And Now What? Living Life Here and Now

I watched a wonderful docufilm called Planetary last night and was blown away by the sheer beauty of our Earth and how interconnected we all are. The scenes of canyons, oceans, glaciers, forests—oh, I could go on and on—were astoundingly beautiful, each

Clinical Somatics: Beyond Simple Stretching

From the ages of 12 to 21, I was a ballet dancer. It was all I did and all I wanted to do. Being extremely disciplined, I stretched for half an hour every night before bed so I could get

Resilience Training: Why I Don’t Take My Yoga Hot and Sweaty

Here is a simple graphic I’ve been using in my training programs (and in yoga classes) to explain why the yoga I teach is different from other kinds of yoga out there. After I moved to Asheville in 2001, I quickly realized I had

Yoga Research: How Yoga Can Support Healthy Brainwaves

Neurons communicate through electrochemical signals that are the basis for motor functions, thoughts, emotions, and behavior. These electrochemical signals—also called brainwaves—can be detected by placing sensitive sensors on the head/scalp. Brainwaves are functionally characterized as bandwidths and range from slow

Adapting to Feeling Unseen: How I'm Navigating a World that Overlooks Aging

Older Beautiful inside and out— Invisible I gave a little start when those words flashed onto the screen during a presentation by the poet Elizabeth Bradfield. Liz was in the process of describing six-word memoirs, modeled on Hemingway’s heartbreaking story: For

Yoga Anatomy: Opening the Heart of the Warrior

The fundamental asana Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose) harnesses the archetypal spirit of the warrior. In fact, many martial arts also contain some variation of the Warrior Pose. Remember that the greatest warriors combine power with compassion that flows from the

No Crunches Needed: 3 Fresh Core-Strengthening Poses

When one envisions “core work,” it's safe to say that the first image to pop into his or her mind are “crunches.” This is the classic core-conditioning exercise done lying on the back, knees bent, hands behind the head, and

Yoga Anatomy: Speculating on a Forward Fold Mystery

A yoga teacher recently asked me, “Why can’t my student straighten her knees in Paschimottasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose) when she can in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)? Her hamstrings seem pretty open. What are the mechanics behind this?” While

Restful Sleep: On Caffeine and Yoga

About 70 years ago a zoologist who studied spiders got tired of waking up at 5:00 am to watch them build their webs, so he asked his pharmacologist friend if he could drug the spiders to change their construction time.

Empower Your Yoga Practice: Inquiry and Agency in the Asana Practice

Some of the things that make our asana practice so effective can prove problematic if we start to misinterpret or misuse them. Many of us have experienced the hypnotic effect of linking breath, movement, and awareness. The endorphins released after

Yoga at Your Desk: 5 Poses to Relieve Strain from Sitting

Do you spend long hours sitting at your desk? Many of us do these days. Perhaps you’ve noticed that after sitting for a long time, your muscles feel stiff, your joints ache, and nagging pains start to creep into your

Deepen Your Backbend: 3 Ways to Use a Strap in Camel Pose

A yoga strap is an effective tool to use when practicing Ustrasana (Camel Pose). This backbend requires a great deal of proprioception, the internal ability to sense one’s body positioning and movement in space. This can be difficult because we

Rethinking Posture: How Spinefulness Helped Improve My Upper Back

The day I met my first yoga teacher, Wende Davis, she placed me in Ardha Adho Mukha Svanasana (Right Angle Pose or Half Downward Facing Dog Pose) with my hands resting on the top of her upright piano and ran

Refining Your Cues: 3 Ways to Prevent the Whack-a-Mole Approach to Yoga Alignment

As a yoga teacher, have you ever had the following experience as you taught yoga to a private student or group? A yoga teacher sees their student in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose), and their palms aren’t flat

Embrace the Ordinary: Why Reaching for Peak Experiences Isn’t Helpful

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in