Expectations and Excuses

I vividly recall a moment during my teacher training, while breaking down paschimottanasana (seated forward fold), I asked my teacher, “what next?” Appearing confused at my inquiry, he assisted me into a deep but delicious variation of the pose. Kindly, and in all of his wisdom, he asked, “So what else do you expect?”

“Nothing,” I responded.   Continue reading

Wherever you go, there you are.

These wise words of Jon Kabat-Zinn closed out our Moving Mantras retreat yesterday.  They’re such a powerful reminder that no matter how much we try to escape ourselves, there we are waiting at the end of the day.  It’s better to learn to sit with all of our imperfect perfectness and embrace it than to run away from it.  Yesterday was a powerful reminder in itself that we have such a strong community right here in our own backyards, and how filled with gratitude we are to be a part of it. Continue reading

Your New Favorite Yoga Playlist

The discovery of new tunes, new bands and then organizing the playlist takes time and patience.  I usually rely on my husband to make discover music for me; sporadically, if not rarely, I find the time to delve into the realm of music on my own.

This playlist came to fruition after I stumbled into a Spotify rabbit hole last Friday.  I watched Fault in Our Stars and I was so moved by the music (never mind the tear-jerking story I was revisiting having read the book), that I had to continue listening to the songs.   The soundtrack directed me to some new bands, artists and tracks that piqued my interest and I felt compelled to create.  Et voila!

I’m pretty proud of this baby and I had to share it.  It’s  well-rounded and just eclectic enough to keep you moving and inspired!   Continue reading

Learn About the World, Then Learn About Yourself: Guest post from Pamela Palmieri

Our friend, self-proclaimed expert in learning and imperfection, Pam had an itch to write her personal manifesto one late night (or early morning if you are indeed a morning person like me).   These beautiful and inspiring words poured out of her effortlessly.  It’s with much love, admiration and deep honor that we share this fabulous piece written by an amazing boss-lady, mama, friend and bad-ass-bitch-you-want-in-your-corner!  Enjoy!  

pamandC

Pam and her amazing son Carter.

Hi, my name is Pam; and I freaking. love. learning.

My addiction to learning about people, places, things and ideas shockingly outweighs the daily guilty pleasure I take in chocolate, white cheddar popcorn and a glass of Prosecco. I can say with confidence thatdespite my rocky relationship with my alarm clockI absolutely and positively loved school and soaking up every bit of information be it the content of the class or the behaviors of my classmates. Continue reading

The Most Underrated, Amazing-Feeling Yoga Pose I Know

This is a bold claim, I know, but I’m making it: Upward Facing Dog, or urdhva mukha svanasana, is one of the most underrated poses in all of yoga. Okay, in my humble opinion, anyway :)  It’s the pose that feels the most amazing after sitting or standing for a long time, it gives a huge, full-front-body stretch and it allows for some serious heart opening when done the right way. So, seeing as (baby) belly backbends are essentially the only yoga I am cleared to do right now, I thought it might be fun to write a post paying homage to one of the most feel-good, full-body poses in all of yoga.

Urdhva mukha svanasana…there’s nothin’ else like it.

Here we go; a series of poses to get you prepped for the baddest dog I know. (We actually took these pictures over the summer, when both of my hips still kind of worked.  Photo credit: Kelsie Hunter.)

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Exhaustion in the Flesh

I never knew the meaning of exhaustion until I had children.

I know what it feels like to be tired.  We all know the feeling of exhaustion.  Pregnancy makes us tired, work makes us tired, chores make us tired; and life in general can run us to the bone.

Feeling tired can definitely take on a new meaning once we’ve had children.  They demand us to be ON at any hour of the day or night and we never really get a break; we feel taxed and burnt out more often than not.

But I’m not referring to my own experience of exhaustion, rather my observation of the embodiment of exhaustion; exhaustion in the flesh  I’ve peered into the black and hollow eyes of the most exhausted, incoherent and beast-like of children.   For parents or any care-takers of young children, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Those moments of dueling with someone so utterly possessed by their lack-of-sleep-delirium that there is zero sense in trying to reason.

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Squash Soup for the Soul…

Or should I say:  “Squash Soup with a Kick for the Spastic Soul.”

I whipped up this soup the other day to bring to Kate’s house for lunch.  I have to admit, having Kate home post-operation works out quite well for me!  Back in the day when Kate lived out of her suitcase, she’d visit home during her breaks between tours.  Her days were totally open, so we would hang and have epic lunches including food, talking shop (eg. yoga),practicing handstands, baking cookies, and on the finest of days ruminating over fashion icons while sporting my collection of Marc Jacobs stilettos.   Life is crazy now(and wonderful of course too), but down time with friends is so scarce.   So,  it’s nice to have Kate in one place where I can drop by for some quality time together and catch up over a hot, delicious and not so kid-friendly bowl of soup.

squashsoup

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Lessons From A Newly-Made Couch Potato

This guy really knows what he's talking about ;)

So y’all remember the posts I wrote about the yogis on Instagram just doing their thing and it’s totally cool and we should embrace that as part of the shifting culture of yoga in social media? Well, those posts are a bunch of bullshit. I want to unfollow every Insta-yogi out there, and depending on the day, knock some of them over so they splat out of their perfectly captured inversions.

Hi, my name is Kate and I have yoga envy.  (And I don’t really actually want to ruin anyone’s inversion.)

It’s been a week since I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, an injury I’ve been working around for years.  In those seven days I have learned the following: a) I don’t really like Valium. Taking a Valium is like being drunk and stoned at the same time and it makes me laugh really hard at nothing and then fall asleep mid-conversation. #imdonewiththat 2) I cannot take out the trash. c) I have no self-control when it comes to Angie’s Holidrizzle Pumpkin Spice popcorn. I’ve eaten four bags in seven days. (Please, I love you all, but stop bringing me that crack.) 4) I can’t put my socks on by myself.  e) I am not even trying to put on pants anymore.  6) I have a pretty kick ass support group of amazing friends. g) I have no idea how to “be a yogi” without actually doing yoga. Continue reading

Why Not Slow Things Down

I’ve made it clear time and again that I am a self-diagnosed movement junkie.  I love to move.  Before I had my kids, I committed myself to one particular movement modality:  yoga.   As a mom I’m more tied down and consequently I have unbelievable amounts of steam to blow off.  Other forms of cardio (eg. spinning, cardio kick and running) performed once or twice a week help me burn through some of my “stuff” so that I can experience a bit more ease on my mat.

On days when I’m either running on fumes or my inspiration seems tapped, I practice a series of long holds in standing poses.  In general, for me anyways, movement works.  One-breath-one-movement flowsmy tried and true go to practice methodfacilitate a moving meditation that simultaneously invigorates my body and refreshes my perspective.  On days where I can’t come up with a sequence or I can’t stop my mind from frivolously leaping from thought to thought, I slow things down and use long holds in strong steady poses to align my thoughts and my body and actually accomplish a practice.

After completing this sequence of poses, I either shift into a 30-40 minute yin practice or a more active practice involving sun and moon salutations.  This sequence can also be performed on its own for a quick practice that will leave you feeling very grounded, centered and clear in your head space.

Get out your timer and do each pose for 60 seconds!  Try and breath so slowly that you only need to breath 5-6 rounds of breath. Make sure you do all the poses on the first side before moving onto the second side.  The fatigue on the supporting leg makes these holds way better!     Don’t expect your deepest poses, rather focus your efforts on creating abundant support through the legs, belly and breath.

Here is a little cheat sheet of the poses:  

longholds Continue reading