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Why I Still Practice Yoga After 20 Years

This coming September will mark 20 years I’ve been practicing yoga.  Except for a 2-year period where I hit a major wall, said “I’m done. Fuck Yoga. I am going to play tennis, drink beer, watch tv and be a regular person”, I have practiced most everyday over this time.  After so many years and so many thousands of hours of practice, I figured it might be time to finally admit to myself why I practice. I began yoga as a sophomore in college because my best friend and tennis […]

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The Psoas is not the muscle of your F@#$%ING soul

For years now I have seen different articles, books and advertisements stating that the psoas is the muscle of your soul.  Claims are being made that the psoas is the source of all back and hip pain and releasing it will cure your disc issue and heal your sciatica.  To some of these writers, it is also the main storehouse for your emotional issues and since it is where your fear, anxiety and depression reside, all you have to do is lengthen your psoas and distress will magically disappear from […]

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Breath, Sports and Consciousness

About 4 years ago I was having a conversation with a friend who told me that the Navy teaches their soldiers to breathe in and out of their noses while they’re training. At first thought, I said, “That’s a mistake”, but as I thought about it more, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. My initial thought came because in tennis we are taught to exhale out our mouths when we hit the ball. If you ever watched Andy Roddick play, especially in his last 3 years, you can audibly […]

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The Glutes

The Gluteus Maximus is part of our core stabilizing system.  It is supposed to be one of the strongest muscles in the body but due to our lifestyles and compensation patterns, this is often not the case.  Weak glutes can lead to back, hip, knee, neck pain and more.  Maintaining their functionality is of the utmost importance. The gluteus maximus originates from the upper posterior ilium and the posterior inferior surface of the sacrum and coccyx.  Covering the entire region of the buttocks, it passes over the greater trochanter of the hip and […]

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One Year Later

It has been almost one year since BKS Iyengar passed and it has been one year since my last post.  When I wrote of his death and the beautiful ceremonies that took place in Pune, I had no idea I would not write again for this long.  It was only about one month ago that I first realized how long it had been. Being in Pune for Iyengar’s passing had a profound impact on my life.  As I look back to those days and the depth I felt, my heart is […]

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The Passing Of Our Yoga Master

I have been hesitant to write this, but as I have been in Pune for 3 months now and have been a part of the processions and celebration of Guruji BKS Iyengar, I feel a bit compelled to write and share what it has been like to be here. The day that Guruji passed was one of the most grief stricken, sacred, and heart felt days of my life.   I am still trying to process all that went on.  The generosity of the Iyengar family is beyond words and for […]

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Class With Abhi

Today we had the honor of having women’s class with Abhijata.  It was a bit of a surprise as a different teacher started the class and only after about a minute of being in Ado Mukha Virasana did another voice emerge from the front of the hall.   People’s heads popped up and there was an immediate air of excitement in the room and a palpable deepening of the practitioner’s sincerity. Abhi conducted an absolutely joyous and brilliant class.  The clarity of her teaching, the linked sequence from first pose to […]

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The End Of Month Two

I just finished my second month here at the Iyengar Institute in Pune.  With only one month left, I already feel tinges of sadness and fear, and the desire to stay for the rest of the year. I will have completed 3 months by the time I leave, have learned so much, and still have that feeling that it wasn’t nearly enough and I want so much more. The second month was completely different from the first for me.  I was way less social, my health was much better and […]

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Backbends With Dave

Without a doubt, my favorite part of the day is the self practice in the hall from 9-12.  After the 7-9 am class, I often leave, eat half a watermelon or a coconut, and get back to the hall by 9:30 for 2 1/2 hours of practice.   In some ways, even though there is no teacher, this block of time is like a master class all in itself.  To be surrounded by 60-80 practitioners, all practicing diligently, exploring their capabilities, consciousness and creativity, is something that brings me joy day […]

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A Yogic Journey

Its 7am.  I am sitting in the yoga hall, sweat dripping down my back as Prashant enters to lead the opening chant.  He does it so matter of factly.  Nothing fancy at all.  As he speaks, I realize I can’t understand a word he is saying.  I start to panic and think,  “Shit, I really should have been listening to audio’s of his and Geeta’s so I can get used to their accents!”  I try to relax.  I let go of needing to hear, and I make out a couple words…”Balance the body, mind and spirit”.  Ok, I’m gonna be ok. Its been around 10 years I’ve been wanting to come to Pune, and this particular trip has been 2 1/2 years in the making.  The excitement and anticipation is huge, just as is the the terror and fright.  As class went on today, though, I felt myself relax more and more.  I could understand most of what Prashant was saying and certainly when the Sanskrit names of the asana’s came out his mouth, I was there. “Use asana as an end and a means”, he repeated. “Yoga should be done to you and for you, not by you”, he also espoused. Even with this wisdom coming through in the teaching, 40 minutes into class I wasn’t convinced.  “This guy’s kind of crazy”, I thought.   He was talking about how you need a different knife to cut an onion, potato, […]

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