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Press the Pause button before the season begins

Press the Pause button before the “season” begins –  using the pause button may be a  important skill to develop, especially before the “season” begins – should I say it? I probably don’t need to say but in the spirit of being clear “holidays”, which for many of us can be a little bittersweet.  Here are a few ideas – suggestions – thoughts, that you can use or add your own to press the pause button or unplug.

  1. blue-308748_960_720limit how much news your watch, read or listen – also limit your time on social outlets
  2. turn off all sound – meaning books on tape, radio, pandora etc, try it for 5, 10 minutes or all day
  3. sit on the floor
  4. follow your breath – stop – inhale and exhale
  5. find a window with a view nature and just look
  6. practice yoga for  for 5, 10 minutes or take a class

This list could go one. I would encourage you to find ways that might prompt you to pause.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  Ann Lamont

Press the Pause Buttoncatspawc

Seating on the floor  with a supportive cushion can do a lot to help you take a moment to regroup – Catspaw


Back Care

catspawC2Most of us have experience back discomfort or pain at one time or another and for some of us it is every present.  At times we need to have a strategy for back care.  What does that mean?  Many people experience back pain. Whether it is mild or crippling, yoga can be beneficial for you. By doing certain yoga poses you can help to relieve some of the pain that you are feeling in your back. This blog post will be focusing on three poses you can use to help get rid of your back pain. To learn more about these yoga poses, read on.

Yoga Poses for Back Pain

Downward-Facing Dog

The first yoga pose you can try to help your back pain is downward-facing dog. This is a great stretch that targets your back extensors, which are the large muscles that help form your lower back. Try it out for yourself: first get on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Pressing back, raise your knees off the floor and lift your tailbone up towards the ceiling.

Child’s Pose

The next yoga pose you can try to help your back pain is the child’s pose. This is a great stretch to elongate the back. To do this stretch, begin by starting on all fours with your hands stretched out in front of you. Then sit back so your glutes come to rest above your heels.

Upward Forward Bend

Lastly, you could also try the upward forward bend for any back pain that you may be having. This stretches the back muscles while providing a release for the shoulders. To do this start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees loose. As you exhale, hinge at your waist and bend forward, reaching towards the floor.

These are just a couple of ways you can help to relieve pain in your back. If you’d like to learn more ways, please contact us.

How much time do you have to invest in yourself?

How much time do you have to invest in yourself?

catspawsit3When I say invest, I am speaking from the meditation and yoga instructor point of view.  For example if I spend 5 minutes  and do sun salutes in the morning, my back won’t hurt for the rest of the day. Or sitting on my cushion at the end of the day for 5 minutes I will minimize monkey mind while I lay in bed ready to sleep. This time spent on my investment will make my day or night go more smoothly.

Maybe if we used the word invest instead of saying I don’t have time for …(fill in the blank) we would think differently about self care.  I often hear “I don’t have time for this” the question could be reframed “What do you want to invest your time in?”

What we are really saying is, I don’t want to do these things, I didn’t have to think about them when I was younger why should I now.   As we age things don’t heal as quickly or we don’t recover like we use to.

Do you 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening – or maybe 10, 20, 30?  If it means, keeping back-pain at bay or digestion working properly or quirky shoulders in check, how much time would you invest toward keeping things flowing smoothly?

It comes back to,  how do I want to live and what do I want.

What do you want to be able to do at 71?   Do you want get down on the floor and play with your dogs or grandkids, or continue to bike or ski or simply walk.

Pause and make the invest in yourself.





There is Enough Time

There is enough time.

That is one of the mantras that Judith Hanson Lasater suggest in her timeless book, Living your Yoga.  Chapter 2, Discipline and at the top of the chapter starts with a yoga sutra.

The restriction of these fluctuations is achieved through practice and dispassion.        -Yoga Sutra 1 :12

As we rush and do, during a this time of year it really seems counter intuitive, when we might really feel compelled to come to quiet, we must remind ourselves to, pause.  The Winter Solstice a few days ago is a reminder to slow down, but there is so much pressure to do.

As we come to the New Year, again the pressure to make resolutions is quite high.  I suggest that we resolve to practice.  And with the mantra there is enough time, the tasks that aren’t important or we don’t find meaning in will go to the back burner.  I know what you’re are thinking, I have to go to work, I need to wash dishes, do laundry etc. We should pause to think about what really needs to get done to serve your lives.

Since I teach yoga I believe and try to practice on a daily basis – I physically and mentally feel better with a yoga and meditation practice, so I have realized that I need to incorporate it my daily life and encourage my students to do the same.  For example, if someone comes to me in class and says I have tight low back,  which is very common, and I suggest a variety of ways to incorporate low back care throughout the  day. So the question is, “Do  you have 5 minutes 3 times a daily (a total of 15 mins)? Or let’s say you do something to really hurt your back and you need to stay in bed  flat for the day.  Yes, that is extreme but after we reach the age of 40ish we get tight and tired and don’t bounce back as easily, think Peyton Manning of our beloved Denver Broncos. Yes he is awesome but not bouncing back as quickly as he would have when he was younger.

So as 2016 approaches I suggest that there is enough time for down dogs!



Yoga and Mindfulness Teaches Reverence

There are plenty of health and psychological benefits to practicing,  yoga and mindfulness. The one thing that we learn from practicing yoga and mindfulness, is reverence – gratitude.

You woke up today, and began a journey through your day. The stresses of everyday life frequently distract us from being able to grasp the full beauty around us. We are busy with work, school, phones, appointments etc.  Practicing yoga and mindfulness allows us the time in our day to to appreciate the beauty in our everyday life and what is important.

An approach to life, is to develop awareness, whether on the yoga mat or meditation cushion or waiting in line at the grocery store.  As you wait and you are in a hurry, you notice the emotions that come up and you notice them  without judgement, or thought. You may feel your belly tighten with impatience, your teeth gnaw against each other with anger at how long it is taking.  You simply, pause close your eyes,  take a few breaths in and out and as you open your eyes, you may be amazed at what little time it took to calm yourself down.

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” 
― Sharon SalzbergReal Happiness: The Power of Meditation

Pause to breathe.

Pause with gratitude.

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