Tuesday, June 18, 2013


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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Everyday Adventures

In looking over an older Yoga Journal mag, I came across an article entitled, “everyday adventures”.  It's just a tiny clip, and offers the following as adventures in the day-to-day:

-talk to a stranger at a cafe, or in line at the grocery store

-try cooking a vegetable you've never eaten before

-go the long way to work and take in the fresh sights

-take a yoga class with a teacher you've never studied with.

This got me thinking...do I have an adventure every day?


Some adventures I've tried lately have been:

-ordered my Ahi Tuna steak all the way “rare”(loved it!)

-bought a new shade of lip gloss (how shocking!)

-got a haircut at a place I'd never tried

-hired on a new instructor

-grew turnips for the first time (they look good.  We’ll see how they taste)

-placed an order for a new product I’m not sure will sell


There are adventures to be had today, if you just start looking for them.  What adventures have you had lately?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Doctor shortage in the U.S.

I heard on the radio this morning that the US is expected to have a shortage of Physicians soon.  Maybe this should frighten me more than it does.  But I just see it as an opportunity.  It's an opportunity to teach our neighbors to heal themselves.
(Look out.  I'm about to get a little controversial here)
One of the reasons we're experiencing this "shortage" is that people go to the doctor for every little thing.  A case of the sniffles shouldn't send you running to the emergency room.
Another reason is that we, as a country, no longer take care of ourselves.  The obesity rate has skyrocketed, even in my lifetime.  We no longer get outside and work for a living.  We sit behind the computer, eating Doritos.  At night, we eat a microwave meal while watching Honey Boo-Boo.  And we wonder why we're so sick!  When will Americans wake up and stop torturing our own bodies?
Also, we've lost the ability to care for ourselves at home.  Our ancestors knew so many at-home remedies, and employed them regularly for self-care.
I'm not saying "don't go to the doctor".  Modern medicine has done so many amazing things and has saved so many lives.  But when are we going to begin to take responsibility for our own actions and behavior patterns?
For those of us who practice alternative healing methods, it's time to start educating.  Talk about the herbs you use, talk about how much water you try to drink.  Talk about how good your yoga classes make you feel.  Help them see another way. 
I believe that if everyone took responsibility for their own health, the demand on the Physicians would be less.  It would only be the sick who see the doctor, freeing up a lot of time for these great healers to heal.
I know this is an opinionated post, and I'd love to hear your comments.

Friday, May 31, 2013

What's "Neutral Pelvis"?

When I was in school, (for Exercise Physiology) each movement began “from neutral pelvis”, but no one ever explained how to find neutral pelvis.  How far do you stick your backside out?  How much do you tuck your pelvis?  This has always concerned me.  And no wonder!  I recently looked up the psoas in one of my old Anatomy books, and it barely had a paragraph about it.  I can’t believe that.  It’s such an important muscle in the health of your back, and it just had a paragraph!  Of course I had a hard time finding neutral pelvis, not to mention what a hard time I had teaching my personal training clients about neutral pelvis. 

But then, I went to yoga teacher training.  I studied under Stephanie Keach, at Asheville Yoga Center (awesome yoga teacher training program, if you get a chance to go!).  Stephanie teaches a technique she calls “Pez”, like the candy.  I’ll show you what she’s talking about in the workshop.  Suddenly, I understood!  Yay for yoga.

But over the years, with so much teaching, I started to have trouble with my left hip and sacro-illiac joint.  What was going on?  I was practicing Pez!

Last fall, I went to the workshop at AYC with John Friend.  John looked at me, and immediately knew I had been tucking my pelvis under too much.  All these years of teaching yoga had strengthened my abs to the point that they overwhelmed my back muscles.

So, I’ve modified Stephanie’s Pez just a little bit, added a bit of John Friend’s advice,  as well as my own experiences, and have come up with a workshop I call “Neutral Pelvis”.  If you have back pain, or know someone who does, try this workshop!

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 24, 2013

How to create community in your yoga studio...even as a student

At Mountain Yoga in Johnson City, TN, we have a great community.   We’ve introduced people who’ve become friends, who may have never met any other way.  I love to hear students making plans to get together outside of the studio, or doing business with one another.  Few of us sit on our front porches, and greet the neighbors anymore, so we have to find a way to connect with others.  Yoga studios are the perfect environment.  You already have something in common!

1-Talk.  No, I don’t mean in Sivasana!  But before class, instead of ignoring everyone in the room, smile and say hello.  Comment on the mat you like, or introduce yourself.  I know this isn’t common practice in some studios, but isn’t it a welcome change?

2-Laugh.  Stop taking your practice so seriously.  If the teacher makes a joke, it’s ok to giggle.  Who said yoga has to be boring?  (Refer to the book, Happy Yoga by _______________.  He says we Westerners take ourselves way too seriously!)  You might just catch the eye of your new best friend.

3-Stick around.  Does your studio offer tea?  If so, grab a cup, take a seat, and see what happens.  I’ve learned so many interesting things from our post-practice chats!  Plus, it’s a great way to come out of a deep meditation.  Don’t be in such a hurry to rush out the door.

I can’t point you to a Sutra, or tie it specifically to the Yamas and Niyamas, but I’ve always believed that sharing community is its own kind of yoga.  That personal interaction is so lost in today’s society.  Try today to make a new friend at your yoga class.  I’m sure you’ll have other stuff in common, too.