Healthy Living Yoga

Yang vs. Yin Yoga

We need both in this life of dualism. Our body is a beautiful microcosm – it’s cosmic within. We know so much through advances in medicine and science but even to Dr. Hinohara (refer back to my 10/5/2013 post), much is still shrouded in mystery.  Some may refer to our body as a refined machine to marvel but as a non-medical person, I am in awe of it as a temple that houses our divinity… at its peak, I am in awe of it and …as it withers and ages, I am in awe of it. Modern medicine is amazing but it does not reverse the clock. What can we do? We need to tend to it … lovingly. Just like my grandmother used to pray with seasonal offerings, we need to make an offering to our own alter… in my case, through yoga and other movements …to lift the spirits.  All things important to us, we have to care for them or they wither away and languish or even perish…

More on this later – just realized I am subbing a yin class tomorrow for a wonderful teacher. May I just say that when I sub, I am not a replacement – I am just a provider of another style, another guide, a facilitator for you to find or stay on course on your own path. Just like there are many sherpas on the Himalaya, the maps we share are the same but we may not take the same route… the trail and the terrain may look a bit different … so please don’t expect me to replicate the same blue-print of your regular teacher whose style is unique and irreplaceable.

I like to sub as with me, I like breath of fresh air and enjoy the change in the routines. I tend to always unroll my mat at the same place, I always order green tea soy latte with no syrup, I always like to watch certain shows, I always like to X Y and Z… we are all a creature of habit. To me, it’s like this:  Subbing allows both the teacher and students to experience another style, another personality …. another way – it’s a good thing. Also it means that the regular teacher entrusted this humble sub just there to please by sharing her practice  – Thank you Myra & Marcella! I know this yoga tribe to be filled with brilliant gems…you are both precious, like such gems.  Thank you for your trust (that I won’t do something crazy!).

At Judith Lasater’s advance-level teacher training, we talked about how we hate subbing because of EGO…some egos have a distaste for anything called a “substitute”. Seems to me, there’s a prejudice or a perception that a sub is less than or not as good – it’s that notion you got from your school-boy/girl days growing up where subs really were there just to do the very minimum to get by, most with little passion. Post school, we need to see it as an opportunity to learn another way or a chance to enjoy a breath of fresh air. Prejudice clouds perception – why not see it as an opportunity to gain freedom from self imposed entrapments.  It’s an opportunity to explore something new.  Be assured it is not a waste of your precious time – Anything “new” is good for your brain circuitry!  As for your nerves, maybe you will grow new synapses just by coming in contact with me, serving as a sub:) What a thought!  My teacher, Judith Lasater herself started from subbing while she raised 3 children. I respect her authenticity for teaching regularly only when she felt she was able to really give all to her students. Because that’s what it takes… ALL.

I resigned from teaching regularly Thursday evenings at a lovely community center with lovely people for reasons I don’t feel like disclosing.  Yesterday, I was asked at a studio from a well meaning lady, “when would you be teaching?” – while it was flattering, I felt the pressure. I might have said something about ahhh, figuring out the schedule, etc. blah, blah (read “excuses”)- I should have said, thank you – let me know what works for you and I will try my best to accommodate. I am sorry I didn’t. I hope to be at that place sooner than later.

See you tomorrow AM – I will focus on stomach/digestive system… our “gut” so that you can live more true to your “gut” feelings. Your physical state totally affects your emotional state of being.  It’s all connected.  Unclog & detox (more through foods we eat) your meridians and allow the prana to flow to all your vital organs – feel the flow.  It’s my “gut” feeling – Very important region in our body as we head into the holiday season when we get overloaded with To Do list that snowballs. Hope to relieve you a bit through the magic of yoga:)



Beautiful People Yoga

Willpower & Yoga by Nancy

Was able to slip into one of my favorite local yoga teacher’s class today and feeling so much better from it – even though it might feel as though I am trailing (by choice… smelling the roses on the path and caring those who need my care…), It’s good to be on the same path of teaching (& learning) with someone you feel a kindred spirit towards.  I love to learn as much from those I respect.


This is Nancy’s Willpower Yoga workshop’s description:

We all make promises to ourselves that we find it difficult to keep. Psychologists now believe that willpower is like a muscle – the more it is exercised, the stronger it becomes in the long run. Find out more about why we are challenged to stay the course and discover ways to strengthen your resolve. This workshop is a unique combination of asana, discussion, guided meditation and yoga nidra (guided savasana) and is designed to help discover answers to the questions of why we behave the way we do, and provide techniques to help create better habits.


Isn’t it just what we all needed right before the holiday season? It’s just what I needed! Again, just like Dr. Hinohara we may all say this is common sense but that’s just it. We are far from being ignorant.  We know what’s good for us but we do not necessarily do what we know is good for us.  We need to explore why we trip up, why we fail, why we make the wrong choices. In this workshop, Nancy allows us that opportunity to explore the whys. She will be having more workshops and I highly recommend them.  In fact,  I will be first in line. While our styles are different, I believe our values and inspirations share the same source. Yes, I love to teach yoga but I also love to be a student with the right teacher – and in her class, I get to be on the receiver end and how I love that because with all her life experiences, she weaves a class that allows me to just let go.  It’s like unwrapping a gift from a friend – it’s that feeling I love.

Thank you Nancy!

Beautiful People

Henri Louis Bergson quoted


“…Men do not sufficiently realize

that their future is in their own hands.

Theirs is the task of determining first of all whether they want to go on living or not.

Theirs is the responsibility, then, for deciding if they want merely to live,
or intend to make just the extra effort required
for fulfilling, even on this refractory planet,
the essential function of the universe,
which is a machine for the making of gods.”
― Henri Louis Bergson

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”

― Henri Louis Bergson

Dr. Hinohara quoted from Bergson, concluding that YOU are the designer of your own life. Then he recited his own poem which summarized his message for us to live a more radiant life:

Change the Way You Live
Animals cannot change the way they run.
Birds cannot change the way they fly.
BUT human beings can change the way they live.
We, as human beings, can design our own destiny ourselves.

YES! *******************************************************************************

One of the startling data shared was that in US. 70% of population are obese; whereas in Japan, 25% are considered obese based on Body/Mass/Fat index measures.

According to Dr. Hinohara, the following disciplines  determine our health and well-being. Seemingly common sense but coming from a 102 year old doctor in practice for nearly 80 years, it makes you realize this:  We know what’s good for us by intellect, but we don’t necessarily do what’s good for us because something prevents us – what prevents us from doing what we know is good for us?

  1. How and what we eat (more on this* on later posts)
  2. How we breathe. (that’s pranyama)
  3. How and how much we move. (asana & dance)
  4. Quality of rest & quality of sleep. (Restorative & Yoga Nidra)
  5. Noting that rest is not necessarily the same as sleep. (more Restorative & Nature) – more on this coming!

His tips were interesting… and rather convincing especially coming from someone like him.  I think I will hit the studio now:)

* “For example, breast cancer patients who keep their insulin levels under control – a factor most often associated with diet and lifestyle – cut their risk of cancer recurrence in HALF and decrease cancer mortality by two-thirds.” per Rebecca Katz, MS.