Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic Response

I went skiing over the winter break and since I don’t do it very often or very well, every day on the slopes took a lot of effort. I could feel my body mobilizing its resources before every run: my heart rate would go up, I could feel increased circulation to my limbs, my breathing would become faster—all of the signs that you would associate with stress response, or sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system activation.

yoga wisdom

Sankalpa: The Yoga of Making Healthy Choices

Did you welcome the New Year with a resolution or two? You are in good company! According to The Journal of Clinical Psychology , 62% of Americans either usually or sometimes make resolutions. (1) The numbers... Read more
Yoga for equanimity

Making Peace with Our Differences: Cultivating Equanimity in Relationships

It’s been a full year since a dear friend succumbed to cancer. A longtime yoga student and generous soul, I was privileged to know her for 20 years. I think about her often. Even now, sometimes my mind has a... Read more
Yoga for Stress Release

Protect Your Happy Place: Where Stress is Positive and Your Core is Strong

In this post, I am introducing a concept called The Pressure System. The Pressure System is a “3D Approach” to Protecting Your Happy Place, which means a place where you are resilient, have a strong core and... Read more

Editor's Picks

Empowered Thought: 4 Ways Yoga’s Wisdom Tradition Can Help You Change Your Thinking Patterns

What do you think is the most effective yogic tool for working with the intellectual mind? Is it meditation? Nope. Meditation helps you to observe and focus the mind, but not necessarily change it. To quote my... Read more

Yoga’s Qualities of the Heart: Kindness Toward Yourself

(This is the second installment of instructions on kindness practice. Read this post to familiarize yourself with the basics.) “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving... Read more

Yoga for Addiction: 7 Ways Yoga Can Support Your Treatment Program

NOTE: Due to the sensitive nature of the subject and the need for anonymity of those in recovery, some names and identifying locations have been changed. Diane B. is a recovery success story. Yet even after 30... Read more

Take a Kindness Break - A Practice to Cultivate the Qualities of the Heart

In recent years, our lives seem to have gotten harsher. Our culture has factionalized. No one wants to listen to anyone with whom they disagree. Dialog has become not just disrespectful, but sometimes even... Read more

Yoga for Stress Relief: Try Belly Breathing

This simple, relaxing yogic breathing practice can be used anytime you want to soothe body, mind, and spirit . It reduces stress of any kind—physical, emotional, or spiritual. How to Practice Yogic Belly... Read more

An Ancient Yogic Formula for Happiness: Change Your Perspective to Change Your Emotions

I used to have a rather complicated relationship with my paternal grandmother. When I was little she had a looming presence in my life, often shaming me for the smallest of real and perceived indiscretions. I... Read more

Myofascial Unwinding: What It Is and Why You Should Do It

Myofascial unwinding is a term coined by John Barnes to describe a type of physical movement that comes from a higher intelligence which he often describes as a “feeling” (rather than a “thinking”)... Read more