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Entries Tagged as 'Yoga Teacher Training'

Get Yoga in Schools!

November 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments

I am a yoga teacher.  Daily, I teach an average of 3 hours of yoga to children under the age of 12.  Every child at my school gets yoga.  I am lucky and I believe the children are lucky, too.  This is not the norm in California, nor is it the norm for schools in general.  On average, in our town, children get physical education in the public schools, once per week and it is NOT yoga!  And, this might change again as well! Budget cuts, etc..You’ve heard the news, you know.

I believe children should have many many opportunities to experience both yoga and outside play!  There is much to be learned about themselves and others through body knowledge!



Knowing both sides of the coin in this situation {as an ex-public school teacher}, it is going to take a MOUNTAIN of effort to even get yoga in schools. Test scores versus yoga?! Test scores will win, however, if the pressure for more physical education came from parents, teachers, administration and the community, together we might MOVE that mountain!


If you are passionate about yoga or even keeping kids active in school, please visit this website and check it out.

YOGA-RECESS in Schools

Fighting Obesity and Chronic Illness

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

Manduka Gets a Facelift!

September 13th, 2010 · No Comments



And, enter yourself to win free yoga for a year!

Click here to read about all the amazing things Manduka is doing for yoga and the community.

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

Just Take a Breathe Already!

February 24th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Today, in the middle of a yoga class of 15 primary children, I was reminded of something incredibly simple and vital to my mental sanity. One breathe. Doesn’t matter what pose, if I only focus on the inhale 1, 2, 3 and the exhale 1, 2, 3, I can feel peace or calmness. Awareness of the class, the mat, and the children, but, still completely calm- one moment at a time.

Admittadly, I am not yet a meditator of any sort- even though I am thoroughly educated on the benefits…but, just the power of stopping and taking a breathe can be so soothing.  Yoga is about breathe and as a teacher, I have tended to focus on the sequence but, today, maybe I can offer that bit of calmness to a student?

Try it. I will be.

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

Warrior Yoga by Trudie Styler

January 27th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Guest Post Written by Penny (my amazing workout buddy).

Trudie Styler’s Warrior Yoga workout is truly a gift.  I had no expectations except that it might have some “dancing” in it.  I don’t know about you, but when I hear yoga and dancing in the same sentence I get the feeling that the spirit of yoga (mind and breath) is gone and it’s all about someone trying to make some money with yet another “yoga” workout.  So not true with Trudie Styler and James D’Silva’s beautiful yoga practice on this DVD.  I say “practice” because the essence of the yoga on this DVD feels like a spiritual bath in true Indian Yogic tradition that refreshes not only your body but your mind. It is the harmonious blend of the flowing yoga poses with the smooth and ego-less voice of James D’Silva mixed with the soothing background music of Sting and the beautiful Italian countryside that creates a full-sensory opportunity to really be in the moment and breathe and feel peaceful.

I didn’t know all of this until I began the DVD; but I now know I have found a yoga DVD that I can turn to when I need to have the perfect combination of a gentle flow yoga “workout” and a calming, peaceful experience. Just right for a busy mom who needs to take some time for herself so she can treat herself and her family with kindness.  The first time I put the DVD on I was in big need of an attitude adjustment but I couldn’t get out and go to a yoga class or even get on a walk by myself.  I had my two children with me and I was landlocked in the house.  Normally, my children climb all over me during an in-the-house yoga practice and I was gearing up for the same.  I’m not sure if it was the calming nature of James D’Silva’s voice or the soothing sounds of Stings music, but they played so peacefully and nicely during the entire 50 minute workout! I think it had a similar effect on them as it did me. I’ll take it.

As a bonus, the DVD also has an express 25 minute workout and interviews and meditations with Trudie Styler, Sting and James D’Silva. The scenery of Sting and Trudy’s Il Palagio estate is breathtaking and their philosophy of taking care of the environment is inspiring.    Thank you Trudie and James and Sting for making this DVD…it truly feels like a gift.

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

New Post on Read Breathe!

November 10th, 2009 · No Comments

Teaching Yoga to Kids!

Here is the link.

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

How I’ve Broken All the Fitness Rules and Won

October 1st, 2009 · 2 Comments

How many of you are tired of hearing about how you can lose 2 dress sizes in 2 weeks? Believe the crap about eating cereal twice a day will help you lose weight? Eating this or that will bring the changes you want to see in your body? Or how about lifting weights? Interval work, blah blah blah…You’ve heard it all before and so have I. I’ve also tried many of the current fitness rages and blogged about them here. I’m here to tell you that I’ve thrown all those damn rules out the door!

Kettlebell swing, kettlebell squats, one arm leg lunges, abdominal work with a kettlebell; all been done here.

Marathoning. Check.

Bike Racing. Check.

Basic Weight Training on the Shawn Phillips philosophy. Check.

David Kirsh’s methods of training via his book (2 weeks to Ultimate Body). Ok, book read, exercises tried, but did not follow plan.

Interval work on bike or feet. Check.

People, I could send you links to evidence to all of the above posts. In the last two years, I’ve tried MANY MANY methods in which to stay fit and healthy and lose body fat. At this point, finally, my youngest is 3 and 1/2 and my weight is lighter than I’ve ever been in my life. My food is fairly intuitive in that I eat a green smoothie, a salad, mostly fish diet, that includes dark chocolate, lots of NUMI tea, occasional beers and sometimes, crap. But, for the most part, I am leaner and lighter than I’ve ever been in my life.

Guess what?!

I AM NOT LIFTING WEIGHTS. AT ALL. That 35 pound kettlebell is sitting in my garage collecting dust. My stability ball is my desk chair. The elastic bands are used as jump ropes for my kids. The weight bench is used for all kinds of imaginary adventures for the boys but I’ve not lifted, pulled or flexed on that thing in almost a year.

Honestly, I still do something physical daily. But, the fact of the matter is that I am not specifically training with any particular plan. I simply run or do yoga. Once a week, I will do Graeme’s CORE AB-Blaster DVD that takes 14 minutes. That sounds simple enough right? The thing with the yoga is that it has made me stronger and leaner than I ever got lifting weights. When I was lifting weights 3 times a week, I was QUADZILLA!! Biggest legs of a girl you’ve ever seen, really. Take one yoga pose like Warrior 2. Hold it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Feel the burn. Where do you feel it first? If it’s done correctly, you will feel it everywhere!! Take any yoga pose and hold it for even 5 breathes and you get tired. Because it is working your entire body at once!

Learning yoga has been the best gift I ever could have gotten for my body, for my mental health and for my sports. When people ask me about their various running related injuries, I send them to yoga.

It can only benefit you.

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Tags: Book Reviews · Cycling, cycling apparel, accessories · Fantastic workouts · Racing, Events, · Running · Things that motivate me · Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery · health and fitness

5 Highly Beneficial Yoga Poses for Athletes

August 21st, 2009 · 2 Comments

Are you sitting in a chair right now? Have you been in one for more than an hour today? How about your bike? 1 hour? Run? Everything I do as a mother or as an athlete involves my hip flexors. They are seriously tight. TIGHT. You (and me) need to make serious efforts to practice having a balanced body and to open the areas of tightness in our bodies. For most of us, that means we need to work on the REVERSE of what you do daily. I believe that we need to work on opening the hip joint area with stretches for the hip flexors, backbends and twists.

Yoga is also about paying attention- to the little things that are happening in your body. And iit’s about listening to your body and learning when to back off. Looking at these poses now, I know exactly what is happening in my body during the poses are where I need to do work, do you?

Please check with Yoga Journal for instructions!

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Why? It opens the entire body from the fingertips to the toes. Opens the hamstrings, shoulders and strengthens the quadriceps. It is technically an inversion and it will strengthen the entire shoulder girdle area. Important to remember to hug the biceps and triceps to the bone.

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Cobra. This pose is deceivingly hard! Roll the shoulder blades down the back, press evenly into the hands, scrape the elbows close to the body and lift the sternum away from the navel. If you have tight hip flexors this is also beneficial. I think this is one pose that gets overlooked but is highly valuable to athletes because it is a strengthening pose as well as an opening pose for the hip flexors!

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High Lunge or also preparation for Crescent (which would have the arms extended overhead). Massive hip opener for the extended leg. The hardest part for me in yoga is teaching my body how to be “on”! For me, this pose is learning how to engage the inner thigh of the standing leg and get it to spin up towards the ceiling. Also, to remember to engage the quadriceps of the extended leg.

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Camel or Ustrasana. For those of you with tight hip flexors this pose is wicked hard! In talking to my teacher about backbends the other day, she suggested I work on this pose daily rather than the full backbend. Camel pose opens the hip flexors, thighs and abdominal muscles and it opens the shoulders and chest. Looking at him, he makes the pose look easy! But, for us athletes, this pose is massively hard! It’s important to remember to send the sternum to the toward the ceiling and keep the inner thighs releasing back towards the wall behind you.

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Finally! A rest pose. Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose). Lovely. All athletes should do this daily. Why? Because it will release fluid in the legs- it is the exact opposite of what we do all day every day. There are many benefits of this pose- it’s an inversion, it’s restorative, according to my Yoga Works manual, it will stimulate the adrenal glands and kidneys and circulation to the lungs!

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Tags: Cycling, cycling apparel, accessories · Running · Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

Inspiring Story

August 12th, 2009 · No Comments

The following link is a story about a girl who left her position at Morgan Stanley to teach yoga.

I am inspired by this as she is following her heart to teach what she loves.

Image Taken From Here.

And, I will end with a quote by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God (of the Universe). Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

What is your dream for yourself and the world?

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Tags: Things that motivate me · Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

Why working on your backbends can help your running

August 11th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Runners and cyclists spend all their time in the sagital plane. That is moving forward and back and not side to side. We spend our time flexing our hip flexors to do the desired activity: run or bike. These types of activities can lead to incredibly TIGHT hip flexors. Tight hip flexors can inhibit your performance on the bike or on a run and over time, tightness in the hips can lead to injury. {I hear Coach Al in my head! Had an ongoing issue with tendonitis of my right knee last fall} So, even doing 5 poses a day can benefit your sport- and I mean any sport whether you are an active mom or a gym rat or an endurance athlete- yoga can do wonders for the body!

What are some of the general benefits of backbends?

1. Strengthens the legs, back, arms and shoulders

2. Stretches the front of the body: chest, belly and hip flexors

3. Opens the abdomen, chest, upper back, shoulders, arms and hip flexors

So, how do I do a backbend?!

I’m here to demonstrate some of the ways you can work on your backbend. And, I am referring to Upward Facing Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana). There are lots of poses that are backbends- but this it the big one. And guess what? I am still working on it!

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Position A: Work towards the hand position by standing close to the wall and working your triceps in towards your ears and place your hands on the wall. This is harder than it looks!

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Position B: Bridge pose with a block between the thighs. I need to retrain my inner thighs to do work. You can also see that my feet are turning out and they should be parallel.

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Position C: Feet on block with feet parallel, crown of the head on the floor, elbows hugging in, palms pushing into the floor.

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Position D: Feet parallel, elbows hugging in, hands on blocks, crown of the head on the floor.

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Positon E: Blocks are tipped up against the wall, start with the crown of the head on the floor, then push up. Feet should be parallel.

This final pose for me felt the best! Also, it took us (kids were photographers) at least fifteen times to get the pictures right, so the more I worked on it, the higher my head was coming off the ground! Backbends are serious work. Baby cobra or low cobra is also a backbend, so pay careful attention when moving through that pose in a yoga class.

A Big Thank You!

lucy-wristbands

Thank you to Lucy Sportswear for providing me with this outfit for purposes of review. I love the outfit and will plan on wearing it to my teaching jobs in the future!

Also wanted to let you know that if you are near a Lucy store this week (starting August 12th) they are giving away hot pink sweatbands FREE to all customers. Click here to download coupon {will be ready on Aug.12}.

P.S. If you are new to yoga, I strongly urge you to find a good teacher to guide you through your yoga practice. These pictures are for demonstration purposes only and should not be done unless you can be responsible for your own body.

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Tags: Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery

In pursuit of balance; work or play?

August 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

Happily, I am finally getting my groove back!  My training ended at the end of June and I was exhausted- mentally, physically and emotionally.

That was a massive training, people.

I think my mind was just in a daze for the whole month of July- just do what you have to survive and that’s it.

But, I am coming alive now!  I positively love trail running and just recently signed up for the Wine Country Half Marathon in Calistoga (Oct. 31st) to do just for fun.  No time goals and no pressure- just for FUN!  There are a few bike races left in the season and I will likely drag my feet and do them…I love bike racing but, am not feeling the love for it at the moment. And yoga.  Lots of it as much as possible.  Haven’t lifted a kettlebell in months?! Yikes. What’s got into me on that? I can only be passionate about a few things at a time, ha ha ha.

So many goals, so little time!

Since becoming a stay at home mom, all I’ve ever wanted was to earn money doing something I love.   If you love it, then, it won’t feel like work.  It’d be like play.  I also think then when you are going in the right direction that the doors will open for you and when you’re not, the doors will close.  My doors started opening when I was granted that partial scholarship to Yoga Works. And, then, I got hired to teach yoga at my kids’ school!  And, I am happy with all that.  And, if I could just squeeze in a few classes a week in my community, I would be thrilled!

So, I will leave you with a playlist of my most favorite songs, at the moment! Enjoy!


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

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Tags: Cycling, cycling apparel, accessories · Running · Things that motivate me · Workout music · Yoga Teacher Training · Yoga, Pilates, Recovery