"The breath is a private affair," my student tells me. This is one of those moments when everything stops, and you can perceive the profound meaning of the words still echoing off the walls. Taken at face value, your ego filter interprets it as a stuffy statement, a refusal to follow along with the suggestion of the teacher. If you follow The Four Agreements and practice #2: "Don't take anything personally," you uncover a gold mine.
It's a classic rite of passage in school - the fitness test in gym class. You may have passed running 2 mi around the track and folding forward to touch your toes, but right after the rope climb comes the king - the pull-up bar. This fiend takes no prisoners. Only the fittest of the fit, not even the cool kids, were able to conquer that beast. Well, now that you're grown, it's time to face that demon and get to be friends.
While in my yoga training, my teachers used to say it all the time, “If not today, then when?” That phrase didn’t hit home for me until recently, when a few things in my life seemed out of control, or at least, out of the control I was used to. That was then this phrase popped into my head. I could wait around and see what the world throws at me, or I can take back control. I know this all seems abstract and vague, but I promise I have a point.
Let's be honest, no one is 100% motivated and into their workouts everyday. In today's society with social media at the forefront and the hashtag #fitfam trending at 9.7M on instagram it is so easy to look at these people and think how to they do it? How do they stay motivated, crush workouts everyday and have 6 pack abs after eating a cupcake? Well in reality, most people posting on instagram and creating blogs such as this one take about 50 pictures of themselves to find the PERFECT one to post. They try different angles, filters, times of day, etc all to get that one great shot to be able to tag as #fitspo. It becomes so easy to begin to compare yourself to this perfection. I guarantee if you flexed in the mirror for 5 minutes straight after doing 5 push ups you will be able to find the "swole" in your muscles, but this still doesn't stop us from comparing ourselves to the the facade of perfection. The evil inside our heads is continuing to be our biggest critic.
Looking for a quick-to-make, cost effective, high volume snack?
Summer rolls are the Vietnamese version of enchiladas. It's a burrito with rice paper instead of a flour tortilla, and fresh veggies instead of beans and meat. They're sushi, minus the mess. Hungry yet? Don't fret - they're fast and easy to make for lunch or picnic fare.
Preserving a daily meditation practice is tough. You would think that teaching yoga would instill a staying drive and discipline in you, but I have to say, while teaching has deepened my personal practice on the mat and sharpened my awareness off of it, I have not yet solidified a regular meditation practice for myself. But I do have a goal – to make my meditation practice a more consistent one by the time fall rolls around.
Stepping onto your yoga mat may feel liberating after wearing restrictive shoes all day. You might wiggle your toes and feel life flowing back into your feet. Throughout the rest of your practice you probably notice similar sensations; muscle engagement, constriction in some areas, flexibility and mobility in others. Most students have an easy time picking up on the physical aspect of their practice, but there are actually many other pieces of your yoga practice that you can tune into while on your mat.
Plenty of our winter rituals connect us with fire as our bodies seek to find balance between extremes. Hot drinks (cocoa, mulled wine), fireplaces, and festive lights, just to name a few. Fire doesn’t have to be a winter-only therapy; it’s something that can heal year-round.
If you’re feeling groggy, low-energy, and unmotivated, we have a few fire therapies to rev you up.
I love bananas. They're a wonderful source of carbohydrates when green, and sugar as they ripen. As they brown or get bruised, they're really only good for banana bread or the garbage, right? Before last week, I would have agreed with you. Banana halwa will change your life.
When I think of this season, words like freedom, play, and adventure emerge in my mind. Vivid memories crop up too – of long afternoons at the beach, enveloped by a sound score of crashing waves, giggles, and screams; of countless scoops of ice cream melting in my mouth, so satisfying especially on the hottest of days; of grass squishing underfoot as I run through sprinklers in my backyard…there’s something so timeless about summer’s long days and warm nights.