“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
Do you still have some gifts to buy for your family and friends for the upcoming holidays? Skip the crowded malls and crazy parking lots, I’ve got an idea for the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones: Be completely present.
The human mind often tends to thoughts of the past or the future unless we train it to stay in the present. Easier said than done!! Training our minds to stay in the moment takes a lot of practice. But the benefits of this practice are limitless- less anxiety and stress, improved communication and relationships, more creativity and gratitude, self awareness and self acceptance. And the list goes on and on………………
Maybe you have decided that this is the perfect holiday gift (and I agree!) but are wondering how to start practicing mindfulness and living in the moment. Well, skip the last minute frantic holiday shopping and instead join me this Friday from 2-3pm for a community ($6!!!) hot vinyasa yoga class at Towson Yoga Works. You will leave class with the best gift of all- the ability to be fully present.
Sukhasana, sometimes referred to as easy pose, isn’t always so easy. When we were children we naturally sat in sukhasana to play, rest and relax. As we grow up, we become more accustomed to sitting in chairs rather than on the floor. As a result, the muscles of our hips become tighter and less mobile and easy pose no longer feels easy. Luckily, there are several variations, some using blocks or blankets, that make this posture more accessible.
Are you thinking to yourself, “Why bother? I’ll just sit on a chair?” Keep reading for just a few of the benefits of sukhasana. Easy pose:
- Stretches the muscles of the hips improving the mobility of the joint.
- Strengthens the muscles that support the spine.
- Calms the mind and eases anxiety.
Meet me on the mat this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works and start your weekend with a stronger, more flexible body and a peaceful state of mind.
The winter solstice is quickly approaching. As we move into the most yin season of the year it is important to boost the energy of our kidneys and their associated meridians. The kidneys are very susceptible to the excesses of our culture. Overdoing, burning the candle at both ends, consuming too many stimulants (i.e., coffee) and constantly being on the go burn our kidney energy.
Think of our kidneys as the battery pack for our bodies. When those batteries become taxed and need to be recharged it is extremely important that we do so. If we don’t……….well, you’ve seen what happens to batteries that don’t get recharged- they stop working. My yoga class this Friday, and throughout the winter, will include poses to give the kidneys the boost that they need. Wondering what you can do to help your kidney energy off the mat? Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Rest!!!!! In a culture where productiveness is often measured by how little sleep we get, rest is often considered a waste of time. Not so! Allowing time for adequate rest is essential for our health and well-being.
2. Take a warm sea salt or Epsom salt bath. Salt (in moderation) strengthens the kidneys. Combine rest (see #1) with a kidney boosting salt bath and your meridians and adrenal glands will thank you!
3. Eat warm and cooked foods while avoiding foods that are raw and cold. Think soup instead of salad.
Have a happy and healthy winter and I’ll see you on the mat this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works!
Every year we see it: “Turkey Burn Yoga Class” for the day after Thanksgiving. Please don’t get me wrong or misunderstand. After eating a heavy meal of foods we might not usually eat, moving our bodies feels heavenly. However, unfortunately sometimes the idea of a tough workout after a holiday celebration takes on a tone of guilt and punishment. You ate and drank too much? Better rush to the gym or push yourself in your yoga class the next day to burn it off. This year I propose having a different perspective post- holiday celebration. Rather than punishing ourselves for celebrating perhaps we can bring to mind how incredibly lucky we are to have an abundance of nourishment when so many we share this Earth with do not. Let’s celebrate that we were able to spend some time with our loved ones or in quiet self reflection. Let’s celebrate that we have more than enough food to keep us healthy. And yes, maybe we can even celebrate that second piece of pie. Let’s live our lives, celebrate the holidays, and practice yoga with unconditional love for ourselves. I’ll see you on the mat this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works!
During the past couple of weeks I have been using the Gallbladder meridian quite often with my acupuncture patients. Regardless of political affiliation many are feeling uncertain and, even more so, afraid of what new leadership will mean for our country. Enter the Gallbladder meridian. This channel is responsible for many things but my recent focus is on it’s ability to tap into our courage. During times of transition we rely on our courage to keep our hearts and minds open. Not into needles? You’re in luck! There are TONS of yoga poses that access and strengthen our Gallbladder meridian and we will be exploring many of them this week in the yoga classes I lead. Looking for a courage boost which, in turn, will allow you to continue to emanate love and compassion? Join me this Friday from 2-3pm for a community hot vinyasa class at Towson Yoga Works.
On election day and every day the practice of yoga asks us to accept what is happening right now. To maintain our sense of calm as we witness all of the wild fluctuations and uncertainties around us. Easier said than done, right? To make this possible, my guru (pictured) suggests hitting the polls to vote and then hitting our mats as we sit with, and accept, all of the uncertainty around us. My furry guru has never lead me astray before and I plan to take her advice. Will you? If so, join me for a community hot vinyasa class this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm.
Yoga does so much more than make us strong and flexible. Modern science has been exploring the 5,000 year old practice and here’s what it has found:
1. Yoga increases GABA, serotonin, and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that are responsible for relaxation and contentedness.
2. Yoga increases our neuroplasticity which allows us to learn something new as well as change the way we currently do things.
3. Yoga actually changes the shape of our brains by thickening the layers of the cerebral cortex. This is the part of our brain that determines our intelligence and is associated with higher learning.
Would you like to be stronger, more flexible AND smarter, peaceful and open minded? Join me this Friday for a community hot yoga class from 2-3 at Towson Yoga Works!
My husband strained a muscle in his back last week and who came to the rescue? Me with electro-acupuncture! Also known as e-stim, electro-acupuncture refers to the application of pulsating electrical current to acupuncture points with, or even without, needles.
Although a much more recent addition to a medicine that is thousands of year’s old, electro-acupuncture was developed in China during the 1930’s. It uses a gentle electrical current in conjunction with, or instead of, acupuncture needles as an alternate way to stimulate points on the body.
Electro-acupuncture can be used for many ailments but it has been shown to be especially effective in sports medicine to help heal injuries. Additionally, it is often used for chronic pain, spasms, neurological diseases and paralysis.
Are you wondering what it would feel like to be hooked up to needles with electrical current running through them? Do you have a Frankenstein-like scenario running through your mind right now? The truth is that the electrodes emit a gentle vibration and the result is a very soothing acupuncture treatment. If you don’t believe me, check out the blissful smile on my husband’s face in the picture above.
Is electro-acupuncture right for you? Contact me and find out!
The other day an acupuncture client I have known for many years had a question about my love for yoga. She asked in an incredulous voice, “Why do you spend your limited free time in pretzel-like, positions that look uncomfortable and, some of them, unbearable?” Good question!!!
Why do those of us who practice yoga choose to arrange our bodies in seemingly bizarre shapes that are challenging and often uncomfortable? As if that isn’t enough, while finding these shapes with our bodies we ask our breath to be long and smooth and our minds to remain calm.
Many yoga postures may bring up feelings of frustration and discomfort, potentially activating our fight or flight response. Simultaneously taking long, deep breaths activates our parasympathetic system sending a signal that tells us “Even though you are feeling challenged, you can choose to stay calm”.
We practice this over and over again on our mats with the intention of taking this skill off of our mats and out into the rest of our lives. So maybe, just maybe, the next time we get chewed out by our boss, cut off in rush hour traffic, or accused by our teenage son or daughter that we “Just don’t understand!” we can recognize that while we are feeling challenged and frustrated and maybe down right angry, we can choose to take some long, deep breaths and remain calm.
The practice of yoga doesn’t ask us to have a perfect headstand or crow pose or to be able to do a split. It asks us to remain calm as we challenge ourselves on our mats and then to find this same sense of calm and stillness when life outside of our yoga practice challenges us.
Ah, yoga, “how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…..” My love for the practice of yoga grows each and every day. This weekend I was lucky enough to spend some time with my two year old niece and I was reminded of one of the things I loved about yoga during our honeymoon period, the early days of our crush, and which is still present each and every time I practice yoga. A sense of play and enthusiastic curiosity as I explore different poses, breath work, my own inner landscape and the world around me makes me feel down right spry. Approaching our practice with child-like wonder and eagerness makes a posture we’ve done a million times seem brand new. Perhaps it even makes us feel brand new. Sure, sweating out impurities may make our skin glow and staying strong and flexible keeps us agile, but this sense of play and inquisitiveness about ourselves and the world around us is Botox for the soul (without the nasty side effects, of course!).
Haven’t played for awhile and wondering where to start? Meet me for a play date this Friday at Towson Yoga Works from 2-3pm for a hot vinyasa community class that will leave you feeling filled with wonder and brand spanking new!