All posts tagged: Yoga

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While Writing a Book About Self Worth, I Had to Learn How to Practice It

Earlier this summer, after learning a writing teacher I wanted to study with in Cape Cod wasn’t available, I asked my literary coach and yoga instructor, Lisa Weinert, to help me put together a personalized writing retreat that I could enjoy at home in New York City. Instead of escaping to spend time writing in some remote bucolic place, I’d find peace in the chaos of Manhattan. I spend a lot of time focusing on fleeing where I live in order to get in touch with — or to reclaim — another part of myself. And although I love a good island or mountain vacation, all too many times I’ve come home and the sense of peace I enjoyed evaporates as I try to shove my suitcases onto the closing doors of the subway after a long flight home.  It was ironic. I spent so much time dreaming about visiting other places, but here I was, planning more time in the thick August heat of New York City while everyone else was dreaming of the …

Why Healing Touch is Better Than a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

When I tell someone I have a healing touch practitioner, I still have the impulse to apologize — to feel some misplaced, new age shame for saying my magnetic energy fields need realignment, or even to speak of having them at all. It’s silly. You’d think that after 30-odd years at the spiritual salad bar — self-help books, yoga, rosaries, meditation and finally the path of sobriety — that I’d just come out with whatever I’m doing now to keep myself in check with no concern about the possible woo-woo factor. I send my dog to day care, for God’s sake. What kind of shame about my life choices can I possibly have left? A little, it’s true. Deep inside of this post-millennial searcher is the voice of the Greatest Generation that helped to raise me, that says — with love — that a grilled cheese sandwich, a beer and maybe a movie will fix what ails me, so stop my bitching. But that’s been proven disastrously wrong. So I’ve learned that when the magnetic …

Margit’s Note: Sun Salutation

Is that? Could it be? I squint at the light streaming through my window. Nope. Not true. I don’t believe you, Outside. Here on the East Coast, we’ve been pummeled and frozen for months by the snow. I’ve barely left the apartment. I’ve worn — and only worn — the same pair of slush-splattered snow boots for six weeks running. During a two-full-days-trapped-inside stint, my food source devolved into a fridge scavenger hunt for leftover takeout rice reanimated with a little hot sauce. So I remain, a slug. But this sun… could it be? I slide out of bed, press play on the coffee and fall onto the couch for a five-minute Candy Crush break (I know). I could go back to sleep, but I have to leave for a meeting in an hour. My husband waves goodbye and before I can shuffle to my first cup, the door bell rings. Huh? I’m not expecting any packages. A cheery voice pipes through the intercom. “It’s Kimberly!” SHIT. My yoga teacher. I’d completely forgotten she was …

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The TueDo List: Yoga for Writers, the Echo and Dude Flicks You’ll Dig

The first ever selfie, Yoga for Writers and Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler This week’s issue was all about—and mostly by—men. There are lots of things to do this weekend made by or featuring guys that we can all enjoy. So have at it, ladies and gents. And whatever men you happen to hang out with this weekend, may they be of the enlightened variety (and even more so after they hang out with you.) Yoga—for Writers I love San Francisco, and nothing makes me want to book a last minute ticket from DC (you know, if I were a millionaire) than Chronicle columnist Mark Morford’s Yoga for Writers class at Yoga Tree on Sunday from 1:15-4:15. “One part hotly energized yoga class, one part fearless creative writing workshop, taking turns with each, blurring the edges of both. What will emerge? How will your voice change? Can a good backbend scandalize your boring syntax?” Oh yeah. Mark promises dynamic asana sequences interspersed with bursts of creative writing exercises, and the opportunity to fulfill the dream I didn’t know …

The TueDo List: Weepy Tunes, Tearjerkers and Cathartic Yoga

When was the last time I cried? Yesterday. A friend was so kind to me and so empathetic about something that I was experiencing that I let the tears come and didn’t stop until I was good and done, thank you very much. Sometimes it’s the best and healthiest thing I can do for myself, before I dust myself off, fix up my lipstick and move on. So pass the tissues, please – and never underestimate the healing power of a good cry. Just don’t let it last all weekend. Crying Songs If you like your music with a chorus of tears, two recent releases will hook you up. I heard an unfamiliar Sarah McLachlan song in a store recently, and when it immediately bummed me out I had to admit I admired her decades-long commitment to depressing music, even if I dive for the remote every time I hear her start to sing “Angel”. I have seen those puppies one too many times, can’t lie. Her May release Shine On  ($11.88, Amazon) kicks off with …

The TueDo List: Hiking, Lloyd Dobler, Exercise, TV and Ice Cream

“I gave her my heart and she game me at pen.” (Artwork: Jayme Perry/Yahoo Movies) Loved them, left them — but you’ve still got the weekend. What’s a girl about town to do? Here’s what. Get Moving It’s a statistically proven fact that summer is the best time for a break up. I just made up that statistic, but I’m standing by it. Because distractions! There are so many of them, and the weather gives you no reason to stay in your house and sulk. So grab a friend who owes you an ear from her own love tragedy and hit a hiking trail near you. Nature is so good for you, and you’ll also be too tired to cry at the end of the day if you walk enough or take a tough route. TrailLink from the Rails to Trails Conservancy is a great guide to local trails nationwide, as is AllTrails, compiled by National Geographic, which include difficulty ratings, elevations, user reviews and photographs. Remember Lloyd Dobler Say Anything’s Lloyd Dobler set the bar pretty high …

How I Cleared Out the Clutter in My Heart

Last spring while I was in a yoga class, the song, “Hearts A Mess” by Gotye came on. And it struck me that I was right there with him: my heart was literally a junkyard of broken bits. When people talk about tidying up, immediately thoughts fly to the home: desks cluttered with unopened mail, drawers filled with messy receipts, closets that seems to vomit forth clothes you can’t remember ever wearing. We buy magazines that tell us how to de-clutter our home to help keep us sane and happy. They tell us we’ll breathe easier after hauling 20-gallon trash bags worth of useless items to the curb. We’re better people now that we’ve rid ourselves of all that physical clutter. But what we rarely stop to consider is the wreckage of our past, as it remains cluttered in our hearts. The relationship that never quite died, the rejection letter that told you your work was not good enough, the person who told you your love was not quite right for them. Whether it’s hardened …

Becoming More Bendy (Or Why Balance is B.S.)

The author aims for a flexible life. (Photo: TueNight) Bendy people are not necessarily happier people. That was my yoga teacher’s pronouncement as she watched her students struggle with backbends and pigeon poses. I chuckled along with the rest of the class at the ridiculousness of that statement, but in truth, her words had real resonance. Even after years of practice, I am not particularly bendy. I sometimes glance sideways at my mat-mates, envious of those who can wrap themselves into pretzels or place their palms flat on the floor while standing with their knees perfectly straight. That will never be me. The good news is that flexibility is neither a virtue nor a talent, at least not in yoga class. But outside of the studio — in real life — I’m working like hell on getting a whole lot bendier. As I evolve, so does my definition of balance. It once meant finding that elusive spot where work and family life meshed, and I was able to successfully keep many juggling balls in the …

What I Thought My Gift Said… And What My Husband Really Thought

We all aim to get this gift-giving thing right, right? Every year, I think I’ve finally mastered it for my husband, only to realize, through a combination of his luke-warm reactions and, more definitively, the gift remaining unopened months later, that I have once again failed. I figure it’s one of two things: Either my husband is the hardest person on the planet to shop for (it’s probably this), or my gifts give off a vibe of an assignment. I should mention that my husband has never actually complained about these gifts out loud (ok, once, because I gave him the same shirt two years in a row). But the evidence is strong, and I know what he’s thinking. In fact, here’s how the inner dialogue has gone down for the last 3 years. 2010: The Yoga Mat 
Manduka Big, $76, zappos.com What I thought this gift said: Yoga! It’s so good for you! And, I know you didn’t notice, but I actually heard you talking to John, the neighbor, about how he’s been doing Iyengar. And I …

How I Lost (And Regained) My Handstand

When I lost my dream job, my life went topsy-turvy — so much so that I also lost my handstand. I’m not talking about a gymnastics-style handstand — the kind where perky and muscular athletes like Nadia Comaneci or Gabby Douglas walk around on chalky hands to win Olympic medals. I’m referring to the yoga handstand, often done with the help of a wall. Known in Sanskrit as Adho Mukha Vrksasana, this handstand is my favorite yoga pose. The benefits include increased blood flow to the brain, which is obviously very helpful when it comes to thinking on your feet, once you’re upright again. Typically, this handstand is one of the poses you do toward the end of class, after you’re a malleable and sweaty pretzel. You’re now all warmed up and your shoulders are nice and loose, so your body is perfectly prepped for that handstand. I’m by no means a crazy athlete, by the way. But being able to pop myself into this handstand was just one of those karmic things I could …