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on the time i saved someone’s life after a backbending class with genny

or at least his leg After the non-cheesy yoga post, how about a cheesy yoga/meditation story and an intro to the backbends category. Why backbends? Because they’re my weakness, my Achilles’ heel. I don’t hate them. By no means. I feel great after, and sometimes when, I do them. I just don’t do them well. […]


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 […]


book review: Yoga PhD by Carol Horton

Other than some yoga history and philosophy years back, I don’t usually read much about yoga. I try to keep it as experiential as possible. But the more I write, the more I have begun to look to what others are saying. In trying to explain hatha yoga a few weeks ago, I found myself […]


meeting resistance on and off the mat

The last post and some books I’ve been reading have me asking why you do yoga. I know why I do it, and why I teach it. But sometimes I wonder if I’m teaching to your needs. The other night, in a last class of the semester, I asked students what they wanted from yoga. […]


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 […]


yoga history & hatha yoga : 101x

Last week when I wrote the “Wait. What is Hatha Yoga?” piece, things got out of hand. My intention was to explain simply that Hatha yoga is all physical yoga, not a style of it. But that exploded. Hatha yoga has a long and complicated history, which has thankfully gotten much more attention in the […]


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 […]


post-Trigger Mind: on pain, safety and healing

I was not heartened by the reactions to my last post, Trigger Mind. You didn’t hear me, and I really wanted you to hear me. That blocked me a bit. Angered me too, and I lost motivation to post here. I shared my experience with you. And that experience, the healing of trauma, is not […]


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 […]


how to find a yoga teacher/studio

Students frequently ask me upon graduation or a university break “Do you recommend a good yoga studio around here?” Unfortunately, I don’t. Finding a yoga studio, or as you become more advanced, finding a teacher, is an extremely personal endeavor. It’s a mix of solid logistics, such as location, cost, and schedule, and an indescribable […]


why meditate?

I had promised myself I’d do a meditation retreat back in May, when I’d finally have some time. But, May is a festive time for university people and I had a lot of celebrating to do. Then it was June and I am a summer girl. I couldn’t dedicate a week or more to sitting […]


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 […]