The very first yoga class I ever attended was Iyengar-based. This was some fifteen years ago, when I was totally into Tai Bo, Spin and Step Aerobics. Kind of an unusual transition, really. Truth be told, I hated it. I could hear the clock ticking, I did not sweat, and there was no music. It felt like such a waste of time to me. It took me a good month to go back. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth, but something kept me going back once a week.
As spring arrives and bathes us in a gorgeous display of floral colors, pack a picnic lunch, some yoga mats, and head outside for an inspiring stretch, courtesy of Mother Nature. Practicing in the open air with your kids is a great way to foster a love, connection, and partnership with our earthly blessings.
Seven years ago I found a copy of yoga teacher Matthew Sanford’s book Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, in the local used bookstore. The book lit me on fire: Not only did Sanford’s story of loss and healing profoundly move me, his deep and unique experience with yoga’s ability to transform touched into my own and inspired me to teach to people with disabilities.
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Insomnia can deprive us of the joy of the day by creating anything from a fuzzy brain, to an agitated nervous system, to lousy digestion, to a compromised immune system. How do we get a good night’s sleep when our minds are on overdrive, and our muscles are bound up? One reason for insomnia can be that we haven’t used our legs enough during the day; when your legs are restless, it is difficult for your body to relax. If you can’t get off the “go” mode, sleep may be illusive—after all, for incessant worriers, what better time to worry than when you should be sleeping?
How long have you been coming to your yoga mat? When you think about your yoga practice, can you remember what brought you to yoga and how you felt during your first class? It’s been over 15 years since I first stepped on my yoga mat and I remember exactly how I felt. Excited and terrified.
Self love. It is the foundation of a happy life and yet, at times, is so hard to hold on to. So, what is self love? While some consider self love to be conceited, the Yamas and Niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras teach us that self love is a combination of ahimsa (non-violence) brahmacharya (non-excess), and santosha (contentment).
To be your most authentic self, you need to incorporate self-care into your daily life. Self-care anchors you in kindness and love, even amidst a whirlwind of stress or trauma. Dr. Kristen Lee Costa, a professor at Northeastern University and stress expert defines self-care as “being aware of a wide range of needs and deliberately taking action to support our own well-being.”
I find that this is the ideal time of year to tune into the here and now and remember all there is to be grateful for. So if you are feeling stressed out by this season and always thinking of the future, these tips will help you reconnect to the present moment and the gifts you currently possess—through this season, and all that follow.