• being human,  breath,  embodiment

    My Life Is A Ritual

    I happened upon this statement a few months ago. I’m not sure where, but it attached itself deep in my psyche … “my life is a ritual.” I placed those words on my message board so I could ponder them for a while and I’ve concluded for myself that the statement is true, but my thoughts around ritual are different now. The dictionary defines ritual in this way: a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order Essentially, what I believed ritual to be in the past: a long, elaborate set of rules and actions, has changed. The statement also made me ponder ritual vs. getting stuck in my ways, in life … going through the motions. This is something I wish least for myself. As I ruminated on the statement, I thought about my daily morning ritual. I…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment,  writing

    Learning to Live in Direct Experience

    I’ve gone quiet lately. Last week was busy with work and graduation prep and the weekend was full with my girl’s graduation ceremony and party. Yesterday was the first day I journaled in a few weeks. And it struck me … I wasn’t writing because I didn’t want to fully feel, didn’t want to acknowledge the sadness that was here, under the surface. Anxiety was here. Angst was here. I felt it all. I’m much more in tune than I ever have been before, but I filled life up instead of slowing down to fully experience it. I think most of us do that, sometimes out of habit, others necessity, and sometimes we’re completely unaware. I am not saying we should drown in our fears, sadness or anxiety, but I do think we often mask it or avoid the negative feelings in lieu of…

  • being human,  breath,  embodiment

    Changing my Physiology

    Wanna know a secret? I have no idea what I’m doing.  And damn, have I been trying hard—too hard. For the longest time, I thought I had to get it ‘right.’ For the longest time I tried to be perfect. It just perpetuated more pain. So at the end of the struggle, I decided to just be me, but there was a problem. I didn’t know how to do that, exactly. I can’t explain why: my brain wasn’t working optimally, and that realization led to a billion other ‘a-has.’ I learned that I couldn’t use sheer will to change; I had to change my physiology. I had to change my brain. 

  • 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…