In the summer of 2011, with $187 to my name, I bought a one-way plane ticket from Portland to Los Angeles.  I always dreamed of living in LA and waking up to sunshine every day!

Last week, I half-jokingly texted my family saying I’m ready to buy a one-way ticket back to Portland!  This is not because I feel defeated by Los Angeles. It’s just realizing that the city no longer meets my needs.

I have never lived in one place as long as I have lived in Los Angeles.  This “belly of the beast” as I call it, is a wonderful, tough, and unpredictable son-of-a-bitch that will eat you up, spit you out, and then ask: how badly do you want this?  You would have to live here to understand this city: a weekend bus tour does not count!  But I’m grateful for this beautiful beast because in many ways it has been very good to me and shown me how strong I truly am.  

What has kept me here is my career and the wonderful community I’ve built the past 9 years teaching yoga.  I would like you to think about your environment. Is it meeting your needs?

Continue reading EVERYTHING HAS ITS SEASON

7 Steps To Bow Pose

This week, I’m breaking down Bow Pose. Keep reading for key alignment tips and don’t forget to watch the video!  Give love to your hip flexors next time you’re practicing by trying one of the variations described below!

1. Start by simply laying down on your belly and see how the hip flexors and low back are feeling.

2. You could remain here taking a few deep breaths or keep going by bending your knees. If bending the knees makes It hard to breathe, stay in the original position. 

3. To keep going, flex your feet and grab the outside of your ankles with your hands.

4. Push your feet back toward an imaginary wall. This action will help lift your chest up, giving the shoulders a nice stretch.

5. Try rocking back and forth using your breath.

Continue reading 7 Steps To Bow Pose

Yoga Tutorial | How To Do Half Moon

This week we are focusing on a balancing pose called Half Moon. We are using the wall as it keeps us honest. Keep reading for key alignment tips!

1. Make sure the foot placed on the wall is hip level and not any higher than that. Actively push the foot into the wall.

2. Unlike Warrior 3 where the hips are squared, in Half Moon we want the hips stacked open.

3. Lift both kneecaps towards your quadriceps

4. If you’re just learning the pose, or are less flexible, place a block underneath the bottom hand. Remember that the block has three levels so use the one that is most appropriate.

5. The foundation and stability of this pose is coming from the big toe that is on the mat. Remember to push it down firmly or lift up all of your toes.

6. Top and bottom hands should be in one nice line. To help achieve this and open the chest, pull the shoulder blades together.

7. You can test your foundation by picking up the bottom hand and see if and where you collapse.

 

I try to remind students (and myself) that we are much more alike than we are different.  I ask them to breathe together, as you never know how much the reminder of breath is helping the student next to you get through a challenging life moment.  I know what its like to what ifyourself to death, to live in a state of fear and anxiety where it feels like making a decision will leave you paralyzed. But I’ve been grateful lately to also experience pure joy and bliss where the mind is empty and quiet and there is no desire to be anywhere other than the current place and moment.

Continue reading BE IN THE GAME OF LIFE

Warrior 3 | Yoga Tutorial 10 Steps to Warrior 3 | Yoga Tutorial

Warrior 3 is a prerequisite for inversions but it is often done incorrectly.  In this tutorial, we utilize the wall to help us do this pose correctly.  Keep reading for a step by step tutorial of Warrior 3.

1. Take the leg to the wall hip level and check that all of your toes are pointing straight down.

2. As you actively push the foot into the wall, lift the kneecap up contracting the quadriceps.

3.  Place your hands on two blocks on the highest level and take your gaze towards the belly button, pulling the navel to the spine and tucking the ribs in simulating cat pose.

Continue reading 10 Steps to Warrior 3