Asanas and Caring

gomukhasanaWhen it comes to Asanas, the definition is very simple, Asana is a posture, of course, but which type of posture? It is a posture where you are steady and comfortable, happy, and peaceful. If you are uncomfortable, if you are unsteady in a posture, then that would not be labelled as an Asana. Any fast movements would not be recommended nor considered as Asana.

But the question is, if the body is stiff or sick, any posture could be uncomfortable for that person. So for such conditions, we have a few derivatives out of the main Asanas to help that person; to add more flexibility, to see that muscles are toned up in these areas and so on. It will do some of these very simple derivatives of the main Asanas and understand their effect in different areas of our body.

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Yoga Retreats -- Go Slow to Go Fast

Ten years ago, when I went on my first yoga retreat at Kripalu yoga center in the Berkshires, I felt like I had stepped into a different world where people ate kale and brown rice, chanted and did meditation. “What is tempeh?” my boyfriend whispered in the cafeteria line at the retreat center. Despite overstretched muscles from yoga we were not used to and the need to sneak into town the second morning to get a coffee fix, the experience of relaxation and clarity I had by the end of the weekend inspired me to take home the healthy practices I had learned.

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Ayurveda: Yoga's Sister Science

I have a younger sister, Kate. She came into my life when I was seventeen and already away at college. So we're not the sort of siblings who fought over who got the front seat of the car or who could use the bathroom first. We're also half-sisters. I don't think of her that way, but when asked by someone curious to understand my family structure I explain that my parents are divorced, and my Dad is remarried, and I have a little brother and sister. We have a fairly typical American not-exactly-nuclear family.

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Yoga and Parenting - Part I: My Son has ADD

jack lisaMy 6 yr. old son Jack was recently diagnosed with ADD...on top of an earlier diagnosis of Sensory Integration Dysfunction (also known as Sensory Processing Disorder). In a nutshell, his nervous system is in overdrive most of the time.

As I think back to his first year, it makes sense. We couldn't take him out anywhere as he was oversensitive to noise and chaotic environments - family gatherings, the grocery store, and pretty much everywhere. At 3 years old, we noticed that he couldn't follow simple two step instructions - he would head in the right direction and promptly 'forget' what he was doing. At 4, his preschool teacher casually mentioned that he didn't seem to hear her when she spoke (he passed a hearing test). And then, this last January, his Kindergarten teacher pulled us in for a meeting and told us she was concerned about Jack's inability to focus on her voice and the tasks at hand. She said that though he was not hyperactive and was generally well-behaved (and very bright), he could be quite loud, was easily aggitated, and did not seem to be able to pick out her voice and instructions in the midst of everything else going on around him. Onto evaluations...and voila! - a diagnosis of SID and ADD.

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Improving Sustenance with Ayurveda


ayurveda kristenIn the fast-paced lifestyle of the West, we may find great difficulty in slowing down enough to be aware of our surroundings. This reminds me of being at a Fair, spinning around and around on a dizzying ride where amidst the spin, you are able to acclimate to your surroundings, but when you come to a halt, you find yourself still spinning.

Giving ourselves time to quiet our minds, we often find an influx of thoughts and emotions that seem to be without control. All these things can contribute to an overall sense of instability. We know that some aspects of yoga can aid in our sense of rooting and foundation. When we allow ourselves to feel that groundedness, we often find the space to evaluate not just where we are presently, but also where we are coming from and where we are going. This is where sustenance comes in and becomes very important.

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