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    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Family time gives us an excellent opportunity for yoga practice! Here are some tips to help:

    1. Get out and go for a walk and do some yoga poses during the holiday. You'll be a good role model for the kids and the fresh air and exercise can clear the brain and increase endorphins.

    2. If you are throwing the dinner, don't overwork yourself and then blame others by becoming short-tempered—this is controlling and selfish. See this as an opportunity to work together and delegate tasks. Teach that this is a time when the family works together. And if you are a guest, be of service.

    3. Practice non-judgment and compassion. We throw these words around a lot in yoga, but really think about them. Others have a right to do what they do and believe what they believe. Your family has feelings and a belief system just as you do and having respect towards them will gain them respect towards you. Learn to see past the things that annoy you about people and into their humanity. Practice loving them even though you don't agree. Love supersedes all boundaries.

    4. You can't control others, but you can control your reactions to them.

    5. The reason that we practice mediation is for this moment! When all of these family energies, noise, food, children, emotions, loud television, and other chaos are going on around you, stay in touch with the peace inside yourself.

    6. The most complicated thing is to do is to be who you are. We have a tendency to begin to see ourselves as we think that our family sees us, which causes resentment. Just be observant of your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts and you can break this pattern. Easier said than done, but maybe for now, just practice!

    I know everyone throws around advice for the holidays and even that can seem overwhelming. So, to keep it simple, just remember to be happy, loving, and peaceful and have all of your actions come from that place and the holiday could be one to be worth celebrating!

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    Finishing up the "Yoga for Shoulders" Video

    We are finally finishing up the "Yoga for Shoulders" video! It's been a long tough road, but we finally got the last footage that we need. I am really stoked to help out others with shoulder issues and I really hope that this video will help out!

    Here are some shots from Linville Gorge in North Carolina:

    This is a restorative pose to work on releasing tightness and tension in the fronts of the shoulders that can cause impingement.

    We will work on becoming more aware of the shoulder blades and work on moving them around to prevent frozen shoulder.

    Not a bad place to be working! My husband and I do all of the work on these videos ourselves--we love it, but it's also very difficult in many ways. He is amazing--he does all of the camera work (3 video cameras and 1 still) and directs too! We use all natural lighting, which is why it takes us awhile to get the right day. We also do all of our own editing and sound.

    A variation on Mountain Pose to help with better posture.

    Downward Facing Dog Pose--we will work with the mechanics of this pose for safely performing the pose for those with shoulder issues and with using your core to lift the weight out of the shoulders and wrists.

    Plank Pose--we will work on the same concepts as in Down Dog--how to use the whole body better to relieve the shoulders and wrists.

    Whew! This is Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose). It is better to perform this one with knees down to work very diligently on making sure you are using your body correctly. It can exacerbate problems if done poorly, but if done mindfully it will build strength and grace in your body!

    Ahh--my shoulders feel so good and free! I have not had surgery and I have never felt better! I have made much progress with this program for my own shoulders by overcoming injuries that resulted in impingement, pain, and severe shoulder blade winging and dysfunction. I heard the same complaints from many of my friends--some who had surgery and some who didn't, so I began to want to help people get out of the shoulder pain and injury cycle. I have been teaching shoulders classes for a few years and now have put the class together for this video. I hope that everyone finds freedom and strength in their shoulders!