Welcome to Yogi Sticks!

Do you know your Gomukasana from your Adho Mukha Svanasana? Is your Vrksasana all it can be? And how do you feel about Supta Baddha Konasana? Do you know what I'm even talking about?

Sometimes the Sanskrit - however beautiful it sounds - is not very helpful. So, to encourage my students to expand their yoga practice into their home, I sketch the poses we practice during class on a chart and add the Sanskrit and common name. Hopefully, this is a useful tool to help them along in their yogic journey. I also troll the internet, books, and journals to find interesting articles about yoga and the yogic lifestyle.

Post-Thanksgivng Thanks

Thank you for allowing me to guide your yoga explorations. It is truly an honor and a joy. I hope it contributes to your health and well-being.


11-15 Breath Awareness, 11-17 Feet, and 11-24 Side Body

This set of poses was inspired by my weekend workshop with Tias Little. Always move with the breath and remember that sometimes small movements with awareness are often more constructive (and instructive) than big, fancy poses! Look for more series from Tias in the future!

Quote: "Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." -Mother Teresa Feet are soooo critical in every aspect of life. We spend so much time in restrictive shoes and on hard, even surfaces. This spells trouble for ankles, knees, hips, and on up the line. So take some time each day to stretch your feet.

Aristotle provided the quote for tonight's practice: "Happiness is an act of virtue in a complete life."

These flows were designed to move with the breath - one pose moving with the inhale and the partner pose moving with the exhale. Take the time to notice where the breath leads you - is it constricted somewhere? What does the breath do to the spine? Can your breath lead you to more comfort in the pose? This kind of moving meditation allow us to develop a mind that clings to nothing.
Quote from practice: "The most wasted of all days is that during which one has not laughed."
-Nicolas de Chamfort

Daily Om

Interested in some stimulating conversation each morning? Wanting to tip-toe into your inner self a bit more? Take a look at Daily Om. Each day, an article comes to your email's in-box to ponder. Sometimes it is about finances ("Heal Your Money Karma") and other times it is a bit more soul-searching ("Resurrecting the Soul"). Just a few paragraphs everyday may provide just the taste of yoga you are craving each day off your mat. And when you are ready to practice on your mat, you know where to find me!

Tias Little Is Here!

Tias Little, the internationally known yoga instructor, is going to be in the studio this week! It is an honor to host such an innovative, intellectual, inspiring yogi. He brings his love of literature, history, architecture, and anatomy into his yoga practice. Even if you don't get a chance to study with him in person, please take a moment to visit some of his postings on YouTube to enjoy his thoughtful teaching.

Check the Yoga4All website for his schedule, as well as books and CDs by Tias Little.

11-8 Shoulder Flexibility and Stability

Take it easy on your shoulders - they are complicated and easily made cranky! Personally, my shoulders and I are still getting to know each other...and are relationship is not an easy one! But, I always feel more relaxed after working through some of the tension that builds up around my shoulders, neck, and upper back.

There are dozens of traditional poses that focus on the shoulders. I like the Yoga Journal website: www.yogajournal.com/poses/finder/anatomical_focus/shoulders. There is a list of poses, along with photos and instructions, specific for shoulder work. Browse through to revisit some favorites, or find new "tricks" to try.

Quote from tonight: "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Anna is going to be teaching my class on Wednesday, November 10th so I can watch my daughter perform at the Story Telling Festival.

On Monday, November 22, Heather will be subbing for me while I am camping with my family on the Homassassa River.

Both of these teachers are wonderful - energetic, creative, and extremely knowledgeable. I know you will enjoy working with them.

11-1 Balance and 11-3 Shoulder Stand

Shoulderstand is known as the "Queen of all asanas" for it's re-nourishing properties. Practioners believe it to encourage eternal life, as it reverses the flow of a vital oil in the body. Please use caution when practicing shoulderstand, as it can be rough on the neck. That's why I encourage students to use at least 2 blankets under their shoulder blades and upper back to be absolutely certain that there is no pressure on the neck. Additionally, using the wall (as in the photo) helps with stability. And NEVER look around once in the posture - keep that nose pointed straight at the ceiling, please.

Wednesday's quote from Joyce carol Oates: "We're here to feel the joy of life pulsing in us - now"

Balance was the name of the game Monday evening, with a playful practice that culminated in crow (bakasana). This, like all balance poses, take tremendous core strength. YouTube has several "how-to" videos regarding crow, so take a look and use a crash-pad (a blanket) in front of your head - not that I think you will fall, but it gives you an extra boost of confidence while trying it. And remember, doing what I call "toe-crow" is just as powerful as the full posture (instead of both legs off the floor, try to get one up and the other just balances on the big toe). Be brave and give it a try!

Quote from Monday's class: "Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once." -Lillian Dickinson

Mobile Yoga

Check out the YogAmazing podcast (through iTunes) for FREE yoga classes. The videos range from practices for specific sports (even surfing) to exploring other people's yoga stories. A great resource that I draw inspiration from in forming my classes once in a while.