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Why I practice:

I practice because it makes me feel so good, inside and out. I feel centered and peaceful as well as flexible and limber.

What I hope to accomplish as I teach:

I hope to inspire my students to love practicing yoga and to commit to a lifelong yoga practice to enrich their bodies, minds and souls.

What is Yoga? Yoga is a psycho-physical discipline developed in India with roots going back about 5,000 years. The direct translation of the Sanskrit word “yoga” is “to yoke”-or create union. Traditionally the goal of yoga is to create union with the true self, though many schools in the U.S. tend to focus on the physical union between breath, body, and movement. These days, and most especially in the U.S., the focus is often on improved physical fitness, mental clarity, greater self-understanding, stress control and general well-being. Spirituality, however, is a strong underlying theme to most practices. The beauty of Yoga is in its versatility. Practitioners may chose to focus only on the physical, the psychological, the spiritual, or all of the above.

Why did you choose Footloose Yoga as your company name?

When I was very young my foot was damaged in a car accident. After 3 surgeries and alternative therapies, my foot still doesn’t hold itself together properly. I suffer from a condition called instability. As long as I wear a tie shoe or a strong maryjane strap, I no longer need to walk with a cane. In other words, I have a loose foot, hence footloose.

Because of my limitation I practice less standing postures and more seated, kneeling and lying down postures than any teacher I know. Standing postures build strength and balance so they are very important. Seated, kneeling and lying down postures develop flexibility. To me, Hatha yoga movements are arching twisting, stretching abdominals and balance. I promise you we will practice them all.

What does Namaste mean? The word Namaste is literally translated as “I bow to you”. More generally, it is an ancient sankrit understanding of interconnectedness. Commonly meant meaning is “the divine in me recognizes and honors the divine in you.”

What is ujjayi breathing? Ujjayi is a breathing technique that makes a continuous whispering sound in the throat that sounds something like Darth Vader breathing into his mask. You can create that sound by holding your hand in front of your mouth and exhaling as if you were fogging a mirror. Then inhale as if you were gasping in surprise. Now do this with your mouth closed. The breath moves over the soft palate ant the back of your throat , creating the ujjayi sound. The throat is slightly constricted, which slows the inhale and exhale and allows more time for the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange process- cleansing the body more thoroughly. Increased oxygen and exchange flushes out environmental toxins and debris from prior injuries, such as scar tissue, and carries nutrients in. Oxygen-rich blood also creates healthy blood cells and cellular regeneration, nourishing the vital organs. Practicing this technique also generates internal heat while the audible breath gives the mind and the ears something to focus on. It is our constant reminder to breathe, energize and cleanse the body in every moment and be present. It is essential that you learn and practice this breathing technique

Is there a good reason we roll to right side after Savasana? There is aphysiological reason for this. The heart is on the left side of the body, so that if you were to roll onto your left side, the heart would have to work slightly harder to pump the blood upwards to the right side of the body. Rolling to the right side of the body is rolling away from the heart (less pressure and weight on the rested and open heart). Resting on the right side allows the energy to be redirected in the present moment as needed and allows the students natural blood pressure to reach it’s potential homeostasis. It is therefore less strain and more conducive to relaxation to come out of savasana by rolling onto the right side.

How often should I practice yoga and should I practice everyday? Any yoga is better than no yoga and a little bit everyday is better than a lot every once in a while. To see and /or feel significant physical and mental changes, however you should practice for 30 minutes daily. Because yoga does not break down the muscle tissue as happens in other fitness activities such as weight-lifting or running, it is not necessary to take a day off from practice. You can practice everyday as long as you feel healthy. You should be conscious of modifying your practice when needed due to energy level and/or physical fatigue.

Is Yoga spiritual or religious? Students make that choice for themselves. Most classes focus on the physical aspects of breathing and moving through yoga postures. However, I hope to provide the freedom and the space for the more personal or spiritual aspects of yoga to unfold naturally on an individual level. Our bodies can hold on to every physical and emotional experience we’ve had throughout our lives, which physically creates blocks and barriers even on a nonphysical level. As we work through these barriers physically, using heat, movement and breath to internally open, reshape and cleanse the body, it makes sense that we are doing the same on many levels- emotionally, spiritually, etc. I encourage you to recognize your yoga practice as a way of life. As you practice patience, acceptance, awareness, as your mind and body open and release physical and emotional tensions, as you become more in-tune and aware of your physical and emotional reactions in challenging postures, allow what you learn, these effects /elements and practices to be a part of your entire life- with strangers, friends, family, partners and yourself.