• breath,  embodiment

    10 Ways to Practice Yoga without Stepping Onto Your Mat

    You love yoga. You love the way it makes you feel, the way you see yourself through the practice, everything it stands for. Yoga means union; it helps us connect mind, body and spirit. Sometimes un-namable, it makes us FEEL things we never felt before. If you're like me, you want to practice every day, but life says otherwise. I'm a yoga teacher and I don't practice in the typical sense every day. Luckily yoga is so vast, there are thousands of things you can do to practice. These days, my intention is to get on my mat two to three times per week, but I practice every day in other ways. It may be five minutes of breathing, a twenty minute meditation or studying yogic philosophy. Sometimes it's an intentional walk in nature. Over the years, I've discovered many ways to incorporate the practice into every…

  • breath,  embodiment

    8 Step Office Yoga Sequence

    Try this 8 step office yoga sequence whenever you need a break in your day. It's a great moving meditation to bring you back to center. If you'd rather listen to the practice (which I recommend), go here. SETTING THE TONE & INTENTION. Sit at your desk with feet flat on the floor. (If you're able to take your shoes off, spread your toes and evenly distribute your weight throughout your feet, that's great. If not, do your best with shoes on.) Ground your sit bones into your seat. Let your spine grow tall. Relax your shoulders away from your ears. Close your eyes if possible. Notice how you feel. SETTLING INTO THE BREATH. Begin to take long, slow conscious breaths, counting each inhale and each exhale, attempting to match their length. Continue breathing, slow, rhythmic breaths throughout your practice.

  • being human,  breath

    A Mix of Sadness & Gratitude

    It seems impossible to feel sad and grateful at the same time, yet those are the two precise emotions I’ve simultaneously carried with me today. A deep well of sadness has settled in again, what was once an abnormal feeling has become familiar. To a self-proclaimed ‘glass half full,’ cheery soul, I feel lost in it. I find myself reflecting and then feeling an emptiness, an absence. I think about days not many years ago that were full, busy, too busy, and the ways I longed for quiet, contemplation, time. I wanted something I couldn’t have and now I want what I once had back. My yoga toolbox provides me with many tools. Santosha, the third niyama of the eight limbs of yoga, asks that I find contentment. Yeah, I know I should, but how? Each time I feel sad, today included, I flip…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment

    How To Be Grateful Each Day, in 10 Simple Steps

    I went to the doctor the other day for a routine visit. The woman checking me in had a bracelet that read ‘content’ with the words facing toward me. I told her I liked it and she said, “Yeah, anytime I complain I’m supposed to move it to the other wrist and turn the word toward me. It helps.” Indeed. I’ve kept a gratitude journal every day for years, I told her. “It’s changed my life.” And what I’ve found over all of these years is that we can complain about anything and everything, but the more negative we are, the more the negativity seeps into other areas of life. If, however, we can give thanks for all of the little things, they add up, and bigger blessings follow — or they don’t, in which case we give thanks for the unexpectedness of life. A 10 Step…

  • breath,  embodiment

    Nature as an Entryway into Embodiment

    Nature Is. Pure being. Sheer essence. And the great human paradox is that we are too. It’s our minds that get in the way of things. The Buddha spent a lot of time in nature and recognized this great spiritual truth. I walk or hike almost every day. It clears me out. It creates in me a spaciousness unexplainable — most of the time. Intentionality is key. We create mindfulness by not letting ourselves get caught up — in ourselves. Embodiment is an elusive concept, kinda like love and yoga. You know it’s real but words don’t accurately describe it. A walk in nature takes the same tone. When I’m outside moving my body, a lifeforce grander than I acts on my being. I feel energized and alive in ways unexplainable. If only I could write and hike at the same time — the things that would come out! The…

  • breath,  embodiment

    Understanding Ourselves at the Cellular Level

    Did you know that all of your cells have ‘tone?’ Cellular tone is a documented, researched fact. When you were born, you grew out of one cell. That one cell became many ‘things.’ Each cell knows all of the other cells intimately and is constantly in communication with the whole. And yoga balances the tone in our bodies — through breath, movement and constant communication with the Earth. We have what is known as movement intelligence, and we grow it consciously through intention. What’s more, by using the body we program the mind.Kinda crazy, right? We live in a world that believes the mind controls all. It doesn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. And let me share another well-kept secret (or possibly something you never thought about before): The nervous system only records. With our intentional movement, we inform the nervous system. We bring the body…

  • breath,  embodiment

    Stop Recording. Start Embodying

    If you didn’t measure it, it didn’t happen. That’s the world we live in — steps we walk, food we eat, what we do. And most of it gets posted online via an app, or directly to social media. Work generally includes goals and objectives, and we receive performance evaluations (and raises) according to how we stack up against what we said we’d do. Grants are tied to deliverables. Measurement is a necessary part of work. But …. Most of us treat our personal lives like work — we record it all, and we share it with the world. Our health is tracked by any number of apps — daily movement, hours of sleep, water intake, the food we eat, how long we meditate. We writers track words on a page or the time we spend writing. Look how many of us share regularly on Medium! All of us are paying attention…

  • breath,  embodiment

    Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Body

    When navigating negative emotions, what takes over? Body or mind? Which came first? Where does all of our intelligence lie? I’m pondering these questions on my EmbodiYoga journey and I’d love for you to come along. I’m ashamed at how much I’ve ignored my body over the years — even still. I live in my mind more than I’d like but I’m thankful to be on this path, learning and directing my attention in ways I never have before. All emotion can be felt in the body but we almost never go there. Instead we … attach to thoughts, avoid or self soothe. An Inquiry Consider these five negative emotions. Take a deep breath. Read each one. Notice what each one feels like in your body. Worry is a future-projected thought pattern that traps us in a never-ending cycle. It asks what if? What then? Why? How…

  • breath,  embodiment

    How We Embody the Yoga Sutras

    Today I attempt to merge aspects of embodiment, the mind, and the concepts of EmbodiYoga with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. If you are unfamiliar with the Yoga Sutras, specifically the 8 Limgs of Yoga, go here. I’m writing weekly about the 8 limbs too. It’s totally fine if you call me a yoga geek. I already know. Yoga nerd? So, we know that embodiment is direct perception of the body, and that EmbodiYoga takes it further by incorporating somatics, embryology and yoga into one discipline. I’m beginning to see it as an evolution of my yoga, as well as foundational as I incorporate basic yet profound aspects of the practice into my daily existence. I’m envious of yogis who can twist into beautiful shapes, stand on one hand and look pretty doing it, but yoga (to me) is much deeper than Instagram challenges.…

  • breath,  embodiment

    States of Meeting the Earth (Part II)

    More Concepts on the EmbodiYoga Path Cueing is a huge part of effectively teaching yoga, but beyond that, my teacher Lisa Clark says, “cueing is a map of experience and language is important.”I couldn’t agree more, and it’s defintely an art. EmbodiYoga introduces us to a deeper language, one that speaks directly to the body. We live in a world that ignores the body, glorifies the mind. Speaking directly to the body is altogether different from anything we’ve experienced. Sure, yoga in general taps us into the body, but EmbodiYoga offers a direct experience of our being. Body time vs. nervous system time Opposite sensations. Body time is at the level of the body. It’s slower, more mindful. Nervous system time keeps us scattered. Our society is very much on nervous system time. It’s no wonder there is widespread disease related to stress. And EmbodiYoga…