restorative yoga

Honor the Rhythms of Nature this Fall + Winter!

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I love this time of year. Fall is my favorite! From the foods, to the extra crisp air at night and even the longer nights. But not everyone thrives this time of year so here are some seasonal tips to help you feel more connected to nature (within yourself and on your yoga mat), and also ways to give yourself more permission to rest this time of year. Even if your schedule is demanding!

Tip 1: Get outdoors every day, even 5 minutes. You can use your commute to do a little walking meditation on the way to work.

With each step feel your feet connect to the ground below you (pay attention instead of rushing, I promise it will make a difference!). Breathe with more awareness in and out (through the nose or mouth with your exhales) as you walk. And bring your attention to the sole action of walking. This can help to clear the mind and is a great way to start your day.

Tip 2: Notice your energy level throughout the day. Try a 1 minute seated breath exercise to energize and relax.

If you are feeling lethargic mid-afternoon take a few minutes, close your eyes and take 1 minute to watch your breath in and your breath out (through the nose). Do this upright preferably seated in a chair with your spine long. Let your breath go into the places that feel tense - not with force, but with gentle awareness. It is intuitive but this practice will actually wake you up and relax you at the same time. Focus on breathing with awareness like you do in yoga - breathe into the entire body in and out. Another great way to both wake yourself up and relax is alternate nostril breath. Here is a little tutorial on that practice.

BONUS: If you haven’t already listened I release guided meditations each month on my SoundCloud page. you can view this month’s latest one here.
+ Subscribe to get these each month here: http://eepurl.com/cwZMhX

Tip 3: Practice one relaxing yoga pose when you get home at night or before bed. Set the goal to do this every week (and even more if you can). Especially this time of year! We all need more rest.

One of my favorite restorative yoga poses is legs up the wall. To practice this at home I actually encourage you to do it in bed, or at a wall space that is clear and has enough room to extend your legs up.

Bring a small pillow or blanket about 4 inches away from the wall. Sit on this pillow or blanket with your side parallel to the wall, bring one hip down, lay on your side and scooch your butt to the wall. You will be on your side completely with your shoulder on the ground. Then pivot and extend your legs up the wall. Adjust if you are little crooked and make sure the pillow or blanket feels good under your low back. You can go closer to or further from the wall here. Choose which option feels better in your body not what you think you should do!

LAST TIP: Take Care of Yourself Well!

This doesn't mean you have to go to the spa or get a massage every weekend, but do one kind thing for yourself everyday. The littlest things matter. Like putting on music you love when you get home from a long day, lighting a candle, doing any of the above practices, and remember giving yourself permission to REST is the most important thing you can do this time of year!

3 Cooling Practices for Summer

Summer and me have a love/hate relationship.

I crave the freedom to play, to explore, change up my routine and get outside a lot more. But, I often find myself face to face with struggle during this season. In the summer in particular I come face to face with desire and craving. As a fiery person (and a pitta in Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science) by nature I crave excitement, activity and social gatherings. But I can easily overdo it and wind up feeling depleted. 

Listen to your energy, and if you are present you will begin to learn when it is truly enough and you need to rest (or when you have the energy to continue). Make plans if you like but let go of the outcome in the moment. Have fun and live fully!

+++ Here are 3 yoga poses to help cool your mind + body if you find yourself feeling anxious, overheated or ungrounded this summer.

We often forget that we have tools available to us wherever we are - whether you are traveling or at home, to feel more rejuvenated and present all summer long. 

Take at least a few minutes for each pose below, and you will feel refreshed and relaxed at the end of this practice:

P.S. Learn more poses + ways to feel refreshed this summer in my upcoming Extended Restorative Yoga Workshop with Live Music in San Francisco on July 30th at Yoga Tree Stanyan. Pre-register at http://goo.gl/l2x8Dd.