Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apache Blessing

Earth Hour 2009Image by alicepopkorn via Flickr
May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being.
— Apache Blessing
I read this first thing this morning when I awoke. May your day, and life, be blessed in these ways.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kosmic purple hat from Yogini Teal

My latest needle felted hat is almost ready for sale!...stay tuned...

Click the picture below to see a larger photo.

Kosmic purple needle felted hat almost ready for sale! on Twitpic

Friday, October 23, 2009

$30 Massage Deal at Eden Therapy and Massage in Charlotte, NC

I subscribe to this thing called Groupon and today they had an awesome deal: $30 for a one hour massage at a really nice spa in Charlotte. The offer is still available so if you have been desperately needing a massage (as I have!) you can sign up!

Have a great day! Peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October Blissful Body Yoga Newsletter is out now!

Carpette d'automne sur mon sentier près de ma ...Image by Denis Collette...!!! via Flickr
Check out the October edition of the Blissful Body Yoga Newsletter and subscribe if you haven't already.

Hari Om,
Teal Marie Fyrberg

Reduce Anger by Lying Down

This is a great little blurb from Amy Weintraub's, LifeForce Yoga newsletter (you can learn more and subscribe here.) Amy specializes in yoga for people suffering from depression, PTSD and other forms of mental dis-ease. Compassionate, kind and full of amazing information, she is one of my favorite Kripalu yoga teachers.

Reduce Anger by Lying Down

Researchers at Texas A & M University found that the mere act of lying down can reduce anger.  Researchers have known that mood can be altered by mimicking the facial and body movements of certain emotions (slumped shoulders can evoke sad, morose feelings, smiling induces an uplifted mood), but a new study recently published in the journal Psychological Science finds that when study participants who were in a supine position were insulted they did not show brain patterns associated with anger as compared to those participants who were seated when insulted.

Commentary:  This study points to another good reason to practice Yoga Nidra, a deep relaxation technique that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of PTSD and is practiced lying down.

Enhanced by Zemanta

AnitGravity Yoga and Yoga Slings

Now, this is a really awesome way to do yoga...

I have done something similar before and I SOOOO want to get a yoga sling. Here is one company I found that offers them, they look really cool.

The video above is from a place in South Carolina called Aerial Yoga. I will SO be going there on my next trip down to Charleston.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meditation Gives You A Bigger Brain!

More and more research now confirms what the ancient yogis knew thousands of years ago: Meditation works.

Many studies have been done revealing the very measurable results that a meditation practice can have on everything from concentration and stress reduction, to relief from depression and healing of many diseases. A new study done by The UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, highlights some of the actual physical changes that occur in the structures of the brain.

A group of researchers at UCLA who used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate. In a study published in the journal NeuroImage and currently available online (by subscription)...the researchers found significantly larger cerebral measurements in meditators compared with controls, including larger volumes of the right hippocampus and increased gray matter in the right orbito-frontal cortex, the right thalamus and the left inferior temporal lobe. There were no regions where controls had significantly larger volumes or more gray matter than meditators.

"We know that people who consistently meditate have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability and engage in mindful behavior," said Eileen Luders, lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging. "The observed differences in brain anatomy might give us a clue why meditators have these exceptional abilities."

In the study, Luders and her colleagues examined 44 people — 22 control subjects and 22 who had practiced various forms of meditation, including Zazen, Samatha and Vipassana, among others. The amount of time they had practiced ranged from five to 46 years, with an average of 24 years.

More than half of all the meditators said that deep concentration was an essential part of their practice, and most meditated between 10 and 90 minutes every day.
Research has confirmed the beneficial aspects of meditation. In addition to having better focus and control over their emotions, many people who meditate regularly have reduced levels of stress and bolstered immune systems.


I am asked by students all the time if it is difficult to get started in a meditation practice, and I have many people tell me they could "never meditate" because they are too hyper, stressed-out, etc. The truth is anyone can meditate and all of us have experienced "meditative states" at one time or another without necessarily knowing to name them that. If you have ever become completely absorbed in an activity, felt an sense of peace and clarity and lost track of time, you have entered one of the levels of meditative absorption.

Part of the problem, I believe, is the language we use to describe meditation. We tend to say, "I am going to meditate now," as if it is an activity we can just "make happen." In reality, what we do is create the right conditions for meditation to occur naturally (after all, it is our natural state of wholeness.) In yoga, we do this through asana practice, chanting, mantra and by focusing on an internal or external object. When we do these things with our full attention a chain reaction occurs in which sensory withdrawl (pratyahara) begins, then one-pointed concentration (dharana) develops, then meditative absorption (dhyana) occurs and finally experience (someday, we hope!) Oneness with All (Samadhi).

You can begin a simple meditation practice today. Choose a time of day and place where you can sit undesturbed for at least 5 minutes. Sit in a chair, or with your legs crossed, so that your spine is straight. Begin to follow your breath as it moves in an out through your body. As you inhale, say silently or aloud, "Breathing in." As you exhale, say "Breathing out." As thoughts and sensations arise simply stay focused on the breath and the repetition of this simple mantra. The key to meditation is consistency. Try doing this meditation every day at the same time for 5-10 minutes for 7 days. Please come back and leave a comment and let me know your observations. 

You can also try some of my Guided Meditations, available at

Give meditation a try. You'll feel happier, sleep better AND have a bigger brain!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Healing Through Yoga in Estes Park, Colorado 2009

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend Yoga Journal's Healing Through Yoga Intensive in beautiful Estes Park, CO. My husband and I were already heading out to Colorado for a wedding and when I saw this intensive was the week before I was so psyched and had to go!

More and more often, I have students seeking out my yoga classes because they are suffering from a chronic illness or injury, or recovering from a major life event. While I do not see myself as a Yoga Therapist in the same light as some of the far more qualified individuals practicing Therapeutic Yoga, I do see myself as a healer of sorts. I think, at our best, we are all healers for each other and I spend as much time as possible studying areas such as the yoga sutras, anatomy, Positional Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, The Bhagavad Gita, asana and pranayama, etc. and with other teachers to gather more information on how we heal ourselves. And, this is how I see my role in the healing process of others: as a facilator assisting the individual in their own healing process.

There were so many amazing presenters at the conference I'm sure I could have chosen anyone and would not have been dissapointed, but for me the whole reason for the journey was to study, even for such a short time, with TKV Desikachar. He rarely leaves his school, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India and although I would LOVE to go, I have no idea when I will get over to India. I can tell you meeting him and his beautiful, gracious wife Menaka was the learning experience of a life time. I was able to experience 4 sections with them while I was there: Meditation as Medicine; Pranayama: The Therapeutic Application of Breath; The Power of Sound: The Therapeutic Application of Mantras and Chanting; and the Four Stages of Healing. I will be discussing a little about what I learned in each section in future posts.

What struck me immediately and most about these two great teachers was their humble, gentle nature and their outrageous sense of humor. They were an absolute delight. One of the unexpected learning experiences came from watching their dynamic as a married couple of many, many years. As a newlywed of just under ONE year, this was quite relevant to me. From the moment Mr. Desikachar walked onto the stage, in front of a hushed and reverent audience, he spoke with such love and pride for his beautiful wife. "This is my wife, Menaka, and she is a SUPER chanter; she is going to lead you in a chant now for your healing." Menaka would just smile and shake her head with a little bemused smile at his praise. As the classes went on there were other such moments. "My wife is a SUPER painter, she has done these lovely paintings of Ganesha and Lakshmi, she is SUPER." I don't know, I just couldn't get enough of how much he thought everything she did was SUPER. It was so very sweet. God, let my husband think of me that way 30 years from now!

In return, Menaka was always supportive, always ready to recount a particular story needed to illustrate a certain point, ready to chant, ready to gently offer a little correction (always with that same slightly bemused smile) if Mr. Desikachar's English grammar was a little off. She was so kind and gentle. In a world where it seems almost weekly I learn of a friend who's marriage or relationship has hit the rocks it was good – really, really good, to see how long love and respect can last and to watch the dynamic of constant appreciation, admiration, love and respect that makes that possible in action.

When I think about healing powers and techniques, I know that in my own life there have been no deeper and more soothing healing waters then the depth of unconditional love I receive from my husband.

More to come...

Enhanced by Zemanta