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.

FREE yoga!

Yoga 4 All (8836 Seminole Blvd) is celebrating Student Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 30th! We will be offering free yoga classes every hour from 9 until 3. I'm teaching kids' yoga at 1 and a beginner's class at 2. Check the Yoga 4 All website for further details and the full schedule.

Pollywog Yoga

I'm kicking off my newest venture:

Pollywog Yoga: Kids yoga at your pad!

Click on the above link to find out how to schedule a kids' yoga class designed just for your group - playgroups, church groups, private schools, homeschoolers, Scouts! I will travel to your meeting, or we can schedule use of the Yoga 4 All studio!

What Should I Eat Before Yoga?

I was asked to write a bit about what we should eat before practice to avoid upset stomachs, heartburn, and gas during (and after practice). I found this article to be helpful. For me, it's mostly trial and error, but I have found that I need to avoid eating at least an hour before practice, and the closer to practice, the more "whole" my food should be (less processed). You may want to keep a little notebook in the car to jot down your last meal or snack before practice and how it efffected you (did it make you gassy? nauseas? energetic? jittery? off-balance?). Then after practice, before leaving the parking lot, take a minute and reflect.

Does anyone out there have suggestions of what to eat or what to avoid before their yoga practice?

Rasa-Lila YogaFest

I attended the 1st annual Rasa-Lila YogaFest this weekend, working in the kids' tent. One of the highlights was to spend the day with Swami Vidyananda. She is a wonderous person, a beautiful light here on earth. She led the opening meditation and then hung out with the kids with a Kiddie Kirtan (a chanting session) and Laughter Yoga.

More Office Yoga

Need some stretching and energizing (or relaxation) during the workday? Here is a video and list of some yoga postures perfect for doing at your desk. Hope it helps!

Kids Summer Yoga

3-30 Bone Strength and 4-4 Evening Routine

I wanted to share some information I've gathered regarding yoga and bone health. As we know, weight bearing activities promote bone growth. The work of resisting gravity puts a mild stress on bones which forces them into laying down new growth. Yoga is an excellent weight bearing activity which is extra beneficial because it won't damage cartilagee or stress the joints (like jogging or aerobics might).Yoga also works to lengthen muscles and hold them in a position to increase tension on the bone. Again, the pull of muscle on bone increases bone strength. Holding a pose for merely 10 seconds triggers new bone growth. And in a study, participants were asked to either practice yoga (holding poses up to 30 seconds) or continue with their "normal" exercise. 85% of the yoga practitioners gained bone in their hips and spines!

Quote: "Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?/ Can you remain unmoving/till the right action arises by itself?"-Lao Tzu

A request for "Yoga for Insomnia" prompted this evening practice. According to Chinese medicine, an uneven distribution of energy ("chi" or "qi") can cause insomnia. Insomnia has been called "mental indigestion", in that our brain continues to digest information long after we need it to shut down. There are three main causes of insomnia (other than general pain) and there are some yoga poses designed to help with each type. Emotional insomnia requires chest openers and backbends. Hormonal insomnia can be improved with folds, inversions, twists, and other poses that massage and release our reproductive areas in the lower abdomen. Stress insomnia requires a fairly active practice, with particular attention paid to hip openers (I like to call our hips "junk drawers" because we just stash away anything we don't want to deal with in our hips).

Another bonus for practicing yoga: it has been claimed that for every minute of a yoga practice, you need one minute less sleep. So hit your mat!

Quote for class: "Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things,/and stand firm in that which you are." -Kabir

Out of the Clear Blue Sky...

I went with my family to explore Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales this weekend. What an amazing garden. Such beauty and peace - I can't wait to go back with a picnic lunch and spend the day meandering the many paths.

On the way, we saw a plane doing skywriting (my son, 7, actually said "Mom! Look at those clouds! They look just like words."). None of us had ever seen skywriting before, so that in itself was fun. But the final bit of writing was priceless:

11 Mindfulness Tips

Thich Nhat Hanh has composed this quick "list" of 11 ways to find time for meditation and mindfulness in our everyday lives. Take a look at this link.