Curbing sadness with yoga practice

This was originally posted on Nov. 10. I thought it would be nice to repost. This is a great sequence to do any time, not just when you are sad or have low energy.

Someone I care about has been sad lately. I want to help him. And anyone else who could benefit from this post.

So I did some research on yoga poses to help with sadness and mild depression.

In yoga teacher training on Thursday night we focused on forward bends. Forward bends bring your energetic level to calm and take your attention inward. The mind is quieted while in forward bends.

There are some forward bends in my Curbing Sadness practice.

And, of note, you don’t have to sad to do this practice.

Yoga poses have contraindications. So if you have health issues, please inquire before practicing.

And remember if something hurts or just feels wrong, don’t do it. Sensation is different than pain.

I did this practice myself. And I have to say it was very calming and relaxing. I felt well-rested after practicing.

From doing a little research, here is a practice I have written up to curb sadness/mild depression, which can be done … Continue reading

My Yoga Classes page

My webmaster/IT guy (aka The Husband) created a new page on Go Fit Girl! called My Yoga Classes.

On this page I list all (two so far) yoga classes on my schedule.

As I start subbing and possibly pick up my own regular class or two I will update the page.

I also have a little information on private one-on-one sessions. For more information on that you can e-mail me at

You can find the My Yoga Classes tab on Go Fit Girl’s homepage.

If you are in the Bay Area: The graduates from Deep Yoga 2013/2014 class are hosting a Summer Series of yoga classes starting next Thursday, July 10 at 7 p.m. at Piedmont Yoga Studio.

The Summer Series is every Thursday night through August 21. I am teaching with my friend Sandra on July 24. And I plan to attend most classes to support my fellow new trained teachers. Hope to see you there.

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One taught yoga class down …

Yesterday afternoon I taught my first yoga class as a certified yoga teacher.

After completing my 10-month teacher training program I planned a trip to Tucson to visit family, get in a little relax time at the Arizona Inn and to teach my first yoga class.

My class was called Do Good While You Feel Good at Hilda’s studio, Mindful Yoga Studio. All proceeds are going to Tucson’s Food Bank.

I had 12 students total, including Hilda and my dad.

A few of the students were invited by me, many were Hilda’s regulars and there was one couple who found the class by looking up a class that fit in their schedule. Plus they liked the idea of the donation class.

As I am not a huge fan talking in front of a group of people (talk about taking myself out of my comfort zone) I was super nervous as the class began.

But eventually I felt comfortable and at ease. I felt confident in what and how I was teaching.

The class seemed to respond well to me, my humor, my class and my style. I just kept things simple and I was just who I am.

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I’m a yoga teacher!

As of Thursday evening I am an officially certified yoga teacher.

Piedmont Deep Yoga 2013/2014 teacher training program had its ceremony Thursday night.

It was a bittersweet evening. The past 10 months I have learned so much. And I have developed relationships with these people every Thursday night, one Saturday month and a couple of Intensive Weekends.

But it has also been a long and tough road juggling school, homework, home yoga practice, challenges at work, personal life, etc. It was a lot to take on.

But I am glad I did it. And proud of myself as well.

Each mentor got up and said something about their yogini/yogi mentees.

I felt lucky to be the very last one to receive my certificate.

Curt took video of me getting my certificate from Baxter. Click here to watch.

I am heading to Tucson this evening to see my family, get some relaxing time in and teach my very first yoga class tomorrow afternoon, which … Continue reading

Using props in yoga

Years ago I was in a yoga class and at the beginning of class the teacher told us what props we needed for class that day.

Someone walked into class after the prop instructions were given. I overheard a fellow student tell the other what props the teacher had requested. She looked at the helpful student and said, I don’t use props.

I almost laughed out loud.

(I typically grab two blocks, a strap and a blanket or two.)

There has been some talk about the use of props as cheating, which I personally find ridiculous. Use of a prop is not cheating.

Last night we discussed props in teacher training.

The assignment for last night was to present a use for a particular prop.

People showed uses with straps, blocks, blankets, sand bags, chairs and a few other non-typcial props, which proved to be fun.

I learned a lot of new uses of various props. Some were eye openers. Others were cool. And some I was aware of but appreciated the reminder.

Props can help you get into a pose you wouldn’t normally be able to or give you a different experience in a pose. Props can help you get … Continue reading

Upcoming first official yoga class

In EIGHT days I will be a certified yoga teacher.

This has been a long journey at Piedmont Yoga Studio’s Deep Yoga teacher training: 10 months of school, homework, yoga classes, observing and assisting, weekends, Thursday nights …

Days after I graduate I am heading to my hometown of Tucson to have some R&R, visit family and teach my first official yoga class as a certified yoga teacher at Mindful Yoga Studio.

My class is called Do Good While You Feel Good, a donation class to benefit Tucson’s Community Food Bank.

Here is a link to the event invite on Go Fit Girl’s Facebook page.

This event is open to anyone. Please invite your friends. It will be great support to me, Mindful Yoga Studio and the food bank.

I have learned so much over these past 10 months. And now it is time to put them to practice. It will likely be a little rocky at first. But the more I teach, the easier and better it will get.

I’ve already been working on the class I’m planning to teach. It’s part of my home practice. I think it will be a great beginner practice or … Continue reading

Teaching beginners

Yesterday in yoga teacher training my fellow teacher students and I practiced teaching beginners.

We have all worked with each other and most of us have worked with friends and family.

(Working with each other is great practice. But it is also easier because we are intermediate students and know how the pose is supposed to look, what we are supposed to do and how to modify when necessary.)

But teaching a class of beginner students really gave us the experience and insight to teach a beginner yoga class.

There were 20 of us teachers in training and 11 beginner students.

Each teacher in training taught one pose to the class.

I taught Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) (pictured above). I had a plan on how to teach the pose and changed how I needed to teach it right before I got up there.

It’s OK to do the pose and teach it to beginners as it is happening. But it’s hard for students to hear you if you are upside down and your head is kinda buried.

So I did my best to teach the pose without actually doing the pose, which is challenging. But I think I … Continue reading

Stop, sit and meditate

Many people I look up to and trust have been giving me the same message for some time now: Meditate.

One of the “jokes” in the yoga world is that when you don’t have time for yoga is when you need yoga. I believe the same applies for meditation.

Many of my yoga teachers make meditation part of their public classes. And they talk about its importance.

Mary, who is a teacher in my teacher training, is the main teacher focusing on meditation for my classmates and me.

In December for one Saturday class we focused on meditation and Mary had us do a homework project, which involved meditating 20-30 minutes a day for 10 days. I did the practice for the required time and once it was over I stopped meditating.

My therapist at some point asked to to start meditating. My resistance to it was that my yoga home practice time is limited and I don’t want to give half my time to meditation.

But then she told me something that hadn’t even occurred to me: you can meditate for one, two or three minutes. Once your life allows for a longer meditation you can meditate longer.

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Listening to me

What do I need?

What do you need?

I have been really trying to listen to myself lately.

Work has been extremely demanding and busy and overwhelming and stressful as we continue to go through transition. More than usual I feel tired, exhausted and wiped out.

I have really been trying to take the queues my body gives me whether physically, mentally, physiologically, emotionally.

Last weekend we had an Intensive Weekend at teacher training, which was absolutely amazing and I learned so much. But it also took a lot out of me.

I had a lot of things I wanted to do on Sunday. They were to attend Vickie’s morning yoga class; attend an optional hour discussion on meditation before our required three hours of teacher training; the three hours of class; and Sunday night Restorative yoga class.

I knew that was all too much for me and something had to give. I decided to skip Vickie’s class and did my own home practice. This also gave me my whole morning to lounge, enjoy my coffee and do a little homework.

I knew my body needed and would benefit more from a Restorative class than an asana class.

I took … Continue reading

Intensive yoga weekend

This past weekend at yoga teacher training we had something called an Intensive Weekend.

We had class three hours on Friday, six hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. (Four hours on Sunday if you wanted to participate in an optional hour conversation about meditation before our three hours started.)

Friday night was my annual company party and the first one I have missed since working there. But I made a commitment to my schooling and becoming a yoga teacher.

Even though I was bummed to miss the party, the Friday night class was so much fun. We all took about five minutes to teach something to the class that had nothing to do with yoga.

Everyone taught something different and with so many different styles. I taught the class how to make salsa. Because I didn’t want to bring all the supplies and ingredients with me I took pictures of the items and showed pictures as I went step by step by what you do. I wore my onion goggles my friend Monica gave me, which I reviewed for the blog. And I brought some chips and salsa for everyone to taste.

We learned how to make … Continue reading