Thursday, February 12, 2009

I Moved

To continue reading YogaPulse, follow me to WriteOn Yoga.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Weekend, Yogi-style

Check out this post on Yoga Buzz, written by yours truly about my pre-inauguration yoga activities. Did anybody else do anything interesting over the inauguration weekend? I thought I saw YogaDawg sniffing around Dupont Circle.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Uma Thurman Does Yoga?

My Google alerts finally paid off. Get this:

"Uma Thurman stunned passengers by doing a yoga routine on a recent flight."

The woman did what every yogi has thought of, but has never done. Apparently, she used the flight attendant station as a prop and spent about 20 minutes doing her practice in the aisle.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Seated Psoas

It’s time for asana practice. Do you know where your psoas is?

It starts on the lumbar spine, ends on the femur, and flexes the hip. But actually feeling it requires awareness and guidance. So, why bother to dig through the recesses of your pelvis to discover your buried pair of psoas muscles?

Discovering the psoas can lead to a whole new world of asana experience. Whereas most people spend their days sitting in chairs with constricted psoas muscles, most asanas are enhanced when the psoas is released.

For example, a relaxed psoas in Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) relieves tension in the lower back and releases the knees closer to the ground by allowing the groins to open. (Liz Koch explains it much more accurately and eloquently in Release Your Psoas.)

Do you know where your psoas is? If so, what new observations has it led to in your asana practice? Any new emotional observations?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is Mr. Iyengar Physically Fit?

A couple weeks ago in teacher training, we pulled out Light on Yoga and scrutinized Mr. Iyengar’s photos.

“What do you think?” asked our teacher.

A couple students pointed out his impressive capacity for chest expansion. Then after a bit of discussion about the energy of his asanas, my true thoughts seeped into the discussion: The man has soft abs and not a whole lot of muscle tone.

But then our teacher had us look at plate 406—Bakasana. Hello, Mr. Iyengar’s arm muscles! Instead of walking around in a state of constant contraction, like most people’s idea of what physical fitness should look like, Iyengar uses each muscle precisely when he needs it.

This little lesson has started me questioning my idea of physical fitness. How beneficial are the standards I’m striving for? How sensitive and responsive am I? Can I let go of my exterior armor long enough to discover the internal workings of my body and mind?

Friday, December 12, 2008

12 Steps for Busy People

It finally happened. Yesterday was the busiest day of my entire life. Suffice it to say that the day involved editing a 40-page newsletter, 2 meetings, training a new employee, technical difficulties, and projectile cat vomit.

I’ve been waiting for this day for quite some time. Rock bottom is when drug addicts check into rehab. So, I figured rock-bottom time poverty is when I’d check into the present moment. I’m the only person there so far, so I had to make my own plan of recovery:
  1. We admitted we were powerless over our dysfunctional schedules—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that the present moment could guide us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to surrender our responsibilities and our schedules over to the care of something larger than ourselves.
  4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our daily habits and stress triggers.
  5. Admitted to ourselves and the blogosphere the underlying causes of those behaviors, including need for approval via accomplishment, inflated self-importance, inability to ask for help, and unwillingness to see our lives as they really are.
  6. Were entirely ready to work to adopt a new way of being.
  7. Overhauled our schedules and our mindsets to help replace our dysfunctional patterns.
  8. Made a list of all people and goals to which we had over-committed, and became willing to make adjustments to them all.
  9. Relinquished responsibility to such people and goals whenever possible, except when to do so would injure ourselves or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory of our time and our mindsets and when we over-committed, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through yoga and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the present moment.
  12. Having freed ourselves from time poverty as a result of these steps, we tried to model this way of being for others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
My name is Melissa, and I am a busy person in recovery. Will you join me?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

You might be a yoga geek if . . .

  • You take pictures of your pets and/or children striking yoga poses.
  • There are dirty footprints on your walls.
  • You know words in Sanskrit that you can’t remember how to say in Spanish.
  • You use a neti pot.
  • You videotape yourself practicing yoga.
  • You dream about yoga.
  • You’ve convinced your partner that the most practical thing to do with the spare bedroom is to turn it into a yoga room.
  • You have a special bookshelf designated for your collection of yoga books.
  • You pack yoga props for business trips and vacations.
  • You’re considering a yoga conference or a meditation retreat for your next vacation.
  • You spend enough time on to qualify as a part-time job.
  • You do arm balances at dinner parties.
  • Your teacher has a worn-out yoga mat and a copy of Light on Yoga that’s losing its binding, and you think it’s cool.
  • No one ever seems to want to carry on a conversation about yoga for as long as you do.
  • Your girlfriends ask you how your husband feels about all the yoga stuff you do.
My name is Melissa, and I am a yoga geek.