To keep our ego in check, it’s helpful to re-approach our practice with the eyes of a beginner, so I’m returning to the first few times I approached my mat with all my baggage. Spoiler: It’s okay to begin something. Read More
We’re so proud to have completed our third 200 hour teacher training program with our eight lovely graduates. Eight unique personalities, eight different purposes for participating in teacher training, and eight paths onward from here -- it’s an exciting moment for all of us at Stray Dog! Read More
No matter how much cold weather is embraced or despised, we inevitably prepare for its arrival by winterizing our lives. From our wardrobe to our cars and homes, we go through the motions to make sure these areas are holding in heat and running smoothly. Ayurveda (the sister science of yoga that outlines how to maintain balance between mind, body and environment) tells us to do the same thing with our health. Read More
We all have habits both on and off the mat. Some of us are Grade A fidgeters when we hit our first downward facing dog. Others are vinyasa diehards, and take every single chaturanga. In our practice, it is helpful to take a step back and examine our deeply engrained patterns, or samskaras. Read More
Nadi Shodhana (Channel Clearing or Alternate Nostril) Breath is a technique that can be used to help relieve stress and balance both sides of the brain. Be sure to keep the breath smooth and effortless as you move through each breath cycle.
1. Start by finding a comfortable, stable seat and taking a few deep, steady breaths with the eyes closed and the hands resting on the thighs. Elongate the spine and soften the shoulders, jaw and brow.
2. When you feel centered, bring the right hand to Vishnu Mudra by connecting the pointer and middle finger to the palm.
3. Begin by gently closing the right nostril with the thumb and inhaling through the left nostril. Gently close the left nostril with the ring finger and exhale out the right nostril. Keep the right nostril open, Inhale. Pause. Exhale through the left. Continue this cycle for about a minute, or longer if appropriate.
4. End your last round by exhaling through the left nostril. Release Vishnu Mudra and allow the right hand to rest on the thigh. Keeping the eyes closed, allow yourself several moments to bathe in the afterglow of this soothing breath work.
Watch this short video for a demonstration from Maggie Ryan.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes tapas as heat or intensity. My favorite definition of tapas is: “the willingness to endure intensity for the sake of transformation.” In our yoga practice, this can directly apply to the effortful and intense poses we hold to gain strength or newfound flexibility. Yet, we are not to endure intensity merely for the sake of intensity, but rather for what we glean moving through the experience. The perspective we gain on the other side. Read More
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is one of the
most commonly practiced asana in a vinyasa yoga class, so it's
normal to settle into habits. Let's take the time to break it down.
Here are some common misalignments in dog pose:
I like and dislike a plethora of things in my daily life. For
example, I love chocolate and I dislike cotton balls (strange, I
know!) In the studio, I love it when I have a spot near a wall, and
I dislike it when my mat is out of alignment with the floor panels.
We all have a slew of likes and dislikes ranging from
the ordinary to the absurd.