I love listening to TED talks. I especially love searching topics I’m pretty sure none of those dizzyingly fabulous, uniformly successful speakers have anything to say about. So the other day I caught myself searching “Failure.” A taboo subject in America in general, the land of the overnight and over-the- moon success story, the place where super models get spotted on street corners and anyone can get famous for doing nothing on reality TV.Read More
Known worldwide, Lois Nesbitt’s prowess for inquiry began long before she dedicated herself to yoga. In earlier careers, she was a professional writer, editor, and artist. With a B.A., Magna cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Princeton University, where she taught literature and writing, Lois’ penchant for analysis have made her teacher trainings deeply rich experiences.Read More
There’s a lot of talk in the yoga and meditation worlds these days about “being in the moment,” being present for what is happening here, now. God knows we could all use some practice at staying in the moment, as our minds all too easily slip back into rehashing past experiences, wincing at how we lost it when our child threw a(nother) tantrum, a frenemy who did us a bad term, how we bombed an exam, a presentation, an interview.Read More
Who are you? Teaching Truly
We live in a celebrity-driven culture. Some people get famous for what they can do (talent), others for their ability to make others do what they want (power), and still others for their knack for accumulating lots of $$ (wealth). Reality TV introduced the at-first refreshing, gradually nauseating idea that anybody could be famous without necessarily being able to do anything.
As yoga teachers, we put ourselves in the spotlight daily, sometimes many times a day—whether in a crowded Equinox class or a private lesson in someone’s home. So it’s worth asking yourself, calmly, deeply, curiously: Who am I?Read More
It happens all the time. I’m at a cocktail party, a guy (yes, it’s usually a guy, but once in awhile a woman) asks me what I do for a living, and I say I teach yoga. “Oh, I’ve always wanted to try yoga but I’m not flexible.”
At which point I offer that one reason to practice yoga is to become more mobile.Read More
Students say/ask the darndest things! Here’s a brief sampling, with some suggestions for appropriate responses:
1. Why do we have to chant in Sanskrit?
A: Sanskrit was created by sages who believed that certain sounds generate “good vibrations” in the chanter. Specifically, they were fond of “s” and “sh” and “ay” and “ah” sounds, among others.Read More
Most yoga teacher training courses are full of good advice on what to do in your classroom, but they can be a little short on the don’ts. Not sure why. Maybe teacher trainers are reluctant to preempt new teachers’ creativity by setting limits. Or maybe they’re embarrassed to admit the dumb things they’ve done and had to learn the hard way. In that spirit, I’m offering a list of things I hope I’ll never do again when teaching. I hope it spares all teachers and students going forward!Read More
Hopefully in your yoga classes, you are learning something about how to move and carry your body in healthier ways. Good teachers give specific alignment instructions to guide you into your best form.
Thing is, many students don’t realize that they’re also supposed to be applying those postural cues the rest of the day. That’s the whole point of my Everyday (and Every Night) Yoga video series, which will help you to type, drive, and sleep with minimal damage to your body. Honestly, I see people walking down the sidewalks of New York, jogging by the side of the road, or strolling down the beach in such scary bad form that I want to yell out, “Please, Stop! You’re wrecking your body!”Read More
NO MORE KNEE PAIN: 3 STEPS TO HEAL OR PREVENT FOR A LIFETIME!
Your knees are the most vulnerable joints in your body. They take all the wear and tear of moving, running, walking, standing when your hips and/or feet are not where they should be. If your knees don’t “track” well, meaning they’re not well lined up over your ankles with your kneecaps pointing forward like the headlights on a car, you’re on your way to damaging the cartilage (meniscus) that pads the bones above and below your knee. And that stuff doesn’t repair. Not good!
The good news? 3 simple actions can make a
difference in healing old injuries and preventing new ones. And you don’t need a yoga mat, special clothes, extra time—or surgery! So here goes:
1. WHAT TO DO:
First have a look at your knees in a full-length mirror with your joints “locked.” Do your knees bow in or out (narrower or wider than your ankles)? Do they rotate in or out? That’s your inborn pattern. Now, set your feet parallel, bend your knees, and track them right over your ankles, kneecaps straight ahead.
Then slowly straighten the knees
. Stand this way all the time. Yes, it’s hard!
WHY IT WORKS:
You are now using your muscles to support your knee joints and take the load off your cartilage—which, remember, doesn’t repair. One of my doorman had knee surgery at 40 from standing with locked joints on hard floors all day.
2. WHAT TO DO:
Practice standing barefoot, lifting and spreading all 10 toes. Press down through the balls of your big toes. Always.
WHY IT WORKS:
When you activate your feet you are engaging the muscles in your shins and calves. When worked evenly, these muscles draw the knees back into line.
3. WHAT TO DO:
Watch your feet as you walk downstairs. Do they turn out? If so, holding the railing for balance and train yourself to walk with your feet parallel. Do the same walking and running.
WHY IT WORKS:
When walking downstairs, we turn our feet out for balance, which misaligns the knees. Then our weight, increased by gravity, puts a tough load on the knees. And runners take note: each footfall running or jogging is
your body weight. That’s a lot of weight pressing down on a crooked joint!
gang ‘cept Judas Iskariot, best known for going down in infamy.
and tobacco pipes, the longwinded and the full of hot air (my maternal grandfather being both, a dedicated pipe smoker and a windbag who loved to tug hard on my nose and call me Shnoogie).