Yoga On The Go

Yoga On The Go…

Easy tips to help you stay committed, consistent, and at home in your yoga practice when you’re abroad


The yoga sutras teach us that the level of achievement we will receive from our practice depends on the intensity with which we bring ourselves forth. Sutra 1:22 says The time necessary for success depends on whether the practice is mild, medium or intense. The Sutras also tell us that we must practice earnestly and consistently (Sutra 1.12). (The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sri Swami Satchidananda).

In other words, these practices only work when we do! Yoga requires us to sometimes put the practice first, to catch ourselves when we’re making excuses not to get on our mats, and to cultivate consistency and follow through amidst our busy lives. In the throws of weekly schedules, this task is already a challenge for some.

So, when things are really shaken up (like when there is family in town, and you just can’t get to class— or when you’re literally across the globe), how do you remain steadfast in your yoga ritual?

As a traveling yogi I have found a few helpful solutions to this conundrum… Throughout my career I have spent weeks at a time in hotel rooms in foreign countries, have woken up early for 5am flights, and have been sleep deprived and jet lagged before teaching 4 hours of workshops. The title may sound luxurious, but sometimes it takes all the gusto I’ve got just to keep going on with a smile. And the amazing thing is this: I could never do this without my practice. The act of coming to my mat, and into my heart by way of the breath…. there is no cup of coffee (even in Italy) that can do the same thing.

Here are my best tips to keep you consistent when you’re on the go. You can use these practices in your everyday life at home, when daily life is shaken up, or when you’re traveling short or long term.

  • Invest in a light weight yoga mat – Make sure you pack a mat in your bag! There are many travel mats that are under 1lb, and super easy to pack in a carry on. Make this item as necessary as your tooth brush. When you arrive in your hotel room, lay it out in a welcoming place as you are putting away your clothing and toiletries. When you wake up the next morning, step on your mat and commit to staying put for at least 15 minutes.

 

  • Keep your practice simple – Not sure what to do when you’re practicing on your own? Find familiar patterns of movement, and make those your ritual. Sun Salutations, Gentle Core Work, Supine Twists… Just begin moving, and see where your body takes you. If you are not confident creating your own flow, there are literally thousands of online and digital classes to follow along with! (I have a few here)!

 

  • It’s all about the breath – Whether you’re sitting still or scurrying through train depots, your breath is always, always, always available as an object for your awareness to settle upon. A simple breath technique to use on the go is the Box Breath. To perform this breath, inhale on a slow count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, and hold out for a count of four. Repeat up to 12 times. To help your mind remain centered on your breath, you can internally say to yourself, “Breathing In, Breathing Out,” with your in and out breaths respectively.

 

  • Ideal times to practice – Before you let your mind jump into planning mode, remind yourself to settle down and tune in! Practice first thing, only after using the bathroom and drinking some water. It can be challenging to get back to your mat once you allow yourself to carry on with the day. To avoid bypassing practice, make it your first and last activity of the day. The mind and body usually experience a bit of stress while traveling, making deep sleep more challenging and less satisfying. Restorative yoga before bed will combat the wear and tear of travel, and will help you to rest well.

 

  • Keep a journal handy – Svadhyaya (self study) is an integral part of the yoga practice. Journaling while you travel is a fabulous way to document novel experiences, and to keep track of your inner experience. When we travel we are faced with so much new information, thoughts, and ways of being all at once. Keeping a journal will help you to sort through and make sense of these impressions.

 

  • If nothing else, Meditate – If you have time for none of the above, take (at very minimum) five minutes in the morning and in the evening to practice sitting meditation. Set your timer, and commit to sitting with ease for just five minutes. Tune in, listen deeply, release the tension of the body, and feel your aliveness. Your body, your breath, and your awareness are beautiful miracles that deserve your attention (no matter how busy you are). If you need assistance in meditation, there are a number of apps and podcasts that are available free of charge.

 

….et Voila! You are all set to roam the globe without leaving your yoga practice at home. Your body, mind, heart, and yoga teachers will all be glad you remained consistent 🙂

And Remember: The outer and inner journeys are yours to explore, learn and grow from. Wherever your path takes you, enjoy the ride.

 

Namaste,

XO,

Stacy

Cleanse with Food – Why I cleanse seasonally with Beaming Cafe

Cleanse with Food

Why I Cleanse Seasonally – The Beaming Way


I was recently at a vegan restaurant and noticed that they were promoting a Cleanse with Food campaign. Seeing this got me excited, so I asked what it was all about… I was disappointed to find out that their “cleanse” program was just food from their regular menu and some added juices. And while there was some healthy food to choose from- it certainly wasn’t cleansing with foods like cashew cheese, chips, and starchy fillers included. I give them kudos for going in the right direction! But, the experience has also made me want to share a little about what makes foods not just healthier alternatives, but truly cleansing- and why Beaming stands up to the test.

Beaming was actually the first cafe to offer the “Cleanse with Food” concept. This was big!Before their 1, 7 and 21 day Superfoods Cleanses, there were only “juice cleanse” programs that left the body feeling famished and under-nourished. When Beaming came onto the market saying, “Hey! You can cleanse and EAT!” it took people (and me!) by surprise at first. But now, after years of cleansing the Beaming way, I couldn’t imagine another alternative.

You may already be aboard the Beaming boat- but if you’re not, I recommend you hop on. Cleansing regularly not only makes me feel good — it makes my body more vital, my energy more consistent, my brain function more fluidly, my skin glow, my digestion better functioning, and my cravings nearly disappear. I didn’t feel nearly this good when I was just eating foods labeled as “healthy”, or when I was “cleansing” with juice only!

 

Let’s take a look at why cleansing the Beaming way is actually better, more effective, longer lasting, and even healthier than the other “cleanse” alternatives:

 

Every Ingredient is Cleansing: Cleansing Foods are designed (by nature!) to detoxify the body, boost the digestive fire, kick metabolism in gear, and assist in overcoming addictions to sugar, dairy, caffeine, and clogging foods. At Beaming, every ingredient used has special cleansing properties, so you never have to worry about the quality of your meal, snack or smoothie.

Raw, Vegan Superfoods: Beaming foods are packed with the highest quality raw, vegan superfoods available. Superfoods are the most powerfully nutrient dense plant foods on the planet. Raw foods are living foods- vital, fresh, hydrating, and closer to their source. When you order a cleanse from Beaming, not one ingredient is cooked. Everything is carefully processed to keep its cells (and yours!) in their most vital state. These nourishing foods support glowing skin, lustrous hair, strong nails, your immune system, your organs, your brain, and many help to bring your body into its natural balance.

Sprouted Nuts: Many vegans rely on nuts for their source of fats and proteins- but not all nuts are equal. At Beaming, nuts like cashews and almonds undergo a natural process which literally brings the seeds to life! Sprouting is nature’s natural process of bringing a seed to life! When a nut or seed falls from a tree it contains enzyme inhibitors called phytates.  These enzyme inhibitors are present in raw nuts and seeds to preserve them in the ground until the rain comes allowing them to germinate and sprout. Sprouting unlocks vital nutrients and activates enzymes that ease digestion and increase vitality! So, the next time you add a dollop of peanut butter onto your overnight oats, consider the quality! Is it the healthiest quality available? Is it cleansing?

Not Just Juice: A Beaming cleanse is also unique in that we focus on slowly detoxing the body through juice therapy, and immediately rejuvenate and purify through raw and living foods. Because we provide you with more than liquid, you have ample whole food, nutrient dense nourishment to go about your everyday life, which in turn offers you the amazing experiencing and benefits that accompany detoxing without deprivation or stimulant herbs.

 

There are so many more reasons why Beaming is better. But what I think truly matters most is how it makes you feel. When I cleanse on regular basis it helps me keep my unhealthy cravings in check (my weakness is chocolate chip cookies!), restores my energy levels, brightens up my mental functions and gives me the power to GIVE MORE.

I try to eat cleansing foods as a regular part of my diet, and reserve a week every 3 months to do a full-on cleanse. This is about how long it takes me to fall off the wagon- so the consistency of the ritual every 3 months is important for me to stay committed to my health.

As a way to help others (and, to be real, myself) stay on a cleansing track, I’ve developed a seasonal day retreat called A Day of Namaste that includes a one day Superfoods Cleanse from Beaming (Lifestyle Cleanse).

Cleansing is the first step to healing the body and correcting imbalances. As you begin to purify and rid the body of toxic debris (the stuff that makes your fat cells fatter) you’ll feel rejuvenated, wipe out your bad habits, and create a foundation from which you can build a healthy lifestyle. So whether you are on a healing path, have digestive disorders, eat out every night, have a fast paced lifestyle, need to look good for an upcoming occasion, are a junk food junkie, or just have indulged a little too much lately, a cleanse is the perfect place to start back on track. It’s like hitting the reset button for your body, mind and life force.

If you’re curious to learn more about cleansing, please join me for this Fall’s A Day of Namaste on Sunday, September 23, 2018. Take a day for yourself, cleanse with friends, practice yoga and steep yourself in the habits you want to carry with you through the tempting Fall and Winter months.

 

Healing the Heart through the Practice of Forgiveness

Happy National Forgiveness Day and National Friendship Day!

Healing the Heart through the Practice of Forgiveness


How appropriate that National Friendship Day and National Forgiveness Day fall on the same calendar date! Forgiveness is often an integral part of honest friendship, as mistakes are bound to be made by perfectly imperfect people. 

Friendships can fly high and fall low. Through these cycles it is how we rise together that determines the longevity and quality of our relationships. And it’s no easy feat. Rising up can take all of our will, a heavy dose of hope, and bold determination to let go of what doesn’t serve you as an individual and a partner (in friendship and beyond).

But the struggle, like the glorious climb up a mountain, is always worthwhile. Like a climber uses certain tools to make his ascent, there are tools we can use as conscious, loving humans to make the trek up the mountain to our Best Self. 

Forgiveness is an invaluable tool up this mountain. For some the practice of forgiving may come easily, but for others it may take years to truly forgive… Whether you are aiming to forgive yourself for a mistake made, forgive your parents for a childhood of hardship, or a friend for making a petty comment that is weighing on your heart, the practice of forgiveness will not be done in vain… No matter how hard, do the work.

Forgive for Yourself:

Resentment, the opposite of forgiveness, is a poison that kills you slowly. While it may seem harmless, eventually you will notice that you have been stuck on the same point of your journey for days, months, years- your Best Self and your Best Friendship left waiting for you to rise. Learning to forgive, you will find, is absolutely mandatory if you are to move forward. Forgive whoever hurt you, betrayed you, abandoned or abused you. Lighten your load, and climb. The view from the mountain top is spectacular. 

Forgiveness does not mean to condone or justify harmful actions, or to deny that something wrong as happened. Forgiveness is not passive acceptance. It is the action of letting go of the hold a person or situation has on you- releasing the karma of the past, letting your heart be free, your mind be at ease, and your body be relieved from the burden of resentment. For these reasons forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts of a spiritual life, and an integral part of friendship.

The Practice of Forgiveness:

Buddhist Forgiveness Prayer:

This forgiveness prayer similar to the Metta Practice in that involves repeating 3 phrases. Repeat each phrase three times. Begin by breathing softly into the heart… and repeat to your self. Let the words, images and feelings grow deeper as you repeat them.

1. For whatever harm I have caused others, may they forgive me.

2. For whatever harm others have caused me, may I forgive them.

3. For whatever harm I have caused myself, I forgive myself.

 

Ho’oponopono:

The Hawaiian Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) practice is one of reconciliation and forgiveness. Ho’oponopono literally translates into correction. This practice is particularly potent when you are working to forgive yourself, or are seeking forgiveness from someone you have harmed intentionally or unintentionally. Hold the person who’s forgiveness you are seeking in your mind’s eye as you repeat these four phrases three times.

I’m Sorry

Please Forgive Me

I Love You

Thank You

 

Loving Kindness Meditation:

The Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation is not specifically an act of forgiveness, yet it is. In this meditation you are working to invite in a sense of peace, love, acceptance and compassion for yourself, someone else in particular, and all beings. Similar to the first two practices, repeat the Loving Kindness Meditation three times. In your second recitation of these phrases, replace “I” with the name or the image of someone you are seeking to forgive. On your third recitation, replace “I” with “we” (representing all sentient beings). 

May I be filled with Loving Kindness

May I be well

May I be peaceful and at ease

May I be happy

You can find my Loving Kindness Meditation Video on Youtube HERE.

 

May all of your hearts be free of pain, your minds be at ease, and your smiles glowing. May your friendships blossom and grow. May you stand at the top of the mountain of your Best Self, and continue to Forgive and let go of what is no longer serving you. 

 

All my best,

Namaste,

Stacy

 

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Practices to Balance Pitta Dosha

Practices to Balance Pitta Dosha

(How to Beat the Summer Heat!)


The summer heat has really began to kick up here in SoCal; and with this rise in heat, we are also experiencing a rise in Pitta energy. In Ayurvedic Medicine, the sister science of Yoga, Pitta  is fire, heat, and transformation.

And just like we need the warming heat of Summer, we need the warming heat of Pitta. Balanced Pitta is joyful, energetic, clear, concise, vital, and productive. And when in balance, it properly controls and regulates digestion, metabolism and energy production in the body.

Pitta out of balance (in excess), on the other hand, can lead to dehydration, high acidity, inflammation, heartburn, irritability, anger, and impatience! So, you can see why keeping our fire in balance is so important!

It’s not “good” or “bad”… It’s all about balance!

Just like a good fire, we want our Pitta to remain steady, bright and smoldering… Too hot, your fire will burn up all of the energy it needs to sustain itself. Too cold, energy will remain stagnant and sluggish.

 

Don’t know your Dosha? Use this easy to follow guide to find out!! 

How to balance Pitta Dosha:

In Ayurveda, opposites are used to heal and bring balance to areas of imbalance. So, to balance Pitta- the energy of fire- you would want to use the cooling energy of water – the Kapha Dosha. This could look as simple as taking a cool shower, going for a dip in the ocean or a cool lake, or drinking a big glass of water!

Movement, breath and conscious consumption are all tools to call upon in your healing. Whatever you preferred method, there is a way to keep your Pitta in balance.

MOVEMENT and BREATH:

Cooling Asana: Very gentle backbends which shape the thoracic spine, like Cobra Pose, Cow Pose, and Fish Pose are cooling for the body and nervous system.

Breath: Practicing the Sitali Breath is exceptionally cooling. In this practice, you can literally feel the cool breeze coating your lungs. It’s as simple as rolling your tongue into a “taco” and inhaling. If you can’t roll your tongue, breathe in gently through your teeth. You can release your air through your mouth or your nose.

COOLING WATERS:

Stay Hydrated! This is perhaps one of the most important steps to take in calming Pitta. Drink lots and lots of water (slightly chilled or room temperature), especially in the summer months. On days you know you’ll be active, drink even more water than usual.

Take A Dip: If you have a cool body of water close by, take a dip in the evening when the sun isn’t so intense. You can also try doing a Cold Rinse after your shower. Just turn the knob all the way to Cold, and soak your head and full body in the chilly water for 30 seconds – 1 minute. (This is also a great trick for calming inflamed, sore muscles)!

AYURVEDA:

Cooling Tea: There are many blends you can choose from, but Pitta balancing teas often include fennel, peppermint, cardamom, cilantro, coriander, hibiscus flowers, rose petals,  and chamomile flowers.

Food Is Medicine: Eat more foods that are astringent, sweet and bitter. Cold foods like salads, veggies, fruits and coconut oil! Avoid foods that are spicy, sour, salty, hot and dry, like coffee.

There you have it! Easy practices to bring your fire-water energy back into balance.

May your summer be balanced and bright!

Namaste,

Stacy McCarthy

YogaNamaStacy

 

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda

The Three Doshas of Ayurveda 

What is your Dosha?


Before we dive into the Doshas, let’s talk a little bit about where they come from- the science of Ayurveda. 

Like Yoga, Ayurveda comes through the teachings of the Upanishads & the four Vedas. The ancient science constitutes the oldest and longest medical texts in the world! There are specific branches of Ayurveda, similar to Western Medicine; Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Eyes, Head & Throat, Toxicology, Psychology, Rejuvenation and even Aphrodisiacs!

Ayurveda uses the Pancha Mahabhutani (The Five Great Elements) as its guiding force. Each of the five elements can be thought of as principles of density, manifestations of ideas, and fields of expression.

Pancha Mahabhutani: Air, Ether, Fire, Water, Earth

When combined a certain way, the elements create different, unique constitutions- which we call The 3 Doshas.

The Doshas can be applied to all physical life- from the ocean to animals, the change of seasons, and even our own bodies. Each season, life form, and person usually has one dominant Dosha.

The three Doshas:

VATA (Elements Air and Ether)

PITTA (Elements Fire and Water)

KAPHA (Elements Water and Earth)

To find out your primary Dosha, just fill out the questionnaire below!!

 

Note: This post and quiz is meant to act as an initial guide to your discovery. This is not a substitution for a true Dosha screening by an Ayurvedic doctor, nor is it meant to act as medical advice. To learn more about Ayurveda and the Doshas, research a local Ayurvedic practitioner in your area.

 

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The ABC’s of Teaching Yoga

The ABC’s of Teaching Yoga

An Effective Teaching Practice is as Easy as A-B-C


What is it that makes a yoga teacher skilled, effective, and relatable? In reality, there are as many answers as there are yoga teachers… but there are some key principles that should always be considered. These principles are the foundation of a teaching practice. Let’s call them The ABC’s of Teaching Yoga.
Surprisingly, the ABC’s are not always taught in teacher trainings, and many teachers find themselves stumbling through their classes when just starting out. But– the good news is that you don’t have to! I’ve outlined everything you need to know here.
As a yoga teacher, your teachings are an extension of your own embodied practice. So, I encourage you to first put the ABC’s into action on your own mat. From there it will be easy and natural to share them with your students.
Here’s a quick note on what we will cover:
A: Alignment and Awareness
B: Breath and Balance
C: Coordination and Connection
OK! Let’s dive into this Yoga Alphabet 🙂 Beginning, of course, with A!

A is for Alignment and Awareness:

Align The 3 Platforms of the Body:

Yoga Alignment is both intuitive and subtle, as well as intelligent and physical. Let’s take a look at the physical alignment principles, as most teachers will be guiding students through physical Asana.

The three platforms must be in proper alignment in order to have a safe and injury free practice over time. Many people get away with doing postures out of proper alignment for a long time- but then they pay for it with bad knees, achy backs and stiff necks! Alignment is as much about prevention of injury as it is about having an effective practice here and now.

As you guide your students through Asana, cue your students to Align–>Stabilize–>Elongate through the three platforms of the body. Tip: Start with the foundation! Always cue your students through postures from the bottom, up. (Meaning in inverted postures, you’ll begin with the neck and shoulders!)

Tadasana is a great posture for your students to examine their alignment at the beginning of class. It also serves as a good check-point throughout practice to see how things may have shifted.

Align the feet and ankles. Properly aligned feet and ankles will protect the knees from torquing, over-extending, or folding in an undesirable way.

Align the hips. This will guard the low back, and subsequently the rest of the lumbar and thoracic spine.

Align the shoulders. Shoulders in good alignment will protect the neck and cervical spine from injury.

It’s Not Yoga Without Awareness:

Awareness is truly what makes yoga Yoga. Without the element of focused awareness, yoga can easily become a glorified calisthenics practice. Here are some methods of inviting your students’ minds to tune-in to their bodies and tune-out what is not serving their practice. Tip: Do these exercises in the very beginning of class. Make it a priority to move awareness from the external to the internal.

  • Simple Guided Mindfulness: Sometimes busy minds are in need of shepherding. Create a channel for your students’ minds to flow with ease. This can be done through mindfulness of body (moving from head to toe), mindfulness of breath, or even a more creative visualization.
  • Deep Breathing: Never underestimate the power of a few deep breaths to calm the mind and reel in focus. The Nadi-Shodhana Breath is very balancing and calming, as is a simple 4-count in and out breath.
  • Just Sit: This can be challenging for some… But, the fruits of the practice are plentiful once the practice becomes established. Take the first five minutes of class just to sit comfortably in stillness with your students. It will benefit your students, and you!

One of my favorite ways to establish focus in my classes is with the recitation of MantraA Mantra is simply a repeated word, phrase, statement, or sound that can be voiced aloud or internally. The process of repetition provides focus, plasticity, adaptability and concentration to the mind; just as asana does for the body. I usually do this with my classes in a call-and-response method, in which I say a line of a chosen mantra (or chant) and the class repeats it back aloud. In my personal practice, I have found the use of a Meditation Mala to be very helpful in my awareness/meditation practice. You can find Meditation Malas in my shop HERE.

B is for Breath and Balance:

 

Breath Is The Best Barometer:

This is the constant thread of the practice. The breath is always, always, always available as an object of awareness. In every posture, from simple sitting meditation to the most complex twist or balance, the breath is there and willing to guide you deeper into awareness. Try it now! Close your eyes and try to follow your breath for three in-and-out cycles. You may be surprised how tempting it is to get off track- just do your best to keep coming back- it will always be there for you.

Teaching your students to be aware of their breath is essential. It is their best gauge in knowing if they are “pushing it” beyond a safe limit, or if they are slacking off when they should be “up-ing the ammo”. Tip: Offer reminders throughout practice for your students to check-in with their breath. Sometimes a suggestion to be aware is all a student needs. If students need more encouragement, up your own use of breath- exaggerate the sound of the Ujjayi Breath as you flow through Asana with the class.

Always do your best to cue every gross movement with breath. (Example: “Inhale, lift your arms overhead. Exhale, draw your low ribs in and extend your tailbone towards your heels.”)

Balance Is Key:

Yoga Sutra 2:46 states, Sthira Sukha Asanam. This can be translated into Each posture should be done with a balance of both effort and ease. This idea can be applied to each posture, as well as the trajectory for a full class.

Teach in a way that creates balance for your students by cuing postures sequentially. Reinforce the foundation of each pose before encouraging more challenge in complex postures. Even in a “challenge class” or “power yoga” class, you can offer a full warm up and cool down, so students feel both energized and relaxed at the end.

While many students are eager to fit themselves into the “perfect yoga body”, remind them that they are right where they are supposed to be. Encourage stability before flexibility, and tailor postures to fit the needs and balance the imbalances of the practitioners in your class.

Another Note on Balance: It is absolutely essential that, as a teacher, you are balanced in your own practice. Many teachers jump head-first into a heavy teaching schedule, leaving no time for their own practice. This leads quickly to burn out… and your students feel that! Make sure you are taking care of yourself, and doing your own practice diligently.

C is for Coordination and Connection:

The Art of Coordination:

Sometimes yoga can feel like a full-on body teaser, akin to rubbing your belly while patting your head! You know… you’re trying to balance on one foot, draw in Mula Bandha, focus your eyes, and breathe– all at the same time! Many students can feel overwhelmed by the complexity of it all. Remember that their coordination is being guided by yours.

As a teacher, learn to listen to your students’ subtle body language. Notice if they are hearing each cue you offer, and implementing them, before you move on to the next. Tip: Give Universal/General instructions prior to specifics. Gross motor movements should come before the fine-tuned energetics of each pose.

Always give your students enough time to integrate what you’ve said before moving on. It may take time before you, as a teacher, feel confident in your art of coordination- especially if you are teaching all-level classes. Overtime you will learn to read the room and coordinate your classes to fit the needs of those in front of you.

Connection, Inner and Outer:

As a yoga guide, you are helping your students find their own inner-connection. But it is not just your words and suggestions that they will listen to. Your own inner-connection becomes evident as you share with a group, as you speak aloud, and as you demonstrate postures.

Strive to deepen your own connection to your light within. Your personal practice becomes your teaching practice. In diving in deep to your own inner-space, you are subconsciously giving permission to your students to do the same. Tip: Share Your Energy and Authenticity.  Students want to learn from you.  Connect to your true voice.

Making an “outer” connection with your students can also help to transform their practice. Let your students feel fully seen and supported by making eye contact and personalizing cues when appropriate. Always make sure you are visible to your class, as many students are visual learners. Mirror your students if possible, so you remain face-to-face with the group.

 

 

 

Beyond The ABC’s….

A little bonus for those of you who are ready to take your teaching practice all the way to Z… Because the true art of teaching is more than mastering a few skills. It takes an honest commitment to the practice, willingness to evolve, and the ability to listen to the needs of your students. To effectively transmit the embodied teachings of yoga, practice being a teacher, not just an instructor.

Instructor VS. Teacher

Instructor: Passes on knowledge usually in a scripted manner, similar to reading from a curriculum, and may not have true understanding of what or why. They likely think, “this is how I was taught to do it,” without questioning.

Teacher: Understands the how and why behind the material, and presents material to meet students where they’re at. They modify their teaching to address different learning styles, and to engage every student. Material is never passed on without knowing why – for safety, for tradition, for challenge and self-growth, etc. 

Bonus Material!

In Application:

Included here is an example Asana Sequence to show how the ABC’s can be directly implemented into the flow of a class:

Begin in Tadasana: grounds students in alignment and awareness from the foundation

Open with Breath + Chanting: bring the body and mind away from the external and into the internal

Ardha Surya Namaskar: build up in repetition, with emphasis onalignment and breathv 

Flow through Dynamic Asanas: warm up thes and educate areas of the body that will be opening more deeply as class progresses

Surya Namaskar with Variations: add a twist/get creative, building up from simple to complex

Virabhadrasana-2 (Warrior 2): flow with externally rotated standing poses to open the hips and build strength in balance

Prasarita Padotanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Fold): bridge between right and left, elongate the muscles that have been strengthening and engaging

Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon): Cue with other options (use of props or different posture for less advanced students) with an emphasis on coordination

Garudasana (Eagle’s Pose): Move from simple to complex, with optional use of props

Svarga Dvijasana (Bird of Paradise): Continue to challenge coordination and balance

Bakasana (Crow Pose): Give options to keep the class connected and not lose the flow of the practice. Note: Know if you are turning it into a “workshop” or regular class on the schedule. There’s a difference…

Backbends: simple to complex. Be inclusive!

Seated and supine poses: restore the body and calm the nervous system before savasana

Full Savasana: Encourage your students to completely let go, and give into the deep rest they have been working towards all practice

Closing: One of the best times to deepen connection to the practice and to something bigger than the self.

 

 

Definitions from Oxford English Dictionary:

Alignment: Arrangement in a straight line, or in correct or appropriate relative positions.

Awareness: Knowledge or perception.

Breath: An inhalation or exhalation of air from the lungs.

Balance: An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. Stability of one’s mind or feelings.

Coordination: The ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.

Connection: A relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

 

 

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Momaste

Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. – Erich Fromm
I am currently enjoying the gift of living in a three-generation household, alongside my husband Tom, my daughter Kylie, and my mom. It brings about many challenges, but there is also something so special about it.

My mother gets to witness me being a mother, and my daughter gets to witness me being a daughter.

This is a sacred chain in which we all learn from one another on a daily basis how to love more deeply, give more selflessly, and honor our needs as a collective and as individuals.
It has shined a whole new light on what it means to give a “Mother’s Love”. It is no different than a daughter’s love, or a teacher’s love… But it is perhaps the purest. It is unconditional, un-programmed, and unpretentious… And it is the ultimate yoga practice.
May your Mother’s Day be restful, insightful, and full of Love.

Here’s to all the moms!

If you are in San Diego, please join me for my annual Momaste Meditation Hike with Beaming Del Mar!