Thursday, April 9

Tapas yoga with Jamie Elmer

A few months ago, I attended a two-hour yoga session with Jamie Elmer at a local studio Yoga Gallery. I believe she studied with Max Strom. It was a tapas practice, which means discipline in Sanskirt, but do not make the mistake that it means it's a difficult practice.

Judith Lasater described tapas on

"A better way to understand tapas is to think of it as consistency in striving toward your goals: getting on the yoga mat every day, sitting on the meditation cushion every day—or forgiving your mate or your child for the 10,000th time. If you think of tapas in this vein, it becomes a more subtle but more constant practice, a practice concerned with the quality of life and relationships rather than focused on whether you can grit your teeth through another few seconds in a difficult asana."

Before we moved into the asanas or postures, Elmer led us through a meditation so we could find our own personal affirmations that we would carry and silently say to ourselves throughout the practice. First she had us choose something we were in need of and made us think of the one word every time we inhaled. Then she instructed us to pick a word that encapsulated what we needed to remove from our lives and then say in our mind with every out breath. I ended up choosing "source" on the inhale because I had just "attended" a virtual Abraham-Hicks presentation via Hay House and they are always referencing tuning into "source," which bascially means God and all that is good. On my exhale, I said "fear," which is all around us right now. I did change it sometimes to "worry" since Elmer said we could check in and alter our affirmations if needed and at anytime. She also moved very slowly and had us hold the poses between one to three minutes; she stressed backing off the poses instead of attacking them at 100 percent.

Afterwards I talked with Jamie about her meditation and tapas practice and how it tied so much with what I've been studying in Louise Hay, Abraham-Hicks, etc. It was very simple yet powerful. During my studies on the power of affirmations and thoughts, I’ve been wondering how I can tie yoga and this together, and Jamie did a beautiful job and definitely inspired me to create my own practice utilizing the power of our thoughts and minds.

I’d like to incorporate affirmations and the law of attraction to my yoga classes, but I don’t want to run people away either. Any thoughts?

Monday, April 6

Dear Yoga Mama-Rama Mama ... ask & I'll answer

Lately I’ve been feeling like the "Dear Abby" of yoga due to receiving lots of questions, especially via Facebook, about yoga. Not that I’m an expert on the topic, but I have been a yoga instructor for two and a half years and have been practicing consistently for over six years. So I know enough to be dangerous, and if I don’t, I can always Google it. ;) Thought I’d share some of the questions and my replies.

Dear Yoga Mama-Rama Mama,
Hey! Have you ever done Bikram Yoga? I was reading about it but I don't know what is so different about it!?!?



Dear Jacquie,
I have done Bikram about 10 times or so, and I enjoy it but it's not my favorite. It's also called Hot Yoga (room is over 100 F) so people can get around the trademark of the style and not pay the fees. I sweated like a pig, which was actually kind of exhilarating and everyone else does it too.

I liked it but it gets redundant because it's the same 26 postures, in the same order with the same instructions practitically every time, and it lasts 90 minutes. I like more creative and unique, flowing yoga.Supposedly it is good due to the health benefits. All yoga has benefits but I guess due to the specific postures having compression and stretching, it is awesome for the cirulation.

Found this on its Wikipedia:
"While performing a specific asana, the body is stretching or compressing a certain part of the body; thus, cutting off circulation temporarily. This restriction of circulation causes the heart to pump more blood in the reaction of the shortage. The pumping of excess, fresh blood is called extension. Once the asana is complete, and the individual comes out of the posture, then the new oxygenated blood is able to rejuvenate the arteries that were being compressed. It is said that because of the volume change and influx of fresh blood, any infection, bacteria, or toxin can be released."(Choudhury, 2007)

Yoga Mama-Rama Mama


Dear Yoga Mama-Rama Mama,
Thank you for taking the time out to show me the correct yoga moves. I realized on Wed. that when i think i'm in the right position, i'm not. When you moved my shoulders back i could really feel the difference.. I felt so much better the next day. I don't think i have been doing alot of the positons correctly because it has not felt challenging until you correct me. I don't know why but i just cannot hold a balance, I know one side is weaker than the other-- any suggestions?? Please continue to show me, i am totally not embarrassed- because i feel like all of that time that i have been going has been somewhat of a waste to me not getting the full effect when i thought i was! I appreciate you!

Loyal student


Dear Loyal student,
It's so nice to receive feedback. Don't beat yourself up though - you're on a journey and you won't ever truly reach a final destination with yoga. You'll constantly learn new things and new tweaks to poses. I still am myself!

I try to give a lot of verbal comments on engaging various muscles such as your core and quadracepts because that's what's going to make the poses more challenging and useful to you. So focus on really doing those things I say like picking you your kneecaps and pulling in your core.

I'll continue to give you hands-on adjustments when I see you may need them. Trust me, no pose is being done perfectly by anyone. Or maybe it's better too look at it like this; we're all doing the pose as perfectly as we can in that moment with the knowledge we have. Enjoy the moment and ride!

Yoga Mama-Rama Mama


If you do have any questions concerning yoga, motherhood, babies, pregancy, etc., feel free to comment here or send me a direct message via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail me, and I'll address you back on my blog or directly back to you.

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