The (Downward) Dog Days of Summer: Home Yoga Sequence

As the summer heat descends and travel season heats up, you may find yourself a little uncomfortable or agitated from being out of your routine.

I thrive on routine yet I love to travel and be new places. Routine helps me feel safe and soothes my anxiety while travel wakes up my creativity and reignites my ability to find adventure in all things - even the familiar when I am back home again. 

Being away from my beloved studio practice does take it toll, physically and emotionally. Luckily, I've been able to team up with First for Women Magazine to offer a series of postures to keep any unwanted summer heat at bay, whether it manifests in the form of stress, stiff, tight muscles from long rides, or anxiety. (And to my diverse readership, this sequences is appropriate for all genders, not only women)

I've listed the sequence in photos below.
Click the link to get the step by instructions directly from the article.

10 Toning Yoga Poses to Help You...

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Mid-Year Reset: Revisit Your Word For The Year.

July 4th fireworks are over and so is the first half of the year.

Do you remember your outlook from January? Did you have a vision for how you hoped the year would unfold?

I’m not big on “resolutions” for the new year, but I do enjoy a “word” for the year. I choose a word that encompasses a feeling I want the year to embody as a whole or a direction I want to move toward. 

A word, instead of a resolution, allows more wiggle room for manifestation.

A clear goal with precise action steps is great, but sometimes tunnel vision of specifics blinds out additional opportunities that can yield the same (or better) results by a different course.

In Sun Tzu’s classic text, The Art of War, he teaches that only a foolish general goes into battle without a plan, but a general who sticks to the plan while in battle is equally foolish.

In a similar sense, I’ve learned that goals and methods are continually in flux and often resources appear...

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The Real Purpose of Letting Go: Reflection and How to

Letting go is a much harder lesson to embrace than holding on.

As a yoga teacher, I see this almost daily, expressed physically in class when the student on the mat is eager and willing to do “more” to deepen the postures: stretch further, kick harder, engage muscles with the dedication of an olympic champion.

But when the pose requires letting go and doing less instead of more, resistance sets in and sometimes even confusion, a lack of understanding for how to do less.

“Doing” embodies a more tangible thought process and effort.

“Letting go,” on the other hand, feels like doing “nothing” and is counter-intuitive. I see students (and myself) experience this as labored breathing, physical pain, and ultimately in reaching and maintaining a plateau in improvement both on and off the mat.

The real purpose of letting go is to allow faster movement toward a goal without outdated mindsets inhibiting the transformation.

Embrace...

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Summertime Self-Discovery: How to

Did you feel it? That shift in energy that came in with the Solstice last week?

It happens every year: Summer bursts in and the power of the season is either harnessed or wasted...

What are your favorite summer activities? I bet you already begin to harness Summer's innate energy. 

Summer's Fire Element makes this the season of the tongue! Talking, connecting, being together in community are all signs of living in harmony with the seasonal energy. 

Here's a quick recap of the three key empowerments Summer brings according to time-tested Taoist wisdom: 
  • Physically: Summer Season marks high tide for the large muscles, and the cardiovascular system, specifically energizing the heart and blood circulation and supercharging the flow of your life-force energy (prana or qi). 

This means you feel more awake, alive, and ready for action, and in command of your physical form.

  • Emotionally: Summer is season of the heart's joy, love, and...
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Channel the Energy of Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, is just around the corner on June 21.

The Sun will reach its zenith at the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. providing the most hours of daylight. Across the ages, ancient cultures celebrated Midsummer with fertility and harvest rituals and community events.

In the Taoist Wisdom Tradition which sources back to ancient Asia, Solstice ushers in the season of manifestation and joy.

We all feel it: that desire to be out doing, connecting with friends and creating the experiences that make summer so memorable.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and 5 Element Theory stems from these Ancient Taoist Wisdoms. The Summer Season connects to the Fire Element in early summer (now) and the Earth Element in late summer, which begins about 6 weeks after Solstice. 

The ancient masters studied the naturally repeating phases in nature and connected these rhythms to the human body, mind, and spirit. They observed a direct positive correlation...

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Resources: First for Women Magazine Yoga Collaborations

I collaborate throughout the year with First for Women Magazine on yoga articles.

Each one has a specialized topic, from yoga can you do at your desk, to yoga for thyroid, to yoga for hips, and more.

The latest article just published and focuses on yoga postures to soothe menopause symptoms. You can find it here.

For easy reference, below are links to past articles.

They are complete with pictures, step-by-step instructions into the postures, and are beginner friendly so all levels can succeed, even if you've never tried out these particular sequences. 

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How to Mingle at a Party Like a Boss

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Raise your hand if fear of being a wallflower, not knowing anyone, or tripping over your words has ever stopped you from attending a party or a networking event?

I meet new people at my studio daily, I’ve taught classes to packed conference rooms, and I've delivered a TEDx Talk to a crowd of hundreds.

I am the boss at planned classes, events, and conversations, literally, becasue I'm usually organizing the event these days! Yet for a long time, just the idea of attending a cocktail party or a networking event where I had to “just be myself” paralyzed me.

I lost confidence in myself during my 20's and 30's after getting sick and a string of poor relationships. I forgot that I had something valuable to offer other people, that I was just as interesting as the next person, and that I had my own...

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The Modern Yogi’s Maintenance Guide in 3 Easy Steps

 

My husband spent a large part of the holiday weekend doing maintenance at our yoga and wellness studio: painting, cleaning, changing light bulbs, polishing the wooden benches and cubbies. And it looks great! A fresh coat paint can make almost anything look new.

But it got me thinking... What do I do for personal regular daily maintenance, for my whole self, not just my living space? I don’t mean laundry and dishes, Marie Kondo decluttering, or even daily yoga or meditation.

I’m talking about the big picture vision of what I do regularly to nourish all levels of myself: body, mind, and soul.

I've distilled my personal “almost daily” maintenance into 3 bigger categories:

(I say almost because let’s keep it real: some days it just doesn’t happen, and that’s ok!)

Appearance 

I’m a believer that “when you feel good you look good” and when you look good, you feel good! So when the invisible hands of depression or anxiety...

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Mala Meditation Made Easy

When I first opened my yoga studio in 2007 and started teaching yoga and meditation, few of my student had ever seen a mala. Today, they are integrated into pop culture for fashion, but few people actually know how to use them aside from a funky outfit accessory. 

If you struggle with meditation and are seeking an easy way to begin, mala beads may be the answer.

What are mala beads?

A mala is a string of beads, sometimes separated by tiny knots. Traditionally the beads were made of sandalwood or hard, round seeds, but today you can find them made from various types of wood, crystals, or gemstones.

A standard string has 108 beads plus one additional distinct bead or tag, so you can mark the beginning and the end of the circle.

Mala bracelets are also popular and may have 18, 27, or 54 beads.

What are mala beads for?

Malas are a meditation tool. Each bead on the string is one inhale and exhale, one breath per bead, or one word or phrase of a chant, mantra, or prayer. (Similar...

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Mastermind for Presence, Purpose, and Passion

I just returned from a three day Mastermind Retreat in CA.

Up to three times a year I leave the comfort of the my own space and travel to connect with other people just like me — I have a mastermind group for online business owners looking to scale, a group for yoga studio owners seeking inspiration and support in running their businesses and I am forming a group that starts this summer for my clients who want to work inside an intimate group with me and other like minded people facing the same daily struggles and looking to live with more presence, purpose and passion. 

In a world of social media where we can connect instantly with others across the world and make a new friend at the click of a thumbs up sign, I believe people are actually becoming more isolated.

I admit that I often feel alone and disconnected which is why I gravitate toward working in smaller groups. I like to really know a person, past the surface of socially acceptable answers and get deep into the...

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