If you go to their website and order, right now they are offering 15% off with the discount code: ASANA.
Posted by lauren at 8:18 PM
Posted by lauren at 11:15 AM
Posted by lauren at 7:10 PM
Posted by lauren at 4:00 PM
Posted by lauren at 9:18 AM
Posted by lauren at 7:07 PM
Today I left work a little early, it's a gorgeous and crisp autumn day. My plans were scattered, but I resolved that I would go home and then make a big batch of white bean soup. I also planned to go to a vinyasa class nearby later in the evening so I came home and put on my "comfy" or some might say "active" clothes. But once I was in the kitchen ready to cook, somehow I ended up with my wind-vest and running shoes on. My body had different plans for me! Next thing I knew I was outside for a run! Cool! Then I was home in my yoga room ready to stretch after the run, but nope, I was doing a full-on practice! So much for soup making! Looks like I'll be eat an Amy's frozen burrito!
Sometimes I think about expanding this blog to encompass more of my life, but I think I am wary of a)opening my life up that much in a public forum, b)boring people (if I am not already) c) feeling like I need to post way more than I need to d) feeling overwhelmed by all my interests/ideas/activities because I might try to TALK about them too much!
Nonetheless, I think I'll let it be organic, like today's post. Running, cooking, yoga, working, cat-petting - today.
Posted by lauren at 6:05 PM
Yoga has a powerful way of checking you in with yourself entirely. It's not often in our culture that we just stop and listen to our own breath, it's a rare event for many of us to tune into what our complete being is communicating to us. All you need to do to be "doing yoga" is bringing awareness to your breath, just sitting and breathing with intention is yoga, and at times it's a lot harder to do that than a sweaty, vigorous practice. It is for this reason, this keying in with ourselves on the mat that sometimes intense emotions bubble up. It isn't out of the ordinary to find yourself in tears in certain pose. We spend so much time disconnected, outward looking and in a hurry; achieving, planning and accomplishing. While doing these things we are also storing up, in our beings deep feelings, intense emotions or memories - and since there is often no place for them in our society of locomotion, they remain stored. Until, you slow down, turn inward, and listen.
Posted by lauren at 2:42 PM
In need of a honest-to-goodness led Ashtanga class, I went to my friend Lindsay's (www.annarboryogi.blogspot.com) Ashtanga class after work yesterday. I had talked to her earlier in the day about how it is hard to find many classes in Ann Arbor that aren't, well, as I put it "namby-pamby". Lindsay and I came to yoga at the primarily same time, at the same place and did the same teacher training - because of this we share a similar yoga lineage so to speak. Our teachers were excellent, our training was authentic, challenging, and still what seems to us "real". Real meaning, it didn't coddle us and there wasn't a lot of room to slack. At times it was difficult and downright hard. But I still feel that when I first began doing yoga at Yoga Shala, I was getting my own little piece of Pattabhi Jois! Anyway, since those days are over I have yet to find a class, studio, or teacher I can really follow. Where is the teacher! I am told when I am ready the teacher will appear! I think the teacher came and went, I followed that teacher for a time and now I have to wonder, do I get another teacher?
Posted by lauren at 9:44 AM
Posted by lauren at 9:23 AM
Posted by lauren at 8:17 PM
Ok I didn't forget yoga, I just didn't practice for 5 days. Makes a body cranky!! But life just took me out of my rituals and I went on the ride, just for the hell of it. I didn't try to fit anything in, anything that didn't just happen. So my birthday was on a Saturday, which means it really started on Friday and went until Sunday. There was a lot of eating and antique shopping. There was not a lot of yoga. Yoga is daily life, for me, and birthdays, well, are not-I guess.
But I did practice yesterday and HELLO! this yogini just forgot how much she loves mat time! Holy crap! I know it was only 5 days, but that's a long time without a practice. Practice is sometimes like a person to me, and when I neglect it I feel the need to apologize to my yoga practice. So I whisper to my mat "I'm sorry, you're right, you are so patient, I am bad, forgive me. You rule."
Posted by lauren at 2:35 PM
Posted by lauren at 8:19 PM
A week ago today I skipped my Photoshop class and instead did a niiiiice yoga practice at home. I loved that day, and today I have to go to class, got to class and sit for 4 hours after sitting at work for 7 hours. I hear that this will all be over before I know it and May will come, birds will sing, sun will shine, margaritas will appear and 4 hour evening classes will die die die. I must believe this is true, or else SOMEONE will again be skipping class and instead flipping on a space heater and rolling out a yoga mat.
UPDATE: I quit the class. Yes, I just quit. I decided on my way there that it's just not worth it, I am learning enough from the textbook that the instructor follows exactly, I wake up Thursday morning grumpy and well, I just knew, I KNEW, that since it's was only Feb. and I felt this way, I would never make it May. So just like that, I decided. And once I did I felt so elated! So elated I went to a class at the gym, and then, of course, did yoga.
Posted by lauren at 3:02 PM
There it goes, there goes the light of the moon!
I am sitting in my house in the dark looking at less of the moon every minute, it's fascinating and a good catalyst to put things that have been happening in perspective. Lunar eclipses initiate a slew of changes not to mention other general manifestations that may not bona-fide changes, but something less dramatic.
For instance, this information from AstrologyZone,
is particularing interesting for me:
"If you have any chronic health issues, such as a fluttery stomach or a cranky ankle that keeps acting up, try to take extra good care of yourself now. Sometimes chronic illnesses flair up near a full moon eclipse and can bring on a bit of stress".
This issue with my back that has this past month prevented me from doing as much as I would like to do could be seen to align with this lunar eclipse, in fact tonight I once again had to decide to not do anything physical in order to rest my back. What I am happy about is that hopefully the whole scene - the moon thang, and this back thang, are on their way out.
"If you are born on February 20 (my birthday is Feb. 23) , plus or minus four days, the eclipse on this date will have special meaning to you. The universe wants you to use your time on Earth well and will quickly pull you out of unproductive relationships that appear to have no future."
I have been struggling at work for a couple weeks now, not because of a change in my performance, but because of the change in someone else's overall vibe and demeanor. Likewise with a friend. The long and short of it is that it seems there is cosmic design over my life more than I take notice of.
The Astrology Zone also mentioned that around this time I would be heavily into my home and making it better, nicer, doing some projects that have been waiting in the wings. I just read this tonight and MAN, is it ever true, all I have wanted to do lately is gussy up my bedroom specifically. After three years of harping, I finally got Chad to agree to paint it and the weird part is - it took almost NO cajoling. Now there are color swatches all over the walls, new crisp sheets awaiting use, new curtains planned, and even a new rug in the works.
It's seriously dark out there now that there is only a sliver of the moon left. My cat Rex just HAD to go out there, so I let him out, I wonder if he'll converse with a lunar diety and learn new cat tricks, he already can say "godblessyou" after I sneeze...maybe he'll learn to clean his own litterbox this time!
Posted by lauren at 9:33 PM
Attention Ann Arbor-Ypsi Yogis and Cyclists!
I am co-teaching (I am teaching the yoga part) a SpinYoga class in February at the Ypsi Studio, run by the lovely and vivacious Julia Collins. SpinYoga is a wonderful balanced workout. You cycle for 45 min. then I teach a 45 min. post-spinning class aimed at all the major muscle groups used in cycling. Open to all levels.
February 17 1-2:30pm
To sign up just email Julia firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by lauren at 9:26 PM
(a la Rodney Yee)
Twists are underused, at least in my experience, there's only really enough of them in Ashtanga. So in my personal practice I have been trying to include a lot of them. I also have a naggy soreness on the right side of my mid-back that's been around for ages and twists seem to really work into that area. I am liking Bharadvajasana right now because it's an intense twist and the chest is able to stay really open allowing for good long breaths. Not only that but it's a yummy hip-opener and I always dig a hip opener. What am I saying - I dig all yoga poses! No wait, shoulder openers can be beastly. In the most beautiful way, of course.
I am spending my Friday nights doing yoga lately; it's a great time to do it because there's no rush whatsoever. I can hole myself up in my yoga room for as long as I want with no reason to leave! Only today I think I am going to punctuate my yoga practice with a nightcap of Remy Martin, call me a naughty yogi, see if I care!
Posted by lauren at 9:15 PM
Today's practice was unexpected until about 5pm. Wasn't in the cards, what WAS in the cards was my Photoshop class that lasts an absurd 4 hours and that plan died a hard, fast and brilliant death once I let go of feeling obligated to go and assessed that what I really wanted to do was go home and do yoga. Chad and I did yoga together (no, not Valentine's Day yoga, blargh!), with a Rodney Yee video, which was, eh, ok. It is taking time, but I am coming to understand I just don't like yoga DVD's.
What I am also coming to understand is that I am always looking for a teacher, or a leader, when really all I need now is myself. I practice enough, have taken enough classes and have read nearly every yoga book published that I think if I just start to honor my inner teacher I will find great benefit. I don't need to run out to every studio in town and I don't need to rent every yoga DVD from Netflix. My best practices lately are on my own. I am more focused lately in my personal practice than ever before and well, that might be a by-product of practice! Practice and all IS coming!
Posted by lauren at 9:31 PM
Yesterday I took my lunch hour to practice yoga at work. Strategically I wore yoga-y clothes under my work clothes so I could shed a layer and be ready to go. I just shut my office door and cranked up some ragas and away I went. I even have a nice wall space to practice arm balance inversions. I have often planned to do lunchtime yoga but somehow never managed it. It was great to transform my workspace into a whole new environment, and it took so little effort. I did only a 30 min. practice but I think it was complete and I am sure it really helped combat the havoc reeked on the body from sitting in a chair all day (although I DO it in my chair all sorts of unconventional ways).
I am excited because tonight I will practice at the gym in the giant yoga room, all by myself and since there isn't any way to play music in there I feel like I create a super meditative space by just focusing on pranayama.
It's snowing again, fat happy snow!
I did did did it!
I got up this morning and practiced! The cats were sure confused and my back felt like it belonged on George Burns, but after a while and many Suryanamaskar A's and B's, I felt hot (as in warmed up!) and happy. I put on some upbeat yoga music and just went to town. The only downside I can think of is that it was hard to stop, switch gears and get ready for work. When can I find a job just doing yoga all day??
Posted by lauren at 10:03 AM
Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.
Better than knowledge is meditation.
But better still is surrender of attachment to results
(of one's actions), because there follows immediate peace.
Bhagavad Gita 12:12
Yesterday I attended an Inversion Workshop given by Kate Greer, from Sonic Yoga in New York, it was a fairly shoulder and resolve tiring workshop for me, and although I did learn a few good pointers, I overall felt really inadequate. I realize that yoga is without goals, but its nearly impossible for most (all?) of us NOT to at least aspire (better word for goal-setting!) to be better at the fun stuff in yoga, and by fun stuff, I mean inversions. Sure, I've got headstand down, and sometimes even handstand if I can kick up, but this woman opened up a pandora's box for me of all kinds of "floating" through action. What it boils down to for me is that I need to spend some serious time focusing on moola (mula) bandha, as in maybe just do a practice of just sitting with mula bandha engaged, because for me keeping it engaged through my practice hasn't come.
Also, I wrenched my piriformis somehow and have been experiencing some serious low back and hip pain, that oddly enough become dormant during the workshop, but is in full force today, so no practice, no gym, just rest. And well, it's almost as if the universe is like, "Lauren, work on your damn moola bandha for few days (or hell, a lifetime)", so I'll listen. It is after all, the universe talking.
Snow Day! I feel like a little kid! I woke up with a sore throat and stuffy nose (this low-grade sick thing stinks stink stinks) and tons and tons of snow on the ground -and still snowing fat fat snow! I am have been debating all week about taking a sick day since in the mornings I have been feeling pretty crappy and well, today it just seems like that day. It's suprisingly hard to decide to NOT DO!
Posted by lauren at 9:36 AM
Thursdays are a long day, I work all day and then directly from work go to this Photoshop class I am taking, and the damned class lasts 4 hours. So indeed I sit in front of a computer from virtually 9am to 9pm. It hard to get a practice in on these day, but its all I WANT to fit in. So last night I came home, flipped on the space heater and practiced, a gentle, slow practice filled with any pose to counterbalance desk -sitting. I imagined I would practice for about 20 min. because I was pretty tired, and am still feeling like I am on the verge of whatever this cold-sick things is and wanted to go to bed. 20 minutes turned into over an hour - there's SOMETHING about my yoga room. I never want to leave.
I pretty much did a long Yin practice, which is good for me because I really don't do enough of that. In Agnistambhasana or Fire Log pose (or Double Pigeon) I really opened up my left hip, my obstinate hip. With continued slow deep breaths I just kept folding more forward, more than ever. I can see these Yin practices becoming more frequent, which is good because it's a great way to compliment all the running I have been doing.
Posted by lauren at 9:08 AM
nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa, nag champa
Posted by lauren at 4:33 PM
Almost never does someone do yoga and go, "damn, I wish I would not have done that, it sucked". But sometimes we do eat 7 no-bake cookies and go, "damn, I wish I didn't eat all those, I feel like shit" (last night).
Today I felt awful, I thought I was coming down with the dreaded "something", in fact it's be upon me for 3 days now and my antibodies are just chargin' at this sick-beast and most of the time, winning. But this morning I was sure it was ON, I was sure I HAD it. I went to work anyway, and thought I might make it to lunchtime and then go home, but I started feeling better. Now Wednesdays are extra special because my friend Lindsay teaches ashtanga at the *nice* studio in town. I was very sad to think I would have to miss it. Near 5pm, I was still not sure if I'd go, but Linds told me some good advice (we also work together, yes that's so cool!) and that was that I should come to class and just take it WAY easy and listen to my body...what a great idea, because I love the vibe that class gets going and it would be great just to be in it in any way, shape, or form.
something wonderful happened! I had one of my best feeling practices and I felt strong and healthy! I think it was the absence of any expectation, and also I kept this super calm sensation going by mega-focusing on my breath, the postures LITERALLY came last, as in they were a result of a calm mind and constant attention to pranayama. It's so freaking great when that happens.
because I think my arms are too short. well, I KNOW my limbs are short, and this is pretty cool when I want to do say, Paschimottanasana, or even Utthita Hasta Padagustasana .
BUT, I think it may very well be that my arms are too short to perform the full expression of Tolasana.
It seems this way because no matter what I seem to do I cannot leave my hands TOTALLY flat on the ground, I am always on my fingers and balls of hands - sounds excruciating right? - well it nearly is. Maybe I am just not lifting through the bandhas enough, specifically mula bandha? Recently, I have discovered the difference it makes when you really engage your mula bandha when taking Bakasana - the effort is less and you just sort of hinge up there without feeling like your hips and butt weight a million pounds (hey, feeling lighter is always nice). So although I feel like I just might be physiologically incapable of Tolasana, I am guessing I am not. But man, when I am nearing the end of practice and perhaps feeling tired it sure is easier to think, "I can't do Tolasana because I am just not BUILT to", rather than, "girl, you ain't doing it 'cause you just can't do it yet!"
February is Deepen YOUR Practice Month, and practice everyday. I think I'll go for it. I came across WoYoPracMo on accident and its quite cool! I joined up on the site, but I think I might do my blogging about the practicing here and paste it there? Dunno if that's possible since all this bloggy blog stuff is new to me. But yoga isn't, so I'm giving it a whirl!
Posted by lauren at 6:18 PM
Attention Ann Arbor-Ypsi Yogis and Cyclists!
I am co-teaching (I am teaching the yoga part) a Spin Yoga class in February at the Ypsi Studio, run by the lovely and vivacious Julia Collins. Spin Yoga is a wonderful balanced workout. You cycle for 45 min. then I teach a 45 min. post-spinning class aimed at all the major muscle groups used in cycling. Open to all levels.
February 17 1-2:30pm
To sign up just email Julia email@example.com
Some of us like to practice to music and some of us don't. Personally, I love it and I am a self-described 'yoga music geek', as in, I listen to it in the car and while at work, not just while practicing. The thing about yoga music is it can slip into some really wanky, new agey, downright cheesetastic flavor. So here's a list of the yoga music I have found that I love that isn't too cheesey. That being said, I may have slipped so far into my affinity of for yoga music that I might (gasp!) not be as discerning about what's cheesy and what's not anymore. But still, these are nice, I swear!
Wah! CD Krishna
Ben Leinbach - The Spirit of Yoga
Chinmaya Dunster - On Sacred Ground
Ty Burhoe - Invocation
Craig Pruess - Language of Love
Yoga Mela - An Eastern Vibrational Experience
Tina Malia & Shimshai - Jaya Bhagavan
Maharishi Gandharva - The Eternal Music of Nature
ALSO, this site www.whiteswanmusic.com/ is a super cool resource for all this kinda of music...
My friend Lindsay and I are teaching a Thai Massage Workshop in February at A2 Yoga in Ann Arbor.
We're not certain of the date exactly, most likely Feb. 15th. It's a partner workshop, but you don't need to bring a lovah, a friend is just fine. A couple years ago Linds and I attended a yoga workshop on Valentine's Day and we thought it was just a partner yoga thing, but it was a really a 'bring your sweetie" thing. Didn't really matter, Linds is pretty sweet! More information to come and also check out Lindsay's site at Ann Arbor Yogi.
Thai massage is sometimes called "passive yoga" or "lazy man's yoga".
It is done on a padded floor surface with the recipient wearing yoga clothing and bare feet. The practitioner will massage, stretch, and move your body through beneficial yoga postures as you breathe and relax. Wonderful for yogis or anyone in need of stress and tight muscle relief.
Probably going to format this blog in the same way that I have yoga conversations, or well, most conversations with my friend Lindsay. It's the only way I can keep myself from sounding like a weenjob.