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Back on the Wall

Since 2009, when I started this blog, my mom was still in the beginning stages of her terminal illnesses.

It was such an intense three years, that I completely forgot that I started this blog. Until today.

I even had it listed on all my email messages. Somehow it seems like another lifetime ago.

Here I am, though, with my back on the wall. It is not a bad thing. Walls offer structure, boundaries, and support.

Walls provide a necessary break from the barrage of internet and human interactions.
And hell, if you didn’t have your firewall up now, McAfee or Norton or Windows would surely flashing you a  warning window or two or three.

I wrote my book, Yoga at Your Wall, in 2009 in Tulum, MX while suffering from an undiagnosed hypo-thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was one in the 50% of cases that get vertigo as a symptom.

So appropriate for someone writing a book called Yoga at Your Wall, no? With vertigo and dizziness that would come and go for months, even years now, the wall was the best place for me to practice.

It was not a fun time. I hit my head on the inside of the refrigerator a lot. I felt like I was walking sideways.

I made it through and can now practice without the wall. The wall was my friend. Walls are my friends.

Stephanie Pappas, Author Yoga At Your Wall

Yoga at Your Wall, Tulum, Mexico



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I just released my first yoga book in Spanish! It is a translation of my Yoga Posture Adjustments and Assisting book. Here is the back cover information in Spanish. For the holidays, it is a great gift for Spanish speaking yoga teachers, trainees, or serious yoga students. There are not many books about yoga in Spanish for teachers, so I am delighted to have published one of them!

La primera guía extensa y comprensible para instructores y estudiantes de yoga en español, que incluye todos los detalles sobre cómo ajustar y asistir a alguien mientras realiza una postura de yoga. Con la reciente popularidad que el yoga ha adquirido, este libro es particularmente invaluable para millones de personas que enseñan o practican esta disciplina, pues las claras instrucciones y la generosa cantidad de fotos facilitan a los instructores el aprendizaje y la comprensión para asistir a sus estudiantes.

Los estudiantes también pueden utilizar esta guía para profundizar en su práctica personal y aplicar los principios en parejas. Aquí se demuestran y explican las técnicas de ajuste y asistencia para más de 65 posturas, ilustradas con alrededor de 200 fotos.

Usted puede aprender:

* Como ajustar y asistir a alguien mientras realiza una postura de yoga
* Como ejecutar ajustes utilizando mecánicas corporales efectivas
* Multiples variantes de como ajustar en una postura
* Frases que pueden ayudar a sus estudiantes o parejas/compañeros de yoga
* Maneras de acomodar diferentes tipos de cuerpos
* Como ayudar a sus estudiantes a profundizar en las posturas de manera segura

La comunidad internacional de yoga se beneficiará enormemente con este libro.

“Pienso que tu libro es fabuloso. Tengo muchos libros de yoga, todos reconocidos internacionalmente por algunos de los Yogis más famosos en el mundo. Aún así llevo largo tiempo buscando “este” libro, con simples, aplicables y manejables técnicas para asistir a mis estudiantes mientras realizan posturas. Encuentro tu libro naturalmente amigable sin ser intimidante ni pretencioso. Es una gran herramienta para instructores y estudiantes en entrenamiento. Me gusta mucho el hecho de que tus modelos sean gente “real”; todos con diferentes tipos de cuerpo y niveles variados en su práctica. Me gustaría utilizar tu libro en mi propio programa de entrenamiento”. – Violeta Pastor Wilson, Entrenadora de Instructores de Yoga, Fundadora de la Alianza Canadiense de Yoga.

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I just got here to Tulum, Mexico a week ago and for the most part it has been raining since I landed.

This morning I visited the Tulum ruins with some friends during a brief hour that the sun came out. These Mayan ruins have been there for hundreds of years perched right on the edges of the cliffs over the Caribbean ocean. No hurricane has destroyed them yet. The Mayan people must have sensed this was a safe spot. The thought is possibly giving me a false sense of safety.

Tropical storm IDA may turn into a hurricane tonight. The hurricane center has now posted a watch from Tulum northward. Ahhhhh, El Caribe! So much water! My feet are getting shriveled and all my towels are wet and soggy. What to do now? I have a few leaks in my roof that will certainly get bigger tomorrow. More wet towels.

I have been through 3 hurricanes here now. They are so unpredictable, but this one seems mild compared to Emily, Wilma and Dean. There is this feeling of suspension every time. You really can’t continue doing what you normally do, but yet there are so many hours before you actually know if you should prepare. You have to do SOMETHING.

So, I just put a few things away out in the garden, but then thought I better take a shower because water and electric could go out.

Now I ‘m writing this short little blog so I can keep visiting the National Hurricane Center web site. In hurricanes past I experience this temporary sense of purpose. The immediacy of it kicks in your survival instincts.

Oops, otta go. It’s almost 7pm. Time for the next NHCC public advisory.

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natarajclassicOPTAmidst the family hardships of late (mom is still in the hospital), a good thing happened today: My newest book, Yoga at Your Wall, by Stephanie Pappas (Codependent Yogi) is in stock and available at Barnes and Noble in Bridgewater, NJ at the Somerville circle! Support your local struggling yogini and pick up a copy! 🙂 Barnes and Noble Somerset Shopping Center 319 Route 202/206 Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-526-7425
If you are not in NJ or near this store you can request a copy through your own local Barnes and Noble store.
With Gratitude and Love,

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Have you taken some yoga classes and read some yoga books, but still find yourself unable to practice on your own?

Try my one pose, or one minute a day philosophy to jump start your yoga practice and overcome your resistance.

The truth is, a daily yoga practice could last one minute or several hours. Give yourself the freedom to decide. Sometimes we may think we want to practice for only five minutes and then two hours magically fly by. If you put pressure on yourself to practice for a long time, you may never practice at all. When students or teachers tell me that they can’t practice or get started practicing on their own, I suggest they try my “one pose or one minute a day” plan. They seem so surprised when I suggest this. Give yourself a break and practice one of your favorite poses on a daily basis, or practice one minute of yoga per day. Notice where it takes you. One minute may turn into one hour before you know it. Let me know what happens! I look forward to your comments here on the blog.

This excerpt is taken from my new book, Yoga at Your Wall.


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Once in a while I feel angry with the teacher for making us do certain things in class. Why?

There are different reasons why you may feel angry: the teacher may be over-zealous or lack empathy, you may be pushing yourself too hard, you may be physically over-heated, you may be angry at something else, or you may be picking up on someone else’s anger.

In the first case, the teacher may be pushing you too hard in class, or not instructing to your level of ability. Once a student told me that they felt angry because a teacher asked the class to perform headstands, but did not offer any instruction for how to build into a headstand for the students who were unfamiliar with the techniques. If this is the case, I would suggest speaking to the teacher after class and offer your feedback.

You may feel angry because you are not honoring your body and resting when you need to if the class is getting too challenging. Listen to your own needs and body signals.

Love, Stephanie Pappas

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Doing Yoga at the Wall in the Sunshine

Doing Yoga at the Wall in the Sunshine

Why practice yoga at your wall?

What walls do for us: they provide structure, containment, safety, shelter, limitations, support, and de􀃫nition. As an aid in your yoga practice, a wall helps you articulate precise alignment and form in each pose, supports you when you want to relax, assists you when you want to try a new posture, and motivates you to more fully energize your body.
A wall is your teacher when there is no human teacher around to guide or adjust you in a yoga posture.

“I thought yoga at the wall would be wimpy, but it was really challenging!” said Eadaoin, one of my advanced yoga teacher trainees, after taking one of my yoga wall classes. Her comment ignited my enthusiasm to write this book.
And after experiencing the legs-up-the-wall restorative relaxation pose, Charlotte said, “I have never felt so relaxed in my whole life!”

Some accuse the wall of being a crutch; how unfair to both you and the wall! In my experience the wall feels like a trusty friend, one who always tells me the truth, whether I want to hear it or not. Until becoming friends with your wall, when you practice yoga postures you have only the floor — a horizontal reference point — to know where your body is in space.
When practicing at the wall, you have a vertical reference point for your further orientation. You can lean on it, align yourself with it, push off of it, or press into it. The wall not only assists you, it adds another degree of challenge to your practice.
When you leave the wall and go back to practicing on the floor, you have a whole new level of awareness of your alignment and a different experience of your body. You may visit the wall more often than you can imagine. Through this practice, I became “one with my wall.”

Doing yoga at your wall is logical, portable, and practical. Have you ever wanted to lie on the floor and
stretch in your hotel room while you were on a trip, but the 􀃬oor just didn’t look all that clean or appealing? It’s a perfect time to practice your wall yoga.

Or maybe you’re dressed in a suit or a dress, ready for a meeting or presentation, and feeling a little stressed. You want to do some yoga, but you know you will wrinkle clothes if you get on the floor. It’s yet another perfect opportunity to find your nearest yoga wall.
The benefits of practicing yoga vertically serve you well at home, at your office, and anywhere there is a wall to befriend.

Join me on our journey to expand the possibilities of your yoga practice with my new book, Yoga at Your Wall.

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