yoga practice

trigger mind

Perhaps I’ve been slow with the “how to practice when triggered” piece because it’s something I’m still working on myself. I cannot guide this, only share my experience. It hovers in unsafe territory. It’s become fashionable for yogis who are upset with their lives to put out diatribes that announce the writer’s own sizable issues […]


yoga mat as security blanket :: break it in

Mid-air I crashed. Bodymind lurched into panic, blackness. I felt myself tangled then searing pain. My left knee. What happened? Someone said, “I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” I couldn’t see her, only indefinite forms moving around me. I sat on my mat holding my knee, trying to breathe. Recycled, unexpected terror, unknowing, pain, humiliation […]


yoga, meditation, and dissociation

For a few months now, I’ve been working with trauma survivors. Yeah, that’s where I’ve been. It’s an Experience. I’ve felt unprepared for the work to an extreme I’ve never known before. So I’ve been talking to trauma survivors and therapists, and reading as much as I can. It has brought things together for me […]


the thing about gurus: a kumaré review [revisited]

Another repost. Because it’s the time of year we huddle inside and watch flicks. Well, if you’re in the Northern parts anyway. This is one of the five movies I’ve seen in the last few years. Highly recommend. (Originally posted July 1, 2012.) Gurus have always been problem for me, perhaps my biggest in the […]


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 […]


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 […]


yoga practice in class and out

This post is part of an integration of the info on the first yoga site I made for students back in 2007, as I’ll be taking it down soon. Enjoy! Q: Is there a minimum amount of time that you should practice? Is it worth practicing 10 minutes if that’s all the time you have?    […]


why do yoga?

When I was working on my masters, I made a website about yoga (2007). I surveyed my students for questions and information, and answered them on the site. This post (and some to follow) is an integration of that material, as I’ll take the old site down soon. Why do people take yoga? The reasons […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


the search for a new yoga teacher/studio

It took me about a month of heavy searching to find my yoga teacher. How you do it depends largely on what you look for. Instead of making a list for you: location, teacher’s experience, price, style, schedule…which I touched on in the last few posts.  I will tell you my story, and you can […]


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 […]


hot dog performance art

the last installment. part v of why meditate, thoughts on my two 1-week back-to-back meditation retreats. part i, part ii, part iii, part iv, & part v.  An abridged version for moderns exists at Shambhala New York. And that was it. After lunch there was a banquet to close the week, and a bit of […]


when you sit on a cushion

Part iv of why meditate, thoughts on my two 1-week back-to-back meditation retreats. part i, part ii, part iii, part iv, & part v. A few days earlier, while fighting with myself about how to deal with the situation, I thought, “No, I’m not cancelling my plans last minute. Next time.” My quieter, more aware […]


better, happier, more centered

This was not the only thing going through my head during the retreat, mind you. In fact, it wasn’t even near top billing. Each time I came around to the fact that my attention wasn’t on my breath, but in any of all sorts of places, maybe only 2% of the time on the Zka […]


to cut through the nonsense of mind

Last time I left with the emotional stuff that comes up for me in meditation, specifically loneliness. This is not why I meditate, exactly, to get in touch with these emotions. In one way it is, because if I ignore them altogether, they fester and cause problems in other ways. But when I pay attention, […]


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 […]


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 […]


ouch. my wrists/hands hurt in adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog)

I’m reposting this as many of you have had questions about wrist and hand pain in down dog. It’s a quick post to answer MM’s question about her hands—the base of her hands hurt in down dog. This is a great question, because it’s a common problem. Often the wrists hurt for people who are new […]


yoga vacation

I’m just back from a yoga holiday. On a whim I went on an ashtanga retreat in Edinburgh, Scotland with Angela Jamison. I’d never met her, but we’d corresponded and followed each other’s blogs for a few years, so it was good fun to finally meet. It was during the fringe fest, the world’s largest […]