I could tell you a lot of things about me, but probably the most important thing I can share with you is that I feel really at ease in my own skin, and it wasn't always like that. I've been practicing yoga since my senior year at Barnard College. I used to struggle with anxiety, depression, debilitating migraines and body image issues. I used to be attracted to people who couldn't love me in a way that felt good. I used to be attached to stories about how things should be, or how people should behave or what other people should do, say, want, need or feel. Life is not like that anymore. Yoga is not a magic bullet, it's a process of discovering what is really true about you, and a letting go of anything that isn't. It's an art form that teaches you how to listen deeply not just to your own intuition, but to the people in your life, without gripping the steering wheel with your sticky fingers, white-knuckling your way through it all. It's an acceptance of the impermanence of everything, in a way that inspires you to live each day fully and to love with your whole heart. Not everything in my life is perfect. I have faced some real heartbreak along the way, as we all have. I've lived enough and seen enough to know better than to use phrases like, "everything happens for a reason." Some things just happen, and our job is to rise up and grow beauty from whatever it is life puts in our path, and sometimes that is really, really hard. Everything good, real and true in my life, everything that flows and is fulfilling and rewarding comes directly out of my yoga practice, and it is one of my greatest joys to share the tools, ideas and practices that have helped me create a life I love. I'm a mom with two kids and an amazing husband. This site is my third child, and I'm thrilled you've joined me and this incredible group of teachers I'm so privileged to know and share with you. Every teacher on this site is passionate, down-to-earth and committed to her and his yoga practice. Everyone here wants to share, support you and inspire you to keep unrolling your mat, even on the days when it's tough. Especially on those days! If you like some reading along with your asana practice, I've written two books, "Open Randomly: Fortune Cookies for the Soul" and "Yoga's Healing Power: Looking Inward for Change, Growth and Peace", both available on Amazon, Book Depository, and wherever books are sold. If things go well, my third book will be finished soon. I'm very hands-on with the site, and if you have any questions, need some guidance, or simply want to connect with me, please reach out!
There are roughly 7 billion people on earth, but only one YOU!! Isn't that amazing? You have something particular to offer this world that only you can, but sometimes people doubt themselves! Relate? This practice is about getting out of your own way so you believe that what you have to offer is valuable and needed! If you're looking to stoke your creative juices, this is for you! A little breath-of-fire, core strengthening, twisting, balancing and getting on our hands and maybe upside-down. The whole time we'll work with the feeling of being rooted, trusting ourselves and then shining it out!
Practice begins with a 3-minute talk about the importance of self-compassion. If you are a Type A perfectionist by default and live with a loud inner critic, my goodness this is especially for you! Please set the intention to replace any negative inner talk with a voice that roots you on as we move and breathe and make shapes together! We give lots of love to the hips, hamstrings and shoulders, fire up the core and then give extra love to the hips when we're warm. This is a feel-good flow that's all about cultivating compassion and developing a loving and respectful relationship with your body, and perfect for days when you have a moderate amount of energy! Once we can be compassionate with ourselves, we can do that for other people with a different kind of insight.
How are your shoulders and hips right now? How are YOU? How's your heart? If you're looking for a flow with a very sweet pace where we start with grounding and breathing and then very deeply open the hips and shoulders...look no further! Make deep, conscious breathing and the desire to be present with yourself and all you feelings the focus of this practice and I promise you will feel a huge energetic shift whether you take me up on opportunities for standing marichyasanas, fireflies, arm-balance mash-ups and inversions...or not! Yoga Nidra in savasana will leave you feeling blissful, too <3
The theme of this class is present-moment awareness! How present are you feeling in your life from day-to-day? Do you feel like you're sucking the juice out of life? Are you able to be present with your own feelings and truly know yourself? When you eat, are you tasting your food? When you're in a conversation, are you listening, or waiting for your turn to speak? This practice will help! We move mindfully, and as we make shapes I will gently remind you to observe how these shapes feel in your body as you breathe. Set the intention to stay curious! If you can do this for yourself, you'll be able to do it for other people, too! It's such a gift to be able to listen deeply and respond with presence, awareness, love and patience.
Left to its own devices, the mind operates like a monkey, jumping from branch to branch! But the good news is: yoga chitta vritti nirodha, or: yoga calms the fluctuations of the mind so we can rest in our true nature. Sometimes we have to do a lot of deep breathing and shape-making to quiet that mind chatter and become present! In this practice we play with poses right-side up and upside-down so by the time we're done the only thing you're sure of is your center. And that's all we can ever really be sure of, anyway ;) Expect lots of hamstring and hip-opening, shoulder-opening, core strengthening, monkey pose and eagle pose every which way and a little grasshopper to keep things moving :) You might want to grab a couple of blocks and a strap just in case! Enjoy, friends!
Wanna little heart-pumping with your flow? How about jump-switches, chaturanga push-ups and chair squats in the context of a flow that also emphasizes deep breathing and mindful movement? Lots of shoulder, hip and hamstring opening, core strengthening and arm balancing including koundinyasana 1 and 2, dwi pada koundinyasana and all kind of backbends. Ready, set, flow!
I've had so many requests lately for grounding practices. Here's one of my answers :) This is a methodical steadily-paced class where we go deeper and deeper into the hips, hamstrings and shoulders as we build heat and focus on deep breathing. You will feel your body start to release layers of tension if you can make this whole practice about breathing deeply and staying curious. You can expect to sweat, we work hard, do core strengthening, arm balancing and inverting, but the emphasis is on staying rooted. Intermediate students are welcome, just please listen to your body and don't force anything! Sending you all a lot of love. Keep breathing ;)
Last week I let you know I was going to film a shorter practice and asked how long you wanted it to be! Most of you said somewhere around 30 minutes would be ideal, so here it is! We get a full-body practice here with special love for the spine (tons of creative cat-cow variations throughout, so you can expect more freedom in your neck and shoulders as we move), core strengthening, arm balancing and inverting! If you are struggling with anxiety right now, the trick is to work with it, get your body moving, breathe deeply, and release! Please let me know how you're feeling on the flip side! Love y'all <3
If you're looking for a deep dive into your hips, shoulders and hamstrings, some fiery core strengthening, twisting, arm balancing and inverting...look no further, this practice has it all. Grounding breath on the front end, yoga Nidra to send you blissfully into savasana on the back end. In between, we explore the inner landscape, weed out what isn't serving us and nurture the blossoms we want to grow! A block and strap may be handy here. Intermediate students welcome as I give options and building blocks, but please listen to your body and tend to your garden with love <3
And it feels amazing! Instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, we get really present together. Practice begins with getting grounded...noticing the breath and tuning into sensation. Then we move and flow in surprising ways to keep you guessing and alert. What's happening? What's going to happen next? You'll know when we get there but here are a few things you can count on: a tutorial for eka pads koundinyasana 2 and flying pigeon and building blocks for your handstand straddle. You can now deduce that there will be shoulder, hip and hamstring opening and core strengthening. There will also be some laughter, a great vibe and the spirit of curiosity. A couple of blocks might be handy. Your open mind is essential. Ready?
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