In The Loop: thoughts on Yoga

How hip is your yoga?!!!

Have you ever walked into a yoga studio or event and felt like the kid in the lunch room holding their tray and looking around to see if anyone would welcome them? My introduction to yoga was with teachers that were very down to earth and  welcoming. I have tried to  instill that in my classes. One of the things that drew me to yoga was that I did feel a sense of community, a sense of belonging. We need more of that in this time of disconnection and lack of verbal communication. Walk into a coffee shop and see how many people …

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Indian Yoga performed by 80 year old of ashtanga asanas

Why I love this video is the grittiness of the location. It isn’t in a spa-like studio nor is it a tattoo’ed “Yoga Journal” beautiful yoga person.  It’s just a lovely, kind-faced 80 year old man that once again illustrates the power of a lifelong Yoga practice. Of course, he is demonstrating a fairly advanced form of Yoga called “Ashtanga”. Not everyone can or will want to practice this style (there are hundreds of poses available  to all body types), but it does illustrate Yoga’s badass-ness… Oh, and he is obviously incorporating a sense of joyfulness into his practice. Practice …

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The Art of breathing

The very first thing we do in life is take a breath. It’s the only thing we have to do…all the time. So, we probably don’t think much about it. That is, until we climb a flight of stairs or shovel snow or experience an emotional upset. Maybe we have anxiety and we are in our heads with thoughts of concern and worry. Let’s just say that most of the time we don’t really notice how we are breathing. It’s why yoga as a whole is so go for our ability to breathe effectively. Pranayama is the breathing part of yoga. Proper alignment in a poses …

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Yoga is in the heart of the practitioner

With all of the tweets, blogs and Facebook posts it can be difficult to discern what’s legit, what’s important or what matters to the person that wants to start a yoga practice. We have yoga-centric publications like Elephant Journal, Yoga Journal, Yoganonymous along with teachers writing endless articles on any number of yoga-related topics ( irony alert!!!).    It’s similar to the dilemma of a person who wants to start a healthier diet and is blown away and confounded by all the choices and information and feels paralyzed. I say, just start eating 3 raw veggies a day and some fruit..increase your water intake and start from there. The …

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“Don’t touch my mat!”

You’ve seen them. Determined yoginis marching proudly…their mats rolled up and strapped onto their bag or clutched to their bodies as if to say,  “Don’t touch my mat!”  Hmmmm…I carry my own fairly often because of my teaching gigs. Me noticing people noticing my mat. I suppose an electrician feels the same with his (or her!) tool belt strapped on…sprouting all sorts of odd looking devices that help keep electricity flowing through the veins of our condos and apartments. It’s something different…we want recognition. But that’s another issue for another post! Perhaps the site of a yoga mat inspires some…and in …

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A smack-down for winter blues!

What happened?! It was summer…now it’s dark and the cold air is creeping towards us. The polar vortex  may revisit or it may not. Either way we have no control and so how do we manage our attitude during these most unwelcome winter tidings? I have found that the yoga space I teach in (Grace Place) offers a particularly inviting and soothing sanctuary from the frigid evening. Yoga has the ability to elevate the mood and refresh energy levels. So, for my money the best way to give winter a full-on smack down is to practice. And with some candle …

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Reducing the effects of MS: a true story about Yoga and food

True story… CORRECTION: after an observation from a close friend, I want to say that If I were to rewrite this I would change the article to read “Reducing the effects of MS: Yoga and food”. Ya know, I am not a doctor (not that anybody would mistake me for one haha!)..and I am certainly not implying that other medical means aren’t the answer for anyone faced with this health challenge. But I am relaying the story of a woman that I have personally witnessed actually get healthier by adopting a healthy lifestyle and an alternative method of treatment that …

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Why we need yoga!

Sitting in an office chair all day does remarkably horrible things to your body. It shortens the hamstrings, immobilizes the hips, messes with your posture and causes lower back issues. Not to mention the cardiovascular downside of sitting all day. Standing on your feet all day causes feet to swell, is very stressful on the the knee and hip joints, and can compress the spine depending on the surface you stand on. Usually it’s a hard tile floor. A big city causes all sorts of tension from noise and crowded walkways, traffic, etc. This can cause internal stresses that result …

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Hot or Not?

“Hot“… it’s the latest buzzword in yoga. So the logical question of a new practitioner might be, “Should I take hot yoga or not?” My answer would be any yoga is better than no yoga. The type of yoga one should practice depends largely on the individual and the best way to determine what you connect with is to try a variety of classes. Why not? It’s fun and there are many studios in Chicago to explore. It’s your practice. In the end, there is no “right” or “wrong” yoga. You decide what you like and what works…for you. Having practiced all of …

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