this planet in my rearview mirror, and I feel more alive, more centered within myself than I ever have. So, I decided to celebrate my 40th year with 40 sun salutations. Twenty Surya Namaskar A in the morning to honor the years that have brought me to this grounded place, and twenty in the evening to embrace the years to come with open arms and grace.

I look back at the past few decades (really, I can say decades) of my adult life, with humor and reflection. In my twenties, my goal was to finish college, get a good job, and move out of my parents’ house. In my thirties, my goal was to buy a house and establish some roots. In my forties, my goal is to have no goal. Not to be a total slacker, but to embrace the process of life for the journey itself and not be so concerned about the end result of the “achieving.”

Continue reading

Thanks for this piece. I love practicing yoga outside in the morning while all is calm and peaceful. Have a beautiful weekend. Namaste.

Yoga for householders

Maybe it’s lingering inspiration from Earth Day or the magic of spring, but lately I’ve been taking my yoga practice outdoors. Practicing in nature is a doorway to the very origins of asana. Yoga’s roots lie in the early shamanistic traditions of India (later influencing and being influenced by Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism). It is said that the rishis (seers) closely observed nature, and that this is why yoga postures celebrate the earth and its life forms.

Balance next to an ancient juniper—whose roots penetrate rock and whose branches withstand lightning and withering heat—and you begin to understand the essence of Vrksasana (Tree Pose). Feet root into stone as leg muscles engage, creating stability and a sense of groundedness, while the upper body rises toward the sky, sparking a dynamic polarity between earth and heaven.

Yoga postures celebrate the earth and its life forms.

Lie belly-down on sun-warmed sandstone in…

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What gets you up in the morning? [Poll]

I often joke that Yoga is my coffee.  Not as a goal or something to check off of my to do list, but as a purpose, a means to evolve and move forward.   The house is still, the room is dark, my alarm goes off, I hear the clink of my dogs’ collars as they awake, and I begin to move.   The day is new, and it’s time to take another step forward.  Each day is new, different, often challenging and very often rewarding.

But, I want to hear about what get you up in the morning.  If you didn’t have to worry about work being the driving force to get you up, that is if you could sleep until your eyes popped open, what motivates you to kick each days a$$?   Of course, these choices aren’t mutually exclusive, but I want to know the first thing that comes to your mind.

Can’t wait to share the results!

Namaste.

-Your Charmed Yogi