Tension Taming Yoga

Tension Taming Yoga

A Mother’s Day Restorative Yoga Workshop to Tame your Tensions

Mother's Day Restorative Yoga Workshop

Mother’s Day Restorative Yoga Workshop

Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate the women in our lives who teach, guide, and support us with their love and direction to become the best variation of ourselves. Restorative yoga honors the peaceful and relaxed place in our minds, bodies and spirits, from which love emerges. Why not luxuriate in a practice geared to support you where you are by using the strategic placement of yoga props to help you align, rejuvenate, relax and heal? 

Mother's Day Holiday

Mother’s Day Holiday

Lower back pain and tight hips and shoulders plagues many of us, even when there is no structural impingement. Hours commuting, computing, lifting, and overall stress and tension can accumulate and irritate the lower back. Let’s focus on calming the tissues with a practice that promotes healing the body, calming the mind and soothing agitated emotions, all of which will help shift the inner status from tension to blissful  ease. Whether you are a mom, an aunt, want to bring your mom, or just want to come and send your mom loving Reiki energy from your peaceful inner place, you are all welcome to join us.  Makes a great gift, a lovely opportunity to spend time together, or just give back to wonderful you.  

meditation is simple

meditation is simple, as those of you who have purchased my Yoga Mind Cd have found.

We live in a pretty fast-paced lifestyle. Most of us feel like we wake up and hit the ground running, without a feeling of being rested. One of the ways to address the stress so to speak, is to find and utilize the tools of Yoga, not so much for the body, although yes, this is key, but also for the mind.

rule your mind

Science is showing more and more studies that mediation practice makes the mind clear, focused, and calm. It has this effect because it creates a change in brain wave chemistry, especially to the Alpha state, which is associated with relaxation. Silence is not something we are used to but it has many benefits

Meditation is simple

Meditation is simple

“When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new” ~ Dalai Lama

The term meditation conjures up someone sitting for prolonged periods of time. This very image can deter you from actually starting a practice. If you think “Oh I have to find an hour” you may still be procrastinating… This is a reason I love the restorative practices in Yoga, where you cultivate presence, and an opportunity to be, to watch, to stop chasing.

Mindfulness is a practice of observing without holding thoughts or judgements about what you are present with. It allows what you may be pushing away to rise up softly to the surface and allows for some inner silence and inner spaciousness. So sit, breathe softly, and as you breathe, just for a bit, repeat: Sitting and breathing softly I calm my mind.

Mickey Mouse in Meditation

yoga of social media tips

yoga of social media tips :

As you may or may not know, I married the Godfather of Social Media and as such, have learned quite a lot, and learned how to love all things social and digital quite alot… to the extent that I am now asked to create content for other sites. One of these is Yoga People, who asked me to come up with a tip list of my top help tips for creating and maintaining a fantastic yoga Facebook page. The slant is for yoga teachers and or yoga studios, and is part of some other work I have done for them.

yoga of social media

yoga of social media

They have asked me not to re-publish the work, so you can go ahead and read the blurb below, and then click on the header “Five Tips To Make Your Facebook Page Fantastic” to get you to the actual article.

Hopefully by now you have been to Facebook and actually “liked” my page. If not , just click that and it will get you there. I try to keep it informative and upbeat/inspirational. If you take one thing away, it is that in order to keep the social in social media you actually have to engage with the people who are ‘fans’ of the page, especially if they ask questions. I try to do this and really appreciate your support and comments. I also appreciate you sharing some of the posts forward, to help spread the word about my work and or, to help spread some of the affirmative and upbeat energy.

To learn more about me, you can also read a recent interview about me by June Thompson of the Montreal Gazette http://montrealgazette.com/health/shaping-up-forget-a-yoga-body-aim-for-a-yoga-mind


Yoga Practice For Self-Respect

Yoga Practice For Self-Respect:  any practice can be a yoga practice for self respect with the right attitude !

self respect

Yesterday a newcomer to my restorative yoga class said “I am terrible at yoga”. Wow! Powerful statement, one that I am taking up in today’s notes. I found this mini info-graph about self-respect which I thought I would share as well.

self respect






















I can see how in a group where you are doing a vinyasa practice there might be a sense of having to keep up. Personally, I have learned, if I ever do this type of yoga, to go at my own pace. It can seem largely competitive, far from the intentions of the yoga system, which is designed to still the mind and prepare it for contemplation and positivity.

If you are this person, “kill the negative self talk. It’s a bad habit, period”. Also, “stop comparing yourself to others. It’s not fair, it never will be. Focus on yourself”. It is called a ‘practice’ so sometimes you just have to keep at something to improve your skills or get to where there is an organized and cohesive feeling tone in the way your body-mind perform. Here is where you “stick to your goals. You deserve to experience your own integrity and loyalty. Be loyal to yourself and do what you say you will do”.


The girl in my class actually felt wonderful leaving, and it seemed like her perspective had changed. She was relaxed, and I think, had experienced yoga brought to her, rather than having to chase it. It had perhaps become an example of “doing something you love”. So if yoga isn’t giving you this feeling, join me, because it is a great way to cultivate a healthy self-respect in the right environment



yoga and brand voice on social media

yoga and brand voice on social media ~

As published today on Yoga People


Social Media Brand Voice for Yoga Teachers and Studios

Whether you are a new teacher, new to social media or looking for continued growth and success in this now hugely popular yoga market, bridging the gap between the sublimation of the Self and the era of selfies can be daunting.

When I started teaching Yoga twenty years ago, our biggest tool was the business card. Those with the budget for it had a website. Those with distribution skills printed up loads of flyers and left them in local businesses.

While we still need these tools, we live in a digital age and cannot deny that it is a huge help to our business to know how to navigate them. Just to coast on the old mediums is not going to cut it if you want to get your personal brand out there. Yes, you have to put yourself out into cyberspace! But who are you?

WHO AM I? This is a classical and central meditation designed to uncover our true and essential Self, beyond the bones of the body, thoughts of the mind, emotions of the heart. The image you want to portray, whether as a cohesive studio of professionals or as a self-employed practitioner, is unique, and often needs to be uncovered. So what is your brand voice?

Your brand is based on the experience you want your clientele to have when they do business with you. It is based on facts such as your credentials, teaching style, personal philosophy, and teaching niche.

For example, are you the athlete turned yogi, the ex-dancer, or the person with a back injury who found yoga was the ticket to transformation? Do you love teaching children? Do you like to headstand everywhere you go or do you prefer to have your image captured when you are meditating by the lake? Are you a physiotherapist as well as yoga teacher?

As any yoga teacher knows, when teaching a complicated posture it is best to break things down into basic steps. So here are four tips on how to find and project your brand voice as a teacher or studio on social media.

1. Be authentic. Keep in mind that yoga principles such as Satya (truthfulness) apply. If you are marketing yourself as a vegan and only vegan, and your beau puts up a photo on Instagram of you biting down on a bacon cheese burger, you are projecting a false image. Be yourself, be credible, show your personality, or that of your teachers, and your professionalism.

2. Define your brand voice. Your brand voice is expressed through your values, personality, and any vocabulary and media you use to tell your story. On social media platforms, like Twitter, for example, your brand voice can shine out in a hashtag, such as #liveyouryoga or #anatomygeek. The voice becomes part of your story, and invites conversations with you, a point we will examine in a later blog post.

3. Establish a good foundation. As you would in asana, you need a stable platform to convey your brand voice from. A website and presence on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instgram are important.

4. Create great visual presentation. On social media platforms thise involves the use of eye-catching, story-telling cover photos and logos. Fill out all the details on your profiles with your brand voice in mind, and pay attention to the details. Use of colors, fonts, and other graphics is a way for you to visually describe to others what your brand is about.

The content you share on social media, and how you engage with your audience are important. In my next two blog posts I will expand on how thest topics. Meanwhile, set yourself up for continued success by uncovering your brand voice.

yoga for sleep deprivation

yoga for sleep deprivation

sleep deprivation

sleep deprivation

It’s a snow day here in New Jersey…which means I get to rest more. Yes I did swiffer, and am doing laundry, but also I got to sleep in which is something I do not often do. Actually did not realize that over 60 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation. Some of the side effects are also a little alarming, but I think once you understand that good sleep helps maintain a healthy hormone balance you can kind of figure that tipping the scale unhealthily can lead to cravings, triggers the stress response, higher risk of illnesses, and injury. “Just one week of insufficient sleep alters the activity of our genes, which control our response to stress, immunity, inflammation, and overall health” (infographic)sleep deprivation



Two of my favourite ways to add a little rest and relaxation to my day when my sleep is off, are to do 10 minutes of Viparita Karani or add 15 minutes of a relaxation practice. At least this way, you can practice switching off, which should ultimately improve your ability to sleep.























That is somewhat scary but not so surprising. I find sleep hard to recuperate. My best tactic is adding a restorative posture like viparita karani and or a 15 minute relaxation break into my day towards dinner time.

meditation on social media

meditation on social media


















Today, I wrote my first of three blog posts (to be published elsewhere, will keep you posted) on social media and community building for yoga brands.  The modern yogi(ni) is Linked-in, Facebook, Twitter, Texting, Emails, Facebook connecting to twitter, the blog, Linkedin.  Joining groups (you know and don’t know), Liking and Un-liking pages, connections with people you know and their connections who you may not know…Comments from the groups you are connected to and know but not personally, connecting through cell phones and apps and sync-ing with your computer, your laptop, ipad…Sigh.  Incredible.  We have adapted to technology and it is unbelieveable how much we can connect just by learning what is available ….

The word YOGA is from the verb, yuj, meaning “to yoke, harness”(Feurstein). In the Upanishads, it also meant “spiritual endeavor” (Feurstein) and later, in the Bhagavad Gita – we are talking 3rd or 4th century BCE- it denoted “spiritual discipline” or methods of “self-realization (Feurstein).  Check out this beautiful verse from the Gita (Stephen Mitchell): “Strong in the practice of yoga, with a mind that is rooted in me and in nothing else, you will reach the Supreme Person that I am.” We commonly say YOGA means union, connecting…mind+body+spirit, because in this fast-paced world, they don’t always feel in the same place at the same time.

So I ask you, are you linked-in and plugged-in professionally and personally?  Do you actually turn your cell OFF in yoga class or just to vibrate? Or could you benefit from turning off cyberspace connections for a moment and tuning into the one link that unites body and mind=the Breath.  Go ahead, try.  Breathe in calm, breathe out tension…Feel YOGA’d-in….

Sunday Spirituality

Sunday Spirituality ~ My latest blog as published on MINDBODYGREEN
Whatever your personal journey, you are guaranteed an epic adventure. Here are 10 spiritual guidelines to remember to help live your best life: 1. You will forget everything. You start at the  Read

With all the asana tips out there, sometimes the spiritual aspect of yoga can get distorted. The goal of the physical practices are always to lead us towards a clearer state of mind and being — both off the mat as well as on it. But as a younger yogi, I think I used to believe that doing yoga would make me moreinvincible all around.

However as I mature in age and practice, I’ve come to realize that yoga is more of a multi-faceted medium. It gives me the tools I’ll need as life rocks on — I can roll with it, land on my feet, make nourishing life choices, or simply recover.

My teacher always said (and I believe he was quoting his own teacher), “We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” It is that level of spirituality — that context greater than our small selves — which leads to feelings of oneness instead of isolation, contentment beyond the craving for things, and open-hearted compassion, instead of anger and frustration.

While it is that extremely rare person who never has any negative emotions, dwelling in them, in anxiety, is clearly not the best path for a healthy, whole, productive life.

Here are three ways that can help you cultivate your spirit, when incorporated into your daily routine. I believe these tactics can serve as real spiritual touchstones — helping to manage some of the stress and turbulence we encounter along the way in our journey.

1. Bring appreciation home.

My husband and I use this incredibly grounding practice whenever we feel the pressures of life begin to mount. We simply tell each other what we appreciate about one another. It’s that simple! Usually it is something small, but the results of this practice are huge at the same time. Or maybe he makes my coffee in the morning, or I make him a lunch. Whatever it is, it is a moment to be thankful and show or tell someone in your home how much you appreciate them. Gratitude has the power to shift the mood toward more meaningful.

2. Sit still.

At some point in your day — it doesn’t matter when — just sit. And without trying too hard to fix your posture, set yourself up (with props if you like) so that your body is supported well, and just close your eyes. Focus on your breath and allow it to be full but very soft. Allow your brain to quiet down, encouraging the mind to silence itself, as all the thought waves begin to settle. As you inhale, you can mentally repeat “let” and as you exhale, mentally repeat “go.”

As Stephen Cope says in Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, “Clear seeing needs the calmly abiding self.”

3. Reflect on the meaning of “Namaste.”

When you really think about it, the true meaning of Namaste: “The spirit in me greets the spirit in you” is rather deep and enriching on many levels. I don’t sign emails with it generally, but I do believe it is a great tool to cultivate kindness, especially in your relationships, and that, to me is the very basis for everyday spirituality.

Photo Credit: Stocksy

mindfulness training

mindfulness training…

Last night I babysat for a three and a half year old, lovely bubbly little girl, full of energy. SO much energy that she was running up and down the halls, climbing on furniture, playing with my neighbour’s dog, etc. She finally cuddled in front of the tv but kept on rolling around. I took my eye off her to look at the older child next to me for a sec, and the cutie patootie had rolled around and ended up bumping her head, ouch it hurts. Woooaah I thought. please no concussions on my watch! so I said hey come snuggle on my lap and watch for a bit. She couldn’t sit still.

There is a certain fascination that little children have with their experiences. They go up to the TV to touch it, thinking it is real. Imagination and exploration are key components of their day and waking life is fun, they go from activity to activity with novelty. And, every moment has the potential for huge joy.

mindfulness training

mindfulness training

Fast forward to the adult mind where the more wandering there is, the more stress, anxiety, drama, sadness. We tend to fall out of love with the present moment and lose a connection with gratitude and our authentic peaceful, wonderful self.  A moment gets lost in phrases like “I have no time” or “there isn’t enough time” and “I don’t have a minute to breathe”.

Well it may be true that you live with time constraints and a full schedule. Sometimes though, we waste our time and energy by making non-nourishing choices. If you want to change those habits moving forward, train yourself..Just momentarily checking in with yourself, with your breath, not your thoughts, is what mindfulness training begins with. If you want a five minute practice, check out my Yoga Mind Cd or just give yourself permission to check in and let go right now with your breath and heartbeat, slowing them down, and giving up the need to evaluate yourself…how do you feel?

Men Enjoy Restorative Yoga

Men Enjoy Restorative Yoga

I was fortunate enough to speak with this male student after my restorative class this Saturday. (For details on the time please check the Calendar..) This is a new student, who actually just dropped in on a whim, wearing jeans. He came in late, and I found out after that he has had back pain which was alleviated by the class.

back muscles

back muscles

Actually, pretty much all 12 students reported some kind of lower back and neck stiffness and discomfort to me when I greeted them. Now, NOT ALL back pain is created equal. However, “Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under forty-five years old” (Dr. Loren Fishman) who also says “Back pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis…Yoga poses that cure one type of back pain might almost worsen an almost identical backache with a different cause”. This is why it is safest to have a private yoga lesson.

This being said, the restorative yoga class this particular evening focused on undoing some of the tension that we get from sitting at a computer, working out, carrying and nursing babies, and the emotional tensions that get lodged as pain in the neck.. Breathing exercises, relaxation, and postures that can help encourage flexibility, and eliminate some of the compression and tight, tenseness led to a positive experience for this student