I have a 45 minute commute every morning and evening, driving to Evolution from my home in Underhill, so I listen to a lot of podcasts. I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Stephen Porges, developer of polyvagal theory, which sparked my curiosity. Dr. Porges’s research deals with the autonomic nervous system, which has two branches- sympathetic and parasympathetic. You may have learned them as “fight or flight” (sympathetic) and “rest and digest” (parasympathetic) in…Read More
“Ishvara Pranidhana, the jewel of surrender, presupposes that there is a divine force at work in our lives. Ultimately this guideline invites us to surrender our egos, open our hearts and accept the higher purpose of being.” -Deborah Adele
Modern yoga invites us to surrender into a posture, the flow, the moment, relaxation, and ultimately the experience of the present moment. Surrender isn’t always easy – whether it’s allowing yourself to rest in savasana, working with injury or…Read More
Most of us are familiar with the use of props in our yoga classes. A bolster to sit on allows the spine to lengthen. A block to rest our hand on brings the floor up to us. In our yoga wall classes we use straps, slings, and bars to support the body, enhance the posture, and delve deeper into poses. One prop that is less commonly used but also allows for great exploration of postures is the chair. Chairs not only to allow the student to perform yoga postures while sitting, but also allow…Read More
Svadhyaya means self-study, one’s own reading. How often in life do we reflect on our thoughts, actions, and patterns? How often do we do it accurately? We integrate the feeling of danger with instinctual urgency and fierceness. Yet to integrate the feelings of safety, confidence, victory (especially small victories) and generosity takes additional effort. We may need to relive those more auspicious feelings repeatedly, through journaling, affirmations, meditation, and many other…Read More
I get low back pain. Being a PT and a yoga teacher does not mean I don’t occasionally overdo it, or that I have somehow miraculously evaded the effects of aging. However, I do feel confident in how I move my body when my back starts its little twinges. I do not hesitate to take immediate action to keep the twinges from becoming full on back pain.
I have a few favorite exercises for my low back. The first one, commonly known as bird dog or alternate arm and leg lift, is my all time…Read More
Tapas is the third of the niyamas (observances). It can be translated in many ways, including heat, purification through discipline, passion, and commitment. Tapas is the fire of transformation that sparks positive change. It is the commitment and discipline we need to break free of habits, or samskaras, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable. We experience tapas when we choose to stay with challenge and not back away.
Swami Kripalu said that tapas is “the friction…Read More