Can You Find Balance During the Holidays?

Every year when this time of year rolls around I say, next year I am going to start shopping earlier, I am going to purge on food and goodies less, not let the stressful shoppers add jet fuel to the already stressful ship flying through the holidays. Well, once again this idea has seemed to fail, or at least the priority fell by the wayside for one more year. Do you feel your days are crazed and the rushing around has up-heaved your inner balance and feeling of stability? How can we regain this balance and inner peace during such crazy times of the year?

Adding more grounding poses to our practice will aid in bringing us to a more rooted, and stabilized being. While you are in these poses, or any pose for that matter breath from the ground into the body through the rooted body parts. (ex. try breathing through your hands in down dog) Hold these poses for 5-10 breaths or so, moving slowly and deliberately, using your core for stabilization focusing on establishing a solid foundation prior to flowing into the next pose.  For example when flowing into Virabidrasana I (warrior I), bring the foot between the hands, and root down the back foot. Breath into this foundation, establishing your core engagement, maybe bringing the hands alongside the ears while keeping the chest glued to the thigh. With this strong foundation of the feet and core engagement, on a long inhale slowly lift the chest off the thigh, reaching the hands towards the sky. On your next exhale feel the feet rooting into the mat. Inhale, isometrically pulling the heels of your feet towards each other. While hugging in towards center breath into this pose. How can you find a peace and relaxation in this active pose? Can you keep the feet grounding while extending the arms towards the sky? Are you able to get the quality of Tadasana (mountain pose) in this Virabidrasana I? Meaning the feeling of stability, comfort, ease and rootedness. Now continue to flow through your practice in this mindful manner and see how stable and balanced you feel.

If you only have a few minutes: simply take your shoes and socks off, pressing your feet into the ground, maybe massaging them one at a time. Just by removing the barrier between our feet and the ground can be such a revelation in feeling inner stability, comfort and ease.

Happy Holidays! I hope you may stay balanced through this season.


Exciting News!

I mentioned earlier that I will be teaching in Sugarhouse come January, well here is a teaser of info.

There are four of us who have come together to form a group that will be offering classes at a new space in Sugarhouse called Vitalize. It is directly west of Whole Foods on Highland, on the north end of the building closest to the Sugarhouse hole-in-the-ground.

Our company is called Barefoot Yoga LLC. I will be teaching on Monday and Tuesday evenings as well as Wednesday mornings. Other members of Barefoot Yoga will be teaching Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday evenings. We are getting together punch pass gift certificates for you to buy for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season. It's a great way to start off a new year with a new yoga space!

Also we are going to be holding parties on the 3rd and 4th of January for meet and greets of the instructors of Barefoot Yoga. We are going to have finger foods, a free yoga class, local clothing companies and more! So pencil us into your calendars for the 3rd and 4th of January (times TBA).

Please stay tuned for more info on this. If you would like to be on our newsletter distribution or to get more info on gift certificates for classes email me at warriorwithinyoga@gmail.com

Be Thankful

Thanksgiving has come and gone, the big day full of friends, family and food.  As this time of year usually does, it got me to thinking of what in my life there is to be thankful for.  Given they are much different than they were last year, and most likely will be different in the future, but it's the idea of taking the time to actually do this simple task that is important.

We live in such a nonstop society it is easy to let the present moment slip away. We are constantly looking into the future, seeing and hoping that it will be better than the present. Even if something great happens to us it is hard to be still in the present moment; to be thankful for it. I urge you to take the time right now, stop reading and reflect on what you are truly thankful for in your life, and smile. (I mean it, try to take a few moments for this)

Now that you have reflected on you life's gifts, keep them close to you and remember these gifts at least once a week. When the day, or week or person standing in front of you is stressing you out, take a deep breath in, focusing on the inhale from start to finish, exhale it out completely, and bring your awareness to the present moment. There is always something to be thankful for, what can you be thankful for here?

In our physical yoga practice when the legs start burning we think, what is here to be thankful for, my legs are killing me! Immediately the mind goes from the physical sensation to other thoughts, robbing us of the present moment. A lot of energy, emotions and memories are stored in our legs, which explains the desire to be anywhere but in the present moment feeling this intense sensation. If we are going to try and reflect on what we can be thankful for in our lives, being present is the best way to do it. What is more amazing than being alive, and having the ability to feel our body? Warriors are stubborn people, but aren't we the most determined and dedicated as well? What we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat directly correlates into our everyday lives. I challenge you to be present in your practice, learn from yourself, and take it off the mat into your life.

Presence brings the awareness of the Warrior Within strength