yoga workshop

My sleep test

Tired of being tired

For years I have dealt with insomnia. Some of it seemed "normal" -- anxiety over buying my first house, restlessness before an early flight, worried about a meeting the next day.

Those temporary and situational bouts of sleeplessness were manageable and passed.

But over the years, the occasional night of sleeplessness worsened to long stretches of insomnia. Months on end of sleeping for what seemed like only a few hours a night, feeling exhausted and physically stressed.

I've tried everything under the sun. Tinctures, herbs, OTC sleeping aids, pharmaceutical drugs, natural remedies, eating certain things, not eating other things, all kinds of body practices...and some of it worked for a while, but not consistently.

I felt totally helpless and hopeless upon going to bed -- will this be a good night's sleep or not? The question itself creates an anxiety loop that makes sleep less and less likely.

Going to the science

I started hearing about other ways to work with insomnia -- ways that could be as effective as prescription drugs. By addressing the mental aspect, one could repattern the brain to avoid those potholes of sleeplessness. I began working with some of these techniques, as well as being more accountable for my "sleep hygiene." And miraculously, I started sleeping.

This did not happen overnight (no pun intended) -- it took patience, discipline and effort. 

But OH was it worth it. There is NOTHING like getting a good night's sleep, especially consistently!

Putting my new techniques to the test

sleep products

Travel is another time when sleep can be disrupted. This past weekend I had a training in Berkeley. I was about to put my newfound sleep to the test.

I packed my normal nighttime routine essentials... AND an ambien just in case.

I had three nights to experiment with sleeping well away from home.

 

IT WORKED

I slept!! If you've suffered from insomnia, you know that this is a big deal!

Especially because I was at a training and I wanted to be fresh and alert for learning.

Part of the success is that I've made new patterns around sleep and my brain is more accustomed to nighttime + bed = sleep. The other success was that the techniques were powerful enough to work outside of the comforts of home. 

All the effort and inconvenience of these past months paid off. 

 

Are you tired of insomnia?

If you've suffered from sleeplessness and want some support, tools and resources, join me this coming Sunday for: 

Tired of Insomnia?
Sunday, March 11, 1-3:30 pm

We will cover:

  • sleep preparation
  • physical practices that can calm the nervous system
  • mental/cognitive tools to get and stay asleep
  • natural aids that help support a sleepy state
  • and more


If you plan to sign up, please do so early -- I have homework for you this week that will be part of the workshop.  


Register HERE. I'll get back to you within 24 hours with your homework and additional information.

Part of changing the patterns of insomnia is not making a big deal about going to bed. This is hard to do when it's been a stressful thing for a long time.

Getting restful, restoring sleep changes EVERYTHING. Your body, your nervous system, your work, your relationships will all thank you!

Let me know if you have questions. And if you have friends who could benefit from this workshop, please pass this along.

Michelle


yoga props

200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training


If you are looking for a space to question and move and grow, this is a beautiful way to do it. 

Read about this opportunity. 
Or contact me to chat. That's what I'm here for.

 

yoga philosophy for today

You know the phrase, "You get better at what you practice?"

The follow up to this truth is the real wisdom: "So be careful what you practice."

The spiritual path is hard work, and sometimes it's lonely. 

But we do it because we want to grow and learn and evolve as human beings. We want practical support for the things life throws our way.

We do it together because we need each other's support, encouragement and celebration.

It's essential to have a group and time we can discuss these topics and share stories with people of various ages, backgrounds and life experience. By sharing, we are reminded that we are not alone.

When I put out a feeler to gauge interest in a philosophy "work group," many of you responded!

Topics and texts will vary and we'll do short series style so that it fits into your regular life. This will also be a remote format, using a group video conference, so you can be anywhere and participate. And the sessions will be recorded so you can make up or watch again.

elephants

New Year Philosophy

For our first Yoga Philosophy for Today workgroup, we will explore Yoga Sutra 2.1. The Yoga Sutras are 196 aphorisms compiled by a man named Patanjali around 400 CE. It has become a main text in today's yoga world, with practical yet powerful guidelines for personal growth.

Sutra 2.1 tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah

Especially relevant at the start of the year where our best intentions can create rigidity and pressure -- maybe we let things slide over the holidays due to overwhelm, and then we hit new year's eve and resolve to end all bad habits. Forever.

The Yoga approach is a little different. According to sutra 2.1, it goes like this: 

Commit your attention and action, increase your knowledge and understanding through this awareness, and then surrender.

Specifically...

Commit — Show up with your attention every day, whether it's on the mat, the cushion, in your relationships, to yourself, in the moment. This is discipline. It's the action behind intention. It's also love (courtesy of Mary Oliver, If you love something, you pay attention to it).

Awareness is learning from the information you get, it's honesty and realism, it's reflecting on yourself (your Self). 

Surrender (which can be a loaded word, so you might try yield or release) is letting go of the fruits of your actions. Doing the work (committing attention, action and awareness), then setting it free. Surrender is drenched in compassion.

The cocktail of these three qualities is the practice of Yoga.
It takes effort.
It is not linear. 
It's simple but not easy.
And it is never ever "done."

Awareness, action, surrender.

roses

Series Details

This series is for you if you:

  • love philosophy
  • want practical guidance that relates to today's issues
  • struggle at the beginning of the year
  • desire more support and community in your practice
  • are a serious/curious student of yoga and want to learn more
  • are a teacher and want a deeper understanding of yoga philosophy

This is a three-part online series meeting once a month for three months to explore the brilliant trifecta sutra 2.1 offers.

We will use an online video "classroom," so internet connection and a web-accessible device are required.

We will be able to see each other, interact and ask questions. Like being together, but you can be in your pajamas.

In this series, you will receive:

  • relatable handouts and readings
  • homework - reflection and writing prompts
  • a general overview of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • ideas on how to work with each aspect of sutra 2.1
  • another layer of understanding about philosophy (it takes time to integrate these principles)
  • the foundation for a lifelong practice grounded in compassion
  • email support in between calls

Classroom sessions will include:

  • guided exercises and discussions
  • clear and practical interpretations -- philosophy does not have to be complicated!
  • community with like-minded people
  • practicality -- instantly useable principles
  • fun -- it has to be!

Meeting Dates:

February 25, 1-2:30 pm
March 25, 1-2:30 pm
April 22, 1-2:30 pm

Price: $55

Register here.

Come Together

Sharing ideas, lending a hand, offering silent support -- these are the things I've seen over and over that make a difference, make us feel less alone and give strength in the moments of hardship.

Yoga philosophy can be practical, relevant and instantly usable. Join me in discovering more about the Yoga Sutras and the wisdom of sutra 2.1 -- commitment, awareness, surrender.

 

two new workshops

Workshops in the works! Two upcoming offerings...

 

chai

Seasonal Care : Winter to Spring

Address the unique symptoms that can arise from the upcoming seasonal transition -- colds, mucous, sluggish energy and digestion -- using the accessible tools of Ayurveda and Yoga.

Sunday, January 28, 1-3:30 pm

Email to register.

The shift from winter to spring can be tricky for the body, digestion and sleep. In our climate, winter is cold and spring is generally wet — qualities that together can create mucous, heaviness and sluggishness in energy and digestion.

Using the tools and Yoga and Ayurveda (which has to do with what we put in and on our bodies), we can warm the chill, absorb excess dampness and keep things moving.

This workshop will include suggestions for foods and beverages appropriate for the season, tips for balancing body practices and aromatherapy.

Plus -- cold care. You'll get a take-home of my #1 oil for fending off a cold.

These seasonal workshops are a ton of fun, very popular and Include take home goodies!

Sunday, January 28, 1-3:30 pm $75
Hosted at Figure 8 Studio at 28th and S Streets
Class size is limited; register early.

 

sleeping angel

Tired of Insomnia?

Sleepy solutions based on science and real-life experience. Take home tools and samples included.

Sunday, March 11, 1-3:30 pm

Email to register.

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Or do you wake in the early a.m. hours and stare at the ceiling? Insomnia not only puts you in a bad mood, it’s bad for your health. Studies show that insomnia affects everything from our immunity to our lifespan.

No doubt you have tried many remedies, maybe some with success. But if you are relying mostly on pharmaceutical drugs and luck to get a good night’s rest, there’s more you can do.

Sleeplessness becomes its own cycle of anxiety over going to bed and fear of the effects of not sleeping ("Tomorrow is going to be terrible if I don't get any sleep!"), which make the possibility of actually sleeping even less likely.

Join Michelle for a workshop full of sleepy solutions based on science and personal experience. We’ll review the basics of sleep preparation, yoga poses to help set the nervous system and tricks to get and stay asleep. 

Includes take home tools and samples.

Sunday, March 11, 1-3:30 pm $65
Hosted at Figure 8 Studio at 28th and S Streets
Class size is limited; register early.

 

Questions about either of these workshops? Just ask. To register, email me. You will receive all workshop details after registration.