Category Archives: Yoga

#MondayMeditation: A New Day

textgram_1522628118.pngThis week brings about some big changes for me. As I’ve shared before, I’ve got a lot of changes going on in life, as we all do. I’m beginning to phase out my classes in Indy at Dragonfly 360. It’s bittersweet. What is now Dragonfly 360 was once All People Yoga Center, where I did my initial yoga training and is the place I think of as my yoga home in Indy. I will love having less time on the road but will miss the students who always bring such a great sense of community to classes there. Thank you to all who have joined me on my journey and thank you for allowing me to be a part of yours.

Love & peace,

Debra

 

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What’s Up Wednesday

0422151041Apologies to anyone subscribed to my blog. You may be getting some updates to old posts coming through in the next few days. My dear friend, fellow blogger and extremely conscientious human, The Hungry Philosopher, recently had an experience that has inspired me to go through and remove any images I did not create.

Thanks for your patience!

Debra

#TuesdayTunes: You Can Love Yourself

It’s February and that means Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. While I think celebrating love is something we need to do more often, my problem with Valentine’s Day is its focus on defining love in relation to being in a romantic relationship. Love is universal and should be celebrated as such. We can start by remembering that we are worthy of love and this song is one of my favorite reminders of that.

Enjoy!

Peace and love,

Debra

#MondayMeditation: Heart Chakra

I am love

In yoga, the heart is the seat of wisdom and love. Know that you are loving and you are loved. Meditate today on the mantra: I am love.

Peace and love,

Debra

#ThrowBackThursday: Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

photoThink yoga can only be done in a studio setting? Yoga can be done anywhere, including in the middle of a fashion mall concourse (pictured here).

I tend to be a very introverted person and at first was hesitant to practice where non-yoga practitioners could see me. This picture was taken not too very long after my ex and I first split, and I was both feeling lost and re-discovering my independence. It helped to be surrounded by supportive friends. Learning to push past my comfort zone helped me re-claim my strength.

I encourage you to look for places to practice that are outside the normal studio setting (like the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, where I just happen to teach on Mondays and Thursdays). It can give you a new perspective on your practice and yourself.

 

Peace and love,

Debra

#WellnessWednesday: Reclining Butterfly

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a sequence that included reclining butterfly. You’ll find this pose not just in yin and restorative classes, but in other hatha class as well.

How to do it: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor and bring the inside edges of your feet together. Bring the soles of the feet to come together while opening the knees wide. If your knees don’t rest on the floor, used blankets, yoga blocks or some other support to support the legs so that your muscles can relax. Turning your palms up helps roll the shoulders and collarbones open.

Benefits:

  • Increases blood circulation to the organs in the lower abdomen
  • Stretches the inner thighs and groins if the feet are close to the body; opens the connective tissue of the hip joint if the feet are farther away
  • Increases range of external rotation in the hips
  • Calms the nervous system

 

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Peace and love,

Debra

#TuesdayTunes: Lotus Sutra

Here’s what I’ve been listening to a lot lately. Enjoy!

 

Peace & love,

Debra

#MondayMeditation: Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra mantra

Winter is a time when we often spend more time than normal indoors due to weather and shorter days. We often feel stuck in a rut. To help get rid of those feelings, try meditating on the sacral chakra (svadisthana) to help yourself feel more creative. So find a comfortable seat or reclined position, focus on the space between the pubic bone and belly button, and repeat the following mantra: I am creative. I am confident. I am at secure.

Peace out,

Debra

#ThoughtfulThursday: A Yin Yoga Resource List

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A teacher friend of mine introduced me to yin yoga a long time ago by teaching it occasionally in her yoga classes. I have to admit I didn’t love it at first. The long holds were a challenge for me to settle into and coming out of the poses made me feel like my joints were super old. I learned to accept the practice eventually and realized that it improved my more yang yoga practice.
Fast forward years later to when I was looking at teacher training programs. At that point, my intent was deepen my own practice and not teach. The evening I visited, the studio was culling some of their books and offered them to trainees and those of us visiting. I was looking over the books, when one of the trainers handed me Paul Grilley’s book. She simply said, “This looks like what you need.” I wasn’t sure what to think, but I love yoga and I love books so I thought, “What the heck.”
Fast forward again, and I teach yin yoga three times per week. It’s one of my favorite styles of yoga to practice and to teach. Here are some of the resources I use when I teach with a brief review of each.
Note: All of the resources here have sample practices included.
Clampett, Cheri, and Biff Mithoefer. The therapeutic yoga kit: sixteen postures for self-Healing through quiet yin awareness. Healing Arts Press, 2009.

I love Biff Mithoefer’s yoga kits. You get a book with discussion of the poses and more, a CD to use for practice or listen to cuing tips, and flashcards that are helpful to use when teaching. I admittedly haven’t used this kit as much as the one listed below, but this is a great resource for yin/restorative classes.

Clark, Bernie. The complete guide to yin yoga: the philosophy & practice of yin yoga. White Cloud Press, 2012.

This is by far the book I used the most. It has lots of detail about the poses and counterposes, the meridians, and a lot more. It’s fabulous.

Grilley, Paul. Yin yoga: outline of a quiet practice. White Cloud Press, 2002.

This is a great quick read from the person who helped make yin yoga what it is today. This is the book that made me want to dive deeper into yin.

Mithoefer, Biff. The yin yoga kit: the practice of quiet power. Healing Arts Press, 2006.

Like the kit referenced above, this is very user-friendly. I use the flashcards the most as quick reference points during classes. It’s also great to use the CD when I want to practice yin at home without keeping a constant eye on the clock.

Powers, Sarah. Insight yoga. Shambhala, 2009.

I use this resource the least but it’s good nonetheless. I did a great weekend intensive workshop with Sarah Powers several years ago and her perspective on yin has definitely influenced the way I teach. This is a great resource for those who want to mix more yang elements into their practice or teaching.

Feel free to share any resources you use or questions you have in the comments below.

Peace and love,

Debra

#WellnessWednesday: Easy Resting Pose

Last week, I shared a sequence that included easy resting pose. Easy resting pose, sometimes called constructive rest, is exactly what it name says: a simple shape that allows deep rest for the mind and the body.

How to do it: Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, allowing the knees to fall toward each other. Let your hands rest comfortably on your rib cage. Support your head with a folded blanket. Set a timer for the amount of time you would like to practice. Soften the low back and the hips. Direct your breath to anywhere you feel tension. Then allow yourself to just be.

Benefits: This pose relaxes the whole body and releases tension in the iliopsoas muscle.

Peace and love,

Debra

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