Pranayama: How to Feel More Energetic and Powerful

One of my favorite things to do when I teach a yoga class is to ask my students to close their eyes, sense the quality of their energy and then show it to me with a hand gesture. As they

Restorative Yoga: A 75-Minute Sequence to Soothe the Nervous System and Initiate the Relaxation Response

The relaxation response activates the parasympathetic nervous system, our “rest-and-digest” functions of the body—the exact opposite of the “fight-or-flight” sympathetic nervous system. As the name implies, the relaxation response triggers the release of the soothing, calming, and relaxing hormone acetylcholine

Core Strength: How To Get Optimal Stability and Flexibilty in Your Core

What does core strength really mean, and why is it so important? The most common misconception about core strength is that it merely means having strong abdominals—like the enviable washboard stomach achieved by developing your rectus abdominis muscle. In truth,

Yoga Pose Primer: Upavistha Konasana

My dad was a competitive gymnast in his teens and 20s. When he stopped competing, he still enjoyed practicing in our yard on his pommel horse. My sisters and I inherited his athleticism in various ways, but I ended up

Inversion vs. Eversion: How’s Your Sole in Side Plank?

A fellow yoga teacher recently emailed me about Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose) alignment. She asked if turning the sole of your foot down on the bottom leg is healthy alignment or if it could be bad for your ankle. Well,

Got Jaw Pain? 3 Yoga Strategies for Alleviating TMJ Discomfort

Millions of Americans suffer from pain caused by TMJ. TMJ is characterized by dysfunction in and around the temporomandibular joints, the joints where the mandibles (jawbones) meet the temporal bones of the skull. Yoga offers some excellent ways to address

Keys to a Mindful Yoga Practice - Finding Ease in Every Asana

Progressing with asana requires not only strengthening the body but focusing the mind. Yoga provides a framework of techniques that help to foster and enhance self-awareness. This greater degree of self-awareness only becomes possible via fostering relaxation in every pose.

Muscle Memory: Does Early Morning Yoga Practice Help or Hinder It?

My son is learning to ride a bike, and he is not particularly thrilled about it. Right now it’s neither easy nor enjoyable for him. This reminds me of the frustration that some yoga students experience when they first begin

Grace and Grit: Conquering the Impossible Yoga Pose

How does the impossible become possible? I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that in yoga it happens all the time. Take rope Sukhasana, for example. I first saw it two years ago, in an intensive

Tame Your Mind: How to Practice Mindfulness All the Time

I often get asked about how to remember to be mindful more of the time. How can we remember not only to be present more but to be compassionate, to drop into our bodies when we’re feeling difficult emotions, to

Refine Your Yoga Practice: 3 Unique Ways to Prop Revolved Triangle Pose

Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) exhibits a high degree of finesse when executed well. It is a seemingly straightforward standing pose, but while practicing it, one’s awareness is utterly consumed by effort and attention to detail. The limbs are fully

Teaching Yoga: Working with Chronic Pain

As a yoga teacher, it is not unusual to find yourself teaching people who are in a certain amount of pain. This can be disconcerting, especially if you are new to teaching. There is always a fear you might make

Yoga and Self-Compassion: Balancing the Dark Side of Self-Care

Self-care is a popular term these days. I believe the meaning has been watered-down or misinterpreted to the point that when we say ‘I’m going to take some time for some self-care’ it often implies a time-out perhaps for some solitude, rest

Yoga and Cancer: A Sequence to Help Alleviate Lymphedema

One of the most distressing side effects of cancer treatment is lymphedema, a swelling of the extremities caused by damage to the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and consists of nodes, vessels, and organs

Piriformis Pain: A Yin Yoga Sequence to Alleviate Piriformis Syndrome Symptoms

The piriformis is a little muscle that can be a big pain. In our modern world, we are highly susceptible to a number of incongruencies in the body because of weakness and inflexibility within certain muscles. This is particularly true