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Archive for the ‘Practicing Yoga’ Category

The mind gets a bad rap in some spiritual traditions.

I like my mind most of the time; and there is no need to exterminate it as some practices would have us believe!

Anyway it is a part of us, and a part of this life experience! It can work for us, not against us.

Mind discerns, creates, contemplates and invents good things!

Sometimes it runs a muck, but in a flash it comes back to the present with a little gentleness on our part.

Colors of the Mind Batik by Stephanie Pappas

Colors of the Mind Batik by Stephanie Ann Pappas

Praises to a healthy mind! And body/mind.

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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,
Stephanie

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.

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