All posts filed under: Yoga Sequence

Yoga sequence: Suffer less

You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years, you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. – Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk I shared this quote in class a couple weeks ago. Fight Club was one of those pivotal movies in my young adulthood that profoundly shifted my view on attachment. From the time that we’re young, we were always chasing something we didn’t have. A thinner nose, six pack abs, a coveted purse, designer jeans, another promotion, impressive title, a certain level of income, etc. Having a plan in life for financial security and career growth are one thing, but constantly grasping and attaching ourselves to another material or idealized thing only causes us to stay in our cycle of suffering, or samsara. …

Yoga sequence: Emerge as a lotus flower

This week, I played around with the lotus flower as my inspiration and how the lotus grows in the muck and through muddy waters to arrive in pristine form, gently floating above. The lotus is an important symbol in eastern culture. It represents rising above our suffering – attachment, desire, wanting, grasping, wishing. Even when we sit in meditation, the pose is called padmasana. (Padma = lotus, asana = pose) I imagine how we are seated with all of the things that cause us to create false stories swirling below us and around us. All of that fades away when in meditation as we sit tall with a clear mind. We can become the lotus. By wearing our opinions, prejudices, strategies and emotions into a solid reality, we try to make a big deal out of ourselves, out of our pain, out of our problems. But things are not as solid, predictable or seamless as they seem.  – Pema Chodron This sequence is intended to challenge the body and mind to work past samsara, or the cycle of …

Yoga sequence: Play, not perform

I’ve been in such a deep emotional space lately that I needed some levity in my personal practice and in my sequencing. A lot of my inspirational reading has been centered on coming back to the practice for yourself. Not attached to any external result. Not attached to perfection or even the idea of perfection. In fact, there is no such thing as perfection as we are all in a state of flux, change and transition. I have felt awkward, unbalanced and disgustingly sweaty more times in public classes than I can count. And I’m okay with that. After the first year or so of feeling self conscious, I finally figured out that I’m not performing yoga for anyone. There’s no judging panel that scores my yoga for the day. What a silly idea! Everyone else is focused on their own awkwardness, state of unbalance and sopping sweat. So we played with flight and play in this sequence and stopped focusing on the performance of yoga. 60 Minute Sequence: Play, not perform Balasana Cat/cow Extend …

Yoga sequence: Self-care

Getting back to resuming my daily life and to teaching classes, I recognized that I fell into my usual patterns as a mother – caring for everyone else and forgetting about myself. It’s a common problem for most of us, whether you’re a caretaker or not. We have this tendency to put ourselves last as we come to the aid of a friend or step up to help a co-worker. Our act comes from a place of love and caring, but it can also leave us feeling depleted. On an airplane, they always instruct you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. This isn’t meant to be a selfish act. It’s because if you don’t take care of yourself first (and end up passing out from lack of oxygen), how can you really help others? With that in mind, this sequence is simple and meant to be practiced in a very slow and methodical manner. Lengthen the inhales and exhales. Stay in each pose for 5 to 7 breaths or longer. There’s no rush, no hurry. …

Yoga sequence: The Long Road

In the past, I’ve done P90X. I’ve been tempted by a 3-day juicing cleanse with the promise of quick weight loss and instant health benefits. There’s even a 3-day potty training method that has made the rounds with desperate parents. HOWEVER, I’ve learned over time that I’m really not a sprinter, and this is probably why I am so attracted to yoga. I don’t want my life to be healthy for only 90 days. I don’t want to push myself for a month and then be too exhausted to maintain good habits. I want to set myself up to be strong and flexible and light of heart well into my 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. My older son told me he wants me to live FOREVER, so … ya know… I gotta do what I can. When we treat our practice not only as physical fitness but as taking steps on a long road toward health and happiness, we set ourselves up for something more amazing. The photo shared above was from a trip to Maui we took …

Yoga sequence: Identifying Samskaras

This has been an especially trying week for some reason. The Big Kid is really giving his last few weeks of being a three-nager everything he’s got. He’s been screaming at me. Everything is bothering him – he doesn’t like the music on the radio, the a/c is blowing too hard, he doesn’t want to brush his teeth, his socks are too tight, his socks are too loose, I cut his food all wrong, he’s not tired, he IS tired, he’s hungry, he’s not hungry, “go away, mommy,” “I don’t like you, mommy”… And every time I hear the whining or the yelling or the complaining, I find my blood pressure start to rise. My energy starts to spike along with him until we’re both frazzled at the ends. I realized in those moments that I was falling into my samskaras — behavioral patterns like the grooves in a record. I was on auto-pilot; the needle kept playing from the same spot. I would get triggered by his tantrum, and I myself would have a tantrum. The cycle was endless. We …

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