Ebb & Flow

Month: November, 2013


I was sick last week and had a tough time getting it all back together. I was tired, and nothing much appealed to me but sleep and no food was very tantalizing without taste buds except for the crunch of rice cakes. It took a few days for me to get over my Flu2013 stoop but I’m glad I’m out!

For anyone in a rut this is a great writing exercise that I found to be very beneficial.

“It’s time you started living accordingly.
We think failure is forever. Wrong.
We think embarrassment can’t be recovered from. We think losing is the end of the world. Reprogram yourself.
You can cover up a bad tattoo. You can heal a broken bone. You can get into another relationship. You can move to a new city. Nothing is forever. You can recover from anything. No mistake is forever and most are easier to recover from than you think they are. Do this now. Below, write down the first act you will take as your new self – the one that cannot die and for which failure is insignificant. Have it be something you are seriously afraid of. Something that makes your heart beat fast. Then, after you’ve written it down, do it.”

– by Julien Smith. You can read the whole blog post here.







The most interesting aspect of meridian energy I found was how consistent Chinese Medicine is with ailments that we experience ourselves all the time. Western medicine is focused on disease, and many times there is no direct answer for why there is something wrong-if there is no medical test to prove it.

Chinese Medicine is an accumulation of knowledge that can track down a system or multiple body systems that are unbalanced and prescribe behaviors, foods and herbs to alter this. When we mentioned kidney energy and how excess could lead to the urge to urinate, could be an issue with courage and willpower I could see how this would also apply to Western Medicine and proves correct, just in different words.

In anatomy class we conducted a lab which included drinking 16 oz of water, salt water and coffee per half hour. I was assigned the coffee and we looked at the amount of urine and the concentration of salts in the urine.

I would’ve been the most dehydrated by the end because the caffeine inhibits our ability to create diluted urine to conserve salts. I excreted a large amount of urine, but the solute value remained relatively low. I was very thirsty, dizzy and hyper by the end of class and after going twice every hour, on the hour I still felt thirsty and like I had to go again! Kidney energy and caffeine is powerful stuff.


Here’s a video from OSHO that I found hilarious. If I ever have a situation where I’m being asked aggressive questions I want to use this one.

[3 mins]”I want you…..to come to my bathroom”

“I have never asked anyone to my bathroom before….but I have never like any man as I like you .”





Kumare was very amusing, in a very subtle way. I enjoyed that he was not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. He did not point out flaws or benefits of following a guru and changing their lives so drastically. He allowed that to be up for interpretation, and the entire time he told his followers, “I’m an illusion, you are the real guru, do not believe the eye.”

His outfits, contagious laughter and outrageous behavior were spot-on. You started to see the change in him, he seemed melancholy at the start, but the more he pretended to be Kumare, the more happy and easy-going he became. His job was to be happy all the time, if that were everyone’s job-boy would the world be another place.

It’s fun to toy with the idea that maybe we would all be happy if we let ourselves believe that we are doing and we are-exactly where we want to be. No one likes to be at work 5 minutes to close, but if we convince ourselves that it’s fun and we wouldn’t rather be anywhere else-maybe we can fool ourselves (and those around us) that we are having fun-and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. You would definitely make their night more fun too, no one wants to be with someone who’s somewhere else (they don’t care a lick about you!)

So that’s what I got from Kumare, don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. But don’t sell yourself short and always wish you were somewhere else. Be happy and be present and be happy with the world around you, you decide how to treat the day and others.

Yin homework


The parasympathetic systems assists with “rest and digest” in the body. This system conserves energy by slowing the heart rate. 

The sympathetic system is part of the autonomic nervous system. It’s primary function is the fight or flight response. When this response is activated by a stressor (say being chased by a cougar) the pupils dilate, sweating increases, blood pressure and heart rate increase to prepare the body to run (flight) or to fight back (fight.)


These systems are important to understand for yoga because in modern society our sympathetic nervous system is overworked, being late for work, social conflict or road rage could illicit an unexpected “fight or flight” response and we have no way to distinguish between a true and a socially accepted as true-fear.

Yoga calms the mind, slows the heart rate and creates a calming effect via the parasympathetic nervous system. The body can now heal from the damage caused by the excess adrenaline released during stress. Focusing on your breath, forgetting negative thoughts from your busy day and focusing on what you are doing when you practice can greatly benefit the body and the mind.

Vinyasa Sequencing

Hello :] for all who were unable to make it to this weekends class here are some snapshots at what we worked on. We practiced inversions and created our own Vinyasa sequence for fun. Don talked about the importance of Self practice, to help us remember and test what feels right in the body.

Outline of a Vinyasa Class

Sun Salutations (5a:5b) 15 minutes

Flow and standing

Cool down (seated)-last 15 minutes


Cue the breath: Inhale fill the balloon exhale deflate

-Use the wall to practice hip rotation in warrior 1 and 2 (back foot flush with the wall.

warrior 1=closed

warrior 2=open

Key phrases: “Toes forward-knees follow toes” this helps keep knees from collapsing in. Another good one-“knees point to the pinky toe”

Set yourself according to the classroom you are in. Are there windows, maybe set up in different ways to keep it fresh.

Inversions to try: headstands, scorpion and maybe handstands


5 Magic Steps for a Yoga Sequence


1.  Centering

Bringing the practice inward in the room and in the body-towards the heart. Ex: teacher in the middle of the room, hands at heart center, jumping to the middle of the mat.

2. Sun Salutation

This is found in vinyasa and bikyasa, it is a warm up for the body and establishes the poses necessary for the rest of practice.

3. Standing

These poses focus on balance on one and two legs. They are held in vinyasa flow for an additional amount of work.

4. Group on the floor in all directions

In Bikyasa during floor work, we are conscious to counteract the stretch if we perform a camel by following it with camel. During final wind release we are sure to hold the knee out to the left and right side of the body after bridge and plow to be sure it is stretched in all directions.  (This could also be a form of encouraging centering-by stretching outwards from the center.)

5. Savasana 

So essential to have savasana! After all of that hard work, it is helpful to let your body digest what it has done and to spend time meditating what you have learned from your practice and how you will use that information to better your practice in the future.


My first yoga class…ever

It was so fun! What a wonderful group of students Megan and I had. Several of them were brand new and they were oh-so-patient with us. I apologize for my little verbal farts (“put your wrist to your elbow…?”)

Other than that I would’ve focused more on making the transitions smooth. There were some technical difficulties with the iPod but those were very minor. Remembering how to get into savasana and seated position for a water break seems minor, but that really makes a big difference. Other than that, the flows were so much fun! Thank you to my classmates who were my rockstar models, I was able to watch them and give good verbal cues as to left and right hands and legs.

Each class you’ll make little mistakes and learn from them. Here are my number one tips for new teachers….

1. Make your playlist longer than expected (have a back up opening and sun salutation just in case!

2. Learn the transitions, love the transitions, know the transitions, trust me.

3. Relax and talk to your students, don’t just stare at them as they walk in, it’s good to be familiar with your voice.

4. Make sure technology works and that you are all comfortable with how it works.

5. Don’t stress, have fun, laugh and make fun of yourself if you can.

6. It is hot in there! Be prepared.

7. Don’t keep saying, “The hard part is over.” I did, it’s a nervous tick, you lose trust and will receive many-a-groans hehe

Relax. You’ll do great. just step up and do it 😀

Daily Minimum-Introduction to Ashtanga

At first glance at Sun Salutation A and B I thought, in comparison to Bikyasa- it will be easy! No memorizing multiple sequences. I was surprised by the work your body and brain had to put into the movements. My first chaturanga closely resembled a face plant.

(When I practiced later at home, it had improved but my dog still ran over and licked my face to make sure I was ok.)


It’s definitely going to be a transition for me, going from Bikyasa to Vinyasa, but so far I love it. I like the freedom, the with music and body movement and I can play too. I like the option of being able to do the action with the class versus giving verbal cues. I do think that having that skill so necessary for Bikyasa, is beneficial for teaching Vinyasa.

I’m excited to play with the different flows we’ve learned and creating something fun to practice 😀