Winding Down 2015
Only 5 more classes in 2015! What a year!
Tuesday Dec 22
9:15am Stellarflow @ Innerstellar
6:15pm Yoga Strength @ The Working Body
Wednesday Dec 23
9am Forrest Yoga @Yoga Tree Potrero
4:30pm Forrest Yoga @ Innerstellar
6pm Forrest Yoga 2-3 @ Innerstellar
Slow, Hot, Settled
I'm enjoying being home and settling into July and August in Oakland. My summer so far has felt slow, and very hot and dry. I have altered my schedule a bit this month with shorter classes at The Working Body and my first sweet morning Stellarflow class at Innerstellar. Haven't seen me in awhile? Come find me M, T, W, F, Sun!
I'm back from my French travels and will be teaching over the holiday weekend. Join me:
Friday 9-10:30am Yoga Tree Potrero
Saturday 9:15-10:45am Innerstellar Pilates & Yoga Studio
Sunday 9-10:30am The Working Body
I have loved my time away and also look forward to getting back into my yoga groove with you.
See you on the mat!
The Bay of Douarnenez
I am loving my stay in Douranenez! I have had one and a half real yoga practices complete with abs. I say "half" because as so often happen in real life, especially around 4 nieces and nephews, there are happy interruptions. I had just completed rounds of sun salutations when it was time to go to our first creperie! My peak pose became a buckwheat crepe with chèvre au miel. I am so active here that yoga seems necessary and also secondary. France seems to wake early and I have relished 7am walks around the harbor and ventures to market for baguettes, beurre, lait cru, and cafe. My butter and bread consumption is at an all time high and if it weren't for all of the hilly hiking and biking I might be in trouble.
Here is a wonderful and short hips and shoulders sequence for the traveler:
• Seated in baddha konasana:
• 2 rounds of shoulder shrugs
• side bend series with neck release 5 breaths each side
• Elbow to knee x 6 rounds
• Straddle or frog lifting through x 6 rounds
• Bridge for 6 breaths
• Turbo dog 5 breaths
• Dolphin pose 5 breaths
• Classical Sun Salutations x 6 rounds alternating between low and high lunges
• Dolphin at the wall or forearm balance 6-8 breaths
B series with 3-pose vignettes (both sides 5 breaths per pose):
• warrior 1 with eagle arms - twisting lunge or twisting warrior - lounge lunge
• warrior 2 - reverse warrior (with neck release) - extended warrior variation (or full interlock bind)
• warrior 2 ostrich - head to ankle prep (with thigh press) - pigeon/twisting pigeon
• Warm down on back (5 breaths each side per pose):
• all on one side: hamstring stretch - ½ happy baby - laying down spinal twist
• Baddha konasana on the back (holding outside edges of the feet with hands or a strap) for 6-8 breaths
• Savasana 5-8 minutes
I made it to Paris! My two flights SFO to CDG were uneventful, tedious and sleepy. I am happy with myself for the pranayama and yoga pose variations I wove in to my journey that helped ease some of the discomfort of flying. In the small space of an airplane seat I calmed down for a snooze with chandra bhedana or moon breath and sivananda breath or four-part breath. In the small galley by the bathrooms, coffee pots and emergency exit doors I did rounds of shoulder shrugs, various side stretches, turbo dog arms pressing into the wall, shower pose at the wall, a variation of chest opener at the wall and even had room for a down dog and forward fold. When sitting started to become a strain I used the arms of my seat for twists and found creative ways to move my legs up off the floor into brief sits in half lotus and shoelace.
It has been a real flurry in Paris these first few days. Breathing has been key, but I haven't gotten in a true asana practice. I have been exercising a lot between walking to the heights of Montmartre, around the Les Halles area I am staying in, and I've felt the stress of lost luggage (which is still lost as of this evening as I write this,) the fun of procuring and riding an old bicycle around the city, the success of learning to say a few more words then just "bonjour" and "merci", and the frustration of only having carry on items when all the good stuff I was excited both to wear and share is nowhere to be found.
Packing, sitting, flying!
Today I will be doing a ton of sitting in a small cramped space. I will try to mitigate the stress of modern travel by getting up and pacing the aisles, doing some seated spinal twists, shoulder shrugs and neck releases, drinking lots of water and letting myself rest after all of the preparations. This long-awaited trip is finally here. Paris here I come!
Fear is excitement without breath.
“There’s only one way to get through the fog of fear, and that’s to transform it into the clarity of exhilaration. One of the greatest pieces of wisdom I’ve ever heard comes from Fritz Perls, MD, the psychiatrist and founder of Gestalt therapy. He said, “Fear is excitement without the breath.” Here’s what this intriguing statement means: the very same mechanisms that produce excitement also produce fear, and any fear can be transformed into excitement by breathing fully with it. On the other hand, excitement turns into fear quickly if you hold your breath. When scared, most of us have a tendency to try to get rid of the feeling. We think we can get rid of it by denying or ignoring it, and we use holding our breath as a physical tool of denial.” ~ Gay Hendricks from The Big Leap