Category Archives: Yoga

Listen to Your Body: It Has Something to Tell You

I’m nearing the end of a personal 100 Days of Endorphins Challenge. For the first 61 days, I didn’t tell anyone I was doing a fitness challenge.

I’ve come to discover that I’m not someone who is motivated by simply telling people I’m doing something. Conversely, I find I’m much more likely to complete something if I tell no one about it for a very long time—until I feel confident I’m going to finish it (which for me was Day 62).

My challenge: Do one workout that inspires me, ignites me and takes me to my edge every day (make-ups allowed). I’m pretty strict with myself on what a workout is—I have to sweat, I have to feel my lungs expand, and I have to feel drained (in a good way—no drill sergeant bootcamps here). My goals? Strength, resilience, greater immunity, grace, tone and confidence.

For the first 78 days, I was doing fabulously.

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Reflections: 100 Days Left Until I’m a Yoga Teacher

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On March 8, 2015, exactly 100 days from today, I will officially be a certified yoga teacher.

I thought about this last week when I was at my mother’s house in New Jersey, as I touched down into how distant and numb I felt from my training and study.

My life in 2014 has been blessed, beautiful, confusing, jagged. For the first time, I’m traveling as a way of life, while simultaneously maintaining my own sanctuary in my chosen city. I’m doing poorly at maintaining a lot of connections that are important to me; I’m doing swimmingly at expanding others.

I frequently fly back and forth between two places: New York City, the most populous and unhappiest city in the country (re: the National Bureau of Economic Research, gleaned from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data), and Boulder, the healthiest, happiest city in the country, according to 25-year Gallup Well-Being Index surveys. To be fair, my partner lives in Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn-Boulder connection is palpable. But still, I feel such a disconcerting polarity sometimes.

Each time I move, fly, bus, train, drive—I try so hard to hold my center. But it escapes me. I scatter bits of myself, and I’m often unsure where I left them.

I want to honor this final 100 days. It’s not that I want to do asana—physical yoga postures—for 100 days. What I want is to build a more available access road into the place inside me that deeply wants this, that embodies yoga as my meditation and connection to self and Source.

I’ve been coasting along since October, when I started my yoga teacher training. Since it only happens 1-2 weekends per month, it’s easy to immerse and then disconnect, not incorporating what I’m learning into my daily life.

But, I want to make this meaningful. Why else would I do it?

And so I begin on the first of my last 100 days. The first Yoga Sutra is Atha, which means now. Yoga now, yoga always, yoga everywhere you are. My teachers say that we don’t just practice on the mat; we practice always, in all ways.

Today, I practice yoga now.

Movement as Meditation: An Homage to My Yoga Practice (and An Announcement)

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I attended a Zen Buddhism class once in which the instructor said that yoga was “not a great form of meditation.” We were in a yoga studio.

But for me, yoga is embodied meditation.

Author and Conscious Lover Kathlyn Hendricks once told me:

We start by whatever door we come in.

For me, movement is not a distraction. It’s a vehicle for me to move in more deeply.

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Ignore Your Ego? Maybe It’s Worth a Listen

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I went to an intense yoga class with my teacher two days ago. Everyone felt it; I know this because he said toward the end: “Seven more minutes of class, guys.” And everyone laughed. Because damn, we were all wondering.

In the beginning of class, he shared with us something that resonated with him via one of his teachers, Erich Schiffmann:

In every moment, you’re either connecting to Source or reiterating the ignorance of the ego.

It danced over my skin when he said it.

Throughout class, I thought about it. I thought about how much I was seeing the appearance of ego in my own life lately, and in particular my relationship.

I had been making everything about me. I pointed out to my partner that even the simplest thing he was saying—she’s really really smart, for example—was triggering me. Wasn’t I really smart, too? Yes. Do I want to crawl into a shame hole for even admitting to thinking this way? Yes.

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