Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~Rumi

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Recent Blog Posts

January 24, 2014 |

A Loving-Kindness Meditation Practice: Relationships and Self

Attending a guided meditation with Alejandro at Yoga Mala this Wednesday morning, I was reminded of a practice that has been and continues to be transformative for me. The practice, which comes from the Metta tradition of Buddhism is focused on cultivating Maitri, or loving-kindness/unlimited friendliness. Every time I use this beautiful tool, I am surprised by what comes up for me, and the way the contemplation gently guides me to a new level of acceptance, sublimating negativity with positive and peaceful feelings around all the relationships in my life – including those that are most difficult. In this Maitri meditation practice, you visualize your relationships, moving sequentially through four of them specifically. It...

December 4, 2013 |

Aparigraha (Non-possessiveness, Non-grasping)

Aparigraha is one of the five yamas of the Eight-Limbed Path as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.             Definitions of aparigraha: Non-acceptance, renouncing (of possessions besides the necessary utensils of ascetics) Non-reception of gifts which are too luxurious or bind you to the giver Non-coveting (covet=to want something [that you do not have] very much; yearn to possess or have something) Non-grasping In Sanskrit, the a at the beginning of a word means ‘not’ or ‘non,’ making it the opposite or absence of parigraha. Definitions of parigraha: Attachment to material objects Acquisitive & accumulative behavior, greed, possessiveness Egoistic possessiveness (similar to grasping), making things one’s own Right off, we...

November 16, 2013 |

Ashtanga Yoga, and Delving into the Eight Limbs of Practice

In my classes over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at what are generally known as the Eight Limbs of Yoga as written by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtras. I’s my understanding that Ashtanga Yoga is named such because Guruji, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois wanted his students to become and remain grounded in the practice of all of these Eight Limbs. In Sanskrit, ashta=eight and anga=limb. Many yoga lineages consider the Eight Limbs and the Yoga Sūtras an important part of the teachings and practice. Here are four versions/translations of Verse 28 from the Sādhana Pāda, or Book II (2) of the Yoga Sūtras: II-28 “By dedicated practice of the various aspects of...

October 7, 2012 |

Ahimsa: Non-Violence

Ahimsa (non-violence) is an important part of yoga philosophy, and one of the yamas (guidelines for living well) on the eight-fold path (eight limbs) of yoga. We can think of this in many ways. Non-violence towards others. It may be obvious that we do not want to harm or kill other humans. We also want to root out violence in our feelings, thoughts, words and actions towards all beings. Are passive-agressive remarks to your friend or spouse violent? What about violent thoughts about the driver that cut you off in traffic? If we take more resources than we need, are we being violent towards other people? towards animals? towards nature? Is eating meat violent...

September 9, 2012 |

The Moving Meditation of Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga is meditation. It’s about being present to whatever is going on in your body, in your mind, in your emotions, in your heart, in the world….. I currently teach two group classes at Yoga Mala in Bloomington: Ashtanga Primary Series (modified) at 6pm on Tuesdays, and Ashtanga Basics (modified & more introductory) at 5pm on Fridays. The Ashtanga primary series is a set, flowing sequence of poses, beginning with several sun salutations, and followed by many standing postures. These help us build a grounded, resilient foundation. Seated postures then bring us down to the earth, to the floor. The seated sequence in the primary series is organized around forward-bending, and may help us...

July 17, 2012 |

Bring on the New Age Music

I’ve had new age music pouring into my ears 30 hours a week for the last eleven years. My non-massage therapist friends cringe when I say this out loud. I get it. Bad new age music is as awful as bad pop music, and the good stuff doesn’t always make it to the masses. This is so unfortunate. Music and sound can be healing. Please visit The Healing Music Organization to find out more about the science and art behind this. “Certain types of sounds and music have a proven effect in creating states of relaxation, balance, healing and visualization. Generally these include certain types of lyrical, flowing melodies and chord arrangements. Certain of...

June 20, 2012 |

Thai Massage: It’s Beautifully Different from Yoga

Thai Massage and Hatha Yoga are quite similar, and beautifully different. Have you noticed Thai Massage is popping up in yoga studios everywhere these days? Perhaps you’ve been wondering what it is and what the heck it has to do with yoga. Is it yoga? Indeed, Thai Massage is suddenly in yoga studios all across the United States. You might find it as part of an acro-yoga or partner-yoga class, or as a supplement to hands-on-adjustment techniques for yoga teachers. It’s sometimes called “Thai Yoga Massage” in the west, though I’ve never heard my Thai teachers use this term (I don’t use it either, preferring to honor the uniqueness & evolution of each form). Plenty...

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