Nakrasana - Find the Line

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Keep the Energy Flowing in Purvattanasana


Purvattanasana is a full body integration pose in Primary Series. It's strengthens the backside of the body and opens the front side of your body.

It opens shoulders and chest, tones hamstrings and glutes, and works our entire body.

  • Start with elbows bent
  • Pull low belly in and scoop pelvis
  • Extend arms as you lift up
  • Push toes down, lift butt up
  • Bend elbows and pull hips back to lower down

Entering and exiting purvttansana in this way gives you the chance to work your entire body safely.

Want more full body integration tips? Check out my free online course on your central axis.

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Your Central Axis


The more I teach the more I realize the importance of finding where each person's body can balance the best.

The body is divided into front and back AND left and right. The midline, or central axis runs down our body, it is commonly thought of as the spine. I believe that in our yoga practice we can feel the midline all the way from our arches to the crown of our heads. Or - we want to be able to feel it so that we can move from it!

The midline will change depending on what we are doing. If we are able to find and hug the midline in various yoga asanas we will find stability, strength, and ultimately balance. 

I love the visualization of a rolling pin rolling you down from a seated position to a lying position. Give it a try at home and feel the deep core engagement as well as the spinal articulation.

Now - try to use these same principles but turned around - in ubhya padangusthasana and other poses at the end of primary. 

And be sure to check out my new online course -...

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Uncategorized Jan 15, 2018
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How to Keep Your Cool During the Holidays

For a lot of people the holidays can be stressful. Extra expenses, jam packed schedules, travel, holiday shopping and parties lead to over stimulation - and this throws off our balance.

During the holidays it's easy to lose track of the things that contribute to our overall happiness. It’s also easy to take on additional things that throw off routines, relationships and environment. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and over stimulated. We finally stumble out of the holidays in January feeling like a hot mess and needing a month to recover. 

When the holiday hoopla starts to feel like too much: Practice. When the days seems impossibly short and cold: Practice. When you are sure you are going to be on the naughty list: Practice. When everyone is getting on your last nerve: Practice. When you are tired, feel bloated, partied too much, spent too much money: Practice.

 When things get tough, like they always will, this is what you should do: Practice.


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How to Find a Genuine Teacher

In yoga the teacher plays an important role. The teacher not only sheds light on the subject of yoga - but the relationship itself is foundational. The specifics of the teaching such as techniques and beliefs are not as important as the love and relationship established between student and teacher. Yoga, to yoke, is about connectedness, and that begins with the connection between two beings. Connection is the driving force in transformation.

Good teachers remain heavy in their experience and not swayed. One of the definitions of Guru is heavy.

I think as students we seek to find teachers because we need someone to help us hold what is too big for us all on our own, and hopefully to provide a vision for us beyond what we can imagine for ourselves.

One of the central components of being a good teacher, is to be clear on what you’re teaching. My job as a teacher is to impart my knowledge of asana, but I’m not an asana teacher, I’m a yoga teacher. My job is also to...

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Be Grateful

The struggle ends when the gratitude begins - Neale Donald Walsh

If you want to create more good in your life, you need to start recognizing and being grateful for the good you already have. People who are grateful lead happier lives - it’s that simple. Being grateful contributes to resilience and the ability to recover quickly from difficulties.

Gratitude puts everything into perspective - you can’t be grateful and angry simultaneously.

You get to choose gratitude now. Gratitude is not just about being thankful for the good things in your lift. Rather, it is about being thankful for everything in your life. Practicing gratitude helps direct energy in a positive direction and away from ruination about what isn’t going well, and often what isn’t within your control.

So, reframe your struggles. You don’t have to wait until you make it to the other side. Look at how you are being challenged and think of how much you get to learn and be thankful.

I suggest...

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How to Make Practice a Habit

I’ve had a lot of students come and go in the six years that I have been teaching a daily Mysore program. This can be for a variety of reasons: schedules change, people have babies, jobs relocate. But the truth is, a lot of people never really stick to the practice, or the practice doesn’t stick to them. What I have noticed over the years is that those who make practice a habit are the ones who practice for the long haul. 

Our habits shape us and they play a central role in any successful long-term discipline. Once practice is a habit, it is no longer something that we have to think about. You wake up, you brush your teeth, you practice yoga. Boom—it’s done. 

But getting to the point where practice is a habit is difficult. We’ve all felt it—showing up is the hardest part. Our minds play tricks on us. They have all sorts of sneaky reasons to try to prevent us from practicing, because the mind knows that with practice, its thought patterns...

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Visualization as a Practice Technique


Ever consider using visualization in your practice? 

Visualization, or mental imagery, has long been used by top athletes as part of training. I figured if Michael Phelps uses visualization, then I probably should too.

Studies show that mental imagery can help both mentally and physically. I tend to use it primarily with really difficult poses. Here are my tips for your visualizing yourself in an asana.

  • Make a mental image of what you want the pose to look like.
  • Imagine what your body would actually feel like in that pose. What would be working? What would be activated? How exactly would you feel physically?
  • Now imagine how you would feel emotionally. Would you feel confident? Would you feel relaxed? Would you feel effortless? Would you feel calm? Would you feel like a badass?
  • Visualize the posture from start to finish. Imagine your breath. Get specific, don't forget the details.
  • You can do this for a few moments before the posture or you can do it outside of your practice -...
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What to Expect the First Time You Go to a Mysore Ashtanga Class

ashtanga mysore practice yoga Oct 24, 2017
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