Posts from category "The Whole Way"

Your Focus=Your Experience

YOGAS CITTA VRITTI NIRODAH  "The restraint of the modifications of the mind stuff is Yoga."

The wording may be simple but the practice is difficult. It's about sitting with your mind and getting to admit it isn't quite what it thinks of itself. The problem is that the conscious mind thinks that it is real and quite simply it is not. Yoga and Neuroscience have proven this over and over again.

The nonstop monologue featuring you as the "star" of the world is instead simply a by-product of brain function. It is the job of the neocortex to think, analyze, categorize, and judge so that the body knows how to react to any given set of stimuli. It is more complicated, as your hand will likely pull away from a flame whether you think about it or not, but let's leave it here for now.

Let's think of this like you would think of are walking and then you sit down...where did the walking didn't go anywhere. Walking is a bodily function that gets your legs from here to there. Thoughts...your mind "minding" are thinking about grocery shopping and then you are not...where did the "minding" didn't go anywhere. Minding is a bodily function that ruminates on the fact that you are out of milk.

Say you used the last of the milk on your cereal, this triggers an electrical reaction in your brain, if I am to survive I need more milk, must buy milk, time...etc. Your brain sends electric impulses to your legs and they walk to the milk aisle in the grocery store. Your brain (gray matter) is real, your legs are real but the walking and thinking are by-products of electric impulses fired between the neurons in your body. 

In fact your body is building infrastructure around what it is experiencing right now...thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Getting stuck in the rumination about needing more milk can ruin your whole experience. It is all about attitude, things outside neither catch you up or set you free, only your attitude towards them does that. The need for milk is a fact, that you will have many contractions is a fact- rumination on either of these two things will cause coping to turn towards suffering, especially if you can't go to the store until after work; especially when no one can give you an exact number, time frame, etc for your labor and delivery.

Again, the wording may be simple but the practice is difficult. But, if you want to know what is going on inside of your body then you have to be able to sit still enough to listen, to respond rather then react. First with your pregnant body, then during Labor and Delivery you will need your body and especially your mind to sit still enough to listen.

Yoga requires you to reshape some of your behaviors, the ones you have control over, the ones that are entirely appropriate for labor pain management--reshaping these behaviors will help you master your pain and relieve your own suffering. Never underestimate your own power--YOU CHOOSE HOW TO RESPOND--

I am with JuJu Sundin on this one: "Simply put to master labor pain you need to move from a state of fear, ignorance and anxiety towards focusing on activities to apply to contractions and it is important to note that you will not only apply these pain relieving activities you will also concentrate only on the actions necessary to complete them. Concentrate only on the actions necessary to completer them. It is the concentrating that makes all the difference."

Solid piece of Jedi wisdom: "Always remember that your focus is your reality."

Solid piece of Yogic wisdom: "As the mind, so the (wo)man: bondage or liberation are in your own mind.

Simply put if you feel afraid, you are afraid but if you feel calm you are calm. It is the concentrating, your focus, that makes all the difference.


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Do You Want to Easily Navigate Your Pregnancy?

A woman who has easily navigated her pregnancy will feel confidence in her changing body and will believe in her innate ability to give birth.

She will have a strong bond of connection with her baby.

A woman who can use her breath to release anxiety, to ease pain, to increase focus, to stay with a moment.

AND she will accomplish all this while feeling supported in her pregnancy, and with a genuine sense of community.

This woman has been a regular prenatal Yoga student at The Yoga Whole, making my work teaching her a pleasure, and has come to realize what I already know--Yoga makes the Whole journey a little easier.

Allow yourself to become this "woman".

My background and training in Yoga combined with my continuing education and specialization in Prenatal Yoga will help me guide your body, mind and spirit through pregnancy with ease. Together we will develop your own personal pregnant experience into a Prenatal Yoga practice that:

  • eases the discomforts, aches, and fatigue commonly caused by pregnancy 
  • creates strength, energy, flexibility, and focus 
  • gives a gentle practice designed especially for the pregnant woman’s needs 
  • provides a safe, peaceful and supportive environment for moms to be 
  • builds  a community of other moms 
  • provides a safe place to get your questions answered and to share the joys and tribulations of pregnancy 
  • builds endurance in body, breath, and mind
  • teaches relaxation techniques that are useful during labor and delivery, or at other stressful times 
  • cultivates moment to moment awareness and focus 
  • helps women to prepare mentally and physically for what lies ahead 



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Pelvic Discomfort During Pregnancy


Unfortunately, discomfort during pregnancy is common, especially in the pelvis, and there are several different culprits.  The ever expanding pregnant belly naturally puts ever increasing stress on the bones, joints and muscles in your pelvis and back which can result in pelvic girdle pain. Examples can include but are not limited to:

Pressure from the Baby’s Weight- By the beginning of the 3rd trimester the baby will start feeling increasingly heavy in the body placing more of a load on your joints, your bladder, other internal organs, and on your nerves, especially, those that run from your vagina to your legs. Pain in this case normally comes with movement, therefore, lying down on one side should help relieve some of the pressure.

Relaxed Pelvic Joints- The pregnant body releases the hormone relaxin which helps the ligaments become stretchy for childbirth. It also can loosen the pelvic joint which causes a bit of separation. It is common to feel pain near the pubic bone and feel that your legs are a bit unstable. Your pelvic joints move more during and just after pregnancy; this can be the cause of inflammation and pain. Be very careful not to overstretch your ligaments, move for the sake of staying mobile, move towards feeling a sense of ease in your body, and not from the “no pain no gain” modality.  It is important to back off and to give yourself the support that your body needs during your pregnancy, it will thank you later during your quick recovery.

Constipation- especially later in pregnancy can cause quite a bit of discomfort, staying hydrated and yoga movements are usually excellent remedies for this condition.

Round Ligament pain- the round ligament extends from the top of the uterus down to the groin and during pregnancy this stretches and a woman may feel pain along her sides as the uterus tilts and pulls on the ligament. The pain is more prevalent while walking or sitting, and getting into and out of a chair. Lying down on the side that bothers you should make the pain disappear. This type of pain normally disappears for good around the 24 week mark.

For these “run of the mill” types of pelvic discomfort recommended treatments can include taking a warm (never hot) bath, standing in the shower with the water directed at your back, a pelvic support garment, a heating pad or ice pack, lying on your side with a pillow between your legs, regular exercise, acupuncture, and prenatal massage. Quick movements and sharp sudden turns at the waist should be avoided.

The following culprit is a little more concerning even though it is treated in much the same way as the above conditions, it is something that you should definitely discuss with your doctor or other health care professional, although I would suggest the mention of all your aches and pains to your doctor. 

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)- characterized by the joints becoming a bit “too” loose, a little too much separation, a feeling of pain down inside of the thighs, or in the pelvic floor between your legs, perhaps a grinding or clicking sensation in the pubic area. The sensation becomes worse by parting the legs, walking, going up and down stairs, or moving around in bed.

Treatment for SPD can include exercises that focus on the tummy and pelvic floor muscles, gentle hands on treatment of your hip, back, and pelvis to correct balance and to shift pressure performed by an experienced professional prenatal massage therapist. At home, try doing Kegels while on hands and knees (lifting in and up on the inhale, holding for 10 seconds, and slowly releasing down and out on the exhale), try sitting on a birthing ball as this will take the pressure from the weight of the baby off of the pelvis, and finally don’t push through the pain, if something hurts stop doing it.

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Do You Want a Bridge to Wellness as a New Mom?

A Postnatal Yoga practice, one that is open to new moms and their infants, is vital for healing and crucial for connecting with other new moms.

Allow our Tuesday morning class serve as your own personal bridge to wellness, a safe private space that will help you thrive as a new mom to this baby. Bond, connect and heal through the many benefits that come from continuing your Yoga practice after birth. Postnatal Yoga:


  • uses practices and poses known for the healing energy they bring to your postpartum body 
  • serves as a bridge to wellness that will help you thrive as a new mom 
  • supports the body’s recovery after birth 
  • facilitates easier restoration of the abdomen, the pelvic floor, and the postural ligaments
  • helps ease postpartum soreness
  • learn to take a deep breath again, after 9 months of your baby compressing your diaphragm and lungs.
  • helps the body relax, release stress, and allow the mind to begin to cultivate patience.
  • rebuilds flexibility and muscle tone
  • provides a safe environment to bond with your baby and to build a community with other moms 
  • regular exercise benefits mental health and may prevent and/or lessen Postpartum Depression

Immediately following the Tuesday morning Postnatal Yoga class will be an informal New Mom group, a time and space to gather, share, connect and build friendships with other new moms.

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