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the daily minimum, at home

Tuesday I shared a basic ten (ok, fifteen) minute class to practice at home. Today we have a slightly more vigorous ashtanga-based option. We’ll call it “the daily minimum +.” If you are just beginning to practice at home, make sure to the same things you’d do in a class. Turn off your phone. Take […]


yoga vacation: upstate new york

A few weeks ago I had some time off and needed to get out of the city. Once or twice a year I do a meditation retreat. Sometimes my own, sometimes a group, sometimes a combination. This year I needed to get some work done, so I looked up quiet places to go upstate in […]


non-cheesy yoga = awesome

Or, How to Talk Intelligently About Yoga Is yoga spiritual? Is yoga religion? Is yoga science? What is yoga? These questions matter to me because it affects how I relate to students. I teach yoga in a university gym largely because I have the autonomy to do what I want, as I’ve yet to find […]


the yoga diet

Many yogis are obsessed with their diets. It stands to reason. We are pressured to look a certain way, and the majority of food on offer is not only fattening and unhealthy, but not really even food. There is a multi-billion dollar industry that banks on telling us how to eat for health, though that […]


tradition: ashtanga, vinyasa & 8-limbs lite™

The yoga history thread is on hold as I’ve picked up too many books on the subject to continue until they’re parsed. Much has been published since I first read up on it ten years back. If you must read something now I suggest Joseph Alter’s Yoga in Modern India. For a break, I’ll address […]


stretching, science, & the wisdom of ‘boring’ yoga asana sequencing

In the last few years, it’s come to light that static stretching isn’t a great thing before activities requiring muscle power. Most recently the New York Times reported researchers have discovered stretching is bad. The article mentions only once that static stretching, as opposed to dynamic stretching, is problematic. The rest of the article states […]


adho mukha svanasana from a master

Downward Facing Dog. Post nap.


how to work toward padmasana: lotus pose

So you want to do padmasana. Because like headstand, lotus pose is an asana that comes to mind when people think of yoga. And for good reason. It’s one of the fifteen poses mentioned in the 15th century text, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which makes it one of the few asanas with a history. There […]


how often should I practice yoga?

Why not everyday? Because yoga is not my life, you say? Oh. Okay then. The answer varies. Yoga? But I’m Not Flexible (Beginners) When I first practiced yoga, it was very sporadic. Probably not even once a week. Are there any benefits to practicing once in awhile? Yes. Most people feel good during or after […]


basic pranayama for beginners : प्राणायाम

Dear Students, Pranayama is the key to your practice. The breath is it. I often say “yoga and meditation” because in the West, yoga is considered to be something apart from meditation. It is not. Likewise, pranayama is no less yoga than asana (physical postures). The are all parts of a larger whole. If you […]


yoga etiquette 101

Like most subcultures, yoga has an unspoken etiquette. When it is spoken, or posted on signs in studios, it’s often ignored. Who reads signs when they could read a flirtatious text on their phone? Probably the person trying to get by, annoyed that someone is blocking the hallway, texting, totally unawares. But she already knows […]


yoga mats: the good, the bad, and the crumbly

The yoga mat. It is very good to have your own if you practice yoga regularly. You can contract some pretty gross stuff from communal mats. What kind of mat you want will largely depend on your yoga. If you practice a few times a week and don’t mind PVCs, a cheap mat from Yoga […]


to practice or not to practice: ladies’ holiday

There are as many takes on yoga asana practice during menstruation as there are euphemisms for it. Ladies’ holiday, your moon (not to be confused with the moon), ladies’ days, your flow, the curse, crimson tide, the rag, that time of the month, and, refreshingly, your period, are a few you’ll hear in wider yoga […]


yoga :: what to wear?

part 2 of 2. See also part 1: “preferably something opaque” endures all trends Because my shala is closed on the weekend, yesterday I took a led power class. This class is such a circus, and so different from quiet morning Mysore, that I take it almost to test my ability to focus. You know, […]


how yoga ruined my tan

This isn’t about the superficial layer. It is about the body and its endless ability to amaze. Last year, I photographed my friend Ilona making a tattoo. At the end, she told the woman she couldn’t work out for a few weeks because the sweat could damage the tattoo. I later mentioned this to a […]


ashtanga in new york :: finding a teacher

How to find a mysore ashtanga teacher in new york? LMGTFY. Because honestly, that’s how I found Lori. An internet search. I then asked two ashtangi friends if they knew her and heard good things about both her and her assistant, as well as a little gossip. I had a feeling that’s where I’d end […]


yoga at home for the holidays

Last week I was commiserating with a student who’d missed class about how difficult it is to establish a home practice. It took me about two years of consistent classes to really get into practice on my own. Establishing a daily home practice took not only dedication, but concentration. It’s much easier to make yourself […]


the thing about gurus: a kumaré review

Gurus have always been problem for me, perhaps my biggest in the yoga and meditation worlds. Though perhaps it’s the strange and often appropriated spirituality that bothers me, and gurus are an offshoot of that. The reason I’ve left most sanghas (communities) is because there comes a point that if you aren’t into the guru, […]


sexytime with william broad

I somehow managed to ignore most of the uproar over William Broad’s “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” in the NYT. I didn’t really get his point, as it seems like a no-brainer. You can hurt yourself doing any physical activity, and that’s why you’re selective about what yoga you do and classes you take. […]


yoga for insomnia

Over a year ago I designed a class for insomnia, because a number of students asked what could help them sleep. I did a bit of research, but for the most part I offered what had helped me the most. Sometimes a pose just shifts me out of monkey mind toward slumber. There are all […]


what to wear for yoga

Preferably something opaque. Where to get it? I just happened upon this “audio yoga mat.” I admit it could be useful if you travel a lot and can carry it around. But, I mean, really. You do not need fancy anythings to do yoga. You need you. A mat can help, yes, and so will […]


on meditation

We’re still on break and you just want to relax a bit. But you can’t without your yoga? You don’t say. Watch this then. If you don’t wanna watch the long I’m-a-scientist-I’m-not-into-meditation-or-heaven-forbid-yoga intro, JKZ begins at 7 minutes. ..   Though Kabat-Zinn is known for his work with meditation, his Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program […]


Namaste नमस्ते

Months ago, a friend living in Beijing complained about yoga teachers using Sanskrit and not explaining the meaning. She was especially annoyed by closing class with “namaste,” when many didn’t know what it meant. I believe my friend and colleague Ben also takes issue with this. I’m guilty of it, I admit, largely because I […]


bikram yoga: good or bad?

Bikram is thought of by many yogis as “not real yoga,” whatever that means. Why? Well, it’s incredibly body oriented, and most people attracted to it (it seems to me) are primarily interested in their bodies lookin’ good, as there isn’t much attention to anything but forcing yourself, asana, and some heating pranayama. What’s wrong […]