August 2016 archive

My Secret Love Affair with Plank

I love plank pose. And all of it’s variations. Strange but true.  Read on to find out why my love affair with plank blossomed and continues to grow. P & P Plank FB

Plank has many, many benefits for the physical body, but plank and I became soulmates because of the insight it gives me when it comes to my brain.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine the brain is considered a “curious” organ. Curious as in baffling.  And plank often demonstrates why.

Our minds are amazing and complex and are also the ultimate tricksters. Your yoga teacher asks you to do plank and what does your mind say?  “Ugh, this is too hard. You can’t do this. Just quit”.  And if we only listened to our mind, we probably would.  But yoga teaches us to check in with our bodies, too.  Your mind tells you to quit after holding plank for 5 seconds, yet your body is still doing the pose.  Wait a minute!!! If your mind tricks you this way in plank, does it do the same thing off the mat? Maybe it is playing similar tricks on you in your career and relationships too.  Food for thought!

The current record for holding plank is 8 hours and 1 minute.  Did your mind just tell you that there’s no way you could ever do that? Aha! Caught you red handed, Mind!  We’re on to you, now!

This Friday from 2-3 at Towson Yoga Works we will be exploring plank, it’s variations, and that beautiful, baffling organ we call our brain during my community hot yoga class.  Hope to see you there!

My Kryptonite, Part 2

Did I mention that ragweed allergy season is here? Well, it is. My sinuses will tell you if you don’t believe me.  In my last post, I mentioned some ways to remedy the itchy eyes, scratchy throat and sinus pressure that this season can bring to some of us. Would you like to guess the other tool that I use everyday to combat allergy symptoms?Herb Festival FB Yoga, of course!  In addition to creating a peaceful mind and a flexible and strong body, many yoga poses can help open the lungs and calm the sinuses.  Join me this Friday at Towson Yoga Works for a community hot yoga class to unlock the secrets to breathing comfortably and calmly, no matter the season.

My Kryptonite

Ragweed allergy season has arrived.

Sinus pressure, itchy, red eyes, scratchy throat- sound face points FBfamiliar?  It does to me.  Every August ragweed reminds me that it’s my kryptonite.  My defense? Traditional Chinese Medicine, of course!  Acupuncture can provide relief to allergy teacup FBsufferers all year.  In between needle sessions, I sip on giant cups (okay, maybe not as big as pictured) of ginger tea.  As a natural antihistamine and proven to break up congestion, ginger is the perfect complement to acupuncture.  Ragweed, my old arch nemesis, meet TCM!

Have a Ball doing Inversions!

Have a ball doing inversions FBTurkey Yoga Pose FBInverting our bodies has many, many benefits. This past weekend I was reminded of my favorite reason for doing inversions- they make me really, really happy!  And not just me.  Studies have shown that practicing inversions just a couple of times a week can help to alleviate mild depression.  Meet me this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm for a community yoga class and let’s have a ball doing inversions! Ps, handstand and headstand NOT required. Any pose where your head is below your heart is an inversion.


How to be a hero in hero’s pose

meteor-shower 1I absolutely LOVE summer and one thing I look forward to every year will be at it’s peak this Friday morning- the Perseids meteor shower.  Click here for more about this spectacular celestial event.  This meteor shower is named after Perseus who, according to Greek mythology, was a hero for ridding the world of Medusa.  Enter Hero’s pose into this week’s yoga classes.

As you may know, because of Medusa’s ability to turn people to stone Perseus had to be very cautious and creative when approaching her.  This is the same approach we will take in this week’s practice when approaching hero’s pose and it’s variations.  Despite its unassuming nature, this pose reminds us that it’s not necessarily the most physically impressive poses that are the most “heroic”.  This pose requires quiet stillness, focus and body awareness as well as the ability to check our ego. A tall order, indeed!

I look forward to seeing you on the mat this Friday from 2-3pm for a community hot vinyasa class at Towson Yoga Works!

Core strength = Inner strength

Side plank with Joe 2 FBPracticing yoga regularly will build the muscles of our core, protecting our spine and keeping us upright and healthy. This is important for our well-being but when I refer to strengthening our core when teaching yoga, I’m talking about more than our muscles.

Side plank Joey assist FBAs I’ve said in past posts, in both yoga and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the body, mind and spirit are so interconnected that what happens to one, affects all three. The practice of yoga strengthens our physical core and expands our inner strength. This allows us to literally and figuratively Side plank with Joe FBstand up for ourselves and gives us the physical, mental and spiritual strength to follow our true path.

Can you guess what the theme for my yoga classes will be this week? Join me on Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works for a community hot yoga class that will get you in touch with your core on all three levels.

Got Jet Lag?

Shanghai, China. Bangkok, Thailand. Perth, Australia. Auckland, New Zealand. And then back home to the USA again. In total, I have been in six times zones during the past two weeks. And what a wonderful whirlwind of a trip around the world!

Before leaving for my trip I made sure to make an appointment with my acupuncturist for my Jet lag FBreturn stateside. Although there were no jets, and therefore no jet lag, 5000 years ago when Chinese Medicine is thought to have its roots, there are plenty of acupuncture treatments to help with the symptoms of jet lag.

In ancient China, people were not jet setting around the world but their circadian clocks still got out of sync for various reasons- pregnancy and having young children probably tops that list. In modern times, add shift work, certain medications and changes in your routine and you’ll notice that you can experience the symptoms of jet lag without even leaving your time zone.

If you have a big trip planned or have noticed that your sleep-wake cycle is confused and acting like it’s somewhere in the southern hemisphere instead of here in Baltimore, try acupuncture. You’ll be back in sync in no time!