What is a Mantra?

mantraYou may have heard the term “mantra” in a yoga class and wondered exactly what is a mantra.

You can think of a mantra as a seed for energizing an intention.

I’ll use myself as the example here 🙂

As a Mom, there are days I wonder if I’ve done enough.  Have I done enough for my son, my husband, myself?  I often have a list of things that do not get done in the time frame I would like (or at all ha!).  One mantra that has helped me is “I am enough.”, meaning I am enough just as I am and am not defined by how much I “do” or “don’t do”.

A mantra can powerfully shift your thoughts.  You may not believe your mantra at first, but as you repeat your mantra to yourself over and over you start to get your brain on board that your mantra is true.  Your whole energy shifts!  Soon enough, you are living your mantra and life feels different; more fulfilling, more easeful, and a LOT more fun.

This is exactly why I’ve included a custom mantra in my 12 pack of private sessions!  I want to empower you to change your life OFF the mat, using the tools yoga can provide.

10 Minutes to Rejuvenation

smile-breathe-and-go-slowlyBecause some mornings you have a hard time opening your eyes.

On days like that, you need just a little movement and stretch to get your day off on the right foot.

I had such a morning this morning!  I also had very little time to get a yoga practice in today, so I spent a few minutes in bed getting some breath and stretch into my body with this sequence of poses.  It was absolutely divine for first thing on this bleary-eyed morning.


Moms, mark your calendars!  I am planning a blissful 2 hour Moms only mini retreat on October 16th from 1-3pm at YogaSpace in Bethel.  It is truly going to be delicious and you absolutely do not want to miss this!  Stay tuned for more information

Guest post from fellow yoga teacher, Rob Farella

Hello traveler on the path.
We are all on an inner journey from mind to heart. Whether we realize it or not. A change in perspective from body(ego) identification to soul. In Yoga it is called Sādhanā, literally “a means of accomplishing something”. Not that the ego is bad but more that it is covering or distracting us from our true essence.
Here is a Rumi poem that speaks to this so well.
There is life force within your soul, seek that life.
There is a gem in the mountain of your body, seek that mine
O traveler if you are in search of That
Don’t look outside look inside yourself and seek That.
There is nothing in the universe that you are not
Everything you want, look for it within yourself—you are That.
~ Rumi

Sadhana has a way of drawing us inward simply because we pause, we breathe and we become mindful about our actions. O traveler enjoy the journey inward, all you need awaits you!

Love and light
Rob

Yoga for Back Pain and Yummy Private Session Packages!

imageI get asked a lot about back pain as a yoga teacher. And as someone who has experienced a lower back injury, I understand how debilitating back pain can be!

The good news is, you CAN strengthen and heal your back with yoga.

In fact, doctors and chiropractors are recommending yoga more and more often to their patients for back pain. Yoga is not only good for mediating acute back pain, it’s also great for keeping your body healthy and strong in the long term to prevent future injury.

This article offers 12 yoga poses you can do for back pain. We have done all of these poses at one time or another in Yoga Basics! Combine this with some yoga for core strength and you are well on your way to a healthy and happy back!

Let me know if you have any questions on modifications!


I’ve put together three fantastic private session packages! Imagine how it would feel to experience bliss in your body and mind on and then OFF your yoga mat in your real life. Each session is crafted for your specific needs, giving you the best yoga practice for YOU! Let’s blast that stress out of here and get you feeling good! Click on the link below to learn more about each package 🙂

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/effd2c121f9136233a71605b0/files/PrivateSessionPackages.pdf

Contact me for more details or to book a session!


I promised you that I would share the discoveries from my gratefulness practice! I found that the practice significantly improved my outlook each day. I was able to focus on all of the great things I have in my life and feel much more fulfilled. I noticed that being grateful for specific people in my life was much more effective than being grateful for material items (not surprising!). I’ve found it to be so beneficial that I’m extending my practice to the end of September 🙂

Gratitude

gratitude

It’s SO easy to notice what’s going wrong in our world as compared to what’s going right.

I fall into this trap more often than I like to admit.  I notice all the things I haven’t done and immediately begin to stress myself out thinking about how and when I’m going to do those things.  I instantly feel tired and overwhelmed and often become tense and snippy with my loved ones; the people I want to be my best for every day.

I was inspired to share this with you, in the hopes that you join me in a super simple 7 day gratitude practice.  I know you may be thinking “something else to do this week?!”.  I’m right there with you on that thought.  That was actually my very first thought when the idea of a 7 day gratitude practice popped up in my consciousness.  I thought “Really?!  WHY?!  I’m so busy and I can’t handle just one.more.thing”.  Then I heard “Yes, really.”  I’ve already done this practice today and I can tell you it is super quick (30 seconds) and can instantly shift your outlook on life today.

All you have to do is think of ONE thing you are grateful for today.  Close your eyes, bring it into your mind, and just let it settle and seep into your body.  Notice what changes in your body and breath.  Notice if that shift stays with you a while.  Ahhhhhh, now isn’t that lovely.

Please join me for this 7 day practice; I could really use your comraderie!  I set an alarm on my phone for every day this week to remind myself to do it.  Let me know how it goes for you and I will share my feelings on it in next week’s newsletter!


I’m teaching Balanced tonight at 6 at YogaSpace!  It would be great to see you and we can do this gratefulness practice together 🙂

Drishti (Yogic Gaze)

drishti

Hi everyone!  I had a great two weeks spending more time with myself and my two favorite guys.  Now I feel ready to get back into teaching, yeah!

I want to talk to you today about drishti.  Drishti means “Yogic Gaze”.

I really enjoy using drishti during my yoga practice.  It improves my focus and balance.  It helps me tune into my inner worid.  It makes my yoga practice more delicious and intriguing!

Drishti is a technique of gazing at a focal point during your yoga practice.  For example, when you’re in warrior 2 (virabhadrasana 2), bring your gaze to the tip of your front middle finger. Practice looking through the eyes instead of intensely focusing on one point.

I’ve introduced this in Yoga Basics, mainly in warrior 2, but you can practice drishti in any yoga pose!

This article discusses drishti and provides instruction on how to practice drishti in seated forward fold (pashchimottanasana); give it a try!

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/how-to-practice-drishti


Next Thursday (the 25th) I’ll be leading the 6pm Balanced class at YogaSpace, I’d love to see you!

Going With The Flow

flow through life

There are times (on the mat and off) when we come across obstacles.  What is your usual reaction?  Push harder?  Back off and avoid it?  A mix of both?

My usual reaction is to push harder.  I first learned this about myself on my yoga mat.  I’d push harder in spite of my body asking for something more moderate.  I eventually paid for this with a very tired body and some minor injuries (thank goodness they were minor and I could continue my normal everyday life).

Off the mat, I experience obstacles daily with my son.  He tests all the boundaries; goes for the things he shouldn’t touch, throws a temper tantrum when he can’t get his way, and refuses to nap.  I have a choice with each and every instance; I can go hard OR I can go with the flow.  I can take a deep breath, look into his eyes, and find a way around the obstacle.

Next time you’re faced with an obstacle either on your mat or off, imagine a flowing and steady river in your mind.  Take a deep breath and choose your reaction.  Notice how it feels in your body to go with the flow; luxuriate in that feeling!

Yoga For Your Core

core

A strong core can make a BIG difference in how you move through your everyday life.

After giving birth to my son, my core hurt just from doing everyday tasks.  Tasks like carrying groceries, lifting a car seat, and picking up bags of laundry were a real struggle.

When I returned to my yoga practice, I made it a mission to get my core strength back and then some.  I wanted to be stronger for my everyday life and I was itching to do some more adventuresome yoga poses (mostly arm balances) with more ease.

I started incorporating variations on plank, side planks, scale pose, and boat pose into my practice.  With time and practice I got stronger and those everyday tasks got easier (and so did the arm balances).

I encourage you to incorporate just a little, itty bit more core strengthening into your practice.  Even 30 seconds of plank a few times a day could be enough 🙂

I came across this article in Yoga Journal with 7 core exercises, give some of these a try!  If you have any questions on how to modify these, let me know, I’d love to help!

Yoga for Core Strength


I’ll be enjoying these next two weeks with my two favorite guys.  Stacey Orris will sub Monday night’s Yoga Basics class at YogaSpace, come check it out 🙂

Simple Tips to Meditate

anxiety, live in the breath

One of the biggest misconceptions about meditation is you have to sit down, be quiet, and block out all thoughts.

That’s not how it works.

You can meditate anytime, anywhere.  Simply bring your attention to your breath.  Voila!  You are meditating.  As thoughts come in, notice them, and gently draw your attention back to your breath.

I love taking a few moments throughout my day to bring my attention to my breath and find a few moments of calm.

And if you don’t believe me, you can listen to this Tibetan Buddhist monk 🙂

Tibetan Buddhist Master’s Simple Guide to Meditation


I’m teaching Balanced tonight at 6pm at YogaSpace!  If you’ve been in Yoga Basics and wanted to test the waters with a Balanced class, this is a great opportunity to do so.  I would LOVE to see you before I take a couple weeks of down time with my family!  You can sign up here.

I’ve lined up some great YogaSpace teachers to sub the Monday night Yoga Basics class for the first two weeks of August!  Check out the schedule and come experience some other Yoga Basics teachers 🙂

Slowing Down

an asana is steady and pleasantHave you ever ended a yoga practice and felt like you pushed too hard?  Do you struggle with backing off of a pose when you know you should?

I’ve struggled with this big time!  When I give myself permission to slow down and take it a shade easier, I get so much more out of my practice than if I had just bulldozed through.  This can feel down right impossible when your ego is screaming “just go a little harder!”  This is where you take a deep breath and even though it’s hard, give your body a break.

Notice what changes for you when you practice listening to your body instead of your ego.

Shaking Muscles:  Know When You Need to Slow Down