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Victory: A Standing Rock Interview

Today is a day of celebration, a day to lean into joy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not be granting an easement under Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross the Missouri River, just a half mile upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation.

Last week I checked in with Rachel Irwin, who was at the front lines of the Standing Rock protest. I asked her a few questions for a peek into what the experience was like.

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Visvamitra: Starting Over

As I walk into the studio at dawn, a sliver of moon is still visible, like a blessing. I’m empty. I ask myself the question I’ve come to associate with Viśvamitra, the question I ask during the Art of Flow yoga teacher training, and in yoga classes whenever I’m teaching Viśvamitrasana as the peak pose. The theme is tapas but…

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Stop That Cue! The Missing Edge

What happens when the language cues in yoga superimpose images that don’t match up to reality? It creates a disconnect between body and concept. Unfortunately, because of our mind-dominant culture, it is usually the concept that wins. The body tries to conform. We are quite adept at conforming to outside influences: look at 4-inch heels, foot-binding and spanxs. Yoga becomes another place where mind rules over body; when actually yoga practice should be the place where the body’s inherent intelligence guides the way forward. But just imagine: what if the process of foot-contact exploration held the potential to open a magic portal …?

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A Bone of Contention: A Phrase In The Running For Worst Yoga Cue Ever

Bone isn’t going to give.

This anatomical truth, unlike Donald Trump’s stance on pretty much everything, is not going to change. So my heart breaks a little bit when students who have been practicing for years, decades even, some of them past dancers and gymnasts with thousands of hours of flexibility and strength training, approach me after class to ask what they can do to get their shins parallel in pigeon pose….

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Stop That Cue! Three Verbal Cues In Yoga That Drive Me Bananas

This cue was all the rage in the late 90s, and I fear it is coming back into fashion, as I’ve heard it a lot recently. Admittedly, I did a lot of micro-bending in my 20s. So much so that, by 30, my knees ached regularly; they hurt just standing in line at the grocery store, in tadasana, mountain pose. It took a great deal of conscious effort and a strong yoga practice to unwind unhealthy muscle memory and create …