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Return to the Interior

Return to the Interior

Many people have asked me…and the answer is, “Yes, yes already, I have read Eat, Pray, Love!”

Yes, I have also traveled to those places, but I came home with a cat and not a soul mate.

My travels took me to a different place within myself. My relationships lead me back to self-reflection, re-thinking, and wonder.

My book is called Reflections of a Codependent Yogi.

Somebody has to write it. To be released year end 2009.

http://www.CodependentYogi.com

halfmoonwallOPT

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.

http://www.YogaAtYourWall.com

Even though I know yoga is not about competition I find myself looking at other students and comparing myself. I don’t want to do this, but it happens anyway. Do you have any suggestions?

This is a very honest question. I have noticed many students doing this in class. I know that most all of us have felt competitive in life at one time or another. Well, at least you are aware of it! So when you catch yourself feeling competitive in class or in life, just bring your focus once again to your body, your breath, or the feelings behind your impulse to be competitive.

What is your intention for being in the yoga class? Are you trying to impress someone? The teacher? Was this a pattern in your family of origin? Was competitiveness encouraged between siblings?

It is all part of the process of becoming aware of our tendencies and thoughts. Certain mind-body types have this tendency more than others. If you are curious, read more about the “pitta” body type in Ayurveda.

Forgive yourself and focus back on your own practice.

Love, Stephanie Pappas

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

Squat Pose with Low Back to the Wall

Squat Pose with Low Back to the Wall

By their nature, walls are hard surfaces. If you are used to practicing yoga without a wall, you may have a tendency at first to collide inadvertently with the wall when you are not expecting it. In addition to the speci􀃫c details given for each posture about how to set up at the wall, here are some other general safety measures to keep in mind:

• Move all furniture, pictures, lamps, hanging  fixtures, and objects away from the sides, back and front of you. A safe distance from objects is at least your own height with your arms   extended overhead.
• Pick a smooth, even wall surface.
• Ensure there are no nails in the wall.
• Have your yoga props nearby so you don’t have to reach for them while you are in a pose. Yoga props such as yoga blocks, a strap, a pillow, and a throw blanket, will add to your experience of the practice.
• Use caution when pressing your foot against the wall. In postures like warrior 3 and half moon 2 you do not look at the wall when positioning your foot, so if you are too close to the wall, you could bang your foot during the set up.
• Practice with a yoga sticky mat adjacent to the wall to prevent slipping and create a strong foundation in the base of the pose.
• When practicing arm balances like the handstand pose, make sure the ceiling is at least as high as your height on tippy toes with your arms extended. This is especially important if you will be practicing in your basement, or in a room with low ceilings.
• Practice with a window open so that you can breathe fresh air while you practice.

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.

Yoga leads us to the realization that Life is not coming AT us, it is coming FROM us.

* Yoga allows you to unlock and unblock nuggets of truth from deep inside yourself.

* Yoga practices cultivate self-care, self-awareness, and self-responsibility.

* Yoga offers you a deeper appreciation of your body – which is your temple this time around.

* Yoga helps you age gracefully and with dignity.

* Yoga offers us the awareness of who we are, and who we are NOT.

* Practice makes your heart grow fonder.

* Yoga is a process of learning, and unlearning.

* Yoga leads to knowledge of the Self and the dawning of the truth that

* Yoga offers us a means to be kinder and more compassionate with ourselves.

* Yoga is more than just touching your toes.

* Yoga is more than fitness. It includes something for all levels of our being: lungs, organs, glands, emotions, mind, spirit, muscles.

* Yoga has the power to bring you into the present moment and accept yourself as you are.

* Yoga is a great way to feel connected in your community.

* Yoga classes are a way of encountering like-minded individuals.

* The breath is more important than the postures.

* Yoga is a friend for life.

* Yoga is the best preventative medicine and it costs nothing!

* Yoga is like a self-therapy and self-massage.

* Yoga is a gift passed on through the ages and never gets old.

* Every time you do a pose or take a breath you do it in a fresh new moment.

* Practicing with friends or loved ones increases understanding, intimacy, and “belongingness.”

* You can practice yoga on your own by listening to your own innate intelligence –

that same intelligence that is there to heal your cuts and wounds.

* Yoga transcends race, culture, religion, class, and age.

* You can practice yoga when you are feeling well, or not so well.