Monday, September 27

Salutations a parking ticket solution?

Add a new twist on why to do yoga: it's now being tauted as a way to relieve stress upon receiving the dreaded parking ticket.

The city of Cambridge, Mass., began including a "citation salutation" to its parking tickets as part of a public art project by artist-in-residence Daniel Peltz.

"Peltz envisions '“a reflection on a social situation, the human experience of giving and receiving parking tickets.” '

'"I’m going to get the ticket either way, my only choice really is how I’m going to receive it.”'
This train of thinking could relate to how we react to any situation. Yoga is a method for handling external experiences in a balanced manner and shows us receiving a parking ticket isn't the end of the world, unless we make it that.

So breathe when you receive that parking ticket, or the baby spits up on you, or your co-worker is annoying you, or insert your own negative bullet point here, and watch it more easily flow off your back.

Wednesday, September 15

Eagle mudra for more intuition

Mudras, a type of hand gesture, are said to be the first form of prayer before speech. They are also a way of cultivating a specific state of mind.

Try garudasan or eagle mudra to enliven your intuition when you're in need of guidance.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 6

Allergies and Stress: Who knew?

Signs of allergy season began for me this past month but to the extreme. Sinus pressure and headaches were more distracting and disconcerting than ever before, and this past week my chest has felt tight.

Perhaps the ragweed count in Kansas City is at record levels. Had a suspicion it was something to do with me. So what's going on? I asked myself.


After researching yoga poses for allergies and asthma due to the tightness in my chest, I found the online Yoga Journal article "Allergy Antidote." It correlates asthma and allergies to stress and how having a more calming yoga practice can help alleviate symptoms.
"Through relaxation, the nervous system basically tells the immune system to hold its fire. Once the immune system backs off, the inflammation and mucus decrease, and symptoms diminish.

Migdow suggests you make de-stressing your immune system a priority by modifying your yoga practice to be less vigorous and much more calming. "For example, avoid Bikram Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga where there is already heat. Instead, practice asanas in a smooth and relaxing way with lots of slow breathing."'
Must admit, I have been giving the pressures in life more power than they deserved, but to have my body reacting to it as allergies. Who knew?

After returning to the Midwest four years ago, I visited an allergist upon having allergy symptoms for the first time in my life. A few tests later only revealed mild allergies and a slight athletic asthma. Took the prescriptions for a while. Once they ran out, I switched to the more holistic nasal rinsing since soon after I became pregnant.

Although now nasal rinsing didn't seem to help as much. Nor did taking several Claritin and Sudafed generics per day.

Next step: relaxation.

The same article mentions these asanas or postures to induce calming and to help reduce allergies and asthma by massaging "various parts of the spine and the thoracic cage and condition the lungs"
  • standing poses
  • forward bends
  • backward bends
  • twists
  • inversions (shoulderstand and plow) - help "clear the upper respiratory tract and drain secretions from the nose, allowing freshly oxygenated blood to flow into the oral cavity."

Wednesday, September 1

Happy September - it's Yoga Month

September is national yoga month in the U.S. Many studios across the U.S. are participating and giving away free yoga classes to bring awareness to this powerful mind, body and spirit practice.

Yoga Patch, the studio where I teach in KC on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6 p.m., is offering brand new students one free class the week of Sept. 13.

If you're curious about the effects and benefits of yoga, take advantage of this special month.

Happy September!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, August 27

Listen to the song - Just Breathe

Downloaded "Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick, the acoustic version. Thought this version would be perfect to play in the background of my yoga class.

I listened to the song as I was driving to my corporate-day job and realized the chorus is a great reminder to focus on my breath or prana (life force) whereever I am. Simple yet so powerful because ultimately you're tuning into the present moment.

"And breathe, just breathe. Oh breathe, just breathe."

Monday, August 23

My little Buddha

World Market is one of my favorite stores due to all its wordly, yoga-esque merchandise, such as Nag Champa incense, which is wonderful to combine with your yoga practice or just relax to its scent.

During my last visit, World Market had a variety of "Eat. Pray. Love." movie-inspired product. Seemed cheesy but of course I bought some items. One was mala beads to help me meditate (think Rosary), and the other was a little stone Buddha statue to use as a focal point (drishti) for my home yoga practice.

After I came home with my new purchases, my two-year-old daughter noticed the new Buddha statue and asked what it was so I told her.

Later that night I goosed her bottom, and she said, "You got my little buddha." Ha, guess so.

Thursday, August 19

Use a dry brush to wake up & fight cellulite

Aging for a woman apparently equates to being tired and having cellulite, right? Not necessarily.

Since incorporating the Eastern hygiene technique of dry brushing within my morning regimen a few years ago, I've noticed how much more awake I am in the morning. Plus the backs of my thighs seem to be hanging in. *grin*

Like yoga brings us into the present moment, dry brushing makes me more aware of my skin, which is our largest organ. So it's understandable we should have some a maintenance routine to encourage new growth and shed the old skin cells. Dry brushing also stimulates our lymphatic and circulatory systems.

I started reading about the technique in a few of my yoga and health books and finally broke down a few years ago and bought a brush at Whole Foods. Best habit I've picked up in a while.

Tips I've picked up in various places along the dry-brushing journey:
  • Brush in dircular motion, in direction towards your heart
  • Typically takes two to three minutes
  • Use a brush with natural bristles
  • Do so before you shower so the dead skin can come off (although it's not like you see it)
  • Dry brush earlier in the day since it is stimulating versus before bed
  • Enjoy the rush of awareness and awakeness afterwords

Saturday, August 14

Listen to Renowned Yoga Teachers Share their Stories of the last 35 years

Imagine being arrested for doing yoga. Apparently it wasn't so long ago where people would call the cops on you if you were practicing yoga, even in the USA. Crazy, right?

If you have eight minutes, watch this video about the last 35 years of Yoga Journal and hear the yoga leaders of modern time.

Monday, May 24

Hello, old friend

Makes me sad it's been so long since I last posted here. Had no idea it had been so long. Life flies by too fast these days. Wondering if I should pick up where I left off or just start a new blog?

Still teaching yoga. Still a corporate worker bee. Still a mom. Now of an almost two year old beautiful little girl.

Oh, and still enjoying life as a yoga mama.


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