Are you stuck on “oldies, but goodies”?

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recently played in Vancouver. The local weekly, The Georgia Straight, reviewed his concert rather negatively because he apparently played too many new songs (off his latest album) and not enough familiar hit oldies. The following week, a letter to the editor echoed this complaint, writing, “Could rock promoters adopt some…… Continue reading Are you stuck on “oldies, but goodies”?

Stop fidgeting

I recently took a yoga class with Yves Oberlin, an Austin-based Iyengar teacher who was subbing for my teacher Louie Ettling. He gave us a relatively generous eight-minute savasana, first instructing to find the pose in our bodies, tucking our shoulders under and so forth. Then he said, “After a while, don’t move. Don’t keep…… Continue reading Stop fidgeting

Old yoga mats never die…

… They just fade away. True for you? True for me. I still use my first mat (now over 12 years old), which starred in my very-first blog post. It’s been washed countless times, and it’s disintegrating in high-traffic spots. I now flip it over and use the reverse side. It’s not my sole mat…… Continue reading Old yoga mats never die…

On symmetry

Regarding my prior post, “Exiting savasana,” here’s another thought: I am obsessed with symmetry in asana. Thus I question any repeated asymmetrical movement (including always rolling right to exit savasana). Is there a good reason always to turn right? Or should we alternate right and left exits, for symmetry? (In class, of course, I’m all for…… Continue reading On symmetry

Exiting savasana

The other day, my student Lisa asked me why we always roll right (not left) to exit savasana. I grasped for an answer, mentioning two common beliefs: Lying on our right puts less pressure on our hearts, which sits on the left side. According to traditional Chinese medicine, adopted by Yin yoga practitioners, the left…… Continue reading Exiting savasana

Getting your ducks in a row

One of my students, Anna, is debating whether to continue yoga classes this spring. The class she attends, on Mondays from 12:45-2pm, immediately follows three hours of her own work, introducing music to babies and toddlers. As a Music Together teacher, she must be “on”: engaged and animated (the under-four set won’t cut you any…… Continue reading Getting your ducks in a row

Yamas, niyamas, and you

If you’re a yoga teacher, I have a query for you: Do you try to uphold the yamas and niyamas in your own life? Which of the yamas or niyamas are particularly challenging to you? Please share a real-life anecdote. (This query is an assignment for my Iyengar training. I asked a few teachers I…… Continue reading Yamas, niyamas, and you

Categorized as Yoga Asana

Hina Matsuri, cherry blossoms, and seasons

Today is Hina Matsuri, a Japanese festival translated either to “Doll Festival” or “Girls’ Day.” It falls on the third day of the third month. (Note: the former Boys’ Day is now Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day), on the fifth day of the fifth month.) For a straightforward background, read the Wikipedia entry. For the…… Continue reading Hina Matsuri, cherry blossoms, and seasons

The pleasure principle

What I thought was happiness was only part time bliss. “The Pleasure Principle,” Control (1986), Janet Jackson In my prior post “Sense, Sensuality, and Sensibility,” I questioned the idea of labeling any peak experience as “yoga” or “yogic.” In turn, some questioned me: Who am I to judge others’ inner lives while eating oysters or…… Continue reading The pleasure principle

Yoga arms

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Funky Door Yoga (a Bikram joint), used to use the slogan, “A regular yoga practice gives you a great butt.” (Note: I just checked the website and it now states, “A regular yoga practice gives you great legs.”) Yes, we’ve all heard about the yoga butt, yoga abs, yoga…… Continue reading Yoga arms

What does savasana mean to you?

In the beginning yoga class that I teach, a student I’ll call Chris finds savasana uncomfortable. Neither lumbar pain nor mental agitation is the culprit. She tucks her shoulders to open her chest, and she looks fine. But she never feels quite right. She’s a side sleeper, so lying supine doesn’t come naturally to her.…… Continue reading What does savasana mean to you?