Archives for posts with tag: yoga
  • Why do you go on vacation? 
  • Why go to the spa?
  • Why do yoga?
  • Why go out and party?
  • Why excersize?
  • Why meditate?
  • Why pay for a massage?
  • Why go for drinks?
  • Why see friends?

The answer is: TO RELAX.

How much time, money and energy is spent on any of these activities listed above. Does it balance out? The time spent thinking and talking about relaxation versus the time and actions actually spent  doing it?

What if relaxation was easy? Would it be enjoyed so much? What if you could relax every day guaranteed? Would it be enough? If you didn’t have to save, and work and pray and complain about not having time to relax, would you want it anymore?  Your body would, and your mind wouldn’t. Research shows, as a society, we want what we can’t have and vice versa. If we don’t have to suffer to get something than we don’t want it? Isn’t that crazy?  When exactly do we learn that suffering will lead us to what we worked so hard for.

I am here to say NO. No to suffering, NO to working hard in order to achieve relaxation. If one has to work so hard, and so long in order to relax, how will it ever balance out? If  money has to be spent in order to achieve relaxation, there will never be enough money,   if we are always making relaxation happen with external activities, we’ll never be relaxed enough…


How balanced is it when people count down 67 days until their vacation that lasts 7 days? It’s simple math. The answer is we MUST find ways to incorporate relaxation that comes from the inside every day. We cannot wait for others and perfect timing and specific situations to relax. It’s unfair to our bodies and minds.

If integrating relaxation could be a goal for everyone, there would be less high blood pressure, hypertension, physical pains, less traffic accidents, and less poor choices made.

There is a ton of research on how yoga and meditation are relaxing and beneficial. What if being quiet and still make you more anxious?  I use improv acting class to be loud and intense. What can you do to relax?

We can achieve full relaxation when our minds and bodies are connected.   If our body is physically resting, but our minds are thinking of what should be doing instead, we cannot achieve deep relaxation. This includes watching tv or hearing the radio. Any kind of input into our minds keeps our minds too busy to completely rest.

Happy relaxation… Taking that first action is the most important step.  Thinking about doing something and doing it are miles apart. It’s the physical action that counts.

So yes to vacations, massages, yoga and dance classes, yes to tennis, bowling hanging with friends etc. BUT also consider including relaxation that comes from the inside.

Here are some easy ways to find inner relax daily:

  1. exercise every day, get it done and over with in the morning, involve your children.
  2. write in a journal
  3. breathe into your belly and drink water
  4. self massage (neck, shoulders feet, scalp)
  5. take a bath
  6. turn off the TV and lay on your back in Shavasana
  7. give yourself a foot massage, or ask for family volunteers
  8. Pranayama * Conscious breathing

Happy Relaxation!

Shane B. Kulman, MS

Great Article I found!  This is written with my sentiments exactly;) Enjoy and check out Kate Stone



Dear New Student:

I want you to like yoga. I do. And I want your body to like you, too. But with class sizes exploding, there are a few things you should know going into your practice. Trust me, your wallet, your family, and your body will thank me in the long run. Probably also the short run.

If you’re new, be new.
Six classes do not make you experienced, used to yoga or a “yogi.” If the teacher says, “for advanced students,” 98 percent of the time it will never mean you, even if you’ve been practicing for years. “For advanced students” means, “if this pose feels easy, you are steady and you can do more while also breathing, then you may move on to this other crazy thing.” So, 98 percent of the time you will not do the crazy thing. Do not confuse that with weakness.

Yoga is not for everyone.
You might feel like this is a life-changing, orgasmic epiphany—that this bendy-Zen-ness must be good for all people everywhere, but it’s not. Stop trying to convert everyone you know. Yeah, I know, they might love it and it might be crazy super awesome for their herniated discs or whatever, but just stop.Yoga is not a religion, it is not a cult, and all that is good about it gets diluted exponentially with armchair evangelists.

If it hurts, stop.
Are there poses that are uncomfortable, bordering on pain? Yes. Get to know the differences between tiredness in your muscles, stretch in your ligaments and pure, straight pain in your body. Pain is a sign that tells your brain your body is in danger. Listen to it.

If nothing in #3 made any sense to you, you are not ready for a class with 40 people in it.
Try one with three people. One where you can ask questions about pain.

Figure out why you’re doing this.
Why are you going to class? Why are you pushing to the next pose? Why is it important to you to breathe heavily and move your body and step your foot forward? You may not have answers but asking these questions helps you figure out how you move around in space. Having a “why” also keeps you in the room when your brain goes, “Boooorrring.”

Yoga is personal.
Asana is particular to the person experiencing the poses at this specific point in time and space. The man with his head on the floor and the woman with her head on her knee are at their individual max.Stop comparing your limits to theirs. You cannot possibly know how anything feels to anyone else. Just because they look like they’re further along doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel just as difficult in their respective bodies.

If you want to win, go to CrossFit.
There are no Yoga Olympics. There is no “good, better, best,” or PRs at yoga. You might stick a handstand one day and then really suck at it later that same day. An important part of practicing yoga is being present in the moment, no matter what’s happening. And another important part is embracing impermanence. No matter how awful or how awesome, that handstand isn’t going to last and it isn’t going to win you any points.

Looks are deceiving.
Yoga was not designed to make 20-something white girls be as skinny as possible. Do not forget this. Never forget this.

You don’t need to buy anything. 
Beyond the class, that is…you can’t just run into a studio like a Zen vigilante. Studios are businesses, after all. But with that comes all the other commercial interests businesses hold, like retail options and marketing ploys. The capitalist side of yoga makes a lot of money from teacher trainings in particular and they do not care about you quite as much as you think. Don’t be sad, just don’t start teacher training after practicing yoga for only a couple of months. Please.

Breathe at your own pace.
For years, I hated Upward-Facing Dog. I would inhale to Up Dog and then the teacher would start talking and we would stay there and I would sway like a suspension bridge and continue to inhale, inhale, inhale…and then finally push back to Down Dog in a great huff of exhalation.

1It wasn’t until I started an Ashtanga practice that I realized you are, in fact, allowed to breathe like a normal human even if your pace doesn’t match the cues. This also proves the point that there are four billion* types of asana practice, and you can only benefit from trying more than one. It may prove just how gullible I was as a teenager too, but you, hopefully are just new to yoga, not to life.

*Pure exaggeration, not a factual number.



Kate Stone started taking yoga in middle school as a rebellious move against sports camp. After years of gymnastics, not having to flip over after a backbend was a relief, and the practice stuck. After college, Kate moved to Chicago to teach mean children how to read. She was marginally successful but felt severely, physically ill-equipped to deal with the fighting in her classroom. As someone who takes things literally, she became a personal trainer. Kate spent eight years in Chicago working in gyms, bars and museums, feeling like she was supposed to have a real job. Last year she realized she doesn’t ever want one of those. Kate spent all of her money on yoga training, and is now a yoga teacher, writer and bartender living in Boston.

As I meet more and more parents and caregivers, I notice the reaction on their faces when  they tell me their challenges, and the solution I give is yoga.  I read their faces as  “yeah right, how is standing on my head going to help my child!?”  Yoga brings on tolerance, acceptance, trust, physical health, patience and love for all, including your challenging child.

I am here to tell you,  just by breathing you are already doing the most important part of yoga.  Now you can be mindful of how you  breathe.

I recently spoke to a Dad, who lives in the midwest. He casually asked if I could make some video clips and show him how to do yoga so he can do it with his adult son who is on the Autism spectrum. He has no opportunities to do yoga where he lives.   He went on to tell me what he does to make himself feel better, most of what he naturally does is yoga.   He inspired me to write this blog.

Every one takes a deep breath once in a while.  Everyone does some form of praying out loud, whether it be in a church, synogogue, mosque, temple, alter, or in traffic. Saying what you want out loud repeatedly is important and is a part of the yoga I know.  Most of the time we have no idea what we are doing to our bodies when we are practicing. Sometimes my goal is “just get to class.”  There are absolutely times where I literally drag myself there.

We have clogged up chakras and pains in our bodies keep us stuck and complaining.  All this complaining and negativity comes from “clogged” areas in our bodies.   Being physically, mentally and spiritually open is when we are able to be positive human beings. Yoga teaches us to handle stress, if you can get through a yoga class you can get through everything, no  matter what shape or size you are, if you can breathe you can do yoga.  Here are some benefits:

  • improve cardiovascular
  • balances organs and glands
  • cures sleep and anxiety
  • focusing skills
  • creating harmony between bones, muscles and skin promoting freedom of movement
  • raises levels of energy, breath and fluids
  • lowers cortisol and blood pressure

If you will be starting a yoga practice, here are some helpful notes:

  • take a mental note of when you feel like you want to give up, keep going
  • forgive yourself for not doing things right.  Just do it, keep going
  • You’ll have no idea what your doing but your’re helping your whole body and mind
  •  Know at some point you’ll just feel better, and your body will shine from the inside out
  • think of  everything you do on the mat as a metaphor for life
If you live in Brooklyn, on Januaray 15th at 5pm you will have a wonderful opportunity to begin a yoga practice at VeroYoga.  Vero Yoga is located at 208 Midwood Street, the lower level in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.  Linda Gastaldello will be teaching a beginners hatha, vinyasa class. The price is $14.00, bring a mat or rent one for $1.00.

Namaste and I hope to see you on the mat!


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