I AM You Studio

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    Looking to reduce stress? Here’s a short sequence to help you relax. It’s important to listen to the breath and tune into the body. 


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    Start a Self Practice

    DETOX to RETOX Challenge: Keep it Going with a Self Practice

    Last two days! What will come next is up to YOU. I.AM.YOU. is always here to help, but learning to develop a self practice will keep you on the path to success. Inside and out.


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    How to Make an Injury Cool
    Name an injury, and I have either had it, or taught someone with it, with the emphasis on the former. Currently, in fact, I have 4 torn muscles, those that stabilize the right shoulder, preventing me from doing yoga, or pretty much anything, as I know it. 
    The feeling is of being injured is not entirely new…. In the past dozen years I have had a broken pinky toe (don’t knock it til it happens to you!), a dislocated cervical disk, a mega broken foot (3 metatarsals), a stress fractured femur… and well the list grows longer the farther back into my youth and competitive athletic years you go. Yes, some in fact have been yoga related, from either me not listening to the teacher and doing something they instructed not to, and now as a teacher I know is totally wrong, or from receiving an improper assist.  Other injuries can be attributed to life, plain and simple. What I have now, in fact, started on probably my best hour of summer frolicking ever as I dove into crystal clear water from a few meters up.
    The thing is, with every injury I have had, of whatever the type for whatever the reason, I have come out not only a better person, but a stronger one, and a much better yogi and yoga teacher. In fact, I do not even stress anymore when I am injured, because I know the bright side, that an injury can, in fact, be cool. How?
    1.  LEARNING. Every injury opens the door for you to learn about your body. I always think of it as a real life biology or anatomy class, two passions of mine.   I ask my doctor, physical therapist, andacupuncturists question after question, so that I can learn how the mechanics of this amazing body we have really works, and truly begin to feel its intricacies. From there I try and learn how everything is interconnected, and what causes what, largely by being aware of  how things feel, and what ramifications I am feeling or suffering from due to an seemingly isolated problem.  An injury is the best lesson anatomy lesson you can have.
    2. MODIFY. Unless the doctor says, “Absolutely no you need bed rest,” there is a way to modify many activities you do. Yoga, for instance, is something that can be modified for almost every injury, and actually encourages healing. I used yoga as my physical therapy for my broken foot years ago, and since have learned to modify my generally athletic Ashtanga inspired Vinyasa practice for every injury I, and any client, have had. With my broken foot, I modified all poses that involved pressure on the top or side of the foot., gaining strength in areas I had been ignoring. Depending on what you have, try staying in plank pose, eliminating twists, micro bending the knee, using a Warrior I foot stance across the board… there is a way. Outside of yoga, try swimming without kicking or running with your arms static. Use your injury as impetus to a (temporary) new way.
    3. EXPERIMENT. You never know until you try.  Age old rule, that holds for injuries as well.  When you are modifying, try out new things. You may realize that you were under using one muscle, and now have an opportunity to strengthen it. Or maybe you learn to befriend a whole new pose. When I had to take out my headstands for my neck, forearm stands became my bread and butter (gluten-free organic of course). If it is not yoga, then experiment with an activity that perhaps is long-lost, or totally new.  Maybe try swimming, rollerblading instead of running, hiking hills instead of spinning.  Your body needs a mental-physical connection to be healthy, and there are many ways to do it.  So use your injury as an opportunity to try out new things.
    4. BE CREATIVE.  Along the lines of the above, your injury is actually a petri dish for creativity. With my hurt shoulder I could either complain and do nothing, or think out of the box on how to practice, and teach. I have in fact come up with some killer fabulous sequences in the past six weeks, and I can feel more to come.  If you take your mindset out of what you cannot do and let it roam in what you may not ever let yourself think you can do, you may surprise yourself. Use your injury as jet fuel for creativity, on the mat and off.

    5. PRACTICE PATIENCE. This is definitely the hardest for me. When my team of healers and helpers just now told me two months minimum no vinyasa yoga, or when I was in a cast for six months with my broken foot, there was naturally an initial moment of panic. But then I remembered all of the above, and that injuries are actually one of life’s ultimate tests of patience. If you are not patient, they will never heal.  If they never heal, you will never be able to do what you love in the same way. If you are patient, the body will heal itself as it knows how to do best, but you have to stay out of its way, calmly. Try and see your injury as a cosmic lesson, and you may realized that once it is healed and healthy, your mind is not only healthy, but stronger, too.
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    5 Signs You Need a Break + 5 Things to Do About It
    Work. Friends. Projects. Errands. Family. Health. Repeat. Life has put a lot on our plates, and it seems to be adding more. It is easy to get caught up in this plight of modern life, but you do not have to. Here are five things that I most typically notice and hear as signs of needing a break, and five ways to remedy them.
    Signs It’s Time for a Break
    1. You dread the alarm clock. Your alarm clock goes off, no matter the hour or day, and all you want is to stay crawled up in bed.
    2. Your fuse is short. No matter what someone says, it is not the right thing. You are constantly triggered for arguably no real reason.
    3. You avoid what you know you like. You start making excuses for not going to yoga - to that class you love - or a friend’s house you always enjoy, claiming stress and tiredness. 
    4. Your diet starts to waver. You start eating foods you know make you feel bad, and other foods you simply know are bad, saying, “just today.”
    5. You simply do not care. You start to spend more time surfing the web at work, flipping through channels at home, ignoring messages and invites from friends, and pretending your family does not exist, all in the name of “rest” and silence. 
    Ways to Give Yourself a Break
    1. Get offline. Turn the internet off two hours before bed, and turn your handheld devices off for at least eight hours a day. Let your mind rest, and spare it the endless stream of often unnecessary information. (This one is hard, I know.)
    2.  Take a local adventure. Take yourself  somewhere new or unfrequented in your city think neighborhood walk, proper restaurant diner, bikini picnic in the park, or museum wandering. Simply experiencing something new - with different people, air, and vibe - will refresh your mind and body.
    3. Plan an escape. Plan a day, week, or weekend holiday within the next six months anything outside of and away from your day-to-day routine. Something to look forward to will add a skip to your daily step.
    4. Laugh. There is really no better remedy. Cures you from the inside out.
    5. Do something crazy. Go to a seemingly ridiculous class, plan a one-day escape to the beach, go out for a night on the town, or do something you think you never have time to do, or is simply nuts. The thrill will rejuvenate you. 
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    Yes, You Can Practice Yoga Daily

    Yoga can and will change your entire body, from the inside out. It will make you thinner, lighter, happier, calmer, sexier, and more YOU. Yet, in order for it to work you need to do a breath-guided practice at least three times a week, and ideally, daily.  Upon hearing this most people start to make a long laundry list of reasons why that is impossible for their lifestyle, citing their job, social obligations, commute, travel, pets, plants…..you name it. 

    I understand that you lead an intense busy life, I do too. But also know that a regular, gasp daily, practice is totally possible within that life, even if getting to a studio regularly seems impossible.  And here is why:
    1. You Brush Your Teeth & Shower Daily.
     Or so we hope! You have time to do these things because they are a non-discuss part of your pattern of existence. Yoga  can and should be the same. You just need to think about it as something akin to brushing your teeth.
    2.  You Can Do it Anywhere, Anytime. 
    You don’t need shoes, you don’t need a ball, you don’t need a machine, you don’t need to do any prep, and you don’t even need a mat. All you really need is you. What other athletic activity is as simple? Stand up straight in Tadhasana and start. But if inability to get to a scheduled studio class is your  retort, take a look at number three….
    3. You Can Put it in the Palm of Your Hand.  Yes, you can practice anywhere &ndash even from your iPod. I&rsquove created iTunes classes to upload on your iPod and take with you everywhere you go, business trips, holidays, long stays at the office, you name it.  Upload, synch, and voila. There are 1 hour, 30 minute, and 15 minute classes. FIFTEEN MINUTES!!! Perhaps the most stress-free yoga experience ever, and the ultimate reason you CAN practice yoga daily.  
    4.  Perfect Doesn’t Matter. It does not matter if you are in a studio or alone, or if your alignment is slightly off. All that matters is that you are doing some yoga, daily, and breathing. In my iTunes classes we actually count the breaths for you as well as provide alignment instructions, so it is the best of all worlds, but there is never a need to fret – the kinks will work themselves out over time.
    5. There Really is No Excuse. What is the real reason for not doing something that makes you feel and look faaaabulous inside in out?  There isn’t one.  In the words of Nike, &lsquoJust Do It.&rsquo
    Whether it&rsquos practicing yoga via iTunes or DVD at home, or at your local studio, start your daily practice now. You won’t regret it. And you may even get addicted.

    Daily Blog: http://www.iamyoustudio.com/blog/ @IAMYOUstudio

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