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
This weekend I had every intention of waking up to my alarm in time to get to early morning yoga class. I’ll wake up naturally, I thought, and will be at the studio in time to center myself. It was a busy week of focus and distractions, I didn’t practice as much as I “should have,” I felt frazzled, and my plans for early morning weekend yoga were just what I needed to get back into my happy place. And yet, I slept in both days, ignoring my alarm and waking up as class was about…Read More
The health care world is recognizing the importance of treating patients with a “biopsychosocial” approach. This is using medical terminology to describe considering someone’s body (bio), mind (psycho) and social life (social) while treating medical conditions. A wide variety of conditions such as high blood pressure as well as painful conditions such as low back pain can benefit from this approach. There is a well known link between states of mind (such as anxiety or…Read More
“As we begin to lose the heaviness of waste and clutter, we begin to feel lighter, more spacious and expansive. Our bodies become more alive, our minds become more clear, our hearts more compassionate.” – Deborah Adele, Yamas and Niyamas
As we welcome summer, let’s begin our exploration of Niyamas, or observances. The first Niyama we will study is Saucha, or purity. Saucha invites us to explore where in our lives there’s a need for purification. A dictionary definition of…Read More