Back home.

Yesterday I got on my yoga mat for the first time in almost 6 weeks. The past couple of months have been difficult dealing with family health issues, my husband getting into an cycling accident and several other curveballs that have come our way.
My yoga mat has always felt like home. But when things got really hard for me, that was the last place I wanted to be. And I couldn’t understand why. How could I turn my back on something that I love with all my heart.
I couldn’t even bring myself to roll my mat out at home.
I wanted nothing to do with it.
At all.
I questioned it and questioned it and I just couldn’t grasp why.
Getting back on my mat I finally understand. Yoga is the one thing that truly connects me. Mind, body, heart and soul. All of it. And it connects me to everything around me. It’s what makes everything make sense. It makes time seem to not exist. It aligns every part of me and shows me my own truth. It forces me to deal with my issues and to let them go once they have taught me what I’m supposed to learn. It shows me that everything is going to be okay. No matter what.
And I guess I just didn’t want to see those things. Maybe I wasn’t ready to deal with everything yet. Maybe I didn’t want to let go. Im guilty of suppressing things way deep down and not wanting to face them in hopes that they will magically go away. When you’re caught up in your own mental thunderstorms it’s really hard to see past the pain. And to allow yourself to do the things that you know will bring you joy. It’s like we punish ourselves or something. Or maybe I’m the only one who does that.
Regardless, I am grateful for a great friend for guiding me through my practice and for Soul Yoga for always being my home.

Living our practice 

I had a teacher a few years back who changed my practice drastically and completely altered the way I live my life (on and off my mat). She was one of those teachers who always taught exactly what I needed. Like she could read my mind (or my body). Her classes always left me wanting more and it was her who convinced me to take the leap and attend teacher training. One thing she taught us that I will always carry with me is that we must “live the practice”. She inspired us to put skin and bones on the intentions we set for our physical practice and to carry that with us as we roll up our mats and go out into the world as we live our lives. 

This is the hard part.

It’s easy to set an intention for a brief time when we are completely focused on one thing. In a yoga class setting we are taught to be mindful and focused and we are constantly drawn back to the breath and our reason for being on our mats (through the guidance and encouragement of an instructor). But what about when we leave the studio? What happens when we are no longer dressed in our cute little lululemon pants, surrounded by like-minded people moving and breathing together as one collective unit with someone telling us what to do? What happens when we are thick in the shit of living our lives? Where we have to deal with stress, deadlines, media stories that impact us on a deep emotional level, conflict, etc.

This is where 99% of our practice actually occurs. You see, the postures, or asanas, we do in a 60, 75, 90-minute yoga class are just a small fraction of our practice. We do the asanas and meditation practices to quiet and calm the mind in order to operate from a space of consciousness and openness. This expands our ability to respond to situations internally and externally rather than react to them. So that when someone does something that we don’t necessarily agree with or perhaps makes us angry, we can look at them as if we were looking in the mirror at a reflection of ourselves. It helps us to extend love and compassion to those who challenge us, question us and those who really push our buttons.
So what does it mean to “live the practice”? What is the practice of yoga all about?

It’s being intentional and doing things with love, compassion and acceptance.

It’s extending kindness towards others and to ourselves.

To stop for a brief moment to really focus on our breath whether it’s while driving our car or in the middle of a long run.

Waking up each morning and committing to being the best version of ourselves we can possibly be.

Making a conscious decision to live our lives from a place of peace and harmony with ourselves and with others.

To commit to not causing harm. To not steal or take more than our share. To release judgements and comparisons.

To find a mind, body and soul connection so that we can significantly increase our quality of life.

 
When we commit to the practice on and off our mats, and truly put in the work, we become motivated by our internal awareness rather than our external distractions.

You don’t ever even have to step foot on a mat to have a yoga practice. In fact, you are more than likely already doing yoga now, you just don’t realize it. You can tap into the practice when you are shopping for groceries, sitting at your desk at work or even when you are having a heated conversation with someone and you stop for two seconds and realize that what you thought you were going to say might actually not be the right to say.

To me, doing yoga (on or off the mat) is really just about being a good person. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be super deep and spiritual. It’s just about extending lovingkindness as much as possible. And nobody is perfect. I would be lying if I said I never spoke badly about someone or engaged in gossip. I have my fair share of issues that I have to work on but I know that at the end of the day I am doing the best I can. I am always striving to better myself. And that’s the point. Just working toward living a live where you can look yourself in the mirror and say “I am enough and so is everybody else”. Choosing love rather than fear or hate. And always being a light for someone else.

Myofascial Release Exercises for Athletes

Athletes place an immense amount of strain on their muscles and tendons especially as they increase their training and prepare for competition. Unfortunately, a common by-product of the increased activity is overuse injuries that can quickly sideline any athlete. This can easily be prevented by incorporating a form of self-massage, known as myofascial release, into the athletes training regimen.

Myofasical release is an easy, very effective way to loosen tight muscles and increase recovery time while keeping injuries at bay. This can easily be done using tennis balls or professionally made products by companies such as Rad Roller or Yoga Tune Up. When doing myofasical, try to avoid rolling directly over bone, swollen tissue or any areas that create pain of any kind. Spend as much time as you would like in the exercises below remembering to keep your focus on a steady breath. This is key. The more you can allow yourself to relax while doing these exercises, the more efficient they will be.

Foot: This can be done standing or sitting in a chair. Place the ball directly under your foot. Apply comfortable pressure and slowly roll the ball all around the bottom of the foot. Pay particular attention to any areas that feel especially tight specifically the inner and outer arches.

Feet

Hamstrings: From seated with legs extended, place the ball underneath your thigh. Press both hands into the ground to lift your hips (use blocks if needed) so you can roll the ball up and down the length of the hamstrings. Start at the sitting bones and work your down towards the knee.

Hamstrings

Hips: Lie on your back and bend your knees placing your feet onto the ground. Slide the balls under your hips so that they are right on the meaty portion of your glutes. Pick your left foot up and cross your ankle over your right thigh (if this feels like too much, keep both feet on the ground). To intensify the stretch, take both knees over to the right a few inches.

Hips

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IT Band: Lie on your right side with the leg extended sending the left leg in front of you with the foot planted for support. Slide a ball underneath your right thigh and rest your right forearm on the ground. Take a moment allowing the body to relax over the ball as you take a few deep breaths. Slowly begin to slide the body up and down over the ball starting from the top of the pelvis working your way down to just above the knee. If there is a particular area where you would like to spend some extra time, you can lower your upper body down onto the ground.

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ITband

Back: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Starting at the lower back, place two balls underneath your back on either side of your spine. Stay for a minute or so and then move the balls up about two inches, staying here for another minute and then moving up another two inches. Continue this up the spine and if you would like, you can work your way back down again.

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Back

After you have completed the exercises above, spend some time lying flat on your back in savasana (corpse pose). Allow the body to be completely relaxed here and spend a few moments focusing on your breath. Take about 20-30 slow, controlled breaths before slowly making your way back up.

Just chill out. 

I’ve made meditation a part of my daily routine for quite a few years now. It’s something that is very important to me and one thing that I try not to sacrifice. Of course, I’m only human and I’ve gone through times in the past where I fell short of my daily meditation goal. At times it’s been days and even months between each one.

 When I went to Florida for my Yoga Medicine training, Tiffany Cruikshank reignited that spark and inspired me to reconnect with my practice. In our training we would have daily meditations that would last 20-30 minutes. The first couple of times we did this I had a really hard time turning it all off and being in the moment. But once I allowed myself to surrender and to just be in the moment, I was able to relax and find stillness and peace. 

I forgot just how much I loved my practice and how incredibly important it is for me to just sit down and shut up for a bit. Other than when I’m sleeping, meditation is the only other time when I can turn off that little voice inside my head. The one with the constant dialogue. The one that never wants to shut up and at times can drive me close to insanity. As I’ve continued with this practice I’ve noticed some amazing side effects:

Mental Clarity

Calmness 

The ability to observe without feeling inclined to react

Greater awareness of my thoughts, actions, responses

The ability to make decisions based on how it will truly make me feel. 

Increased attention span.

Better sleep at night. 

Deeper connection to myself. 

More love and acceptance of myself and others. 

I can’t say enough about just how incredible a regular meditation practice is for your mind, body and soul. 

Here are some steps to establish a practice of your own. Remember, this should be tailored to what works for you. Play around with it and see what you think. 

1. Find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted. This really can be anywhere. Anywhere in the world. I have a room in my house that I’ve dedicated as my space to chill out. I prefer to light candles and sometimes diffuse oils or burn an incense but it really is your preference. 

2. Come into a comfortable posture that you can be still in. This can be seated, lying down or you might even use some yoga props or blankets to prop yourself up. I prefer seated with my legs crossed and my hands resting in my lap. Some people advise against lying down as you might end up falling asleep, but my thoughts are if you are relaxed enough to fall asleep, great. The point of this is to chill out and quiet the mind. If you fall asleep, clearly you needed it. But again, all of this is personal preference. 

3. Set a timer. I advise this especially as you are first getting into the routine of meditating. There are many different smartphone apps you can use. I really like Insight Timer. It’s free and very user friendly. Plus, if you’re a type A personality, you can track your practice. If you’re not interested in an app, simply use the timer function on your phone or just a kitchen timer works great too. If you are using your phone, be sure to switch it over to airplane mode so you don’t get distracted. I would recommend starting at 5 mins and increasing your time from there. Trust me, starting out, 5 mins feels like a long time to be still and quiet! 

4. Relax and Breathe. Once you are set up and you are comfortable, close your eyes. Draw your awareness inward. Start to notice the breath. Observe as it moves through the body. There are many different ways you can meditate. I encourage you to find what resonates with you. I really like to either count my breath or I repeat a mantra. One that is special and that I can connect with. This doesn’t have to be anything super complex. 

Some examples are: 

I breathe in love, I breathe out fear

I am love, I am light

I am strong, I am open

I am enough, I am enough 

Make this your own. That’s the only way you will stick with it. And if you notice that your mind starts to wander (and it will, trust me) draw the focus back to the breath. Every single time. Don’t get frustrated. Just observe the thoughts and allow them to go just as quickly as they come. And start small. This practice takes a lot of dedication and love. If you allow yourself to get upset or frustrated then you’ve lost the point of this. It’s about relaxing the body and stilling the mind. Finding just a nugget of peace in our very busy lives. Recognize how truly fortunate you are to have the opportunity to spend just a few moments in silence for self reflection and self love and appreciation. You might even get a journal and keep track of your practice and the things that come up mentally and emotionally for you. Have fun with this! Explore! 

Just enjoy the journey. Don’t focus so much on the destination. 

Namaste. 

 

Holidazed and Confused

It’s that time of year again and we are in thick of it. Christmas parties, booze, late nights, bad food, exhaustion, probably more booze, too many sweets, no sleep…..you get where I am going where. This is the time of year where we completely drain ourselves. The sad part is, we do this to ourselves willingly. I think it is safe to say that our ability to make good, positive, healthy, sound decisions completely goes out the window the entire month of December. It returns back in January left to pick up the pieces of our worn down, sick, hung-over, over indulged bodies. We treat our physical and mental bodies so horribly through the holidays, its no wonder why we set resolutions at the beginning of the year. But really, during December those New Years resolutions, goals, intentions, whatever you want to call them, only serve as a hall pass to do whatever the heck we want. So, we eat as much holiday candy as we can shove in our mouths, we have that extra glass of wine (every single time), we stay up way past our bed time and we completely give up working out because we have hit all time levels of exhaustion and, well, we will just hit it hard come January, right?

 It doesn’t have to be like this. Not at all. Not even close. We don’t have to drive ourselves into the ground all for the sake of having the best December of our lives. The holidays are a very exciting time of the year and with it come so much stress, pressure, anxiety, social gatherings, and not enough time spent on ourselves. Taking time to just slow down and breathe every now and then could do so much damage control.

Here are some tips to get you through the holidays to have a wonderful time while still keeping yourself at the top of your to do list.

  1. Don’t over commit yourself. Let me say that again: DO NOT OVER COMMIT YOURSELF. Seriously. It is so easy to do but, when it happens, you will instantly regret it. Take a look at your calendar and ask yourself what events, parties, socials, etc. you can omit for your list. What can you leave behind this year? Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to attend every single ugly sweater party you get invited to. Filling up your social calendar will only leave you tired, stressed and on the road to exhaustion. Decide what you can give up and stick to it. Trust me-you will feel TONS better.
  2. When you are at social gatherings, SKIP THE ALCOHOL AND SNACKS. This is what really starts to bring us down. Make a commitment to decide beforehand not to drink at the next party you go to and stick to it. We all know that alcohol impairs your ability to make good decisions and is full of empty calories (which is not flattering to your waist line). Speaking of not flattering to your waist line-lets talk about the snacks and unhealthy food that is served at most parties. If you know there is going to be a bunch of nutrient lacking, fat and sugar filled little devils that you can’t keep your hands off of, then eat before you go to the party. Have a salad with some protein to keep you full. One good decision leads to another so start the night off on the right foot!
  3. TAKE A TIMEOUT FOR YOURSELF. This is huge! I can’t stress it enough. Schedule a massage, meditate, take a restorative yoga class, spend an evening at home watching Christmas movies and partaking in an early bedtime. Whatever it is, slow down and spend time focusing on you and a little bit of self-care.
  4. STAY COMMITTED TO AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE. Spend at least thirty minutes three times a week exercising. Grab some friends and go for a walk or jog, take a group fitness class, hit up a gym, turn some music on and dance. Do what you have to do to move your body. The endorphins that are released during exercising will make you feel incredible and you will be more inclined to make better decisions throughout your day.

It’s really not that hard to take care of yourself during the holidays. You just have to want to do it and make yourself your number one priority. Don’t let the holidays come and go without taking a moment to stop and breath.

 

Why Every Athlete Should Do Yoga

As a yoga instructor, I get approached all the time by my cycling and running friends with questions about yoga. It seems that a majority of people are interested in the health benefits of yoga but are not convinced of how it will help them in their sport. They are more concerned with the fact that they are not flexible and are too intimated to give yoga a try, often times just dealing with any aches or pains in their bodies. For a lot of athletes who have intense training schedules, finding the time to incorporate yoga into their already busy day is often challenging. However, not much time is needed and the benefits to the athlete’s performance make it just as important as any other element of their training plan. Yoga is the perfect complement to any competitive athlete’s training and I think it is safe to say that without it, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage and missing an opportunity to enhance your performance and reach your full potential.

Yoga has become more popular over the past decade and is now being recognized in the professional sport realm for its ability to aid in injury prevention and provide the athlete with the strength and flexibility needed to perform in their particular sport. Athletes such as Shaquille O’ Neal and LeBron James (legendary basketball players), Ray Lewis (linebacker for Baltimore Ravens), Mike Kryzewski (legendary Duke and USA national team basketball coach, Vernon Davis (tight end for San Francisco 4ers), Blake Griffin (forward for LA Clippers) and Tom Brady (Quarterback for New England Patriots) are just a few who have added yoga into their training regimen.

I personally started practicing yoga at a time when I was training for multiple half-marathons and competing in duathlons. I was running and cycling 5-6 days a week and felt yoga would be the perfect addition and would be great for cross training. Yoga was a complete game changer and I have been hooked ever since. Here are some of the many benefits that athletes can expect to experience by incorporating yoga into their weekly workout routines:

1. Improved Strength: With a routine and consistent practice, yoga is able to strengthen the athlete’s under-utilized muscle groups. With specific focus of these muscle groups, these supportive muscles are able to be strengthened enough to help aid in injury prevention and provide more power to the athlete during training and competition. Core strength is one of the most important, overlooked areas for most athletes. Since this area is the body’s center of gravity, it provides the foundation for all movement within the body. This can aid in lower back pain relief and add speed to the athletes sport by allowing the whole body to move in unison while exerting less energy. This will also improve posture and contribute to overall health.

2. Mental Control: Athletes have the amazing ability to push their bodies to the limits and although the physical benefits of yoga are huge, the mental control one can gain is nothing in comparison. There are times in the practice where the student must hold a pose and be completely still, while utilizing the strength of the muscles involved in the pose. This is when the mind starts to wander and it starts to flood the brain with thoughts, feelings or emotions that we just don’t want to deal with. This comes up even more so in the final posture, savasana, where the student finishes up their practice by lying on their back and resting for a few minutes. This should be a time of complete relaxation and stillness but for some, this is the most challenging part of the entire practice. Although an athlete can suffer physically during competition, the moment they are asked to be still is really when the hard work begins. If an athlete can get past the mental barriers holding them back in their practice, they will be that much stronger come competition time, giving them an advantage over their opponents.

3. Improved Flexibility: For most people this is the most well-known benefit of yoga and the one thing that prevents most people from ever stepping onto a yoga mat. Most think that their lack of flexibility will prevent them from ever being able to do yoga. You may not have any flexibility at all, but with a consistent practice, that will be a thing of the past. Stretching works to improves the joint and muscular flexibility. This is another excellent aid in injury prevention. Most athletes experience repetitive motions in their sport. The more we do those repetitive motions without stretching (and strengthening) the muscles, the greater the risk for injury to occur. Common overuse injuries include those involving the illiotibial band (IT band), knee, hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders and lower back. These injuries often times are due to poor core strength, misalignment and lack of flexibility. Yoga helps to alleviate these issues in order to minimize and/or prevent injuries from occurring and sidelining the athlete. If injured, the athlete will be able to recover much quicker than they would have without yoga. Simple stretching before and after a workout is not enough. Most athletes are typically stretching the same muscles in the same direction every time. Yoga works the muscles and joints through all ranges of motion and not only targets the big muscle groups but the smaller ones as well which aid to support the primary muscles used in the athletes sport.

4. Balance: Balance postures can correct muscle imbalance and poor body mechanics. Better balance means more coordination, which will allow the athlete to have better control of their body. This will help with technique and form in their sport.

Now that you know some of the benefits of yoga, it’s time to start incorporating it into your weekly workout routine. If you don’t know where to get started, look for studios near your home or work, many offer various classes throughout the day for a small fee. If a public setting is not your thing, there are multiple websites that offer videos (some at a fee) and these can be tailored to your preference for length, level and style of yoga. Two of my favorites are http://www.yogaglo.com and http://www.yogavibes.com. There are numerous books and magazines that provide guidance on yoga postures and you can find them at your local library or amazon.com. If you know of any yoga instructors, reach out to them. Many offer private lessons and this is a great way to get on-one-on interaction with an instructor who can customize a yoga practice for your body, sport, any injuries you may have and where you are at in your training. Ideally, during your peak season, your yoga practice will be more about recovering the body and stretching the muscles that are being used repetitively. The off season is when more of the strength building and vigorous practice comes into play. This is where having those private lessons becomes advantageous. Everything is tailored specifically to you. Whatever method you chose, be prepared for all the positive changes to come. Most importantly, have fun and don’t take it too serious.

Come as you are…..regardless of flexibility.

When I tell people that I teach yoga, the most common thing I hear is “I wish I could do yoga, but I’m just not flexible enough. I can’t even touch my toes.”

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NEWSFLASH!! Being flexible is not a prerequisite for yoga. In fact, that is why we do yoga: to find more flexibility. That flexibility is not just within our bodies as we lengthen and strengthen our muscles, it’s within our minds as well.

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Yoga is for every single person. The flexible and inflexible. The tall and the short. The skinny and the overweight. Man and woman. White and black. Strong and weak. As you start to practice you might actually discover that although you have tight hips, you have a flexible back. Or maybe you have really loose hips but extremely tight shoulders. Often times what we lack in some areas, we make up for in others.

Flexibility, or the capacity of muscles and connective tissue to stretch around joints and bones, is based on each individual persons genetic makeup. Our bodies are all uniquely made and there may be areas in your body that will never achieve full flexibility. Sure, I might be able to touch my toes but my left outer hip miscles are extremely tight and after years of yoga practice they aren’t getting any looser. But, between running and cycling I think about how tight they would be if I didn’t stretch them at all. So, I continue to work towards one day finding more freedom in my hip. With anything else that is worth having, it takes time to get it.

The great thing about the human body is how much it can vary from person to person. Women have a larger pelvis than men and the size of it varies at different rates among various people, some people have a sixth lumbar vertebrae (about 10% of the population), the way our femurs set in the acetabulum of the pelvis is not the same for everyone and a whole host of other issues including the size of our muscles and bones which could cause bone on bone, muscle on bone or muscle on muscle compression issues that are not easily corrected. We must also take into account what we do with our bodies on a daily basis. Some people sit at a desk all day while others stand on their feet. Some are very active and live athletic lifestyles while others spend most of their free time on the couch in front of the tv. Some people don’t get a whole lot of movement in their job while others have physically demanding jobs that require them to moving all day long.

We must learn to understand that we are all uniquely created and accept our bodies as they are.

“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life-yoga is not to be performed, yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, it’s essence must be embodied.” Aadil Palkhivala

I often tell people that the first couple of yoga classes are a little awkward. It’s all about the experience and soaking it all in. My first few classes were definitely not pretty. I was so consumed with worring that others were judging me that I couldn’t relax. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I wasn’t sure what the heck the instructor was saying and it took me a few classes before I started to learn the cues to get into the postures. I always recommend setting your mat up towards the back of class so you can observe what others are doing. It takes a while to realize that nobody in the room is paying attention to what you are doing and the sooner you can come to terms with that, the more you will be able to completely be yourself and truly reap the benefits of your practice.

When you step on your mat, do so with an open mind. No expectations. Allow yourself to fully embrace your practice. Connect to your breath. Stay present and aware of what’s going on with your body. Observe but don’t pass judgement. Let every breath you take bring you closer to letting go of what needs to be gone and taking in everything you need from your practice. Remember, we are all unique and you’re practice is yours alone. It’s all about your experience with your body and mind.

Disconnect to Reconnect

I recently took a vinyasa class at one of my favorite local studios. I had noticed that one of the students had brought their phone into the studio, and although that’s not something that I would personally do, I didn’t think much about it. As we went through class, I was completely connected to my practice. It was one of those practices where I felt like I was the only person in the room. I was in the moment with full connection to my mind, body and breath. That was until towards the end of class when we were in Ardha Matsyendrasana and we had turned to face the back of the room. Right in front of me was that same student having a full conversation over text while she was in her seated twist. I looked around the room to see if any one else had noticed. There were a few people who had also taken notice of this technology based conversation taking place. I was completely dumbfounded and for the rest of my practice I was distracted by this student and unable to return back to that bliss-filled state of presence on my mat.

Most classes are only 60-75 minutes long. Are we a society that is so reliant on our technology that we cannot be without it for even an hour at a time in order to be able to work on what matters most? Our own mental and physical health are at stake here. The idea of setting my phone next to my yoga mat gives me a tremendous amount of anxiety. I appreciate and look forward to time that I am completely unreachable and disconnected from my phone and endless social media feeds. There is something freeing and liberating about knowing that for the next hour or so nobody is wanting anything from me, I have nowhere to be, no phone calls/texts to answer, nothing. I can completely be present on my mat. When I am practicing yoga and meditation, my practice works better and feels better if I am able to focus on what is happening in my body and mind. Connecting with my breath as I move from posture to posture. My practice is my time.

I am highly against cell phones in class and although I would not ban my students from having them next to their mat, I would strongly encourage them to think about why they feel the need to do so. If they truly have to have it, and I feel that there are certain situations that warrant it (which would include a nurse/doctor being on call, having kids that are at home by themselves so mommy/daddy could get their practice in or various other personal issues) I would ask that the student place their mat in the back row with their phone on vibrate and if they need to answer it to kindly step out and be discreet when doing so. If you feel so connected to your phone that you cannot be without it for an hour, I would venture to say that you probably need yoga more than anyone else in the room.

In this fast paced, technology driven society that we live in, it is so important to shut down, detach, unplug and turn it off for just a short while in order to spend time reconnecting with who we truly are. Although technology makes our lives easier (most of the time), more convenient and something in which we rely heavily on to do our day to day activities, it does not define who we are. One of the eight limbs of yoga is the called the yamas. These are the social restraints that we should adhere to in order to help us get closer to obtaining liberation and finding eternal bliss. There are five yamas: Ahimsa (non-violence), Staya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (moderation) and finally, aparigraha (nonattachment). Nonattachment would include treating your cell phone as a security blanket. Not allowing yourself to go anywhere or do anything without it. If you’re cell phone is next to your mat and you are constantly distracted by texts, phone calls, etc. you are wasting your time and your practice is nothing more than just moving your body around on a mat. There is no presence, no focus, no deeper sense of self. It is all just fluff.

So, next time you consider setting your phone next to your mat, think twice. Know that you deserve your time more than anybody else. You deserve your practice, your connection to your breath, your intention. . Allow yourself to fully take advantage of the short time you have to be able to turn everything off and tune in to your mind and body. YOU deserve it and you will be able to take away so much more from your practice. Guaranteed.