Reasons to Practice Yoga

Even more research is available today, detailing the benefits of yoga.  Although there are a multitude of good reasons to practice yoga, here is an abbreviated list of the benefits: Improves athletic performance Improves concentration and short-term memory Tones muscles and builds core strength Helps boost the immune system Increases relaxation response Expands lung function and stamina improves balance and flexibility… Read more →

Namaste Explained

Namaste (pronounced Nah ma stay) is a Sanskrit word, the classical language of India. Literally, “namaha” means “to bow,” and “te” means “to you.”  Namaste is a salutation of respect and gratitude.  It can be used as a greeting and/or farewell.  In the West, we typically close the yoga class with this word and a bow of the head, when… Read more →

Finding Balance

Being able to maintain balance requires focus, strength, and ease.  There are several types of balance:  physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual.  Yoga brings both the mind, body, and spirit back into balance, creating an overall sense of wellbeing.   How do we begin?  We start by noticing the breath.  Begin to lengthen and deepen inhale and exhale.  The mind begins to slow down with… Read more →

The Importance of Final Relaxation

Final relaxation, also called Svasana (pronounced shavasana), allows the body to fully integrate the physical stretches and yoga postures. I like to end my yoga classes with Svasana, enabling students to feel a real body/mind sense of wellbeing and peace when they leave. It is recommended that Svasana last at least 5 minutes, more if time allows, for the mind… Read more →

Reframing Disabilities with Yoga

I am a walking testimony about the benefits of yoga.  Several years ago my prognosis with chronic disabling back pain was grim.  I was getting epidural injections bi-monthly just to walk, and was facing life in a wheelchair.  Having retired early from this disability, I resumed a regular yoga practice and found it helpful.   I rediscovered the magic of deep yogic breathing to… Read more →

Building Mental & Emotional Strength

You can build endurance and power through almost any athletic pursuit or exercise program.  The beauty of yoga is the building of emotional and mental strength too.   So why is inner strength so important?  Inner awareness and power helps you maintain composure amidst life’s storms and remain focused with today’s competing demands for your time and attention.   Practicing… Read more →

An Attitude of Gratitude

After every yoga class, I thank my students for sharing my personal practice.  Actually, your presence is my “present” every day.  I’m so blessed to be able to practice and teach yoga to such amazing students.  Yoga makes me feel good.  The energy of a room full of students amplifies the feeling.  It’s a community of like minded, health conscious… Read more →

Life Lessons from the Yoga Mat

Yoga poses (asanas) are a balance between effort and relaxation.  As we move into stretches and poses, we learn to scan the body, noticing tightness and tension. We send our breath to  the areas of greatest sensation and mindfully encourage relaxation.  As we breathe into these sensations, we relax the tension.  Sometimes we need to modify the pose to avoid pain, possible injury, and… Read more →

Hatha Yoga

Hatha (pronounced hahtah) Yoga, is frequently interpreted as “action” or “movement.”  Yoga is much more than a physical form of exercise.  The physical practice we commonly call “yoga” is only one of the eight limbs of yoga described by the Indian sage, Pantanjali, in the ancient text, “Yoga Sutra.”   Hatha Yoga is the classical foundation of all physical types of yoga known… Read more →

Meditation Simplified

Meditation is about being present in the moment and stilling the mind of endless chatter.  It’s about being completely absorbed, focused and unaware of time.   Here are a few of many simple ways to enjoy a meditative state: Close your eyes and feel the breath on each inhale and exhale Inhale slowly and deeply; exhale slowly and completely Feel the ball of your foot and heel strike… Read more →