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“There’s a rebirth that goes on with us continuously as human beings. I don’t understand, personally, how you can be bored. I can understand how you can be depressed, but I just don’t understand boredom.” ~~ Dustin Hoffman

March is here, and the groundhog told us last month that Spring was on its way, so I am super excited to move on from Winter! Springtime is always an exciting time to me because there is so much new and returning life coming into the world. New flowers blooming, new leaves on the trees, new buds popping up from the things planted in a garden. The birds come back, so I get to hear their beautiful morning chirps. Good stuff!

Because there is so much “new” going on at this time of year, it’s the perfect time to de-clutter. To make room for all the new, sometimes we need to remove the things that no longer serve us. I like to think of it as a rebirth of sorts. If you take the time to REALLY think about what you should remove from your life, and then REALLY think about what you want to replace that with, isn’t that sort of creating a new you? I think so!

For me, I love this process. I love getting introspective and mulling over all the things I’m doing in my life, taking a long hard look at each one so I can figure out if it’s still something that is helping me grow. In the past, I’ve just noted it in my head and promised to get rid of it. Then I think about where I want to go in my life and start trying to think of what I can incorporate to help me get there. But again, I have typically just noted in my head what I want and promise to make it happen.

What I’ve found is that I’ve lost probably 50% of what I committed to get rid of or add in. Why? Probably because, for me and for most people, it doesn’t keep you accountable. If there is no record of what you decided on, then it doesn’t count, in my opinion. Because, let’s face it — sometimes giving up something we’re used to is HARD! It may be something that, even though it isn’t good for us, it sure does FEEL good! Or for the things we know we need to start doing, it may require us to deal with some uncomfortable emotions or situations — who wants to feel all SQUIRMY, right?!

This year, I’m approaching this season of change and rebirth a little differently. I’m writing things down this time. I’ve got a journal, and I’m doing a different mental exercise each day and then writing about it in my journal. Once I’ve made my way through each exercise, I will review it all and use those writings to help me write out my final list — my list of things to boot out the door and things to bring in.

What kind of exercises? Well, I just happen to be participating in a great 31-day challenge right now with a group of amazing women, and the whole goal is to better ourselves (shout out to Sarah for starting this group and organizing each day’s challenge…she truly is amazing! I don’t know if she reads my blog, but I hope she understands how much women need these kinds of challenges…we so often beat ourselves up for the most mundane of things!). Each day, we get a new challenge and some of those involve writing about the very things I talked about above. One task was to write our personal mission statement…I enjoyed that one, because I’d never done that before!

One was to write, at various times of the day, things we are grateful for. I’ve never done that in this way before. I’ve written about things I’m grateful for, but usually all at once. By doing it this way (3 things in the morning, 3 things mid-day and 4 things at the end of the day), I feel like I paid more attention to events happening to me in the present moment and I included some of those in my list that day. Here’s the output of that day:


As you can see, some of these things on my list would be considered “little” things, but it truly is the little things that can add up to making our lives good, in my opinion.

In the yoga classes I teach this month, I’ll be focusing on the theme of rebirth as well. Normally, if I were still teaching vinyasa classes regularly, I’d focus on Sun Salutations, because they help with enlivening and energizing you, especially if you’ve had a pretty sedentary winter. If you’re not familiar with Sun Salutations, or if you want to try a new variation than what you may be used to, check this link out…it’s got several different variations, and some videos of different versions…lots of great stuff!

Since I mostly focus on Deep Stretch classes, I will be planning to incorporate lots of twists. Not only are twists detoxifying, but they help stoke your metabolic fire. Many of us gravitate towards “heavy” foods in the winter time, and they can make the metabolism more sluggish. So let’s clear that junk OUT…PRONTO! I plan on incorporating Wide-Kneed Child’s Pose with a Twist…something different, as many of us probably wouldn’t think of twisting in Child’s Pose. Check out this link for information about this pose and to see what it looks like.

Hopefully, I’ve given you lots of stuff in this post to get your mind thinking about your own rebirth. I love the quote by Dustin Hoffman above, because he absolutely nails it on the head. If you do the work to figure out how to make your continuous rebirth what it needs to be in order for you to grow, then how could you possibly be bored? What will YOU do to help usher in this new season in your life? I’d love to hear what you come up with!




“I was a little excited but mostly blorft. “Blorft” is an adjective I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’ I have been blorft every day for the past seven years.” ~~ Tina Fey, Bossypantsstress-fry-futurama-300x279

Lately, I’ve been doing a weekly yoga focus, which has been receiving some great feedback. However, for December, I have decided to focus on stress reduction for the entire month. It’s so prevalent in our society at the moment that I feel it deserves to be the focus for more than just one week. As you know, the holiday season can be a time of great joy, but also of great stress. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, family issues to deal with. All the while, we’re expected to continue doing everything else we normally do (like go to work, school, etc.). The “busyness” of everything thrown at us during this time of year can be overwhelming, and if we’re not careful, it can become detrimental to our health.

Personally, this season is proving to be quite stressful for me. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but I’m noticing that my insomnia is back with a vengeance, I’m getting short of breath and short of temper, and generally just don’t feel like myself.

Two weeks ago in my blog post about starting over, I mentioned that I was going to make sure I get on my mat every day for at least 30 minutes. For the most part, I have been able to do this. I’ve only missed two days, and there have been a couple of days where I’ve only had time for 20 minutes. But you know what? It’s a start, right? At least I am getting more mat time than I have been lately, so I’ll take it!

Yesterday, I started wondering, “Why am I so stressed, then, when I am getting on my mat MORE? What gives?!” I’m not sure I can answer this yet, but I do know that though yoga as a whole is a great form of exercise for stress relief, it’s essential to make sure to include certain types of poses.

So for December, work on making sure to incorporate a variety of the types of poses mentioned below as a way to center yourself, and to become more mindful of the true meaning of this time of year.

  • Warrior Poses: Any of the three warrior poses (Warrior 1, Warrior 2 and Warrior 3) are great to incorporate into your practice…choosing to do all three will provide you with the maximum benefits. These standing poses encourage the building of physical strength and stamina. They are also wonderful in nurturing our internal strength, and are excellent in improving self-esteem.
  • Twists: Twists are very beneficial for the health of the spine by encouraging spinal circulation, and helping relieve blocked energy channels to the spine. Twists also detoxify organ systems. For example, digestive organs get massaged when you twist, which helps to digest, assimilate and eliminate food. Also, twisting stimulates the whole lymphatic system, which encourages it to release toxins and waste products.
  • Inversions: Inversions help our bodies in so many ways! They help detoxify and re-balance the whole body, regulate the thyroid, calm the nervous system, and improve sleep. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as a Headstand. My favorite one, that is accessible to most everyone, is Legs Up the Wall pose (Viparita Karani).
  • Backbends: Any backbend will do, but even a simple supported backbend is an antidote to our habitual posture of rounding forward, and will leave you feeling refreshed. To perform a simple supported backbend, all you need is a towel or blanket, and a bolster or firm pillow. Just lie down on your back, and place the bolster or pillow under your shoulder blades, and the towel (slightly rolled) under your neck. Bend your knees and relax your arms above the bolster or pillow on the floor. Stay in the pose for one minute.
  • Forward Bends: Again, any forward bend will do, but I love the Ragdoll version of Standard Forward Fold (Uttanasana). Use this as an opportunity to let go of all the tension in your jaws, shoulders, and head. Bend the knees if you have to, and just play with letting the back roll down and relax.
  • Centering: Always return to a pose of centering to finish your practice.  Final Relaxation (Savasana) is ideal. If you have the time, try to make time for at least 5 minutes in any pose that you find relaxing.

So what are your favorite poses to do when you’re stressed? What about other things that you do to rid yourself of stress (i.e., meditation, breathing exercises, shopping)? I love hearing what works for all of you out there in Blog Land, so please comment and share your tips and tricks. One of my hopes is that by sharing our knowledge with each other, we can truly make a difference in each other’s lives. It’s what yoga is all about!



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