Tapas – Burn Off The Heaviness

January 2, 2019 | Yoga

The term tapas is derived from the Sanskrit root “tap” meaning “to burn.” Tapas can mean either cultivating restraint or burning away impurities physically, mentally and emotionally.  It implies a sense of fiery discipline or passion. Tapas also refers to the heat that gets our heart pumping and motivates us toward change. Lois Nesbitt (yoga teacher) described the heat of tapas as coming from “the friction generated by going against the grain of habit, of complacency, of doing what is easiest” (2009, para. 5). The purpose of tapas is to burn off the heaviness in our bodies, energy flow, and mental processes to awaken the dormant energy within.  You can activate tapas during asana, pranayama and meditative yogic practices. Tapas in Yoga PracticeDuring asana (the physical practice of yoga), tapas can be the simple discipline of making time for our personal practice. It can also apply to the type of practice we do – … Continued

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Detoxing with Yoga

October 24, 2017 | Naturopathic Medicine

I’m addicted to yoga.  As a naturopathic doctor, business owner, wife, mother, and friend, my life can be very full of both happiness and pain.  When life gets hectic, stress can cause anxiety and weaken the immune system, and if we aren’t careful, toxins from the environment, our food and stress can overwhelm our bodies.  Yoga is a great way for me to reconnect to my body and slow down.  If you are interested in regular detoxing, a consistent yoga practice is a great way to keep up.What is a toxin and how do they affect you? A toxin is any substance or thought that has harmful effects on the body.  Toxins can come from the environment, lifestyle choices, or from emotional baggage such as chronic stress and negative thought patterns.  Overtime, build up can result in:Digestive IssuesElevated CholesterolWeight GainAllergiesSkin DisordersFatigueMuscle, Joint PainAnger, DepressionDark CirclesHormonal ImbalancesPoor Immune SystemInsomniaand Chemical SensitivitiesBreathing is an often … Continued

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Diet Coke, Yoga, and the Mind-Body Connection

July 28, 2017 | Yoga

There was a time when diet coke was my very favorite drink in the whole world.  I would stop at the Safeway for a 44 oz diet coke on the way to the office, and then refill it at lunch, and even more at dinnertime.  Every morning, I looked forward to that familiar first sip, the bite of the carbonation, the sharp refreshing taste, the complete lack of calories. It was like we were meant for each other.  A mutually beneficial relationship.Like any good American woman, I understood at a visceral level that calories were my enemy, and to the extent sugar-free stuff helped me avoid them, without actually giving up things I liked to eat, I blessed whomever it was who came up with the stuff.   So when I started yoga teacher training, I was still drinking prodigious amounts of the elixir and enjoying it tremendously.  Not at the yoga … Continued

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Out of My Body, Into My Mind: Yoga & the Mind-Body Connection

July 5, 2017 | Yoga

Since I’ve started practicing yoga, I’ve gone out of my mind.  Of course, some people will suggest it wasn’t the yoga that caused this, but I’m pretty sure yoga has something to do with getting me out of my mind and into my body.  One of the most-touted benefits of yoga is a greater connection between the mind and the body.  When I first started yoga, I was functioning under the common misconception that a better connection between mind and body would mean that I could get my body to do what my mind told it to.  I was functioning under the common misconception that a better connection between mind and body would mean that I could get my body to do what my mind told it to.Remember those commercials for Advil, where the mountain biker suddenly realizes in horror that he is allowing his body to dictate how far he can push … Continued

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