Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Take What You Need, Offer What You Can

During your yoga practice, take what you need. And offer what you can.

The poses should help nourish you. Ahimsa. Do no harm.

Photo by Jobi Otso. 

If you are energized, work hard. Linger in the poses the way that feels good in your body. If you are exhausted, take rest. Do a simpler version of a pose so that you can stay in longer, and steady the mind. The goal is not to find the fanciest pose, but to steady the mind.

Offer up what you can, releasing your attachment.

Photo by Jobi Otso.

Simply by showing up on your mat at the studio, you contribute to the class. Your energy is present. Your breath inspires the yogis around you. You have a profound impact on your teacher, just being there.

The next time you stand on your mat and bring your hands together in front of your heart, remind yourself to take what you need, and offer what you can. Stand on this foundation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hugging is Good Medicine

Photos via Pinterest.

Hugging is good medicine. It transfers energy. It gives the person hugged an emotional lift. 

Hugging is its own form of communication. Hugs were invented so you can let people know you love them without having to say a thing.

The nicest thing about a hug is that you can't give one without getting one in return. 

Share the love. Give a hug.

This post is by Elizabeth of the Sponsored Yogis team.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Beautiful Broken Things

Photos via Pinterest. 

There is a rest in brokenness. You lie on that hard ground, unable to function as you did before. So you lie there.

There are no more ‘shoulds’ because the luxury of self-recrimination was taken from you when you fell and broke to pieces on the earth below. ‘Cannot’ doesn’t matter now, either. All that exists in this moment is ‘What Is Now.’


And there is beauty in the brokenness. It is a beauty of constellations in the scars, of tides in the tears, the heat of fire in the bleeding of you. In the abrupt quiet that follows an unexpected injury, a sacred silence fills you.

And because there is nothing left in you that can create, push, force, be, or drive into, there is a blessed empty space, to be filled by something other than all the crazed and busy thinking, the manic achieving, and the over-scheduled hours. This blessed, beautiful brokenness is the prayer that summons the spirit, calls forth the angels, lays us down gently.

In these seasons of humble brokenness, we are opened, utterly. There is no protecting yourself here. This is the stripping way of the ego-driven, striving conception.

Let there be grace. Let there be mercy.

Allow the broken places to show you their beautiful rest.

The broken stick on the forest floor is the branch who earned her rest. I bless the stick. I bless the branch. I bless the rest.

This post is by Sarah LaRosa, excerpted in the We’Moon 2015 Gaia Rhythms calendar.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Survivors on the Yoga Mat

Photos via Pinterest and courtesy of Sam.

Have you read any good yoga books lately? 

Recently sponsored yogi Sam checked out Survivors on the Yoga Mat, a book about the incredible way yoga can transform us. Here’s her review… 

Survivors on the Yoga Mat is a collection of short essays about the healing power of yoga. The author shares the stories of people who stretch their way past pain into spaces of energy and collective healing.  These essays discuss illness, accidents, racism, sexual abuse, war, addiction, incarceration, and many other forms of trauma.

The deeply personal experiences shared in this book illustrate how practice heals in ways words alone cannot. Challenges on the mat are often directly linked to greater struggles in life. 

Speaking of her own practice, the author states, “I was starting to realize that healing meant finding in the body the self that existed before trauma, the self that changed during the trauma, and the self that had come out the other side dazed, and often driven. Such healing also required that I start reaching out, that I look into the glistening eyes of other who were struggling both on and off the mat but still, sometimes miraculously coming back to it.” 

You don’t have to be a trauma survivor to appreciate this inspiring collection of personal stories. Healing for all of us takes place within a community of supportive yogis. 

The book’s appendices also include great resources – an explanation of the eight limbs of yoga, a list of resources, a guide to finding the type of yoga that works for you, and a beautiful glossary with over 100 photos of yoga postures mentioned throughout the book. 

Overall an important, beautiful read! 

Thank you Sam for posting, and a big thanks to the team behind the book for sharing a copy. Namaste.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Body's Wisdom

Photos by Justin Kral.
The body holds wisdom.

It doesn’t lie. Your body remembers each time something happens… whether that something is traumatic or relaxing, exhausting or energizing.

When I slow down and listen, I find there’s always something my body is telling me.

When you are still, what is your body tellin
g you?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lovely Links

Photos by Kiara Schwartz of TobruckAve.

What are you reading these days? I’d love to hear what your favorite blogs, books and magazines are lately.

Here are some lovely links for your Friday!

Myths about core work in yoga from expert teacher Sadie Nardini.

A yoga routine for when you have a shitty day.

‘This is the year of looking our fears square in the eye without running away. This is a moment of no escape.’

Headstand travels, a blog about movement.

Tobruck Ave, my new favorite fashion blog.

Would you ever schedule sex?

Mindful eating beyond sensory awareness.

Do twists in yoga class really wring out toxins?

Have a lovely weekend, yogis!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stuck in a Rut

 Photo by Jobi Otso. 

Sometimes my asana practice falls into a rut.

It’s been so long since I rolled out my mat. I’ll just take one more day off, and then I’ll get back at it. I’m too tired for yoga.

Have you ever experienced this feeling of being stuck?

Photo by Justin Kral.
Here are some tips for getting back to your mat, and being gentle with yourself about the process.

1. Roll your mat out. Leave your mat unrolled before you go to bed, or before you leave for work in the morning. Let it be the first thing you see when you wake up, or walk through the door when you get home. While you’re at it, leave your yoga clothes out too, so it’s convenient to get changed and get into ‘yoga mode.’

Photo by Cait Loper.

2. Start small. Do five to ten minutes of yoga. A little bit is better than none at all. If I’m practicing for a short period like this, I usually do this routine:
- 3 rounds of cat/cow
- 3-4 sun salutations
- tree pose
- bridge pose
- reclined twist
- savasana

3. Try something new. Sometimes I lose interest in practicing yoga because I’m bored of the sequence I’ve been doing for ages. Try a drop-in at a studio you’ve never been to, or a class with a teacher you’ve never tried.

Photo by Justin Kral.

4. Get online. There are so many great yoga videos out there! I highly recommend videos by Rachel Brathen, Sadie Nardini and KathrynBudig.

5. Ask for support. Make a pact with your yoga friends to hold each other accountable. Celebrate your successes, and encourage each other.

6. Aim for progress, not perfection. Making a new habit is hard and it helps to be kind to yourself while you’re in transition. You’ve got this!

7. Do something besides yoga. Yes, you read that correctly ;) If you’re a little sick of asana, try moving in a different way: qi gong, martial arts, bike riding, walking, swimming, hula hooping, salsa lessons… find a way to connect with your body that feels good right now. Yoga will always be a part of your life, and your mat isn’t going anywhere. Mix it up!

Photo by Justin Kral.

8. Acknowledge when you need to take a break. Sometimes what I need is rest, not a vigorous practice. My yoga practice changes over time, depending on the season, what I have going on in my life, and my energy level on any given day. Continuously honoring where I am in the present moment – that is truly the practice of yoga! 

What helps you get motivated?

PS Instead of saying, “I don’t feel like it,” try these ideas.


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