Archive for the ‘Yoga Poses (or Asana)’ Category


This past summer, I found myself in a social situation with another yoga teacher. Someone at our table was asking her about her classes, and she was testifying to their toughness: “Come to my classes and I’ll kick your ass,” she said.

She seems like a nice person, and so I chalked her response up to youth, enthusiasm, and misguided marketing. (I even wondered if I should write this, because if she sees it, I don’t want her to feel chastised. We simply have different viewpoints.) (more…)

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visvacomic1.jpgI know I’ve said in previous posts that I’m an advocate of trying new things.

At the beginning of the year, I suggested to my students that they choose a pose and work toward it throughout the year, breaking down the components and building their skills along the way. It’s important to have a sense of humor and lightheartedness in doing this. The yoga mat is no place for grim determination (we have our desks and highways for that!). I think that in the practice of yoga, it’s important to have curiosity and a sense of exploration that reaches beyond the things we do over and over again in yoga classes. One of my favorite yoga concepts is “lela”… the happy, creative life force. So in that spirit, I bring you my adventures with Visvamitrasana.

Namasté & Blessed Be.


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pinetip1.jpgI grew up listening to the music of Kate Wolf, a North Coast singer/songwriter, who described the “golden rolling hills of California”.

It’s true: For most of the year, the hills of Northern California are shades of gold and tan, the colors of field mice, cougars, and deer. But for a brief period in the spring, after the winter rains, and before the sun begins to bake our hillsides, the landscape around my home glows with shades of green. (An artist friend once said he couldn’t paint Sonoma County without a healthy tube of chromium oxide green.) But before the hills green, there is a brief period when it seems we’re awash in yellow. (more…)

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I have to say, I’m not a fan of New Years’ resolutions because I feel they are usually based in self-deprecation.

It’s as though we’ve developed a national tradition of beginning each year by picking ourselves apart, finding a fault, and setting a goal that will focus our attention on that fault, all year long.

I ask you: What kind of a way is that to begin a new year?


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I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by Pat Robertson’s view of yoga.

However, I thought that – in follow up to my earlier post, Yoga and Losing Your Religion – I’d share it with you. (Needless to say, Pat and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this, but I’m not surprised by that either.) (more…)

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Several years ago, one of my students brought a woman friend to class. She thought her friend, a Protestant minister, could benefit from yoga.

The woman was very polite during class, but gave my friend a stern little talk in the car on the way home. She couldn’t come to classes, she said, because it would be in conflict with her religion. (more…)

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I think that one of the hardest concepts for new yoga students to get their head around is that asana, or yoga poses, aren’t static.

They aren’t poses to be struck and held; they are a framework for movement, opening, and exploration – no matter how subtle these actions may be. (more…)

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jellyfish.jpegOn the dual subjects of expansion and contraction, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I’m posting this short video of the jelly fish at the aquarium.

Created by Stacy Alexander, the images are set to Ben Harper’s cover of Strawberry Fields. (more…)

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images.jpegRecently, on a fall trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I found myself mesmerized by the movement of the sardines in the large kelp forest tank.

Watching the school expand and contract, I was struck by how this seemed to occur without communication or effort. (more…)

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The adrenal glands sit right on top of the kidneys.

I don’t think anyone is going to argue with what I’m about to say: Americans are obsessed with transformation.

This may be rooted in the Protestant beginnings of the nation, or it may be deeper in the human psyche. But it seems that now, more than at any other point in time, we are culturally fascinated with media images of people who have undergone physical transformation, and the airwaves and print media abound with content focusing on weight loss, plastic surgery, miracle dentistry, and cosmetic overhauls. (more…)

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wpopu0708192.gifA friend of mine – one who obviously knows me well – emailed me this cartoon yesterday…

I found it so funny, I thought I’d share it with you. It’s an “Opus” panel by Berkeley Breathed, and it seems like the perfect follow up to my post about the death of Jerry Falwell. I sincerely hope Mr. Breathed won’t mind the use of his image here.


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It’s funny how once I start thinking about something, the theme seems to reappear throughout my daily experiences.

Not long after I started working on my last post about the western feminine gender polarity of yoga, I was in a class with Tony Briggs at Turtle Island Yoga in Marin County. (more…)

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People and dogs have cohabitated for many years. One group of researchers at UCLA thinks that dogs may have been domesticated as far back as 100,000 years ago.

So what does living with dogs teach us? (more…)

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One of the things I love to do at the end of a yoga class, when my students are settling into savasana, is to read them a poem. Sometimes the poems relate directly to yoga, other times, the connection is less obvious. (more…)

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