Fall on the Wall Series

Got a wall? 💁‍♀️ Then you have tons of supportive, stress-busting yoga options right at your fingertips. "Fall on the Wall" is my way of sharing some of my favorite ways to use the wall! Here's a recap to bookmark or save in case you missed it🍁👇

Take a Break - Live Facebook Series #3

take a break

They say that it takes the average person 3 full days to mentally drop-in to a vacation.

Many of us move through our lives "working for the weekend" or mindlessly shifting from one task to the next. We fill up every spare moment, or squander our time in dissatisfaction. So by the time we actually have the opportunity to rest, we truly don't know how...we haven't practiced.

Please enjoy this mini summer yoga series: Take a Break! I hope that it helps us all learn how to offer ourselves the breaks, rest or reflection we need each day in order to create balance and slip into that place of rest and mindfulness a bit more seamlessly.


Live Facebook Series Week #3: Take a Break From Your Routine

So far, we've taken a break from our busy mind and our body. This week, we dive into habit and routine.

Part of what's enjoyable about travel, vacation or time off is that it's often unscheduled. Stepping out of routine makes us feel alive, curious and interested. It's one small way to offer yourself a break and a taste of those vacation vibes.

One of my favorite explorations of routine was when I read Twyla Tharp's book: The Creative Habit. Twyla suggests changing up your routine in any way possible, just out of curiosity to see how it changes your day, your mood or your attitude. I found this to be a powerful and useful suggestion for jump-starting my creative juices!

The best example is the morning routine. Most of us wake up and do the exact same tasks in the exact same order each day. Though there is comfort and predictability in routine, there is also stagnation and mindlessness. What if instead of looking at your phone first thing tomorrow morning, you sat outside instead? What if you got ready backwards, slowed down your routine or added in something you don't normally do?

Especially if you've practiced yoga before, routine can show up in our movements. So today, we practice a little patience, a little awareness and lots of attention to see where our habits might lie. It's just one small way to become a bit more mindful and interested in the uniqueness of each moment.

Enjoy the video below and be sure to check out Week 1 and Week 2 if you missed them!

Take a Break - Live Facebook Series #2

take a break

They say that it takes the average person 3 full days to mentally drop-in to a vacation.

Many of us move through our lives "working for the weekend" or mindlessly shifting from one task to the next. We fill up every spare moment, or squander our time in dissatisfaction. So by the time we actually have the opportunity to rest, we truly don't know how...we haven't practiced.

Please enjoy this mini summer yoga series: Take a Break! I hope that it helps us all learn how to offer ourselves the breaks, rest or reflection we need each day in order to create balance and slip into that place of rest and mindfulness a bit more seamlessly.


Live Facebook Series Week #2: Take a Break For Your Body

Last week, we took a break from the busy-ness of the mind. Today, we move to another layer of being and focus on taking a break for the body.

We all have areas of tension in the body. The ones that have potential to cause the most trouble are the ones that go unnoticed. Here are a few things to explore as you practice or go about your day to develop awareness of any clenching or holding patterns within the body:

  • One side of the body might overcompensate for a weakness on the other side of the body. We're all asymmetrical, but pay special attention to asymmetrical yoga postures as you practice on both sides. Stay a little longer on the side that feels as if it needs more attention.
  • We might be 'bracing ourselves' for stress during times of rest. Sometimes the body holds tension subconsciously when we could be relaxing. Try to at least scan your body if you're actively worrying about something and see if you can pinpoint where it's being held. Bracing often occurs in the back of the body (i.e. hamstrings, low back, upper back)
  • Notice any movements that are repetitive or typically mindless. Repetitive movements encompass everything from working at a desk, to peeling potatoes, to driving. The tasks for which we take for granted or pay little attention are often where our hidden tension lies.
  • Rushing inevitably causes tension. If you want to be sure that you're observing optimal tension, rush around..and pay attention. :) Hurrying taps into our 'fight-or-flight' sympathetic nervous system and causes tightness and bracing not only in muscles and fascia, but the brain, all the way down to the tiniest viscera and organ tissue.

Enjoy the video below and be sure to mark your calendar to see the last installment, July 27th at 9:00am when we will Take a Break From Your Routine!

Take a Break - Live Facebook Series Week #1

take a break

They say that it takes the average person 3 full days to mentally drop-in to a vacation.

Many of us move through our lives "working for the weekend" or mindlessly shifting from one task to the next. We fill up every spare moment, or squander our time in dissatisfaction. So by the time we actually have the opportunity to rest, we truly don't know how...we haven't practiced.

Please enjoy this mini summer yoga series: Take a Break! I hope that it helps us all learn how to offer ourselves the breaks, rest or reflection we need each day in order to create balance and slip into that place of rest and mindfulness a bit more seamlessly.


Live Facebook Series Week #1: Take a Break From Your Busy Mind

Today we focus on sloooooowing down mentally. Easier said than done, right? Sometimes, even on a day of rest, we still rush. Our movements are careless, our mind feels scattered and our breath tends to be rapid and shallow. If THAT is meant to function as our rest, it doesn't cut it for long and it's why we can still end up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or sick, even after a day "off."

So we practice creating intention and moving a little slower than a typical yoga practice today. We practice sitting, breathing and noticing what's really going on in our mind. It forces us to pay close attention, to respond instead of react, to encounter boredom, restlessness and impatience. Just through a bit of stillness and a bit of movement, we're learning how to deal with all of those things that usually hold us back from chilling out. In order to savor times of rest, we have to know our definition of it, our challenges toward it and learn how to control our mind.

I would LOVE to hear from you for your ideas on how you greet your day, what types of rest work for you or how you define rest. Everyone is different!

Enjoy the video below and be sure to mark your calendar to see the next one, July 19th at 5:00pm when we will Take a Break For Your Body.

Yoga For Letting Go

I've been hearing that a lot of friends and students are in a time of transition right now...preparing to release one thing and move on toward something else. But we can't move toward the unknown without releasing what we're used to right now. It's exciting, scary, confusing and can sometimes leave us feeling pretty drained.

We all need to let go (or just let) sometimes. Whether it's physical or emotional, I hope you'll try this gentle 30 minute yoga audio to let go of anything you don't need today. Enjoy!

Sunny Side Up Yoga - Week 4: LOVE

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Happy Valentine's Day! Thank you so much for stopping in and/or for joining the practice in this final week of the series.

Be sure to check out or review the other 3 weeks, if you haven't yet. These 4 weeks have been a journey toward optimism and contentment (santosha), so I hope that as we move through final thoughts on LOVE, you are able to connect with that for yourself.


Week 4: LOVE

Week 3 was all about action. We covered how the mind influences the way our body reacts, but also how the physical shape of our body triggers our mind. So learning how to move slower and with mindfulness can help your brain to become more focused and calm.

This final week, we're capping off our study of optimism by considering how love influences ALL of these things (thoughts, words and actions). Without love, there is no hope of growth and change. In other words: we must first love ourselves.

Cultivate Self Love:

Self-love is not always easy. Self-love means at times, putting yourself first, saying 'no' when you need to, hiring a babysitter, pissing people off, forgiving yourself, allowing yourself to feel loss, using words and affirmations to begin to believe that you are worthy of love.

Self-love is a very individual journey because so much of our self-hate is wrapped up in memories, experiences, shame, guilt, fear, loss and years worth of habits and negative self-talk that become ingrained. Though these patterns are powerful, they CAN be overcome with lots of awareness and honesty.

If self-love feels like a big hurdle to you, I recommend seeking help. You do not have to stay stuck this way forever and you owe it to yourself AND those you love to learn how to honor yourself. You are not an island and you do not have to navigate this process on your own. (Contact me)

Seek Forgiveness:

One of the hardest things you may ever do in your life is truly forgive. We all know that it's important. Anger and resentment will literally fester in your gut. Whatever Story or situation you are dealing with is moot. Jen Sincero writes about forgiveness in her book, "You Are A Badass," saying that in order to truly forgive, we must completely remove the 'other person' from the equation. So in other words, we focus on the situation as if the offending party were not at all part of it. What are you left with?

As I mentioned last week, words are helpful in creating new patterns. Repeating words out-loud or internally is very useful (mantras). One of the most helpful mantras that I've learned for love was shared to me by one of my teachers, Sherry Sidoti. It's an ancient Hawaiian mantra and the words are "ho opòno òpono." It means, "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you." Such a deeply powerful sentiment to use for yourself or for someone else.

Forgiveness can be a process. It's okay if it doesn't happen overnight. Sometimes, you may feel that you've fully forgiven someone until you experience a mental trigger. You will either notice a reaction (meaning that there is more work to be done) or a lack of reaction (meaning that you have forgiven.)

Motivational guru, James Ray, once said that, "Saying 'Thank you for giving me that experience,' is true forgiveness.”

Share Love:

Love is like it's own little muscle. If you don't regularly experience it, use it and share it, it becomes lethargic and out of practice. A great way to jump-start your loving journey is to begin to donate your time or energy to something bigger than yourself. Share experience, give something away to someone who needs it or appreciates it more than you, offer a gift or help someone out with no strings attached.

Practice being open-hearted...literally open to both give and receive love from those around you. It can be scary! Loving puts us in a vulnerable position. But that vulnerability is what opens us up most fully to experience life and contentment. Without love, we can't be grateful and without gratefulness, we will never find contentment.

I hope this was helpful and gave you some things to think about off the mat. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to followup with all of the video replays and blog posts here!

Sunny Side Up Yoga - Week 3: ACTION

sunny side up yoga

Sunny Side Up Yoga is a 4 week virtual mini series, focusing on how to bring optimism into your life and practice. Join me on your phone or computer on Facebook Live for 4 Tuesdays in a row (January 24th - February 14th). I'll be recording a free live yoga practice from 8:30am - 9:00am and posting a corresponding blog post here. If you miss the live showing, the replay is available to you anytime!

These 4 practices will be geared toward developing an attitude of optimism throughout your day. Best practiced in the morning, if possible, we will work together to shift our attitudes, our reactions, refine our thoughts and become more aware of internal dialogue. Through gentle movement, breathing and meditation, I want to share the experience of starting your day off with the right mindset. (No yoga mat or experience needed.)

I hope you'll join me live, where you can interact directly and ask questions. Mark your calendars and join me here on the 14th for the final live practice.


Week 3: ACTION

In week 2, we talked about speaking in the affirmative. This subtle shift in energy and intention is so powerful, so we practiced moving towards words that are supportive and energetically healing. Today we explored how optimism translates into what you do and how you move your body.

There's lots of science behind our moods and emotions negatively affecting our bodies. But there's also science about the way we move and carry our bodies affecting our moods and emotions. Known as embodied cognition, this philosophy is the idea that the relationship between our mind and body runs both ways, meaning our mind influences the way our body reacts, but the physical shape of our body also triggers our mind.

"The brain has an area that reflects confidence, but once that area is triggered it doesn’t matter exactly how it’s triggered," says Richard Petty, professor of psychology at Ohio State University. "It can be difficult to distinguish real confidence from confidence that comes from just standing up straight … these things go both ways just like happiness leads to smiling, but also smiling leads to happiness." - Source

So knowing that the way we move throughout our day LITERALLY directly influences our mood, maybe some of your movement could use some refining. Here are a few suggestions we covered during practice:

Step 1: Straighten your spine. Your nervous system lives within your spinal column. Crunched spine means crunched nerves, compromised immune system and bad moods. So do whatever it takes to straighten your spine without force. See a great chiropractor, notice your posture throughout the day and 'fake it till you make it' or consider private yoga instruction. (Shameless plug, I know, but seriously. It's legit.)

Step 2: Slow everything down. If our minds are triggered by the way we move, slowing down your movement will help to calm and slow the mind. If we're constantly feeding into the frenetic rush, even seemingly beneficial movement, such as working out or running, can still negatively fuel our 'fight or flight' reactions. Learn how to develop patience through your movement.

Step 3: Translate all movement into action. I love this quote by BKS Iyengar:

“Action is movement with intelligence. The world is filled with movement. What the world needs is more conscious movement, more action.”

You can tell if you're in movement or action by what your mind is doing. If you're thinking about anything else other than what your body is experiencing, then it's mindless movement. If you're setting an intention to feel, experience, slow down and refine, it can become action. Practice moving mindfully when you're doing daily tasks such as washing dishes, driving, sitting at your desk or working. Over time, you will be amazed at how much calmer you feel.

I hope this was helpful and gave you some things to think about off the mat. Please let me know if you have any questions and be sure to tune in next week, week 4 out of 4! We'll be focusing on LOVE. I hope you'll join me live, where you can interact directly and ask questions.

Mark your calendars and join me here on Tuesday the 14th (Valentine's Day) at 8:30am!