Live Oak Yoga
Live Oak Yoga

September 28, 2017

Shoulder Health for Physicians in the Workplace Thank you to Max Cusimano with NolaVid for the help making this video!

Live Oak Yoga
Live Oak Yoga

August 9, 2017

Off the leash; a personal reflection on one of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras

This summer I had the pleasure of taking my kids to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As the mother of two city kids, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I can let my children off the leash.  Here in New Orleans, they simply don’t get the freedom that I had as a child.  So I sent them to sleep away camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and then we went camping as a family.  The kids were thriving in their independence outdoors.  And so was I.  In the hustle bustle of daily life, we often forget to disconnect, and let ourselves off the leashes of our phones, computers, jobs, and other entanglements.  We get caught up in our habits, both good and bad.  Relaxing in a hammock between two trees, reflecting on some of my habits, I started to think about the Yoga Sutras. 

 
The Yoga Sutras by Patañjali is the authoritative Sanskrit text considered to be the foundation of yoga.  Each of the Sutras has many different translations, all somewhat open to interpretation.  This brings me to Sutra 3.18.   

Samskara Saksatkaranat Purva Jatijnanam
·      Clear-eyed vision of the mind’s habits brings knowledge of our arising.
·      Identification of one’s tendencies and habits will lead one to their origins.  Consequently, one gains deep knowledge of one’s past.
 
In the studio this month, my focus for practice is to identify habits on the mat.  Are they healthy?  Protective against injury?  Or are they preventing me from progressing in my practice?  Are they a distraction in my efforts to still the mind?  Off the mat, I am looking closely at my relationships, trying to identify patterns that enrich my life and let go of those habits that do not serve me.

Live Oak Yoga
Live Oak Yoga

June 21, 2017

“I’m 42 years old and in the best shape of my life!”  Does anybody remember that cheesy 90s Bowflex commercial?  Well today is my birthday, I’m 42 years old, and in many ways I am in the best shape of my life.  At times I have been thinner, and I have been heavier, but I have never been more comfortable in my own skin.  I believe that my yoga practice has helped bring me to this place.

In honor of International Yoga Day, I am telling my own personal yoga story.  I started my yoga journey 20 years ago, when I was in medical school, and very uncomfortable in my own skin.  I was struggling toward a career, spending huge amounts of time alone studying, and constantly worrying about whether or not I would make the grade.  I decided to join a gym to help give me an outlet for my stress.  I discovered a late evening Tuesday class (a class I now teach), and the first thing I realized was that I was sleeping better on Tuesday nights.  Since that time my yoga practice has come and gone in waves.  I love to exercise, and I like a variety.  I have enjoyed barre classes, boot camps, swimming, running, and cycling.

But I’ve always come back to yoga.  In 2011, on a whim, I bought a Living Social deal for a yoga studio down the street from my house, and I’ve been deeply involved in yoga ever since.  The studio had a nurturing vibe I didn’t even realize I was looking for.  And the timing was right.  I had been practicing medicine in New Orleans for 10 years.  I was feeling the strain of taking care of under resourced patients in our troubled health care system.  Some days I would come home from work feeling helpless, as if I simply lacked the tools to promote health.  My desire to teach yoga developed from these frustrations.  Teaching yoga gave me tools to promote health in my community.  And it gave me the balance that I needed to continue to move forward in my medical career.

Today, on International Yoga Day, let’s try an exercise in personal reflection.  Ask yourself what you have learned through your practice of yoga.   What has the practice of yoga given to you or done for you? 

Yoga has taught me acceptance of my body and its limitations.  When I enter the studio, I am able to check my ego at the door.  It provides me with a fun outlet for pushing physical limits.   I have found a community of friends and created a practice space to explore what my body and mind can do.  And I have finally opened a family business.

Today is the summer solstice.  It’s the longest day of the year.  Enjoy it.  All day long.  Namaste.

Live Oak Yoga
Live Oak Yoga

May 9, 2017

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Things I learned after a full week completed in the new studio: Renovations are rarely done, even when you think they are done. It is very cool to have the privilege of teaching somebody their first yoga class, only to have them say after "I should have been doing this for the last 20 years!" Friends come out of the woodwork to support you, and that feels really good. Teaching or taking more than 10 yoga classes in a week definitely puts your body to the test. Another little know fact, I got my braces off on this day in 1988, making May 9th an auspicious day. Take a risk today, it might be worth it.

Live Oak Yoga
Live Oak Yoga

May 1, 2017

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Ganesha, remover of obstacles, patron of the arts and sciences, and a god of new beginnings. A fitting figure to represent my first day in the studio. I had a few students (who are near and dear to me), an excellent personal practice, and some time to meditate in the studio. All in all, a great first day. Looking forward to seeing you on the mat.