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Life is Yoga: April 2010

Spring is a good time to be thinking about clearing out old stuff. This can be literal like your closet, or more figurative like the baggage you carry around in your body and mind. In yogic philosophy, there is a concept called avidya. Avidya loosely translates as “incorrect perception” or “misunderstanding.” One result of avidya is samskara,

March 2010 Primary Series

Every year, I come back to the roots of O2 Yoga, back to the Astanga system. Every year, I teach O2 Yoga teacher training from February through June in sections of weeks and weekends. The first week is the primary series of Astanga Yoga. This to me is the foundation of what we do at

Life is Yoga: March 2010: Do More Good than Harm

I am reading a wonderful book by Zoe Weil called Most Good Least Harm. The premise is obvious but the content is not. What I have taken away from it so far is that there are so many ways to do good in this world. We all have a composite image of a "do gooder" in

February 2010 Hanumanasana (Split Pose)

Hanumanasana incorporates hip extension and hip flexion while maintaining a neutral spine. In other words, the 3 biggest challenges for most yogis/yoginis all wrapped up into one posture: multi-tasking and multi-challenging! This asana is named after the monkey god, Hanuman, who leapt across the ocean in one jump spanning from one foot to another in

Life is Yoga: January 2010: Yoga Citta Vrtti Nirodha

When considering the pose of the month, hanumanasana (please see thePose of the Month column), I couldn’t help but see the metaphors, the comparisons, and examples for everyday life. So much of yoga is lost when it is isolated to the mat. So much is gained when the experiences and lessons we learn on the

December 2009 Yoga Energetics 101

This month, rather than a posture, we will focus on the energy of the postures and maximizing it. We will talk first about the energetic body, including the Chakra system. We’ll discuss which postures are grounding and which are energizing. We will also talk about the effects of hand and foot positions; when do you

Life is Yoga: December 2009: Citta Vrtti Nirodha

Many yogis consider Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras to be the heart of yogic philosophy. The sutras are like a guide to the practice of yoga through short sentences called sutras. The second sutra is the definition of yoga—Yoga is the effort towards steadiness of mind: notice the word ‘effort.’ Another of my favorite quotes about ‘effort’ is

November 2009 Pincha Mayurasana (Forearm Stand)

Pincha Mayurasana, or Forearm Stand, is one of my favorite poses. Pincha Myurasasa translates to “peacock feather.” Think of your feet lightly reaching for the sky in a multicolor display of energy! Okay, I am reaching, but you can get the image! This posture is one of the more difficult inversions, but is less injury-prone

Life is Yoga: November 2009

Change comes whether you want it or not. Beryl Bender Birch often says, “Celebrate impermanence!” I am still working on that concept, but I do know that much of my life I have spent preparing for things that never happened. Instead, something completely different happened. I am now, finally, and only sometimes, understanding what it

October 2009 Dynamic Core Strength for Backbending and Beyond

The spine moves in 6 directions: forward (flexion); backward (extension); sideways (lateral flexion right and left); and rotation (twisting right and left). Most of the time we are in forward flexion: think slouching. In order to maintain and even improve good posture we need to strengthen the spine in all directions, but especially in extension.