Staying Sane in a Turbulent World

Outside a gentle rain is falling on the tin roof of the cabin. Curled up in bed with my laptop, the slanted ceiling of the bedroom loft is alive with the sound of rain. My gaze lands on the sloped hillside outside the second story window where the colors of fall light up the landscape even through the rain. The leaves of the trees blow freely in the wind. I am present, tuned into the clicking of the keys as I type, the rhythm of the breath inside me, and the changing beat of the drops on the roof. In this moment, the world is safe and quiet, a simple heaven of sight, sound and touch.  

This week I am spending a few days in a cabin in the woods, hiking, writing, and watching the stars. For a time, the rhythm of the days are not determined by the ping of the phone, the arrival of emails and the busy preparation for yoga class, offering my energy and presence to others; for a time I am offering the gift of presence to myself. The reward of this attention is clarity, inner quiet, and the exquisite sweetness of moving slowly. The morning rain is an added bonus, a message from nature to take my time. Read More »

Patience and Letting Go

At the end of my recent nine day training at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, I was asked to reflect on what I wanted to remember about being there and the teachings I learned. If I reduced this to two words, they would be “patience” and “letting go.”

For me, patience most often happens when I have taken the time to center myself in the morning in preparation for the day ahead. Then, throughout the day, using my breath to relax and soften into life just as it is has been invaluable. Maybe it’s a “letting go” breath (deep breath in, big exhale with a sigh) or maybe it’s a longer meditation that’s required and it can mean the difference from being caught in striving or centering softly into the present. Read More »

Chinese Medicine Tips for Fall Health

Tips for Preventing and Treating Illnesses due to Metal Imbalance: Lung and Large Intestine

As we enter autumn, we move into the time of year associated with the Metal element in Chinese medicine.  The organs that express the Metal element in our bodies are the lungs and large intestine.

COLDS AND FLU
To prevent and treat a cold, do a nasal wash with a neti pot twice each day (In place of a neti pot, you may use a Nasopure bottle, available at Clover’s. In case of fever, nasal wash is not recommended). Eliminate dairy, use warming spices and herbs (ginger, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, chili) in teas and food preparation. While pranayama and aerobic yogic practice (e.g. surya namaskar) are helpful in preventing illness, it is necessary to reduce these practices during illness and focus on restful practices such as yoga nidra, silence and meditation. Get enough rest and avoid overeating in order to conserve prana. For congestion, inhale steam for 10 minutes daily.

ASTHMA
Ayurveda and Chinese medicine recognize that healing asthma is not possible if constipation is not relieved. Both traditions acknowledge a connection between asthma and emotional issues related to serious loss experienced in childhood. Yoga nidra is recommended as a means of relaxing spasm of the chest and lungs and chanting om is suggested as a tool for strengthening and relaxing the body. It may be necessary to use neti (nasal wash) in order to facilitate the practice of pranayama. Appropriate postures will vary from person to person. Read More »

The Story of No Story

Yoga teaches us that when we identify with our “story” (an identity or belief that is developed from our individual ego rather than identifying with our true nature) we are suffering, blinded by illusion. I was originally introduced to this idea by Sudakar Ken McRae and the concept allowed me to move beyond the limiting beliefs of my mind that held me hostage for many years. As a result of that I rarely talk about my experience with chronic illness because I do no longer define myself by that story. Yoga practices (Big Y Yoga) allowed me to use connection to the present moment to overcome the limitations I once experienced in body that therefore impacted my mind. However, I am making an exception to revisit my past experiences and share them with you.

II was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) when I was 16, unfortunately it was a very severe case. After years of suffering from anemia, pain, malnutrition and frequent hospitalizations I was sent to the Mayo Clinic to have the diseased gut removed at age 29. Unfortunately, the surgery resulted in a confounding number of other complications including obstruction, infection, and poor motility resulting in frequent hospitalizations for about 8 more years. My life at that time was one of severe pain and was limited by this severe illness.
Read More »

Deep Stretch

All Levels

This experiential class utilizes asanas (postures), several meditation practices and pranayama (breathing techniques) to slowly open the body and direct awareness inward. A quiet, slow-paced class ideal for all levels of students, Deep Stretch emphasizes holding postures longer so the muscles can relax, leading to deeper states of clarity and freedom of movement. The class assumes no prior knowledge, experience or specific level of flexibility or strength and is open to all interested in exploring the deeper practices of yoga. In this class all or most postures are done on the floor.

Return to Schedule Page