The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz. Beautifully simple, yet not so easy, words to live by. I was introduced to these four guidelines many years ago for a happy, healthy life and reflect on them often. I especially like #3. What do you think- helpful or not?
1. Be Impeccable with Your Word: Speak with integrity and say only what you mean. Avoid gossip and using speech to put yourself or others down.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally: Other’s actions and words are a projection of their own inner landscape. Nothing other’s do is because of you.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions: We never really know what is going on in someone else’s life and we are not mind readers. Be brave enough to ask questions and communicate clearly with others to avoid misunderstandings and drama.
4. Always Do Your Best: Our best can change from moment to moment. The idea is to do your best under any given circumstance and to avoid negative self judgement and regret.
Mandalas are not only beautiful, they are sacred geometrical images that have the power to focus our minds. As we create or just gaze at a mandala, effortlessly we come into a state of meditation. Who doesn’t need more effortless meditation? I do, hence this addition to my living room wall.
Maybe a mandala does not match your home décor. No problem! Mandalas exist in the world all around us. Anything that has a center point and radiates inside and out is a mandala. Flowers, fruits, seashells, the eyes of your loved ones. That’s right! You CAN come into a state of effortless meditation while eating your orange at lunch or gazing into your defiant 13 year old’s eyes.
Look around your everyday life for the beauty that is always there waiting for you to notice it. Allow the mandalas that you come in contact with to elevate your mind and to remind you of your very essence and deep connection to the universe. All of that in my teenagers eyes, you’re asking doubtfully? Give it a try and allow yourself to be amazed!
Help often comes to us in unexpected forms. My favorite furry gardening assistant loves to help me keep my plants hydrated in the Summer. I promise no photographer/husbands were soaked in the making of the picture to the left
Do you need some help this summer? Although this season is fun filled with activities that we enjoy, summer can also bring some challenges. Did you know that acupuncture can help in many ways? Below are just a few. It can address:
1. Summer allergy symptoms
2.Rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions often made worse by heat and humidity
3. Migraine headaches
4.Stress and anxiety related to busy summer schedules and travel plans
5. Jet lag
6. Relief from muscle strains and sprains
The list goes on and on. Have questions? Get in touch and have a happy, healthy summer!
Moving with awareness and intention is a big part of the practice of yoga. We focus on where our right leg is in Warrior I or our shoulders in Warrior II. Noticing our movements when in a pose is important but what happens when we are not yet in a pose and are instead moving from one pose to the next? Do we pay attention to our transitions? And as our yoga practice reflects our lives off of our mats, how do we approach transitions there? Just like in the picture above, in life we often we often find ourselves no longer on firm ground and instead leaping into the unknown. Transitioning from the known to the unknown can be both terrifying and invigorating. Like my favorite 3 year old leaping into a pool on her own for the first time, we often find ourselves in limbo in life and between poses in our yoga practice. Can we stay present? Stay calm? Move into the next pose and maybe the next phase of our lives with grace? Let’s practice this on our mats so we can fully experience the transitions in our lives. I’ll see you this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm!
As the home improvement project closest to my heart has finally come to fruition- the installation of our solar panels- I have been reflecting on the symbolism as well as the physical benefits of the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) is likely one of the most familiar of all asana sequences. In many cultures light has long symbolized the illumination of the self or consciousness. Add to that the fact that here on Earth our primary source of light is our closest star, the sun, and you can start to fathom the origins of the Sun Salutation in the practice of yoga.
Although there is some disagreement over when the Sun Salutation became part of the practice of yoga, over 20 (and most likely more!) variations of this sequence are recognized and practiced regularly. The practice of Surya Namaskar goes well beyond the strengthening and lengthening of our bodies. Each time we move through this sequence of postures we are essentially recognizing, with humility, the light within ourselves. Do you have a favorite variation of this powerful sequence? Share it with me this Friday at Towson Yoga Works at my community hot yoga class from 2-3pm!
You’ve probably heard of Downward- Facing Dog but have you heard of turbo dog? Created by the well known yoga teacher Ana Forrest, turbo dog helps to build the upper body strength which will allow us to keep our bodies in healthy alignment. This posture powerfully counteracts poor posture encouraged by our current computer-centric lifestyles. It also encourages the strength required to keep our hearts open as we move through our lives. Interested? Meet me on the mat this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm.
This weekend I was inadvertently practicing Ardha Utkatasana, a variation of chair pose, while playing with my two favorite 3 year olds and it inspired me to focus on leg strength for this week’s classes. Strong, toned legs are a great accessory for spring and summer wardrobes but infinitely more important, our awesome legs allow us to play tug-of-war in the backyard, skip, dance and move through our world each and everyday. This week let’s send these incredible limbs some gratitude by giving them the attention they deserve! I’ll see you on Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works!
Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation that allows us to remain aware while we enter the dream and sleep states of consciousness. This may sound tricky but the technique is actually very practical and accessible to all. Because we lie in a comfortable position (also known as the yoga pose savasana) for the duration of the practice of yoga nidra rather than participating in the other more technical and physically demanding yoga poses, people of all ages, fitness levels and health statuses can participate.
Yoga nidra is said to allow us to relax our nervous systems in the most powerful way to humans without the use of chemical agents. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you to try it, here are some other benefits. The practice of yoga nidra:
Decreases stress and anxiety, decreases symptoms of PTSD, chronic pain and chemical dependency.
Increases feelings of peace, calm and clarity, increases awareness and focus.
Transforms negative habits, behaviors and ways of thinking.
There are several components of a full yoga nidra meditation. While this week’s classes will still be hot vinyasa yoga, I will incorporate one or two components of yoga nidra. Our nervous systems will be grateful!
Do you remember when going out to play was a huge part of your day? I know among adults play is sometimes considered unproductive and a waste of time. I disagree. The more relaxed I am, the more productive I am. Ideas and solutions to problems almost effortlessly spring to mind when I am open, having fun and feeling free. And what better way to find a relaxed state of mind and body than by playing?
How does play fit into my yoga practice? Very prominently! The Sanskrit word lila can be loosely translated as play. One use of this term refers to the notion that the universe was born through playful creativity, freedom and bliss rather than necessity. Whoa! If an entire universe can be created by having fun, what will happen if we try some playful variations of side crow during my classes this week? The possibilities are limitless! Show up this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works if you want to have some fun!
These words by Liz Huntly are a perfect description of this (and most!) week’s yoga classes.
“Yoga brings the body into stressful positions, challenges the muscles to hold longer, to stretch deeper. We create situations of tension. And then we learn to soften into that discomfort, to find stillness at the centre of a self-imposed vortex. The ability to maintain equanimity in a yoga pose is (in my personal experience) directly related to the ability to maintain sanity in a high-speed, low-connection culture.”
Join me this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works to find balance among all of the imbalances that are an essential part of being human.