Yoga New Year’s Resolutions—Recalibrate and Balance!

The approaching New Year is a natural time of self-reflection—How am I doing? What do I want to change? One problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they often come from a place of self-criticism, for example “I really need to lose weight and get in shape!” That is why health clubs and gyms around the country count on the New Year’s “bump” in memberships for most of their annual revenue. Inevitably, the I-will-lose-20 pounds-by-February type of resolutions are doomed to fail and are simply another way to beat ourselves up for not being good enough. It becomes hard to sustain that type of relationship with ourselves and who needs it! Nonetheless, there is an energy that comes with the New

Simple Ways to Find Time to Practice

In our daily lives, we all have responsibilities outside of our practice (be it yoga or the martial arts). There are times the aspects of our lives, such as work, family, school, and other commitments, must take time and focus over training. Finding the time to balance our practice, work, and family can be difficult. How can we practice our material without sacrificing the other aspects of our lives? Here are some of the simple training additions I've learned to incorporate into my normal routines when I don't have enough time to train for hours on end. 1) Stretching At work when I am on my 5 minute breaks, I go to the back parking lot of the building and do a stretch for 3 to 5 breaths befo

How to Handle an Intense Yoga Class

Just like anything in life, sometimes yoga can feel overwhelming. Especially when you are about to do your 10th vinyasa in the first 15 minutes of your yoga class! But know that there are several easy strategies to implement if you ever feel like you just can’t do that next pose. Try modifying the pose - if your arms are shaking during chaturanga, simply try lowering your knees. If your legs are shaking during a warrior I or lunge, try lowering one knee and coming into a low-lunge. If you’re not sure how to modify, quietly ask your teacher (they are there to guide you through your practice). As you build strength in your practice, you will need to modify less and less until you are read

Anxiety, Stress and Surrendering to the Journey

This Journey of life is a brief visit to our body our emotions and this earth. We get caught up in this idea that we must make something of ourselves or achieve great things in our life but is this true or are we creating more suffering for ourselves? We spend so much time focusing or worrying about the future that it can easily manifest as stress and anxiety. Anxiety is our mental and physical state of being getting stuck in the future. Emotions are so powerful that they can create pain and illness in our bodies. A great teacher once said pain is short term but suffering is when we hold onto that story and retell it over and over. Have you ever caught yourself talking about something that

Misunderstanding Chinese Medicine and Traditional Martial Arts

Disclaimer: Insofar as herbal remedies go, this post is by no means a way to prescribe or self-diagnose. So, with that, let’s begin. Since the dawn of popularism surrounding eastern martial arts and medicine in the west, there have been widespread misconceptions as to the mechanisms by which each work. Chinese medicine and the martial arts have been attacked by the religiously devout and modern western medicine with equal fervor. The devout criticize both as shamanism and occult, accusing martial artists and doctors of TCM as tapping into evil, mysterious powers. While this criticism holds substance if one sees both as working with some mysterious unseen qi force, it discounts the scientific

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