Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh, Snow!

How I love thee, lovely snow.
You make me see in the snowy way of blankets and quiet.
Hot cocoa inside this ship of an apartment.
And you, snow, looking so pinky outside.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

a yoga practice

If the definition of yoga is union, then doing a yoga practice could be like braiding your hair, everyday.

Or drawing together what you are doing and you who is doing it.
Your breath and your body (of course).
Cooking (always cooking, possibly my favorite yoga practice).
Eating something delicious, really fantastically delicious.
Riding a bicycle in NYC, or anywhere where you must pay attention...
Sweeping the floor smooth.
Hiking in the PNW
Oh the list is endless.
Infinity is yoga too!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mitzvah = karma yoga

My mom just reminded me that when you do a mitzvah, it is done without thought of getting anything in return.
I said "just like karma yoga!"
Because I love it when thoughts, ways of life, parallel each other like this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

the yoga of motherhood

Oh, patience, patience, patience, patience.
Big eyes & love.
More patience, patience, patience, patience.
Strong arms, and the rocking back and forth of waves and the yogic 3 part breath.
A little more patience.
Diapers. Lots of them.
Singing, like chanting, to help our (Isaac and my) minds go elsewhere.
And the primordial rhythm of hunger and satisfaction.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yoga of Isaac

I wonder what the yogis would say about new motherhood?
Love, pain, lack of sleep. That's what I say, so far.
Good thing he is so cute, or I don't know what I would do.

Monday, August 23, 2010

yoga helps you be happy!

The doctors say its GABA.
The yogis say its PRANA.
I say its what happens when we pay very close attention and hear something beautiful.

Look here: Yoga prevents Depression (uk telegraph article)

Practice yoga, and you can be as smiley as this guy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not forgetting June

June received no yogic posts from me.

But she was a beauteous month!
There were waves crashing on the Oregon Coast
Gardens chock full of flowers
Mom-cooked breakfasts
Dogs leaping and cuddling, horses running and nuzzling, cats watching and being watched, and a parrot drinking coffee.
People walking and talking, and walking, and talking
A good friend married, so gorgeous and happy

Everything and everyone in that lovely June, was just what they were to the bone (except for the parrot, and that is just one huge mystery).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Enormous Yoga Mat?

I was thinking about how we are so connected to the boundaries of the yoga mat.
And that in a practice where we (hopefully) are feeling connected to everyone and everything, we are actually in our own little world (mat) of experience.

So I asked, via the LRY facebook page how it would feel to practice on one huge mat, along with everyone else in the class.

Natasha wrote, "I think it is more a state of mind to be everywhere while standing in that defined least that is how I like to practice."

I still think that in this current age of yoga 2010, a matless class might really open our minds (and hearts!), but Natasha's words help my mat-acceptance.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

a yoga question ~

I'm wondering if yoga practice is a way to have a break from reality, or a way that we dive right in?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yoga is for your Whole Body

You are more than just a head!
You have a body that has needs and wishes and messages, but it doesn't speak as loudly or as obviously as your head.
We must get very, very quiet to listen...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

the layers of you ~

Yoga philosophy says that we are like an onion (I like to imagine a Walla Walla sweet oninon) with many layers.

The outermost layer of our onion is the Annamaya Kosha, or physical self. This is the layer we hydrate, stretch, strengthen, and worry about. The Annamaya Kosha is what at first glance, makes us very unique.

In from the Annamaya Kosha is the Pranamaya Kosha, or energetic sheath. This layer is compromised of breath and energy. It gives us life, power, the ability to do.

Next is the Manomaya Kosha, or the mind layer. This layer is what makes us interesting and causes many problems. It jumps around like a monkey, having fun and exhausting us all at once. When we meditate, this is the layer we try to let go of attachment to, since it pulls us around so much.

The layer of wisdom comes next, the Vijnamaya Kosha. When we meditate and study and look inward, we nourish this layer. This is the layer of “I am”. When this layer grows clear, we come very close to the truth of who we are.

The final layer moving inward is the Anandamaya Kosha, or the blissful sheath. This is where joy and love reside, without any doing or trying, just being.

At the very center of our onion - self, is our true Self, called Atman. Atman is light. Atman is at the very basis of understanding and being. Atman is indescribable because its light changes quality as it shines through all 5 layers.

Atman is beyond your cells, beyond your actions, beyond your worries, beyond your studies, and beyond your happiness. When all of your layers become clear through yoga practice, study, and meditation, the true light of Atman will shine through you in a most amazing way.

let me know when that happens!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back Pain ~ help from the yoga world, and beyond!

I wrote a long blog post about back pain on
It's a serious topic, and one very present in my own life.
Do check it out for help ideas and more!

And while you are there, feel free to vote for me on their yoga blog contest, I sure do need all your good yogic vibes :)

vote here: I love living room yoga!

read about back pain here: Help my back to feel better, please!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Yoga and the Earth (Day!)

In yogic thought, our bodies are a microcosm of the macrocosm of the earth.

If we are able to find calm in ourselves through practicing yoga, can we find calm in the world through yoga as well?

The gurus say that when our minds are jumping all over the place, we are like a broken mirror, not reflecting what it is really there. But when we calm our minds, the mirror pieces become whole again and able to reflect.

Our world is not a calm place. It's certainly having a hard time now!
(Hey, our persons know all about that)
Its loud, and its crowded with people and stuff.
There is competition and the need to survive in challenging places and unfriendly times.
But could the earth become calm?

When we practice hatha yoga, we calm ourselves by combining our intention (to do the pose, the breath, the movement) with awareness (now, what were we doing again?:)).

If we are a microcosm of the macrocosm, then we the microcosm must have some idea how we can help to calm the macrocosm, The Earth!
We can also let it calm itself.

Here are a few ideas:

remove distractions (stuff!)
touch it, lay down on it
notice it
Plant trees (trees are like the lungs, they even look like lungs!)
Connect the different parts to the whole


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Becoming a great teacher

I heard that if you can heal yourself, then you can become a great teacher.

This can take years I think, not just days.

I also think that when you are great, you don't want anything from your students. You are just like the sun and the rain, giving without expecting. Teaching really is (or can be) *karma yoga.

*from wikipedia "Karma Yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself toward realization by acting in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal self-centered desires, likes or dislikes. Acting without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

cilantro and yoga

This has (almost) nothing to do with yoga, but has solved a major mystery for me.
And because yoga is about enlightenment, freedom and mystery solving, or at the very least mystery viewing, I want to share what I have found ~

The question is this: Why do some people (myself included) hate cilantro and think it tastes like tarmac (me again), and other people love, love, love it?

And the answer can be found in The (lovely) New York Times column, the curious cook.

Now, yogically speaking, it is good to remember that some people love, love!, to be in a Sarvangasana (shoulderstand), and others can't stand it.

Those same people might switch preferences completely in Virabhandrasana II (Warrior II).

Now this may not be for the same reasons that some of us are anti-cilantro, but it is interesting, satisfying, and calming to celebrate our uniqueness.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Garden Yoga

Lately gardening feels to me more like yoga than yoga itself!

moving dirt = circulation

waiting for seeds to sprout = patience

getting dirty = working hard

breathing of plants and trees = pranayama

dying, beginning new = savasana and getting up from savasana

enjoying the beauty of what you have planted and knowing that the plant sprouted because that is what plants do = yoga

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

*Upavista Konasana

The name of this pose always sounds like a party to me, especially when you accent the "vista" part. This is also a pose that turns just about anyone who does it into a 3 year old child.
Try it with a friend. Sit with the legs open to a comfortable width. Sit up on a blanket or cushion if your legs are really tight. Face your friend or your own lovely self in a mirror and smile really wide ~ you'll see, you will turn back the clock for that luscious moment, years and years and years.

This **picture is a few years old, but upavista konasana joy is everlasting.

ooopaveesta konasana to you all!

*The full Upavista Konasana pose is to bend forward in this shape, and if you want to quiet your mind and stretch your hamstrings more, please do. For fun, and lengthening core strength, do it this way.

**if you are on my website please go to my blog to see this picture ~

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An idea to combat speeding

To slow down, we need to open up to what is right before us.

To speed, we shut all our doors and windows and just zoom.

The zooming can be a defense mechanism, a habit, or a combination of both.

When we are open, we have no choice but to slow ourselves. Speeding in an open state would be dangerous and uncomfortable.

A good place to practice being open is in final relaxation pose, Savasana.
Imagine as you lie on the floor that your body, mind and breath are open like a window, and let the breeze come in and ruffle your curtains.
Remember that you have nowhere to be and nothing to do but to just lay there, open.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Why are we all moving so very quickly!?

Try this: Sit down and stop moving your eyes,arms, legs, mouth, just for a moment. See if you can still feel the speediness.

How can we/I (!) slow down?
Oh I try, but I feel like a wind-up doll that an overactive child can't stop playing with.
Its seriously exhausting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

What lies beyond your bones

Beyond your body is your mind. And beyond your mind is your Self.
The lovely body you get from practicing yoga is really just a bonus, and possibly even a distraction! :)
The real thing happening as you press the foot bones down and lift the arm bones up, is that you learn to find equanimity in the face of adversity, and that brings you closer to your Self.

That is really why I fell in love with yoga in the first place; yoga can take you from the far reaches of your own personal pendulums, and lets you float right there in the middle.

In the middle there is clarity, space, and many heartbeats.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

the yoga of blog posting!

It comes in waves, these feelings of being more yogic, or less.
Especially the wanting to share ideas.

There is:
Writing, and not writing.
awake, asleep
inhaling, exhaling
sweating, restoring
smiling, crying
stopping, going
rightside up, upside down
computer on, computer off

Hatha yoga is:
ha = sun, tha = moon, yoga = union

I feel much better! I hope you do too :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

yoga and digestion

Aryuvedic medicine practitioners say that our digestion is like a fire.
You want to stoke the fire and give it the wood that it needs to keep burning, but if you put too much wood on, the fire smothers.
They say you should have 1/3 food, 1/3 water, 1/3 god(whatever that may be for you!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Familia and Buddhism

I was just scooping my homemade version of the tasty swiss cereal Familia (recipe below!) from its mixing bowl, into a jar and feeling impatient.
It was taking a while! I was dropping oats on the floor and my hand was cramping.
Then I thought, how would I be scooping this Familia if I had to fill one thousand jars?
How would I go about scooping if there really was no end in sight?
If there were 1,000 jars I wouldn't, or couldn't think about the end. And as a result, I'd probably move more slowly and have more awareness of the grains falling from the little red scoop into the glass (really quite pretty!)

From that moment on, my scooping became much more enjoyable.

I think about this with food and eating sometimes too ~ Like what if this chocolate-chip cookie I am eating was the size of of the borough of Brooklyn!? Would I still be devouring it as quickly? I really can't imagine that (both a bklyn sized cookie, plus devouring).

So there you have it, a Buddhism inspired kitchen experience, and a Familia recipe.
Enjoy! :)

Eva's Homemade Familia~
(all of this is very approximate!)

6 cups rolled oats
10 dates, chopped fine (may be mushy its ok!)
handful of dried apples, chopped fine
handful of raisins or currants
1 cup almonds
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 packet (about 3/4 cup) dried milk powder
a little salt
sugar (optional - I like to leave it out so eaters can choose their own sweetness)

Toast the oats in a 350 deg. oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Add the dates and apples to the oats and mix well
Turn the oven down to 200 and bake oat mixture 15 minutes longer, take out from the oven and let cool.

While the oats are toasting, grind the hazelnuts and almonds. A food processor helps, or you can be very yogic/buddhist about it and chop them mindfully until they are teeny-tiny.

In a big bowl mix the almonds/hazelnuts with all the other ingredients and add in the oat mixture.
Stir well.
Scoop, with awareness and love and a never ending sort of feeling into glass jars.

Serve with cold milk (better if you let it sit 5 or 10 minutes), or with hot water, a little milk and maple syrup - yummmmm