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Showing posts from December, 2015

Clenching and Softening

I learned something while teaching ‪#‎yoga‬ this morning. I clench. I do. I clench my abs, my butt, my shoulders. I do it unconsciously which is worse. It's probably why my neck hurts a lot. Duh. There is a time for bracing and a time to be soft and let go. For example, in crow pose we need to use the core, engaging the muscles to protect the lower back. But in savasana, the final resting pose, it's time to release and just let go. During the holidays and during busier times of stress, it's easy to clench, walking around with tight butts, necks and shoulders. But it's not necessary. It's not good for us either. Clenching can activate the sympathetic nervous system - the fight or flight response. The body braces for action, increasing heart rate, breathing comes faster, adrenaline is released into the system, digestion is inhibited. So today in class we practiced appropriate clenching or firming of the muscles. And appropriate softening. That's what I love about…

Yin for the Holidays

This week on the Happy Healthy You podcast we are invited to slow down and take time for ourselves with an awesome yin yoga practice. Here's how the shapes will look. Namaste and Peace on Earth.

Five Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy this Holiday Season

1. The frenzy of the holidays falls during the time of year that we are naturally supposed to be going inward for introspection, rest, reflection and preparation. We allow ourselves to be pulled in different directions during this darkest time, perhaps as a way of distracting us from the impending darkness. If we embrace the darkness and let it inform us, this season can be a time of supreme creativity and birthing the new. Go within each day to meditate, pray, journal or simply find stillness. Allow this time to be sacred for you. Keep the inner lamp lit. With practice, outer distractions will fade. This is the key to peace. Here's some inspiration in the podcast about tapping into our gentle centers every day.

2. Eat mindfully. Consciously choosing our food, preparing it with love and expressing gratitude before we eat are all good ways to practice mindfulness around eating. With so many temptations and distractions during the holiday season, a mindful routine is more important t…