Entries by Diane

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Going out on a limb

Classically, Pranayama was used to develop the body and mind for the higher limbs of yoga (the subtle practices of sense withdrawal, one pointed concentration and meditation). However, breathing is one of the few bodily functions that are both conscious and unconscious. The way we breathe affects bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, […]

Leaning into Winter

Don’t get me wrong, I love winter. Long, snowing winters are one of the reasons I stayed in Alaska. It’s the “not quite” place between the end of fall, but not yet winter, where I struggle. It’s a familiar discomfort. It just comes earlier in Alaska than it did in New England. This year, rather than pushing back […]

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Overcoming Obstacles

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali lists five obstacles or afflictions (kleshas) that keep us from attaining the state of yoga. They are lack of knowledge or awareness, egoism (too much or too little ego), attachment to pleasure, aversion to pain, and fear of death. He goes on to explain that our lack of knowledge is […]

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Defining Yoga

I’ve been thinking about what yoga is (and isn’t) a lot over the past few months. Okay, it’s probably been more like years, but the point is that I think it’s important to know why you do yoga. And it’s okay if it changes over time. Like many people, I originally thought Yoga was synonymous […]

The Kosha Model

Most of the time we identify with the body as our true “self”. But is this actually where our true nature lies? Yoga gives us the model of the koshas as a way to navigate the different layers of being. Below is a brief description of each of the five layers or sheaths. Anna maya […]

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The Eight Limbs – working with the Yamas

When looking for themes for classes, I often refer to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. There are very few pose (asana) instructions in the sutras. That’s because asana is just one part of the eight limbed system of classical yoga. Which is interesting since most yoga classes spend the bulk of their time on physical postures. And […]

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What’s your excuse?

I often joke that my job as a yoga teacher is to shoot down all of my students excuses for not practicing. You know the ones…not enough time, not enough space, too tired, no mat, the dog/cat/kid/spouse is distracting me… In Sutra 2.1 of the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali offers a clear method for practice, Kriya […]

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Teaching online – a lesson in bravery.

When I first closed my studio in mid March, my thoughts were as follows….”this is temporary, I’ll be open again April 1st” and “I don’t need to teach online, there is a ton of good content on the web already”. This time of sheltering in place may be temporary but I quickly realized that it’s […]

Seeing Clearly in 2020

What’s your vision for the new year? Perhaps it’s a bit cliche, but it does seem fitting for 2020 to be the year for clear vision. For the past 18 years, my main focus was raising my son. I remember when we figured out that 2020 was the year he would graduate from high school. […]

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The Savoring Habit

I was explaining the concept of the habit loop to my class the other day. It goes like this:  a cue creates a habit and the habit provides a reward. My intention was to encourage students to look at their tendency of rushing through poses and the underlying belief that faster is better. The cue […]