French Press

Coffee and Change

The heat of the summer brings madness. Heat so heavy it seems inescapable. Pressure so intense it’s suffocating. This summer is no different. The world is a little upside down lately. The political situation in the US is the most watched reality show in history. The Brexit vote signaled a dismantling of the European Union, based entirely on ignorance and…

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Scariest Monkey Ever

Yoga and the Twelve Steps: We’re Powerless Over Our Monkey Mind

I teach yoga to recovering alcoholics and addicts at a residential treatment facility. I also owe my happiness — if not my sanity and my life — to the Twelve Steps. I’ve learned as much in 12-step meetings about yoga as I have in the studio, and vice versa. This is the first in a series of my personal* insights…

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A Short History of Yoga, or How the hell did we get here?

When you look at the cover of Yoga Journal and see a skinny white lady in $100 yoga pants doing acrobatics, you are looking at a very modern, very American version of yoga. Which is not to say that asana (postures) aren’t yoga. Instagram yoga is yoga. Ashtanga yoga is yoga. Iyengar yoga is yoga. Chanting is yoga. Reading and studying sacred…

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Camel Assist

Why Do Yoga Every Damn Day

I’ll be honest, I didn’t intend to become a yoga teacher. I enrolled in teacher training very selfishly because I loved yoga, and I wanted to do more of it, and more deeply. I had no interest in sharing that with any of you, thank you very much. Then, much to my surprise, it turns out that nothing makes me…

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standing split

Does Practice Matter?

“You get good at what you show up for.” My teacher Mitchel shared this with us in my teacher training, and it has stuck in my craw ever since. It’s not just my craw – I’ve shared it with my students, and my friend Tracey Duncan even wrote a great post about it. It’s a gem almost so obvious that…

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What Hurricane Katrina taught me about yoga

“Purification, Refinement, Surrender. These are the practical steps on the path of yoga.” – Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra II.1, (trans. by Alistair Shearer) I’ve gone back to basics lately with my practice, my teaching, and even my thinking about yoga. With over 1,000 hours of teaching, I keep coming back to the same question in my writing and conversation with other teachers:…

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Ekapada Urdhva Dandasana - Size 12

Confessions of a Size 12 Yoga Teacher

I’m a yoga teacher and I have a dirty little secret. I’m a size 12. The last time I weighed myself, it was in the 180s. (Ugh. It hurts just to write.) I’ve been practicing yoga for 15 years, and teaching for four. I’m in the lucky 10% of yoga teachers who teaches full-time – it’s not just a hobby. I practice…

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Bowspring

Why I Stopped Caring if My Yoga Was Right

Some yoga teachers claim authenticity of their practice because of how old it is. I’ve practiced with teachers who say their yoga is the “real yoga,” because their teacher taught them the “real teachings.” Why do we need age or exclusivity to authenticate our personal experience in yoga? I’ve been exploring a new approach to alignment called “The Bowspring.” It flies in the face what…

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Integrity

You’re made up of a million different parts. Perhaps even an infinite number. It’s like the night sky. You can look up, and see twinkly lights — you know that some are stars and some are planets. You even know there are some that you can’t see because of light pollution. You know there are more than you can’t see…

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My Trusty Mala

Is Your Practice Protection or Prison?

Physical yoga (asana) comes from tantric schools of yoga. Tantra, however — contrary to everything your mother fears — is not all about sex. Instead, tantric practices are a concrete exploration of the divine. Tantric practice, in any tradition, involves ritual, movement, mantra, and other practices that give us a chance to experience the miracle of the world instead of just ruminate about it. The word…

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