Staying Grounded During Times of Chaos

By Gentri Watson

Wow, what a whirlwind of a year it’s been already, and there are undoubtedly intense times ahead. You might find yourself feeling burned out and engaging in old familiar unhealthy habits. Maybe you’re riddled with anxiety and stress or just “blah.”  Now is a time for gentleness combined with tenacity, for incredible patience combined with perseverance, for great self-acceptance and radical self honesty. You might be thinking sarcastically, “Is that all?”

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Coming back to myself with nature

By Katie Cassidy

The stress is building and it feels like I’m in water up to my chin.  ‘I’m a good swimmer’ I tell myself, ‘I can handle this’. There are moments when it feels manageable. There are even hours or days where everything feels ok. And then…one more thing causes the water to rise just a few more inches and I find myself under water, overwhelmed and panicking.  I’m unable to catch my breath.  I’m unable to show up for myself or anyone else.  It sounds silly now, but it took me until my 40s to name this sensation…anxiety. 

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Resistance and avoidance in your yoga practice

By Beth Rusk

Have you ever had a hard time getting on your mat? We have all had those days, weeks or even months where the idea of rolling out our mat seems overwhelming. I, too, struggle with this, even though I dearly love and appreciate the practice of yoga. And this is why we call it a practice, every day is an opportunity to set new intentions and become better attuned to what is actually happening in our lived experiences.

We all show up to yoga for our own reasons, in our own time and in our own ways. As we recognize our own uniqueness we can begin to give ourselves permission to create our own unique daily practice. This way we allow yoga to be received as a gift and not another chore or thing we “have” to do. 

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Fear in the age of COVID

By Amy Robinson

NO FEAR reads the bumper sticker on the loud truck that backfires as it speeds by me. My body jumps and prepares to flee as my sympathetic nervous system kicks in with a rush of adrenaline telling my body to get to safety. When I realize that I’m not in danger, I laugh at the irony of the bumper sticker and continue walking to my yoga studio. It takes me 20 minutes into the class to calm down, feel my breath deepen and my heart rate slow, and for the cortisol rush to subside. 

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Racial Justice Resources

This is by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive list of the many organizations and individuals out there who work tirelessly in the name of racial justice. But these are a few we as a staff have found helpful in educating ourselves, learning and listening to black people and their lived experiences, and our ongoing work of taking our yoga practice off our mats and out to create meaningful change in the world.

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Creating and Sustaining A Home Practice

By Dani Colito

Like many of you, I am just starting to settle into the flow of being at home, working at home and now practicing yoga solely at home. At first creating a home practice can be a little intimidating, very much like walking into a yoga studio class for the first time. Creating and feeling comfortable while practicing at home, with the support of online classes can be a positive that comes out of all of this. I want to share some tips for creating and sustaining a home practice. .

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Ritualizing your Yoga Practice to Create Calm and Consistency

Every morning I drink a cup of water out of one of my (many) favorite mugs while I stand and look out the window (seeing how the lilac grows) and let the hot water kettle get my coffee water boiling. After that I put on a wiggly song and get my coffee brewing and stretch out my shoulders and sleep-stiff body while I wait to push down my coffee and have a hot cup all ready to go. Often the little blonde and pink bobbed heads of my daughters are milling around me, a dance partner might join in, and the kitten threads my ankles as I find a forward fold across ancient wood floors. I’m present. The interruptions, voices, and little lips stealing first sips are all part of the ritual. My presence, reverence, and deep breaths invite them in. 

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Using the lessons of yoga to dig out from feelings of shame

By Sondra Matara

The line at Costco was long, and as I settled in for the wait, I defaulted to the modern day way to mentally check out – I took out my phone. As it lit up with new messages and notifications, I saw one message that made my heart immediately sink into my stomach: I realized I had sent out a glaring mistake in one of my own professional communications. It had gone out to thousands of people, and had clearly been noticed. My sense of embarrassment went through the roof. My chest tightened up, my face grew hot, and I couldn’t focus on the mundane task I was in the middle of. I was immediately the center of my own “shame storm.”

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How can you play with your practice?

By Laura Orso

When I first began practicing yoga, it was at a gym. I had heard yoga was good for back pain and decided to give it a try. It was sweaty, and I wasn’t very good at it, but I kept going.

Eventually I fell in love with the practice, and I started exploring the variety of places that I could practice in. I went to a couple of studios, played around at home and outside, and noticed how different each of these experiences were. From the temperature of the room, to the music, to the practice itself, they all were distinctly different. None of them were better than the other, they were all unique–like trees, like people, each with their own gifts.

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Do you rush to judge? Why this habit may be self-sabotaging your own happiness

By Michal Retter

I don’t like to classify things as “positive” or “negative” because I believe that in the greater scheme of things, if we pull away from judging the circumstance as is, we often find an intelligence at work. There’s often an eventual purpose in a “bad” thing. Furthermore, sometimes a “good” thing quickly turns bad in light of just a few extra details.

When we were young, many of us could have sworn that we knew exactly what we wanted and made choices that felt so “right” only later to regret. And of course some things didn’t feel good at all, but have allowed us the position we hold today.

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