All posts tagged: exhale

Attitude of Gratitude? Not so much.

While we all know that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is a part of living our most joyful life, how can we authentically do this when we are less than grateful?  Feeling ashamed or guilty about the “real” nature of our feelings, or pretending to be thankful for what we would have very much preferred to say “NO thank you” to in our lives gets in the way of happiness and creativity.  What if your heart is broken?  What if you are in terrible pain without relief in sight?  What if you have received terrifying news that has changed your life in an even more awful way?  Even with all the joyful self-help gurus and happy, shiny, advanced yogi specialists beaming at you from their glossy magazines promising peace and abundance for all your expressions of gratitude, and even as much as you wish to crawl into their tie-dyed yoga pants and bask in the bliss of all that they proclaim and stand for, the truth is that when your life is going to Hades in a …

Art of the Inhale

At Yoga Matrika, an intimate community-based yoga studio in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, I offer a class three times a week called Body, Breath and Mind.  These are intermediate level yoga classes with a holistic approach to yoga practices including asana, pranayama, energy anatomy,philosophy and ethics and meditation. This week, one of the pranayama exercises we will practice is Anuloma Krama.  This beautiful breathing practice starts with a complete exhale.  The empty lungs are then filled in two sips of breath with a pause between.  In this sweet ode to the in-breath, we pause to appreciate what it feels like to be full of potential, energy and life.  Then, we realize that we can open just a little bit more.  Then, we pause in this great state of expansion and life before returning to where we began, with a complete exhale. While these instructions are given here for general use, it is important to note that: Many people should not hold their breath, including women who are pregnant.  Please ask your doctor if you have any …

Mindful Focus of the Week

Last week, the focus for Mindful Yoga was “the organs.”  We learned to support asana using the internal structures of the body and acknowledge our organs for all that they do.  This week, our focus is the sacral center (2nd Chakra).  I always pick a focus based on what I am working on in my personal practice and recently, for the first time in years, I managed to aggravate my sciatic nerve.  It’s hard to say how I did it—-Demonstrating a reverse triangle when I wasn’t warmed up?  Carrying a heavy messenger bag on one shoulder?  Sitting with my legs crossed for too long?  Good news is that it doesn’t matter how it happened, only that it’s over now and the experience provided inspiration to give some juicy love to the sacrum this week. The sacral area is associated with creativity and when we create and acknowledge sensation here we are filled with optimism, passion and direction.  Life is vibrant! If you can’t make it to Mindful Flow on Tuesday night at Yoga Matrika in …

Desire & Deserve

I was recently supervising my preschooler in the tub and, while he engaged in an imaginary battle between a Thomas the Tank Engine bath squirter and a Fisher Price fisherman, decided to pick up my shampoo bottle and read the text.  This text informed me that, by using this particular product, I would obtain results that would give me the hair that I both desired and deserved. The desired part, I could identify with.  Of course, I desire healthy, shiny, full, fresh smelling and bouncy hair with appropriate fullness.  I certainly desire to protect my hair from anything that might cause damage.  This may be a whole lot of hope to place in dead skin cells, but I could not deny as I read the back of that bottle that, yes, I desired these things.  Admittedly, I also made my purchase with some hope that using this particular product would, in fact, help me obtain a head of hair that had just this list of delicious qualities.  For those of you who know me, I …