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September 2010 Handstand (Adho mukha vrkasana)

This posture represents many of the aspects of yoga that I cherish, as well as the aspects that challenge me. Handstands are playful, scary, teetery (is that a word?), unpredictable, elating, challenging, strengthening, and perspective-changing. We have all heard the phrase, “stand on your own two feet.” What about, “Stand on your own two hands”?

Life is Yoga: September 2010: The Unofficial Learning Month

Do we ever stop learning new things? Or maybe the question should be: should we stop learning? September seems to be the unofficial learning month. Most of us went back to school in September when we were kids and young adults. As some of you know, my kids are home-schooled, but it still feels like

August 2010 Stillness

In yoga you often hear the word stillness associated with the practice. “Moving into stillness,” “find the stillness in the pose.” What does that mean exactly? Being still allows for more awareness of what is happening right in that very moment. It is a way of being present. Think about what many animals do when

July 2010 Intention

Many times, at the beginning of a practice, the teacher will say, “set an intention for today’s practice.” Setting an intention really means focusing on one thing, especially something important. It’s a way of harnessing energy and putting things in perspective. Many believe that yoga practice not only shifts an individual’s energy, but may shift

Life is Yoga: July 2010: Finding Center

I have just completed another teacher training program. It is truly a humbling and gratifying experience to watch people transform into teachers seemingly before my eyes. Participating in teacher training is like one long yoga practice. There is stumbling, loss of breath, then steadiness returns. There are moments of such intensity that the will is

June 2010 Breaking Out of Basics

Are you a student who always takes Basics classes? Are you curious about whether you are ready to try other classes? Do you have questions about foundation postures and concepts of the practice such as proper alignment of the up-dog and push-up, breathing, locks, anatomy, and more? Do you find O2 Yoga practice fun and

Life is Yoga: June 2010: Inspiration

When was the last time you were inspired? How many people do you know that inspire you on a regular basis? What is inspiration anyway? These are questions I ask myself regularly. Why? Because in my mind, inspiration is what makes us better. Here are some definitions of inspiration: The drawing of air into the

May 2010 Astanga Second Series—Nadi Shodhana

It seems appropriate to focus on Second Series as we near the longest day of the year. The Primary Series is in many ways the entryway into the asana practice of the astanga yoga system. The Primary Series builds strength and flexibility and better connection of breath and locks, foundations essential for the asanas of

Life is Yoga: May 2010: Language

I have been thinking a lot about language lately. During teacher training, we talk not just about cuing asana but about the way that we communicate with the world in general. In my mind, intention comes first and the words come second. The eight-limb path of Patanjali gives eight precepts or ethical guidelines for living

April 2010 Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (One-legged King Pigeon Pose)

I love this pose! It is the antidote to the sitting, slouching, and driving we do all day long. It is also, in many ways, a counter pose for last month’s focus. Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana combines external rotation of one hip, hip extension of the other, full shoulder flexion, spinal extension, and knee and